Placeholder Content Image

Influencer's windscreen smashed in wild road rage act

<p>Video footage has captured the scary moment a New Zealand influencer's windscreen got smashed in a wild road rage incident. </p> <p>Social media influencer Chantelle Baker claimed that the blue Mazda Demio had cut off another car behind her and began tailgating her when she was driving 40km/hr as she was carefully navigating a near-crash. </p> <p>“They started to scream at me from their car, trying to indicate [and] use their hands to tell me to pull over so they could go past,” she said in a video posted to Instagram. </p> <p>“I obviously didn’t. We go a few hundred metres and they decide to throw a rock at my car with my eight-month-old baby asleep in the back seat.”</p> <p>Baker said she saw them down a side road a couple of minutes later and followed their car to get the licence plate. </p> <p>She then recalled them pulling into an area near an old petrol station in Rangiora, Waimakariri, where the footage was filmed. </p> <p>In the viral clip, which has racked up over seven million views on TikTok, the two women can be seen exiting the Mazda and sprinting towards Baker's car. </p> <p>One of them ran up the bonnet and on to the windscreen causing it to shatter. </p> <p>The same woman then goes to the driver's door and tells Baker to "f*** off". </p> <p>Baker then reverses and drives away. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9EXimPJtE6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9EXimPJtE6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Chantelle Baker (@chantellebakernz)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>New Zealand Police have said that they were aware of the incident and are in the initial stages of investigation. </p> <p>“Police received reports of an incident in the King Street area around 1pm on Saturday where one driver apparently followed another driver after a car failed to merge correctly,” they told <em>news.com.au. </em></p> <p>“The cars have stopped at a petrol station where a person has reportedly got out and jumped on the other person’s vehicle, breaking a window. No people were injured.”</p> <p>In an update shared on <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C9JiK9cpnkt/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a>, Baker said that the two girls have come forward and are speaking with Police. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ Chantelle Baker</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Selfies and social media: how tourists indulge their influencer fantasies

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682">Brendan Canavan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p>A town in the US state of Vermont <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/vermont-town-banning-influencers-tourists-visiting-fall-foliage-rcna117413">closed its roads to tourists</a> in September 2023 after a social media tag sparked a swarm of visitors that overwhelmed the rural destination.</p> <p>Videos on TikTok were seen by thousands and the hashtag #sleepyhollowfarm went viral, prompting a tourist rush to the pretty New England town of Pomfret, where visitors tried to take photos of themselves against the countryside backdrop. The town, famous for its fall foliage, criticised this as problematic and “influencer tourism”, part of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">a travel trend</a> where a social media phenomenon can spark an overwhelming and unexpected rise in visitor numbers.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0002764292036002005?casa_token=gQo4-8jeYdIAAAAA:Oq3Nf5gTtAFK7N00D1NgPO7_zl9ONlOEnzFZnojX6fX1nKXQWJZ4ERn52MlV3abn4fDN4_C4hJjq">Traditionally</a>, we think of tourists as travelling to gain new experiences. They look at sites, take photographs and collect souvenirs. However, this relationship between the tourist and touring is changing.</p> <p>Driven by <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/how-instagram-changed-the-tourism-industry/a-65348690">24-hour access to social media</a>, some tourists now travel primarily to have an experience that <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/travel/discover/get-inspired/Global-Travel-Trends">looks good online</a>. Around 75% of people in a recent American Express survey said they had been inspired to visit somewhere by social media. Some tourists may be prompted to choose a destination by seeing a <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/travel-food/a27561982/best-instagram-spots/">backdrop that is popular on social media or on television</a>, in order to create a high-status photo.</p> <p>The expansion of social media and ubiquity of smartphone cameras has had a <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/13/7312">major impact on tourists’ behaviour</a>. This has also led to what’s been called a <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/column/articles/who-are-the-selfie-gaze-tourists/">selfie “tourist gaze”</a>, creating photos where the traveller is at the forefront of images rather than the destination.</p> <p>Indeed, according to my research, increasingly, some tourists go somewhere <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">to be spotted</a> – to be observed by others both online and in person at these destinations.</p> <h2>Looking for drama</h2> <p>Studies have highlighted how tourists <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517715300388?casa_token=W51WkDKJSK8AAAAA:DG99dEWkyYKWIe6hNcLXR4KRApXV24QksHIzrRNcjVY3FngukDgIv9HLHG4o3NV4rqNJtdet">head for</a> particularly dramatic or luxurious destinations because of their social media links. Dubai, for example, with its bling culture and high-end shopping, has become a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/17/in-this-world-social-media-is-everything-how-dubai-became-the-planets-influencer-capital">playground for influencers</a> looking for a luxury backdrop to add to their celebrity-style image.</p> <p>Some tourists aim to photograph themselves in prestigious locations, rather than taking shots of their <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13567667221113079?casa_token=xbdUjWECQvMAAAAA:mc4rqleOqgjazW9DAYduW7LaPTu4KEw1DIfbPbWF0vl0efwNPC_GQ0U-HjltguwsIsCoO4ycXgyW7Q">travel surroundings</a>. Others choose to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738320300426">act like mini-celebrities</a> and perform for the camera, expecting and wanting to be looked at by those they encounter – or even narrating their participation in extreme events.</p> <p>One of these is the <a href="https://www.theadventurists.com/rickshaw-run/">Rickshaw Run</a>, a 2,000km race across India. This adventure tourism event encourages participants to dress up, act eccentrically and get noticed. Driving tuk-tuks around India, from Kerala to Darjeeling, vehicles are personalised with eye-catching designs. Many participants film themselves and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p3wd0ii2oQ">upload the results</a> to social media, and the events tend to create a significant following. For instance, this YouTube video series created by Rickshaw Run participants drew 3.6m subscribers:</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2p3wd0ii2oQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Taking part in the Rickshaw Run.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>However, some of these tourist “performances” can cause controversy. For instance, <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/mexico-tourist-beaten-with-stick-for-climbing-chichen-itza-pyramid/EL5KGLB4CNC5ZONNZCKAMX3LLE/">climbing over</a> fragile archaeological sites in search of social media content might damage them. <a href="https://www.unilad.com/news/russian-tourist-deported-nude-photo-bali-064402-20230330">Posing for laughs</a> in areas considered sacred can offend. The reducing of cultures to <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/selfie-tourists-get-up-easter-islanders-noses-sgfxdtkj7">backdrops for social media content</a> can suggest a lack of interest in or respect for hosts by tourists.</p> <p>My research points to a growth in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">narcissism in society</a>, and connects this with what tourists desire from travel and how they act when travelling. This may be reflected in increased sense of entitlement and exhibitionism by tourists who aim to take photos in more difficult to reach locations or off-limit areas, for instance.</p> <p>Selfie culture arguably promotes <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09528822.2015.1082339?casa_token=tbsXw1drBAEAAAAA:qfSfJBbHWi3x8MSVeoyHBIceP7W_8C55rVctylf-2zRBzx-aG_EeFwvTmHHsOdjQpMd8LVaUrjSo">self-involvement rather than social responsibility</a>. It is well established that tourists <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1368350050408668198?casa_token=K4p5aZCN8t4AAAAA:96p7f3qNu2WndpE-C-D0rs5mJaOlnJ5F6P4iXQlWQopseMGWuJ_5TiaFmRggxFsEjrMCoAr14Kn4">can be selfish</a>, putting their own comfort and entertainment ahead of concerns about local issues. This is especially true of the super-rich. Private jet users <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/private-jets-can-the-super-rich-supercharge-zero-emission-aviation/">are responsible for</a> half of global aviation emissions.</p> <p>However, the desire to promote the individual and their values could be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">harnessed to promote</a> more sustainable tourism. Those volunteering abroad might be motivated by the image enhancement opportunities of doing good, but they often offer something back to the social and natural environments of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669580903395030?casa_token=NvJorz8d1F4AAAAA:AXXTdW7ePimqFkWNg1W5w8umGCBwXIjus0WICRIoNZH_gsdr1hHomvMAQV21PYA2HkLwBGsO_Qus8g">their host destinations</a> in the process.</p> <p>There are signs that there’s another tourism trend, with travellers looking for deep and meaningful experiences, and ecotourism could help provide those. The act of travelling in a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2020.1825458">more environmentally friendly way</a> could also be seen as a way to show off, and still provide selfie material.</p> <p>The environmental pros and cons of tourist self-obsession might be <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09669582.2016.1263309">debatable</a>. However, self-fixation is arguably not good for tourists themselves. For example, the desire to “perform” on camera could affect people’s mental health, according to one <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10253866.2018.1467318?casa_token=wI7sETKEKJAAAAAA:ebds6fykbyHAGSXIk9iv6-tyziFSIvganp32S65hiX8KeWlaQDwhPxF_2tWEgkNqssqd-SCE-w_3Eg">study</a>.</p> <p>Research has shown that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616688.2012.762691?casa_token=Jb9SzAGXBD0AAAAA:L5Q-HhPs9jWtfm0Zq4nB0uFHrZ3W8N7o1Liq0KAIRqC4ivEhKyEexEZN-ACoz1qzm7CMqD96zXOm">unexpected encounters help tourists to gain self-insight</a>. In addition, getting out of your comfort zone can lead to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213078020300074?casa_token=MkMbkdyr_cMAAAAA:LLu44kUbbsP5e-iW-kDdI7iSEo3WkLgH5IvKqb2txZA504q74J4OAhTuXIx8m90oDMSvuiq4Mg">rewarding personal growth</a>.</p> <h2>A disconnect between self and place</h2> <p>Taking yet more selfies could cut people off from their surroundings. In doing so, they could be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016073831730097X?casa_token=tOaqrhfVQ-wAAAAA:uxb7djQMWjifvjjgPMZzbq2IQqlgoaGHzWoJkkGbQYQqkbZoeuOqLD91zqwBuWs1SfY7dcK4">less present in the travel experience itself</a>. Indeed, the <a href="https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-10-29/rise-of-selfie-deaths-leads-experts-to-talk-about-a-public-health-problem.html">growing number</a> of <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/15/asia/french-man-selfie-death-intl-scli/index.html">selfie-related tourist deaths</a> might attest to a disconnect between self and place. A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131996/#:%7E:text=selfie-related%20deaths.-,From%20October%202011%20to%20November%202017%2C%20there%20have%20been%20259,respectively%2C%20in%202016%20and%202017">2018 report</a> estimated 259 deaths to have occurred while taking selfies between 2011-2017.</p> <p>Other research suggests that individuals who are motivated by the desire to present a particular online image may be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211973620301458?casa_token=-HkTUB7WC7cAAAAA:455BE0L2jP-CL1nD18__Ey3fj5GsLmYfKL_EB_P7IWa7lDddpJYIW3UIo5fUjg68e7Nvm7PUlTA#s0050">more likely to take risks</a> with their travel selfies, with potentially fatal consequences.</p> <p>Tourists have always been somewhat self-obsessed. The 18th-century <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160738385900027">Grand Tour</a>, a leisurely trip around Europe, allowed the wealthy to <a href="https://www.historyhit.com/what-was-the-grand-tour/">indulge themselves</a> in <a href="https://www.salon.com/2002/05/31/sultry/">ways</a> that might not have been socially acceptable back home. And at the beginning of the 21st century, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738301000305?casa_token=C5eb2NJQvGsAAAAA:YrdY-xjJwBrUE9RjwyOJ3kRBS4-o7e5Jni5sluTCuZOrgnCULybO8EgJtQqsuSL7B5nZJwiH3Q#BIB37">academics worried about</a> self-involved backpacker communities in southeast Asia having little interest in mixing with local people.</p> <p>What is different about smartphones and social media is that these allow some tourists to present such self-indulgent, and sometimes insensitive, tourism traits immediately. Wifi and mobile data mean that these tourists can travel with one eye on finding the perfect selfie backdrop – filtering and sharing their travel as it happens, responding to likes and comments.</p> <p>For better or worse, living this influencer fantasy may have become an integral part of tourism for some time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214681/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-canavan-228682"><em>Brendan Canavan</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-nottingham-1192">University of Nottingham</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/selfies-and-social-media-how-tourists-indulge-their-influencer-fantasies-214681">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Influencer's tragic update following son's death at six weeks old

