You're probably a very intelligent person, but you feel like you live in a breathtakingly stupid world. Yes? And during elections the stupid piles up so fast you don’t know if you can make to the chopper on the roof to escape?
You open a newspaper or, let’s get real, a browser tab, and straight away you’re thrashing and struggling, your breath hitching in ever shorter, panicky gasps as you try to keep your head above the rising tide of weaponised derp.
Like, how did Barnaby Joyce survive shame upon unutterable shame and what looks like a massive, ongoing and increasingly permanent heart attack to piss away billions of dollars on vanity projects for a vanishingly small number of rural voters whose lives and livelihoods he has already ruined by championing the cause of tax-evading fossil fuel companies?
Why is Clive Palmer not in jail?
By what mysterious process does Scott Morrison hope to make us forget all of the people killed by the many, many, many policy and administrative failures of his government—and I mean literally killed, I’m not fucking joking here, these dribbling cheerios have put people in the ground with their half-arsed, fuckbungling of Covid in aged care and the cruel and unusual punishment of completely innocent punters via Robodebt—so by what fucking measure of fail clown reasoning does this feckless dipshit think he gets to handwave that stuff away by serving up an uncooked chicken curry?
Also, Clive, still walking the streets. Seriously, how?
It’s tough, innit?
These are not one-eyed men in the kingdom of the blind. They’re almost maliciously incompetent arseclowns with raging Dunning-Kruger syndrome who couldn’t organise a fist fuck in a lubricated glove factory.
But then you don’t really ever meet up with them, do you?
Your experience of an election is mediated.
By these guys.
Somewhere in the middle of this clusterfuckularity someone calls out, “This is embarrassing.” And man, do they speak the truth, but not in the way they imagine. You might have thought that Adam Bandt’s epic smackdown of Fin Review copy boy and three-time Where’s Wally cosplay champion Ronald Mizen—"Just google it, mate,”—would’ve deep-sixed the pointless setting of gotcha traps, but yeah, nah, not so much.
Honestly, if I was Albanese, or even Morrison for that matter, every time some smart-arse junior shitweasel served up one of these of infinite Runescape trivia questions I’d smile slowly, turn to the relevant minister or aide and beckon them forward with the appropriate policy document.
Then I’d read that motherfucker out loud, word for word, in my best Richard Burton voice, you remember, from his narration of Jeff Wayne’s epic 1978 musical adaptation of War of the Worlds. Or maybe Robin Williams, singing Bruce Springstein, as Elmer Fudd…
…but for six dot points’ worth of NDIS policy detail or whatever these useless chucklefucks were shout-holing about in the moment. Maybe they’d get the message eventually.
Or maybe not.
Way back in 1957, C. Northcote Parkinson identified the Law of Triviality as a lay down fucking misère in which we puny humans, we flawed and feeble creatures, would inevitably invest our time and attention on the inconsequential pishwaddle that at least we understood, or thought we understood, in preference to doing the hard work of finding out the real stuff, formulating a plan for dealing with it, and executing on that motherfucker with some semblance of focus and rigour.
[See also, the blessed relief of the entire world when Will Smith bitch-slapped Chris Rock and gave us something to talk about other than Russia’s genocidal invasion of Ukraine].
Honestly, I think that most people, really, really really want to lean into the hard stuff - the climate catastrophe, China, the economy and not just the economy but how to make it work for us rather than making us work and suffer for it, corruption, openness, equity, the whole box of chocolates, soft centred and crunchy. Or at any rate they want to vote for somebody who’ll lean into that stuff for them. And there’s people in all parties who want to do that. They just disagree about how best to do so.
That’s cool. That’s literally politics.
But this shit?
This is just the manic death spasm of a legacy media business model that is accelerating towards extinction.
It’s gonna be a long six weeks. Come, walk with me.
"couldn’t organise a fist fuck in a lubricated glove factory". gold!
Thanks for including that Eddy Jokovich tweet. I'd read about the "NDIS gaffe" of course, but had not seen any footage, as I don't watch that sort of "news" program. From Eddy's angle it seems clear that Albo isn't "gaffing", he's just trying to get a moment of clear air to speak. Must have been some heroic editing to derive a "gaffe clip" from it. As I understand it, the media scrum took place at the "Smart Energy Expo" in Sydney, and he was probably hoping for some questions about Labor's policies in that area. Not a sausage.
