by Ross Sharp

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.

Alan Jones