Black Thursday – The Great Crash of 2014

FOR one brief moment on Thursday, the people of the world were united.

Race, religion and beliefs were all cast aside as we came together as one, bound by a common despair.

There was unprecedented global panic, grief and anger as the reality of our collective predicament became tragically all too clear.

NEWS: Facebook back on the grid after global outage

No, the outpouring of rage and fear had nothing to do with the 219 Nigerian school girls STILL missing, or the situation in Ukraine or Syria or Iraq or any of the many calamities we do our best to ignore.

It was all because Facebook was down.

For 20 to 30 minutes, the duration is still in some dispute, Facebook users were unable to like, share or update their feed.

It was mayhem, folks.

Some wag ‘reported’ people were flooding into the streets across the world, thrusting pictures of themselves into the faces of bystanders and demanding ‘DO YOU LIKE THIS? WELL DO YOU????”

Within minutes #Facebookdown was trending on Twitter worldwide as smug tweeters seized on their social media buddies’ #BlackThursday discomfort to have some fun.

“We will be telling our grandkids about the Great Facebook Crash of 2014.”

They’ll have to go back to MySpace, some sniggered.

Someone posted a Keep Calm and Use Twitter sign.

A Twit in Atlanta, Georgia tweeted: “The whole world has gone crazy and is writing on actual walls.”

Someone in Maharashtra said they got so angry they poked a real human being.

“You kids think you have it tough! Back in the olden days Facebook crashed one day. We had to talk to each other.”

There was faux suspicion about the Abbott Government’s involvement in the Crash of 2014.

China was implicated at one point.

What happens if Twitter also crashes?

After the longest 20 minutes of many people’s lives, Facebook suddenly revived itself and all was right with the world. So to speak.

But we all learnt a powerful lesson from this: We are strong, we are brave and together we can move forward without social media – for at least 20 minutes.

As long as Twitter is still working.

The End

Do you ‘LIKE’ this? Well, do you????
The Meddler

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Another budget, another slap in the face for Gold Coast battlers

THERE is nothing that demonstrates the importance of responsible voting more than a council budget.

Unlike state and federal budgets, with their airy fairy four-year forward estimates and tax slugs and levies that you don’t always immediately appreciate, the pain of a council budget is instantly clear.

A great big fat rate and water rise to slap you in the face and remind you of the power a bunch of strangers have over your bank account.

CITY BUDGET: The Gold Coast’s 2014-2015 City Budget has been revealed

I don’t know why we all act so shocked each year when another rate rise is announced.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a rate reduction.

Mayor Tom Tate says he feels the pain of all those Gold Coasters who are already struggling to pay their rates.

I believe him.

Just because he is a millionaire last photographed in polo gear at a swish social event doesn’t mean he has no empathy.

Like every conservative state and federal leader swept into power after a Labor stint of government, he feels it is unfair to blame him for the tough decisions he has had to make in the budget.

He instead blames the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the carbon tax and the failed water provider Allconnex.

But he left out the construction of a new cultural centre we obviously can’t afford and the soaring cost of planning and convincing voters of the need for a great big bloody development on the Broadwater.

Blaming past governments is all very well if they are at fault.

Just don’t promise during election campaigns – as they all do – to lower the cost of living when you know very well it is not going to be possible.

This is why voters have to become more responsible in who they choose to represent them at a local, state and federal level.

Believe me, I know politics can be dull and infuriating but ignoring it will not mean it will just go away.

We have been stuck in the past with too many leaders who got the top job just because they had the most recognisable name or spent the most on campaign advertising.

Make sure you know who you are electing to spend our money.
The Meddler

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A vision of the Gold Coast’s future – and other mythical stories

THE draft plan of how the Gold Coast’s overlords see the city looking in 2034 makes me sick.

Truthfully, I watched the fly through of the plan on myGC.com.au and immediately felt like heaving.

It’s a weird motion sickness I also get from playing computer games and watching IMAX movies.

So stay away from it if you are a delicate petal like me.

The plan itself is no big deal.

There are lots of thrusting high-rises and throbbing development along the light rail route but not much new in the way of road infrastructure.

But calm down people, there is nothing to panic about.

Anything could happen between now and 2034.

A giant tsunami could wipe the place out or, worse, the Byron Bay scourge could spread north until the Gold Coast City Council is taken over by greenies.

Besides, surely our hoverboards would have arrived by then.

At the very least we will all have Google driverless cars to deal with the appalling traffic chaos.