<p>Aussie Influencer Veruca Salt has shared an emotional tribute to her son who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/influencer-announces-tragic-death-of-six-week-old-son" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died in his sleep</a> at just six-weeks-old. </p> <p>The 25-year-old, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, shared a video of the funeral service for her son Cash, with Taylor Swift’s rock ballad <em>Long Live </em>playing in the background.</p> <p>At one moment, Hartley can be seen being consoled by her friends, as black and white balloons were released into the air. </p> <p>The board at the service showed a picture of Cash with the words "A celebration of life", followed by the baby boy's full name, the date he was born and passed away, and “forever dancing with the fruits”. </p> <p>The video ends with a black and white video of Cash being comforted by his mum and smiling as she stroked his cheek. </p> <p> </p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important; width: 573px; max-width: 100%;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7337251408909028609&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40verucasalt444%2Fvideo%2F7337251408909028609&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2F3377edfbc6c44ee3a82e4a4c625f5884_1708336979%3Fx-expires%3D1708552800%26x-signature%3DffE%252BCUSJ9VgzUsT3qdjowDvQ2d8%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their condolences for the grieving mum. </p> <p>“Oh Veruca, if I could take even minutes off my life to give you more time with him I would in a heartbeat,”  one wrote. </p> <p>“Rest in paradise with the dancing fruits, beautiful boy,” said another.</p> <p>"Rest In Paradise Baby Cash. Please visit your Mommy in her dreams and keep her safe always. Sending love Veruca," commented a third. </p> <p>"I’m so sorry! What a beautiful send off for a gorgeous boy," added a fourth.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Influencer announces tragic death of six-week-old son

<p>TikTok influencer Veruca Salt, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, took to Instagram to announce the tragic death of her six-week-old son, Cash. </p> <p>The Gold Coast - based influencer, 25, shared the tragic news just one day after she posted a TikTok of her taking her newborn bub out for his first hospital visit, as he hadn't pooped in seven days. </p> <p>On Monday morning she revealed that her son “died in his sleep”. </p> <p>“It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this,” she wrote.</p> <p>“My baby died in his sleep on Monday morning. I don’t know what happened, he is having an autopsy this week but it is unlikely that I’ll ever have an answer.</p> <p>“I’m just saying this because people are still commenting on my TikToks saying how happy I look with him and ‘just wait for the toddler stage’ and stuff and I (really) can’t take it anymore. I’m really sorry.”</p> <p>In her most recent <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@verucasalt444/video/7332609198599032065?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7142332295764346370" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>, she shared a clip of her grieving her son's death with the caption: "I knew he was dead but there was a part of me that really thought they were gonna wake him up." </p> <p>Fans have shared their condolences. </p> <p>"We are all standing by you Veruca. Take all the time you need ❤️" one wrote on TikTok. </p> <p>"I’ve never cried harder for a woman i don’t know, I'm so sorry Veruca the love you have for him never goes unnoticed," another commented. </p> <p>"Sending love this is the worst thing in the world to happen to anyone," a third added. </p> <p>"I'm so so sorry no mother should have to go through this💔" a fourth wrote. </p> <p>Queensland Police have confirmed the death, after they were called to a Southport unit at around 6.13am on February 5.</p> <p>The death is not being treated as suspicious.</p> <p>Police are currently awaiting autopsy results, Superintendent Craig Hanlon told the <em>Gold Coast Bulletin</em>. </p> <p>“It’s obviously a tragic situation and our hearts go out to the mother and the family.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ TikTok</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Deb Knight urges Influencers to stop "glorifying tanning"

<p>Deborah Knight, 51, has spoken out against influencers who glorify tanning as she shared the results from her annual skin check. </p> <p>The TV and radio presenter, shared a series of photos showing the sun damage on her skin, as she reminded her followers to stay sun safe and get their skin checked. </p> <p>"Got off pretty lightly from my annual skin check. Just a few barnacles zapped but nothing serious this time round," she began in the caption. </p> <p>"Timely reminder to get your skin checked and protect it from the sun in the first place," she added, before tagging two melanoma treatment specialists and the Melanoma Institute Australia. </p> <p>She signed off the post with the hashtag #stopglorifyingtanning. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Deborah Knight (@deborah_knight)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The <em>Money News </em>2GB<em> </em>host has regularly shared her skin journey and has previously opened up about the "true extent" of the "damaging effects of the sun" on <em>9Honey</em>.</p> <p>"As a blonde, fair-skinned child growing up by the beach, I resisted putting on zinc and sunscreen as much as my own children do now," she said in the interview in 2023. </p> <p>She added that she now has to pay the price and has to get her age spots frozen off every year. </p> <p>"I've had a Basal Cell Carcinoma surgically removed from the bridge of my nose, leaving a scar far worse than the damage it could have done if left untreated, possibly spreading and destroying skin, tissue, even bone," she said. </p> <p>She also spoke out about the influencers who glorify tanning. </p> <p>"These are often the same influencers who recommend spending a fortune on anti-ageing treatments and creams and serums, despite willingly exposing their skin to the most damaging ageing element there is – the harsh Aussie sun," she added. </p> <p>According to the <a href="https://melanomaresearch.com.au/about-melanoma/what-is-melanoma/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Melanoma Research Foundation</a>, one in 17 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes, with melanoma reportedly the third most common cancer in the country, following prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

