Here, richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.
As the title suggest, this post is a bit of an indulgence but it’s a weird story and it’s been preying on my mind and maybe it’s illustrative of some quirks of the information age.
Who was the Left candidate in Labor’s leadership clash yesterday? Who was the candidate of the Right?
Such questions – the customary starting point for any political stoush – no longer even get raised in reference to the ALP. How could they be? Here was a challenge in which, like a scene from Alice in Wonderland, each contender stood to the Right of the other. Remember, the replacement of Rudd by Gillard came about as a rightward lurch, meant to mitigate the effects of an anti-Labor push by mining bosses, while Crean’s misfire was spurred, in part, by concern that Gillard had unwisely picked a fight with media tycoons, an issue on which the new Rudd team would presumably have retreated.
On the centre-Left, a new election meme has been incubating, one that attributes Gillard’s persistent unpopularity to the hostility of the media, which has been either too shallow (the Monthly) or too sexist (Anne Summers) to appreciate her achievements.
I’ve generally considered the amusement some leftists take from Gerard Henderson’s blog to be slightly distasteful, an echo of the nineteenth-century fashion for visiting London’s asylum to giggle at the Bedlamites as they grimaced and drooled and tugged at themselves.
Last year – and I no longer remember what prompted this – I became briefly obsessed with Norwegian black metal, especially the band Mayhem.
‘I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.’
With that diary entry in 1981, IRA prisoner Bobby Sands launched his famous hunger strike in a British prison. But the words might equally have come from Omid Sorousheh, the Iranian asylum seeker, near death in Nauru after 45 days without food.
Today, even among the Australian’s core readership of aggrieved grandfathers, almost everyone gets online in some way, shape or form. The same study reveals that, as you would expect, a clear majority of internet users regularly access some form of social media), so much so that, in reality, far more people log into Facebook on a daily basis than subscribe to print newspapers, a comparison that should (but won’t) make the curmudgeon chorus shut its collective pie hole.
First, there’s the question of the address itself: a powerful riposte to a notorious sexist that went viral around the world, delivered by the leader of a government that was, at that very moment, cutting parenting payments to 90 000 single mothers by as much as $100 a week. How does one assess these simultaneous developments?