One, two, three, four, could this song shit me more?
Frankly I blame Regina Spektor, I do. Regina Spektor, with her ethereal voice and her piano playing and her dating non-corporeal forms in her film clips. I don't know if she established it single-handedly, but she's certainly played a big part in bringing irritatingly catchy quirk songs to the fore.
As if it weren't bad enough that, for literally days I could not get 'Fidelity' out of my heart - especially of course, the infamous ah, ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah' staccato refrain - now I have to deal with Feist and their odd take on line dancing (see above).
I first came to know of this song during eBay's spectacularly pretentious failure at creating a 'big ad' - that piece of crap with Shiny Happy People tobogganing down a luge in a shopping trolley. Now the good folk of Apple have made it their new Nano song.
So a song that will get stuck in your head instantaneously after one hearing, no matter how hard you resist, is now being repeated ad nauseam for a company that probably has a higher TV advertising budget than any else.
Listen to this song just once and tell me you don't find yourself humming or whistling it, subconsciously, by day's end. G'orn, do it. I dares ya.
I fear to listen, yet I cannot spin my iPod!
Curse your black heart, Regina Spektor.
(PS: I am aware that this is my second YouTube blog posting. I'd apologise, but none of youse had the decency to leave me a message about Mark Walhberg so frankly, you can all go to Hell. Which ironically, is Heaven, because it's filled with self-righteous Christians who've never drunk, smoked, screwed or voted Greens in order to score their golden ticket to the Afterlife. Do you see the irony? I think you do.)
Ha! That 'accidental typo' caught your attention, didn't it? (coz 'r' is so close to 'l' ... hmmm ...)
And now that I have it, remember: Check your voting enrolment status. You can do it here, right now.
Looks like J-Ho's gonna drag out calling the election for as long as he possibly can, but taking him at his word (just for novelty), at the latest he should call it around early/mid-October for late November. This week should be the last in which parliament sits.
Don't let Howard screw you out of your right to express your democratic voice. The moment he calls it, if you're not properly enrolled you won't be voting. Don't let him win this election just by sheer cheating alone.
The Lib 'think tank' front organisations are again trotting out their token sisters to bat the naughty PM around with their Prada handbags for putting same-sex law reform in the too-hard basket.
In Tim Wilson's defence, he has actually managed to be quite critical of Howard for the most part, maintaining his continued argument that true conservatism should by definition facilitate genuine equality. It's just his apparent surprise that Howard has made the decision he has that angers me.
Sorry to all the Howard-voting queers who thought nice Uncle John might invite them to the grown-ups table if they played nicely with the other kids and behaved themselves, but the rest of us always knew he was going to fall this way - we had 11 years of inaction and apathy to go on. There is a reason why Howard's 'critics have always ... equated his conservatism with regressivism.' But unlike what Wilson might like to believe, we have not been 'wrong' to do so.
Anyways, onto how this relates to Malcolm Turnbull. Upcoming SX column below.
*************************************************************************** Last week, John Howard confirmed what many of us have suspected all along: He was lying – surprise! – when he claimed not to be in favour of unfair discrimination against same-sex couples.
Forget about marriage rights – Howard doesn’t think we should even receive de facto or interdependency rights. He’s told his party room the issue of equality for gay and lesbian couples is ‘complicated’ (which is bullshit, it’s not) and ceded to the demands of the Australian Christian Lobby and other right-wing ‘Christian’ lobby groups with whom he wishes to stay in bed spooning.
The reason why Howard’s man in Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, must go, is not because he feels the same way as his master – quite the opposite, Turnbull has been one of the Liberal Party’s strongest internal agitators for law reform and has an admirable history raising money for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.
But it's clear Turnbull has failed.
This election, queer voters have an unprecedented opportunity to flex some electoral muscle. If you live around the East Sydney/Kings Cross area, chances are you’re now in Turnbull’s seat where before you were in Tanya Plibersek’s – that is, you’ve been redistributed out of a safe Labor seat and into a marginal Liberal one. Turnbull knows the ‘queer vote’ he’s inherited counts in this election (not that we all vote the same, of course), and Howard has now effectively hung him out to dry once he hits the streets to confront his queer constituents.
It’s not easy advocating the removal of a GLBTI political ally, but Turnbull is in the unfortunate situation, for him at least, of holding a marginal seat where every individual vote will count. And in the depressing event that Howard is re-elected this year, even if Turnbull were also returned, it’s clear voters who care about ending discrimination and genuine equality will have to spend at least another three years banging our heads against a brick wall. Turnbull has had as long to get his government to act, and failed; what’s to say he’d be any more successful after another three years? Howard has had so long and such success decimating the more moderate element within his party; it’s not as though the damage he’s caused will be instantaneously undone once Peter Costello grabs the reigns.
