Meet our Federal Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, and Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt.
Two little fellas playin’ at grown-ups.
Peter used to be a cop. As a boy, Pete had a paper run (why is this a thing so many politicians are inclined to mention as if it signifies some omen of future greatness? “I sold newspapers from a wheelbarrow for a few extra quid when I was a kid”. So did I. Big fucking deal. Shut up.) and he also worked in a butcher shop.
… Wrappin’ sausages and weighin’ mince for nasty ol’ Missus Sentosa from up the road, mos’ prob’ly. Maybe some sweepin’ …
After leaving the police force, Pete became a businessman, did some business, went into politics, stayed there, and in November 2007, was appointed “Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing”, where he spent the next six years studiously avoiding speaking on the topic, “deliberately play[ing] a small-target game” “to make sure we weren’t fighting on what had traditionally been seen as Labor’s strengths. It gave Tony [Abbott] and the rest of the team the ability to talk about the economy, border protection and Labor’s failings around the ‘Pink Batts’ scheme.”
“I believed it was the right political strategy and I thought it was going to pay us dividends. I think we’ve been vindicated in that judgment.”, he adds.
Some months ago, and at quite a loss for a name, I had to ask someone, “Who is our current Federal Health Minister?”, as I could not remember anything of import being said on the subject since the election of the current Government, so Mr. Dutton is nothing if not consistent in his approach to a thing.
Pete thinks Australians who are feelin’ sickly would appreciate the cost of health care more if they paid more for it, and might think twice about seeing a doctor if they had to, by which time of course, they may well be dead. I’m sure he feels extremely proud of his idea, although it appears to be the only one he’s had so far.
Our other little fella, Greg Hunt, once won a debating tournament at university, studied law, graduated, became an “advisor” to then Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, went into politics, stayed there, and wound up the current “Minister for the Environment”, having once been “Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water”, and then “Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage”.
As we no longer do “climate” here, and “heritage” is just a bunch of old shit standing in the way of new shit, the word “environment” now means “all the other stuff”.
You may be aware of the recent emergence of a new sub-genre of journalism and commentary we will call the “why are people so pissed off about politics” meme*. Australians are disengaged from politics, we are told. Disenchanted. Distrustful. The shits with. Generally fucked off by. Young Australians are not enrolling to vote. Gen Y are lazy and self-absorbed. Students are apathetic. Opining this sad state of affairs, writers wonder how it all came to pass and why and how it might be corrected. How we should engage, and why we must, especially those horridly narcissistic young folk, the piercings and the hair and the tatts, sucking bongs through Tim-Tams all day, watching “Dr. Phil”.
If I were to spot, on the footpath ahead of me, a spindly-legged chap in stained shorts ringing a bell and wearing a sandwich board proclaiming the end of the world, lurching menacingly at hapless passers-by, and mumbling biblical gibberish and bullshit, I would not continue on my way for a potential “engagement” with the fellow, I would cross the fucking road.
If I were a guest at a dinner party, and another guest, fuelled by a little too much firewater, launched into a red-faced, bulging-eyed and spittle-flecked rant about “niggers and coons and chinks and fuckin’ Abo’s”, I would not “engage”. I would leave the table and go to the toilet, maybe outside for a smoke, and, at some opportune time later, discretely inform the host that his friend is a bit of dumb cunt, and maybe he should be told to fuck off and go home.
You cannot “engage” with ignorance.
You cannot “engage” in any substantive fashion with those who insist their first word on any subject is their last, and that no further correspondence shall be entered into.
To even attempt such a thing is to invite the abyss not merely to stare back at you, but to punch you in the temples and poke you in both eyes with a pair of flaming barbecue skewers.
“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.” —Bertrand Russell, “The Triumph of Stupidity”
There are only so many times you can wake in the morning, take in the news, find yourself muttering, “Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” or “Oh, for fuck’s sake”, before you become sick of the sound of your own voice and simply stop paying attention.
Greg Hunt and Peter Dutton are merely two examples – fine ones – of the dizzying level of stupid that now inhabits the feeble minds of this motley, miserable mob of gibbering shitheads, yokels, and other assorted bugs and goblins who currently infect our nation’s body politic on all levels of government. On all sides.
Their legislative “successes” are written up and offered only as “personal victories” or “vindications” of their positions, “achievements” that achieve nothing for the greater good of the country or of the commonweal, yet shall we “engage” by attending this lurid spectacle of so many defiantly stupid men massaging their outsized egos in public over decisions they have made about things they know nothing about?
Kohle Ist Brot!
Arbeit Macht Frei! Let the earth erupt in flames, let stones fall into the sea, let dust be your tombstone!
Will you “engage” with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, whose every lifelessly uttered word is like a noose you feel like hanging yourself with just to liven up the proceedings a little?
That we can get to a point where two relentlessly gormless gumps like Dutton and Hunt are put in charge of such portfolios as they currently hold, is to know we have now reached that point where the people so stupid they don’t realise how stupid they are have taken the keys to our homes and they’re pissing on all our carpets, they’re scribbling on all our walls, they’re shitting on the stovetop, they’ve filled the pool with gasoline, and now they’re drawing straws to decide who gets to flick the fucking match.
Would you “engage” with a plumber to advise you on a root canal?
Engagement is not an option.
*Other new sub-genres include, “Why are so many people such cunts on the internet?”, “New Facebook mind-control plot”, “I switched off the internet for a month and rediscovered my humanity”, and “What is the future of journalism?”, the answer to that last being, “You’ll find out when it fucking gets here”.
You may find yourself in a quiet moment, a fond reverie, a warm remembrance of things long past, back when the world seemed a little simpler to you, a little more optimistic, pleasantly positive even, when, from out of nowhere and unbidden, someone grabs you by the back of the neck, shoves your face in their arse and blows farts in your mouth.
Choking back your gag reflex and blinking away the tears, you turn to find yourself confronted with the dour, grey faces of grim, mirthless men who then proceed to wag their fingers in your face and say, “Now, now, let’s not get too carried away. Let’s put things into their proper perspective”, they will insist, after which, they will proceed to lecture you on the dire perils of fondly held memories of times past or warm, fuzzy moments of personal recollection.
These are the type of dull bulbs who’d begrudge a person a muffled exclamation of pleasure after a good fuck, and on Tuesday October 21st, their names included “journalists” Greg Sheridan and Andrew Bolt, and Alan Jones, a man with a head like a bleached beetroot stuck with fish-lips who talks shit on a radio station in Sydney.
The reason for these gentlemen’s embittered disgruntlement on this otherwise fine October day was the loving veneration and condolences afforded Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister, on the occasion of his death at age 98, from multitudes of other Australians, many journalists and commentators and people who talk shit on the radio included.
“Worst government in Australia’s history!”, thundered Sheridan on ABC TV’s “The Drum” later that night. “He tumbled into the abyss!”, scribbled Bolt with typically melodramatic flair, before briefly bemoaning Whitlam’s introduction of a national health care scheme, and Alan Jones kept talking shit on the radio. No doubt, their fine chorus of voices shall shortly be conjoined by the cheery trills of Gerard Henderson next time he pops up on ABC’s “Insiders” and who, if asked of Whitlam, will probably just rabbit on about Robert fucking Menzies.
It’s the Sheridan’s and Bolt’s and Jones’s and Henderson’s et al of our world who are the lives of the parties nobody ever wants to go to, where every canapé’s a coffin full of cancer, and a colonoscopy comes free with every cocktail. Where the dress code is a tie and a tan cardigan, and the talk is as cheap as the chips on their shoulders and hangs just as heavy in the air. It’s our pleasures that are their pains, a litany of miseries are our lives as we should live them, and the future is a fearful and fucked up place from a not so faraway time and getting closer every minute.
These are the cuntly curmudgeons of commentary from Chickentown, 3166, who, in the blessed names of “perspective” and “balance” and “keeping it real”, are always taking it upon their incurious and narcotic selves to ensure and insist that all us simple folk out here in the Wonderful World of Oz never forget to cloud our silver linings with smears and corrode all our hopes and dreams with fear, for to them, pleasures come with costs, and costs are always for the counting, and all things, on earth as it surely is in heaven, come with a use-by-date and an invoice and who you gonna call when it comes time to pick up the tab?
In their world, and it should by rights be their world, as they never cease to remind us, their world wrapped in grey, even in their dreams, even in their wildest and most intemperate of fevres, of ill and hotly dangerous visions, they’ll always be in Kansas, Toto. And they’ll never, never, ever, ever, ever, want to leave.
Neither should you.
Perspective. It’s all about perspective.
An Aussie teen wanker who ran away from home because he wasn’t getting his own way with stuff, has emerged appearing in a video fondling a gun and talking bollocks.
Like a badly caricatured villain from a “Die Hard” film, the Aussie teen wanker can be seen surrounded by a bunch of other wankers fondling his gun, and talking in medieval clichés about flags and weapons and killing a bunch of people who give him the shits.
It is understood the wanker has hooked up with a notorious Middle-Eastern rape gang comprised of illiterate wankers who also talk bollocks but mostly fuck around in the desert blowing things up, randomly raping kids and killing people just for shits ‘n’ giggles.
When asked his reaction to the video, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, “Look, I don’t intend giving so much as a sideways glance to this little cunt, and neither should you, because if it’s attention he’s after, we’ve got some people working on that, and frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fuck if he got his cock shot off. If it were up to me, I’d shove a rocket up his fucking arse and blow him to the moon.”
Sources close to the family of the wanker have said they are shocked and disappointed by their little wanker’s actions and have really, really got the shits, and if his father ever gets a hold of him, he’ll beat the silly little fucker about his fucking head with a fucking mallet.”
Direct comment from the family is currently being sought.
“It was an unusual experiment,’ Gore Vidal once said (of the [Gough] Whitlam Government), “for Australia to choose as its Prime Minister its most intelligent man. It will not, I fear, be repeated.”
Bob Ellis, from “Goodbye, Jerusalem”
Gough Whitlam, July 11, 1916 – October 21, 2014.
Australian Prime Minister, 1972 – 1975.
Amanda Vanstone, former Government Minister for Something turned talking head/typist for hire recently did a spot of creative typing for Fairfax media on what she feels is the unseemly habit of “average” Australians (that is, people who work for a living) to criticise millionaires and billionaires (that is, people who like fucking people over who work for a living) for being nothing other than dumb cunts with money who talk out their arses about things they know fuck all about, and lie and cheat and steal their way to riches.
Vanstone calls this “the politics of envy”.
Reading this piece (if you can bring yourself to) of muddle-headed, badly written primary school prose, complete with a few dodgy statistics thrown in, is an exercise in tedium about as compelling as being whacked across the head repeatedly with a water-logged copy of “Atlas Shrugged” whilst being buggered up the arse with a Platinum Amex card.
The nub of Vanstone’s Big Dick vs. Little Dick “argument” is that when dumb cunts with money who talk out their arses about things they know fuck all about, and lie and cheat and steal their way to riches , us little people should realise that not all dumb cunts with money are cunts …
“Daily we are invited to assume that wealthier people are creeps, tax cheats and the cause of others among us being poorer. It is undoubtedly true that some wealthier people are creeps, tax cheats, selfish and carry any number of other unattractive traits. Equally there will be poorer people who are bash-up artists, druggies and thieves. In both cases, they are the exception rather than the norm.”
