Ghosts of Prime Ministers Past

In recent times, we have borne witness to the age of politicians exiting the Parliamentary stage in an unruly and bitter manner. Harboring only malice and contempt for those who put them in positions of power, these individuals put their true nature on full display, often resorting to unwarranted vile attacks on those they should be grateful to. In doing this, they expose themselves as no more than tragic ghosts, hanging around the political scene like a bad smell, attempting to squeeze anything they can out of their political careers in the hope of maintaining even a shred of relevance.

This is the attitude of Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a man who has gone the way of Kevin Rudd, resigning from Parliament after a loss, and using the time since to ruthlessly attack his own colleagues, his own Party, the government that he led. Since his “retirement” from politics, Turnbull has chosen to continue to play politics, popping up every so often to tell Prime Minister Scott Morrison how he should be running the country as if he still considers himself PM. With the poorly timed release of his memoir A Bigger Picture, Turnbull has recently been on the press junket, albeit choosing to appear on media outlets that will not challenge him as such, rather giving him open slather to denigrate his enemies, with the ABC even allowing him to make derogatory and sexist remarks towards political commentator Peta Credlin unchallenged. Rather than going out with his reputation at least somewhat intact, Turnbull has chosen to forego maintaining any dignity whatsoever, tearing to shreds what little humility he had left.

Over the years since Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd left the Parliament after suffering an election loss, he has made it well known that he wishes to remain relevant. He has also made known his utter hatred for the Murdoch owned media, to which there is a sweet irony given Rupert Murdoch himself endorsed Rudd for PM prior to the 2007 election. Rudd has made numerous appearances on various media outlets, in which he has attacked the Murdoch press, the government and the Prime Minister. Most recently, he appeared on Sunrise and once again denounced the Murdoch print media. Additionally, in an editorial written for The Economist, he labelled US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a move which was deserved given the way the WHO have acted throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, a “lunatic decision”. Rudd has also attempted to become the Secretary General of the United Nations, a position he failed to attain due to the Turnbull government’s decision not to nominate him, however has just recently attained a position on the International Monetary Fund external advisory group, again linked with the United Nations, a position which will no doubt fuel his attacks on the government. Rudd’s relentless attacks on those who run this country, and his obsession with the Murdoch media, has resulted in his becoming what we in the political world now refer to as a miserable ghost.

Much like Turnbull and Rudd, former Liberal Opposition Leader John Hewson has also been hanging around the political scene like a miserable ghost. His failure to win the so-entitled “unlosable” election became relevant yet again last year when Bill Shorten suffered the same fate. In recent times, Hewson has strayed from Liberal lines, writing articles and making appearances on the ABC to peddle the climate agenda. In fact, just this week, Hewson penned an article using the current health crisis to push climate change and believing the “science”, something that could be viewed as opportunistic. Like Hewson, both Rudd and Turnbull have also pushed climate change as a major world issue, when there are more pressing matters at hand. All three of these miserable ghosts refuse to go quietly and maintain some dignity, unlike two other former PMs of recent times who have done just that.

If Turnbull, Rudd, and Hewson were to look to anyone for an idea of how they should be acting post-Parliamentary life, they should look no further than former Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. Both these former PMs have gone on to do good after their time in Parliament came to an end. Since leaving office, Julia Gillard has become the Chair of Beyond Blue, using her platform to help those struggling with their mental health, no doubt saving lives through this work. For this, she should be applauded. Tony Abbott has followed a similar path of helping people, continuing what he has done for many years, even while he was still in Parliament, through volunteering as a firefighter. This is something he has done for over fifteen years, and continues to do now, serving his community and saving homes and lives in the process. Like Gillard, he should be applauded for the work he does. Both these former PMs are doing work that paints them in a positive light and garners great respect from the wider community, rather than moping around attacking their former colleagues and those that work hard to keep this great country running.

If anything is to be taken from the actions of former Prime Ministers following their departure from the Federal Parliament, it is that being humble and using your platform to engage in positive work is far more respectable than hanging around the political scene like a miserable old ghost, tragically attempting to haunt those who you think have wronged you. For the latter only carries a single fate: loss of dignity, loss of respect, and a tragic, miserable life.

