Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For Our Daughters' Sakes, She Must Be Stopped

The modern media has many purposes – entertainment, education, a substitute for the judicial system – but probably its most important function, for me at least, is as an emergency warning system for everyone who is worried about menaces to society. Whether it’s A Current Affair exposing the threat of single mothers lurking in our supermarket carparks, or the Herald Sun reporting that one in every three Australians is now a paedophile living next door to a primary school, the media is invaluable in letting us know just who’s coming to get us.

Which is why Bettina Arndt is, hands down, my favourite journalist in the whole wide world. If it weren’t for her, I never would have known just how badly my life was being destroyed by women’s low sex drive, and this week she’s done it again, warning us all that the new prime minister, Julia “Medusa” Gillard, is setting a bad example for Australian women everywhere.

It probably has not escaped anyone’s notice that the PM is living with a man, without having first consecrated the relationship via the sacred bonds of marriage. Or that, furthermore, she has chosen to live for 48 years without at any time making use of her reproductive system in pursuit of the survival of the human race and Western civilisation.

Of course, this is fine, in and of itself. If a woman decides that she wants to violate all standards of morality and decency in order to satisfy her own unnatural lusts even as she denies her inherent feminine purpose by selfishly putting the hedonistic enjoyment of a materialistic lifestyle ahead of the creation and nurturing of new life that gives all humanity a reason for being and without which a person is but a hollow soulless shell destined to die alone, unloved and without meaningful contribution to the world, who am I to judge?

But there’s a broader significance to the issue of Gillard’s sexual proclivities and rogue womb that goes well beyond the individual. As Bettina warns, it’s all about the example being set. Women are, as we know, easily led and slaves to trends – just look at Twilight – and there is a very real danger that if set a bad example by the most powerful woman in the land, other women, women without Gillard’s political career to fall back on, and without Gillard’s total absence of normal human emotion to comfort them, might find themselves making bad decisions..

And prime ministers are, of course, exceedingly influential in social matters, as we’ve seen time and again, with the likes of the Italian suit craze of the Keating years, or the enormous popularity in the late 1960s of disappearing mysteriously at sea. Why, Frank Forde was only in power for eight days, and yet that week sales of nipple rings rose 400 percent. And that was based on nothing more than an unfortunate misquote from a Press Club dinner. So we see how much sway prime ministers have over the common people.

Prime Minister, or First Whore?

And so what are the women of Australia – bless their little hearts – to think when they see Ms Gillard stand up before them and say, “Yes, I am proud to be a living outrage against social cohesion”? Why, quite naturally they will think, “Hey, if it’s good enough for Julia, it’s good enough for me!” And so we will see the country beset by an epidemic of women shacking up with men they aren’t married to, diving headfirst into the murky waters of shared en suites without the sturdy anchor of a marriage certificate to keep them from drifting onto the rocks of dissatisfaction. “I’m unmarried,” they will think to themselves, “I can leave anytime I want to.” And so, at the first sign of trouble or stress or long-term psychological abuse, off they’ll flit, away to the next “committed relationship”, footloose and fancy-free, totally unaware of the terrible price they will pay later in life, when they will live out their lives pushing shopping trolleys full of catfood around the streets, muttering to themselves and asking passing strangers if they’re looking for a de facto.

And what of any children that might come from these reckless relationships? How horribly scarred will these poor mites be, knowing they are the product of idle whims and experimental co-habitation? How horrible will it be for them to be forced to sit in the Bastard Corner at school, shunned by the legitimate students and mocked by the teachers?

Arndt has many examples to back her argument. Pat Rafter, for example. He had a child out of wedlock a few years back, and the results have been catastrophic. Thank God Bettina Arndt has finally taken the opportunity to expose the trail of shattered lives that Pat Rafter has left in his procreating wake. How many more, Pat? How many more people must you rob of dignity and crush beneath your heel before you’re sated?

Of course, there are worse things than children out of wedlock, such as not having children at all. Imagine at 20 telling yourself you would try to follow Gillard’s lead because she is an inspiration to all women, and all of a sudden, BANG! It’s 25 years later and you’re breaking into hospitals to steal babies to make up for all those who were never born because you thought you’d got a “role model” and that it was therefore OK to go to Bali or buy yourself an iPad instead of putting your ovaries to practical use.

So we can see how lucky we are that Arndt sounded the alarm. But still there is something nagging at me. The new prime minister is obviously an intelligent woman – some commentators have described her as “as smart as any man”, which is as high a compliment anyone could wish to be paid assuming she was a character in a Famous Five novel – and she obviously understands the consequences of her actions. So why? Why has she decided to nudge Australian womanhood in the direction of wanton sin and pleasure-seeking infertility?

It just didn’t make sense to me until…until I heard Gillard this week reveal on radio a rather disconcerting fact: she doesn’t believe in God.

Suddenly everything clicked into place. The non-marital sex. The wasted uterus. The pantsuit. She’s been operating without a moral compass. Flying blind.

I don’t see this from a Christian perspective; I don’t believe in God either. But I know I can handle non-belief. I know I have the ethical grounding and moral viscera to prevent me from running off half-cocked due to my lack of a higher power. I’m not sure this is the case for the PM.

