Double Dissolution


Earlier this year I was walking around in a daze, and also London, trying to figure out what to with my life. My marriage appeared to be over, I had nowhere to live, and the quaint British tradition of charging AU$8 for what I will charitably called “coffee-tinted imitation liquid” was fast draining my savings.

In a fit of confusion, I decided to properly cover the 2016 election. No, not that one. The boring one. The Australian one. I flew home, bought a car, and took off on the road to see what a federal election looked like on the ground instead of through the filter of 24 hour news and social media. I wrote about my adventures for Vice, and had initially planned to collect all of the articles into a book. As I went on, it became clear that the book was going to be something else entirely. Not just disjointed tales of electorates and MPs, but its own distinct tale of being on the road and finding yourself at a crossroads. A metaphorical crossroads. The first road is real, the crossroad is a metaphor. Look, it doesn’t matter. You’re getting hung up on this point.

I spent two months driving around Australia, meeting politicians and voters, navigating big cities and hidden towns, and having some of the strangest encounters of my life. If you want a snapshot of Australian politics in 2016, it’s that. If you want an emotive journey of painful introspection, it’s that too. If you want a road trip journal, it’s absolutely that. If you want a bunch of jokes, then I’ve got you covered.

Double Dissolution: Heartbreak and Chaos on the Campaign Trail is out in bookstores and available online now, so why not buy eight or nine copies and see for yourself.

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Me-dia: June 2016

Things I did in June 2016:

  • “Australian Election 2016: Who Won the Week?” – Vice, 6 June 2016
  • “On the Campaign Trail with Tony Windsor” – Vice, 6 June 2016
  • “Where in the World Is Peter Dutton? An Investigation” – Vice, 7 June 2016
  • “Welcome to Dalmeny, the Beach Town That’s Predicted Every Election Since 1972” – Vice, 9 June 2016
  • Talking the search for Peter Dutton and the upcoming book Double Dissolution with Danny Chifley on Drive – 2SER, 10 June 2016
  • “Chaos and Insanity at the Parramatta Early Voting Booth” – Vice, 16 June 2016
  • “I Ate a Lamb Yiros With Nick Xenophon” – Vice, 22 June 2016
  • “I Went Go-Karting With Sarah Hanson-Young” – Vice, 23 June 2016
  • “After 67 Years as a Safe Liberal Seat, Higgins Might Go Green” – Vice, 28 June 2016
  • Talking the new releases of June 2016 (The Nice Guys, When Marnie Was ThereHolding the Man), looking at the new rules Paramount imposed for Star Trek fan films, and discussing the filmography of Guillermo Del Toro with Sophie Mayer and Maria Lewis – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 30 June 2016

Me-dia: May 2016

Things I did in May 2016:

  • “What’s New in the 2016 Budget?” – Vice, 4 May 2016
  • “I Asked Canberra’s Waiters What They’ve Learned About Politics By Serving Politicians” – Vice, 13 May 2016
  • “Parliament House Gets Weirdly Quiet During an Election” – Vice, 18 May 2016
  • “Australian Election 2016: Who Won the Week?” – Vice, 20 May 2016
  • “Shooting Pool and Talking Election Chances With Senator Ricky Muir” – Vice, 23 May 2016
  • “I Watched the Nationals Cook Sophie Mirabella’s Chances at Reclaiming Her Seat” – Vice, 24 May 2016
  • “Australian Election 2016: Who Won the Week?” – Vice, 27 May 2016
  • Talking the new releases of May 2016 (Captain America: Civil WarMustangWhiskey Tango Foxtrot), looking at the vitriolic backlash against yet-to-be-released female-led blockbusters like Ghostbusters and Star Wars: Rogue One, and discussing the filmography of Jim Henson with Sophie Mayer and Alice Lowe – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 31 May 2016

Me-dia: April 2016

Things I did in April 2016:

  • “What Does Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Actually Mean?” – Vice, 1 April 2016
  • “Let’s Talk About Kevin Andrews and the Fact Australia Hasn’t Swapped PMs in 205 Days” – Vice, 7 April 2016
  • Screening of short film Cold War at the Beverly Hills Film Festival – TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, 8 April 2016
  • “Who is the Real Clive Palmer?” – Vice, 14 April 2016
  • “How Rupert Murdoch’s Dad Turned Gallipoli Into Australian Folklore” – Vice, 25 April 2016
  • “Twenty Years Since Port Arthur and the Fight For Gun Control Isn’t Over” – Vice, 28 April 2016
  • “Why Does Anyone Believe the Port Arthur Massacre Was a Conspiracy?” – Vice, 28 April 2016
  • Talking the new releases of April 2016 (Black Mountain PoetsVictoriaOur Little Sister), looking back at the works of legendary documentary filmmaker Shirley Clarke, and discussing the filmography of Antonia Bird with Sophie Mayer and Kate Hardie – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 30 April 2016

Me-dia: March 2016

Things I did in March 2016:

  • “Here’s What the Royal Commission Has Learned About George Pell” – Vice, 3 March 2016
  • “For Two Refugees Going Home To Iran, Persecution Looks Better Than Peter Dutton” – Vice, 10 March 2016
  • “Here’s Why We Celebrate Labour Day” – Vice, 14 March 2016
  • Screening of short film Cold War at LAWOMENSFEST – Los Angeles Regal Cinema, 25 March 2016
  • Talking the new releases of March 2016 (Anomalisa, The Pearl Button, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), looking at the push to stream new release films into our homes, and discussing the filmography of the Coen Brothers with Sophie Mayer and Martyn Pedler – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 31 March 2016

Me-dia: February 2016

Things I did in February 2016:

  • “Oh God an Article About Bill Shorten, Jesus Why?” – Vice, 1 February 2016
  • “Australia’s High Court Just Ruled Offshore Detention Legal” – Vice, 3 February 2016
  • “The Only Interesting Thing About Turnbull’s Leaked Memo Was That Someone Leaked It” – Vice, 4 February 2016
  • “Can Australia Handle Same-Sex Marriage and Becoming a Republic at the Same Time?” – Vice, 9 February 2016
  • “Should You Be Afraid of Australia’s Rocketing Population?” – Vice, 17 February 2016
  • “Did Australia Just Legalise Marijuana To Avoid Embarrassment?” – Vice, 25 February 2016
  • Talking the new releases of February 2016 (13 Hours, A Bigger Splash, Rams), asking if our feelings of fatigue towards new releases is universal, and discussing the filmography of Max Ophüls with Sophie Mayer and Laura Mulvey – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 31 January 2016
  • Official launch of Night Terrace season two, an audio science fiction comedy series co-created with John Richards, Ben McKenzie, Petra Elliott and David Ashtong


Me-dia: January 2016

Things I did in January 2016:

  • “Christmas Island Wants To Be More Than a Bin For Refugees” – Vice, 20 January 2016
  • “Why the Hell Would Tony Abbott Recontest His Seat?” – Vice, 25 January 2016
  • Talking the new releases of January 2016 (The Hateful Eight, Room, Creed), looking at how we use cinema to mourn our screen icons, and discussing the filmography of John Carpenter with Sophie Mayer and Garth Franklin – Hell Is For Hyphenates, 31 January 2016

The Best Films of 2015


You say “best”. Don’t you mean “favourite”?


Didn’t you used to do fifty films?


And you’ve combined fiction films with documentaries this year. Don’t you usually separate them?


Your approach to release dates seems to be pretty haphazard.


You haven’t included Spotlight, 45 Years, The Big Short or The Hateful Eight, amongst others. What, did you just not see them?


If I disagree with any of your choices, should I leave a comment, then maybe a follow-up via email and social media to make sure you know that I really didn’t like the films you did?

Yes. Continue reading