Why The Australian Restrictions For COVID-19 Are Untenable

If you’ve seen the news anytime since January, chances are you’ve heard about the coronavirus. In fact, it’s been in the news cycle every day since then, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know. The virus, originating in Wuhan, China has spread all over the world, including to Australia. And whilst the Australian response has been fairly decent, it’s not been perfect. In fact, it’s been far from perfect.

Over the weeks & months since the virus hit Australia, we’ve borne witness to both Federal & State Governments taking numerous actions in order to keep the virus at bay as much as possible, & in turn limit the spread. Measures such as business closures, lockdowns, transitions to online education, social distancing, even limits on weddings & funerals, have all been put in place to keep people safe. Police have also ramped up patrols, fining people for even the most insignificant thing as non-essential travel. Yet while these draconian measures are, for the most part, keeping people safe for now, they can only be held in place for so long until people become agitated & a rebellion begins.

The governments of the national cabinet started off decently. I have said time & time again that I have much respect for the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt. He has been put in an unenviable position & has dealt with it gracefully. On the other hand, the NSW State Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, has been nothing short of a disaster. The Ruby Princess debacle still haunts us all, with a criminal investigation now underway. With both the Australian Border Force & NSW Health/the NSW government blaming each other, it’s become quite the drama of the century. Yet no matter who is to blame, this cruise liner has been the major source of the increased number of cases of the virus in Australia.

The more concerning issue however is how quickly & willingly Australians have ceded their rights & civil liberties to their governments. If there is one thing that should be recognized it is this: Governments are quick to take people’s rights away, but are slow to give them back, if at all. As it now stands, we can only go out for ‘essential’ reasons. The problem that arises from that is the term ‘essential’ is entirely subjective. Currently ‘essential’ reasons are those such as shopping for essential items including food, toiletries, medical supplies & the like, & going to work if you’re classified as an essential worker, that is, working in the medical, education & constructions industries, or working in essential stores including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi & fast food outlets. School is also classified as essential, however the vast majority of students have transitioned to online learning.

The problem arises from the interpretation of the rules. As of this point in time, everyone has been put into lockdown. We are all sitting inside our houses, apartments, or what have you, just waiting out the virus. While we’re trapped inside trying not to go insane, our residences slowly turning into our own personal prisons, the economy is collapsing around us. The state we are currently in is not one that is viable for more than a short period of time. Recently, governments have been saying this could last six months, or even so long as twelve, & that we could be in a similar state until a vaccine is found. From what we know of a potential vaccine right now for this virus, there is one that is undergoing human trials which are going to last twelve months. It is likely we will then have to wait a further amount of time for the vaccine to be mass produced, & that it only IF it works. We could be risking utter turmoil for absolutely nothing. And that’s clearly a thought that hasn’t crossed the minds of many.

Even if this potential vaccine was to be a success, twelve months is too long to wait before opening businesses back up. And that’s if there’s any businesses for people to go back to. The longer we wait, the more damage is done. By the time we start reopening things, people may be out of work much more permanently. Tens of thousands of jobs could be lost. We are staring down the barrel of high unemployment rates. And, with the collapse of an economy, be it a recession or even a depression, we unfortunately risk an increase in suicide rates. And that is one thing above all else that is clearly not being very well considered: mental health.

The draconian measures that have been put in place have been extremely detrimental to the mental health of many Australians. People can’t even go for a leisurely drive anymore without being find for ‘non-essential travel’. Police are fining people left, right & centre for some of the most ridiculous things. Many of the utterly outrageous stories are coming out of the Socialist Republic of Victoria, where corruption in the police force runs rampant. A 17 year old learner driver was fined over $1600 for simply learning to drive with her mother by her side. As a learner driver myself, I can imagine how emotionally scarring that would be for a new driver. You’d be wary of going driving again. Then there was the case of police entering a house without a warrant (practically illegal in itself), & fining three young men $1600 each for not complying with social distancing rules due to their playing video games together. And only this week, Victorian Police fined a married couple $1600 each for non-essential travel after the woman posted photographs of a holiday they had taken mid last year on Facebook. What the Victorian Police were doing stalking people’s Facebook pages is anyone’s guess, yet it is extremely questionable, even so much as a violation of privacy. The fines of the learner driver & the married couple have since been withdrawn, justifiable considering how ridiculous they were. If anything, now is the perfect time for learner drivers to get their hours up.