“I’m being racist to eggs”: Wellness influencer slammed for innocent comment

<p>An Australian influencer has been forced to address a "racist" comment she made about her son's lunch. </p> <p>Health and fitness influencer Sarah Stevenson, who is known by her millions of followers as Sarah's Day, was filming herself as she made lunch for her son.</p> <p>The 31-year-old stopped herself as she made her child a curried egg sandwich, saying he be dubbed “the smelly boy in the playground” if he took the meal to school.</p> <p>“Do you want to be ‘smelly curried egg boy’?” she asked him.</p> <p>While the seemingly innocent comment went unnoticed by many of her followers, one person sent her a message demanding an apology for her "borderline racist" comment. </p> <p>The entrepreneur and mum-of-two replied to the private message in a video response to her followers explaining that she meant the “egg smell” and didn't mean anything racist. </p> <p>“Didn’t everyone go to school with someone who brought eggs in their lunch and you’re like, ‘ew, you smell like rotten eggs’... not ‘you smell like curry!’,” she said in the video on her Instagram Stories.</p> <p>She said sarcastically, “I’m being racist to eggs.”</p> <p>Stevenson then doubled down on the follower’s outrage, following that with a cooking tutorial for “racist eggs”.</p> <p>The late night social media saga was re-shared by a popular account, where it was dubbed “egg gate” and plenty more people weighed in on the drama. </p> <p>“She should have apologised and taken it down instead she’s made it worse,” one commenter wrote.</p> <p>The general consensus from the public was that the original racism accusation “was a definite reach”, but she went too far with her explanation. </p> <p>“Honestly don’t think there was any malice in the original comment — she definitely scrambled (ha!), way too far in explaining herself afterwards though,” someone wrote.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Entire town bans annoying influencers from entering its borders

<p>In the serene hamlet of Pomfret, Vermont, an extraordinary decision has been reached to combat the overwhelming presence of influencers and tourists who have inundated the town's peaceful streets.</p> <p>This picturesque countryside haven, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, has taken the audacious step of barring entry to all influencers and tourists.</p> <p>Pomfret, nestled in the heart of New England, has long been a magnet for visitors seeking to capture the exquisite autumnal tapestry that paints the town in warm, rustic hues – a perfect setting for their coveted "fall" photographs.</p> <p>Vermont, as a whole, typically draws more than 13 million tourists annually, and Pomfret, with its population of a mere 916, has witnessed a significant influx during the autumn months, particularly September and October.</p> <p>While the town has a history of welcoming tourists, the character of these visitors has undergone a profound transformation in the last half-decade. Gone are the days of nature enthusiasts and out-of-town guests staying at cozy local bed-and-breakfasts. Pomfret is now attracting a new breed of visitor: the social media luminaries eagerly hunting for content to grace their online profiles.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">‘Christian Girl Autumn’ influencer Caitlin Covington announces she is going to Vermont in October to take her annual Fall photos. 🍂 <a href="https://t.co/nZjRCWvPIE">pic.twitter.com/nZjRCWvPIE</a></p> <p>— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) <a href="https://twitter.com/PopCrave/status/1703840317907021849?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 18, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Mike Doten, a resident whose family has deep roots in the area, humorously dubs this emerging group "TikTockers" and cites them as the catalyst behind this drastic measure.</p> <p>Cloudland Road, a narrow, unpaved stretch renowned for its spectacular views of picturesque farms, rolling hills and vibrant foliage, was once a tranquil destination for nature enthusiasts. However, it has now become an internet sensation and a must-visit spot for "leaf-peepers" across the state.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this newfound fame has brought a series of issues in its wake. The new wave of tourists is often described as rude, disrespectful, impatient and selfish. They go to great lengths to capture the perfect photograph or video, often disregarding the impact on those around them.</p> <p>Local farmer Cathy Emmons recounted an incident where an influencer trespassed onto private property, erecting a makeshift changing booth and emerging in different outfits for her selfies. There have also been reports of tourists casually invading farms and helping themselves to produce, with one individual spotted plucking tomatoes from Cathy's farm.</p> <p>Another resident recalled a particularly unsettling incident when a drone hovered just feet above his head during an evening dinner with his family. In a separate incident, a tourist parked illegally in a resident's driveway and, astonishingly, used the garden shed as a makeshift toilet.</p> <p>The surge in tour buses and cars has caused gridlock on Pomfret's narrow roads, rendering them impassable and obstructing the movement of emergency vehicles. In response, the local council issued a memo announcing road closures to motor vehicle traffic from September 23rd to October 15th, specifically targeting Cloudland Road in Pomfret and the entire length of Cloudland Road in Woodstock, both heavily frequented tourist areas.</p> <p>Furthermore, the town has implemented temporary parking restrictions, signage and barriers. The memo cited concerns related to safety, environmental impact, aesthetics, and overall quality of life, emphasising a comprehensive effort to address these issues in collaboration with residents, local government partners and through communication on various information platforms.</p> <p>These traffic mitigation measures will also restrict access to the famed Sleepy Hollow Farm, a private residence that has become a hotspot for influencers seeking the perfect selfie backdrop. In response to these challenges, local residents have launched a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-cloudland-road" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe campaign titled "Save Cloudland Road"</a> to raise funds for road closures and traffic enforcement during the autumn season.</p> <p>The campaign's description highlights the surge of Instagram and TikTok-driven tourists, many of whom derive income from sponsorships and have transformed a private residence on Cloudland Road into a sought-after social media photo destination. The influx has led to overcrowding, accidents, damage to roads, gardens, and private property, as well as confrontations with residents.</p> <p>Can the community surrounding Cloudland Road, in partnership with the towns of Pomfret and Woodstock, restore tranquility, safety and civility to their cherished enclave? Their plea is clear: to regain peace for the families who call this idyllic corner of Vermont home.</p> <p><em>Images: GoFundMe / Instagram</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Vegan raw food influencer dies of suspected "starvation and exhaustion"

<p>Zhanna Samsonova, a well-known vegan raw food influencer with a significant following on social media, has tragically passed away in Malaysia reportedly due to starvation and exhaustion resulting from her 'extreme' tropical fruit diet.</p> <p>For a decade, Zhanna, also known as Zhanna D'Art, had maintained a raw plant-based diet, which mainly consisted of exotic fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies, and juices. Additionally, she occasionally practiced 'dry fasting,' abstaining from food and water for extended periods.</p> <p>The 39-year-old influencer, who had not consumed water for over six years, replaced it solely with fruit and vegetable juices. On July 21, she succumbed to what her mother described as a cholera-like infection exacerbated by her highly restrictive eating habits.</p> <p>At the time of her passing, Zhanna was in Malaysia, continuing her travels across Asia, which had spanned 17 years. Her family faced bureaucratic challenges in repatriating her body back to Russia, making the mourning process even more difficult. At the time of writing, her official cause of death has not yet been determined.</p> <p>Zhanna's mother, Vera Samsonova, expressed her disapproval of her daughter's extreme diet and had attempted to persuade her to adopt a more balanced approach, but her efforts were in vain.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CtLLqS1PecT/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CtLLqS1PecT/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Raw food Creation by Zhanna D’art (@rawveganfoodchef)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Over time, the influencer transitioned from a vegan diet to a purely raw food diet, sharing what she believed were 'healthy' recipes on her Instagram profile. However, her social media presence started to reveal an increasingly emaciated appearance, raising concerns among her followers, friends, and family.</p> <p>Many of her loved ones warned her about the potential dangers of her extreme diet, but Zhanna remained steadfast in her convictions. Ultimately, her refusal to heed their advice led to a tragic outcome, with reports indicating that her raw food diet contributed significantly to her demise.</p> <p>In 2021, during a trip to Russia, Zhanna contracted COVID-19 and chose to handle it through an unorthodox method of dry fasting, lasting more than ten days. Despite initially claiming to have overcome the virus, her health may have been compromised, leading to further complications down the line.</p> <p>The passing of Zhanna Samsonova has sparked discussions about the importance of balanced and informed dietary choices. Her story serves as a cautionary tale, urging individuals to approach extreme diets with care and consideration for their overall well-being.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Selfish selfies: Influencers fined for posing with priceless artworks

