Why Australian retirees spend their money overseas

On November the 14th I wrote about the juvenile perfumes that are on sale here in Australia. Apparently, these weak lolly water essences are directed towards the pubescent girls who are mad about Justin Bieber and Little Boy Bands.

Coincidentally,  on the following day,  Robert Gottliebsen, who is a famous economist,  wrote an article in “The Australian” newspaper entitled  “Marketers ignore the over 65s, the only age group who have money and want to spend.”

It is a lamentable fact that retail spending has declined and Gottliebsen blames the retailers who have ignored the only demographic who can actually afford to buy.

Retailers have been hoping that Christmas shopping will help them out of this decline,  but,  in my opinion the anticipated splurge by unfunded shoppers  will only lead to more personal debt among the younger age group.

If only the retailers would provide goods that would appeal to the richest group in our society, the cashed-up over 65s, then these retirees would not have to do their shopping on overseas trips or online with overseas businesses.

I’m sure that they would much prefer to contribute to the Australian economy instead of sourcing their goods,  such as adult perfumes,  from other parts of the planet.

 

John Oliver’s Genitals

I have tried to watch John Oliver’s programme, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” but today his pathetic descent into vulgarity turned me off completely.  How can a man be so obsessed with his penis? Is his appendage so ineffectual that he has to constantly remind himself that he has one?

Oliver has no class. He is crass and has the comedic sophistication of a toddler who pulls his pants down at kindergarten and announces to the world with a giggle  “Look at my wee wee….”

Oliver talks fast, bobs his head up and down like a clucking chicken and is a physical turn-off.

This is not to say that his topics are bad, however.  They are timely and his comments on events in America are quite interesting.  Unfortunately, the laughter sounds canned and every time he refers to someone’s testicles the audience guffaws into orgasmic hysteria.

All in all, he leaves a bad taste in my mouth and despite his popularity in some circles, the “populus vulgaris” is welcome to him.

 

Brother Solutions Centre in Sydney brightens the day

Just when you start to wonder if there is any good service out there,  along comes Richard at the Brother Solutions Centre.

He was was so pleasant and helpful this afternoon that I feel compelled to sing his praises. He spent a patient 40 minutes helping us set up our Brother Printer after we had a bit of a problem with a previous WiFi connection.

Methodical, kind and oh so easy to understand,  Richard should not remain an unsung hero,  so thank you Richard for your help.

How I wish there were more people like you !

Farewell to Obama

The President of the U.S is ending his administration just the way he began it,  by bending over forward to kiss the hand of the Arabs in the settlements vote in the U.N Security Council yesterday.

It was about eight years ago that Mr President was kissing the hand of the Saudi King. He had actually bowed before him in such a subservient manner that I winced in embarrassment.

There he was sucking up the way he has continued to do for the past eight long years.

Very demeaning,  I thought. It made a mockery of the dignity of the U.S.  As I have always maintained,  I love America and don’t want to see it degraded in such a way.

Here’s hoping that the New Year will bring back some pride to the country that helped save my life.

Dear Aldi, please don’t call us “Dear Customer”.

I realise that in the German language as well as in other European languages it is acceptable to refer to someone as “My dear…whatever”.

In Australia, however,  this sounds patronising and sarcastic.

Our Australian culture is much more casual than the German one and even irreverent at times. We don’t bow and scrape and act obsequiously even when we are courteous.  So being called “”Dear Customer” is strange to our ears, especially when the announcement is “Dear Customer we are closing Checkout 2. We  are opening Checkout 3”   and you feel like clicking your heels together  and saluting  “Jawohl”.

Dear Aldi, you can always simply announce that you are closing a checkout by saying  “We are now closing Checkout 2 and opening Checkout 3. Thank you.”

Doctor Doctor. Is that the best that Aussie TV can achieve?

Take an old script from a twenty year old American TV series  called “Northern Exposure” about a doctor who is sent to a weird place which he hates and you have the premise for “Doctor, Doctor” which is “coincidentally ” about a doctor who is banished from the city and has to work as a GP in an Aussie country town.

Not any country town, mind.  It so happens that the town is the place from which he escaped…on account of everybody in the town being weird.

Lucky that…

Since that means that every character in the town can overact. And boy does that go on! The doctor’s mother is crazy hyper.  The doctor’s father is catatonic. Alas poor Steve Bisley, I knew him well when he had speaking roles. The doctor’s former girlfriend looks like she’s in drag and she too is hyperactive.

The doctor’s boss, Penny,  is forever presenting him with a bottle he must fill with urine. His and nobody else’s  (haha)  which becomes “the running joke”.

For crying out loud, the entire cast could do with a dose of ritalin

I could go on  (and I definitely will) for the following reasons.

As a former TV critic for The  Courier Mail newspaper in Queensland I have seen and judged and promoted many TV shows.  Some were good while some were bad.   The current crop of TV shows,  however, is so abysmal  that I cannot stay quiet and accept the drivel that Australia is now producing.  “Rosehaven?”,  “The Wrong Girl?”

Good grief!  They are puerile, badly written and hyperbolically acted.  And please can some generous person hand the wrong girl a packet of tissues?

I’d much rather watch “Hard Quiz” which is entertaining and informative thanks  to the remarkable talent of Tom Gleeson.

 

 

In Australia the only thing that matters is sport.

I continue to be amazed by the Australian obsession with sport.  This is to the detriment of other fields of endeavour such as academic achievement,  culture,  business prowess,  for example.

