Rob Idol

Current Affairs Wrap: Harvey secures his legacy, Skydiving accident claims three, Tim Cahill’s questionable gesture

Another week, another questionable set of choices. This week Harvey Weinstein became a verb, friends became past tense, and Tim Cahill (almost) became a a pariah. Almost.

 

 

Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve seen the term “Harveyed” unfortunately coined, another damaging Trump tantrum, tragedy back home and a hero cashing in on his big moment.

 

International

The Harvey Weinstein shit show has rolled on this week, with victims appearing from all corners and creepy old male producers everywhere ducking for cover.

Everyone from Angelina Jolie to Gwyneth Paltrow to Rose McGowan to Kate Beckinsale has now gone public, providing details of Weinstein’s improprieties. With a list now rivaling Bill Cosby, it would take too long to list them all, but the BBC has published a pretty good summation of the players involved – so much so that the experience of being trapped in a confined space with a fat, sweaty man trying to trade favours for “massages” is now referred to as being “Harveyed”.

Weinstein’s wife, designer Georgina Chapman, initially looked to “stand by her man”, however as the list grew, the overwhelming reality set in and she told the world she was leaving her husband of 10 years. Weinstein responded with the well worn “Duchovny” defence, promptly checking himself into rehab for his now apparently diagnosed “sex addiction”.

An email begging for support from his industry colleagues, which Weinstein allegedly penned prior to being fired from his own company, has also been leaked to the media. In it, Weinstein asks his big-wig pals to write him a letter of endorsement to present to the board of his company to attempt to sway them from their expected decision to fire him. No word on whether anyone was stupid enough to put their hand up but Weinstein was promptly fired either way.

As more information comes to light, it does appear that there was nothing secret about Weinsteins antics. Tina Fey’s sitcom, 30 Rock, has been dropping hints for years. Family Guy creator, Seth McFarlane, made reference to it when hosting the Oscars five years ago as he prepared to announce the five nominees for best supporting actress, saying “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein”. McFarlane has since confirmed that the line was very much deliberate, described as a “hard swing” from a “place of loathing and anger” against Weinstein for his treatment of McFarlane’s friend, Jessica Barth.

Whilst the satirical representation of Weinstein in HBO’s Entourage, “Harvey Weingard”, never alluded to the sexual improprieties, it did paint a pretty damning picture which is looking more and more accurate by the day. Hopefully the revelations start a movement towards cleaning up a problem in the entertainment industry that seems to extend well beyond Weinstein.


Also on The Big Smoke


US President Donald Trump has continued his unrelenting path of destruction, this week signing an executive order that critics have described as “ripping apart” the US Health System and a deliberate attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare”.

Trump has been desperately trying to have Obamacare repealed since taking office, primarily as it formed one of his larger campaign promises. However every attempt has failed, including an explosive move from Republican Senator and former Presidential candidate, John McCain, who sided with the Democrats to block the repeal.

Whilst most leaders would accept the failure and move on, Donald Trump isn’t most leaders. Rather than focusing on developing an alternative that might actually pass in Congress and the Senate, he’s decided instead to lampoon the existing system, putting millions of Americans at risk. The executive order signed this week effectively makes it easier for employers to buy “bare-bones” health insurance plans for employees. The result will be more people on health care plans that don’t provide benefits such as maternity and new-born care, prescription drugs as well as mental health and addiction treatment.

Trump has previously taken other steps to undermine the program including allowing employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women under the guise of “religious or moral objections” as well as refusing to commit to billions of dollars’ worth of payments to insurers – guaranteed under the existing system – prompting many insurers to either hike their premiums or exit the individual market.

Anyone else have that one friend that would turn over the Monopoly board and tear up the money if he wasn’t winning?

 

Domestic

Tragedy has struck at Mission Beach, south of Cairns, with a mid-air skydiving collision resulting in the deaths of two men and a woman.

The two male victims were instructors for Skydive Australia; Peter Dawson, 35, and Toby Turner, 34. The female victim, Kerri Pike, 54, was a mother of eight who apparently received the jump as a family gift.

Skydive Australia have reported that both Dawson and Turner were highly experienced and have suspended skydiving operations until investigations are complete.


Also on The Big Smoke


Armstrong Renata, the man who killed 18-year-old water polo player Cole Miller in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in 2016, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Renata plead guilty to a charge of “unlawful striking causing death” after punching Miller in the back of the head in a completely random “one-punch” attack with the most devastating of consequences. Renata’s co-accused, Daniel Maxwell, was given an 18-month sentence for assault and deported back to New Zealand.

Renata has become the second person to be sentenced under Queensland’s one-punch laws. Mr Miller’s father, Steve, told the media outside court that the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence needs to be addressed, saying:

“Until there is a bigger deterrent, I think we’re not going to solve this problem. We have a social problem with violence. And there’s violence, and everyone is affected by it”.

Hopefully Renata’s sentence does exactly that, however I fear that we have barely scratched the surface of this issue. We do have a problem with alcohol fuelled violence in this country and a problem with violence full stop.

 

Wacky and wonderful

The Socceroos faced off against Syria this week in a do-or-die match; failure to win would spell the end of the World Cup campaign for either side.

The game didn’t start well, with Australia conceding in the sixth minute. Seven minutes later, we were rescued by the man that rescues us every single time – Tim Cahill – as he headed home a cross from Mathew Leckie.

Opportunities were aplenty (72% of possession and seven shots on goal) for the Socceroos in the second half but mistake after mistake became increasingly frustrating for the Australian supporters and players alike. While Syria resorted to every time-wasting trick in the book, time ticked down and the game went into extra time.

The drama continued with denied penalties and a Red Card for Syrian player Mahmoud Al-Mawas and the Syrian time wasting continued as they appeared to be convinced that a penalty shootout was their only hope.

With eleven minutes to go in extra time, old man Cahill was clearly sick of what was unfolding around him and decided to settle the matter, expertly heading in a Robbie Kruse cross to score his fiftieth goal for Australia and cement himself as the greatest goal scorer Australia has ever seen at the ripe old age of 37.

In a surprise to those watching, Cahill opted not to celebrate with his famous flag boxing routine at the corner post, but rather with a never before seen “T” symbol with his hands. The distraction was soon forgotten as everyone joined in the celebrations. That was until travel agency, TripADeal, took to Instagram after the match with a photo of Cahill’s celebration along with the caption “Did you catch Tim Cahill, our new brand ambassador, doing the …’T’ after he scored the winning goal last night?”

Surely just an insidious attempt to cash in on Cahill’s irreproachable name? Maybe not, given Cahill himself replied to the post with a series of emojis and later tagged the company in a personal post after the match, celebrating the win.

If it had been in the Premier League, most of us wouldn’t have batted an eyelid; but he was playing for Australia. I don’t know about you but the move seems completely inappropriate while wearing the Green and Gold. It’s hard not to love Timmy Cahill, particularly given we still can’t seem to win a game without him, but some of the hero shine has been dulled this week for me.

That’s it from me TBSers, have a cracking week!

 

Rob Idol

Rob is an aspiring writer who balances his time between a “real” job and his passion for politics, social justice and all things creative. He has an MBA, an unhealthy obsession with current events, an even unhealthier obsession with pop culture and has been known to offer favourable food reviews in exchange for free meals. www.robidol.com.au

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