Mental health is just as important as physical health right now. People are cooped up in their homes, some likely on the verge of insanity. People need to be out. We’re social beings by nature. We need to be moving. We need to be out amongst the world. Being trapped in our homes for an extended period of time is only going to be detrimental to our own mental wellbeing. Individuals, particularly those who live alone, are going to be left in the company of their own minds, leaving time for anxieties to fester, & a more permanent feeling of isolation to set in. I mentioned previously that individuals are now being fined for simply going for a leisurely drive. That in itself is entirely preposterous. Going for a drive can be mentally soothing. It allows you to get out of your home, get out of the area you live in, the area you are trapped in, for just a little while, just to escape. Going for a drive on your own, or even just with those you live with, with no intention of getting out of the car until you get home, is not going to harm anyone. It won’t pose any risk whatsoever of spreading the virus. In discussing this point with others, the straw man argument was brought up that going for a drive could result in a car accident, thereby taking medical workers away from dealing with the coronavirus & risking the spread of the virus. This is unlikely to occur. And in any event, it could occur anyway for individuals who are travelling to grocery stores to stock up on essential items. Going for a leisurely drive should be viewed as perfectly fine. As should going fishing alone, sitting & reading on a park bench alone, hell, any activity where you are isolated from others should be permitted. You’re not going to risk spreading or contracting the virus doing anything by yourself. It’s common sense.

As to the police that are moving people on from doing these things, even going so far as to fine them, they themselves are, quite ironically, not complying with social distancing measures by going up to these people. There has also been footage of police attempting to move people on using their vehicles, almost running people over. This is dangerous, unruly behaviour which should not be tolerated by anyone. I can understand that they’re doing their jobs, but there are much better, more sensible ways of going about it all than almost causing harm to someone. What’s more, police have been patrolling with others & having friendly conversations, yet haven’t been the standard 1.5 metres apart. If you’re going to ask others to move on, you should be setting a good example & complying with the social distancing measures yourself. Again, it’s common sense.

Ultimately, we cannot keep the lockdowns in place for an extended period of time, for multiple reasons. First, it would likely be economic suicide. It would be a much better idea to reopen some businesses now, including cafes & restaurants, businesses that have likely been hit the hardest by the shutdowns, & then go into a period of hibernation in the winter. As it’s been shown thus far, the virus has thrived in countries in the Northern Hemisphere due to the cold weather. Down here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have been less greatly affected as we’ve just come out of Summer, typically experiencing much warmer weather. We haven’t yet been struck by the cold, which will show itself in a couple of months. So now is the time to reopen some of these businesses, just so they can survive more than anything & by extensions keep the economy afloat. Then, we can go into another shutdown for the duration of the winter, which is typically our flu season, & reopen again in mid to late September when Spring comes into season. Otherwise, if we just continue to wait, there may be less businesses to go back to.

There is, however, one other more important reason as to why lengthy lockdowns are untenable. This virus thrives in people with suppressed immune systems. Why? Because the immune system is responsible for fighting diseases that enter our bodies, & if the immune system is suppressed, that means our bodies are unable to fight off diseases effectively. Thereby, as a result, we may succumb to a disease that could be fought off by a healthy immune system. As you’ve no doubt seen, many of those who have tragically died with the coronavirus were already battling previously diagnosed medical conditions, or have had suppressed immune systems. That is why it is so important that our immune systems are kept healthy & operational, & to their highest possible standards. This is where the lockdowns come in. Being locked down & socially isolated for a long period of time can weaken our immune systems, thereby making us all more vulnerable to disease. Social isolation has previously been linked to inflammation & higher levels of stress & anxiety, which can in turn weaken the immune system. As mentioned previously, we are social beings. We were not made to be sitting around isolated from each other for lengthy periods of time. It is detrimental to both our mental & physical health, & in the case of a disease like coronavirus, it could ultimately be our downfall.