And, who knows, the light rail may prove to be an outstanding success.

Oh sorry, wait, I can’t stop laughing.

Anyway, that’s if anything changes much at all by then.

I’ve been around long enough to remember the plans made 20 years ago for how the Gold Coast would look today.

And it looks nothing like it was supposed to.

For instance, the Coomera Town Centre – I covered a community forum on that in 1994 and it still hasn’t happened.

But this new draft plan has a very cool interactive map and there is nothing better in my books than an interactive map.

This one is built on Google Earth and you can zoom down to street level and house number.

You can even click on your own house to see a report of how the plan will affect you.

Of course I immediately looked up my house to see what it would look like in 20 years and I was pretty disappointed.

Apparently I still haven’t gotten around to painting my roof by 2034.

You have until July 29 to have your say on the draft plan.

After that the mayor and the council will completely ignore all submissions and do what they always planned anyway.

The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au

A dog day afternoon on the Gold Coast

IF YOU want a friend on the Gold Coast adopt a dog.

Seriously, owning a dog is an entrée into an entire new world.

A nice world where strangers smile as they pass you or stop for a chat.

From pouty poodles to muscly bull terriers, and their look-alike owners, there is no judgement, no rolling eyes even if your pup isn’t as well behaved as theirs.

It will happen, they say sympathetically as they walk their perfectly poised pooches past my baby mutt – straining against his leash so hard he is walking on his hind legs.

It’s an alternate universe where people dress sensibly, are polite and genuine and would rather relax with their dog than ponce around at society lunches.

Late afternoon, when the light is just right, is the best time to cross through the mystical portal into this world of happy leash-free beaches and friendly ocean view walkways.

Down south the best portal is behind the Kiosk at Palm Beach Parklands where a tail wagging wonderland awaits.

Thank you Gold Coast City Council.

One early winter afternoon I struck out, new puppy on a very short leash, to explore this new land.

Every single dog guardian who walks past either smiles or says hello and no one seems to mind that my uncontrollable but gentle mutt is making an excited beeline for their charges.

One lovely lady with a stunning black Labrador cross stops to offer me advice on training.

“The first two years are the worse,” she says to my dismay.

“But it will get better.”

A group of swimmers walking up from the beach laugh as my over-friendly mutt jumps all over them.

“Don’t apologise!,” they say.

A little girl in a bright pink tutu spots the pup and runs straight for him.

He nearly dislocates his back his tail is wagging so furiously in response.

She pats him and calls him pretty while her mother chats to me.

Finally we get to the beach.

Dogs of every size, make and model are running out into the surf, chasing balls, jumping on each other, racing up and down the sand dunes.

It is canine chaos but a freaking joy to watch.
The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au

Sexy time on the Gold Coast

SO who went to Sexpo on the weekend?

Come on, no point in being shy.

Really, there is no point because everyone is going to know soon enough anyway.

This is Queensland 2014, baby.

There were close circuit television cameras and, with facial recognition technology, your files held by the Newman Government’s Secret Police branch have probably already been updated.

The good news is that being a secret branch all the information is confidential.

The bad news is they have to brief Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and we all know how bad he is at keeping secrets.

He’s like a 13-year-old girl running to tell her mates about every private conversation she has to prove how popular she is.

He also dances like a 13-year-old girl but you will have to look that up on YouTube.

(I am serious, look it up).

The three-day sexy time showcase was supposedly a huge drawcard for the Gold Coast with organisers estimating it would inject $1 million into the Gold Coast economy.

Inject – geddit? Hubba hubba.

But I’d like to know how.

Where was this $1 million being spent and who benefited from it?

They looked after our pensioners though, charging seniors just $15 compared to the normal $27 adult entry.

VIPs paid $40.

I don’t want to know what they got for their extra money.

But the most offensive aspect of Sexpo was its really bad television ad.

It was basically a mature lady rolling her eyes to express her lusty delight as she joined a young couple entering the exhibition.

I don’t know what it meant but it was disturbing.

But they really didn’t need much advertising.

Being all about sexy time the exhibition got way more free media coverage than most trade shows held in the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For example, the next exhibition is the Wellness in Golden Years event.

I’ve seen nothing in the news about that. Nothing!

Still, I bet the organisers miss the olden days in Brisbane when there was such community outrage about Sexpo they got weeks and weeks of free publicity.

Damn you, you sexy time loving Gold Coasters.

The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au