Archives for December 2014

Review: The Ellis Laws

ellis-lawsThere’s no shortage of stereotypes surrounding older people. A key one revolves around the idea that those over say, fifty, get very set in their ways and that this worsens with the passing of the remaining decades. Add to that the related claim that most old blokes turn into crusty old grumps who see little good about the future, and you have a pretty potent image of what Bob Ellis and The Ellis Laws might be about.

The trouble is, and perhaps this is because I’m the wrong side of forty myself, The Ellis Laws is probably one of the most cogent, incisive looks at modern society that I’ve read. Whether it’s the role of CEOs or the lack of sleep most of us suffer from there’s some very well argued positions that are very difficult to refute – at least from my male, over-40 viewpoint anyway. Ellis relishes the role of observer and it stands him in good stead throughout – there’s less overstatement than I expected and also an avoidance of glorifying the past too overtly. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Ellis puts forward an upbeat view, but he at least provides some building blocks on which he believes some positive changes could happen.

As the cover blurb puts so well, this is a small book that puts forward the “laws of life we always knew, but have not before now seen put in words”. Yes it’s meant to be irreverent, but that is only one aspect. There are some concepts discussed that force some pretty deep introspection, and that for me was the biggest reward this work generated.

You can buy the book for yourself here for the princely sum of $9.99. It’s ten dollars extremely well spent, and one of the few books this year that I’ll be handing on to others recommending they have a read also.

For transparency: I’m a big fan of Bob Ellis’ published works and I have previously written a review of his stage adaptation of Bob Carr’s Diary of a Foreign Minister (which I’ve also reviewed). After that review Mr Ellis kindly organised a lunch with myself and Bob Carr as a thank you. It was one of the most illuminating lunches of my sheltered life, but I don’t feel indebted to either Bob in any way and hope it hasn’t influenced this review in any way.

Shopping Channel Host Confident of Bringing Abbott To Account


The Abbott Government’s tumultuous 2014 looks set to continue, with a hardened TV personality determined to pull off the interview of the year.

Gabe Newsome is a freelance presenter on a number of TV shopping channels. He lists his specialties as covering fitness equipment features presentation and kitchen food processor showcasing, but he’d determined to try something a little different before the year is out.

Gabe Newsome: political interviewer on the rise?

Gabe Newsome: political interviewer on the rise?

“I’d assumed that only political journos like Leigh Sales and Peter van Onselen got to do the hard-hitting interviews with our Prime Minister. I saw Karl Stefanovic’s evisceration of Tony Abbott and I was impressed, but I still wrote it off as a one-off fluke by a lightweight TV presenter.”

A seed of an idea had been planted for Newsome as he worked through a hectic week of preparing his next week’s presentations on the Flab Dabbler XL and Veggies to Wedges in 5 Steps Training Program.

“I was practicing my appliance pointing gestures at home before I went into the studio, when the TV caught my attention. It was Kochie on Sunrise, and he had Tony Abbott on. I consider Kochie as a guy who’s on my level as far as gravitas and credibility goes – I mean, he’s the guy who will get in an animal suit and hang his arse out the back of it for a laugh. So when he tore strips off the PM this morning, I knew what needed to come next.”

Newsome has since issued a challenge to Tony Abbott to appear on a future Innovations in Slicing and Dicing segment.

“I’ll be respectful but firm with Mr Abbott, but I can’t vouch for my dicing assistant Neryl. She’s already asked me whether there’ll be time for a question she wants to ask on the impact of the free trade agreements on trans-pacific currency flow speculators. I hope Mr Abbott is prepared.”

The Snark is The Creative Shed’s Satire News Section. 100% of it is satire and in no way resembles reality. Reality is way sillier than this stuff. Follow The Snark on Facebook and Twitter

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