Yes, the lockdown has done some good. We have managed to flatten the curve, & there are less people being infected. Yet ultimately, the lockdowns are not viable in the long term. In short, they could result in more deaths, particularly if the vaccine does not work, & if a vaccine or a cure are never found. Put it this way, they never found a vaccine for the SARS virus. They’ve been looking for a vaccine, or even a cure, for HIV for decades. Sometimes, vaccines simply do not occur. And in those cases, we are left to our own devices to fight disease. The one thing we may have to rely on is our immune system.

Ultimately, in order to have our best chance of fighting this disease, our immune systems need to be strong. And in order to keep them strong, the heavy lockdowns have to come to an end. Otherwise, it could spell an even larger health crisis. Because what may appear to be working in the short term could be damaging in the long term.

On The Delay Of OneRepublic’s New Album

As some of you would know, I’m a big music lover, & a huge fan of the band OneRepublic. So much so that last year, I went to the NRL Grand Final just to see them play live (I’m not an NRL fan). I have followed this band for years, likely around a decade. I listen to their music pretty much every day. They’ve release four albums since their conception, the last one released over three & a half years ago. So you could imagine my excitement when I heard they would be dropping their 5th album, Human, on May 8.

In the lead up, there was the release of a number of singles. First, “Rescue Me”, then “Somebody To Love”, “Wanted”, “Didn’t I”, & most recently, “Better Days”. All the fans including myself were gearing up for the album release, anticipating new music to get us through this period of isolation thanks to the coronavirus. The band’s lead singer, Ryan Tedder, & a producer he was working with, Tyler Spry, even gave us some snippets of new songs on the album, including my personal favourite “West Coast”. It stuck with me so much so that I’ve been listening to the snippet almost every day in the lead up to the release of the full song upon the album’s release.

But, due to the coronavirus, the album has now been delayed once again, with no apparent release date. Having already been delayed once from November 2019 to May 2020, it’s not great. I understand that this is likely a money/business thing, whereby there’ll be limited promotion of it in terms of touring & promoting the album on talk shows. However I really do question why there would be an issue with releasing it as scheduled, rather than waiting it out for possibly many months, potentially longer, for the pandemic to die down.

Other musicians have released their music as planned. For example, R&B singer The Weeknd released a new album a little over two weeks ago. Pop singer Dua Lipa also released a new album two weeks ago. OneRepublic have built up a fan base of millions worldwide over the years, & so there’s no reason the album wouldn’t be successful if released as planned on May 8. Many have already pre-ordered the album, & there is no doubt it would get an astronomical number of plays on Spotify. They could promote it as they have their new songs through Instagram Live concerts, & through other social media. Everyone has been looking forward to this album’s release so that we had new music to listen to while we’re all stuck in isolation.

In fact, if anything, we need music now more than ever. It’s something that unites us, something that can bring us all together at a time when everyone is separated from each other. It’s something we can share with each other, something we can listen to together, something to connect hundreds of thousands of people all around the world. It’s something that can get us through even the toughest of times, times like the ones we’re traversing now.

Just a few weeks ago, when Ryan Tedder was in quarantine with Tyler & fellow band member Brent, he was asked on one of his livestreams why they chose the name OneRepublic for the band. In answering, he said they wanted to have a name that people from all countries, of all nationalities, speaking all different languages, would be able to know & understand & unite under. Because the name ‘OneRepublic’ is very similar in multiple languages. Now is the time to bring people together. OneRepublic’s music can do that.

I really hope they might reconsider this, or at least release “West Coast” as a single in place of the album’s release next month. It’s a true hit.

Here’s hoping.

Survivor Strategiser – Finale

Well, here we are, the final edition of Survivor Strategiser for this year. All Stars has been one hell of a season. We’ve seen some of the greatest moves of all time & some truly amazing moments. On Monday night, we witnessed the epic finale, with David, Moana & Sharn battling it out to take out the title of Sole Survivor & the half million-dollar prize that goes with it.

