USA Tag

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Bad Vibrations

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the vibrations in the van began to take hold. I remember saying something like ‘that doesn’t feel right; maybe you should stop driving…’ And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the van came to a screeching halt on the highway, a huge cloud of dust and smoke as it lurched unevenly, an unexpected and unwanted stop, where previously we’d been a hundred miles an hour on the way to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming, ‘Holy Jesus! What goddamn happened?’   It was with this moment, my phrasing appropriated from Hunter S. Thompson, that a road trip across the United States veered into territory appropriate for the great gonzo journalist himself. The journey from Los Angeles to Chicago had begun with a chance meeting online, a stranger on a website looking for a travel companion to...

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08 August
thunder from down under, las vegas, larry emdur, male strip show, australian, morning show
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Chunder From Down Under

Thunder from Down Under, Las Vegas This has got to be the dream of so many guys – more women, money and status than they know what to do with. Move over Celine Dion, Barry Manilow and David Copperfield, because the guys from Thunder From Down Under have taken over Vegas. Sure, it’s a job. But it’s got to be one of the best ones you can get on the strip (bad pun intended). These Aussies spend their days at leisure and their nights performing for hordes of drunk, screaming fans. They’ve been flown to the US, accommodated in one of the top hotels in Vegas and quite literally served up to women dripping with estrogen. At the end of the performance, they can surely have their pick of anyone and anything they want. There’s no doubt that they’ve got talents (other than the obvious). Their routines aren’t easy and they’ve put in years...

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03 August
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Comic-Con 2011

A nerd sanctuary – that might be the best way to describe it. You see, I’ve been musing the best choice of words for an event of this scale. Sure, it’s an epic collection of frenzied fans, awash with elaborate costumes that have been given more care than personal hygiene. It is the ultimate assemblage of all that is pop-culture, with less emphasis on the ‘popular’ part of that phrase. And it is like a comic book of revelations, as media companies from all spectrums unveil their plans for future projects. But I have a problem with descriptions like that. Apart from the fact it sounds like I’m writing a melodrama, it doesn’t get to the heart of what Comic-Con is all about. This is a place for the freaks, the outcasts, and the maligned of society to feel like they belong. It’s a place free of judgement, welcoming in its geeky embrace,...

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29 July
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San Diego Pride March

San Diego Pride March There’s a point every year during Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade that you have to remind yourself what it’s all about. The message the parade is trying to send can seem as confused as the spectators who spend more time staring at the oiled-up dancers than their trophy girlfriends. Amongst the sequins, the feathers, and the leather, it’s easy to forget the origin of the event. In some ways, Sydney’s parade has become a PDA - a public display of affectation. So it was extremely refreshing to see the Pride March in San Diego on the weekend. It was an event for the gay community, embraced by the whole community. It was not a spectator event where the locals came to the street to gawk at the participants – the spectators were as much a part of the action as those on the street. This was a true expression...

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18 July
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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park? You know you’re somewhere special when even your tour guide, who spends her life on these trails, stops to take photographs. This is the magic of Yosemite National Park – every view is different and every view is stunning. Every step you take through the park reveals another vantage point of the natural beauty that surrounds you. The park is massive – over 300,000 hectares (for anyone who actually knows what a hectare is). Or, to put it into perspective for you Australians, it’s the size of the ACT – the whole ACT, not just the bit with the roundabouts and the well-polished government cars. So, yeah, big… and a lot more interesting. Large mountains dominate the skyline of the park. From the ground, they feel like huge walls protecting you in the lush green valleys. From higher points, they seem to roll endlessly towards the horizon. The lower mountains...

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15 July
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Independence Day

What a day of patriotism! So much red, white and blue! Such an overt demonstration of national pride! The 4th of July brings out the best in Americans. And, more importantly, they see the best in America. For many of these people – wheelchair-bound, close to poverty, threatened by the vices of society that tear families apart – there is nothing more sacred than the country which, ironically, seems to have neglected them in their time of need. So, keeping with the spirit of the day, I chose not to focus on domestic policies of the USA. Instead, it was about celebration, so I went to one of the country’s largest 4th of July parades. Oh, that star-spangled banner was yet waving o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave in the city of Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco. Their parade stretches through the city for 3.3...

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05 July
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You got it, dude!

As I sat at breakfast this morning, I pondered one of the timeless questions I quite often like to consider over coffee and toast - "What ever happened to predictability?" I mean, we kind of know what happened to the milkman...

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04 July