Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kenny, the dunny master

Our friend, Stuart, gave us a list of quintessential Australian movies to see, including "Kenny," a faux reality show about an Australian man who manages a dunny business. Dunny used to mean outhouse, but now it refers primarily to portable toilets. However, the term dunny is still invoked to make fun of country folk. ANYWAY, while the movie is definitely a comedy, it has some really touching moments, and if you watch the credits, you'll notice that Kenny's son, brother, and father are played by...his son, brother, and father. Kenny was such a hit that he got his own show, which started just a couple of weeks ago. In each episode, Kenny travels to a new country. This week, he went to Japan to see his friend from the movie, Sushi Cowboy.

Television is much more manageable here. There are only about four stations, one of which is educational. The concept of cable television has been introduced fairly recently by Foxtel, but it doesn't seem to be catching on. I'm not sure that Australians understand why they should want 6,000 stations of crap instead of four.

One weakness of the television programming here is that news is basically tabloid gossip, so I download the BBC global news podcast each day to listen to on my way to work. Until the election, the BBC is driving a bus around the US interviewing people to try to figure out what makes Americans so crazy. My friend from the UK listens to the same podcast, and she thinks she understands why we left the US now. Yesterday, this crazy lady in Arizona was defending her right to own a gun with the traditional, "Guns don't kill people, people do," to which she added, "If someone is really evil enough to kill someone, they'll do it with a chair or a pen or a baseball bat." The BBC reporter asked if it wasn't easier to kill someone with a gun, a point she wasn't willing to concede. His response was, "Well, if I was going to kill someone, and I had a gun and a chair, I know which one I'd choose."

People here are obsessed with the US presidential election. My friend came into work this morning with a Barack Obama flier for me. Some guy stopped him by the train station this morning, asked him if he knew any Americans, and they gave him a flier telling me how to get my absentee ballot. Mc Cain, Palin, or Obama is in the news here every day.

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