As one of the “little people” without bags of money, I can assure Ms. Vanstone that “envy” has nothing to do with it. Contempt, yes. Envy, not so much …
John Kampfner in The Guardian …
“In the complex psychology of the super-rich, victimhood is a natural concomitant to entitlement. By the same token, a sense of innate superiority is the flip side to the desperate yearning for reputation. Like the robber barons, billionaire philanthropists such as Warren Buffett and Gates have come to believe that they are best placed to spend the money that might otherwise have gone into state budgets from taxation.”
Our richest dumb cunt with money, Gina Rinehart, whose dad, Lang Hancock, was a dumb cunt with money who didn’t much like niggers and had a penchant for fucking the hired household help, occasionally carries on in the tradition of dear old dad by banging on about some aspect of the lives of us little people that displease her. We don’t work hard enough. We should work for less. Poor people are just lazy, and the unemployed …. bibbity-bibbity-bibbity rah-rah-rah and so on and so forth, you’ve heard it all before.
Here’s Callam Pickering in Business Spectator on Gina …
“Rinehart has no public policy experience beyond lobbying and rent-seeking. She is a businesswoman but not an economist nor an expert on politics or political economy. She has no expertise on social issues or social work or psychology. She is neither a lawyer nor a tax expert.”
Not to be envied, so much as laughed at.
Then we have dumb cunts with money like Jamie “Dacs” Packer having a wrestle in a public street with some other dumb cunt with money over some dumb cunt of a girl who wears underwear for a fucking living, and all us little people can only think is “What a couple of dumb cunts”, and fall about laughing at their dumb cuntyness.
Dacs makes his money (and loses it) from helping other dumb cunts with money lose their own by building whopping great Phalluses of Misery everywhere, otherwise known as “casinos”, gauche, gaudy shitholes studded with carnival games and fruit-machines which provide essential money-exchange services for criminal cunts with money, mostly property developers I suspect, and dodgy Asian “businessmen”, whose business is none of ours, and if we tried to make it ours, would probably call in a few “bash-up artists, druggies and thieves” on their payrolls to come ‘round our houses and lop off all our fucking fingers.
Dumb cunts with money like to keep company with their own kind. Kampfner again …
“They mix with a narrow group of similar-minded people, sparring with each other at the same auctions, fraternising on each other’s yachts. They compare themselves only against each other, leading them often to be dissatisfied with their lot, believing themselves to be not wealthy or powerful enough. They pay as little back to the state in tax as they can get away with. They reinforce each other in their certainties, convinced that their acquisition of wealth, and spending of it through charitable enterprise, has earned them their place at the apex of global decision-making and moral supremacy.”
We have Slime-King Supremo Rupert Murdoch, and his two Man-Children, both of whom could’ve beaten Christian Bale for the part of Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” if they’d just showed up at audition looking like this …
These two dumb cunts with money have form in fucking things up for the little people, that is to say, us people who work for a living, because they’ve got so much fucking money, they think they’re entitled to be in charge of things, and when they put themselves in charge, or are parachuted into a management position by dad, they don’t so much run things as run them into the fucking ground and out of fucking existence altogether, because neither of them have got a fucking brain in their fucking heads or an ounce of fucking talent, but by Christ, they’ve got a whole bunch of fucking money, and as far as these two dumb cunts are concerned, that’s all it fucking takes.
It’s not the “politics of envy”, Amanda.
It’s Fed-Up-To-The-Fucking-Back-Teeth-Shut-The-Fuck-Up-And-FUCK-OFF-BOREDOM to be constantly whined at and nagged at by these narcissistic, self-righteous, dumb cunts with money who talk out their arses in vague brainfarts of self-reflecting glory about a Great Society of Utopian Perfection if we all just listened to them and did what they told us to.
Then, when we tell them they’re just dumb cunts with money talking out their fucking arses about things they know fuck-all about and retaliate with ridicule and contempt and criticism of their gibbering rubbish, they get all shirty and delicate and get the fucking sulks because they’re not being paid enough fucking attention, and they should be paid attention, and they’re not, and it’s only because’ everyone’s jealous, so there, everyone’s just jealous, that’s all, they’re just jealous, so there, I WON’T EAT MY VEGETABLES MUMMY, I WON’T, I, WON’T, I WON’T!
We have dumb cunts with money like Maurice “You Can Call Me The Space Cowboy” Newman, Senior Accounts Clerk turned Instant Scientist, add full retard, sprinkle with idiocy, bake in the hot desert sun for fifty years, and voila! A fuckwit arises.
There is no “politics of envy”.
We’re all just fucking sick and fucking tired of listening to these dumb cunts with money rabbit on all the fucking time about how fucking wonderful they all are and how they became so wonderful, and what wonderful ideas they have about everything under the fucking wonderful sun, when they’re ideas are not wonderful, they’re just very, very, very fucking STUPID.
They’re dumb cunts with money, and complete dicks about it to boot.
Callam Pickering again …
“Would you ask Justin Bieber for investment advice? Is economist Paul Krugman the best person to help build your home? And should venture capitalist Tom Perkins really be helping you study for German history? If you answer no, then why would we turn to business leaders to help fix economic or social issues?”
Would you take diet tips from Gina Rinehart?
No. You would not.
“What are you doing?!”, the nurse snaps at the man in the bed opposite mine.
The man is a recalcitrant patient. He will not take his medicine as he does not like the taste. There is something wrong with his bowels, his insides, and he is now shitting on the floor. He is about to get back into his bed, and the nurse says, sternly, “Stay where you are. I’m not cleaning up the bed as well”, and he stays where he is. She calls for a cleaner, and then attends, briefly, to the other patients in the room, of which I am one of four.
“All the good jobs”, I say to her.
“I’ve long ago lost my gag reflex”, she replies, removing my antibiotic drip and flushing the catheter in my vein.
Some hours later I move from my bed, walk to the toilet, open the door, close it again, and say to the same nurse, “The toilet’s clogged with what looks to be a large nappy, and there’s piss all over the floor”.
“Thanks, Ross”, she replies, and then mutters something under her breath as she goes to call for a cleaner. Again.
All the good jobs.
A day later I am moved to a bed in the respitory ward, where I should have been put upon admission, but there was no room available. No one here is shitting on the floor.
There is an elderly French man opposite, Gabriel, who flirts shamelessly, but not crassly or in an offensive manner, with all the female nurses and staff. His left side is stiff and immobile, and he walks with a cane, a result of having had five strokes some years back. His breathing is fucked up, but slowly getting better, and he is in good spirits, walking about, chatting with all and sundry.
“What are you thinking, Ross?”, he asks me one day, catching me in a faraway moment.
“I’m thinking of veal tortellini with mushrooms and pancetta in a cream sauce with lots of parmesan cheese”, I reply, “And a glass of wine.”
He chuckles at this, and says, “Soon, my friend. Soon.”
“Soon” would be another four weeks away.
A couple days later there is a new admission to the ward, a man of Slavic descent who does not speak a word of English, and who looks like one of the Super Mario Brothers, right down to the peaked cap which never leaves his head, his physique, and moustache. He is placed in the bed next to Gabriel.
That he cannot speak a word of English does not stop him from speaking, which he does. Constantly. Loudly. Day and night. In a deep, guttural tone of voice. To imaginary friends, and perhaps imaginary foes, from another time, from another place, back home, the old country, the new country, it is a stream of consciousness conversation that has no beginning and no end, and it wears thin with the other three of us in the ward after the second night of it.
We cannot sleep. Not a wink. And nor does he. He just keeps talking.
“Why are you speaking?!”, says Gabriel a number of times, exasperated, tired, pissed off, at wit’s end, as are we all. “Shut up! Shut up! No one can understand you! Shut up!”
“Oh, for FUCK’S SAKE!”, I also snap, “Will you shut the FUCK UP! … Jesus Christ …”
The man is sick. Obviously. Dementia? Possibly. Yet we too are sick, and patience and understanding elude us. At this point in proceedings, the milk of our human kindness has not so much curdled as turned to mouldy yoghurt.
On the third night, or perhaps it was the fourth, he leaves his bed and moves through the ward, going from bed to bed, his “conversation” never flagging, not for a moment. He sits in every chair, talking and talking and talking, and two nurses come into the ward, trying to calm him, trying to get him to go back to his bed, trying to Shut. Him. Up …
“You can’t be here. You have to go back to your own bed. Do you understand?”, says one. They try taking him by the shoulders and leading him back, but he resists, twisting away from their grasp, and then scuttling over to the chair beside my bed. The two nurses follow and are clearly losing their patience, repeating their exhortations for him to get back to his bed, again and again, in ever sterner, ever harsher tones.
There he sits, rabbiting away about God only knows what, and I snap at him, “Oi! You! Chuckles! Get back in your fucking box, boy! PISS OFF! Leave us all the fuck alone, for Chrissakes!”
My calling him “Chuckles” makes one of the nurses snort loudly and begin to giggle. Eventually, they get him back to his own bed. Eventually.
I crave a cigarette. To relax me. I have not had one for the whole week I’ve been here. There are cigarettes in my coat pocket, but to smoke one, I would have to drag myself downstairs, outside and across the road from the hospital entrance, and it is 1.00am in the morning and bitterly cold out. I take a drink of water, the craving passes, and at last I begin to doze, the mutterings of Our Super Mental Mario Brother in Bed No.34 still burbling away in the background.
Finally, at long last, and to the relief of us all, Chuckles wears himself out, and sleeps two whole days and two whole nights, but not before he pees on a nurse who is struggling to change his diaper at 3.00am one morning. “OH!”, she squeals in surprise, “He’s WEEING on me!”, and she flees the room for assistance. The nurse in charge comes in, and manages to finish the job, saying, in the manner of a father to a small child, “Now, now, it is not polite to have no pants in public. Come now, here we go … “, and so on.
Shit and piss, pus and vomit, and God only knows what else. Every day. Every night. A working life.
I ask a nurse, “You get much abuse in this job?”, and she replies, wearily, “Oh, yes. A lot”, as if it were the most natural and normal thing in the world, just another job requirement, just another day in the life …
“Somebody spoke and I went into a dream”
… Gabriel has since been discharged, his bed now occupied by a woman, Margaret. Chuckles, now quiet and much subdued after his forty-eight hour rest, is discharged a couple days later, and his bed assigned to a very large woman with arms like baby fur seals and legs which resemble fat stacks of oversize doughnuts. That her name is also Margaret she takes as an unspoken, but perfectly obvious invitation to make a new friend, and hence, Margaret No.1 finds herself regaled at length over the next few days with the life, trials and tribulations of Margaret No.2, not a word of which I can recall, beyond something to do with cats …
… Margaret No.2 has rung her buzzer to summon a nurse. Margaret No.2 would like her bedhead adjusted. When her needs are not immediately attended to as a matter of grave urgency, she mutters grumpily “Ya wouldn’t wanna be dyin’ in this place, would ya?”
Why, it takes almost ten or fifteen whole minutes before someone can respond to her bidding …
… And during mealtime one evening, Margaret No.1 finds a black hair on a slice of bread. The bread is packaged in cellophane and is supplied to the hospital from an external source. She informs one of the attendants. And then another. And another. Pretty much anyone in a uniform within earshot is informed of this gross dereliction of care over the next several days, as is every member of her family who visit during this time, of which there seem to be about a dozen, half of whom are grandchildren. This has become a tale for the ages, it would seem, to be passed from generation to generation until it becomes the stuff of folkloric legend. Or perhaps a feature film …
“This is not my beautiful life. How did I get here?”