<p dir="ltr">Tourists visiting Queensland’s Carnarvon National Park have come under fire, after the wannabe influencers put an historic Indigenous site at risk with their disrespectful holiday selfies. </p> <p dir="ltr">The park’s rock art sites are, according to senior ranger Luke Male, of international importance, and are marked as restricted access areas to prevent tourists from interfering with the “fragile” rock art. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, “some visitors to Carnarvon National Park think the rules don’t apply to them and they’re entering restricted access areas to pose for photos.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In some instances, they are posing in front of Indigenous rock art that is thousands of years old, or they’re actually touching it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service makes no apology for taking compliance action against people who break the rules because they believe they are influencers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Over the course of 12 months, six different people have been slapped with fines for entering the restricted areas to interact with the rock face - whether to take selfies or to go so far as to touch it - and 18 more fines have been issued for other offences, with camping in the protected area also landing them in trouble with park officials.</p> <p dir="ltr">Touching the art is considered disrespectful, but isn’t the only reason visitors are asked to keep their distance, as touch can also wear down the work. The likes of sunscreen, perspiration, and hand sanitiser can cause further damage, while dust stirred from people walking through the space can adhere to the rock face. </p> <p dir="ltr">As Male explained of the situation, “the ochre stencil art of the region is unique, diverse, highly complex and spectacular, and the rock art is embedded within sandstone that is incredibly fragile.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is a great honour and privilege for us to be able to see these rock art sites, and touching them can damage cultural artefacts that are thousands of years old.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He also shared that the park rangers regularly received “information, including photos from members of the public about people who have broken the rules.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People have to understand that the Traditional Owners remain connected to this place and the rock art within it, and they regard the entire Carnarvon National Park as a cultural site.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Carnarvon National Park Traditional Owners Management Group Committee’s Bidjara representative Leah Wyman had more to add on the importance of protecting the artworks, sharing that “our rock art bears thousand-year-old images, and they provide valuable information about the lives and cultures of our people in the past.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They are also important spiritual and ceremonial sites to us, and it is imperative that everyone stays on the walkways to ensure that Carnarvon National Park can be visited by future generations to come.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another member of the committee and Bidjara woman Kristine Sloman noted that the park itself was a cemetery, and that the sites were locations where family members had been laid to rest, so “getting off the boardwalks and walking around is of the utmost disrespect, and is comparable to attending someone’s funeral and walking on their coffin.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Many people around the world have chosen to close their sacred sites due to destructive impacts, and it would be a great shame to resort to this type of action.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Let’s appreciate, learn, nurture, and respect each other’s cultures and ensure no more of our sacred places are damaged or closed to the public.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Department of Environment and Science</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

American influencer shocked to discover speed cameras are real

<p dir="ltr">An American influencer currently living in Sydney has learned an expensive lesson in obeying the rules of the road, particularly while in full view of speed cameras.</p> <p dir="ltr">TikToker Sophia Kim was caught racing through Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel at 21 km/h over the speed limit - 101 km/h in an 80 km/h zone - and took to social media to share her surprise at receiving a ticket for her actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a video posted to her TikTok account, Sophia broke the news to her followers, running through what had transpired - her ‘reasons’ for speeding, and sharing images of her car between lanes in the tunnel, along with the caption “this is BS and I was only going 60 mph”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I got a speeding fine because I was going 100km in the Cross City Tunnel when it was 80km,” she explained in the now-viral post, “and apparently there are cameras in the tunnel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As an American, I got a licence here without taking any test, without learning about the Australian [driving] laws here, and I didn’t realise that you guys have cameras for speeding in the tunnels.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And apparently there are signs everywhere.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Sophia went on to describe how she’d been “so focussed on driving” and “stressed out” trying to navigate while “driving for the first time in a different country on the other side of the road”.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the TikToker, at home in America there might be cameras involved when it came to running red lights, but that speeding offences fell to police officers and their scanners. At this stage, Sophia was talking over an image of her car with an 80 km/h sign clear on the ceiling of the tunnel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The fine is $295,” she announced, before revealing that she’d been having a great day, on her way to Fashion Week events, and “was rushing to get there.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I thought I was saving money by driving and not Ubering but no, it’s actually more when you get a fine.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It turns out that Sophia had borrowed the car from a friend, who informed her that he couldn’t afford “to lose 3 points over this”, and had to transfer the fine into her name.</p> <p dir="ltr">And despite claiming that she would pay the fine and have the points deducted from her licence, she then asked her followers if she “should fight this”.</p> <div><iframe title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7237487133483814187&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40sophiainsydney%2Fvideo%2F7237487133483814187&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2Ff969d5dac251496aa62d08dfdb8a417f_1685108800%3Fx-expires%3D1685433600%26x-signature%3D%252FwZf1iguRsEhBEcz37LOvMtuELI%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">Her post attracted more than 9,000 comments, and while some took Sophia’s side, most were of the opinion that fighting the fine would be a waste of time, and had many thoughts to share about the whole situation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s no fighting this one,” one told her, “if there’s a speed sign that says 80 right in front of you they’re not gonna be forgivable”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That's a fair bit over the limit. Maybe just don't speed hey!” one suggested.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If only there were large LED displays hung above the road every 1 km to tell you the maximum speed you can do,” another mused.</p> <p dir="ltr">And as a like-minded soul put it, “[it’s] almost like speed signs exist for a reason and not decoration”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because the signs with the speed limit and the fact they tell you every 100m there’s a speed camera don’t help,” someone else added.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, one was of the opinion that it could have been worse, sharing that “in QLD that would be a $646 fine for 21km over the limit. NSW is cheap”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Lesson learned I guess,” one more supposed, before noting that at least “now you know."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Australia’s “most boring state” is making waves

<p dir="ltr">The South Australian Tourism Commission is in hot water with its own shadow minister after forking out the funds for influencers to come visit the state, only to have them dub it Australia’s “most boring state”. </p> <p dir="ltr">It was an interesting take, but not necessarily one that was all too surprising - it’s a long-running joke plaguing the state, and the content produced by the Tiktokers has been defended as both intentional and ironic.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Shadow tourism minister Jing Lee does not share that opinion, demanding to know “who has chosen them, why they are here, [and] how they have been selected.”</p> <p dir="ltr">7News have also reported that the opposition are calling for the campaign’s cost to be made public. </p> <p dir="ltr">South Australia’s tourism organisation put their plan into motion in 2022 when they invited 12 social media influencers with millions of followers between them on a fully funded trip to the state. </p> <p dir="ltr">Their itinerary was reportedly designed to highlight “the very best that SA has to offer”, from its “raw beauty” to its “culinary delights”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“What we’re trying to do is demonstrate that people’s perception of Adelaide is patently wrong,” South Australia’s treasurer Stephen Mullighan explained. “That was the whole idea behind it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Many of the videos that came from the campaign run with captions declaring it to be “the most boring state ever”, or with the influencers asking their followers if they were ready to run amok with them. </p> <p dir="ltr">No matter which tagline the Tiktokers ran with, the content they produced all contained the same hidden message: South Australia was not such a ‘boring’ getaway after all. </p> <p dir="ltr">The clips they featured painted a positive picture of the state, showcasing everything from dolphin cruises to wineries, spectacular dining experiences, and an oyster farm. </p> <p dir="ltr">And as SATC have been happy to report, the campaign has been viewed over 5 million times across TikTok.</p> <p dir="ltr">It still wasn’t enough for Jing Lee, who shared her belief that “the Labor government has an obsession with influencers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But Stephen Mullighan had his own thoughts on the matter - and more specifically, one of the opposition’s previous attempts at a tourism campaign. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re certainly not going to get lectured to by Jing Lee, John Gardner, and the Liberals,” he said, “who were of course responsible for the most humiliating tourism campaign [the 2019 ‘Old Mate’ campaign] that’s been rolled out in our nation’s history in recent times.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Inspiration, influence and theft: what the Ed Sheeran case can tell us about 70 years of pop music