Football, tennis, swimming and cricket take up half the news broadcasts.  Yes, it’s nice to be active and run and jump fast or whatever, but that does not make a nation great, in my opinion.  After all, these are just games and yet in Australia they take the place of  all other achievements.

In fact, if someone is talented in medicine or learning, then that success is disregarded. But if that same person can score a few runs in cricket, then he or she is venerated. This explains why so many  “Australians of the Year” have been sportsmen and women.

The disappointing feature of all this obsession is that there is lots of scandal and drug cheating with performance enhancing products,  so that it becomes  difficult to respect and trust the whole business.

Moreover,   if a sportsman behaves abominably then he is forgiven whereas if that same person were to behave like that in the business world he would have been fired.  I’m referring,  of course, to some of our footballers and currently to some of our better known tennis players.

In my opinion,  Bernard Tomic and  Nick Kyrgios bring shame to our country.  They may play tennis quite well but what a couple of spoilt brats they are!  They are short on sportsmanship or dignity in their playing.

What a contrast to the tennis players of the past who made us proud and did not embarrass our nation!

In all seriousness,  I am so disgusted by their lack of character that I barrack for their opponents whenever they play a match.

For crying out loud,   sport is sport and life is something else,  but when sport adopts the mantle of religious fanaticism,  it becomes ludicrous.  I hope that one day we will value the important fields of human achievement more than some foolish bugger’s ability to kick or catch or chase a ball.

It does remind me of Emperor Vespasian’s dictum that one should keep the masses amused,  hence the Colosseum

So many babies fleeing Syria. How come?

During World War II there were very few babies born in the war zone.  In fact, the war  population demographic is extremely small compared with the baby boom that followed.

The reason for this lower number of babies born is is obvious. First of all,  the potential fathers were away at war. The second reason is that nobody wanted to bring a child into the world during such a horrific time even when a man was around.

The third reason is that many women were starving either in the concentration camps or outside in desperate situations. The lack of food and stress made women infertile.

Which is why I wonder about the large number of babies born during the past four years in Syria. These are the babies who are being brought to Europe or drowning at sea.

If the Syrians in the Middle East are at war,  how come so many babies are born without regard as to how they will be cared for or kept safe during the war?

One Syrian man lamented the drowning of his wife and seven children on the way to Greece.  Several of his children would have been born during the current conflict in Syria. We saw this on TV the other day and it amazed me how this could occur.  Even if the Syrians spent time in refugee camps,  surely this was not the ideal place to bring babies into an uncertain future.

 

The appeal of the Jeep Renegade TV advertisement in Australia

I have always been fascinated by advertising and marketing because it reflects society.  By trying to capture our attention advertising informs us about ourselves in the hope that it will appeal to our wallet.

Advertising is a gamble even if it’s well researched beforehand.  It’s no secret that I like the Specsavers ad when the hunky myopic guy rescues a seal believing it to be a young child. The ad is amusing, pleasant to watch and sends the right message.  “Go to Specsavers if you’re having a problem with your sight.”  Simple, amusing and effective.

On the contrary,  the Ford ad with that prissy little bitchy lady in the blue dress has a counterproductive effect and I have not been an admirer of that ad.

I do like the Jeep Renegade commercial, however, because of its catchy music and great masculine visuals.  I’ve even found the ad on You Tube and am enjoying listening to the band, the X  Ambassadors who perform in the ad.  It’s message is simple.   The Jeep Renegade is Now.  It is  adventurous, sexy,  and promises real excitement.  Music and product go well together and make their point.

Contrast that with that stupid Ford commercial whose message is lost by poor casting and visuals and you’ll understand why some ads work while others fail.

The Dressmaker–what in the world?

I have a suggestion for Peter Dutton, who is the Immigration and Border Protection Minster of Australia.  Whenever a boat carrying  “asylum seekers” is caught trying to reach our shores,  he should screen for them  “The Dressmaker”.

I guarantee that the boat people would beg the smugglers to turn the boat around and escape as far as possible from the image of Australia depicted in this film.

The setting for this Aussie production is the town of Dungatar which is made up of an extremely phony collection of sheds and outhouses.  Its inhabitants look like escapees from a Bruegel painting,  a bunch of weird caricatures.  There aren’t many of them in the town of Dungapoo but we have the village idiot, the cross-dressing policeman,  the demented mother of the dressmaker who is a hoarder,  the sex-starved fatty, the mean rich man who bosses everyone around,  all overacted by usually reputable Aussie actors.

Apparently,  the producers needed a celebrity for the title role of Tilly Dunnage who  has arrived to wreak havoc on the town that done her wrong by accusing her of murder.  So they chose Kate Winslet.  Alas, poor Kate. If only she had found a box of matches sooner and put us out of our misery long before the two hours of  “The Dressmaker.”

Francis Bacon said that  “revenge is a kind of wild justice” and boy does Tilly go wild. She outsews the opposition, cleans up her mother’s messy home,  cures her mother’s madness,  slims down The Biggest Loser by making her a new dress, finds out that the nasty man who drugs his wife and then has sex with her while she is knocked out, is actually Tilly’s father. Enough already.

In my defence, we were given these cinema tickets for free, but we overpaid!   We stayed until the apocalyptic end because I could not believe that this film which other people said I should go see was not going to improve.  Not even the town hunk who plays football can save this film.

Wouldn’t you think I would have learned my lesson by now?