I make an appointment with my GP to deal with a backache that will not quit and is gradually getting worse. To the point where I can barely walk ten paces without panting like a dog and needing to sit or lean on something for five or ten minutes before I can continue. The GP presses her stethoscope to my chest, to my back, and leaves the room briefly. On returning she says, “I can’t hear anything on your left side. Nothing at all. We’ve rung an ambulance and you’re going to the hospital”, to which I respond, “That’s a bit dramatic, isn’t it?”, having never been to a hospital before, not as a patient. Hospitals are for the aged, the dying, the desperately ill. I am none of those.
The ambulance arrives. Quickly. Two paramedics, a male and a female. A stretcher. They put something on my finger, and do a few other things, I know not what or why. One asks, “Can you get on the stretcher? We’ll take you down now”, and I say, “I can walk out”, and the woman says, “No, you’re not. Your oxygen levels are very low”, so I get on the stretcher, and they take me down the lift and out to the ambulance. The woman rides in back with me, and places an oxygen mask on my face.
I look around the interior of the ambulance and think, “I’ve seen this in movies. This looks about right.”
My thought processes, at this point, would appear to be a little arse-up.
We arrive at the hospital, and what happens happens, little of which I can recall. X-rays are involved, for some time later I find myself facing two doctors, one male and one female, and they talk to me about what they’ve found, not found, and suspect to find.
“We can’t see anything on your left side”, says one, “This white area? It should be black”, or vice-versa. Known truths, symptoms, causes and consequences. The word “emphysema” makes an appearance. My left lung, they tell me, is swimming in fluid, in pus, and it will have to be drained. They will then have to analyse this pus, they tell me, to find out what it is, what it comprises, but they have a strong suspicion, at this point, there is, in fact, the distinct … possibility, indications, but we will have to wait to be sure, of lung cancer.
But we will have to wait to be sure.
The woman hands me a brochure, saying, “We know this is a lot to unload on you at this time, first off, but we … and this and that, so on and so forth … “ and she goes on like that for a time …
The first episode of “Breaking Bad”, Walter White was told he had lung cancer.
That is the first thing that comes into my mind.
“It’s only a flesh wound”
The next day I am taken down to a room cluttered with machines. Machines that go “ping”. Machines that don’t. Machines with other machines connected to them. Machines with pipes. With hoses. Machines that measure, that count. Machines with dials. Very important machines.
Where do they all come from, I wonder. Who makes all of this?
There are two doctors, and three nurses. I am to be fitted with a tube. I am to be drained.
I lean across a metal bench, my arms stretched out in front of me, as instructed. A nurse is at front, and she places her hand on my arm, a gesture of reassurance perhaps. That nothing horrible, or too horrible is about to take place. A liquid, a local anaesthetic, is applied to my left side and I flinch slightly from the chill of it. Nothing horrible happens.
“Stay very still, Ross”, someone says from behind me.
I stay very still.
Something then tears into my flesh, grinding through sinew, muscle and fat, a thick hot plastic needle pushes through gristle, cartilage, and, staying very still, I YELL out in PAIN, I yell “Shit!” and “Fuck me dead!”, several times, and several times more, and the nurse pats my arm and says, “You’re doing well, Ross. It won’t be much longer”, and then there’s another thrust, and I yell out again, saying much the same as before, and someone says from behind me, “Just a little more”, and then there’s another thrust, and another yell from me, and someone says, “Okay. That’s it”, and I say, “Jesus Christ … “, and I say it again, and I say it several times more, and the nurse tells me I’ve done very well, and I take “done very well” to mean not flying off the bench-top and into the fucking ceiling.
My body now comes with an attachment, an accessory.
The tube from my side feeds into what looks like a large, hollow, transparent Lego block, and this sits on a small trolley, and it is these things that shall be my constant companions for the next three weeks, the draining of pus from my lung cavity being a somewhat slower process than I had first thought – “Yeah mate, we’ve sucked all that out, sewed you up, whacked a bandage on it and you’re right to go”.
… Pills three or four times a day. “Observations” every three or four hours. An antibiotic drip to be replaced. Painkillers. A jab here, a jab there. X-rays. Scans. Ultrasound. Questions. A doctor looks at the amount of pus that has thus far been collected and remarks, “That’s quite a lot. I’ve only seen that much once before.” People go about their work, their routine. Nothing is forgotten. Nothing is missed. Everyone has something to do. They do it without complaint. They are pleasant and polite and friendly. Unfailingly so. With tube fitted, I am asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would rate your pain levels?”, and the first time, I reply, “I don’t know what pain on a scale of 10 would feel like. Being skinned alive while having your small intestine pulled out your left nostril with a rusty hook might manage it … ”, the response to which is, “That’s a very … colourful … image, Ross”. I cannot remember anyone’s name, but they all know and remember mine, even if they’ve only seen me once or twice. Clipboards are carried, boxes are ticked, notes are taken, care is administered, and here comes someone else …
I see and experience nothing here that would make the “news”. No one is giving birth in a toilet. No one is dying in a corridor, bleeding from their eyes. There are no doctors snorting cocaine in the supplies room. No drugged to the eyeball nurses trying to set fire to the joint. There is nothing worth writing a letter of complaint about to the editor of a tabloid or a member of government demanding something be done about something disgraceful, something appalling, something we should all be ashamed of, we taxpayers.
… I’m up early each morning, maybe 5 or 5.30 am, and as soon as it hits 6.00am, I’m downstairs to the newsagent on the first floor, my tube and pus-bucket in tow, scouring the shelves for something decent to read, picking up the day’s newspapers. I’m even buying “The Courier-Mail”, but I draw the line at “The Australian”. I may be ill, but I’m not deranged. Coffee shop opens at 6.30, closes at 6.00 pm. I’m there four times a day. “On the house, love”, says the woman serving one morning, “We’ll be able to open another shop at this rate” …
One thing …
I don’t have cancer.
“The Power of Christ compels you!”
“We’re not getting all the fluid, Ross”, a doctor tells me. “There’s still a residue of pus on the bottom of your lung, and the lung itself is stuck to the cavity wall. We have to peel that off.” … Scraping bacon from a skillet … “So we’ve pencilled you in for an operation on Monday morning.”
“Right”, I say, but I am thinking, “People die during operations. I should’ve cleaned the fucking flat”, that is the first thing that comes into my mind, “I should’ve cleaned the fucking flat.”
Last time I saw, the lounge room looked like the Gaza Strip.
The day before the operation, I am told what exactly will be done, how and why, and I am asked if I understand all of this, which I do. I am then told a grim list of all the things that could possibly go wrong, from the minor horrors of infection through to the end of days, the popping of clogs, the mortal coil shuffle, the pearly-gate pimp-roll, the ceasing to be. I am asked to sign something and I do. In the unexpected event of my demise, this will absolve whoever is responsible of all blame.
Nice work if you can get it.
On the day, I am taken from my bed and wheeled through corridor after corridor, some familiar, some not, down an elevator, more corridors, another elevator, and still more corridors and I ask of the attendant, “Are we going to the morgue?”. Memories of the 1978 Michael Crichton film “Coma” come to mind, its tagline, “Imagine your life hangs by a thread. Imagine your body hangs by a wire. Imagine you’re not imagining.”
I am finally wheeled into a smallish room that is crowded with units of shelves, the shelves are laden with things, medical things, purpose unknown. The height of the shelving on one unit is out of whack with the units either side of it, and I find this irritates my sense of aesthetics, of form, of order. “They should all be the same”, I think, “Didn’t anybody notice?”
Two attendants “prep” me for the Drilling Of The Flesh that will shortly commence. Something is stuck into my wrist. I am getting used to this. “Ouch” is my only reaction. Tubes.
From here to the operating theatre, a large room, and to my surprise, there are many people in it. I am lifted on to the operating table. Murmurs surround me. Someone speaks, about what I do not recall. Things are done. In preparation.
I look around the room again and I say, “There’s a lot of people in here. Is this a big thing?”, and if an answer were forthcoming, I did not hear it for I did not so much as drift off to unconsciousness from the anaesthetic I was given, as I did plummet.
“Please release me”
With consciousness, two things …
First thing. I have grown more tubes. One is attached to a large bag of stuff, one to a small. The tube in my side is still there, but it is now draining a watery fluid tinged red with blood.
Second thing. Wasps have set up house under my skin and have declared war on my nerve endings. Or maybe it’s just a manoeuvre.
A nurse welcomes me back to the land of the living, and tells me what the new bags are for. The large one is something, and the small one is morphine. To kill the pain (YES!), press this button (OKAY!), dosages are measured and restricted (FUCK YOU PEOPLE!), so you can press the button only so many times (HOW MANY!?!) before it clams up …
A couple joints, some aspirin and a beer would’ve done the same trick. Maybe two beers.
Next day, two nurses arrive, smiling, and announce they are taking me for a “walk”. They will be managing my tubes and attachments, of which I now have more than a vacuum cleaner. They are taking me for a walk because I have, during my time here, become known for wandering off on a regular basis, upstairs and down, outside and in, a lone, lost soul in the corridors, rattling his tube and trolley like a spirit possessed, a wan and ethereal figure in blue drifting through these cold and friendless halls of the ill, the sick, the damaged and the dying.
And people with tubes stuck in their ribs.
“Can we go downstairs?”, I ask.
“Not while you’re hooked up to the morphine. You have to stay on the floor”, is the reply.
My plan to escape with a small bag of drugs and begin a vast global drug empire is foiled.
On the morning of my 21st day “inside”, a doctor tells me, “The x-rays look good. Everything went well. There’ll be some tissue scarring, but that’s to be expected. Tomorrow, we’ll remove the tube, and you can go home in the afternoon.”
“The afternoon? That’s quick.”
“Once the tube is out, there’s no reason for you to stay”, he says.
“Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all.”
One week later, I am back at “work”. The office. The corporate concern. I am sifting through roughly two hundred emails which have arrived during my absence, over three quarters of which have nothing to do with me. There are small piles of paperwork scattered across my desk. These piles represent my “work”. It’s bullshit. All of it. It pays the rent.
Next day, a communication arrives flagged with a red exclamation mark, denoting an “urgency” of some kind. “Ross”, it reads “I know you’ve only just got back, but would you be able to break down these figures for a blah-blah meeting at blah-blah o’clock that blah and blah and blah and blah … Even the roughest estimate will do. Thanks!”
The “roughest estimate”. In other words, a guess.
An “urgent” guess.
Who dies if you don’t get these stats in time? I wonder. I make something up. I send it off. It will be wrong. I don’t care.
You can swivel on your melodramatically “urgent” red exclamation marks.
I am asked questions by email from people who sit two desks away. “Communication” and “teamwork” are theoretical concepts to be found only in “training seminars” or staff meetings, but never to be utilised in practice. Camaraderie is a cold “How are you?” and a “Much better, thanks” and a hasty exit before a conversation can take place. The office is enveloped in a gloom of silence, broken only by a few occasional overheard mutterings in the distance.
Nothing seems real. Nothing here matters. Nothing that is done will live beyond the doing of it, and the doing of it will achieve nothing for nobody nowhere. Not. A. Single. Fucking. Thing.
I leave the office …
“Do you need a menu?”
“No, thanks. I’ll have the veal tortellini. And a glass of the Riesling.”
“Anywhere you like, sir.”
