Wednesday, April 12, 2006

John Howard, Joan Ferguson: An Intertextual Study


(QP appears to be resuming normal transmission at work now, knock on my wooden head.)

In the midst of all this sudden, possibly ecstasy-induced memory loss on the parts of our Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and, most likely, Prime Minister, I started to consider how much this man -


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and this woman -

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have in common.

For those godless heathens among you unfamiliar with the greatest television show in the history of the universe, enlighten yourselves, for Freak's sake.

Now, some comparisons:

1. Joan Ferguson entered Wentworth Detention Centre during a slump in the show. It was a little tired and stale, the villain of the time, Colleen Powell (now thingo in All Saints) was irritatingly smug and no longer particularly effective, and the audience was ready for a change.

John Howard became Prime Minister during a slump in Australian politics. The government was a little tired and stale, the villain of the time, Paul Keating, was irritatingly smug and no longer particularly effective, and the voting populace was ready for a change.


2. Joan Ferguson's villainy became infamous - not just because of the extent of her damage, but her continued ability to keep getting away with all her malevolent trickery. Or, as Ferguson herself spat at Governor Ann Reynolds and Meg Morris in the final episode, over the prisoners' chant of "Ferguson! Ferguson!" -

"Hear that? It's me they hate! Ferguson! Ferguson slapped them the rules. Ferguson kept them in line. Ferguson was always one step ahead of them!"


John Howard's villainy has become infamous - not just because of the extent of his and his government's damage to the country, but his continued ability to keep getting away with all his malevolent trickery. 4 major government scandals later that should have put any other Prime Minister out of business, and still Howard is always one step ahead of us.


3. Despite Ferguson's treachery and wickedness, at heart she was a sad, lonely lesbian with no true friends. The one person she genuinely looked up to and aspired to be, her father, Major Ferguson, always wanted a son and so was inevitably disappointed with her.

Despite Howard's treachery and wickedness, at heart he is a sad, lonely homophobe with no true friends. The one person he genuinely looks up to and aspires to be, George W Bush, only wants to be left alone in his treehouse to read "Superfudge" and so Howard is always disappointed they don't play together as often as he'd like.


4. No-one ever thought Ferguson could ever rise to the top of the heap - Governor of WDC - but it was people's willingness to underestimate her ambition and ultimate desire to rule the universe that proved to be their folly.

No-one ever thought Howard could ever rise to the top of the heap - Prime Minister - but it was the Liberal Party moderates' willingness to underestimate his ambition and ultimate desire to rule the universe that proved to be their folly.


5. Ferguson's opposition was ineffectual. Meg Morris was too nice, Erica Davidson was too much of a show-pony and Ferguson was able to neutralise Bea Smith by setting her up and having her transferred indefinitely to Barnhurst, where she would die.

Howard's opposition is ineffectual. Kim Beazley is too nice, Kevin Rudd is too much of a show-pony and Howard's been able to neutralise Peter Costello by setting him up (for the Gerard affair) and having him confined indefinitely to Treasury, where he will die.


But don't despair - just when we thought nothing would ever stop Joan Ferguson, along came blonde bikie Rita Connors - and the rest is history:

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Someday, my blonde bikie will come too.

13 Comments:

At 12/4/06 11:20 am, Blogger M-H said...

Bloody brilliant mate. Heh heh. Where is the blond bikie now that we need her?

 
At 12/4/06 11:22 am, Blogger Sam said...

Viva blonde bikie!

Though I object to the notion that Kim Beazley is "nice". Being nice involves having some sort of tangible personality.

 
At 12/4/06 11:50 am, Blogger Gay Erasmus said...

LOL. Just LOL.

The mind *reels* at potential candidates for the blonde bikie position...

 
At 12/4/06 12:00 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Indeed, GE.

Julia G could look hot wearing a blonde wig on a Harley I s'pose...

 
At 12/4/06 1:52 pm, Blogger mscynic said...

You!

Oh, you!

*chucks affectionately*

This post is brilliant.

P.S. No, I didn't go to your school.

P.P.S. Your link is [finally] up.

 
At 12/4/06 4:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too camp Sam!

I wonder if Johnny also has a pair of black leather gloves he slips on to rough up the "inmates" - now theres an ugly thought! CW

 
At 12/4/06 5:01 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Something tells me Janette's the black glove-wearer in that household, CW.

ewwww.

 
At 12/4/06 5:53 pm, Blogger Splatterbottom said...

If I was Joan Ferguson, I would be livid at this outrage. You are cruel indeed to make that comparison.

As to Julia, I am always amused that one thing the left and Little Johnny Rotten are likely to agree on is her suitability to lead the ALP.

 
At 13/4/06 9:17 am, Blogger Sam said...

SB: I was merely commenting on how Julia would look with blonde wig on a Harley. She doesn't need to necessarily be leader of the ALP to take him down. Technically, Rita wasn't Top Dog of the prisoners when she took down Joan. There are other ways...

Little Johnny Rotten? I like it. Will stick with Lord Smalldemort for now though.

 
At 13/4/06 3:11 pm, Blogger Miss Ember said...

Golly, that was hilarious! Fresh knickerbockers, please!

 
At 4/7/10 4:39 pm, Blogger stonecold said...

would like to hear from the real rita connors who was in wentworth would like to see more episodes to we loved the show.so please email me i would also love to hear from meg morris and ann reynolds even if your a stranger.

 
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