Saturday 23rd of October 2021

too many wiggles...


wiggles summit

It was supposed to lay the foundation for a huge Free Trade Agreement, but the East Asia Forum has exposed a rift between ASEAN nations over control of the South China Sea, writes Damien Kingsbury.

The recently-concluded East Asia Forum (EAF) has highlighted the contentious role of a growing China in regional affairs.

For an event that was intended primarily to lay the foundation for a huge Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the EAF has been at least as notable for a profound, perhaps fatal, rift in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The proposed East Asia Free Trade Area (FTA), including around a third of the world's global economy, is intended to capitalise on this region's current and projected economic strength.

Note the only woman, on the right...


the view from the engine room...

About the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Australia and China share a strong and rapidly growing trade and economic relationship. Further strengthening and deepening this relationship is a major priority for both countries, with both governments committed to sustaining the impressive trade and investment performance achieved in the past two decades. In that time, China has become Australia’s largest two-way trading partner and vital to Australia’s future economic prosperity.

On 18 April 2005, Australia and China agreed to commence negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following consideration of a joint FTA Feasibility Study. The study was completed in March 2005, and concluded that there would be significant economic benefits for both Australia and China through the negotiation of an FTA.

The negotiations are complex, covering an array of issues, including agricultural tariffs and quotas, manufactured goods, services, temporary entry of people and foreign investment.

wiggle gender bender woke...

The Big Red Car just got a bit crowded with twice as many Wiggles on board.

Key points:
  • There is a new member of the band for each of the four Wiggle colours
  • The band says it is seeking to inspire a 'diverse audience'
  • Anthony Field is the only remaining original Wiggle

The Australian children's band has expanded its line up to eight Wiggles as part of its new YouTube series Fruit Salad TV.

The Wiggles said they were "seeking to inspire a diverse audience with its gender-balanced and diverse cast" and make sure children around the world "see themselves reflected on the screen".

There are four new cast members, one for each Wiggle colour, including three women, two of whom wear pants.

Tsehay Hawkins, 15, is the second red Wiggle. Hawkins was born in Ethiopia and adopted by an Australian family. She is a Latin dance champion.

Evie Ferris, a corps de ballet dancer with the Australian Ballet, is the second blue Wiggle and wears blue ballet shoes.

Ferris, 24, is an Indigenous Australian and first performed with the Wiggles for their song We're All Fruit Salad earlier this year.

Kelly Hamilton, 45, is the second yellow Wiggle alongside the band's first female member Emma.

Hamilton is a Chinese-Australian and will ride her skateboard around Wiggle Town.

The fourth new cast member is second purple Wiggle John Pearce, 30, a former member of the music group Justice Crew.

Hawkins, Ferris, Hamilton and Pearce join the current Wiggles: Lachlan Gillespie (purple), Simon Pryce, (red), Emma Watkins (yellow) and Anthony Field (blue).

Field, 58, is the only remaining original Wiggle — the band formed in 1991.

Fruit Salad TV will debut on September 4 on YouTube and be available worldwide.


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Yes, it's a bit of a fruit salad... It appears that Rod Dreher has been alerted by some religious Aussie about the gender-bending of the wiggling singing bandits (The Wiggles Of Weimar — Shirley Shawn is a unicorn that identifies as non binary)...

... If you don't like the new stuff, just play old episodes on your playback machine... Below a certain age, the kids (and the rocking-chair bound oldies over 80) won't remember. Oh, I realise that very few people have playback videos/DVD players because the new smart TVs don't have the sockets to plug them into. Just reconnect the old dumb TV, you packed up in the shed...  But you can hook your smart TV onto YouTube (for old episodes of Tom and Jerry, Popeye, etc) for free, and Netflix, Vice, Stan, Foxtel, and a quantity of other pay TV channels for a few bux a month... or you can buy (online) an educational model of the Capitol for your kids to build — if global warming prevent them from playing outdoors...


Read from top, when the world had a fraction more sanity...