TICKING BOXES, LITTLE BOXES, TICKING BOXES FULL OF TICKY-TACKY
by Ross Sharp
The last time I voted – 2010 – it was not until I was in the booth, ballot paper before me and pencil in hand that I decided who I was voting for …
Labor in the House of Reps, and The Greens in the Senate.
… Julia Gillard became Prime Minister with the support of independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott and The Greens, Kevin Rudd crawled off to punch some kittens and plot his revenge, and Tony Abbott spent the next couple years stomping about the country wearing helmets and kissing fish and wailing like a child …
Now, Rudd’s back in the ring again, the Big Top is closing, and he’s looking and sounding more and more like a harried carnival barker, his hands and arms wildly slashing and stabbing at air, all frenzied enticement to come see the One-Man-Band, come see the show, a fringe-flick here, a fringe-flick there, while Tony Abbott looks and sounds just like Tony Abbott, walking and talking from his testicles as usual, saying one thing one week, the opposite the next and getting away with it all because the press are too busy fame-fucking his two daughters on the front pages, courtesy of Rupert The Bony-Arsed Coot, and his knee-dwelling acolytes of tits ‘n’ arse/smear ‘n’ scandal hackery at News Ltd.
They’re pulling old-time vaudeville acts where most of the rest of us have fucked off to the IMAX for some 3D surround-sound adventure.
And I’m expected to vote for one of these dickheads? ….
And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
Barry Jones , former ALP National President …
“Despite Australia’s high formal levels of literacy, politicians are increasingly dedicated to delivering three word slogans (“stop the boats!”) – now degenerating even more to the use of one word, repeated three times (“Cut! Cut! Cut!” or “Lie! Lie! Lie!”).
There is an exaggerated emphasis on “gotcha!” moments – Tony Abbott and his suppository, Kevin Rudd and the make-up lady, moronic candidates in swinging seats. In the last months of Julia Gillard’s period as prime minister, in two separate incidents, sandwiches (vegemite and salami as it happens) were thrown at her at schools, for reasons which have never been clarified. The incidents became big news stories, so much so that they crowded out major announcements about the Gonski reforms that she was planning to make.
Often politicians acquiesce in the trivialising, for example Kevin Rudd and his availability for selfies, Tony Abbott gyrating at a boot-camp, and his “dad moments”. We should have a minute’s silence to reflect on the contribution of Julie Bishop, Warren Truss and Clive Palmer to the campaign.”
I’d rather not.
I grew up listening to men like Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke and Paul Keating talk intelligently about very important things, big things, and I would’ve liked to have heard Julia Gillard do the same if anyone had given her the fucking chance instead of banging on and on about her fucking marital status and fucking fruitbowls and fucking jackets and the sex life of her partner.
Comedian Adam Hills …
“ … says coverage of the federal election in the UK has reinforced the British view that most Australians are “hopeless hicks”.
He argues Brits are bemused to see so much infighting in Australian politics given the economy is doing so well.
“(Also) the British press like to reinforce the view that Australians are hopeless hicks who don’t know what we’re doing, so any gaffe, any funny moment in Australian politics is going to be reported on the news over here immediately,” he told reporters outside Australia House.
Hills values his vote more than ever “because I’m concerned about the way Australia is seen overseas”.
“I’m genuinely distressed at the state of Australian politics at the moment,” he said.
“We as Australians deserve better. That’s why I’ve come out to vote. What I said today to both parties was ‘Come on, grow up’.”
Fat chance of that, if interviews of this calibre with the current Prime Minister’s wife are still any indication …
JOHN LAWS: A lot of people say – why isn’t she Therese Rudd?
THERESE REIN: Really?
JOHN LAWS: Yeah.
THERESE REIN: Well, why isn’t Kevin, Kevin Rein?
JOHN LAWS: (Laughs). No, I can’t accept that. We’re talking about tradition. Why do you choose not to be Therese Rudd.
THERESE REIN: Kevin and I got married at the end, on the week that I finished doing my thesis; I’d just completed my honours degree. My qualifications were in my name and I’m an independent person.
JOHN LAWS: But it’s kind of a traditional thing – I don’t want to make a meal of it – but it sort of is a traditional thing, isn’t it, in English-speaking countries that you take your husband’s name.
