Vale Aaron Spelling
Aaron Spelling: 1923-2006
So the old boy's finally left us for the cheesy TV show in the sky.
Thank you Aaron for Charlie's Angels, and setting Farrah Fawcett Majors O'Neal on the path of facial reconstruction we know and
piss ourselves at love today.
Thank you Aaron for Dynasty, and taking Joan Collins away from fighting off any more giant papier-mache ants and putting her where she belonged, squarely in the Carrington lily pond fighting Linda Evans instead.
Thank you Aaron for T.J Hooker and for giving us William Shatner in skin-tight black road-cop attire. Zepplin in a condom. Mmm.
Thank you Aaron for The Love Boat, the single greatest has-been extravaganza since Earthquake only a year earlier.
Thank you Aaron for Fantasy Island and having the brave vision of white Armani. De plane, Aaron. De plane.
Thank you Aaron for 90210 and the strange-looking monument to bulimia we know as your daughter, Tori.
Thank you Aaron for Charmed and for resurrecting Shannen Doherty's career. Thank you also, Aaron, for killing that very career three seasons later.
Thank you Aaron for Models Inc, which ensured Cameron Daddo's never had any acting work since.
Thank you Aaron for Melrose Place and for having Heather Locklear as a "special guest star" for seven seasons.
Thank you Aaron for Soapdish and giving Sally Field the chance to say, "I don't feel quite right in a turban. What I feel like is GLORIA FUCKING SWANSON!!" and/or Teri Hatcher replying to Kevin Kline's "You have beautiful eyes!" with "Oh, they're nothing compared to my tits!"
I won't thank you for Seventh Heaven, your religious right breeder propaganda posing as "family entertainment", but that's ok - you had to screw up at some point! (Oh, right. The Heights. Robin's Hoods. Savannah. Malibu Shores. Pacific Palisades.)
Still, we'll miss you and your massively oversized eyes. Cheers, thanks a lot.
Everyone's a Little Bit Racist*
(* Post title stolen from a song from the fabulous Avenue Q
, the Broadway musical that can only really be described as Sesame Street - for adults.)
And ordinarily, I wouldn't pontificate about this aloud, but damn it irritates me.
Ken Lee, right - the son of Bing Lee
, founder of the Sydney electronics empire - he's been in charge of the business for ages since the old man died.
The Lees endured all manner of shit - famine and Japanese invasion, mainly - before escaping China to start up the business in Australia. A pretty inspiring story, really, BUT:
Ken has been in Australia since 1948,
and is now 75 years old.
So why is it, when you hear his voiceover on the Bing Lee commercials, instructing you to "come in and meet my team", he sounds like he just got off the boat and is still struggling with Remedial English 101?
The guy has been in Sydney for nearly 60 years
My theory is that this may not be his natural accent. I think, like Ernie Dingo on The Great Outdoors, he might "ethnic it up" because it bodes well with the Oriental market bartering attidude that informs the company's motto, "Everything's Negotiable".
If I'm right, I reckon that makes him way more racist than I am.
If I'm wrong, well...Commence your boycotting of QP at will. Apparently, I'm already banned from the web browsers at The Feminist Bookshop
. I can hack it.
The True Spirit of QueerPenguin
Erk! In the midst of all the fury, recriminations and drunken broken bottle fights over the ACT, Tell-Us-About-It Janet, etc, I almost forgot what it is that gives QP its true meaning. Its mojo, if you will.
shameless, gratuitous and inexcusable objectification and exploitation!
Sorry guys and gals.
Flimsy Excuse For Posting Hot Guy Pic #452: He's Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese soccer player. And apparently there's some World Cup thing or sumin or nuthin going on at the moment.
I imagine Lisbon's lovely this time of year...
(Not a terribly creative title, I know. You'll forgive my lack of eloquence today.)
If there was any doubt that the Howard government had doomed to failure to ACT's Civil Union Bill long before it was enacted and "reviewed" by the Attorney-General, check out this very educational column
by the Bulletin's Laurie Oakes (who no-one could seriously accuse of being a biased lefty hack).
Specifically, note his detailing of how Ruddock and Howard instructed their staff to be extremely vague and non-specific when responding to the Stanhope government's request to the Howard government to outline which provisions of the Bill they had a problem with, why, and how an override could be avoided:
"Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock was instructed to write to the Stanhope government explaining which aspects of the legislation were unacceptable. This Ruddock duly did, nominating four areas where he said the legislation would have to be amended. But he did not specify how it should be changed
, and there’s the rub.
