The Null Device
Spain's graffiti commandos are what Melbourne's homies (and indeed Prahran's logo-T-shirt set) can only dream of being:
They film their creations and sell the footage to specialist distributors for internet music magazines, or the city's avant garde pubs. Split-second timing is the key. One member of the "commando" - which can number up to 20 - travels on the train. At a given moment and place, he pulls the emergency cord and the train stops. The artists leap into action and - crucial to the financial success of the operation- film themselves in front of their creation before escaping.
Bad things are happening in the Land of the Free: hundreds of Muslims rounded up in California, and are now in prison. Officials are maintaining secrecy, but some unconfirmed reports put the number rounded up as high as 1,000.
One activist said local jails were so overcrowded that the immigrants could be sent to Arizona, where they could face weeks or months in prisons awaiting hearings before immigration judges or deportation.
Nice to see that the US government is still zealously committed to fighting for the ideals of justice and liberty.
A piece in the Age about the Blackshirts, the militant "men's group" who want adultery to be punishable by death and seek to achieve this by intimidating women who left their husbands, and their founder, former fixture of the rock'n'roll scene John Abbott.
He now lives with his parents, attends church and plans Blackshirts' campaigns. He quotes the Bible, laments the loss of his children, but defends his decision not to see them. They will be reunited in heaven, he says. "The whole family will be reinstated. That's what heaven's about; there there's no pain."
The Blackshirts could be said to be the extreme wing of the reactionary wave washing through Australian culture, that started with One Nation and went on to the Howard government and its bring-back-the-Menzies-era paternalism. If they get sufficiently big and threatening, we could see the government co-opt some of their less insane policies (such as abolishing no-fault divorce laws, or "reforming" the family court system).
Multinational food giant Nestlé, known for having all the ethics of a tobacco company, come up with yet another way to be scumbags in Africa, this time demanding $6m from famine-struck Ethiopia for nationalising a livestock firm in 1975. The sum is in the old exchange rate; the $1.5m the Ethiopian government offered was rejected as not enough.