And in Australia, this is what we call a “newspaper” …
… I call it a comic book, and I’d be embarrassed to be seen even reading it, let alone buying the fucking thing, but, apparently, this is how Rupert Murdoch thinks Australians like their news, and, as it still sells well enough (though not quite as well as it once did) maybe he’s right …
… We are a nation of bumpkin hicks. We are a “lucky” country of simple minds obsessed with simple pleasures – a meat pie, flags to wave, faces to paint, balls to kick and beers to drink, getting’ shitfaced on a Saturday night, gettin’ money from the gummint for havin’ a poke and makin’ a baby, a night out at the pokies, you can win a meat tray, punch-up after optional.
Or, as Julia Gillard might say “We R Us.”
This is what we wanted. This is what we’ve got …
“What’s in it for me, and how much am I getting, and why are you giving them more than me and why are you giving that mob anything at all? I’m scared, all these dark people on boats. People on 150K per annum are not well off – We have pool maintenance to think of, how dare you slug me with a levy of $2.50 a week here and a couple bucks there, and THE CARBON TAX! THE CARBON TAX! THE CARBON TAX! The country’s stuffed, the economy is in ruins, we’re screwed.”
Well Australia, have we got the candidates for you …
A sulking brat who thinks he’s a movie star, and a disingenuous thug whose answer to every question asked of him begins with a string of “Um, um, um, er, er, er’s”, as he attempts to conjure his latest simple-minded slogan for the benefit of a tabloid hit.
A letter from The Sydney Morning Herald …
“It is a mystery that our two major political parties have seen fit to focus so heavily on their leaders, given how unappealing and lacking in credibility both men are. Each has energetically spent the past parliamentary term trying to destroy anything good that might have come of it, not for the national good but out of overweening personal ambition; for their sake, not ours.
Now, with their fake smiles and condescension, their endless repetition of pre-digested talking points and three-word lies, their transparent attempts at reinventing themselves, the thought bubbles that crystallise into bad policy, their oh so clever evasions and non-answers, do they think they have gotten away with fooling the electorate?
My guess is most people would rather see them exiled than elected. Voters of Griffith and Warringah, please do your country a favour and vote for someone other than the sitting member. We, the Australian people, deserve someone better to lead this nation.” – Judy Maynard, Rose Bay
I’ve never cast a vote for a political candidate or party because of what some pack of dodgy cunts have written in a political fanzine masquerading as a newspaper. Same with political advertisements and so-called “expert commentary”.
Yet, there are those who do and have, and will continue to do so.
They’re the ones who think people like Alan Jones or Ray Hadley, Andrew Bolt or Piers Akerman, and Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest and Rupert Murdoch have only the best interests of the country and its people at heart, the dear hearts and gentle folk that comprise the working-class commonweal, the ordinary, average little guy, the constant “battler”; they’re the ones who express gratitude and thanks, backslaps and handshakes, huzzahs all ‘round to these brave and benighted souls who, whenever they have the temerity to express their sincere and selfless concerns about, and ideas for the country, are slapped down by the snotty cognoscenti of the inner city elites, the latte sippers and chardonnay socialists who would, if they had their way, let anyone across our borders; who would conspire to tear down the glorious Judeo-Christian foundations of civilised Australian society to replace it with Earth worship and paganism, you can marry a goat or your sister, and buy drugs at Woolies, have sex with a hamster in a gallery and call it “art”.
They talk of “tough times”, and calamity and disaster and waste, and they say things like “I don’t know what this country is turning into”, or “I don’t even recognise Australia anymore”, or “It’s not like what it was when I was a kid”.
It’s all bullshit, but it sells by the 100kg hessian bagful.
Some of us may deplore the embarrassing state of politics now, and over the last several years; we may deplore the shallow superficiality of its contestants, and their willingness to whore and parade their families at us every opportunity to prove “they’re just like everybody else”; we may deplore policy as populist brainfart and cringe every time we see one of these fuckwits waddle through a factory with a hardhat and vest to look meaningfully at a box of nails, or stare with awe and wonder at a bag of beef; and we can scream and cry and howl and complain forever and forever and forever about the state of political reporting in mainstream commercial print and radio and television, its mindless partisanship and obsession with sleaze and scandal and rumour and “gotcha” moments, but it plays with the folk at home, and it rattles their minds and gets ‘em all worked up and a’feared.
And if it works, how can anyone possibly claim the Murdoch media and its ilk are an “insult to all Australians”.
It’s a C!E!L!E!B!R!A!T!I!O!N!.
Tomorrow, this pissed off 54 year old will be voting The Greens, both houses, straight up, and I’ll be picking my own damn preferences, thank you very much.
The Kev ‘n’ Tony show can go fuck itself with forty sticks. You too, Rupert.