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Things I hate most about The Sunday Age (and something I like)

April 5, 2009

Buying the weekend newspapers is nothing more than a habit for me now that the “news” is available online.  It’s a habit I just can’t seem to break, even though they aggravate more than they enlighten me.  The Sunday Age is the worst culprit, with its supplements that skew nauseatingly to the “women’s magazines” end of the market. Usually, I flip through the “Life” and the “M” and rant to my partner.  With him away, I’m reduced to this.  Blogging a whinge.

So, what are the things I hate most?

“Street Seen”

In this column, Arsineh Houspian photographs and interviews a random person about their fashion choices.  I’m not quite sure why.  The profiled person usually comes off as such a narcissistic prat that the column seems to be nothing more than an act of deliberate cruelty.  In this weeks profile, Marlene Digby (54) completes the “When I was a kid” sentence with:

I loved dressing up in high heel shoes and trying to look like Ivana Trump.

Ivana Trump is 6 years older than Ms Digby, didn’t marry The Donald until Ms Digby was 23 and was unlikely to be on the fashion radar out here until our fashionista was her late 20s.  If The Sunday Age was interested in people’s stories in any way other than to cheaply fill a supplement, they’d give their interview subjects the benefit of a little editing. Are there any subbies left at Fairfax?

“Ask the Stylist”

I have to assume that the letters to “stylist” Sophie Hexter are all faked.  I also like to believe that “Sophie Hexter” is a dadaist performance by a freegan philosopher.  If 1. the letters are real and 2. Sophie’s advice is genuine, then there is a greater concentration of vacuous morons in this city than I’d previously believed.

“Sophie” does seem to have toned down some of her advice recently, perhaps in an attempt to avoid the lynch mobs when the revolution comes, however she still managed to include a $1550 Hermes notebook and $3700 Longines watch in her response to this query:

My husband just got promoted into a very public and important job.  What should I wear when I attend events with him?  He is also shorter than me.  Should I ditch the heels when we try to present a united front?

Sophie did advise flats, which was particularly stupid advice.  This little man probably got his “very public and important” job due to a lifetime of overcompensation for his short stature, and if his wife takes that sense of physical inferiority from him, he might lose all motivation and crumble into nothing.

“The Culture Tracker… Where we’re at this week”

Should be titled “where most of the internet savvy world was at a few weeks ago”.  Really, Culture Tracker?  There’s a “buzz” around Dollhouse? Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” films are “pre-buzz”? Tell us more!

“Shop Talk”

I seem to think that when this first appeared, it featured small boutiques and was, therefore, quite an interesting idea.  I didn’t think the supply of independent fashion retailers could have been exhausted so quickly – just to get through Brunswick Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Chapel Street would surely take a year or so.  Anyway, for whatever reason, chains have poked their heads into recent weeks, which smacks of recycling media releases.  Of course, to maintain the fiction of “shop talk”, the reporter focuses on a particular branch of a major retailer, for example, the Collins Street Cue.  Edgy!

There was no “Shop Talk” this week, so fingers crossed that it’s been scrapped.


More internet trawling dressed up as magazine content.


Are you a celebrity who was once famous?  Do you have something new to shill, but can’t afford to take out any advertising?  Contact the folks at Rewind.  They’ll be happy to puff your former career and then promote your current project.  What’ve you got to lose?

Two things I dislike about this week’s supplements


The photo of Nick Frost is uncredited, so it probably came from his agent, but REALLY?  I skipped straight past this when I read the section, because I thought “there’s somebody I’ve never seen or heard of”.  I only found it again when flipping through to write this.  It looks nothing like Nick Frost!

The Serve

How can you write about “Tutto Bene” and not mention the Risotto Al Presidente?

One thing I’ll miss when I stop buying The Sunday Age

Overheard, by Oslo Davis.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 10, 2009 10:28 pm

    “Sophie did advise flats, which was particularly stupid advice. This little man probably got his “very public and important” job due to a lifetime of overcompensation for his short stature, and if his wife takes that sense of physical inferiority from him, he might lose all motivation and crumble into nothing.”

    Hilarious I could not stop laughing.

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