No doubt, as a multi-millionaire Turnbull will be able to buy his way to electoral success. But with what’s going to be a very close election this year, every seat – and every vote – will count. The Liberal Party must be punished for its offensive misconduct against queer voters, and circumstances dictate that Turnbull must necessarily be a casualty.
It's with a heavy heart I write this - but I think it's time for Gaybores to call it a night.
I'm just not getting into this Next Gen Gaybores at all. Some parts are great - Paul starting to remember his evil deeds and some choice, choice cuts of man candy in particular - but the sum of those parts is just, meh.
I think its problem for the moment is that it's in limbo-land - winding back from Crazy Cat Woman Gaybores of 2006 as it cruises into the planned Sensible Shoes Gaybores of 2008 - so the current transitory product is an uncomfortable hybrid of the worst elements of both.
The new Number 26 family, invariably the 'centre family' of the show (Robinsons, Scullys, Timminseses etc), is problematic too. It's pretty obvious to me Steve Bastoni thinks he's so much better than Gaybores and is just treading water, presumably until he thinks something better will come along - perhaps a high-quality ABC product to hark him back to his Police Rescue glory days. His interpretation of stoic working-class man is to underplay, much like the hot-under-excess-of-facial-and-skull-hair actor playing his son. Bored now.
There's a bit more interest happening with mum Nikki Coghill and the Missy Higgins dykesque tomboy (Gaybores code for 'lesbian') daughter Bridget - but mum Miranda is pretty bland too. She's a bit like Susan Kennedy circa 1995, before Susan got interesting and emerged as something other than a doctor's wife into the mum of Ramsay Street that we all now love and adore. The lack of a contrasting style of mum, in the form of a Madge, Janelle or even Lyn, makes for boring times chez la Rue de Ramsay.
Jane Hall's Rebecca is a bit fiestier; we've covered domestic violence and compulsive lying there, not to mention giving birth to a child when you're eight years old - and I'm looking forward to some quality betch-slapping when Gail makes one of her token yearly returns - but again, there's no real working-class charm or gossipy trouble-making happening there either, so no contrast.
Don't get me started on Ned and Mickey. Seriously, the seven-year-old paying Mickey is a better actor than Dan O'BigHead. You feel for poor Janae, having to overplay to compensate for him. She's on her way out by early '08 - and like Dan, we pray to god that she'll take her boys with her.
Gaybores' executive producer has flagged that the new and improved show will take up to 12 months to be fully operational within its new milieu. Maybe he's right, but frankly I'm not sure I have the patience to ride out 12 months - and as this post is testament to, I'm a Gaybores tragic.
Ending Gaybores would be massive, but it's in a position where a quality finale doing the show justice could be constructed. I see Paul going fully evil again and arranging for Ramsay Street to be demolished (for a freeway or Fountain Lakes mega-mall or some such), until he's visited in the night by the ghost of Jim Robinson (I'm sure the Ugly Betty producers could give Alan Dale a sabbatical) to be reminded of the goodness of Helen and the Robinsons and Bouncer and shit. So Paul comes to the rescue just as all the residents are packing up to move away and the first demolition crane arrives, jumps into said crane and beats the driver silly with his wooden leg - but in the process falls under the wheels. The whole street witnesses he was really good all along and give him a viking funeral (I dunno, something about viking funerals I just like), and nobody has to leave. Last original cast member gone forever, circle of life, yadda yadda.
If Gaybores' writers rip this off, I'm totally gonna sue.
...But believe the punters - they usually get it right. Labor leads 78-70-2, and the lead is growing. Seats now starting to fall in Victoria and possible losses in WA buffered. Cause for cautious optimism amidst the pro-Labor polling orgy.
This 'I'm committing...sort of' commitment is a bit of a noodle-scratcher. It would seem Lackey Downer's sussed out for J-Ho that Pey-Pey still doesn't have the numbers now for a last-minute leadership grab, would in the event that they happen to win this election.
(PS - Pey-Pey's sook about not getting an invitation to the secret treehouse meeting? Priceless.)
But I can't see how J-Ho's announcement works to his advantage in Bennelong. He's freely passing on to Maxine McKew campaigning material you couldn't buy. 'Why vote for John Howard now when you'll have to vote again in a by-election in 18 months' time?' (Voters hate by-elections with a fiery passion and almost always vote in the opposing candidate.) 'Why vote for a candidate who has no genuine interest in serving your electorate for a full term?' And so forth.
Imagine this statement causing him to lose Bennelong, while his government just wins the election. Howard is not a stupid man by any stretch, but this seems like a conceivable outcome that he's personally helped to orchestrate. Woopsy doodle.