I watch people walk along the footpath outside the café. I lean back in my chair. No pain. Breathe. In. Out. Relax. I should do this more often. Be a little kinder to myself.
Food arrives. It’s good. Lots of parmesan.
I am going to stay here a while longer.
I order another glass of wine.
I am going to have a long lunch.
Anyone who has a problem with that when I eventually get back, I’ll shove a tube between their fucking ribs.
This won’t take long.
For reasons that elude me, and for purposes I cannot fathom, a “writer” has decided to piss a sizable chunk of her life up against a wall by writing a “biography” of former breakfast television personality and current Federal Treasurer, Joeboy Hockey.
Coming soon to a remainder bin near you for $0.95, I have not read it, nor will I. Even for $0.95.
Joeboy is a gaping arsehole. A twat. A buffoon. A fool. A liar and a fraud. A fake. A fuckwit. A douche. A puffed-up, preening, narcissistic, smug, self-righteous sook. A bulging flab-bucket of skanky ho’ thrush. An unseemly crusty yellow cum stain on this, the hand towel of life.
Here, for example, is why Joeboy got into politics (my emphasis)…
“… it was simply a movie ticket he was seeking. He’d popped down to the [University of Sydney’s] Student Representative Council, where the woman at the front counter had dismissed his query. He thought she was rude. She probably thought he was an upstart, but Joe was furious. His fees were paying her salary and that meant SHE WAS IN HIS SERVICE. ‘I would have liked her to be nice to me,’ Joe says, ‘so I thought I should give politics a go.’”
Where people are nice to you.
It was Joeboy’s cash, and Joeboy’s alone, that was financing this callow, uppity cunt whore’s lifestyle, her extravagant two-dollar instant noodle gourmet extravaganzas. Her bus tickets, goddammit. Her super-absorbent mouse-pillows. Did she not understand that?
How long, one wonders, has Joeboy carried this traumatic psychological scar, this primal hurt, deep within his tender, gentle soul?
Hockey’s biographer, Madonna King, had previously written a biography of Professor Ian Frazer, “the man who saved a million lives”, and a most deserving and worthy subject, for Professor Frazer is a man who has achieved very significant things in the course of his life, significant things of benefit to humankind worldwide.
Hockey, on the other hand, has achieved two-fifths of fuck-all in his.
He whines, he whinges, he bellows and blusters, he nags and lectures and points his chubby little digits at those who do not live up to his lofty standards of Randian superiority, and he casts his thumbs to the ground like a gonorrhea-riddled Roman Emperor in a tunic shabby with grape-stains and flecks of tobacco, damning them to the lions. The sick, the aged, the disabled, the young, the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the poor, to purgatory with you, he hollers, “You do not please me. You do not show me the respect I so richly deserve, you do not shower me with attention and adoration, and if you will not prostrate yourself before me, if you do not submit to my decrees, I will grind you into this earth”.
Here, again from the biography, is Joeboy complaining to Rupert Murdoch that his “End of the Age of Entitlement” speech was not sufficiently lauded and endorsed by Murdoch’s rags and the crusty old fartleberries who “write” for them …
“The criticism was swift and fast, including from within his own party over the timing of his speech, and certainly sections of the media, including The Australian, which didn’t show the enthusiasm Joe expected. Later he ran into Rupert Murdoch. “I said, ‘What the hell is The Australian doing?’ He was appalled,” Joe says. But the speech also wrapped up a new image of Joe. He was now seen as a hard-head. Avuncular Joe was gone.”
To be replaced by a petulant, foot-stamping, ill-tempered child. With a sense of entitlement.
“But what about the man behind the politician?”, the publisher’s blurb asks.
Good luck with that.
Joe Hockey is not a “man” in any sense but gender.
He’s just your average fuckwit, and a fuckwit far below average at that.
Three months after leaving High School, I finally land a job. December, couple weeks before Christmas, I’m 17, a month off 18. How many applications I had made in my search for gainful employment I cannot recall, but I do recall the phone ringing on that day, and I remarked to my grandmother upon hearing it, “That’s probably another bloody company ringing to tell me I still don’t have a job.”
I was wrong. I did have the job. At last.
Independence beckoned. Adulthood. My job. My salary. To spend as I saw fit on whatever I damn well pleased. It felt good. It made sense. I had had my fill of “learning”, of examinations, of schoolrooms and blackboards and uniforms, of barely interested teachers, of being expected to write “essays” of substance about the turgid verbal sludge of Thomas fucking Hardy and pretend to care.
“Cliff’s Notes” came in very handy at the time.
I was reading Mailer and Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick and Harlan Ellison, Hunter Thompson, Capote and Joan Didion. Conan Doyle and Arthur C. Clarke. Steinbeck and Poe and Twain. Thinking for myself, my “undeveloped” and so-called “immature” brain abuzz with ideas, with energy and imagination, the possibilities endless and, finally, I am in the world and I am an adult.
We would, a few other recent school leavers and I, gather occasionally at a pub in Sydney’s south-west and we would drink a beer, maybe two, and we would talk of our efforts to find work, how many interviews we had attended, how many applications we had submitted, and, when one of our number was successful in their efforts, we would offer congratulations, smiles, enthusiasms and handshakes all ‘round.
And we would buy another beer. As men now, no longer children.
Now, almost 40 years later, I find myself wondering what part of my working life during this time could be considered by our Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, “leaning” rather than “lifting”, as he so simply puts it.
Could it be the 6 weeks during 1990, when I was sacked from a job at a music publisher, and didn’t bother registering for unemployment benefits until 3 weeks later because it just didn’t occur to me? I received one cheque. One week later, I had found another job.
Was it, perhaps, the 3 months in 2001 where I chose to be unemployed, having told my then employer after 10 years they could take their fucking job and shove it? I lived off the long service payout. And, when the money began to run out, I found another job.
Such reckless irresponsibility.
Was it the sick leave, just earlier this year, that I was ordered to take by both doctor and employer so that I could deal with what had become at that point, an increasingly unmanageable mental health condition? Panic and anxiety attacks every morning that would leave me drenched in sweat, dry-retching into a sink for thirty minutes and shaking so badly at times I could barely walk, let alone communicate. There are pills for that. I take them now. Two per day, sometimes three if the fear returns with a roiling vengeance to tear at my chest and punch holes in my mind.
Was it that?
I did have three months sick leave owing to me after nine years work, so it’s not as if I had spent those past years farting about, taking and faking sick days on a regular basis so I could go up the pub for a drunken bludge and play the fucking fruit machines.
Do you think?
Was I leaning?
No. I do not think so.
One “welfare” cheque in 38 years of work. One. That is the sum amount of “money for nothing” from the Australian government I have ever received. Single, no kids, no mortgage and fifty-five years old.
Nobody has thrown me a wad (so to speak) of money just for poking girl to make baby.
Nobody has thrown me twenty grand (or whatever it is or was), because I went looking for that “Great Australian Dream” of owning my own home, some over-priced, ratty little shithole of realty to get me “started in the market”.
Fuck your “market”.
But in 1976, there were no “leaners”, no “bludgers” among our small band of brothers gathered around that table at the pub, talking excitedly and enthusiastically about our jobs, our futures, what we wanted.
We wanted our independence. Our financial independence. We craved the freedom that would afford us, and we did get it. All of us. I got it.
I started work in December of that year as a junior clerk in a finance company, looking after the stationery supplies; on the mail-table opening letters and bundling cheques and vouchers; basic accounts work, and four years later, at 21 years of age, I was the company’s NSW State Accountant.
I attended no courses. I attained no “professional” accreditations. I have no diploma. To this day I have not stepped foot inside a classroom since leaving high school.
The company trained me. They recognised in me an aptitude, an eagerness to learn, and they trained me. They invested their time. They made the effort. They imparted knowledge. And I soaked it up.
Fast forward to the present day.
I am in need of a new assistant. There is a young man – early 20’s – who manages the office supplies and other general duties, including front desk and reception who, I am told by my manager, has expressed an interest in moving onward and upward, seeking something a little more challenging. While I have little to do with this person, my general impression is that he is pleasant, personable and friendly, and from all reports, very good at what he is currently doing.
“Yes”, I say to my manager, “I’d be happy to see if he’d be interested. He strikes me as having a very positive attitude, so that would balance out well with my own”, I continue, having once been described by another manager once as the Most Cynical Man in The Company (I’d like that on a t-shirt, please).
“I’ll mention it to HR”, he says. A few hours later, he returns. “I’ve spoken to HR, and they don’t think he has the necessary skills, so we’ll drop that idea”, he says.
“Ah”, I say, and I am about to say something else, but catch myself, knowing it would be of little use, and I return to my desk. Where I think to myself, “How the fuck is he going to get the necessary skills, if we’re not prepared to give them to him? I’ve worked in my particular field for 35 years, and I would be more than happy to give him the benefit of my experience and knowledge. I would’ve enjoyed that.”
Johanna Wyn and Hernan Cuervo from The Conversation …
“[Youth Research Centre’s longitudinal Life Patterns research program] Following a cohort of secondary school graduates of 1991, this research traced the impact on young people’s lives of two significant policy changes that occurred in the early 1990s: university fees and the Workplace Relations Act. These policies changed the rules of school-to-work transitions, and created the conditions for a new generation (Generation X).
The period that young people spend in educational institutions has extended into their mid-twenties. They have then spent the next 10–15 years seeking secure work before “settling down”.
Although the majority of the participants in the Life Patterns study said they expected to be in stable relationships or married and becoming parents by their late 20s, it was more than ten years later that the majority were economically secure enough to make these commitments.”
I see a letter in Brisbane’s Murdoch tabloid “The Courier-Mail” that “young people don’t know what it’s like to do it tough”, and I’d like to punch the person who wrote it.
We have this …
“One in five young Australians are dealing with mental illness, but more than 60% felt uncomfortable seeking professional help, according to a new report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute.
The study of 15- to 19-year-olds across the country found 21% of the 15,000 surveyed were battling a probable mental illness. The rate among females in that age group was much higher than among young men – 26% compared with 14%.
“The confronting findings in this report illustrate the significant challenges many of our young people are facing when it comes to psychological distress and mental health issues,” Mission Australia’s CEO, Catherine Yeomans, said on Wednesday.
“We know that many of our youth are struggling with complex issues, and it’s impacting on their ability to transition with confidence into adulthood.””
So we do this …
“It is proposed that young people under the age of 30 will have a six-month wait until they can access Newstart or Youth Allowance. The benefit will be available for six months only. The age of eligibility for the Newstart allowance will increase from 22 to 24 years and those aged between 22 and 24 will only be eligible for the Youth Allowance.
This amounts to a loss of just under A$50 a week compared with current arrangements. At the same time, funding has been withdrawn for the organisations that provide career counselling, including Youth Connections and the Local Learning and Employment Networks (in Victoria). Support for young people who are already vulnerable, including those with disabilities, will drop to a new low.” – Wyn and Cuervo, The Conversation
Which gives us this …
“The Life Patterns research also shows that financial hardship and combining work and study are associated with the trend towards declining mental health for young people aged 19 to 25. In other words, even now, many young people struggle against the odds to get educational or skills qualifications and to use these in the labour market. A proportion of those who do experience stress levels that are harmful to their health.” (ibid)
Which makes for more of this …
“In a report to the Australian Senate in 2010, men accounted for over three-quarters (76.9%) of deaths from suicide while an estimated 72% of males with a potentially diagnosable condition don’t seek help for mental illness … Every day, at least six Australians die from suicide and a further thirty people will attempt to take their own lives.” – Kate Richards, “Is There No Place for Me?”
