SMELLY TONGUES

Beyond the soft palate

Category: AMERICAN POLITICS

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Jeff Bliss, an American student from Duncanville High in Texas, unloads on his “teacher” for being slack …

 

This young man, I feel, would make quite the brilliant teacher himself. And his delivery is perfect. A little James Franco, a little Crispin Glover.

What’s not to like?

Four stars, Margaret.

On another subject entirely, this piece from former Liberal Party member, Andrew Elder on Tony Abbott, “the bullshitter”, as Elder calls him, is essential reading …

“Tony Abbott is not his own man. There is no link between what he says and what actually happens. You can calibrate your assessment of him on the basis of what he says, and do so fairly. I don’t care how David Marr or Mia Freedman feels about those descriptions, or about the following as it regards their (former?) profession. To come up with unflattering assessments like those about Abbott you need to free yourself of the mushroom-cultivation techniques that pass for media management. Media management only works if people believe what’s in the media, and when content-providers link their words to what actually happens. It breaks still further when you have a man who will generate “wall-to-wall blah-blah-blah” simply to attract attention. You kill it by refusing to engage.”

Abbott is not just a “bullshitter”, he’s a complete fraud.

THE TRIUMPH OF ANDY’S WILL

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

Andrew “Whistler’s Motherfucker” Bolt feels vindicated today …

OUR media behaved politely after the Boston bombing. None jumped to the correct conclusion: these terrorists were yet again Muslim.

In fact, even after brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were identified and found to be – surprise! – Muslim, some still pretended not to notice or think it relevant.

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Muslim? Really? What an amazing coincidence.

Probably meaningless.

Fate is kind
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

So in the more than 6000 words filed by The Age on its live coverage thread by 8.30am on Saturday, the word “Muslim” was used just once: “The brothers are Muslims believed to be of Chechen origin, but there is still no clear motive for the attack.”

Uh huh.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.

Sweet dreams, Andrew.

MINDS LIKE THESE

This bastard act of cynical political bigotry …

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has assured religious groups they will have the ”freedom” under a new rights bill to discriminate against homosexuals and others they deem sinners, according to the head of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Under current law, faith-based organisations, including schools and hospitals, can refuse to hire those they view as sinners if they consider it ”is necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”.

Ms Gillard has met Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace several times, and he says she assured him ”she has no intention of restricting freedom of religion” when it comes to religious groups’ legal rights to discriminate in hiring and firing.

… prompts this comment from Brian of Glenroy:

“The extremist Muslims will love to exploit this so as to incite things like refusing to sell certain meats etc etc because it offends their religion and ban xmas etc from schools, until, as Julia CREATED, bibles are banned because many conflict with others. As for gay issues having nothing to do with religion, in fact classified as a mental illness in japan. I don’t think gay marriage is even important enough for Govt to be considering when there are more other urgent important things to do. Take a holiday and get married overseas in places that do accept it and stop whinging. Govt WAS NOT CREATED TO TO MARRY GAY PEOPLE furthermore, it contravenes bibles that say gayness is a sin and the constitution that restricts Govt FROM INTERFERING WITH RELIGIONS. Julia needs to start running the country rather than get prisoners released, spend mass time on gay marriage, etc. I think so far she only created a tax on us called carbon tax, trying to think what else she has done in over 2 years hmmm. Any other exec would be sacked for lack of working.” BRIAN, Glenroy, January 16, 2013, 8:39AM

I had begun this post in a very different fashion until I realised (once more) that, just as you cannot argue with a stupid person, there is also a point one passes when making fun of stupid people just seems like a sad and empty exercise in underwhelming and self-congratulatory indulgence.

They’re stupid.

Their numbers are legion.

Take the NRA

… it exists in a footsteps-in-the-dark world of Wild-West myth and Cold War fiction, a knee-trembling siege mentality of curtain-peeking fear and shoulder-hitched tension, fingers forever on triggers, a government agent at the door – “We’ll be listening to you” – shadows moving in the night, loyalties fleeting, there are strangers in town, a sweat breaks out, gotta keep your wits about you …

… “Look, Mr. MacReedy, there is a law in this county against shootin’ dogs. But when I see a mad dog, I don’t wait for him to bite me” …

There is a Mad Dog in the White House.