Crikey's Christopher Warren belled the Murdoch cat a couple of days ago with a lovely piece "News Corp mastheads are not doing journalism. Why pretend otherwise?" which was mostly a dig at how much other news media (ABC) let News Corp set the agenda, and provide talking heads. Costello's Nine isn't far behind, of course, and Stokes' Seven is out there too.
Much derp indeed.
The descent of politics into inanity has been supercharged by social media algorithms (Jonathon Haidt nailed that down a few weeks ago in the Atlantic), accompanied by the systematic dismantling of a vibrant 4th Estate by a combination of disruptive technological change, undermining of whistleblower protections, and shortening of the collective attention span to mere seconds.
How do we regain a serious 4th Estate, properly holding politicans to account, as opposed to gotcha-goblins ruthlessly targeting the most damaging 10-second soundbite possible? We don't. Not while we are collectively more obsessed by triviality than things that actually matter. As long as we don't want to hear detailed answers to the many wicked problems facing our societies today, we won't get them. As long as we'd rather finger-point and shout at clouds, or switch off, than even attempt to grapple with nuance and complexity, we'll get the "leaders" we deserve - gormless, poll-obsessed, PR puppets. To a large extent we have done this to ourselves.
Nothing at all to add - all bases covered by JB - and yes - the "Gotchas" are all Murdoch stooges. - all Peta or Janet or Andrew or suchlike wannabes from the school of ethics-free churnelism.
'This is just the manic death spasm of a legacy media business model that is accelerating towards extinction"... Please accelerate faster.
Why isn't Clive Palmer in jail?
Remember when journalists used to cover the news and not be the news...yeah good times, good times.
Now that the fourth estate has been castrated, the Liberal Party Pretorian Guard, guided by the anointed proxy, Chris Dore, have had greatness thrust upon them by Mephistopheles and his acolytes. Like the sword of Damocles, democracy hangs by strand of hair.
The cardiac arrest in waiting, Old Barnacle Bill is, miming Bonkers Boris in pretending to be a bubbling buffoon, but his alter ego is really a candidate in waiting to be appointed to a consultancy to whichever climate criminal conglomerate is willing to pay him the most.
The chance of getting Humpty Dumpty, he of the Un-Australian Party, in jail will only happen after a twenty year long court case in which the element of doubt that he is a bacillus on the bum of Murdochracy is proven beyond a shadow of doubt.
The flabbergasting way that the Liar From The Shire can pretend that Robodebt is nothing more than an idea gone wrong, is an affront to all moral and ethical tenets that make us human beings. Not even the Rupert's Regiment can spin that one into a Labor Party plot. The lawyers that told the Canberra cabal that it is a crime against the poor and powerless, are luck that they didn't end up in a cell with Witness K.
The leader of the Palmer Army, has submitted a claim to Medicare for the provision of a cardiac nurse and a set of Packer Whackers, to accompany him wherever his business jet lands.
His understudy, and next in line for a thousand volt heart starter, Red Faced Kelly, has begun expounding the efficacy of Pine O Clean to rid himself of the Cognisant Dissonance effect and that old bogy man D and K. His doctor has discovered that his shoe size is larger than his IQ.
The latest election give away is a handful of magic beans. They will grow into a money tree and save us all from a life time of budget deficit bondage.
The magic of Robin Williams, has brought to mind a great quote from a beautiful mind.
“Politics: “Poli” a Latin word meaning "many" and "tics" meaning "bloodsucking creatures".
Oh man, I know someone really well like this. They drive me to speechless insensibility with these inane and false equivalency, gotcha questions. Lots of learning coming up for us (and the US) to recognise this crap for what it is.
Have you ... my fellow subscribers seen the cartoons? About the presser? Oh, some gold there too! Is it David... David Rowe did a cool one https://twitter.com/roweafr/status/1522116742465884161?s=20&t=EonwyJKrr-HdMvkdpi6guQ
I think the MSM have written their own death certificate with their relentless pursuit to have the LNP hang on to power. Corrupt power, cruel and inhumane power. Illegal policy, programs and criminality with the whole sexual abuse power. Can we just put them in goal where they belong?
I hope that you've got a tech, media free, family holiday in a remote area planned ?
No gloves required
Albanese has started not taking questions from shouty journalists. The upset from journalists being asked for the barest minimum of beyond-kindergarten behaviour...