Less than four years removed from San Antonio, T.X., and I'm already back in a crime-ridden city. That is according to "Underbelly", my new favorite show and a 13-part Australian TV series based on the factual events of the 1995–2004 gangland war in Melbourne. Of course that's what you get when 56.4% of your country's first settlers were convicts: the permittance of crime. Let's hope I make it back to the U.S.
I'm going back to California for Christmas and after last week's events, I am really wondering what kind of U.S. it will be. Will my president-elect be John McCain? Will my Angels be 2008 World Champions? Will I still have a bank account? Only two things I know for certain: 1) our deficit excluding Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and last week's bailout will be a record $482 billion, and 2) Syracuse University will still have the worst college football team in the United States of America.
Now anyone who knows me knows I bleed orange, but the only things to have fared worse than Syracuse football in 2008 are Lehman Brothers, the Chinese milk industry and the U.S. 4x100 relay teams. In fact, Syracuse finally attained the highly-coveted number one ranking in last week's ESPN.com Bottom 10. Mitt Romney, Merrill Lynch and the San Diego Padres have all performed better than Syracuse's football team, and even former presidential hopeful John Edwards, who spent 2008 announcing 1) he was quitting and 2) he had an affair, still had a better 2008 than Syracuse, as at least he won six delegates in the primaries.
We should probably axe Greg Robinson.
Well, I'm finishing up my fourth week in Melbourne and I've already attended my first salsa lesson, second Friday happy hour and third house party. I've also slowly adapted to life in a big agency. Other than timesheets, weekly staff meetings and cubicles, the biggest adjustment thus far is the amount of time devoted to strategic research projects - something smaller agencies rarely have the time or capabilities to accomplish. I'm also slowly figuring out how to talk to the Australian media. Although the editors in Australia are not nearly as cool or as hip as the Editors in England, I've found that the writers and reporters are universally the same.
While good journalists always have an obligation to their employer to write for the target audience, the "good" writers keep an obligation to their profession, their colleagues and their hearts to write for humans. It's a completely different mentality for them. Australians, Americans and non-communists alike want to know about an opportunity to write a piece that gives those without a voice an avenue to be heard. They may need to write summaries, but prefer to write stories. As a PR professional, don't target an editor - target a writer. They're better people. And read the Code.
Back to the other Editors: "An End Has a Start" is absolutely the best 10-song album of 2007. You should give it a listen.
So the Saints of St Kilda were eliminated from the AFL playoffs Saturday, linking St Kilda supporters with the Syracuse football team, college seniors and registered American Democrats, as people looking forward to change in 2009. Next weekend is the AFL Grand Final, Australia's watered-down version of a Super Bowl, and the 27th day in September to drink. I can't wait. Hope everyone has a great week, and please wish my mom a Happy Birthday! Four weeks down, 48 to go.
Week Four Summary
Weather: brolly and cardigan
New observation: My Microsoft Word spellcheck automatically corrects "favorite" and "center" to "favourite" and "centre".
New activity(ies): Australian Trivial Pursuit
New food: chicken quesadilla with Parmesan cheese, Caesar salad with fried eggs
New word(s): snogging
New people: Loud and obnoxious Geelong supporters
What I miss: country music, cheeseburgers, cilantro, diversity, old Facebook, my desk