<p>a US court <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/may/04/ed-sheeran-verdict-not-liable-copyright-lawsuit-marvin-gaye">ruled in favour of singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran</a>, agreeing his song <em>Thinking Out Loud</em> did not breach musical copyright. </p> <p>The high-profile court case, brought by the estate of soul singer Marvin Gaye, claimed Sheeran’s song was too similar to Gaye’s song <em>Let’s Get It On</em>.</p> <p>On the stand, Sheeran <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/apr/28/ed-sheeran-sings-in-court-as-part-of-marvin-gaye-copyright-case">defended his songwriting process</a>, stating: “I draw inspiration from a lot from things in my life and family.”</p> <p>Sheeran’s case brought up some difficult questions around what we understand as inspiration and influence, and what we may hear as theft.</p> <p>Musical copyright cases are part of songwriting history. Radiohead’s <em>Creep</em> was found to be <a href="https://entertainment.time.com/2013/08/22/11-suspiciously-sound-alike-songs/slide/the-hollies-the-air-that-i-breathe-1974-vs-radiohead-creep-1992/">too similar</a> to the Hollies’ <em>The Air That I Breathe</em>, and in 2018, Lana Del Rey’s <em>Get Free</em> <a href="https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/lana-del-rey-claims-lawsuit-with-radiohead-is-over-watch-1202736177/">was found to plagiarise Creep</a>. </p> <p>Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars altered the credits to <em>Uptown Funk</em> to <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/lawsuit-bmg-uptown-funk-royalties-gap-band-heirs-1234660379/">acknowledge the similarity</a> to The Gap Band’s <em>Oops Upside Your Head</em>. </p> <p>Here in Australia, the flute solo in Men at Work’s <em>Down Under</em>, which quoted the melody of folk song <em>Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree</em>, was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/jul/06/men-at-work-down-under">ruled as plagiarism</a>.</p> <p>In this case against Sheeran, the song’s chord progression was at the heart of the claim. The prosecution argued Sheeran’s chord progression was too similar to the chord progression of Gaye’s.</p> <p>But can we copyright a chord progression if it is used extensively in other pop songs? </p> <p>Gaye’s song uses four chords that gradually move upward (I-iii-IV-V). These same chords can be heard in the Beach Boys’ <em>I Can Hear Music</em>, the Seekers’ <em>Georgy Girl</em>, the Beatles’ <em>I Feel Fine</em>, in the Motown tune <em>This Old Heart of Mine</em> by the Isley Brothers, Elvis Presley’s <em>Suspicious Minds</em>, Cher’s <em>Believe</em> and ABBA’s <em>Knowing Me Knowing You</em>, among many others. </p> <p>This chord progression and many others are part of the songwriting toolkit of rock and pop and have been heard continuously over the past 70 years. </p> <h2>The 12 bar blues</h2> <p>A chord progression is the main instrumental part you hear in most pop music, usually played by a guitar, piano or synth. </p> <p>One of the oldest chord progressions in pop is the 12-bar blues – a looping pattern of three chords that is very identifiable. </p> <p>As the name suggests, this set of chords stems from early blues and was a way for musicians to easily play together and improvise. A version of this progression can be heard in Muddy Waters’ I<em>’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man</em> or John Lee Hooker’s <em>Boom Boom</em>. </p> <p>You can also hear this progression in a number of other pop songs – listen to verses of Queen’s <em>I Want to Break Free</em> and <em>Kiss</em> by Prince – both use the same chord progression, but sound very different to each other. </p> <p>More recently, Lizzo’s <em>Better in Colour</em> uses the 12-bar blues in a way that makes an old formula fresh.</p> <h2>The ‘doo-wop’ progression</h2> <p>The “doo-wop” progression has appeared in pop music for close to 80 years, and is named because most doo-wop songs feature this chord progression – it was an essential part of its sound. </p> <p>You can hear it in 1950s hits such as the Penguins’ <em>Earth Angel</em> and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers’ <em>Why Do Fools Fall in Love?</em>.</p> <p>The strength of these chords means they are used in pop music of all kinds, including ELO’s <em>Telephone Line</em>, <em>Don’t Dream it’s Over</em> by Crowded House, Destiny’s Child’s <em>Say My Name</em>, <em>Blank Space</em> by Taylor Swift, and <em>Flowers</em> by Miley Cyrus. </p> <p>Despite its consistent use, these chords still cross genres and eras, and still catch our ears. </p> <p>Comedy act Axis of Awesome use a similar progression in their video for 4 Chords, where they cleverly play almost 50 different songs with a variation on these four simple chords.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oOlDewpCfZQ" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>The I-IV-V (the ‘one, four, five’)</h2> <p>Perhaps the most common chord progressions in rock and pop are those that use the I, IV and V chords in various combinations.</p> <p>They’re usually the first three chords you learn on an instrument and open up thousands of songs to play – from the rock and roll of <em>Summertime Blues</em> by Eddie Cochran, the garage rock of <em>Wild Thing</em> by the Troggs, the bubblegum of Hanson’s <em>Mmmbop</em> and the indie rock of Coldplay’s <em>Yellow</em>, to the modern pop of <em>bad guy</em> by Billie Eilish and <em>good 4 u</em> by Olivia Rodrigo.</p> <h2>Going forward</h2> <p>Rock, pop, blues, doo wop and other musical genres can often be defined by their use of repeated chord progressions. These chord progressions are part of a songwriter’s toolkit in a similar way to how an artist may use different paint brushes. </p> <p>As Sheeran’s lawyer Ilene Farkas <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/may/04/ed-sheeran-verdict-not-liable-copyright-lawsuit-marvin-gaye">noted</a>, chord progressions are, "the letters of the alphabet of music […] these are basic musical building blocks that songwriters now and forever must be free to use."</p> <p>It is how these “building blocks” are used, and in what combinations, that gives us a great variety of pop songs over many decades. The true craft of great pop music is to take these formulas and turn them into something unique (while simultaneously making it sound easy).</p> <p>The ruling in Sheeran’s case supports the rights of musical artists to continue to use these progressions as part of a songwriter’s toolkit, and to build from the artists who came before them. It also acknowledges that influence and inspiration from previous works are part of the construction of the pop music we love.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/inspiration-influence-and-theft-what-the-ed-sheeran-case-can-tell-us-about-70-years-of-pop-music-204747" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Influencer’s extensive list of plane etiquette rules reignites age-old debate

<p dir="ltr">A travel influencer has shared an extensive list of what you should and shouldn’t do on a plane, reigniting an age-old debate about in-flight etiquette. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ben Keenan, a frequent traveller from Seattle in the US, posted his list of dos and don’ts in a now-viral TikTok, saying it is “disgusting” for a passenger to take off their shoes and you should always check behind before reclining your seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">Keenan begins his list with his least controversial point, saying travellers should always greet their flight attendants when boarding the plane, pointing out that it costs nothing to be friendly and polite. </p> <p dir="ltr">He then broaches the topic of taking off your shoes on a plane, which was met with mixed responses. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Do not take off your shoes or socks when you’re sitting in your seat, you disgusting people,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He went on to urge people not to pick an aisle seat if you plan on sleeping through your journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">“When selecting your seat before the flight, go ahead and determine what type of flyer you are. Are you someone that sleeps or are you someone that’s awake?” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because if you’re on an aisle seat, you need to be prepared to stand up and move out of the way multiple times during the flight – and I know this sucks but that truly means that you should not be a sleeper.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He continued, “Speaking of sleeping on the plane, if you’re going to recline your seat to do that, go ahead and make sure the people behind you aren’t resting their head on your seat or using that tray table because do you know how many times I’ve been smashed in the head by somebody who just aggressively leans back.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Keenan’s list of etiquette rules was met with a mixed response, with people both praising and criticising certain unspoken rules. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Nope … definitely taking my shoes off! And I’m not turning back to check … I will recline gently though,” one traveller said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If it is a long flight, shoes are allowed to come off (8+ hours),” another wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr"> One flyer agreed with Keenan’s rules, admitting, “I approach every flight like I'm being graded, and the flight attendants will give me an A+ for my flight etiquette.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another bemused viewer put it simply, writing, “I’ve never flown but this all seems like common sense?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

Placeholder Content Image

Influencer divides internet with Steve Irwin stingray costume

<p> An Aussie influencer has issued an apology after posting a video of her dressed up as the stingray that killed Steve Irwin for an Australian-themed costume party.</p> <p>Sophia Begg, 19, divided the internet with her choice of costume, and has since deleted her TikTok that pictured her in the outfit she was wearing for “an Aussie dress-up party in a duo costume”.</p> <p>“They’re going as Steve Irwin and I’m going as a stingray,” she noted in the comment section, after one viewer wrote, “Steve Erwin (sic) could never.”</p> <p>The late and beloved "Crocodile Hunter" was killed on September 4, 2006, when he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb at Queensland’s Batt Reef.</p> <p>After saying that she loved Irwin and “would never want to offend his family/loved ones”, Begg apologised in a short text video on TikTok.</p> <p>“Hi guys, I just wanted to jump on here to clear up some things,” she wrote.</p> <p>“I love Steve Irwin and would never want to cause disrespect to his family or legacy. He is an iconic aussie and no offence was meant by my costume.</p> <p>“I have thought about and reflected on my costume, and I will not be wearing it, and apologise wholeheartedly to anyone who was offended by it, that was definitely not my intention.</p> <p>“I apologise sincerely.”</p> <p>Followers were divided about whether the 19-year-old’s costume was “fine and funny” or “disrespectful and offensive” to Irwin’s family.</p> <p>“Oh lighten up. It’s been 20 years,” one commented.</p> <p>“Not the people getting offended over a stingray,” a second added.</p> <p>Another TikTok user said, “I think it’s funny and I loved Steve Irwin. Life’s too short to take seriously.”</p> <p>“I feel like Steve would have laughed at this,” someone else added.</p> <p>People in the comments noted that it would’ve been far less “disrespectful” had she “dressed as a crocodile”.</p> <p>Her post sparked more debate after appearing on an influencer watchdog account @influencer.updates.au, “Disrespectful. She could have gone as a crocodile. This is just in poor taste,” one woman said.</p> <p>“There’s dark humour and then there’s mocking how an Aussie icon died, leaving his wife and kids behind.”</p> <p>“I’d just ask myself one question. Would I wear this in front of [Irwin’s kids] Bindi and Robert? No. That’s a huge no,” one person added.</p> <p>One follower pointed out it was unlikely that Begg had “any ill intent… she should have chosen another costume”.</p> <p>“I think it’s just in really bad taste. I think Steve Irwin would have been a bit before her time but for a lot of us ‘older’ Australians, he was an absolute icon and I think it would be upsetting for his wife and children.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: TikTok</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

