A Message to My Fellow Australians


There’s been a lot of indignation at the international response to the Jackson Jive act on Red Faces on the second reunion show of Hey Hey It’s Saturday. So many Australians have been outraged that we should be told that an act on national TV in classic “black-face” make-up is somehow racist. Many have tried to make the argument of double standards or some sort of contradiction because of characters in Tropic thunder or Saturday Night Live. The whole Robert Downey Jnr/Harry Connick – southern minister defence is a furphy because both of those characters are made up to look legitimately like black people.

The boot polish on the face and the afro shock-wigs are classic tools of oppression of African American people, used to mock and belittle the black people by depicting them as obvious objects of ridicule. None of the Jackson 5 were ever black black – they were only ever brown – and they never had great big clumps of hair standing bolt upright.

The guys clearly had a budget for the act, given the startlingly bright matching white suits they wore, if they’d simply got some proper brown make-up and fine afro wigs – even if they were 5 feet across – none of this would have been an issue. The fact that the people at Hey Hey had years and years of acts to choose from and chose that act shows that they have no better understanding of what is offensive now than they did 10 years ago when they got axed, or 20 or 30 years ago. It had always been a bit of an anachronistic embarrassment but, this time, they had someone on the spot who knew about the specific sensitivities and had the international clout to receive an immediate on-air apology.

And the idiots who are signing up for the Facebook group saying that Harry Connick is a PC idiot and just a spoilsport obviously have no idea of the outside world and the death sentence he would have been handing his career if he’d said nothing. Silence is, after all, just to tacitly support what had gone on.

Being a renowned control freak on everything he does – whether or not he actually has a producer’s role – Daryl is the ultimate arbiter on the show and the one who must end up taking responsibility for it.

There are good people that work on Hey Hey, people that can create entertainment from content that doesn’t require someone to be made to look like a fool, and if it wasn’t for them there’s no possible way I could go near the show. Daryl obviously follows the age old credo of surrounding yourself with talented people to make yourself look good but he stills comes across as the perverted uncle that smells of BO and stale beer who is going to try to finger your teenage niece as soon as he gets the opportunity. Unless they have living legend status, any women on the show are only going to be on because they look pretty and if they’re a bit dim as well all the better because then we can all make jokes about them. There should have been a drinking game where you had to skull whenever Daryl made a comment about the most recently arrived beautiful/lovely/pretty/etc girl.

Having said that, Livinia Nixon has dived in my esteem since the second show, with her lack of knowledge of comic setups, talking over people on camera and sucking any creative oxygen out of the room by being critical of someone taking a chance such as saying “Wot cheeses me off is that” while pointing at the band who had gone for a bit in the intro.

But back to the point… Yes, you all are racist motheruckers – just as racist now as you were when you went to Cronulla to go Lebo-bashing – cheered on by Alan Jones, who should personally know a thing or two about bigotry – just as racist as when you thought it was a good thing when John Howard said he was glad that politicians were able to speak without having to consider political correctness, which was his only response to Pauline Hanson declaring in her maiden speech that Australia was being taken over by the Asians and brown people and the Abos were unpleasant to look at, you’re just as racist as when you bought the Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson album because you pissed yourself at the song with the Abo getting more money on the dole and from benefits than Alan Bond in his prime, and you’re all just as racist as when you laughed at the joke about the bloke driving through the outback, opening his door to knock down boongs, picking up the priest, almost knocking down the next boong only to have the priest say it was OK because he got him with his door.

I’d thought there might be some hope with the acknowledgment of the inhumane way this country treats asylum seekers and the apology to indigenous people but it seems I’m surrounded by inbred hick yokels who want to have a whinge about being expected to reach a civilised international standard for the treatment of fellow human beings. As much as I’ll be tarred with your brush, I kinda hope there’s an international characterisation of Australians as some backwoods, hillbilly type, ostracised by everyone else in the world so you can experience just what it’s like and maybe gain some understanding about what’s going on here.

Youse can all go and get fucked, ya cunts.

  • October 11, 2009