They want to Kill Your Sons.
Not so much the daughters. They will be needing them for breeding (For further information, please contact the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews. He has pamphlets, dontcha know).
The rules change. The reality changes. The goalposts shift.
Yet in the minds of our current leaders, Abbott, Hockey, Andrews, Abetz, there lingers only fondly held, somewhat dusty, sepia-toned memories as life once was, the life they led and their parents, “back in the day” – Why, they worked hard, harder than anybody has ever worked before, they learnt respect for authority, they did what they were told when they were told to do it, no complaints, no talking back, they endured hardships, they fought against the odds, against consequences, nobody gave them any fucking handouts, there are jobs out there if you want them, that’s what they did, went out and just got one, but these young folk today, they’re too busy with their Playstations and texting, they don’t even bother to fucking look.
In their minds, those of our leaders, it is not the goalposts that have shifted, it is not that the rules or the reality has changed, it’s just that the fucking people are all WRONG, they’re doing it all WRONG!
This world we now live in. This country.
A plutocracy of demagogues. Fear, cruelty, punishment, retribution.
I would not like to be young in it.
So you can’t find a job?
You have sinned. Your sins shall no longer be held as sins, but shall henceforth and from this day forward be regarded as criminal acts of gross negligence and indecency against the standards of the State. We can no longer be expected to tolerate those who would take advantage of us. As you cannot, or will not, find yourself a job, one shall be given to you.
The State is taking care of the protection, cultivation and exploitation of the forests. The State is taking care of the physical education of the nation, especially of the youth, with the aim of improving the nation’s health and national, working and defensive capability.
It is to this end, the State demands that you abide by its Decree.
You are, as of now, conscripted into the service of the State. You will accept this service. You will carry out all and any duties requested of you by the State. You will do so with pride and dedication. You will receive a small allowance for your service, but you will be granted no other rights or benefits. Your blood, your sweat, your tears, the dust of your bones shall fertilise our fields, grow our crops, and help feed our people. Your words shall be whispers to the ears of the deaf, your hopes the vain follies of indolent youth.
Welcome to Our Green Army, Australischen Arbeiterjugend!
As you toil in our lands, our factories, our fields, hold your head high, know that dein Vaterland watches over you, and loves you, be proud of your labours, and let your voice join in unison with those of your fellow labourers, and let it sing a chorus of glory, of celebration, of Victory, “Vorwärts! Vorwärts! schmettern die hellen Fanfaren!”
Back in February 2011, I wrote this for another (now-defunct) blog. It has a whole bunch of those words I was looking for in my last post just now, only in Yiddish …
Scott Morrison, opposition immigration spokesman, has a problem with taxpayers ponying up some cash to pay for the funerals of those who were killed in the Christmas Island tragedy …
Seven survivors of the Christmas Island boat tragedy will travel to Sydney today to bury family members. Among them, Madian El Ibrahimy will bury his eight-month-old daughter, Zahra and Hussein al-Husaini will lay to rest his three-month-old son Sam.
Both men’s wives drowned, or are missing.
The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, yesterday attacked the government for flying 21 detainees from Christmas Island to attend the Muslim and Christian funerals at Rookwood and Rouse Hill for victims of December’s horrific boat crash.
Family members of 12 of the victims live in Sydney and requested they be buried here.
But Mr Morrison said transferring detainees to Sydney raised security issues and showed the government ”doesn’t understand the value of the taxpayer’s money”.
Mr Morrison told radio 2GB: ”If people wanted to attend the funeral service from Sydney, for example, who may have been relatives of those who wanted these funeral services, well, they could have held the service on Christmas Island and like any other Australian who would have wanted to go to the funeral of someone close to them, they would have paid for themselves to get on a plane and go there.”
He should die of cancer. A shtunk, er zol vaksen vi a tsibeleh, mit dem kop in drerd! …
Scott Morrison, this crusted cum stain on the fabric of the universe, this bloated, block-headed bucket of thrush from out the communal washbasin of a heizel, a kuppe drek, this plyoot karger, this farkakte proster chamoole, it k’vitsh’s “Tzufil!!”, “Too much!! Too costly!!”, the money we spend to bury the children of these “niggers” from across the sea, these invaders, these illegals, their foreign ways they bring to these pristine white shores where pristine white people go about their pristine white ways, and now we, the “taxpayer”, we pay our shekels to bury their rotting dead?
“Gai feifen ahfen yam!” it whines, such a yatebedam it thinks it is, such a man, counting our pennies for us, counting, counting, counting, bed bugs I have seen with more character than this yukel, this shtunk, this fat-faced tamaveter with its crooked beaver teeth, its dead man’s eyes, a feier zol im trefen!! … Such a grober is this boy, this shtik drek, his words are like the loose bowel movements of crazy old grandmothers that carry on the breezes that brush over a field of unburied corpses.
Kish mir en toches, groisser potz!! Me ken brechen!!
Ah, fuck him, his testicles are sultanas, his penis is a noodle.
Scott Morrision, zolst zein vi a lomp-am tug sollst di hangen, in der nacht sollst di brennen!!
Gai trenz ich, Morrison, gai trenz ich!!!
*Translations in comments.
SIX-WEEK-OLD BABY REMOVED FROM INVERBRACKIE DETENTION CENTRE BY DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION
A TINY Australian-born baby was among 14 asylum seekers herded onto a plane from Adelaide to Christmas Island on Thursday.
The four families were the latest to be removed from the Adelaide Hills Inverbrackie detention centre.
More than 70 babies have been born in Australia to asylum seeker mothers, and once they are “old enough” – in this case, eight weeks or younger – they and their families are sent back to Christmas Island.
Sources said the youngest baby in the group was about six weeks old, but a spokesman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said all the children were aged from eight weeks to six years and that it was a “normal transfer process”.
I need a new word. My ”cunt” key has broken from overuse.
Any assistance you feel you may be able to provide in this time of need would be greatly appreciated.
Some weeks back, I find myself thinking …
… “Wait. Wait!”, I think.
I am fifty-five and a half years old. I have worked from the age of seventeen.
I have no children. I have no mortgage.
I have, compared to some, a “manageable” credit card debt. Nathan Tinkler I am not.
I think …
“I’ll be sixty in four and a half years” …
… “FUCK THIS FOR A BOX OF BUSTED CHEESE CRACKERS, I’M FUCKING RETIRING AT 60!”
I shall take my superannuation – all of it – and I shall spend it. All of it. On luxury cruises, and shiny, shiny baubles, and exotic spices from far-off lands and gourmet meals and a multitude of fripperies too numerous to mention, too numerous to imagine.
Oh, the humanity!
“Yes. Yes”, I think to myself …
And then …
And then …
I shall go on the aged pension at 65, and become an ”ageing burden on the economy”. I shall become an “ageing burden on the healthcare system”. I shall become a “drain on the taxpayer’s purse”.
No longer a “lifter” shall I be, but a “leaner”.
Poor economy. Poor taxpayer. Poor healthcare system.
“Leaning. Leaning. Safe and secure from all alarms.
Leaning. Leaning. Leaning on the everlasting arms.
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.”
Originally posted as “The Con” September 26, 2012, and now, given our new government and its recent budgetary declaration of war on the unemployed, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the poor, the homeless and any other Australian whose life and lifestyle fits not the Abbott vision of a New Australian Master Race of the Rich, more pertinent than ever …
My father, now 84, spent the last half dozen or so years of his working life moving from employment to unemployment and back again, and then back again, until for the last two or three, it was a welfare cheque every fortnight until he became eligible for the aged pension.
A signwriter and commercial artist who began practising his skills in the 1940’s, he had never been accustomed to unemployment in his life until that time, rising at five or six every morning to be at the factory by seven, grabbing any overtime available, nights, weekends, for the extra cash to throw at the mortgage, put a little money away for the future.
The nature of his work, the industry he was a part of for forty years, began to change in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, became more and more automated, and brushes and paints gave way to pixels, and he found himself, in his late fifties, a man both out of his time and rapidly running out of relevance to the world.
The factories became smaller, the offices became larger, and the traditionalists, the artists, just got older and more expensive to keep, so they were always the first to go.
This was a man who struggled to operate a television remote control – brushes and easels and paints were the tools of his trade, pencils and charcoal, his hands, his eyes – these new machines that were taking his work confounded his senses, made no sense at all.
“It’s not as if I’ve forgotten how to hold a brush.”
Work hard, work harder, reap the benefits of your labours from the ditch you were told to dig, then die in it …
… and everything will take care of itself.
The bleat of the shill plays on while you’re the pebble in the eggcup shuffle of working life.
The scam a simple-minded mantra they slap into you from the time you can walk.
Ten years. Twenty. Thirty. Forty.
…. Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done.
They forget you, you forget yourself.
For them, it’s an easy slip into the lazy comic cliché, feet up, television all day, drinking beer, send “A Current Affair” around to do a story, all these louche louts living it large, we’re out here working our arses off, and what do you do?
“We’ve been told not to talk to reporters.”
“Twenty two years from 5.30am to 4.30pm, two jobs, two locations, overtime, on call, no extra pay, now I’m not good enough.”
…. Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done.
We’ll talk later …
… about “getting people off welfare and back into work”. About “encouraging employers to take on more mature workers”, and “incentives” for doing so …
… about “single mothers”, two words which, when conjoined, appear to conjure an abomination in the minds of many; there’s always something needs be “done” about “single mothers”, but leaving them be is never one of them …
When all is said and done …
We’ll give you a pamphlet, you can call this number, press one, hold please.
Sorry for your loss.
It hurts us too.
Government can no longer afford to be government, you get a ticket and a queue, a slap upside the head, and a “heal thyself”.
We’re cutting our numbers and we’re trimming our fat, all the better to serve you. Tightening the belt and pulling our weight.
“Takin’ up the slack here, Boss!”
Work fourteen, paid for eight, how many years is it now and fourteen nervous breakdowns later you put a bullet through the top of your head when the pills stop working and the kids won’t shut up.
“I still have my work bag in the cupboard. I haven’t emptied it yet, it has all the things in it that I used to take to work. I said that I wouldn’t clear it until five years. I suppose I’ll clear it in the next few weeks or so. I have finally realised that it is over.”
Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
We keep putting Dickheads in charge of things that are far too important to be left to Dickheads, and then we express shock and surprise, outrage and anger, that the person whom we’ve always suspected to be a Dickhead turns out to be a far bigger and far more dangerous Dickhead than we ever could’ve imagined.
Politicians, Captains of Industry, Business Leaders, Corporate Directors, People with Money, the lot of them Dickheads with dead eyes and soft, milky jowls, their fat necks bulge up and over their stiff and starched white collared business shirts like so many baby hippo’s straining to break free from the womb. They comb their hair just so, like all Dickheads do, they like blue ties and dark suits, and they speak in Dickheaderese, a language only they understand, but with which they choose to flog and berate and nag and whine and whinge at the rest of us, we Non-Dickheads, of whom they do not approve, they do not approve of us at all, because there are times when we disagree, we object, we protest, we resist their reproaches, we argue, and they can’t have that, they won’t, because they are The Dickheads and they are in charge, and that is just as the world should be.
This, these, are the lessons we must learn.
Dickheads make shit up, and they like to call fictions and fantasies “facts”.