“Kids are not accessories”: Influencer slammed for putting baby in danger

<p dir="ltr">Influencer Camila Coelho has been slammed for putting her 7-month-old in danger, after posting multiple photos and a video of her standing with her infant son on a Paris balcony. </p> <p dir="ltr">Coelho, who boasts over 9 million followers on Instagram, has remained silent on the backlash, despite worried followers telling her to stop. </p> <p dir="ltr">The first photo was posted on February 27 with the caption: "Kai’s first time in PARIS. so happy to be back (for PFW) & spend my birthday tomorrow here with him and hubby!" </p> <p dir="ltr">In the photo Coelho can be seen wearing a ribbed pink turtleneck jumper, a matching pink coat and boots and a denim miniskirt.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her adorable son, donning an all-grey outfit, was pictured standing on the edge of the balcony with Coelho’s arms around him. </p> <p dir="ltr">The fashion blogger’s followers immediately condemned her actions, with one saying: "Please remove these photos! Kids are not accessories!" </p> <p dir="ltr">“Babies and balconies don’t go together. People will naturally get triggered. You are my favourite fashion blogger and I’m sure you were in control, but there will be other wannabe bloggers who will try to recreate this image and potentially put their babies at risk. It takes a second for an accident to happen. It’s not worth the risk or pic,” commented another. </p> <p dir="ltr">“How far can you go for likes? Yes, you are in Paris and yes, you have a view. No need to put a baby on the edge of a balcony,” wrote another.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CpIkwcGNRZP/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CpIkwcGNRZP/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CAMILA COELHO (@camilacoelho)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">In the same series of photos, Coelho can be seen lifting her baby up and holding him a little too close to the edge. </p> <p dir="ltr">“For the sake of his life it’s not necessary to lift him up on the edge of the balcony,” commented a follower. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Really? So dangerous just for a photo,” commented another. </p> <p dir="ltr">A few days later, Coelho added fuel to the fire by posting a video from the same balcony, where she is seen sipping tea on a chilly morning with Kai perched in her arms, close to the edge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her followers couldn’t help but express their disappointment. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Dear Camila, I love you as a woman, how you act in everything, but this is now the second time that you come into the picture with Kai on the edge balcony,” wrote one follower. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Disappointing....I'm starting to think you're just trolling people. but of course everything for the many likes," wrote another. </p> <p dir="ltr">The video has since been deleted, but the photos are still up on Coelho’s Instagram.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Tangy apricot Bavarian whip, fried rice medley and bombe Alaska: what Australia’s first food influencer had us cooking

<p>Our food choices are being influenced every day. On social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, food and eating consistently appear on lists of trending topics. </p> <p>Food has eye-catching appeal and is a universal experience. Everyone has to eat. In recent years, viral recipes like <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/02/11/baked-feta-pasta-recipe-tiktok/">feta pasta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-dalgona-coffee-the-whipped-coffee-trend-taking-over-the-internet-during-coronavirus-isolation-137068">dalgona coffee</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-butter-boards-bad-for-you-an-expert-view-on-the-latest-food-trend-192260">butter boards</a> have taken the world by storm. </p> <p>Yet food influencing is not a new trend. </p> <p>Australia’s first food influencer appeared in the pages of Australia’s most popular women’s magazine nearly 70 years ago. Just like today’s creators on Instagram and TikTok, this teenage cook advised her audience what was good to eat and how to make it.</p> <h2>Meet Debbie, our teenage chef</h2> <p>Debbie commenced her decade-long tenure at the Australian Women’s Weekly in <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4814245">July 1954</a>. We don’t know exactly who played the role of Debbie, which was a pseudonym. Readers were never shown her full face or body – just a set of disembodied hands making various recipes and, eventually, a cartoon portrait.</p> <p>Like many food influencers today, Debbie was not an “expert” – she was a teenager herself. She taught teenage girls simple yet fashionable recipes they could cook to impress their family and friends, especially boys. </p> <p>She shared recipes for <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4925379">tangy apricot Bavarian whip</a>, <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4819441">fried rice medley</a> and <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4807813">bombe Alaska</a>. Debbie also often taught her readers the basics, like <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52249448">how to boil an egg</a>.</p> <p>Just like today, many of her recipes showed the readers step-by-step instructions through images.</p> <h2>Teaching girls to cook (and be ‘good’ women)</h2> <p>Debbie’s recipes first appeared in the For Teenagers section, which would go on to become the Teenagers Weekly lift-out in 1959. </p> <p>These lift-outs reflected a major change taking place in wider society: the idea of “teenagers” being their own group with specific interests and behaviours had entered the popular imagination.</p> <p>Debbie was speaking directly to teenage girls. Adolescents are still forming both their culinary and cultural tastes. They are forming their identities.</p> <p>For the Women’s Weekly, and for Debbie, cooking was deemed an essential attribute for women. Girls were seen to be “<a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4818166">failures</a>” if they couldn’t at least “cook a baked dinner”, “make real coffee”, “grill a steak to perfection”, “scramble and fry eggs” and “make a salad (with dressing)”. </p> <p>In addition to teaching girls how to cook, Debbie also taught girls how to catch a husband and become a good wife, a reflection of cultural expectations for women at the time. </p> <p>Her <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4920059">macaroon trifle</a>, the Women’s Weekly said, was sure to place girls at the top of their male friends’ “matrimony prospect” list!</p> <h2>Food fads and fashions</h2> <p>Food fads usually reflect something important about the world around us. During global COVID lockdowns, we saw a rise in <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-historical-roots-of-your-lockdown-sourdough-obsession-137528">sourdough bread-making</a> as people embraced carbohydrate-driven nostalgia in the face of anxiety.</p> <p>A peek at Debbie’s culinary repertoire can reveal some of the cultural phenomena that impacted Australian teenagers in the 1950s and ‘60s. </p> <p>Debbie embraced teenage interest in rock'n'roll culture from the early 1960s, the pinnacle of which came at the height of Beatlemania. </p> <p>The Beatles toured Australia in June 1964. To help her teenage readers celebrate their visit, Debbie wrote an editorial on how to host a <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48077701">Beatles party</a>. </p> <p>She suggested the party host impress their friends by making “Beatle lollipops”, “Ringo Starrs” (decorated biscuits) and terrifying-looking “Beatle mop-heads” (cakes with chocolate hair).</p> <p><a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55185376">A few months later</a>, she also shared recipes for “jam butties” (or sandwiches, apparently a “<a href="https://slate.com/culture/2013/03/the-beatles-and-the-mersey-beat-in-the-latest-blogging-the-beatles-how-the-beatles-popularized-the-sound-of-liverpool.html">Mersey</a> food with a Mersey name”) and a “Beatle burger”. </p> <p>We can also see the introduction of one of <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/language/italian/en/article/spag-bol-how-australians-adopted-a-classic-italian-recipe-and-made-it-their-own/9ogvr96ea">Australia’s most beloved dishes</a> in Debbie’s recipes. </p> <p>In 1957, she showed her teen readers how to make a new dish – <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48076527">spaghetti bolognaise</a> – which had first appeared in the magazine <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46465023">five years prior</a>. </p> <p>Debbie was influencing the youth of Australia to enthusiastically adopt (and adapt) Italian-style cuisine. It stuck. While the recipe may have evolved, in 2012, Meat and Livestock Australia <a href="https://www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/marketing-beef-and-lamb/last-nights-dinner.pdf">reported</a> that 38% of Australian homes ate “spag bol” at least once a week.</p> <p>Our food influences today may come from social media, but we shouldn’t forget the impact early influencers such as Debbie had on young people in the past.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a href="https://theconversation.com/tangy-apricot-bavarian-whip-fried-rice-medley-and-bombe-alaska-what-australias-first-food-influencer-had-us-cooking-199987" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