The episode began with the Final 3 setting out from camp for one final challenge, each of their stories being shown to us as they progressed. After arriving at the challenge, each of the three were treated to visits from their families, an emotional part of the journey for all of them. It was after their reunions that the challenge began, with their families cheering on from the benches. As is typically the case with Survivor, the final challenge is always the toughest. With everything riding on success in gaining that final individual immunity, everyone has their eyes on the prize & no-one wants to bow out early. The challenge consisted of two pegs on which the contestants would have to stand, with one hand placed on an idol in front of them, & the other holding on to a rope attached to a rock behind them. If your hand came off the idol, or you let go of the rope, or you took a foot off the pegs, you were out of the challenge.

After some time, Moana was the first out, leaving Dave & Sharn to battle it out for final immunity. Both were doing their best to endure the pain, with a number of adjustments along the way. Dave, being the cunning individual that he is, began conversing with Sharn, promising her he would take her to Final 2, & confirming with her that she would do the same. Around two hours in, the rain came in, causing trouble for the remaining castaways, & it was not too long after this that Sharn dropped out, leaving Dave to take back the all important immunity necklace for a third & final time, guaranteeing him a spot in the Final 2, & giving him the all-important decision of who would go with him to that Final Tribal Council.

At the penultimate tribal council, both Sharn & Moana made their final pitches to Dave, who possessed the single vote that would decide who gets to make their pitch to the Jury & who becomes the last member of it. Both pitched that Dave had made them a promise to take them to Final 2. Moana made a slightly stronger pitch in that she would likely be his toughest opponent, & so it would make more sense to take her to put on a show of strength to the Jury. In the end, it was Sharn who would progress, with Moana voted out, becoming the final member of the Jury.

Day 50, & after a reward feast for making it to the end, & a day to construct their pitches & arguments as to why they should be Sole Survivor, David & Sharn headed to the Final Tribal Council. This being Sharn’s second time at the end, she claimed to have learned from her last experience & was ready to take on the Jury all over again. Once the Jury had been brought in, it was time for the show to begin. Sharn was up first, pitching that she was the only player in Survivor history to reach 100 days in the game, & the only player in Australian Survivor history to make it to the end twice. Her pitch consisted of this, & her making moves from the shadows, playing both sides, being a part of both alliances at any one time, & being the swing vote at tribals. The central theme to her whole argument as to why she should win was her so-termed ‘aggressively covert’ game. It wasn’t a particularly strong pitch compared to what Dave served up.

Once Sharn had completed her pitch, it was David’s turn to shine. Dave went through all the moves he made & spoke directly to specific members of the Jury. He revealed himself to be the mole. He spoke about how he obtained two hidden immunity idols & possessed them simultaneously, mentioning how he put Phoebe off the scent of the idol she was looking for in order to obtain it for himself. He brought up how he flushed Brooke’s idol, aligned himself with the two major alliances in the game, had a hand in the eliminations of each of the members of the Jury, his blindsides of Locky, Phoebe & Daisy, & his correct plays of his own idols, going on to add that he never needed an idol to protect himself. Dave revealed his entire game & all the ways he had thought & schemed in order to get to where he was, at the very end. It was one hell of a pitch.

It was then over to the Jury to pose questions. There were a few questions for each of the Final 2, but there were two key moments which blew the Final Tribal up. The first came courtesy of AK. AK’s question was for Sharn, & went back to the tribal that almost went to rocks. AK spoke to how he never wanted to have any regrets in playing this game, however he regretted the decision he made to trust Sharn at that tribal instead of going to rocks. And so, he pulled out a bag containing four rocks; three black, one white. He told Sharn she could either back her game & potentially get his vote, or she could go to rocks & if she pulled the white rock, she would have his vote. After some consideration, Sharn decided to back her own game, not taking a chance on a guaranteed vote.