Ruddock originally intended to set out details of the changes that would make the legislation acceptable. When the PM’s office got wind of this, however, the attorney--general was jumped on and told to write only in the most general terms
. The reason, as I understand it, was that – for tactical reasons – Howard wanted to retain maximum flexibility
. 'If we’d laid out our requirements and Stanhope did what we asked, we’d be bound to accept his legislation,' a federal government source told me. So the ACT government had to guess at what the feds would accept.
Even though all four sections identified as problem areas by Ruddock were amended, Howard was able to dismiss the changes as not going far enough.One federal Liberal MP – in private conversation with colleagues – has described what Howard and Ruddock did as 'a sting operation'".
And yet, still the Australian managed to blame the Stanhope government
for the Bill's failure.
What a load of shit.
This was indeed a pre-meditated sting all along, designed purely to make the Stanhope government look bad, undermine the ACT's autonomy and therefore Stanhope's leadership, and give the poofs and dykes another square kick in the guts.
Meanwhile, the motion to the disallow the Governor-General's instrument has just been voted down
, and apparently now has any chance of the original Bill's hope of resurrection.
Days like this I am ashamed to live in a country that would willingly have this regime as its government.
Fuck. Them. All.
Don't Tell Us About It Janet #2
Predictable as she is off-topic, Tell-Us-About-It Janet fires off her next Lib Party press release
posing as an editorial column.
No mention, of course, about the Howard government giving true libertarianism (her supposed political alignment) a bad name by pissing all over the ACT's self-governing autonomy. In fact, last year in an email reply to an earlier QP response to a TUAIJ column, Janet informed me that "democracy is indeed grand". Obviously, however, it's not so grand when it's the democracy of the residents of the ACT (who voted strongly in favour of the Stanhope government in 2004 even when their pro-same-sex couple policy was explicitly outlined) involved.
And jumping on board with the Australian Christian Lobby, Janet tells us that the Tasmanian model is "a sensible and fair reform", infinitely preferable to the Stanhope model. But what's the bet she didn't think this way in 2003 before the Tasmanian Relationships Act was actually enacted? ACL head Jim Wallace sure as hell didn't.
Funny how attitudes change when something becomes entrenched and accepted law, isn't it? I guess that's why opponents of civil rights and liberties fight so hard at the enactment stage.
Her argument is join-the-dots stuff: Gay marriage ----> gay adoption ----> death of society, etc. This particular slippery slope argument usually concludes with warnings over polygamy and/or beastiality also being legalised, which she's managed to resist, but otherwise she can't help herself:
"If the philosophical case for gay marriage is messy, the practical consequences are downright scary. Once you say that gay marriage and traditional marriage are legally the same, certain things follow."
What can I say? Spain didn't look like a particularly scary place to me when I visited there last year. Canada's not exactly a Wes Craven movie. Belgium? Netherlands? About as terrifying as a blancmange post-legalised same-sex marriage, I reckon.
Then, onto the next chestnut: same-sex adoption (again, a SEPARATE ISSUE to civil unions) is about selfish homosexual adults seeking children as trophies and denying them their God-given right (I assume she believes the Big Man's involved) to a mother and a father:
"A society that so readily disregards the role of mother and father is embarking on a dangerous social experiment that clashes with biology and human nature. It is an experiment premised on the rights of adults to have a child, not those of a child to have a father and a mother. "
Yes, because it's so selfish of same-sex couples to make an uneqivocal decision, in the face of much adversity, to deliberately bring a child into the world who, unlike the accidental and unplanned consequences of so many random heterosexual encounters, will be 100% loved, wanted and well-provided for.
"Once again, there is much sweet talk about love. Children in same-sex marriages may be surrounded by love. But deprived of a mother or father, we simply don't know enough about the outcomes for those children reared in gay marriages."
Actually, we do. If the Janets of the world actually deigned to meet same-sex families and their kids, sit down at the adults' table while their respective kids played together in the backyard, we'd see how children being reared in same-sex families are turning out pretty respectably. We'd see that they're not
all being raised by militant dykes to become man-hating separatists - well, not the kids of same-sex couples I know anyway. But that particular reality just does not sit with the "won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!" hysteria.
I'm sure Janet believes she's being tremendously clever by paraphrasing Oscar Wilde in her column's title, "The love we dare not let wed", but in reality Oscar would be turning in his grave at his infinitely wiser words being bastardised by a "writer" who could barely trim his toe nails. This is perhaps the greatest insult to be found in this silly and irrelevant piece.