He must be 100% convinced both he and the Libs are going to win - which makes the conspiracy nut in wonder what he knows that the rest of us don't. Sitting on a terrorism/immigration scare campaign? The electoral rigging to block out a large chunk of non-Liberal voters, perhaps? Or some other prearranged election day rigging? I wouldn't put anything - anything - past this government, which reverts to its most vicious (or rather, its truest side starts showing) when its back is against the wall.
I'm never more nervous that when it appears J-Ho is making mistakes, because most times it's exactly that - an illusion.
Don't you listen to them, John. Don't you dare. You just stick with it. I really, really, REALLY wanna see you there on Election Day.
This has nothing to do with the fact I think you're the Liberal Party's greatest current liability and you will bring your party down even more with you.
Nothing to do with the fact that I think you have a realistic chance not only of losing this election, but also your own seat, becoming only the second PM in history ever to do so.
Nothing to do with the fact that I am so looking forward to hearing what senior Libs REALLY think about you in the post-election aftermath, when the recriminations begin to fly and Costello and all his supporters are free to point out they were right all along - that if you had graciously handed the leadership over last year like Pete thought you would, he could have reinvigorated your party enough to win them a fifth election.
Nothing to do with the fact that your egoism, stubbornness and single-minded determination to surpass Menzies' record as the longest-serving PM will ultimately be your downfall, and consign you to the place in history you truly deserve.
Nothing to do with the fact I am enjoying tremendously watching the Libs implode upon themselves and giving Rudd and Labor a free ride to power.
Nothing to do with the fact that it's amusing to watch your meeja lap-dogs, particularly those in the Gazette, write with such heavy hearts (or the charcoaly things that pass for them) that their beloved Great Leader must go. (Certainly nothing to do with the particular enjoyment of watching DammitJanet squirm, knowing that she knows her job as right-wing culture warrior at the ABC is toast, as is possibly her Weekly Howard Toadying column, should Rudd get in.)
It's really to do with...umm...
Awww, hell. You got me John. It really is to do with all those things.
So, to paraphrase Bob Sinclair: John, hold on. Tell me no more lies. On election day, you will have to answer to the children of the sky.
When even Miranda Devine of all people devotes an entire column to the aggressive, and at times violent extremities of the NSW police force when dealing with civilians on the wrong side of the 3-metre high fence (albeit perhaps because the poor bastard in this situation was a mate of hers), you know both the state and federal government went too far curtailing civil liberties for the sake of an indulgent show of force. Sydney had all the signs of a classic police state: barb wire fencing, helicopters, trigger-happy policemen and water cannons at the ready. And for what? An overblown talk-fest, with few if any long-term, tangible strategies and agreements achieved.
John Howard may have thought holding onto the prime ministership just long enough to brown-nose George W Bush before such a huge international conglomerate would reinforce the elder statesman image he desperately wishes to project going into the election, but frankly associating himself with a president now well beyond farcical in his stupidity and uselessness – and making Sydney residents suffer for this – will not do his re-election hopes any good. And blaming protesters for the ridiculously overblown security measurers also rings false when you notice which side has the weapons, dogs and safety of numbers, and which does not.
This isn’t to say that no security measures at all were required. As the police and security forces unfortunately have their extreme minority element itching to abuse their power, so too do some of the more feral protester groups and individuals seeking to make martyrs of themselves by antagonising police until they retaliate, just in time for the news cameras. But the issue is one of proportionality, and remembering how important protest is in any functioning democracy.
The irony seemed lost on Bush (a lot of things are lost on Bush, really) when he condemned Burma for using its military regime to repress demonstrators. The US and Australia have traditionally been able to distinguish themselves from countries like Burma, or even Saddam’s Iraq, through their citizens’ right to free speech and protest. In fact, Australia has a proud (though violent) history of civil disobedience instigating good reforms, from Sydney’s first gay and lesbian Mardi Gras and anti-Vietnam moratoriums, going right back to the Eureka Stockade.
But none of this was evident in the last week. All we saw was just how far desperate governments and leaders will go to quash legitimate dissent among their citizens.
I read one theory suggesting that Premier Dilemma (the Member for Lakemba) set his cops on uber-fascist mode just to piss off Sydneysiders enough to turn on Howard. Smart politics if so - evil, but smart. And if Howard loses this election by the whisker of a few disgruntled Sydneysiders, worth it too. Just.
20-something left-nudging homosexualist with more than a passing resemblance to Roger Federer, except for backhand slices. Pull up a pew to read my ill-conceived, poorly-researched and often grossly inappropriate ravings on politics, cult TV, hot men and...shit.
Or read my weekly column in SX mag if you're really bored.
Email: queerpenguin at hotmail.com