This blog–fearless ground-breaking questions FOR YOU!




That last one is amazing!

Finally, am I damned because I find myself agreeing with Paul Sheehan this morning?

Exhibit one: The Shire. I’m not close to being in the target demographic for this series, which does have high production values but also has a hole where its heart should be. The Shire is a new low in network corporate cynicism. Ten presents the series as being driven by ”real people, no actors”, about a real place, Cronulla, and the surrounding Sutherland Shire. This is nonsense. It is a kernel of authenticity wrapped in a package of artifice.

The genesis of this series is pure plastic: it is a copy of an American faux reality series, Laguna Beach, with a dash of the grotesquery of another American reality show, Jersey Shore, and the dramatic story line of yet another American show, The O.C.

This Australian knock-off draws its drama by fixating on several carefully chosen young women who represent the quintessence of puerile narcissism. They are the only people who don’t get the joke – that they are the joke – cast for their combination of vanity, vapidity and plastic surgery.

The real Shire must be getting sick of parodies…

Mind you compared with many current offerings Sylvania Waters actually looks rather good.


4 thoughts on “This blog–fearless ground-breaking questions FOR YOU!

  1. Respectful of you, but not necessarily of ‘the shire’, which I find to be full of jingoistic narcissists. Maybe the two women in the show are puerile, I do not know. But the level of self-satisfied nationalism down that way is distressing. Hah, there is one part that I can disagree with Sheehan about. He says the Cronulla riots were justified (??) because their women were being harrassed on the beaches. To quote him: “At that time the people of the Shire were wrongly caricatured as racist, insular and whitebread by a news media too lazy to get the real story, which was that the people of the Shire were right to be angry about the systematic sexual harassment of young women at Cronulla beach, which had been going on for years while the police did nothing.”

    • I don’t agree with Sheehan on Cronulla: see my posts from that time. In fact I have rather despised Sheehan for around twenty years. For example:

      Back in the late 1990s when Pauline Hanson was a real political force, before John Howard co-opted many of her ideas and neutered her with his anti-PC PC, the old racist who used to hold court in the Beauchamp Hotel would often sing the praises of Paul Sheehan, while muttering dark stereotypes about “Asians”, though get him off that and he could also be interesting — on music especially. Sheehan’s Among the Barbarians [1998] did indeed show him to be the thinking person’s Pauline. Go to the link in the last sentence: it is a very funny article. Of Among the Barbarians, Anne Henderson [LINK UPDATED] rightly says: “This is a book with axes to grind and scores to settle. It’s lucidly written and has a clever style. It is also a confusing mix of overstatement and understatement, a tract rather than a considered thesis; much preaching and not too much research.” He is still much the same, to judge from this article.

      But there is — as so often with Sheehan — a half truth in what he says about ” the systematic sexual harassment of young women at Cronulla beach, which had been going on for years while the police did nothing” — which of course is still no justification for what happened in 2005.

      But really Julie: “‘the shire’, which I find to be full of jingoistic narcissists.” I find that almost as bad as Sheehan, I’m afraid. There are so many Shire people I have met, know, or am indeed related to, who would quite rightly bridle at that statement — which is on a par with Wollongong being nothing but bogans, or Surry Hills full of chardonnay swilling poofters…. See the previous post.

      • But my comment was made from my experience of people (to whom I am related) who live in Miranda and Yowie Bay. I can only go from my experience, and how I find people. I find the type of flag-waving which confronts me on occasion to be distressing. I will go and read your previous post.

  2. Switzer is a dab hand at calumny too, reference this end to the article about Malcolm that we commented on the other day: “For any politician, the big danger is vanity and a belief in his own publicity. Q&A types merely feed Turnbull’s sense of entitlement to the Liberal leadership. But the obsessions of metropolitan sophisticates are of little interest in the parliamentary party and most parts of the nation.

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