the modern thinker modern insights in a world going backwards


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.


And we’re back

It's been a long time since I've brought some knowledge to you and a lot has happened in that time.

When I was last writing, I was quite depressed at the cynicism of the Howard government and the inability of so many people to be able to see through the obvious deceptions and still be talking up the fear of an ALP government in regard to fiscal responsibility. The polls were all looking favourable and it didn't look like the Libs could possibly come through but we'd seen that before and they still pull it off.

When Beazley told us, "I. Want. The Job.", it looked like a lay down misère until the Tampa showed up and even fairly rational papers, like The Age, published 3/4 page photos on the front page, of an aerial view of the un-Christian invaders, praying on the deck to their savage god. At that point, Howard began to play on the racism that he'd been fostering in the populace since, rather than shutting down Pauline Hanson when she started with her xenophobic, uneducated rants, he didn't explicitly state that racism is bad and actually applauded the prospect of not having to care about political correctness in the public realm. If our politicians don't need to worry about being sensitive when dealing with the sly, slitty-eyed Asians, the godless towelheads or the unvaryingly alcoholic and abusive Abos then why should any normal white person living in the suburbs worry about it either?

If that weren't enough, by the time election day had come, on November 10, 2001, more of those brown infidels had launched an attack on the entire free world by flying planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the US and there's no way anyone would take the risk of an untested government on the brink of a world war.

Personally, I don't think Beazley was ever a realistic prospect for Prime Minister. It was only that the Howard government had made such a mess of things up to Tampa that they were set to lose government regardless of who the alternative was - even the proverbial drover's dog. That line from Beazley - "I. Want. The Job." - during the debate pre-Tampa, still makes me cringe. It wasn't a line that he owned - it was a line of spin, of marketing, that he'd been very consciously fed by the backroom spinmeisters of the ALP that seemed to have complete control over how that election campaign was run.

Beazley couldn't sell the lines that he was fed and he looked embarrassed delivering them. But then, he looked embarrassed or uncomfortable quite often when he was leader. On top of not being a strong personality and having a couple of recurrent health problems, he was too much of a teddy bear. Look at him there, in that picture. He's towering over Howard and Ray Martin. It gives him a definite natural advantage as a party leader - Malcolm Fraser was a tall party leader, Gough Whitlam was a tall party leader - but Kim could never capitulate on that natural advantage because of the way that he held himself and because, regardless of how much weight he lost in the lead-up to that election, he always looked like a big, cuddly teddy bear.

I suspect it is an issue that Joe Hockey will come up against if he ever becomes leader of the Liberal Party. As much of a head-kicker as he may be in his actions, he still has that big, round neck that comes out to meet the bottom of where his chin should be, with the Droopy Dog speech type where he doesn't really move his lips enough to be clipped in his enunciation because his lips are such great slug-like sausages of flesh, and the perceived inches of soft flab all over his body that infer the cuddly bear body that doesn't lend itself to being a strong leader. I've never seen Joe Hockey in real life and I've not taken the time to observe how he stacks up, height wise, against the other members of the opposition but we have many opportunities to see him on camera, as a regular on breakfast TV and political interviews, and, with the framing and the tendency of the camera to add weight, comes across as someone that can't really be taken seriously.

In the run-up to the next election, with Mark Latham as leader, the ALP seemed to have taken the next generational step and instilled the party with new blood and a new energy. Surely the factional power brokers that installed Latham into the leadership position should have known that 1) Latham had a history of violence that was undeniable, well documented and would inevitably become an issue that the Libs would be able to exploit and 2) he was still prone to anger management issues and that those issues would likely be brought out in the undisciplined Latham under the pressure of leading a federal election campaign. For those deal makers to put Latham in that role, surely, was an act of gross stupidity and, if we're following the trail back, they're the source of an additional term of damaging Howard rule.

By the time election day came around - in fact, probably two days before that - Latham's attitude had wasted another strong lead in the polls over Howard and thrown the election away. It wasn't until the day after that loss that I saw the footage of the infamous handshake at the Sydney radio station, which was an act of physical aggression - you could almost call it assault - against Howard, shaking him around like a frail little rag doll and standing over him, asking threateningly, "You right?", while the cameras of the nation's media snapped and rolled tape. Political views aside, Howard was like the shrinking little grandfather that was likely to break a hip if he sneezed too hard. What a fucking idiotic cunt. And then to virtually go into hiding, not even communicating with fellow party members - people he'd supposedly been on the frontlines with in the trenches of the election battle - before addressing the media at an anonymous suburban park to announce his resignation over a very convenient malady. It was barely a surprise that he then started to act like a bitter spoilt brat, attacking everyone else in the ALP and insisting that the election loss was all their fault and he wasn't responsible at all. The only thing notable about the publication of his 'diaries', full of vitriol about how everyone else had it in for him, was that any publisher would bother to take it on and expect to make any profit out of it.

All I'm saying is that as large as the polls were saying the lead of the ALP going into the 2007 election was, you could never fully trust that they would translate into the actual election result.

Now it's 2009 and we've seen off Howard but things aren't so different in too many ways. What was traditionally the left of the political spectrum has shifted to the right of centre and there is no alternative for a those of us who retain some humanity and didn't get sucked into the promises of 12 years of Howard.

I hope I can clarify what's really going on behind the spin for you in future posts - in this post-Howard era and on the first 9/11 since Bush left office - and that you'll come with me on a journey of enlightenment.

After changing web servers and not having the sub-domain or blog up on my friend's server since late last year, there has just been too much that needs to be said and too much education that is crying out to be shared. So much of it seems so obvious but I think there's been too much self-involvement from too many people and we, as a nation, as the first world, have forgotten how to see anyone else around us. That's why I've resurrected the blog and will be looking to foster as much discussion and participation as I can.


Again? Hang about

AN academic hired by the NRL to educate rugby league players about women has sin-binned the Liberal Party over comments by Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey.

Mr Hockey said yesterday that his Labor counterpart Julia Gillard was popular because she had a high-media profile - "I'm not as pretty as Julia Gillard, obviously," Mr Hockey told reporters.

His comments came just weeks after Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan was forced to apologise to Ms Gillard for suggesting her childlessness made her less fit to lead the nation.

More moronic commentary from Joe Hockey. You've got to ask why he's doing it...

Is it just me that sees a strange coincidence between this and Wilson Tuckey coming out and saying that it's not too late to change leaders?

Watch this space for further developments.