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Australia blamed for bin Laden panto appearance

Inability to follow a story by reason of anger, part 73

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FoTW Something of a rarity: a double flame. Well, one is a flame, the other is just another example of how to mis-understand an article. Still. Onwards:

We featured news this week that a caricature of Osama bin Laden made himself rather unpopular when he burst into a rendition of Frank Sinatra's New York, New York during a panto in New Zealand. We wrote:

The musical Ozzie appeared at the end of the Southern Stars Charitable Trust's version of Aladdin, provoking one parent to complain to the Trust that his inclusion was "callous", and a "calculated political statement".

When we said "musical Ozzie", we were of course, referring to the singing Osama character, something we thought was pretty obvious. Apparently not.

One reader rather politely enquired:

Dear Sir,

I don't understand your article's reference to a "musical Ozzie". While Australians are doubtless responsible for much that is offensive and vaguely related to music - Kylie Minogue, for instance - I'm not sure why you are blaming them for this one.

- Donald Neal

Psst: Ozzie, not Aussie.

While another wrote, rather more rudely:

Quick correction- if the play took place in NZ then the bin Laden character was most certainly NOT played by one of those criminals from across the ditch- Australians, also known as Aussies or Ozzies for those who forget the rest of the syllables. I don't know if you're American or English, but if you're English the least you could do is to remember your former colonies separately.

And if you're American, odds are that you voted for Bush in which case you're a certified moron and I wouldn't expect you to distinguish between Australia, New Zealand or 'the rest of the world' for that matter either.

Cheers

M Hyde

Dear, oh dear, oh dear. It isn't even as if we mentioned Australians at all. Anywhere in the article. Perhaps there is something we can do to help you distinguish between a caricature of a Saudi radical, and a nation of sporting overachievers? ®

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