The second pivotal question came, lo & behold, from Tarzan. Tarzan had not talked much strategy this season, being more of the loyal gentleman type, but it seemed that he was saving it for this moment. Tarzan’s question was directed to Sharn: why did she tell him to vote Moana on the revote at that same tribal council AK had just brought up? Sharn’s answer: it was a strategic move to test his loyalty. Moana, however was not satisfied with that response, knowing that Tarzan had more than proven his loyalty by then. She went on to tell Sharn that she had done nothing on one of the biggest moves she was claiming she made. And with that, the tribal was shaken up.

But it was Dave’s final conversation with the Jury that really hit home. Dave, being the smart, clear thinking player that he is, addressed each member of the Jury personally, thanking them for the game, & appealing to their styles of play & thinking. He went to Brooke’s strength, Shonee’s social game, AK’s numbers game, Tarzan’s loyalty, & so on & so forth, & to the overall friendship he had with each member of the Jury. It was this that really showed Dave to be one of the greatest Survivor players of all time.

 

And so, the Jury voted, this time for a winner. Once the votes were counted & collected by JLP, he continued tradition, thanking everyone, & taking the votes with him to read back in Sydney. As fate would have it, he would end up reading them via satellite from LA thanks to coronavirus. After Osher Gunsberg did the introductions in Sydney & with most of the players, & David & Sharn & their families in attendance (Sharn via satellite as well), it was over to JLP to read the votes. A couple votes for David, then a vote for Sharn. Another two for Dave, making it four to one. And with a fifth, David was crowned the winner of All Stars, taking his rightful place as Sole Survivor. The final vote count, 8-1 for David, a clear & convincing winner.

Analysis

In my analysis of the final episode of All Stars, I want to begin by looking at Dave’s decision in the penultimate tribal. For a few weeks now, I’ve been saying Dave would take Sharn to the Final 2. Even though he knew Sharn wasn’t trustworthy, & wanted to blindside him, he also knew her goal was to get to the end, & so she wasn’t considering the impact her playing of both sides would have. By extension, he’d figured Sharn couldn’t manage the Jury. Thereby, adversely to how he’d taken out revenge on all others who had betrayed him, he wanted to keep Sharn in the game because he knew she was his ticket to win. Dave was always three steps ahead.

Sharn had clearly only ever really thought about getting to the end again, so that she could redeem herself & win the All Stars season. The problem for Sharn was a simple one, Jury Management. When it comes to Survivor, sure you can employ the strategy of playing the middle ground & switching sides, not tying yourself down to one alliance. But there’s a major problem with playing that way. You can never afford to be detected. Sharn was detected back on the Phoebe vote, where she switched her vote at the second round. Dave picked up on it straight away, questioning her about it back at camp. From that point forward, she was detected multiple times, to the point where she basically put it all out there in front of everyone when she begged the Vakama 3 not to go to rocks. The key point is this: you can only play both sides for so long until it blows up in your face. Usually, you’ll end up becoming a mutual target of both sides, & thus an easy vote. In Sharn’s case, she was lucky she wasn’t voted out. However, the fate in store for her could likely be considered much worse. Dave kept her in the game to take her to Final 2, & put her in the unenviable position of placing 2nd again.

Ultimately, the Jury vote was always going to go in David’s favour. He had made major moves, moves which were well-respected by those sitting on the Jury. Those on the Jury, when voted out by Dave’s hand, respected the move. This was what it was all about. This was an All Stars season, so big moves were a must in your resume. Dave was the biggest player in the game, with major moves to his name, & so was bound to win provided he got to the end. In fact, so long as his opponent at Final 2 wasn’t part of the Vakama 5, Dave was guaranteed to win. And it was highly unlikely that a combination of Dave & a Vakama 5 member would be sitting next to each other at Final Tribal, given they each knew the other had a good chance of taking votes from them. So, it was always either going to be Dave or Brooke. There was no scenario in which both of them would sit next to each other at the end. Sharn’s choice to vote Shonee out over Dave did not go down well with the Jury at all. It wasn’t a respected move, likely for two reasons. First, it was a straight up betrayal of her promise to the Vakama 3 at the previous tribal. Second, when she had the chance to blindside Dave with an idol in his pocket, she backed down. That alone would have sealed her fate.