60-year-old influencer hits back at claims she’s “dressing inappropriately”

<p dir="ltr">A fashion influencer from Montreal, Canada, has taken on the trolls who see fit to tear her down for shamelessly embracing her style in her 60s. </p> <p dir="ltr">Roslyn Griner has had a passion for fashion for as long as she can remember - she credits her late mother, a seamstress who would often make Roslyn items to wear, with developing her love for the fashion world.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nowadays, she shares her style journey with over 11k followers on social media. She embraces chic looks, current trends, and dons pieces most commonly marketed to younger generations - and stuns in every single one of them. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cosy3rUJG3g/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cosy3rUJG3g/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roslyn Griner (@howrosdoesit)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">And while the majority of her comments are positive, with many praising Roslyn for her bold choices, it hasn’t stopped the outspoken few from sharing their distaste.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Roslyn won’t be stopped quite so easily, and has spoken out against her haters, putting an end to the idea that anyone has to stop dressing the way that makes them happy just because they’ve celebrated another birthday. </p> <p dir="ltr">“People say I am dressing inappropriately,” Roslyn said, “but it's about your style, not your age number.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We become this invisible minority when we hit a certain age and are known as mothers and grandmothers,” she continued, “but you can be sexy and all these things. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You don't lose the zest for life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She went on to speak of her desire to inspire women, and show them that they “don’t have to stop dressing a certain way just because you’re 50 or 60.” </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CoanFoAJmnq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CoanFoAJmnq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roslyn Griner (@howrosdoesit)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">And when it comes to the inspiration for her looks, Roslyn noted that she loves music, and that it has the power to help keep people youthful. As well as that, she’s an avid gym goer, and uses her fashion to highlight some of the things she likes most about herself. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m showcasing how I like to dress,” she said. “I wear mini-skirts, I like my legs, so I’m going to show them off.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My style of dressing isn’t for everyone,” she added, “but I don’t address the negative comments anymore. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You can be conservative in your 30s or trendy in your 50s. I'm showing young girls that it is not scary to age. It's cool to be my age.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cl1CdRbuVof/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cl1CdRbuVof/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roslyn Griner (@howrosdoesit)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">For those struggling with their confidence, Roslyn admitted that she herself “didn’t come into myself until my late 30s”, and that she wrestled with being shy and feeling unattractive for most of her 20s. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel I'm much more confident now. As you go down the path of life you care less about everyone's opinions,” she explained. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I'm transparent and I have had Botox. Exercise keeps me ageless. I never feel like my age.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I'm not creaky, I'm dynamic. I'm living in the present.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Beauty & Style

Placeholder Content Image

The Dark Side of the Moon at 50: how Marx, trauma and compassion all influenced Pink Floyd’s masterpiece

<p><em>Dixi et salvavi animam meam.</em></p> <p>This Latin phrase – I have spoken and saved my soul – sits at the end of Karl Marx’s <a href="https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/">Critique of the Gotha Programme</a>. </p> <p>Written in 1875, this text imagines a communist society that will come about “after the enslaving of the individual to the division of labour, and thereby also the antithesis between mental and physical labour has vanished”. </p> <p>Only then, Marx argues, “can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be completely transcended and society inscribe on its banners: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!”</p> <p>Roger Waters – bassist, lyricist and conceptual mastermind behind Pink Floyd’s 1973 album <em>The Dark Side of the Moon</em>, released 50 years ago today – knows Marx’s Critique. Indeed, he quotes it when discussing the record with music journalist John Harris. </p> <p>“Making <em>The Dark Side of the Moon</em>, we were all trying to do as much as we possibly could,” Waters <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/301401">told</a> Harris.</p> <p>"It was a very communal thing. What’s that old Marxist maxim? ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ That’s sort of the way the band worked at that point."</p> <p>Assertions about solidarity, cooperation and shared “unity of purpose” – as Waters says – situate <em>Dark Side</em> in the context of Pink Floyd’s <a href="https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/pink-floyd-roger-waters-david-gilmour-feud/">notoriously fractious</a> recording career and helps us understand the album’s enduring appeal.</p> <h2>Shine on you crazy diamond</h2> <p>Pink Floyd formed in London in 1965. Led by the charismatic songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist Syd Barrett, the group established itself as a leader in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_underground">London underground music scene</a>. They released their debut album <em>The Piper at the Gates of Dawn</em> in 1967.</p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_Machine">Soft Machine</a> member Kevin Ayers <a href="https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/pink-floyds-the-piper-at-the-gates-of-dawn-9781441185174/">described</a> <em>The Piper at the Gates of Dawn</em> as “something magical, but it was in Syd Barrett”. </p> <p>Not long after the record’s release, Barrett suffered a catastrophic, LSD-induced breakdown. In response, the band recruited David Gilmour on guitar and recorded a second album, <em>A Saucerful of Secrets</em>, as a five-piece in 1968. Around this time, the increasingly unstable Barrett was unceremoniously ousted by the rest of the band. </p> <p>After Barrett left, says Ayers, “Pink Floyd became something else totally”. </p> <p>There are different versions of Pink Floyd. The recordings released after Barrett left the band in 1968 bear little resemblance to the first. </p> <p><em>Dark Side</em> sounds nothing like the whimsical Piper. But it is obvious the record is in large part preoccupied with the loss of Barrett.</p> <p>This preoccupation comes to the fore in the album’s penultimate track.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1OOQP1-wOE&amp;ab_channel=HDPinkFloyd">Brain Damage</a></em>, written and sung by Waters, references Barrett’s adolescence (“Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs”), alludes to his illness (“And if the dam breaks open many years too soon”), and acknowledges his leaving the group (“And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes; I’ll see you on the dark side of the Moon”). </p> <p>Drummer Nick Mason confirms the group didn’t want to lose Barrett.</p> <p>In his <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/265734.Inside_Out">autobiography</a>, he writes, "He was our songwriter, singer, guitarist, and – although you might not have known from our less than sympathetic treatment of him – he was our friend."</p> <h2>If the dam breaks open many years too soon</h2> <p>What we hear on <em>The Dark Side of the Moon</em> is a band dealing with trauma. </p> <p>In this sense, Dark Side represents the start of a reckoning with the past – a process that culminated with the band’s next record, 1975’s elegiac <em><a href="https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/wish-you-were-here-pink-floyd-seminal-ode-to-the-tragic-life-of-syd-barrett/">Wish You Were Here</a></em>.</p> <p>Culmination is a useful term when it comes to <em>Dark Side</em> more generally. On this record, all the avant-garde techniques and tendencies the band had toyed with in the post-Barrett period – <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musique_concr%C3%A8te">musique concrète</a>, sonic manipulation, extended improvisation, analogue tape manipulation – come together to spectacular effect. </p> <p><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0kcet4aPpQ">Money</a> –</em> with its anti-capitalist lyrics penned by Waters (“Money, it’s a crime; share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie”), odd time signature, and handmade tape-loops mimicking the sounds of cash tills, bags of coins being dropped from great height and bank notes being torn up – is one of the stranger hit singles in pop music history. </p> <p>Be that as it may, Money and the album from which it is taken, of which <a href="https://www.pinkfloyd.com/tdsotm50/">more than 50 million copies</a> have been sold, continue to resonate with listeners worldwide, five decades on from its initial release.</p> <h2>The enormous risk of being truly banal</h2> <p>“I made a conscious effort when I was writing the lyrics for <em>Dark Side of the Moon</em> to take the enormous risk of being truly banal about a lot of it,” Waters told John Harris, “in order that the ideas should be expressed as simply and plainly as possible.”</p> <p>On this point, <a href="https://www.loudersound.com/news/david-gilmour-says-its-pretty-unlikely-he-and-roger-waters-will-resolve-pink-floyd-feud">if nothing else</a>, David Gilmour agrees. He told Harris, "There was definitely a feeling that the words were going to be very clear and specific. That was a leap forward. Things would mean what they meant. That was a distinct step away from what we had done before."</p> <p>Mortality, insanity, conflict, affluence, poverty and, in another nod to Marx, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx%27s_theory_of_alienation">alienation</a> are some of the themes presented on the record. The need – and this brings us full circle – for compassion, if not outright solidarity, is another. </p> <p>This is an album about the importance of understanding, as Waters <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/301401">insists, "T</a>he potential that human beings have for recognising each other’s humanity and responding to it, with empathy rather than antipathy."</p> <p>Given the sorry state of the world in 2023, about which Roger Waters has many <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-64580688">contentious</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/feb/07/pink-floyd-lyricist-calls-roger-waters-an-antisemite-and-putin-apologist">problematic</a> things to say, I wager Pink Floyd’s masterwork will continue to resonate with listeners for a while yet.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-the-moon-at-50-how-marx-trauma-and-compassion-all-influenced-pink-floyds-masterpiece-198400" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

