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  Issue No 82 Official Organ of LaborNet 20 December 2000  




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Cultural Wasteland

The spotlight was on Australian culture in 2000. But was it a missed opportunity, asks Peter Zangari.


As we know, 2000 will be remembered as the year the Olympics came to Sydney. The year that most people's lives revolved around a two-week global event; it was a disappointment as much it was a success. The reason for this was that the Olympics showcased our potential to the rest of the world, however it may never reach its full potential. As an example, the final three songs of the opening ceremony were chances blown in the wind.

Just who were the artists that represented Australian music at the most watched television event in history? Are they a true representation of the Australian music industry? Absolutely not. John Farnham, Olivia Newton John, Tina Arena and Vanessa Amerosi may be talented artists, but I've come to realise why they were chosen. It's simple. Album sales have been down for Farnsy and little Tina, so why not open up new markets in Burkina Faso, or Equatorial Giunea for that matter.

Gold Medal Song of the year: Paul Kelly- Every F.cking City.

This song would have fit perfectly as the theme song to the Olympics. Instead they opted for the Flame by Tina Arena. There is no disputing; Paul Kelly is a genius. No other Australian songwriter captures the heart of the listener with such a laidback style. I really do think that we missed out at these Games, but at least many WO readers should agree with me this year.

Here's some other outstanding releases of 2000.

Best Rock Album: Perfect Circle- Mer De Noms

Best Australian Album: Kavisha Mazzella- Mermaids in the well

Best Electronic/ Dance Album: Everything But the Girl- Temperamental

Best Pop Album: Elliot Smith- Figure 8

Best Club Compilation: Ministry of Sound- Dance Nation feat Brandon Block + Tall Paul

Best Movie Soundtrack: Music from the movie- Virgin Suicides

Best Live Act: BodyJar

Post-Olympic City Life

As predicted last year, there was huge influx of new eateries, food courts, and bars in the past 12

months. Whilst we experienced Sydney Olympic fever in September, there was something greater happening to our city. Our streets were being cleaned up, extra lighting was installed and Sydney siders were showing the rest of the world how to party. For sixteen days, you could venture into the City at any time and find something to do. New Cafes, Bars and Restaurants were opened every day to a point where there is no place in the city that is more than 100m from a beer or coffee. Whilst all of these venues opened in time for the Olympics, I feel that there's an oversupply that will be hard to sustain. Our only hope is that with an extended period of day light saving, more and more people will utilize what we have.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, At Least Not In Australia

In the prophetic words of Gil Scott Heron, Australian television audiences suffered miserably this year. Where have all the quality programs gone, you may ask? The shitload of REAL TV programs that infiltrated our screens carries with it severe health risks, and we don't realize it. Since when did notions of cleaning up the backyard shed (Backyard Blitz, AUS), eating water rats (Survivor, US) and wiping the arse of naughty rich children (Au-Pair, UK) constitute entertainment. Instead, it is turning us into a nation of voyeurs, keen on seeing the faults and misfortunes of others in real life. While we are there, we may as well bring back the pioneer of Australian REAL TV, Sylvania Waters.

In another anti-climax for television audiences, we were force fed copious amounts of Bruce McEvaney's verbal orgasms during the Olympics on Channel 7. It became unbearable when Thorpey pocketed his third gold medal, so we had to turn off for a while. As a compromise and an excuse to stay up we had Roy and HG's The Dream provide some viewing relief, all sixteen days of it. The Worker's Prince- 'Fatso' the fat-arsed wombat stole the limelight and should be awarded a Gold Logie for pissing off the commercially driven AOC. If you missed out on buying Olympic pins, I suggest a look at the best of The Dream, which is all you really need as a memory of the Games.

Wishing everyone a great festive season, see you in 2001.


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 82 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Being Michael Costa
Labor Council�s secretary on the 2KY sell-off, the Olympics and his plans for the future.
*  Unions: Millennial Milestones
In a year of highs, some trade union stories stuck in the collective consciousness. Here's ten of the best.
*  International: Eric Lee's Year in Review
The editor of Labourstart looks back on the global issues that mobilized labour in the past 12 months.
*  Organising: Dispatches from the Field
Despite the 'Botsmanesque' critiques which have been levelled at Organising, it would be hard to deny that the year 2000 has seen more and more unions in NSW latch onto the approach - at least in principle anyway.
*  Economics: Who Gets Gold??
At the end of this Olympic year, Sydney Uni's Frank Stilwell charts the winners and losers in the new sport of redistribution of income.
*  Politics: Election 2000: The Winner is Gridlock
In the last in his series on the US Federal Election Campaign, Michael Gadiel, our roving reporter, gladly signs off.
*  Satire: Chaser Launches Book
In the great tradition of repackaging old material to cash in on Christmas, the team from The Chaser & Silly 2000 has produced its first book.
*  Review: Cultural Wasteland
The spotlight was on Australian culture in 2000. But was it a missed opportunity, asks Peter Zangari.

»  Mad Monk's Secret Union Past
»  New Life for Trades Hall
»  Top Cop is Our Organiser of the Year
»  All We Want for Christmas
»  Summer for Social Justice
»  Unions Return to Mosh Pit
»  Unions Head West
»  Big Bastard Censors Dissidents
»  South Coast Labor President Steps Down
»  As a Died in the Wool Westie Steps Up
»  Dying Workers' Asbestos Plea
»  Workers at Centre of Turn Of the Century
»  Truth about S11 Starting to Come Out

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  The Greatest Team Ever?
»  ABC Online Did Strike
»  Why Nader Vote was not Wasted
»  John Scrooge's Christmas Gift

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