Black Dog. Only attacks white folk.

Takin’ the guns away. Rapin’ the women. Killin’ the babies.

The angry black savage from Africa and the angry black savages’ angry black wife …

Colin Powell

“When I see a former governor say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it.”

Now the nigger* wants to take the guns away.

Obama The Secret Muslim, terrorist trained in Pakistan, educated in a madrassa, his calling to bring a nation under Communist dictatorship, his message approved by the UN, and brought to you by Delphi™® mind-control techniques – “Now, with new added Delphi™®, you’ll never have to think for yourself ever again! Aren’t you glad you’re with Delphi™®!”

In minds like these lurks a world where the Bond villains are real, a saloon shoot-up is always just a spilt drink away, and secret organisations comprising darkly complected peoples in oddly decorated robes weave elaborate conspiracies specifically designed to rob 311 million people of their 2nd Amendment right to blow holes in tin cans with bazookas and then go home to pull themselves silly in sticky celebration of their mighty powers and trigger-pullin’ prowess.

Adam Gopnik from The New Yorker

“There has not once been a tyrannical government demanding armed opposition since we got rid of the British. There was, however, a rather famous occasion when armed radicals used their guns to attempt to destroy the democratically elected government in order to preserve their right to treat their fellow humans as property. The right to keep weapons in order to commit violent sedition has not, since 1865, really been widely regarded as a central American liberty.”

It is an odd state of mind which, in a long-established democracy, finds a perverse sense of moral and intellectual superiority in knowing, just knowing, that the primary goal of their country’s government and that of the current President is to oppress and enslave the entire population because the enslavement of 311 million people is such a joyful and appealingly constructive concept to entertain. Why, if he played his cards just right, he could probably pull it off with the stroke of a pen over a light lunch of tuna and salad and then go celebrate with a few hoops and a cigarette.

In minds like these …

Wayne LaPierre from the NRA

“The NRA is gonna bring all its knowledge, all its dedication and all its resources to develop a model national schools shield emergency response program for every single school in America that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control, to information technology, to student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the National Model School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as United States attorney, director of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts that are available in the United States of America to get this program up and running from the first day forward.”

‘Cause all God’s teachers love handguns, handguns, all God’s teachers love Vel-cro vests.

In minds like these.

Amy Davidson from The New Yorker

“Will we evaluate teachers not only on their students’ test scores, but on target practice, with merit pay for mastery of semi-automatic weapons? Mourners at the funeral of the next Vicki Soto shouldn’t have to whisper about her aim. Or is the only good teacher the teacher who keeps a Glock in her purse, and knows how to use it; or the one who has a second gun on her so that when some troubled eighth-grader grabs the classroom weapon she can shoot down her own student?”

The earth is 6,000 years old. Man rode the dinosaur. Abortion causes earthquakes. Republicans for Rape. Ronald Reagan saved the world. Obama wants to destroy it. Radical homosexuals want to give your children alcohol and drugs and in-class demonstrations on how to mast**bate or get their wombs scraped. Sandy Hook was a government black-op exercise. Civil unrest is imminent, basic freedoms are threatened, clean your guns before they come and take ‘em and get ready for the big show.

Stupid people.

Like Brian of Glenroy back there at the top, one of a growing number of our very own home-grown halfwits, his every primal fear, his every gnawing anxiety about life on this earth at this particular point in time, spat out in 188 barely literate words that lurch from Muslims fucking with meat to banning Christmas in schools, the evils of gayness, mental illness in Japan, violent prisoners waltzing out of prisons, and the carbon tax.

The common thread between all being the face of pure, unconscionable evil that is Julia Gillard , Red Queen of the Underworld.

Understanding the motives behind Gillard’s ridiculous decision is baffling enough given that this is supposed to be a Labor government, a party that once prided itself on policies of social inclusion.

But understanding the minds of those – like Brian of Glenroy, like the NRA and their more rabidly unhinged adherents, like Republicans for Rape, like Andrew Bolt – whose entire worldview is a shadowy mélange of Chinese whispers, each whisper a threat, of gossip, innuendo, of covert operations in dank warehouses down Portside where strange men in hats and sunglasses come and go in dark sedans, where evil is a real and tangible thing and dances in the hearts and minds of all leaders and all governments all over the world – understanding minds like these cannot be done, nor should it, for if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you.

