I went with a friend to the filming of five episodes of Deal Or No Deal, hoping to win big. Alas, not only did I not win a cent, I didn’t even get to hold a suitcase on TV.  As we were continually reminded by the producers of the show, the audience members who would be chosen to play for cash on stage would all be chosen on the day according to their level of enthusiasm.  Thus, the entire day (8am-5:30pm) was spent clapping until we lost feeling in our hands, cheering until our voice boxes bled and causing permanent damage to our bladders.

In between episodes and during ad breaks, desperate audience members were driven to sing heartfelt ballads, impromptu dance-offs, tearing the microphone from the hands of the host to tell knock-knock jokes, etc. As the episodes progressed, and our chances of winning money grew slimmer, the audience grew more and more desperate. Adding to the pressure of trying to be the most enthusiastic audience member, was the agony of having to laugh hysterically at the terrible jokes of the “comedian” who was responsible for razzing up the audience.

I wasn’t expecting comedy gold, but nothing prepared me for quite how lowest-common-denominator this comedy would be. It was seriously appalling. As the day rolled on, the audience was forced to laugh and cheer enthusiastically to the most atrocious, thinly veiled racist and homophobic jokes (referring to poofs, trannies and botched s-x changes).  I nearly ground my teeth to stumps through my wide grin. The whole day I wondered, is this really the kind of comedy that would attract the target audience for this show?

It was only once the final episode was being filmed that I realised quite how badly I’d been duped. I spent all day enduring this trash and didn’t get squat!

Seen on Canberra Avenue … a burly, shaven-headed smoker in a ute with what looked like a walkie-talkie and GPS suction-cupped to his windscreen. As I watched through my rear-view mirror at the lights, he produced a professional-looking camera from his lap and took a quick snap of my car. Wasn’t all that subtle, and the Queensland plates really stuck out.

Got me thinking that there must be plenty of dirt to be had on Labor and Independent MPs. A billionaire or two would pay top dollar for that info and who knows, it might stop the MRRT or even force a by-election.

Fairfax Media’s annual general meeting promises to be lively affair. Advertisers and Age journalists will be demanding answers for the halving of The Age’s profits, huge circulation declines and the latest revelations by Crikey of inflated newspapers “sales”.  Age journos  on the  editorial floor are now openly asking whether the paper’s management will survive by November’s AGM.

On the set of the final Iron Chef Australia on Wednesday, the challenger was so slow that after “10 minutes to go” was called, filming dragged on for more than 3o minutes so that she could actually cook her dishes.

Did you also know that Australia Post has been instituting retrenchments of managers in quite large numbers since May/June. It has been a rather clumsy and long drawn-out process and, of course, has mainly affected people over the age of 50. Haven’t seen anyone in the union raising it as an issue even though it smacks of indirect discrimination.

Husic would not have really worried because the retrenchments haven’t really affected the rank and file (YET), the new CEO was put there by KRudd and good old Ed was already pre-occupied with the run up to the election!! The situation could have been borrowed straight from George Clooney’s recent movie Up in the Air.

Now there’s a model of enforced semi-transparency for our polity and our media to aspire to: Who Bankrolls Congress? The Big Money Behind Top Lawmakers.

Via The Courier-Mail‘s website comments on:

“Richard of Brisbane CBD  Posted at 12:50 PM September 15, 2010

I saw Campbell Newman yesterday plugging his bike scheme on Mary Street, after he had finished he jumped in his chauffeured limo back to the office. He could have taken one of the bikes back but he did not have a helmet with him …  This scheme will cost us all dearly.

When the scheme is launched, Newman ought to make all the council staff in the city use public transport to within 2-3 kilometres of the workplace and then hire a bike. It would be interesting to get the feedback.

There is your challenge, Campbell, are you game to take it on? Maybe The Courier Mail could suggest it in the weekend paper and get some feedback on the idea from the readers.