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Posts Tagged ‘the age’

There are countless theories abounding about the future  of journalism and the reasons behind the rapid decline and near death of newspapers. But, for all the hypothesising on the inability to foresee the threats posed by the internet, the decline in advertising revenue and the market’s changing tastes, consideration must be given to the peddling of utter shite as news.

The Age, despite having developed its website in a tabloid manner at odds with its supposed intentions and the choice by those in charge to attempt to become more like the Herald Sun in a desperate grab for new readers, still claims to be Australia’s independent newspaper – a quality broadsheet.

Then this on page four of Saturday’s main book – a story about a female bus driver who looks like American singer Pink, except she doesn’t, who likes listening to music while driving. It’s full of hard-hitting insights such as:

“Shergold loves singing as much as she loves driving the old and young around the Mornington Peninsula in big, shiny buses.”

The use of both “big” and “shiny” is particularly ballsy and an indication of a genius pushing the bounds of his trade.

“Now, she drives children to school in Mornington, then does the “nana run”, taking pensioners shopping, before picking the kids up and driving them home. “It’s the best thing I could have done in my life,” she says. “There’s great job security and good hours.

“Not only do I get to drive a gorgeous, magnificent machine, but I have a great community of people that I’ve got to know so well. It’s just like driving around a bunch of friends in a bus with some gorgeous music pumping.”

Well done Patrick Donovan, you fantastic rock writer you. The world salutes you and the editors who asked you to pen 450 words on this fascinating topic. I’m off to dash my skull to pieces on a wall.

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I did apologise to the newsagent for paying for my $2.20 Age with a fifty, but I’d just been to a twenty-less ATM so what could I do? He said it was no problem and handed me the change.

 

I’d also noticed the elderly man sat silently to his right behind the counter. He was a mean looking little bugger: a mess of grey hair sprouting wildly from either side of his cap, crabby, wrinkled eyes squinting out from dirty specs, his mouth obscured by a thick, dark moustache. I thought perhaps it was a spot of care in the community; bringing an old miser out of his four walls for a taste of life, however mundane.

 

“You can’t give him change for a fifty!” Suddenly he snapped into life. The newsagent, who I can only assume was his son, jumped as if someone had let off a firecracker behind him. “Give him his money back and take the paper off him.”

 

Speechless, the newsagent looked forlornly at the old man.

 

“Give him his money and take the paper back off him,” he said, the sniping continuing despite the weary pleading in his son’s eyes. “We’ve got the weekend ahead of us so you can’t be changing fifties. And it’s the grand prix.”

 

Obeying his father, the younger man sheepishly asked for the change back and handed back my $50. In a city where newcomers are struck by the friendliness of the locals, it seems a strange way to conduct business. At least the scabrous old git makes choosing which local newsagent to use that little bit easier.

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