bondage sex work pornography
(Image: Adobe)

Also: bad news about that emissions pause, and there’s a beer battle brewing in the top end.

Bound for Van Diemen’s Land

The national lockdown has meant that many Australians, bereft of the sensual touch of another, have needed to delete their browser histories more assiduously than usual, lest their viewing habits become the subject of researchers. 

Just kidding! Researchers don’t need your browsing histories, silly!

They already know what state you live in and what you’ve been watching on Pornhub, and they’ve told The Conversation all about what you’ve been up to.

Australian traffic at the adult site had been rising in line with the imposition of lockdowns, climaxing in March with an unprecedented flow of streaming content.

Unsurprisingly the largest numbers were in the capital cities, with lower rates in the regions where the NBN either is or isn’t operational — for a lot of people that’s a distinction without a difference — and therefore pornography must be acquired the old fashioned, Australian way: by stumbling across a garbage bag of magazines hidden in the bush.

But what’s fascinating is the differences between the capitals. For example, them big city sophisticates in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth have a predilection for lesbian-themed viewing, a genre which runs second to Japanese representation in Melbourne.

The real outlier is Hobart, where bondage topped the local searches despite not even scraping into the top 10 of any mainland state. 

And it’s probably just an effect of relatively small numbers leading to outsized results, but who are we to kink shame?

We support your choices, Tasmania, and you’ve been very, very naughty and deserve to be punished.

Here in my car, I feel safest of all…

There have been several positive headlines in recent days about the effect of global lockdowns on carbon emissions, with a major report concluding that the pandemic has happily reduced them by around 17%.

Which is wonderful and would be worthy of celebration, were it not for the fact that this column is deeply committed to stamping out any tiny spark of optimism that dares flare up. 

So: yes, 17% is great and also the estimated amount by which we need to reduce our emissions every single year between now and 2050 to limit the global temperature rise to the already very-not-good 1.5 degrees.

But in any case the researchers estimate that a lot of that drop will be wiped out when the US and China ramp their industries up in the rest of 2020, leaving a less-impressive drop of less than 5% for the year.

But a bigger concern comes from the countries that are starting to ease lockdowns, like China and Germany, where people are returning to work but shunning the perceived filth-risk of public transport in favour of the more isolation-friendly car.

All over the world public transport numbers have taken a massive plunge and are showing little sign of recovering, while car traffic is starting to ease back enough to make the price of petrol start to recover in the US. 

In other words, this temporary slowdown in emissions should be looked at less as a sign of hope and more a pit-stop for bit of a breather ahead of the last desperate sprint to oblivion.

You’re welcome!

Not happy, Dan

After five smash-years of legal shenanigans, on Friday the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) will hear an appeal from the Endeavour Drinks Group, part of Woolworths, which would very much like to open a Dan Murphy’s in the NT.

The company was given the go ahead to appeal the NTCAT’s earlier knockback by the NT Supreme Court earlier this year and this would appear to be uncontroversial, given the brand’s ubiquitous presence throughout the nation, were it not for two fairly important things.

The first: in 2017 the territory government legislated a five year moratorium on takeaway liquor licenses as part of a larger campaign to reduce alcohol-related violence and illness in the top end, and had already brought in floor space limits that would automatically rule out the hanger-like layout of the typical Dan Murphy’s.

And second: the spot the company would very much like to build said Murphy’s upon is within a couple kilometres of three dry indigenous communities: Bagot, Kulaluk and Minmarama Park.

The company — and the territory government that has promised to change whatever laws it has to — says that the NT community is gasping for a Dan Murphy’s to open.

Elders in the affected communities claim that easier access to alcohol will wipe away whatever gains they’ve made in reducing alcohol-related abuse and violence, as well as increase the risks to local culture. 

But you have to admire the tenacity of a company not to let legislation, regulation or the well being of the local community stop them from getting some booze out the door.

See, friends? With a bit of persistence and half a decade of lawyers and politicking, dreams can come true!

Peter Fray

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