Perhaps her opening statement is the most revealing:
"Let me make a prediction. In about 30 years, we will be shaking our heads at yet another failed social experiment: same-sex marriage."
No, in 30 years we'll be wondering why we ever even bothered resisting same-sex marriage, just like we wonder now why 40 years ago we bothered resisting inter-racial marriages or, indeed, racial desegregation.
Because the historical Janet Albrechtsen equivalents were doing precisely this, as they have always done - resisting the inevitable. They opposed decriminalisation of homosexuality 30 years ago, they opposed removal of legal discrimination against same-sex couples in state laws 10 years ago and they argue against relationship equality now. And each time, history shows them up as the redundant (though admittedly at times cumbersome) obstacles they are.
God love them for giving it a fair shot, though. If nothing else, it gives the rest of us a good laugh.
why she married him. Perhaps she's not such the stupid bint I've always assumed her to be after all.
And doesn't Tom look really turned on receiving a kiss from a woman?!
God bless the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.
Also, according to Popbitch: "Shiloh Pitt
" in Swedish translates as "two pounds of cock". Heh.
What More Can be Said?
UPDATE #2: The Oz confirms
that this is actually all the fault of the Stanhope and not Howard government. Thanks, Oz.
"Several states allow same-sex couples to adopt children."
Umm - of the 6 states, far as I know Tasmania and WA are the only two (and I'm not 100% certain about Tasmania?). Strange definition of "several"!
"If Mr Stanhope wants to support the gay community, he should turn his attention to practical issues, such as winning federal agreement to overturn laws that still discriminate against gay relationships, including the Medicare safety net, public sector superannuation, veterans' entitlements and judicial pensions."
Yeah - funnily enough though, responsibility of federal laws actually lies with the federal government, not the ACT government.
But of course, the Oz couldn't write about the Howard government dragging its arse on federal law reform. Nope, once again that's, somehow, entirely the fault of a state or territory Labor government.
"Same-sex couples should not let their private lives be manipulated for political advantage."
Oh my, the irony. This Oz editorial is like a series of horribly incorrect mathematical miscalculations that somehow end with a correct solution.
I can't make any witty comments about it
. I can't put a positive spin on it. I could outline the gross hypocrisy and malevolent strategising behind the Howard government, but honestly, what's the fucking point? They win. Again. We lose. Again.
Apologies for the melodrama, but I'm just really very sad at the moment. That's about it.UPDATE:
OK, I've come up with a few comments. After all, I wouldn't get paid otherwise.
I could outline how this reeks of hypocrisy in light of Attorney-General Philip Ruddock’s insistence that civil unions should be the domain of state and territory governments. I could explain how this latest assault is a slap in the face not just of queer people but of the residents of the ACT and their expectation of democratic self-governance. I could argue this is another example of the contempt the Howard government displays for any person or organisation that dares to disagree with its policies. But honestly, what’s the point? I’ve done all this in previous columns and it doesn’t change the reality of the current situation.
So instead, I’m going to discuss the only possible silver linings I can see in this particular thunderstorm.
Firstly, there was the comprehensive rebuttal from shadow Attorney-General
, Nicola Roxon. As a parliamentarian who has previously embodied the Labor Party’s lukewarm stance on and lack of alternative position to the government over queer rights, her swift response to the ACT announcement slamming the “arrogant” Howard government and plainly stating that “the law should recognise caring and loving relationships”, is one of the more decisive and unequivocal statements to come out of Roxon’s office with regard to same-sex couple law reform.
Roxon has also indicated she will introduce a motion to disallow the override, which brings me to my next silver lining. The Howard government can destroy a territory law simply by instructing the Governor-General to disallow that law within six months of its enactment. Such an instruction does not need to be debated and passed in federal parliament, therefore those few supporters of queer rights within the Coalition will not have their opposition to the government’s tactic heard. They can, however, vote in favour of Roxon’s motion and cut off the override at the pass. It’s a long shot but it does provide an opportunity to lobby the few coalitionists with a conscience about this issue.
The final silver lining relates to a possible alternative to the existing civil unions model in the ACT. The Liberal opposition there floated another model of relationship registration, similar to the one currently operating in Tasmania. The Bill had the support not just (presumably) of their federal counterparts, who have announced the Tasmanian model will not be overturned, but also of the Australian Christian Lobby
, ironically the strongest opponents of the Tasmanian model only a few years ago. It’s a contingency plan that does not lessen the Howard government pissing all over the ACT, but in pragmatic terms could be the most effective way to move forward.