It’s nearly Australia Day, or as I like to call it, Merchandise Outrage Day. There’s always some stupid company flogging some stupid t-shirt and we obediently descend into a paroxysm of indignation.
This year’s pearlers include ALDI’s “Australia. Est. 1788” t-shirts and ICE’s “Property of an Aussie Boy” range of singlets for young girls. Both were achingly daft. Both have been pulled from shelves. Enough said.
But we all want to be patriotic on Australia Day, don’t we? We all need something totes awesome to wear that really sums us up. I’m thinking: “I’m Strayan and I Love Stayin’ Dumb’.
At least it would be honest.
Australia is currently in front of the International Court of Justice, accused of illegally seizing crucial documents that East Timor needed for a court case it has launched against Australia for spying on it. Just to make that clear: we’re in front of the world court, facing claims that we have behaved criminally. Twice.
On the other hand, Cameron Diaz said women should grow out their pubes.
Which story do you think is getting more online clicks?
The Australian Navy wandered into Indonesia’s territorial waters on numerous occasions and the Government has ordered an inquiry. The investigation will take just three weeks. I’m assuming that the findings will include something like ‘We thought it would be funny to get the captain to hold a broom handle, look up and spin around until he fell over and then steer the ship’.
Are we demanding a proper, in-depth inquiry with complete transparency and disclosure? Nup. We’re too busy demanding king hits be re-named ‘coward punches’.
It’s a great shame that the rising rate of domestic violence against women doesn’t get so much media attention.
People living with a disability are, according to Kevin Andrews, taking the easy way out and living the high life on welfare instead of getting out there and working. It’s a good point. Someone has to pay for all those rich women to get $75,000 to choose to have a baby, and it may as well be those bludgers who allowed themselves to wind up with a disability.
Are we marching in the streets, demanding our government stop the handouts to the rich and instead help the poor?
Nah. Jane Fonda’s in town. She’s 76 and can touch her toes. Boo-ya!
Nauru has deported both their Chief Justice and only magistrate. Why? Well, it appears the Nauruan judiciary had the nerve to make a decision the government didn’t like. What happens to asylum seekers held in detention in a country that no longer respects the rule of law? They probably get ‘processed’ a lot more quickly, sort of like Spam.
Suits us. The sooner we send ’em back to get killed in their own country, the sooner we can stop worrying about them taking all our car parking spots at the supermarket.
Tony Abbott is living it large at the World Economic Forum. On Wednesday, Tone reiterated his searing assessment on Syria, saying, “it’s baddies versus baddies”, and, “the best way to demonstrate that some are goodies is by laying down their arms”. He said this on the same day the rest of the world was talking about the discovery of horrific evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the Syrian Government.
Abbott has made himself look like a massive bell-end on the world stage, but back here at home, goodies and baddies is about as complex as we can manage. Perhaps Tone could send the cast of Australia’s Biggest Loser over to Syria to sort them out. Hey, if they can fat shame a whole town, how hard could it be to end years of sectarian violence? With any luck, the baddies will be wearing black hats and the goodies will be wearing white ones.
Would we accept the stupid comments, the dismissal of human rights abuses, the attack on the poor and the allegations that we broke international law if it was the Gillard government doing it? I sincerely doubt it. She would have been denounced as out of her depth. The public, swallowing whatever the mainstream press feeds them, would have been choking on their fury.
If the papers blared headlines such as “Abbott Is A Liar”, “These Guys Are Ripping Us Off”, “Democracy Is Dead”, “This Isn’t What We Voted For” and “Kick This Mob Out”, everyone would agree. It’s really that easy. Just write something stupid like “Economic Crisis”, “Democracy in Crisis”, “Australia’s Way Of Life In Crisis”, throw in a few lines of unsubstantiated hysteria and we’ll fall for it. We don’t want facts or reason or even sense. We want to be hysterical.
President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, said on the ABC on Wednesday morning that the incarceration of over 1000 children in detention centres was something ‘most Australians’ understood was inappropriate. I don’t think that’s right. I think most Australians couldn’t give a shit. I think most Australians are just a fearful of those little kids as they are of their parents. They’re scared of them staying here, turning into adults and stealing all our flat-screen TVs.
The Murdoch media and politicians have told us ‘boat people’ are stealing from us and we’re stupid enough to fall for it. We genuinely believe that a few thousand people are responsible for traffic congestion and hospital queues instead of years and years of government inaction on public transport, roads and health. We accept that we’re ‘at war’ with asylum seekers without questioning the ludicrousness of the statement or the secrecy and abuse it’s used to justify. We hate to think but we love to hate.
Perhaps it’s time for all the human rights advocates and lawyers to stop appealing to Australia’s good sense. Perhaps it’s time we dispensed with the idea that Australians can be reasoned with and if they’re just given the facts, they’ll make the effort to figure things out for themselves. It’s not going to happen. We want short slogans, simple solutions and lots and lots of drama.
And beside, we’ve got more pressing matters on hand: what should rich, Western ladies do with their pubes?
Watch The Hoopla’s Deanne Weir discuss the issue with the Studio 10 panel:
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MORE ARTICLES BY CORINNE GRANT
*Corinne Grant is a stand-up comedian, MC, presenter, writer and broadcaster and has performed both nationally and internationally. In addition to her years on Rove Live and The Glasshouse, she has appeared on everything from Spicks and Specks to Dancing With The Stars to Good News Week. She has co-hosted successful national radio shows, performed countless solo live shows and appeared everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Kalgoorlie Arts Centre. Corinne’s first book, Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder (Allen and Unwin) was released in September 2010 and went into reprint just months after its release. You can follow her on Twitter @corinne_grant.