Squiz Today / 29 September 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 29 September
"I’m the boy who dreamed the dream.”
… Hugh Hefner once said. The Playboy publisher died on Wednesday aged 91. Visionary, exploitative, genius, vulgar - ‘Hef’ was called everything under the sun since printing the first edition of Playboy in 1953. A player to the end, he will be interred at Westwood Memorial Park in LA next to Marilyn Monroe.
DRUG USE SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS MENTAL HEALTH LINK
The prevalence of mental illness among illicit drug users, particularly users of methamphetamines, is becoming more common. That’s according to new data from Oz’s biggest drug use survey released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Ice is said to be the biggest problem with more than 40% of users being treated or diagnosed with mental health problems in the 12 months before the 2016 survey. Looking more broadly across all illicit drug users, 27% were diagnosed or treated for mental illness, up from 21% in 2017.
WHAT’S BEHIND THE INCREASE IN MENTAL ILLNESS?
Experts say more people are using ice and they’re using it more frequently. And with mental illness starting to be better understood in the community, more people are willing to own up to it. But the report cautions; ‘Drug use is a complex issue, and it’s difficult to determine to what degree drug use causes mental health problems, and to what degree mental health problems give rise to drug use’. It’s the ole chicken-and-egg dilemma…
WHAT ELSE DID THE REPORT FIND?
In a snapshot of those surveyed aged 14yo and older:
• 10% of drinkers admitted to driving a vehicle while under the influence of booze, down from 14.3% in 2007 (but still…).
• Fewer of us are drinking daily (just 5.9%) and 23% said they had not consumed a full serve of alcohol in the previous year.
• 1 in 8 smoke tobacco daily.
• Gay, lesbian or bisexual people reported higher rates of illicit drug use.
• 85% of Aussies support the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions.
SQUIZ THE REST
NRL GRAND FINAL ENTERTAINMENT SPARKS CONTROVERSY
The furore over the halftime entertainment at the NRL final hit a shrill note yesterday. American artist Macklemore is scheduled to perform his “gay anthem” Same Love, and some same-sex marriage ‘No’ campaigners aren’t happy. Thank goodness Meatloaf isn’t seeking to make amends for his disastrous 2011 AFL performance. Imagine the confusion a performance of I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) would cause right now… (PS fast-forward to the 5:30 mark to witness the full horror – it’s enough to make you cry like former President Barack Obama.)
BELLE GIBSON FINED FOR MISLEADING CONDUCT
‘Wellness’ blogger Belle Gibson will have to pay a $410,000 penalty for her misleading and deceptive conduct. You’d remember she built a business off the back of claims she cured her brain cancer with green smoothies and the like which we now know was a load of phooey. Mortimer noted Gibson did not turn up for any of the court hearings. "She has chosen not to explain her conduct. She has chosen not to apologise for it," she said.
FINANCIAL STRESS OVER MORTGAGES, BUT STRONG PRICE GAINS FOR OWNERS
Ok. The bad news is a new report on financial stress says 30,000 households are at risk of defaulting on mortgage payments because they’re up to their eyeballs in debt and their pay packets haven’t budged in a while. This underscores what the Reserve Bank has been saying for a while: it’s worried about how vulnerable we are to shocks in the economy. But the good news is that almost 40% of homes are worth more than double what owners paid for them. Ka-ching! Some areas went backwards (ahem WA, Darwin and regional Queensland), but most other spots will benefit from strong value gains of recent years when it comes time to sell. May the odds be ever in your favour.
FACEBOOK FACES UP TO RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING
Tweeting yesterday that Facebook was “anti-Trump”, US President Donald Trump drew a denial from founder Mark Zuckerberg. There’s a bit of a backstory to this, but long story short, Zuckerberg has had to revise his initial scepticism about accusations the Russians meddled in the US election via Facebook – which he labelled “crazy”. Even Obama pulled him aside to tell him it was probably true. A few months down the track, Zuckerberg has acknowledged he shouldn’t have been so flippant about the concerns. Facebook will soon hand over 3,000 ads to the US investigators who are looking into the matter. Interesting days indeed.
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS HAS BREAST CANCER
She announced it to fans via Twitter. Saying she was thankful for the access to care through her union insurance, Louis-Dreyfus called for universal health care - something she has spoken about in the past. Last week she won her sixth Emmy for her role in Veepand broke the record for the most Emmys won by a performer for the same role.
FOOTY GRAND FINALS
AFL WITH AIDO - After a lacklustre AFL finals series, grand final day has a spirit of vibrant expectancy. We can expect almost 100,000 fans at the MCG on Saturday to watch the Adelaide Crows take on the Richmond Tigers. These two teams have experienced a long AFL flag droughts: Adelaide last competing for the flag in 1998, while Richmond has been waiting 35 years. Not one player in either side has played in a grand final. Tigers fans will be hoping for Brownlow Medalist Dustin Martin to spearhead a fairytale ending to their year, but they face an imposing opponent in the Crows, who finished top of the ladder. Richmond have momentum and their Tiger Army of fans, whilst Adelaide are hoping their strong forward and back lines will prevail on the day. The Crows go in as favourites, but the Tigers may just get over the line.
NRL WITH GIBBO – There’s been a lot of gossip in the lead up to Sunday’s grand final. Whether it be the bad-boy redemption of Jesse Bromwich, Billy Slater’s rehab after career-ending surgery, or the ongoing conspiracy around the NRL not wanting the Cowboys to win - it’s all good fodder for the build up to the weekend. I’m picking a Storm win because they just have too much firepower. But I’ll be barracking hard for the North Queensland Cowboys. I’d love a fairy tale ending to this season and let’s face it, there’s a lot to like about the North Queenslanders' laid back approach! I’m also hoping the loss of an hour’s sleep doesn’t disrupt the boys too much…
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Have you ever heard of MasterClass? We learned about it this week when we saw a plug for a writing course with author Judy Bloom. Basically for $120 you get access to 20 odd x 10-minute video ‘classes’ from people like Annie Leibovitz (photography), Dr Jane Goodall (conservation) and Kevin Spacey (acting). It’s a bit exey but we’ve wasted money on far less. And the teaser with Aaron Sorkin crafting season 5 of The West Wing (he bowed out after season 4) will be tempting when we’re cash flow positive again.
Confession time – we really like home improvement shows like Selling Houses Australia and we’ve recently become addicted to Fixer Upper with Joanna and Chip Gaines. So this look at the dark side of these sorts of programs gave us an interesting counterfactual. Worth a read if you too are weirdly soothed by the format.
So it’s without any sense of irony whatsoever that we include this feature from one of our favourite blogs – The Design Files – of an incredible garden in Melbourne’s Eaglemont. We can totally see ourselves there on a warm summer night with a glass of bubbles in hand. Cheers.
SQUIZ THE DAY
29-30 September - Yom Kippur (Jewish day of atonement)
AFL Grand Final Public Holiday in Victoria
Deni Ute Muster - Deniliquin, NSW
2.30pm (AEST) - AFL Grand Final - Richmond Tigers v Adelaide Crows - MCG, Melbourne
1.05am (AEST) - Wallabies v South Africa - Bloemfontein
2.00am - AUSTRALIAN EASTERN DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BEGINS, PUT YOUR CLOCK FORWARD
7.30pm (AEST) - NRL Grand FInal - Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys - ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Public Holiday - NSW, SA, ACT (Labour Day), Queensland (Queen's Birthday)
We're taking the day too - see you next Tuesday...
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