Falling out of favour with the Jury due to that choice, Sharn had already lost. In fact, after Shonee’s elimination, Dave already had enough Jury votes to win the entire game. Going to the Final 9-person Jury however, it was clear where people’s votes were going before the Final Tribal even took place. Zach & Tarzan, being David’s right-hand men, were always going to have his back at the end. AK, Shonee & Brooke had made up their minds from the night Sharn chose to betray them & eliminate Shonee over Dave. By extension, Locky, Harry & Jacqui were always likely to side with the Vakama 3 & David on this vote. Personally, I always thought Moana might be a wild card in the final vote, & that she might vote for Sharn. As it so happened, I was proven right again, with the one vote that Sharn received being Moana’s.

Unfortunately for Sharn, she is now the first player in Australian Survivor history to place 2nd twice, an unenviable position. But she is also the first to last 100 days, which is no mean feat. So all credit to her for using her skills to get to the end twice.

What I really loved about this Season is that a big player in the game, arguably the biggest player, won. Typically, the biggest players are eliminated along the way, being major targets in the game. However, Dave managed to get by, winning individual immunity when he absolutely needed to, & working his magic to just get into people’s heads & use their ways of thinking to his advantage. David managed to make some of the biggest moves this season without becoming the target himself. He engineered alliances & votes that no one saw coming. He became the first player in Australian Survivor history & the seventh player in Survivor history to possess two hidden immunity idols simultaneously. He used players as shields, his alliance members always being targeted before him. And it worked, with only 5 votes counting against him the entire season. His clever manipulation, opportunistic strength, & multiple level forward thinking was a true testament to the ultimate Survivor player that David is. David played this game better than many ever have & ever will. He was the Golden god, & the Idol King. He lived up to the motto of the game: Outwit, Outplay, & Outlast. And in doing so, Dave earned a new title to add to his collection, the ultimate title that any Survivor player plays to earn: Sole Survivor.

Congratulations to David on a stellar season, a game well & truly played, & a well-deserved title.

And so, that’s a wrap on Survivor Strategiser for this year. We were supposed to get another season of Australian Survivor in the second half of this year, however, with the outbreak of the coronavirus, that season has been postponed for now. So stay safe, stay healthy, & here’s to All Stars & its Sole Survivor, David Genat.

Bryan – Repost

It was a fairly warm day in the forest. The trees rustled in the slight wind that was creating a nice soft breeze for all the inhabitants of this dense space of living. This was one of those somewhat rare days in which the sun would come up and spread some warmth through the tall thick of the trees, warming up those who lived in this vast habitat. And one of those individuals was Bryan.

Bryan had lived in the forest for pretty much his entire life so far. His parents had raised him here, he had learnt how to hunt, how to fish, how to swim, how to behave, all the things that came with growing up. Despite the forest being somewhat dreary and a bit of a dull place to live, he didn’t mind it, because it was home, and that’s what really mattered after all.

The only thing that wasn’t the greatest about living in the forest was the somewhat intense fluctuations in the weather. Sometimes it was nice and warm, but at others, in particular in the winter, it was just really cold. In fact, some days it was beyond freezing. It was tough when it was cold, because it was quite difficult to maintain any warmth, most of which was dispelled by the biting winds, and the frosty chill of the night. That was the other thing. It was at night when the forest was at its worst. It was comparable to living in ice, and you’d do anything you could to conserve any shred of heat that was left, to let that heat, that feeling of warmth, spread over yourself so that you could protect yourself from the bone-chilling cold that spread out, possessing the pitch black that surrounded the dense woodlands in their deepest, darkest hours. But realistically, Bryan had no issue with it.

Bryan enjoyed his life. He loved going swimming, particularly on the more heat intensive days of the year, although he wouldn’t stray from a good swim even on some of the more frigid days in the forest. He loved fishing in the rivers that ran through the woods, and the Great Lake that covered a large portion of the centre of the dense thickets. Bryan was particularly jovial when he caught a fish or maybe even a few. He would be particularly pleased with his catches, even the smallest ones, consuming anything he caught.

