Rob Idol

Current Affairs Wrap: The first PM at Mardi Gras and a whole world in mourning

mardi gras

Approx Reading Time-11Rob Idol is back with his Current Affairs Wrap, which deals with the loss of three great talents, the furore of a PM at Mardi Gras and one man who is dealing with people calling 1-900 Mix-A-Lot.

 

Hello all and welcome to this week’s TBS Current Affairs Wrap. This week, the world has mourned some of her most talented people, a Greens MP is up in arms over her treatment by US Customs and a broke white law student has had the chance to live the life of a famous black rap artist.

 

International

The rule of three is a well-known staple of pop culture mythology where it is commonly believed that celebrities tend to die. Unfortunately, this week it appears that there might be some truth to it, as the celebrities that were taken have left a significant void in many of our lives.

Notoriously private musical legend, David Bowie, lost an 18-month battle with cancer. Just days after releasing his latest album, the cultural titan passed, leaving the world in shock and disbelief. Only those very close to Bowie were aware of his medical issues, including the six heart attacks he had endured in recent years.

Bowie, one of the most influential innovators in the music world for almost five decades, had tributes coming from far and wide with the news of his death resulting in 100 million Facebook interactions in the first twelve hours of the grim news.

Just as the world was trying to come to terms with Ziggy and his stardust floating off to the ethereal plane, we were shocked to hear that we had lost another in beloved British actor, Alan Rickman. Rickman, too, had managed to keep his cancer diagnosis quiet with his sudden passing shocking the world at large.

Rickman had amassed an impressive body of work for a man that only took up the acting craft in his late 20s. Whether he will always be “Hans Gruber” or “Professor Snape”, the man with one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood was beloved by many and highly respected by all that had the privilege to work with him. Daniel Radcliffe, who starred with Rickman in the Harry Potter series, penned a touching tribute, stating that Rickman was one of the most loyal and supportive people he had ever come across.

Fellow Hogwarts alumni, Emma Watson posted a quote of Rickman’s on feminism, which led to a gaggle of keyboard warriors turning on her. My favourite, however, came from Sir Ian McKellen who starred with Rickman in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.

The last in this unfortunate celebrity trio was not as well known, but very influential nonetheless. Rene Angelil was a pop singer from Montreal who had a few minor local hits in the 60s. Following the dissolution of his group, Les Baronets, he moved into artist management and in 1980, discovered the demo tape of a 12-year-old Quebecois songstress by the name of Celine Dion.

In December 1994, Angelil married Dion and they went on to have three children together. Unfortunately, Angelil succumbed to a throat cancer he had been fighting since 1998.

 

Domestic

A mobile game available on both the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play store has come under fire this week following revelations that it contains a story line that encourages players to shoot or beat Aboriginal people to survive and earn points.

Survival Island 3: Australia Story 3D was the subject of a petition from Georgia Mantle, a student from St George, which amassed thousands of signatures. The game has since been removed from both stores, although both tech giants have not commented on the app or its contents publicly. The game and subsequent petition also caught the attention of Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, who described its brand of hatred as “unacceptable.” Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has also called for a review into the game.

NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi, was allegedly the victim of racial profiling while travelling to the United States this week as part of a self-funded, fact-finding visit focused on drug law reform.

Dr Faruqi was born in Pakistan and migrated to Australia in 1992 with her family. Upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, she and her husband were asked “how they actually got their Australian passports,” before being interviewed in separate rooms. The interrogation focused on previous trips to Pakistan and previous trips to the United States. This has led Dr Faruqi to publicly accuse US Customs of racial profiling.

Of course, routine and supposedly random checks are the norm and considered acceptable by most. However as someone that has travelled to the US multiple times, I have to say that I attracted a lot more attention when I had a dark tan from visiting Central America, a shaved head and a beard compared to other trips when my Caucasian background looked a little more obvious.

PM Turnbull has raised a few eyebrows within his own party this week as reports emerged that he may become the first sitting PM to attend the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Turnbull attended the iconic event last year which isn’t really a huge surprise, or that big of a deal, given that he’s the local member for the event. As he is now PM, there are those within his camp that have described the move as dangerous and that his attendance would “amplify divisions within the party.” Apparently there are still those within the Liberal party that believe you can catch homosexuality.

Turnbull has already crossed the floor, issuing an official message of support to the festival that is to be published in the 2016 guide. Former PM Tony Abbott had ignored Mardi Gras organisers’ requests for a message of support in both 2014 and 2015, despite messages being issued by the Leader of the Opposition, the NSW Premier and Sydney’s Lord Mayor. I suppose they may have just been lost in the mail.

Here’s hoping Turnbull fronts up and continues to prove that the leadership of his party who are committed to righting some of the countless wrongs from his predecessor.

 

Wacky and Wonderful

After purchasing a new phone from a Verizon store, Seattle man Jonathan Nichols got more than he bargained for. The phone number assigned to him had previously belonged to another customer and whilst this might result in the odd wrong number and misdirected text message, Nichols started receiving strange messages from a variety of different people ranging from luxury car dealerships offering test drives, to raunchy pictures from amorous women.

Eventually, he discovered that he had acquired the number 1900-Mix-A-Lot, featured in the night club classic song Baby Got Back. There’s no word yet as to whether this has resulted in Nichols’ declaring that his “anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun.”

A daycare teacher from Woodbridge in the US State of Virginia has been charged with 13 felony and misdemeanour charges following allegations that she had turned her classroom into a “baby fight club.”

Sarah Jordan has been accused of intentionally tripping children, stepping on their toes, spraying them in the face with a hose and encouraging them to fight with each other. Jordan testified that the accusations had come from disgruntled co-workers with whom with she had experienced workplace disputes, however, testimonies from parents of the victims sealed the deal, after they suggested that their children had started acting out in ways similar to the abuse described.

I guess she’ll never know which one of those little tattle tales broke the first rule…you don’t talk about baby fight club.

 

Rob Idol

Rob is an aspiring writer who balances his time between a “real” job and his passion for politics, social justice and all things creative. He has an MBA, an unhealthy obsession with current events, an even unhealthier obsession with pop culture and has been known to offer favourable food reviews in exchange for free meals. www.robidol.com.au

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