And yonder that way the willies lie.

*Click that. Go on.

TONGUE OF THE DAY

David Simon on David Petraeus and the media’s obession with sex

This is just sex. This is nothing more than the odd, notable penis or the odd, notable vagina staggering off the marked path and rubbing against the wrong tree. This is just people.

I told myself that I wasn’t in journalism to chase something so ordinary, so adolescent as other people’s sexuality, that I wouldn’t play this game, that there were better reasons to be a reporter, and there were better things for readers to consume. I knew that one soldier opting out from such a lurid and exalted battlefield of the media wars meant nothing, but I did it anyway. Fuck Gingrich’s divorces. Fuck Lewinsky. Fuck where Herman Cain found some happy moments. I’m not playing anymore. I long ago ceased to even pretend to care.

And …

It would be one thing if this were a scandal that could have compromised the CIA or American intelligence, if this were some honey trap set by foreign entities. When politically connected columnist Joe Alsop was famously lured into a homosexual liaison by Russian intelligence, which then attempted to turn Alsop, he rightly marched into the CIA headquarters and revealed the ploy, rendering it moot. And if there were indications that Petraeus was vulnerable to being so blackmailed, this mess might have actual import. But no, upon being confronted with his paramour’s indiscreet emails, he confessed all, resigned, and returned to private life to attempt, no doubt, to salvage his marriage or at least deal with the personal implications of it all.

As one commenter posts “I will read anything this man writes.”

As should we all.

IT GOES AROUND

The morning after, time for breakfast and enter Governor Romney, expansive in defeat, and gently swiping, swiping

Standing in front of the small crowd in a hotel conference room, he was unexpectedly expansive and reflective, as if trying to make sense of a defeat that seemed to genuinely startle him, according to people who attended.

He marveled at the president’s ability to turn out voters, at times by using strategies that had maligned him. He faulted the Obama campaign for characterizing him as an enemy of women, singling out advertisements that claimed he opposed abortion in all cases and opposed contraception. That, Mr. Romney said, was simply untrue, according to attendees.

He took a gentle swipe at the news media. He mocked stories that claimed his son Tagg had staged an intervention to fix a faltering campaign and was playing a heavy hand in shaping political strategy. The news media, he said, kept searching for conflict inside a campaign that Mr. Romney told the crowd had been remarkably harmonious.

To which Anthony N of NY responds

Gov. Romney may have felt maligned, but that feeling is somewhat subjective. No one claimed he was foreign born and ineligible to be president, no one accused him of being a secret Muslim, no one called him a Marxist-Socialist, no one called him un-American, no one attacked him for things his minister said in church in his presence, and I seriously doubt anyone refused to vote for him becase of his race. – Nov. 9, 2012 at 6:09 a.m.

Reckon.

WHININ’ ALL THE TIME

Andrew Bolt, News Ltd’s Emeritus Professor of North American Political Studies is in a snit

“BARACK Obama should not have been re-elected President. That he did tells us elections are now decided less by heads than hearts.”

According to Bolt, Mitt Romney lost the election because a “ferocious campaign” portrayed him as “a rapacious venture capitalist from a privileged white rich background”, a couple candidates said some stupid things about rape, and a “secret video” in which he claimed 47% of Americans were bludging arsehats “hurt him.”

The Governor, as we all well know, was raised by poor sharecroppers in a cardboard box in a Michigan cow paddock and his first job was buildin’ a chicken coop out of cow pats and feathers for Ma Kettle an’ her brood down by the creek on account a’ the foxes kept gettin’ in nights.

“No! You shut up!”

“You shut up first!”

But mostly, it was all the fault of the black people and the Latinos who, according to Whistler’s Motherfucker, “are also likely to be the kind of people with their hand out for benefits”.

“Shut up!”

“You shut up!”

So, far as Andrew is concerned, Mitt Romney lost his bid for the White House not through any fault of his own, his team, his campaign, his party, but because the other side didn’t play like wimps, and because niggarz and spics just like stickin’ it to the white man, because that’s all the lazy bastards are good at.

“Shut up!”

“No! You shut up!”