Dickheads speak in broad, sweeping generalisations about things they know nothing of, and have no experience in whatsoever, and they are not inclined to pay attention to those who do know things, because those people are not Dickheads, and if they are not Dickheads, but happen to be in charge of something, they will very soon find themselves out of charge and right royally fucked over …
Van Badham, The Guardian Australia, June 5, 2014 …
“What this means applied to the Australian example is this: what is informing the policy agenda of Abbott’s government is not expertise, experience or research based on comparative modeling. It is not considered opinion, nor consultation with stakeholders. It is not practicality, not economics, not populism (as the post-budget polls clearly show). It is an ideological agenda to punish the poor for being poor, the sick for being sick, addicts for being addicts, and those who who are not rich but wish to learn for having ambitions above their station.
And the Coalition will pursue this agenda exactly as far as the Australian people allow them to get away with it.”
Dickheads dream Very Big Dreams.
Very Big Dreams of Very Big Arenas and Stadiums and Cities filled with the clamour and love of legions of adoring hordes too numerous to count, slogans are chanted and fists are raised in salutations of adulation, flags are flying and banners with strange and unusual symbols on them hang proudly from the balconies of public buildings in the Kapitol, and there are stalls selling eintopf and kasespatle and sauerbraten and brezel and, for die Kleinen, as much schwarzwalder kirschtorte as they can eat, badges and streamers and confetti, and pamphlets praising the multiple virtues of these Dickheads Who Are In Charge of Very Important Things, pamphlets written by these very same Dickheads, for only a Dickhead knows what a Dickhead knows, and only these Dickheads know what is best.
Dickheads say the darnedest things …
NEIL MITCHELL Radio 3AW Melbourne: Are penalty rates still part of the issue here? I know there’s a review, but do you think penalty rates need to be seriously reviewed?
PRIME MINISTER Tony Abbott: Well,again, that’s a matter for the Commission, as it should be, Neil, but one of the real problems we’ve got at the moment is that if you want to keep your café or restaurant open on a Sunday or on a public holiday, it’s very expensive. I don’t know what things were like last Easter in Melbourne, but last Easter in Sydney, it was very hard to get a cup of coffee outside well known tourist destinations and I think that’s a pity.”
Awwwwww, poor Dickhead.
Dickheads do complain a lot. The richer, or more powerful the Dickhead, the more they complain. Mostly about Non-Dickheads …
Non-Dickheads don’t work hard enough. Non-Dickheads want to be paid when they do work, but the Dickheads in Charge complain that Non-Dickheads are paid too much, even that they expect to be paid at all, which is appalling when you really think about it.
That they want to be paid, that is.
“Layin’ it down here, Boss!”. “Pickin’ it up here, Boss!”.
Dickheads don’t like old people, because old people get sick and cost money. Dickheads don’t like young people, because young people just lay about all day doing nothing and asking for government handouts. Dickheads don’t like people with disabilities because they’re embarrassing. Sometimes they have deformities, or they look funny, or they make noises. They just gum up the gene pool, and the Dickheads would prefer it if somebody could simply Glen-20 the whole lot of them into oblivion or something, so they wouldn’t keep wasting the taxpayers money on wheelchairs and crutches and respirators and drool buckets.
From “The New Statesman”, Alan B’stard (Rik Mayall) …
“We hear an awful lot of leftie whingeing about NHS waiting lists. Well the answer’s simple. Shut down the health service. Result? No more waiting lists. You see, in the good old days, you were poor, you got ill and you died. And yet these days people seem to think they’ve got some sort of God-given right to be cured. And what is the result of this sloppy socialist thinking? More poor people. In contrast, my policies would eradicate poor people, thereby eliminating poverty. And they say that we Conservatives have no heart”.
Dickheads “believe in things”, so much simpler and convenient than actually knowing a thing. You don’t have to do any work.
Dickheads have spent their entire lives concocting “theories” on how we should live, and these “theories” are called ”ideologies”, which is to say, they are “systems of belief”, not to be confused with “Systems of Romance”, a fine album from the late 1970’s by the John Foxx led Ultravox, before Midge Ure came along with all the puffy shirt shit and fucked it all up.
Dickheads worship money and any Dickhead who has money is a good Dickhead by Dickhead standards, and should be listened to and paid all due and diligent deference and respect, because having money, oodles of it, means you know everything there is to know about everything and you should be put in charge of things. Very important things. Immediately.
Yet all across the country, hundreds of thousands of voices are now being raised in shock and surprise, anger and outrage, that so many Dickheads are in charge of so many things, and they seem to be murderously intent on fucking them all up and the rest of us with it, and there is simply nothing we can do about it.
Tim Dunlop, ABC …
“Of course, Mr Abbott is perfectly free to assert that a skeleton government, unionless workplaces, reduced public services, cuts in welfare, cuts in wages, and a minimally taxed business sector is a recipe for a fair and decent society, but we all know that that is rubbish.
How do we know?
Because we have a 40-year experiment in precisely the sort of policies he is now pursuing and we can check the outcome. That experiment is called the United States, and it is one the least equal developed nations on earth, decaying from the middle (class) out.
So we know how the story ends.
And yet this is where we are heading, mere months into the first term of an Abbott government. We are, as a nation, being transformed from a society into an economy.”
You cannot argue with a Dickhead.
You cannot reason with a Dickhead.
The Dickheads are in Charge.
And we put them there.
Who are the Dickheads now?
This post contains 1,340 words. 44 of them are Dickheads.
I am sitting at a table at my local pub, outside, having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day, minding my own quiet business, idly flipping through the pages of Saturday morning’s Courier-Mail, when I hear a faint hub-bub from behind me, a hub-hub that soon grows into something of a din, when into the pub, trailed by a small fleet of cameras and photographers and a couple minders, and completely unexpected and unannounced, strides Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on a meet ‘n’ greet soiree with some of the common folk.
He shakes a few hands, clasps a few shoulders, has a chinwag and a chuckle or three, buys a beer – a midi, $4.40 – and then he wanders out to where I am, having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day and minding my own quiet business, thrusting his hand into my personal space, introducing himself, and then, and then, he … sits down, opposite, and he begins to talk, not to me, but at me.
He talks of budgets and deficits and debts and disasters, he talks most excitedly and terribly, terribly seriously, his every word a portent of doom for future calamity and catastrophe if desperate measures are not taken and taken immediately to halt the country’s imminent collapse into cannibalistic primitivism and anarchy ….
He talks of “heavy lifting” and “sharing the pain”, and that’s when I throw my beer over him, make a Harpo Marx face, flap my hands and belt out a quick chorus of “Hello, Dolly!” before his minders wrestle me about a bit for the benefit of the cameras, someone calls the cops, and I am duly charged with assault with a refreshing alcoholic beverage …
Some time later …
I am confronting my fate at the hand of The Law, and The Law doth ask me if my name is my name and my address is my address, to which I reply in the affirmative, and then I am asked, “Mr. Sharp. Did you throw a glass of beer at the Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey?”
“Yes, I did”, I say, “Only the beer, though. I kept the glass”.
“Why did you throw beer at Mr. Hockey, Mr. Sharp?”, I am asked.
“Because he’s a dickhead”, I say.
“I beg your pardon?”
“He’s a dickhead.”
“Could you possibly elaborate a little further, Mr. Sharp?”
“I’m having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day, minding my own quiet business, idly flipping through the pages of Saturday morning’s Courier-Mail, when in waltzes Hockey who, completely uninvited by myself, plonks himself across the table from where I’m sitting and begins to rattle on and on and on at me about budgets and debts and deficits and disasters, all of which is complete and total bullshit, but no matter how many times you try to point out what bullshit it all is, or how hysterically over-the-top it all is, they keep on with it, they keep pressing the point that the entire country’s totally stuffed and will turn into a basket-case of epic proportions unless the government is allowed to screw people who can’t afford to be screwed any more than they’re already being screwed into chalky dust and economic oblivion. Bollocks. Where am I? The Democratic Republic of Congo? Nigeria? Haiti? North Korea? Is this Detroit, Michigan? Is this Baltimore, Maryland? No, it is not. Is it too much to expect a sense of perspective about a thing occasionally? A blue moon would do. But no, every single day, some lumpy-arsed wally is a-hollerin’ and a-howlin’ about some so-called “mess we’re in”, or some new “crisis” or “emergency” that will tip the planet off its axis and send us all hurtling into the sun. About the only damn “crisis” I’m seeing these days involve a bunch of frothing political lunatics whose intellects are so unevolved, whose imaginations are so devoid of anything, anything that might even come close to a coherent idea, a workable policy, that if you took a peek inside their pea-sized brains, all you’d see would be a couple tumbling tumbleweeds and a blowfly, and even the blowfly’s fed up to the back teeth and beside itself trying to get the fuck out. Silly buggers talking bullshit. I’ve had a gutful of silly buggers talking bullshit. My head feels like a scurry of squirrels have taken up residence in my skull. They hurt my head! These people are simply not rational. They say one thing one day, the opposite the next, they’re all over the bloody shop like a mad woman’s shit. It’s bad enough they’re talking all this bullshit on television and radio and newspapers and whatnot, but when one of these silly buggers turns up in my actual life and begins talking bullshit to my actual person, about “heavy lifting“ – What, are we supposed to haul Gina Rinehart’s fat arse across the fucking Nullarbor on top a high-chair? – about “sharing the pain”, then I figure I’m gonna share some of the pain that this silly bugger was inflicting on me, and throw my beer at him, even if only to get him to stop talking bullshit and just piss off. Wouldn’t you?”
“Yes. Yes, Mr. Sharp, I think I would. May I ask you one more question?”
“After throwing your beer at Mr. Hockey, did you make a Harpo Marx face, flap your hands, and sing a chorus of “Hello, Dolly!”?
“The occasion seemed to warrant it.”
“That’s all I need to hear, Mr. Sharp. Thank you very much for your time. Case and charges dismissed.”
What a Wonderful World.
It Would Be.
I have seen the future according to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a load of wussy, namby-pamby, half-arsed faggy bollocks.
I for one, and I’m sure I speak for a multitude, if not the vast and overwhelming majority of honest, decent, hard-working, God-fearing Aussie blokes and sheilas are fed up to the fucking back teeth with these bludging toe-rags on welfare. Why the fuck should my taxes be used to subsidise the lifestyle choices of doddery old cunts and cripples and retards and latte-sipping lazy leftist shitheads from the inner-city who are more motivated by the thought of going out and getting another fucking tattoo or piercing than they are by getting a fucking job?
Fuck the lot of them, that’s what I reckon, and if Abbott wants to keep my vote from hereon, this is what he really ought to be proposing …
Any and all unemployed individuals currently on a disability pension will have their pension cancelled and be immediately redeployed to a re-employment and retraining internment centre where some suitable form of work be found for them. If no suitable form of work can be found for any particular person or persons, that person or persons will be shot.
Any individual on a disability pension where that pension is being paid due to a psychological condition such as a depressive illness or some such nonsense, will have that pension cancelled forthwith and ordered to get a fucking grip and get over yourself. Otherwise, you will be shot.
If you are severely incapacitated, either physically or intellectually to the point where intelligent thought processes or physical movement is not within the realms of possibility, the state shall give thanks to the Lord for your selfless donation of those functioning organs you are in possession of, after which you will be given a nifty certificate in acknowledgement of your great sacrifice for your country and promptly shot.
