Catholics Deserve Real Reform

I’m an angry man. I’ve learned to diffuse it somewhat by being the first to laugh at, well, anything. I also rush to make jokes, perhaps too irreverently and “too soon,” people will sometimes say as they slam the door behind them.

When, for whatever reason, the ancient history of my high school years comes up, my first instinct is to break out the pedophile gags. This is likely because I’m not terribly funny and in need of new material, and, I guess, it’s my way of dealing with the fact that I went to a Christian Brothers school in Sydney where several of the brothers were prone to diddling the kids.

New Wave Techies in Training

Debate has raged for years about why there has been explosion in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders but an indisputable fact is hundreds of thousands of those special needs kids will be looking for a job in the next decade.

Since relatively uniform monitoring was introduced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2000, the number of children with ASD conditions such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder has grown by about 120 percent. One in 150 American kids was estimated to be on the spectrum in 2002. By 2010 it was one in 68.  Similar increases have been detected in many other countries.

Jarryd Hayne: A Long Shot Worth Taking

As a rugby league player, Manfred Moore was a trifle though you could see he was a good athlete.

The uncomfortably seated crowd in the decrepit King George V Memorial Grandstand at Henson Park in 1977 spent much of the game entertaining themselves by chiding the former San Francisco 49ers NFL player: “Not that way Manfred! … That’s called a tackle Manfred” or barking gems such as “Where’s your helmet Manfred?”

The poor bloke stood so far away from the action on the wing he had one foot in Lewisham.

Shame. Exiled Australian Applauds New Zealanders

The wicked face of New Zealand rugby

The wicked face of New Zealand rugby

I watch too much sport.

I used to be a sports editor so I once had an excuse, now it’s just an obsession that probably requires intense therapy.

Rugby union, rugby league, Australian football, cricket, soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, tennis, hockey, golf, boxing, swimming, track and field, basketball, netball – I watch squash and racquetball for God’s (Heather McKay’s) sake – and to make matters worse, I’ve lived in New York for about a million years so I’m now compelled to absorb and love baseball, American football and ice hockey. I am one of the few people in America who never misses a Major League Soccer game of minimal significance. I have been to Aqueduct Racetrack to be a spectator at the midweek gallops; there were maybe seven of us. I have found myself cheering at a pick-up game of lacrosse in the Bronx.

Stig Clapped

I loved Stig Can’t Clap.

I was in the band, but that’s somewhat beside the point – in fact, for the most part I liked them less with me in it.

Stig’s firm foundation, after a few folks had come and go, was as a three-piece with the brothers Ohlback, Neil (guitar & vocals) and Russell (drums), and Mark Jago, playing bass guitar and a conspicuous Type-A personality.

They were nice northern suburbs boys in Sydney, Jago emerging from the healthy mod scene and some weird private school while the Ohlbacks were the product of a handsomely talented musical family.

Rugby for Dummies. Yes, You

A version of this story – a far better one – first appeared at

At least one player in every team must resemble a caveman.Photo by Milos Lekovic, courtesy of WaratahsRugby

At least one player in every team must resemble a caveman.Photo by Milos Lekovic, courtesy of WaratahsRugby

Hey, rugby is complicated but so is marriage. Didn’t stop you trying that at least once did it?

Look, you don’t have to love it to give it a go – rugby or marriage I guess – but quite possibly you’ll be better for the experience (rugby).

Yet many of my good American friends and, frankly, a hell of a lot of you uncouth Australians have little idea about the game and its benefits.

The Wiggles: If Only They’d Listened


By Greg Truman

For more than 21 years I’ve offered my talent and advice, but here they go again, off on some tangent, turning their back on opportunity.

Sure, they’ve more or less reinvented a musical genre, maintained their independence in the face of a global industry steered by corporate giants, entertained about a million kids around the world annually in concert for two decades and sold tens of millions of recordings, but come on, is selling out 12 straight shows at Madison Square Garden in matter of hours; receiving one of the highest honors from your country and creating a gazillion dollar business as good as it gets?

The Great Western

How sweet it is.

Through five generations and beyond, some scandal, the occasional battle.

Marriages, children — hordes of bloody children.

Religion and faith, one sometimes existing without the other, love and laughter linking us in the battling bush towns and the uppity cities.

There’s Paddy, all 300 pounds of him with hands like shovels, planting his size 14s in the dirt track from Hillston to Cobar. He fancied a walk and wandered into the rest of his life.