Tuesday, August 28, 2007
'When the Veneer of Democracy Begins to Fade'......
I know it's been a while. Life's kind of taken over of late. And I know that this picture has nothing much to do with what I'm about to write. I just want it there, ok?
Anyway, a few things in 'news' land have got me going lately. First, in the lead-up to the country's federal election, opposition leader Kevin Rudd has had a smear campaign thrown at him over the fact that he'd been to a strip club in London 4 years ago and had allegedly fondled a stripper, to which, in his defence, he said he was too drunk at the time to remember. The Libs were obviously hoping to smash his squeaky clean and nerdy image, but instead it's given him a boost and shown that he 'has blood running through his veins'. Suddenly, Kev's looking a bit sexier. Anyway, it's John Howard we should be worried about. He might not have been to a strip club, but he hangs out with the likes of Dick Cheney and George Bush. Personally, I'd rather he hung out with strippers.
Germaine Greer's been in the news recently too. Around the anniversary of Princess Diana's death, she announces that Diana was "a devious moron" who slept with married men and made nuisance calls when they tried to dump her. Brilliant! Finally, someone cuts past the dreary celebrity mythology that's been built around Diana, so we can be reminded what was really going on. This was reported, along with other snippets of heavily-edited comments she'd made with typical reactionary outrage and ridicule by the media. She is almost always on the money, but her frankness is undermined as obnoxiousness by the media, men and even feminists more and more aggressively and often quite unfairly. I think the world needs Germaine Greers and I find this contemptuous attitude toward her quite strange - like a jealousy of people that tell the truth. Still, at least her boldness gets her in the papers and I guess that's the point. We should surely never underestimate the value of the ratbag.
Last, but not least, was Howard's announcement last week that he thought Australians should embrace a sense of "aspirational nationalism" to guide relations between different levels of government. (I actually thought I heard the newsreader say "national socialism".)