Anyone over the age of 65 and under the age of 85 who considers themselves to be “retired” and has been in receipt of the aged pension will have that pension summarily cancelled, whereupon they too will be sent to a re-employment and retraining internment centre and suitable work be assigned to them. If no suitable work can be found, they will be shot.
(Maybe we could get all the old folk to make the bullets, cause we’re gonna need a shitload.)
Any and all individuals who have been unemployed for a total of more than 5 successive days will be removed from their place of residence and taken to the nearest town or village square, placed in stocks and subject to a sordid variety of public humiliations upon their persons.
(BYO ripe tomatoes, or buy a bucket from a licensed government vendor on the spot for a buck. At that price, why not buy 2? Refuse to participate in these public humiliations of bludging arsewipes and we’ll have your fucking eyes out. After which, you will be shot.)
Annual leave will be reduced from 20 days per annum to 3, and sick leave from 8 days per annum to 2. Compassionate leave will be abolished altogether. Just throw the body in a dumpster and get back to work. Or you will be shot.
Homeless people will be shot. It may be all very well to acknowledge a housing affordability and accommodation crisis, but why make such a fuss about it? Shoot the fuckers.
Women between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age will be denied entry to the workforce until they have produced at least 2 healthy offspring. Unhealthy offspring will be shot. Any woman who has not produced the required number of children by the time they are 30 will be forced to have demeaning sexual acts performed upon their person by their local federal government representative until they fucking well wake up to themselves and start ovulating with some serious intent.
Otherwise, they will be shot.
Finally, the working week shall be extended from 5 days a week to 6 and a half days, with Sunday morning reserved for respectful (and compulsory) worship of our Lord & Saviour at your local Christian church (those other churches are rubbish, we’re blowing them up) after which, having dutifully declared yourself to be a sunbeam for Jesus, it’s back to work post-haste, my son. Or you will be shot.
Now, that’s more like it.
Look, we’ve got a great country here, it’s the best fucking country in the whole fucking world (all those other countries are fucking rubbish, we’re blowing them up), so it’s about time, if we’re really serious about moving forward and making a lot of progress, to start getting rid of these other bludging fuckers if they’re not prepared to knuckle down and do a decent day’s work like the rest of us.
That’s what I call a fair go for all, and that’s the principle this country was founded on. That and honest, decent, Christian principles and we’ve all got those in spades, haven’t we? (all those other principles are crap, we’re blowing them up).
So, listen, buddy-boy, if you want to keep my vote, knock off all this lame, gay, churchy-loser bullshit about compassion and understanding and fucking tolerance and shit and start spreading some bullets around and blowing shit up.
I’m sure you didn’t call your book Battlelines for nothing, mate.
*First written February 26, 2010. Only some tenses have been changed.
Albeit, rattling like a pill bottle and with a pocketful of prescriptions.
But that’s another story.
Thanks very much to all those who’ve left messages here or have otherwise been in touch.
During my absence, I compiled this very brief list of things I must always avoid …
South Korean ferries.
Silly cunts talking bullshit.
Speaking of which, what about that Joe Hockey bloke, eh?
Every time he opens his mouth, I want to smash him in the head with a brick, slit his throat, shit down his neck and then piss on his still-twitching corpse. #hatespeech.
Not really, but it does makes me feel better saying it. And everybody’s got a right to be a bigot these days, after all.
I heard Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently comment that “the Coalition had done “precisely” what it said it would do before the election.”, and that he’d “kept faith with the Australian people” … *
*Conditions may apply. Results may vary over time. May contain nuts. Please check Expiry Date on the bottom of this post, and do not consume contents if expiration date has passed.
For almost 15 fucking years now, I have been listening to one bunch of dopey bastards after another gibber and squawk about refugees or asylum seekers and boats and “illegals” and I’m fucking fed up to the fucking back teeth with it all.
There has been no discussion. There has been no debate. A conversation has not been had.
A “policy” has been Frankenstein’d into being at the behest of 60% of Australians who “want the Abbott government [and the three governments before it] to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers”, because that, and that alone gnaws at the very core of their being, day after day, month after month, minute by minute – in the home, the workplace, the pub, the coffee shop, every day is a Bad Day at Black Rock, there be strangers comin’ to town, and pokin’ their noses into things they ain’t got no business with …
… The Howard “battlers”, Hanson’s children, slumped into their Harvey Norman 3-Year, Interest-Free, Nothing-To-Pay Now* (*conditions apply), 4-seater beige bonded leather lounge with chaise, poking at a Playstation, a tabloid on the coffee table, 2GB on the radio, all they hear and read are the headlines, the screams and the screeches, and they say things like “Won’t recognize the fucking country in a couple years ‘cause of all these cunts they’re lettin’ in”, and “It’s not the Australia I grew up in, that’s for sure”, and “They let these cunts in and throw fucking money and welfare and fucking houses at ‘em, and what about us, eh? What about the fucking rest of us?” …
Tad Tietze – “Those reasons (for the continued asylum debate) are defined primarily by the political needs of elites to create scapegoats and distractions for their failure to provide security to ordinary people already living here – not of borders, but of a social kind. That is, they seek to displace social insecurity into a defence of national integrity, here in the form of ‘border security’, in the process shifting blame for social ills onto an external ‘other’ that is threatening to invade and disrupt our livelihoods and cohesion. While previously the natural territory of the Right, the mainstream Left has been drawn into playing this game the more it has abandoned its traditional support base in favour of pro-corporate neoliberal policies.”
The very character of our country is being assaulted by the devious and the deviant on a daily basis, our way of life, our traditions, our culture, our Holy days (Lest We Forget), it’s all going under, can’t you see?
FUCK OFF, WE’RE FULL.
Donald Horne – “Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.”
Fifty years after Horne first wrote those words, we’re right back there now, the second-rate are in charge again (with a vengeance), small-minded provincialism masquerades as “national pride”, mediocrity is applauded as modesty, philistinism is back in vogue, and expertise is dead …
“There’s also that immutable problem known as “human nature.” It has a name now: it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says, in sum, that the dumber you are, the more confident you are that you’re not actually dumb. And when you get invested in being aggressively dumb…well, the last thing you want to encounter are experts who disagree with you, and so you dismiss them in order to maintain your unreasonably high opinion of yourself.
All of these are symptoms of the same disease: a manic reinterpretation of “democracy” in which everyone must have their say, and no one must be “disrespected.” … This yearning for respect and equality, even—perhaps especially—if unearned, is so intense that it brooks no disagreement …
…Thus, at least some of the people who reject expertise are not really, as they often claim, showing their independence of thought. They are instead rejecting anything that might stir a gnawing insecurity that their own opinion might not be worth all that much.”
At the same time Government holds a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, we traffic refugee children from country to country, telling them neither why nor where they will be sent, but for certain it will not be pleasant, of that we will definitely make sure …
David Marr – “The miracle is that after nearly 40 years of this we’re still as confident as ever that once the latest brutal campaign is done, once the boats have stopped again, we can go back to being the decent people we thought we were. We don’t read it for what it is: a permanent regime of cruelty.
A long time ago we set the dial at brutal and we’ve kept it there. That’s hard to face. It goes against our deepest sense of ourselves. But stopping the boats is about us as well as them. The major parties, the Murdoch press and tabloid radio is urging the nation not to lose its resolve. But while a slew of inquires ask what happened on Manus it might be time for Australians to start asking: what have we become?”
True to ourselves.
This is who we are at heart. Who we really are.
We are not egalitarian. There is no such thing as the “fair-go”. We are not “relaxed and easy-going”.
We are petty, small, mean and vindictive, a nation of mailroom clerks wedded to “due process” and rules and regulations, orderly queues to tidy messy lives, “serves you right”, “you should have known better”, to the sounds of “What About Me” from Moving Pictures on an endless loop, multiculturalism a takeaway curry from the local Indian on a Friday night after a piss-up and a packet of Laksa mix in the pantry.
We are White Australia still.
Australia for the White Man.
The tens upon tens of millions upon millions of words that have been written, spoken, broadcast over this last decade and a half on this matter turn not the heads of the 60%.
A man is bashed and dies, a child drowns, a mother wails.
The 60% shout, “We are not for turning!”
The 60% don’t read David Marr. They read The Daily Telegraph, The Herald-Sun, they look at headlines, big headlines, headlines about “these people”, “these people” who are “BREAKING OUR RULES!”, coming here to take our jobs, wasting our taxes on handouts, and fucking tins for fucking biscuits and coathangers to hang their fucking clothes from, for Chrissakes.
“WHAT ABOUT OUR FUCKING BISCUIT TINS!?”, the 60% wail.
“We’ll teach ‘em. We’ll teach the bastards. You don’t fuck with Aussie, mate. You don’t fuck with us, you fucking vermin, you fucking terrorists, you fucking cheats, you liars, you scum, you dogs, you mongrel fucks, go back to where you fucking came from, you cunts.”
So sayeth the 60%.
Our rage is impotent. Our protests mere irritants to the ears of the 60%, the hollow rattlings of blunt sabres in the far-off distance, hearts bleeding in silence, a confusion of noiseless whimpers in the dark, the whimpers of dogs whipped into submission, whipped into silence, whipped, whipped, whipped, for now and forevermore.
The 60% say …
Yes. Yes, they have.
The rest of us?
Wir sind jetzt die Flüchtlinge.
Once upon a time in a land, far, far away …
From The Whitlam Institute …
“The change the Whitlam Government enacted in the area of healthcare was transformative. The introduction of a universal healthcare system – Medibank was one of the reforms that defined the Whitlam Government and its underlying philosophy. The guiding mission was to provide adequate healthcare to all citizens regardless of their financial means. In his 1972 election campaign speech, Whitlam stated: ‘I personally find quite unacceptable a system whereby the man who drives my Commonwealth car in Sydney pays twice as much for the same family cover as I have, not despite the fact that my income is 4 or 5 times higher than his, but precisely because of my higher income’. The Whitlam Government sought to ensure that Australia’s social security system provided an adequate safety net for those in most need, and that the system took account of social reality. The Whitlam Government enacted changes to support the opportunities and security of women, in particular.
The primary achievement of the Whitlam Government in this area was the creation of Medibank, Australia’s national health insurance system. The system would provide free access to hospitals and a range of other medical services. The maximum gap between a doctor’s fee and the Medibank rebate was to be $5. Medibank was designed to provide health coverage for the 17% of Australians who did not have, or could not afford private health insurance.”
Former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard, 5 September, 2003…
“Medicare was born in 1984, a health system built by Labor and designed to give every Australian access to affordable health care. Throughout the 1980s, as Medicare gained strength and became the foundation for an equitable health system, John Howard was Medicare’s greatest enemy. Again and again, he declared his opposition to Medicare. When he was leader of the opposition in the 1980s, he said that Medicare was a “miserable, cruel fraud”, a “scandal”, a “total and complete failure”, a “quagmire”, a “total disaster”, a “financial monster” and a “human nightmare”.
He subsequently threatened to “pull Medicare right apart” and to “get rid of the bulk-billing system”. And he said bulk billing was an “absolute rort”. John Howard’s 1987 election commitment stated: “Bulk billing will not be permitted for anyone except the pensioners and the disadvantaged. Doctors will be free to charge whatever fees they choose.”