China’s influence in Myanmar could tip the scales towards war in the South China Sea

<p>The fate of Myanmar has major implications for a free and open Indo-Pacific.</p> <p>An undemocratic Myanmar serves no one’s interests except China, which is consolidating its economic and strategic influence in its smaller neighbour in pursuit of its <a href="https://cimsec.org/chinese-maritime-strategy-indian-ocean/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">two-ocean strategy</a>.</p> <p>Since the coup China has been – by far – the main source of <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/myanmar-economy-idUSL4N2U721T" target="_blank" rel="noopener">foreign investment</a> in Myanmar.</p> <p>This includes <a href="https://www.myanmar-now.org/en/news/junta-approves-25bn-power-plant-project-backed-by-chinese-companies" target="_blank" rel="noopener">US$2.5 billion</a> in a gas-fired power plant to be built west of Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, that will be 81% owned and operated by Chinese companies.</p> <p>Among the dozens of infrastructure projects China is funding are high-speed rail links and dams. But its most strategically important investment is the <a href="https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/china-myanmar-economic-corridor-and-chinas-determination-see-it-through" target="_blank" rel="noopener">China-Myanmar Economic Corridor</a>, encompassing oil and gas pipelines, roads and rail links costing many tens of billions of dollars.</p> <p>The corridor’s “jewel in the crown” is a deep-sea port to be built at Kyaukphyu, on Myanmar’s west coast, at an estimated <a href="https://www.bnionline.net/en/news/kyaukphyu-deep-sea-port-poses-challenges-maday-islanders-and-local-fisheries" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cost of US$7 billion</a>.</p> <p>This will finally give China its long-desired “back door” to the Indian Ocean.</p> <p>Natural gas from Myanmar can help China reduce its dependence on imports from suppliers such as Australia. Access <a href="https://www.diis.dk/en/research/myanmar-chinas-west-coast-dream" target="_blank" rel="noopener">to the Indian Ocean</a> will enable China to import gas and oil from the Middle East, Africa and Venezuela without ships having to pass through the contested waters of the South China Sea to Chinese ports.</p> <p>About <a href="https://chinapower.csis.org/much-trade-transits-south-china-sea/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">80% of China’s oil imports</a> now move through the South China Sea via the Malacca Strait, which is just 65 kilometres wide at its narrowest point between the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia’s Sumatra.</p> <p>Overcoming this strategic vulnerability arguably makes the Kyaukphyu port and pipelines the most important element of China’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/china-is-financing-infrastructure-projects-around-the-world-many-could-harm-nature-and-indigenous-communities-168060" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Belt and Road initiative</a> to reshape global trade routes and assert its influence over other nations.</p> <h2>Deepening relationship</h2> <p>Most of China’s infrastructure investment was planned before Myanmar’s coup. But whereas other governments and foreign investors have sought to distance themselves from the junta since it overthrew Myanmar’s elected government in February 2021, China has deepened its relationship.</p> <p>China is the Myanmar regime’s most important international supporter. In April Foreign Minister Wang Yi said <a href="https://apnews.com/article/wang-yi-aung-san-suu-kyi-china-myanmar-diplomacy-d68de69436c1462f647f6475b6315c92" target="_blank" rel="noopener">China would support Myanmar</a> “no matter how the situation changes”. In May it used its veto power on the United Nations Security Council to thwart <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/russia-china-block-un-statement-034542265.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a statement expressing concern</a> about violence and the growing humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.</p> <p>Work continues on projects associated with the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. New ventures (such as the aforementioned power station) have been approved. More projects are on the cards. In June, for example, China’s embassy in Myanmar announced the completion of <a href="https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2022/06/08/feasibility-study-completed-for-myanmar039s-wan-pong-port-improvement-project" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a feasibility study</a> to upgrade the Wan Pong port on the Lancang-Mekong River in Myanmar’s east.</p> <h2>Debt trap warnings</h2> <p>In 2020, before the coup, Myanmar’s auditor general Maw Than <a href="https://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/costly-borrowing-06102020151951.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">warned of growing indebtedness</a> to China, with Chinese lenders charging higher interest payments than those from the International Monetary Fund or World Bank.</p> <p>At that time <a href="https://www.asianews.it/news-en/Forty-per-cent-of-Myanmar%E2%80%99s-government-debt-held-by-China-46071.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">about 40%</a> of Myanmar’s foreign debt of US$10 billion was owed to China. It is likely to be greater now. It will only increase the longer a military dictatorship, with few other supporters or sources of foreign money, remains in power, <a href="https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2021/06/23/how-the-coup-is-destroying-myanmars-economy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dragging down Myanmar’s economy</a>.</p> <p>Efforts to restore democracy in Myanmar should therefore be seen as crucial to the long-term strategic interests of the region’s democracies, and to global peace and prosperity, given the increasing belligerence of China under Xi Jinping.</p> <p>Xi, now president for life, this month told the People’s Liberation Army to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/09/xi-jinping-tells-chinas-army-to-focus-on-preparation-for-war" target="_blank" rel="noopener">prepare for war</a>. A compliant and indebted Myanmar with a deep-sea port controlled by Chinese interests tips the scales towards that happening.</p> <p>A democratic and independent Myanmar is a counter-strategy to this potential.</p> <h2>Calls for sanctions</h2> <p>Myanmar’s democracy movement wants the international community to impose <a href="https://specialadvisorycouncil.org/cut-the-cash/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tough sanctions</a> on the junta. But few have responded.</p> <p>The United States and United Kingdom have gone furthest, banning business dealings with Myanmar military officials and state-owned or private companies controlled by the military.</p> <p>The European Union and Canada have imposed sanctions against a more limited range of individuals and economic entities.</p> <p>South Korea has suspended financing new infrastructure projects. Japan has suspended aid and postponed the launch of Myanmar’s first satellite. New Zealand has suspended political and military contact.</p> <p>Australia has suspended military cooperation (with some <a href="https://www.dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/sanctions/sanctions-regimes/myanmar-sanctions-regime" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pre-existing restrictions</a> on dealing with military leaders imposed following the human rights atrocities committed against the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rohingya</a> in 2017.</p> <p>But that’s about it.</p> <p>Myanmar’s closest neighbours in the ten-member Association of South-East Asian Nations are still committed to a policy of dialogue and “<a href="https://thediplomat.com/2022/11/will-asean-finally-change-its-approach-toward-myanmar/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">non-interference</a>” – though <a href="https://thediplomat.com/2022/05/malaysian-fm-says-asean-envoy-welcomes-idea-of-engaging-myanmars-nug/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Malaysia</a> and <a href="https://thediplomat.com/2022/11/indonesian-fm-says-myanmar-military-to-blame-for-countrys-crisis/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Indonesia</a> are increasingly arguing for a tougher approach as the atrocities mount.</p> <p>The <a href="https://myanmar.iiss.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project</a> says the only country now more violent than Myanmar is Ukraine.</p> <p>Given its unique geo-strategic position, self-interest alone should be enough for the international community to take greater action.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/chinas-influence-in-myanmar-could-tip-the-scales-towards-war-in-the-south-china-sea-189780" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Influencer slammed for holding raunchy party at retirement home

<p dir="ltr">An elderly woman has appeared to suffer a heart attack while dancing with three strippers at an aged care home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Shocking footage shared to Instagram by influencer Nadia Cartagena shows a group of raunchy dancers showing off their moves to the elderly group at Una Mano Amiga Foundation in El Prado, Cartagena.</p> <p dir="ltr">The clip then shows the woman dancing in between three male dancers before she gasps and puts her hand on her heart.</p> <p dir="ltr">Moments later she is on the floor unconscious and sirens can be heard wailing in the background, rushing to the scene.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman is then placed on a stretcher and taken to hospital in the ambulance.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nadia announced to her followers that she held an erotic party for “older adults, and I got the biggest scare of my life”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I did not expect what happened to happen, and the truth is that I am very sorry, I just wanted to give them some fun and I did not expect that situation, so I want you to comment on the situation.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Her post was then inundated with furious comments from followers who slammed her for being inconsiderate.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How can you do that, girl? Can't you see that they are old? They can't stand so much voltage. Some suffer from diseases,” one person wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You had too much, a party is ok but with another theme not like this,” another commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That party is out of order, that's not fun for people of that age that hurts,” someone else wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Retirement Life

Our Partners