 No one could ever accurately accuse Andrew Bolt of being an overly complicated man.

A little boy asked me should he put his vote upon the left, no
A little boy asked me should he put his vote upon the right, no
I say it really doesn’t matter where you put your vote
Someone else will come along and move it
And it’s always been the same
It’s just a complicated game

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

“I’m fine. How you doin’?”

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report

“Mr. Trump — I will write you a check for $1 million from Colbert Super PAC to the charity of your choice … if you will let me dip my balls in your mouth. But this dipping must be to my, and more importantly, my balls’ satisfaction. Nothing would make me happier than to write this check. And nothing would make America happier than having something going into your mouth instead of coming out.”

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Vice President Joe Biden to Paul Ryan during the VP debate today …

“A bunch of malarkey!”

RIOT

“This movie is giving me the shits.”

“It’s just a movie, dear. Why don’t you turn it off?”

“No. It’s poking fun. It’s giving me the shits.”

“It’s just a movie, dear …”

“No. Fuck it. I’m not putting up with this anymore. I’m going outside to beat up a car with a stick.”

TONGUE OF THE DAY

From today’s Sydney Morning Herald

“Paul Sheehan says that ”Obama came to the White House in 2008 with a meagre legislative record”. Obama sponsored 137 bills and had two bills passed in just four years, and his successes were substantive ones at that: the ”Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006” and ”Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008” (he was, of course, absent from the Senate for much of 2008 while campaigning for the presidency).

Paul Ryan represented Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district for 13 years. In that time, he amended the American tax code in 2008 to change the 12.4 per cent tax on arrows to a flat 39¢ per arrow shaft. And in 2000, he had the name of the post office in Janesville, Wisconsin, changed to the ”Les Aspin Post Office Building”. That is it – his entire legislative record. His Democratic equivalent, Joe Biden, on the other hand, sponsored nine successful bills in 2007-08 alone.

Aside from Ryan’s slight accomplishments, the only meagre thing on show here is Sheehan’s commitment to balanced reporting.” – Andrew Taubman, Queens Park.

Ouch.

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Via Emily’s List

Our friend Erin has been battling Lupus for the last two years. Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act has literally saved her life. Watch her reaction as she learns the ACA has been ruled constitutional. Erin’s reaction is how millions of women felt today. This is why we fought.

TONGUE OF THE DAY

From the comments on an editorial at The New York Times on Obama’s support for same-sex marriage …

I was one of those who had no problem with President Obama’s on-going evolutionary status. The administration’s direction was clear and it seemed politically unwise to take an unequivocal stand on marriage equality. When the Times came out an editorial urging him to do so, I thought it only fed critics who accused him of spinelessness and hypocritical calculation.

Well, I was wrong. The depth of my feelings after Mr. Obama spoke went further than the initial tearful eyes of ecstasy. I felt surges of pride in being an American. I mulled over words I have not associated with politicians of late: courage, principle, idealism. Those who lived through the ‘60s know there were many moments, good and bad, of obvious historic significance. This seemed to be such a moment, of the good variety.

I think President Obama, in the end, decided to place his trust in the people’s sense of fairness and humanity. That in itself is a remarkable act of faith, a statement both on democracy and essential goodness. Now, wounded by cynicism, we must search within ourselves and, as he has done, rise to the occasion. Even if we fall short, though, he has shown us the ability of true leadership to move us a step forward to a better society. That such leadership is rare might be cause for despair, but I think we should celebrate that it remains, and we have witnessed it. As long as it exists, so may hope.

Alan, Hawaii

Nice.

DEAR EDITOR

A couple letters I sent to the Sydney Morning Herald last week. First one (sent the day after the Budget) didn’t make it, but the second (sent the day after Abbott’s reply) did

I like it when that happens.

I understand our country is on the verge of complete collapse. It’s economy is ruined, business no longer functions, supermarket shelves are barren, and an increasing number of people, possibly millions, now spend their nights desperately searching skip bins for discarded hamburger wrappers hoping for a little leftover cheddar, or, God willing, a pickle. Not only that, but people are now in such desperate straits they have resorted to selling their first-borns for a Scotch-Finger biscuit and a scratch lottery ticket.

