2009 is about two films … star trek … and nine.
*shiver of excitement*
if you want to laugh like a drain, check out this video from maddow, made during her air america ‘campaign asylum’ days. she’s waxing lyrical on the sex appeal of fred thompson on this one and the last 30 seconds … well, you need to watch.
and here she is talking about the anonymous ‘don’t say teh gay’ human rights campaign:
here’s the column i wrote for today’s Gold Coast Bulletin, under the headline ‘A uteload of spin’.
I MUST admit, it is not usual practice for me to spend my days off glued to the television, mesmerised by the Australian Public Affairs Channel.
Who knew? We have a public affairs channel. Amazing.
This week APAC has been the haunt of rostered-off journalists and political junkies thanks to the hilarity that is Utegate.
(Utegate. Really? We couldn’t come up with a better moniker than that? Blah.)
On Monday, alerted by the excited tweeting of such Canberra press corp luminaries as Annabel Crabb, author of the Mark Latham biography Losing It, part-time Lateline host Leigh Sales, and someone who calls themselves ‘Pollytics’, I made my first foray into APAC-land.
Oh, the wonder.
The House of Reps when it is in the grip of a brouhaha like Utegate is a thing to behold. Nothing compares.
Everyone was in best bib and tucker, acting like they were scrapping in the school playground, armed with stick guns, spitballs and atomic wedgies. Awesome.
K-Rudd, head prefect, was content to crow-peck and run, leaving most of the dirty work to his wingmen, Wayne ‘Swannie’ Swan and Anthony ‘Babyface’ Albanese.
Running interference for Malcolm ‘Tubby’ Turnbull, were Tony ‘the Mad Monk’ Abbott, Julie ‘Bisho’ Bishop, and my personal favourite, one Bronwyn Kathleen Bishop.
Ah, Bronnie. Where have you been?
Many thought Bronnie’s time had come and gone with the passing of John Howard.
But there she was on Monday afternoon, impeccably coiffed, snarling and spitting out perfectly formed sentences, her fangs dripping with the gore of some poor parliamentary clerk she’d gnawed on as a warm-up.
Here’s a piece of trivia for you: Bronwyn Bishop is the daughter of opera singer Kathleen Congreve, and enjoys a bit of a trill herself.
She and the Mad Monk teamed up to sing We’re a Couple of Swells at a Sydney fundraiser back in 2007.
Can you imagine? That sound you’re hearing — Irving Berlin is still spinning like a top, two years on.
The revelation for me in this whole Utegate thing has been Joe Hockey.
‘Sloppy’ Joe, as Swannie likes to call him, has been a barely contained seething cauldron of aggression in Parliament this week.
Highlight was when he stepped up to the despatch box for a rail at Swannie, and K-Rudd took the opportunity for a quick dead-leg manoeuvre, muttering something that wasn’t caught by the microphones — along the lines of ‘you’re a gronk, Sloppy, ya big buffoon’, no doubt.
Big Joe arced up like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.
“You got something to say to me? You got something to say?” said Joe.
Easy there, big fella.
Speaker of the House, Harry Jenkins, is the boss of this wash. He and my year 7 teacher, Mrs Robinson, have a lot in common.
When things got a little unruly, Mrs Robinson would just stand there looking scarier than … well, scarier than herself, really … until we all noticed and shut up.
Harry uses the same tactic. He stands up, folds his hands in his lap and just waits.
Maybe this is a Harry thing, or maybe it’s just what the Speaker’s supposed to do. Either way, an awed hush descends. You can almost hear the backbenchers nudging each other and passing notes under the desk.
Personally, I’m amazed Tubby Turnbull’s survived the week. And it may just be that there doesn’t seem to be anyone ready to take over. Sloppy Joe, Bisho, Bronnie and the Mad Monk are not quite there.
And that takes us to the line of the week.
Sloppy was on Lateline on Tuesday night, where he took part in a robust interview with the redoubtable Tony Jones, who was punching above his weight, frankly.
Just as the interview was winding down, Jonesy slipped in an uppercut.
“Is it too late for Peter Costello to change his mind?”
Big Joe laughed like a drain.
Which, honestly, is the way Utegate should have been treated from the start.
A big, fat, joke.
andrew sullivan, author of the daily dish over at theatlantic.com, said it better, in less words, than any of the thousands of words i’ve scanned through today. in full:
There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father. He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one. He was spiritually and psychologically raped at a very early age – and never recovered. Watching him change his race, his age, and almost his gender, you saw a tortured soul seeking what the rest of us take for granted: a normal life.
But he had no compass to find one; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence. Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life. But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end. He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.
I loved his music. His young voice was almost a miracle, his poise in retrospect eery, his joy, tempered by pain, often unbearably uplifting. He made the greatest music video of all time; and he made some of the greatest records of all time. He was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone.
I grieve for him; but I also grieve for the culture that created and destroyed him. That culture is ours’ and it is a lethal and brutal one: with fame and celebrity as its core values, with money as its sole motive, it chewed this child up and spat him out.
I hope he has the peace now he never had in his life. And I pray that such genius will not be so abused again.
i suspect the only thing farrah fawcett had in common with mother teresa is that she picked a bad day to die.
there was always more to farrah than the hair and the body and the eyes. if you’ve ever seen the burning bed, you’ll know what i mean. not a lot of people respected her acting, but they should have. she had the goods.
she just came through a time where good-looking women were in charlie’s angels, not medea. if you see what i mean.
at the height of it all, i was no fan. hell, i was a fat, gay teen who hated the fact that everyone wanted to be her. and i couldn’t be. ever. no matter what.
as an adult, i’ve respected the fight she put up against an awful, awful disease that stripped her of her dignity just by striking her where it did.
two icons of the 70s/80s in a day. wow. just wow.
wow. just wow. not so much with the peter pan then. this is how i prefer to remember michael jackson. before the true weirdness set in. before he started to hate his color so much he tried to turn white (no i don’t believe the skin disease story). before the creepy children stories and the masks and court cases and the plastic surgery and diana ross thing and the baby-dangling.
i want to remember him the way he was for off the wall and thriller, and maybe bad at its best. i want to remember him as a musical genius who changed the landscape forever.
do you remember the first time you saw the thriller video? oh. my. god.
that’s what i want to remember about michael. the music. the genius. the dancing. the melodies and the beat.
i want the freakiness and the mental illness to be forgotten. it won’t, and that’s a tragedy.
that freak-ass father of his has lost his cash cow.
mostly i feel bad for those three kids who are never going to know what normal is.
*sigh* … he’s out of our lives.
the lady to the left is Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, the Greens senator from South Australia. she’s 27, married to a guy, and, obviously, has herself a young child.
she’s also introducing a private members Bill into the Senate seeking to grant same-sex couples equal marriage rights.
so, yay Senator Sarah!
will it go through? who knows, but here’s some interesting stats from pollytics.com:
The Galaxy poll taken on the 29-31 May 2009 asked the following question:
Do you agree or disagree that same sex couples should be able to marry in Australia?
In 31 of the 32 demographic cohorts measured, a majority of Australians support same sex marriage with only the over 50’s being the odd cohort out, where in that unique case the against held a plurality lead of 49 to 45.
… Some of the MoE’s are quite large because the sub-samples were quite small. But the one thing the results clearly show is our political representatives are far, far behind the curve of public opinion when it comes to the legal recognition of same sex marriages in Australia. It does make you wonder.
which means it won’t get through. and if it doesn’t, as one of the commenters on the post pointed it, it won’t be facts, but fear that stops the bill dead.
read the whole thing, stats included. well worth it.