I used to wonder what I’d say if I ever met the Prime Minister. Well, now I know.
One quiet day in August I arrived at the Newcastle Herald, made myself a cup of coffee, walked out into the newsroom and there right in my path was Julia Gillard. Before my brain had a chance to turn on I was introduced as the newspaper’s cartoonist and the PM’s gaze fixed upon me – along with most of the newsroom and her security entourage. She began with a comment about the way cartoonists draw her nose. At this point I should have swigged down the coffee, mumbled some pleasantries and moved away, but instead I discussed her pointy shnozz and then gushed that she was my favourite cartoon subject. Now, I could have said this about a male PM but not a female one. The newsroom erupted with embarrassed laughter and I was on the back foot for the rest of the conversation. To her credit the PM seemed amused by the whole thing and posed shortly after for a group shot.
Trolls have graduated from children’s fairy stories to the internet, upsetting fellow bloggers with their persistent vitriol. Once perceived as unhappy middle-aged men with nothing better to do, it appears that trolls are in fact both male and female and can be any age or background.
George Lucas’s film ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is released in 2005, ending the second trilogy of Star Wars films. Despite a mixed critical reception the film made $848 million. After the Star Wars franchise was sold to Disney in 2012, a third trilogy was announced, this time without Lucas in an active role.
Tom Cruise’s contract with Paramount is terminated in 2006 when company owner Sumner Redstone realises the actor has become box office poison with women. This is reversed a few years later when Cruise’s popularity recovers.
In 2000 the Maitland Art Gallery had an exhibition based on Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from “Through the Looking Glass”. I submitted an artwork that appeared to be an ornate mirror with a small button on the frame that said “press me”. Powerful lights lit up behind the mirror when the button was pressed and my painting appeared like magic through the reflectively coated glass.
I was concerned about the technical problems with this project since it involved electrical components jammed into a tight space and I didn’t know if the lights would be able to illuminate the artwork through the coated glass. I needn’t have worried because the finished artwork worked perfectly and was sold to an intrigued buyer.