The price of electricity is such that vast numbers of our population will never know the simple joy of a lightbulb or a quick game of Grand Theft Auto on the Playstation. The nation is gripped by such destitution, tragedy and dysfunction that I understand tens of thousands of Australians are now planning to emigrate to more fortunate nations. Haiti, and Zimbabwe, for example, or Greece or France or Ireland or Iceland or even the United States, where one may earn a spectacularly rewarding living on a minimum wage of about $7.00 an hour as well as take advantage of their overly generous healthcare system and unemployment benefits. If it weren’t for the $2.00 a week for a year flood levy, the carbon tax, and the price of bananas, we’d probably be punching well above our weight by now. But no. How very sad it is to be an Australian just now, the most miserable, most deprived, most trouble and strife-stricken nation on the face of the planet.

Oh, woe. Oh, me. Oh, my. And so on.

And this is the one that got in …

A ”class war”? How precisely does this ”class war” manifest itself? Hordes of the unemployed and low-income workers storming the streets of Vaucluse armed with flaming torches and pitchforks, hurling petrol bombs through the dainty, stained-glass windows of random mansions? What utter nonsense.

I’ve also noticed that, since Obama made public his support on the issue of same-sex marriage, the usual arguments against are popping up in letters pages and comment threads …

Such as this one

“OK, Why not have polygamy? Or Why not marry brothers to brothers? Or sisters to sisters? How about Dad and daughters? A hot granny and her grandson?”

Hell, I live in fucking Queensland.

From the sight and sound of it up here some days, I think they already do.

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Charles Simic from The New York Review of Books

In the past, if someone knew nothing and talked nonsense, no one paid any attention to him. No more. Now such people are courted and flattered by conservative politicians and ideologues as “Real Americans” defending their country against big government and educated liberal elites. The press interviews them and reports their opinions seriously without pointing out the imbecility of what they believe. The hucksters, who manipulate them for the powerful financial interests, know that they can be made to believe anything, because, to the ignorant and the bigoted, lies always sound better than truth:

Christians are persecuted in this country.
The government is coming to get your guns.
Obama is a Muslim.
Global Warming is a hoax.
The president is forcing open homosexuality on the military.
Schools push a left-wing agenda.
Social Security is an entitlement, no different from welfare.
Obama hates white people.
The life on earth is 10,000 years old and so is the universe.
The safety net contributes to poverty.
The government is taking money from you and giving it to sex-crazed college women to pay for their birth control.

One could easily list many more such commonplace delusions believed by Americans. They are kept in circulation by hundreds of right-wing political and religious media outlets whose function is to fabricate an alternate reality for their viewers and their listeners. “Stupidity is sometimes the greatest of historical forces,” Sidney Hook said once. No doubt. What we have in this country is the rebellion of dull minds against the intellect. That’s why they love politicians who rail against teachers indoctrinating children against their parents’ values and resent the ones who show ability to think seriously and independently. Despite their bravado, these fools can always be counted on to vote against their self-interest. And that, as far as I’m concerned, is why millions are being spent to keep my fellow citizens ignorant.

The stupid. It travels.

Now, the following clip is included for no particular reason other than I cannot for the life of me figure out why the creepy looking guy is there. I know what he’s thinking, and who wouldn’t, but he puts me in mind of the type of person Dexter Morgan would target for a kill …

TONGUE OF THE DAY

Word …

ASK A STUPID QUESTION

Can someone tell me precisely what Republicans are trying to “take their country back” to?

Because it’s got me buggered.

ADVENTURES IN RICK PIXIELAND

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a former US President, President Lyndon B. Johnson had a grand vision of a thing for the country over which he presided, and he called it “The Great Society”

“The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.

But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”

… And so he set about doing all manner of frightening things to bring this vision of his to fat, juicy fruition, declaring “War on Poverty” for example …

 

 

… although only a few short years later, nobody paid much attention to the “War on Poverty” anymore as Milhouse declared “War on Drugs” instead, poor people be fucked, let ‘em sleep in their own shit, it’s the hippies and the pot, we’re sending those cunts to Vietnam and if they don’t want to go, we’ll just shoot the fuckers …

 

 

As you do.