Liz Jackson‘s interview with John Howard, during the 1996 Election Campaign, for the Four Corners‘ program “An Average Australian Bloke”, first broadcast 19 February, 1996 …
Q. That will be big in this debate, Medicare being the first. When did you change your mind about Medicare?
A. What part of it?
Q. Well for instance, that it was a total disaster, when did you change your view that Medicare was a total disaster?
A. I have … I have accepted for some years now that the Australian people like Medicare and they want to keep it.
Q. When did you change your view that bulk billing was a rort?
A. Once again, the Australian people made a decision that they wanted to keep bulk billing and they therefore … in … on all of these sorts of issues, anybody who has the same view year in and year out, irrespective of the expression of public opinion, is…is stupid.
Q. So you changed your view on bulk billing and Medicare generally because of public opinion?
A. They… public opinion played a very major part on both of those issues, yes. Because… because in public life you have to take account of what the public thinks. You can’t totally ignore it.
Ross Gittins, The Age, May 2003 …
“Although Howard came to office with a promise to preserve Medicare, it’s now clear he has been working to restore a more individualist health care system. He began by seeking to revive private insurance (and, hence, private hospitals) with two sticks and one big carrot: the un-means-tested 30 per cent tax rebate.
In this budget we see him progressing to a plan that would eventually reduce bulk-billing to a safety net for pensioners and other card-holders, while allowing the private funds to insure people for the gap between their doctors’ bills and the Medicare rebate.”
Address by Julia Gillard, Sydney, 2006, NSW Fabian Society Forum John Howard: 10 Years On …
“We show our values in our actions. And the gap between Howard’s claimed values and his values in action is a chasm. The chasm shows in the Howard Government’s Medicare Safety net. The rhetoric was “Strengthening Medicare”, delivered through the highly stylised multi-million dollar campaign design to convince us that John Howard cared about a universal health system.
The policy was meant to help people struggling with their out of pocket health care costs, people who have high health care needs, people with a chronic illness who need to access care on an ongoing basis.
But the reality is a very stark contrast. The policy has fuelled heath inflation, particularly in the areas of obstetrics, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the Medicare safety net expenditure.
So while the rhetoric was designed to placate the electorate’s concern about the erosion of Medicare, the reality is that the majority of safety net rebates are going to the worried well, the well paid one-off health consumer, not the middle or lower income chronic illness sufferer, trying to manage their diabetes, or asthma, or arthritis or depression. The values that support John Howard’s so-called safety net are values of unfairness, division and exclusion.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, February, 2014 …
“As a health minister in a former government, I used to say that government was the best friend Medicare has ever had,” he said.
“This leopard doesn’t change his spots and I want this government, likewise, to be the best friend Medicare has ever had.”
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, February 2014 …
“If our health and welfare and education systems stay exactly the same, Australia is going to run out of money to pay for them, and we’re either going to have a massive increase in taxes — and that means fewer jobs at the end of the day — or we’re going to have to look at ways we can restructure the system to make it sustainable.”
ABC News, February 2014 …
Dr Jim Gillespie, from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, says it is unclear what the Coalition’s vision for modernising the Medicare system comprises.
“It’s a little hard to work out because they promised almost nothing in the election campaign,” he said.
“It was very hard to find out what they were planning and a lot of them merging by nudges and winks and little suggestions along the way, but a lot of it seems to be about a very old Liberal hostility towards the universal nature of Medicare.”
Kenneth Davison, The Age, April, 2003 …
Under the cover of the fog of war, the Howard Government is trying to drive the final nail into Medicare as a universal system of financing health care.
Like Malcom Fraser in the 1975 campaign, when he promised to retain Medibank and immediately began dismantling it after the election, John Howard knew that a full frontal attack on Medicare could have cost him the 1996 election.
Our current Prime Minister …
Tony Abbott once jokingly described himself as the ideological love child of John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop.
Federal Health Minister, Peter Dutton, The 7.30 Report, February 19, 2014 …
SARAH FERGUSON: You said in your speech today that in the past 10 years the cost of Medicare has increased by 120 per cent, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme by 90 per cent, hospital care by 80 per cent. You say that’s not sustainable and something must be done. What exactly is it that you are planning to do?
PETER DUTTON: Well the first thing that we have to do is have a conversation with the Australian people to say that we want to strengthen and modernise Medicare. It’s a system that, obviously, all Australians, including myself, hold near and dear …
SARAH FERGUSON: And is that going to require a new form of means testing to make that possible?
PETER DUTTON: Well, not necessarily, and again, this is the recommendations that we’ll wait to see from the Commission of Audit. I want to make sure that, for argument’s sake, we have a discussion about you or me on reasonable incomes whether we should expect to pay nothing when we go to see the doctor, when we go to have a blood test, should we expect to pay nothing as a co-contribution and other taxpayers to pick up that bill. I think these are all reasonable discussions for our population to have.
Former Labor Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek …
Tony Abbott’s health minister. One interview. The main points:
1. Under Tony Abbott universal healthcare through Medicare is over.
2. Under Tony Abbott ordinary families should be forced pay to see a GP.
3. Under Tony Abbott keeping the junk food industry happy is more important than keeping people healthy.
And we all lived happily ever after.
I am finding it difficult, if not next to nigh on impossible, to write anything intelligent or intelligible about the current Australian government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
There appears to be, all across the World Wide Web, article after article, analysis after analysis, comment upon comment, all attempting to grapple with the reality of a government that appears incapable of grappling with the reality of being a government, and is, instead, behaving more like a high school debating team who will only agree to enter into the debate on condition the other team doesn’t turn up. There is no sense to be found in any of this. That way madness lies.
Their policies seem less like policies and more like coded slogans scratched into toilet doors, adorned with “Breakfast of Champions” style graphics of wide-open beavers and jism-spurting cocks.
They are not policies but rather statements of an intent to think about what a policy might be if only they could figure out what the word meant.
I cannot be expected to take these people seriously.
Their every statement, their every pronouncement on a thing is in direct contradiction to every previous statement. There is no through-line whatsoever to the thought-processes involved because there are no actual thoughts being had …
“A certain level of government spending is necessary and good.” Tony Abbott, World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2014.
There’s a deep intellect hard at work on our behalf. Aren’t we lucky?
Down the Rabbit Hole, Through the Looking Glass, and up the Yellow Brick Road we go (we are all Scarecrows now) to AnecdoteLand, where facts, evidence, expertise, experience, professionalism, pragmatism, and peer-reviewed research matter little, if at all, to our new Grand Wizard and his Band of Merry Munchkins in this Brave New World of Magical Thinking where Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” sits next to Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” on the science shelves in the school library …
From The Independent …
“So contemptuous is he of the science behind climate change – of any science, for that matter – that he has not even bothered appointing a science minister.”
These are not intelligent people. These are not smart people. These are people who “believe” and “feel” and offer “thoughts” on things they know nothing of, and then go about making decisions based on these and these alone …
Guy Rundle from New Matilda …
“Two obvious points come out of the recent months. The first is that the Abbott government has no real game plan, apart from killing the carbon tax, and stopping the boats, and then a footling series of culture war maneouvres. The real stuff — going up against the union movement, etc is going to be hard, and they’re not in shape for that yet. Truth is, they can’t even manage a culture war, tripping over themselves as different and contradictory initiatives fly every which way.”
There is also a tendency – a compulsive tendency – for our Grand Wizard and his Munchkins to just make shit up about things, lie through their teeth when called on it, and talk complete nonsense …
From The Guardian …
[Joe] Hockey said he was told by Toyota Australia’s president, Max Yasuda, in December the company could continue if workers agreed to a new set of conditions.
“The fact is they were very concerned about the conditions that existed at Toyota in Australia,” he told Fairfax radio on Wednesday, adding that this included union “militancy”.
But the company had a different version of events. “Toyota Australia has never blamed the union for its decision to close its manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders,” it said …
… The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said the Toyota statement was a “blow to the government’s credibility”.
“It’s unfortunate that companies should have to continue to correct the government’s slander,” the union said. “The government has to stop blaming workers for their policy failures.”
The workers are the enemy. Die arbeiter have always been the enemy.
Here is Munchkin Abetz talking nonsense about a “30 year war” …
“Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz is warning of a wages breakout if unions and employers do not act responsibly in negotiating new agreements …
… “Employers and unions must be encouraged to take responsibility for the cost of their deals; not just the cost to the affected enterprises but the overall cost in relation to our economy efficiency and the creation of opportunities for others,” he said.
“If this is not done, then we risk seeing something akin to the wages explosion of the pre-accord era when unsustainable wage growth simply pushed thousands of Australians out of work.””
David Peetz, Professor of Employment Relations at Griffith University calls bullshit …
“[D]ata show that wage increases under enterprise agreements are falling. At 3.7%, the growth rate is the lowest in 13 years. It sits below the long-term average, since enterprise bargaining was introduced, of 4.0% from 1992 …
… In other circumstances, strange talk of a wage explosion might have been excused as a rush of blood to the head. But this was no off-the-cuff remark, it was the culmination of a carefully scripted speech. And indeed there is nothing new about unsubstantiated talk of wages explosions. In April 2007, former treasurer Peter Costello warned that amending the Workplace Relations Act would lead to a wage explosion. It didn’t. From 2008 News Limited ran stories and regularly editorialised on a forthcoming wages breakout that never materialised.
The reference in the speech to a wage explosion was no more impromptu than the 12 mentions of war littered throughout it. War seems to be a popular word at the moment. Most references in the speech were to the “30 years war” over industrial relations – a “war” it appears Minister Abetz does not yet see as being over.
People may speculate over who is the target of the war. But one possibility is that part of it is a war on facts.”
Never let a fact get in the way of a good war, especially if it’s one being waged by the righteous warriors of the Right. Just don’t mention Iraq.
Here is a fact, courtesy of The Australia Institute –
“The typical full-time employee in Australia works 70 minutes of unpaid overtime a day. This equates to 33 eight-hour days per year, or six and a half standard working weeks. Something for nothing – unpaid overtime in Australia examines the nature, extent and consequences of Australia’s heavy reliance on unpaid overtime. Across the workforce, the 2.14 billion hours of unpaid overtime worked per year is a $72 billion gift to employers, equivalent to 6 per cent of all economic activity in Australia.”
Work is not, as Joe Hockey and Eric Abetz appear to believe, a form of “national service”, a personal sacrifice we citizens make to secure in perpetuity the prosperity of the Ruling Classes.
It is what we do so that we may live.
“You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.” Gore Vidal – Interview with Paul Jay, The Real News, July 5, 2009.
This is a Government of Hatred, a Government of Contempt for those who dare to question, to challenge, who dare inquire, who dare to think.
It is a government in thrall to cults of “belief”.
We know they are inept, incapable, ignorant. We know they are stupid, shallow, dumb. We know all this.
Not one word of criticism, not one syllable, not a whisper will they hear.
“To a conservative, intuition is as important as reasoning, instinct as important as intellect. A way of life has far more demonstrative power to a conservative than a brilliant argument.” – Tony Abbott, “Battlelines”
“While conservatives may preach the dignity of work, their actual agenda is to deny lower-income workers as much dignity – and personal freedom – as possible” Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in Economics.
They are beyond good. They are beyond evil. They are beyond ethics. They are beyond morality.
It is Kristallnacht in Australia.
For the worker, for the low-paid, for women, for the infirm, the ill, unions, teachers, public schools, public hospitals, Medicare, industry, science , public broadcasting, the arts, public servants, immigrants, refugees, environmentalists, the environment itself, the land, the water.
The end of dissent. The end of truth. The end of society.
Tony Abbott has now become a God.