Bleats

Disney Is Buying Bluey So Kids TV Is Australia's New Mining Boom

Who guessed that an animated puppy would herald Australia's cultural renaissance?

So Disney are about to launch their fancy new streaming service Disney+, and while Australia will be absorbing its usual diet of American entertainment the rest of the world will be getting a little taste of Australian goodness in the form of Bluey, the ABC’s record-smashingly popular animated kids series about a blue heeler puppy and her family.

And rightly so because – as any parent will tell you – the show is freaking amazing.

And let’s be honest, Bandit’s got moves.

It won’t be on the service in Australia, mind, because here it’s on the ABC – where it is the most downloaded programme of all time – and you can just download the ABC Kids app and experience the same frustration that every parent in the country does.

And on that subject: ANDY YOU HAVE TOO MANY SHOWS JUST BE ABOUT DINOSAURS OR BABY ANIMALS PICK A SIDE DUDE.

I’m serious, Andy. Stop it.

Anyway: Bluey is easily one of the Australianest shows ever to screen. Despite being animated it’s very obviously set in a recognisable Brisbane, it’s full of Australian idioms, and it’s both laugh-out-loud hilarious and often genuinely moving since it captures Australian childhood so damn well.

The best bit is that the show will screen unaltered – which in this instance means “without American overdubs” – which means that those gloriously ‘Strayan voices will remain.

And if you were into Australian indie rock of the 90s you’ll be aware of (and obsessed with) the fact said voices include Dave McCormack, aka The Bloke What Sings In Custard, as Bluey’s dad Bandit.

This guy.

And if you’re not across Custard, then turn this the hell up before hitting play:

And if you’re a parent wanting to make friends with other parents at parks, then just start playing pirates with your kid and the conversations will start themselves.

And it adds to more ammunition against those unpleasant sorts who sniffily ask why should Australia have a taxpayer funded broadcaster: it turns out that Australian children’s television is the nation’s new export industry!

Mark my words, we’ll ride back to prosperity on the Wiggles’ back!

Competitive Office Chair Racing Is The Sport Australia Has Been Waiting For

Reckon you and your officemates have what it takes to turn pro?

There’s a very decent chance that you work in an office, but chances are you don’t train in it. However, if Australia would simply follow the example of the industrious people of Japan then we could be combining the two.

Specifically, for the noble and venerable sport of office chair racing.

This brave contest of feet and casters started in Kyoto in 2009 – which, if you’ve ever been to Kyoto, suggests that negotiating narrow spaces and sharp corners is the key skill required to master the craft of office chair racing – and has now spread to ten different sites around the nation.

It’s basically an endurance race with three-person teams riding the one chair relay-style to complete as many laps as possible around a 200 metre track. Tsuyoshi Tahara, the genius who turned what was presumably a Friday afternoon tradition into a sport, explained that “I wanted to create something no one has made before.”

And… well, he did.

The prize for winning this gruelling and stupid challenge? 90 kilos of rice. So technically even the champions would be amateurs, which leads to the next obvious question:

When oh when will the International Olympic Committee respond to our petition and see this introduced for 2024?

In any case, we’re putting our team together. Reckon your office has what it takes? WE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN.

Deep Fakes Is The First Adult Tech With The Power To Kill Us All

You'll never hear the term "streaming video" in the same way again.

If you want to know the future of technology, then you need only look at what’s happening in pornography.

You know what standardised Super 8 as a format in the 1960s? Porn. You know what killed Beta as a video format? The greater availability of porn on VHS. 1-800 numbers, CD-ROM, pay TV, video on demand: they all started with some engineer with a dream, which involved seeing someone else with no clothes on.

Not necessarily this specific someone else.

And when the internet appeared a lot of the things you take for granted – secure online payments, encryption, video formats – were all pioneered by the industrious smut-bees of the porn biz.

Even the weird-ass “pregnancy belt” used by particularly empathetic fathers-to-be to experience the feelings of carrying a child is only possible because of the leaps in haptic engineering that the porn industry spearheaded for masturbatory tech – what is rather brilliantly called “teledildonics”. Streaming video, appropriately, started with porn.

Anyway: this brings us to Deepfakes, the technology which is about to end the world.

Well, at least it’s still creepy.

Deepfakes began, once again, from the simple dream of wanting to see people with their clothes off. Specifically, famous people.

The term was coined in 2017 – blending the coding term “deep learning” with “fake” – but the exercise has existed ever since horny people realised they could use graphics programs to cut and paste a famous person’s face onto a digital centrefold.

And, like all technology, it rapidly left the porn suburbs and moved to the cultural big city where it’s used to do things like create a creepy Princess Leia for Rogue One or have 70 year old Samuel L Jackson perform as his 45 year old self in for Captain Marvel.

But, of course, now that tech is out there and anyone can use it to make anyone do or say anything in a way that’s pretty convincing.

So how long until it’s used for a world leader to declare war, or have an opponent announce they’re a pedophile? It’s vaguely amazing it hasn’t happened yet.

At the time of writing, at least.

But it’s not even what they can create that’s of concern: it now gives a perfect rationale for denying the reality of anything caught on film.

That’s reasonable if it’s, say, Emma Watson rejecting a sex tape – but less so if it’s Putin denying war crimes, or Trump rejecting video of alleged urine-related events in Russian hotel rooms. When anything is real, nothing is.

And god, how embarrassing will it be if humans end up rendered extinct from a war started by a bad video of Chinese leader Xi Jinping grinding down on Vice President Mike Pence?

When we get to the afterlife, we’re going to look like such idiots.

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