Trucks on the Great Western Highway from Sydney to Adelaide, New South Wales, Australia

The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

Maria Slade: Transport’s dirty little secret: The truckers breaking the law just to survive

“Aside from getting out of the truck to load and unload 100kg pallets of bread the driver did not stop from 10.30pm, when George met him at the truck depot, until 9.30 the next morning – not to eat or drink, nor go to the bathroom. ‘They don’t drink anything because they don’t have time to stop and go to the toilet,’ she says.

‘I was feeling really nauseous and unwell, because I can’t go that long without water and without stopping.’

When the driver finally finished at 2pm he was going home to complete paperwork and prepare to do it all again that night.'”

Anonymous: What you see when it’s your job to open a woman MP’s Facebook messages

“’Hey, what are you up to tonight?’

‘Is that your boyfriend?’

It’s 9.37pm and I assume my MP has had the gall to go out in public, as these messages have just appeared in her Facebook inbox. Surprise, surprise: It’s from a man.

I’m a little worried, so I let her know that she’s under surveillance by a presumably creepy dude.

‘Bitch’

It’s 9.50pm.”

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Sofie Rose: The doctor will not see you now: why resident doctors are striking for safety

“I have been a doctor for seven weeks. I have been at work today for over 17 hours. I am on day seven of a ten day stretch; I worked a 15-hour day yesterday, and another earlier in the week. My ‘usual’ eight hour days are hardly ever only eight hours. I will breach the ‘eight-hour sleep’ rule written into our contract, as I am due back at the hospital at 7am. My name is Dr Sofie Rose, and this is my new life as a resident medical officer (RMO).”

Madeleine Chapman: Please stop being mean to us, boy in the Bunnings Warehouse hat

“Kia ora Sir,

My name is Madeleine Chapman and I’m here to negotiate on behalf of the New Zealand government and its citizens. You can tell me your name if you wish, but please don’t feel that you have to. I’m speaking to you because you appear to be the leader of your group. I’m not here to demand anything of you just yet, I’m simply here to listen.

First, here’s what I understand so far, correct me if I’m wrong about any of the events or facts.”

Alex Casey: The Casketeers continues to be the perfect New Zealand show

“Francis has had gastric sleeve surgery since we last saw him, and his colleague Scottie has shed the pounds as well. As co-workers do, there’s the inevitable, charmingly mundane chat about what everyone is eating for lunch. ‘This salad needs a prayer and… it needs mayonnaise,’ Francis remarks of his new healthy diet plan. Relatable.

Beyond being a work of organic comedy genius, The Casketeers is also extremely educational without ever feeling like a 101 lecture in death and dying across different cultures. ‘Winter is a busy time for funeral homes,’ Francis explains at the beginning of the episode, casually inferring a crushing truth that more elderly people die in the colder temperatures. Later, they navigate the delicate procedure of internment – relocating the remains of a WW1 veteran. It’s a fascinating, enthralling process, frank without ever teetering into macabre or exploitative.”

The cast of The Big Bang Theory are loveable assholes – but how loveable are they actually?

Catherine Hart: The Big Bang Theory is a parade of lovable assholes – and I’m over it

“I’m sick of watching male ‘lovable’ assholes on our screens. They’re everywhere and I’m over it.

These lovable assholes treat those around them with constant disrespect, making jokes aimed at minorities, blaming others for their own mistakes and using people for their own gain. But they do it with flair, confidence and a pretty face, so who cares, right?

One of the worst perpetrators of the lovable asshole trope is The Big Bang Theory, one of the biggest TV series ever produced. Worldwide, it averages 18 million viewers per episode; it’s currently in its twelfth and final season. For such a commercial hit it is maddening that it contains at least four of these lovable assholes.”

The Spinoff: 2019 is our year of being grown-up about money. We mean it this time

Four Spinoff writers share their New Year financial resolutions and some tips on how to actually make them happen this time.

Keith Locke: Spy chief’s apology to me reveals scandalous truth about the SIS

The revelation in 2009 that Green MP Keith Locke had been spied on since age 11 caused an uproar and prompted an inquiry into SIS surveillance. Now, he writes, the SIS has been forced to apologise for calling him ‘a threat’ in internal documents.


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