Anyway, during his time as President, Johnson indulged himself in an awful frenzied flurry of legislative activity, signing into law the Civil Rights Act and the Wilderness Protection Act and creating Medicare and Medicaid and a whole bunch of other horrid things designed to help various people with various things, the whole varied variety of which you can read about over here and various other various places if you’re of a  mind to.

But mostly, Johnson thought making people smart was a smart thing to do and I most definitely do concur, for stupid people scare the flaming shit out of me, especially when they’re put in charge of stuff.

So there was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Bilingual Education Act and programs to help people in poor areas get teachers and for disadvantaged children in various scummy circumstances beyond their control to get assistance and be taught this and be taught that about all manner of things and lo and behold and Lordy be, before you know it, the whole of the country be swarmin’ with smart people actin’ smart and doin’ smart stuff and sayin’ smart things.

At least, I think that may have been the plan.

And then, and then … came “Forrest Gump”.

A treacly ode to the warm-hearted joys of cretinism, chocolates and the simpler entertainments life has to offer, like smearing one’s poo on the sanatorium walls or peeing one’s name in the snow and magic shoes and such, there weren’t no smart about Forrest, no sirree …

And pretty soon, all across the United States of America,  whole swathes of American people began cocking their ears and lending them to this endearingly simple-minded chewer of chocolates and runner of runs and they thought to themselves, “Fuck this smart shit an’ learnin’ an’ such, you don’t get no chocolates that way”, and they learnt to embrace and celebrate and elevate to grand positions of public office and influence some of the greatest practitioners and speakers of staggeringly stupid things that have ever been spat from the womb of woman to walk upon the face of this Earth.

Mama always said, God is mysterious.

Which brings us to Rick Perry.

Rick Perry has some problems with evolution, which I can well understand, for, if I were him, I’d be feeling a little shortchanged, but he also has a problem with education, maybe it’s just jealousy, but he’d like to get rid of it …

 

 

I can understand that, too.

It’s hard to compete with educamated people if you don’t has brain ‘cos if you don’t has brain, tongue don’t know whats to do.

And that’s all I have to say about that …

 

WHAT WOULD CLINT SAY?

“These people who are making a big deal about gay marriage?” Eastwood tells (GQ) magazine. “I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of … Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”

WHADDYA GOT?

In the mid 1970’s as the punk movement took hold in the United Kingdom and a speed rush of youthful “fuck you” rebellion and the scent of uncollected refuse hung in the London fog, some aspects of this “movement” dribbled their way to our very own shores, taking up residence in a few dank inner city pubs and their surrounds and mostly typified by previously untroubled young things joyously embracing a newfound enthusiasm for tipsy nihilism, all things black, and thirty thousand ways with hair gel.

It was all about striking an attitude, a pose and looking the part down here, as there was really fuck all to get worked up about, the two-finger salute to authority, injustice and oppression little more than a limp-wristed “whatever”; rebellion was swigging a half-bottle of cough syrup on Bondi Beach Friday nights and a mandrax.

The Occupy movement currently taking place in various capitol cities around Australia reminds me of this.

An attitude adopted, a pose struck. Vogue. Fashion.

A (valiantly) peaceful, if somewhat bedraggled stand of empathic solidarity with our oddly-voweled  compadres from the land of the free and the home of the brave, a country with an economy run ragged for a decade by the havoc of war and battle’s confusion and whose broad stripes and bright stars are looking decidedly lean and dimmer than a dying candle’s glow right now.

But we really do not have that much to protest about.

Things work. Mostly.

We have a national healthcare system. We have a welfare system. Public education. Low unemployment. A resilient economy.

Things work. Mostly.

The minimum wage here is $15.51 an hour.

In the United States, the national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. It was $5.15 in 2007.

I wouldn’t get out of fucking bed for $7.25 an hour.

In a very few states, you might earn up to a whole eight bucks and a few bits for your one hour of toil and labour, though if you’ve been cursed with the bitter misfortune of being born and resident in either Georgia or Wyoming, you’ll still only get $5.15.

My rent is $360.00 a week.

If I were earning the minimum national U.S. wage, I’d have to work almost 50 hours a week to pay it.

I’d have to get a second, maybe a third job to rack up another 20 or 30 hours a week to afford food, clothing, utilities.

If I had a family to care for, health problems to treat, school expenses to pay …

Fuck it, I’d emigrate.

And I’d come here.

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