Hunting was, however, what Bryan enjoyed most about his life. He loved hunting. There was something about the thrill of searching and chasing that made life so much more enjoyable. Wandering through his own homeland, his own neck of the woods per say, scavenging for something to kill and eat. It could be a deer, or a moose. Sometimes he would be quiet and sneak up on his prey, others he would go all guns blazing chasing after it to kill it. Although stealth was often favoured over brazen charging. But his parents, particularly his father, had taught him well, and he had killed many a deer in his time. He really did enjoy venison. It was one of the finest meats in his opinion. It was always a special treat for Bryan when he managed to successfully hunt and kill a deer, and he really did enjoy the meal he had shortly afterwards. But on from that.

This particular day, Bryan had been walking through the woods, his homeland, when he picked up a strange sound in the distance. He was currently on a hunt, and thought it may be a stray deer wandering through the forest. It would make his day if he could track it and successfully locate and kill it. He decided to be stealthy, and tread carefully through the thickets so as to not scare off this potential catch. He needed to be cautious that the deer, if it even was a deer, did not hear him coming and run away before he reached it. It would be a terrible shame if he was to lose out to a special meal of venison tonight. He thoroughly enjoyed it when the meat reached his mouth, and it really satisfied his hunger come meal time. So it would be a very special day if he could succeed in this mission now.

Continuing on his way, tracking his hunt through the woods, Bryan finally came to somewhat of a clearing, where he sighted a deer standing rigid directly across from his own position. He made sure to tread very carefully now, making sure not to alert the deer to his presence. He was hidden just behind a few bushes, so he was out of sight, invisible to the deer that was grazing in the forest green across the way. He was so close now, so close to a successful hunt. He made a decision, and began to move slowly and quietly, edging silently through the trees and the bushes, on his way to achieving yet another kill, and bringing home with him a delectable meal. He was now in prime position, in a bush just behind where the deer was. He could see it clearly now, with its head down in the lush green grass of the forest. This was when Bryan was in his element, heart racing, adrenaline pumping around his body, the thrill of the hunt taking him over, possessing him. He was filled with excitement at this moment, ready to make the kill. But then, almost out of nowhere, he heard a loud bang, his head jerking around to try to detect where it came from. Unable to ascertain its location, Bryan returned his vision to the deer to find it lying on the soft grass, bright red blood trickling from its side into the blades of grass it had fallen onto. Bryan couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His hunt had been plucked from his own hands just as he had been about to take his opportunity. He had now lost that, the deer lying dead with a bullet in its side, and so he decided to wait until the bullet’s owner came forward before he made any sudden move, lest he take a bullet himself attempting to take the deer before its killer arrived.

He stayed hidden in the bushes, and saw someone appear in the distance, coming forward to claim their kill, to take the deer away, probably to have a spectacular meal of venison themselves. He watched and waited, saw the killer getting closer, rifle slung over his shoulder, the gun now behind him, resting on his back. Bryan took a moment to consider who this man was, why he was here. He now turned his attention back to the man, saw he was now standing over the deer. He had pulled some ropes out of a bag he had been carrying with him, ready to tie the deer up so he could drag it along with him better. As he bent and began threading and tying the ropes, Bryan decided to take his opportunity to take this meal from the unidentified man. So Bryan walked out of the bushes he had been hiding in for the last few minutes, and made his way over to the deer and the man. The man noticed him coming and a look of deep, immense fear presented itself on his face. He dropped the ropes and began to fumble for his hunting rifle, but Bryan was already close, close enough to at least swat the hunting rifle far away from him. Bryan took a moment to look the man up and down, considering what he was about to do. But this was for a meal of succulent venison, and he wasn’t about to allow this man to pry his food away from him. So Bryan, being unrelenting in his nature, and doing what his father had taught him to do in these situations, pounced onto the man and began attacking him, leaving him lying lifeless on the soft, dewy emerald grass. Then he turned and grabbed the deer, dragging it away with him out of the clearing and all the way back to his neck of the woods. Why, you may ask? Because Bryan wasn’t an innocent human being. Bryan was a bear, and that’s what bears do.