Because sadly, even though you and I know we don’t need religion, most people do. Most people are far too stupid to be allowed to formulate their own moral frameworks and make their own decisions about good behaviour. Most people need to be protected from their own blithering idiocy, something the Labor Party knows all too well – that’s why they’re setting up an internet filter. And God is the internet filter of our everyday lives: keeping a watch on us and blocking us from all the naughty things that we really want to do. Like an internet filter, God also doesn’t necessarily work all the time, and slows us all down quite a bit, but at least he keeps us headed in the right direction.

And I’m afraid this is exactly where Julia Gillard’s problem lies. She answers to no higher power. She used to; and Rudd perhaps managed to keep her debauchery in check. But now he’s gone, she’s accountable to nobody but herself, and so will continue to engage in her perverse, unsanctioned, recreational monogamy, sending the message to all that such behaviour is perfectly acceptable in today’s society and thereby causing the nation to sink under the weight of the fractured relationships and blighted lives that await all who attempt relationships without the proper paperwork.

And so I beg you, Ms Gillard: find God. For your own sake, and for the sake of all the silly, impressionable, scatterbrained young lasses who fail to heed Bettina’s warning, and who look up to you so devotedly as a leader, a feminist icon, and a reasonable substitute for an independent mind.

Don’t let a generation of women slip away from their womanly destinies. Don’t let your own selfishness ruin everything for the rest of us. Pick up a bible. Pick up a nice white dress. Do the honourable thing. Because if our first female prime minister refuses to conform to tried-and-tested gender norms, what’s the point of having a woman there in the first place? We might as well have kept Kevin. At least he could cry like a girl.

Monday, June 28, 2010

That Might Not Be All, Folks

Ah, so here we go. On Friday New Matilda closed its doors. I made a humble attempt to say goodbye, which can be found here.

The real catastrophe was that newmatilda shut down just as Julia Gillard ruthlessly ascended to power atop Kevin Rudd's mangled corpse, thus preventing me from contributing my article about how hilarious it is to use the word "ranga" in political commentary and how everyone who does automatically becomes a colossus of wit.

But I can't, so c'est la guerre.

The future for is...well, there may be one, basically. Check out Marni's sign-off here for more information.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sexy, In His Own Special Way

So anyway a while back I was encouraged to enter a competition. It was a competition I didn't really understand and for which I considered myself horribly unqualified, but the encouragement from dear friends caused me to enter, and it is rather a good one. It is the "Most Mentally Sexy Dad" competition, and what it is, it transpires, is a competition to recognise those fathers who make make themselves sexy through being exemplars of family commitment. Or something like that. Putting in the effort with the wife and kids, basically. So after much prodding and hesitancy, I took some big gulps of air, took a photo of myself with my kids, and wrote a little screed about why I thought I might be Mentally Sexy.

Find that here.

Now, you may or may not find me mentally sexy after seeing/reading that. However, you must admit that someone who is that unsexy physically probably has some redeeming features.

Nevertheless, whatever your opinions on my sexiness of various types, hopefully you do think I'm quite nice, and you're willing to vote for me so I can win something. So click on the five stars - make sure you're filling up the five so I get a five-star vote, boosting my total and my average (this is assuming you WANT me to get a five-star score).

You can also vote for other Mentally Sexy Dads who are competing against me on the site. Particularly "Murph" who seems to be the frontrunner. I'm sure he, and all the others, are lovely fellows. But without in any way wanting to encourage rum do or shenigans of a disreputable nature, my chances of winning the "People's Choice" award will increase the more high scores I get, and the more low scores they do. So, you know, go with your heart.

Of course, the main prize is not voted on by the public, but decided by a panel of judges. So feel free to bribe them discreetly. Ha ha! Just kidding, Mentally Sexy Scrutineers!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Thirst For Change

You may remember this article, in which I put the call out for good folk anywhere to support my push for a new kind of politics in this country, a politics based on love and friendship and giving me things.

No doubt you've been hungering for ways in which to show just how much you love the idea, so people who see you in the street will dribble in admiration for you.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cold Cockles

There is a type of story that tabloid newspapers sometimes like to run called a "heartwarming story".

Very often, these stories are not "heartwarming", they are actually "infuriating" and make rational people want to "throw" things through "windows".

This is one such story.

The FRONT-PAGE STORY in today's Herald Sun is about mother of two "Michelle", who has been "overwhelmed" with public offers of help after going public with her desperate plight, as she and her children have been forced to sleep in the car.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I say "forced"? What I actually meant was "chose to sleep in the car because she is an idiot".

READ this story.

She was too embarrassed to go to friends, co-workers, or her ex-partner about her situation. Oh, the shame, she cried. Nobody must know! And so she kept her secret, not telling anyone, even giving the children's father a fake address, so embarrassed was she, until finally she decided to...


Oh yes, how embarrassing it would have been to admit to your friends or your ex-partner that you are homeless. Far better to act with discretion and quiet dignity by begging for help in the Herald Goddamn Sun.

"Michelle" says her ex is a good father. Her ex says he would have been perfectly happy to give the children a home. But he didn't know, did he? Oh no, because it would have been just so humiliating to ask him for help. Far better to make your children SLEEP IN A FUCKING CAR than lower yourself by having them stay with their father.

She's also very grateful to Herald Sun readers for their offers of accommodation. The generosity has just blown her away. Not that she's taken any of the offers up, mind. No, she knows you never take the first offer. First rule of homelessness: play it cool. Play the field. Shop around. You don't want to seem desperate.

The father says, "I want to express my extreme distress that my children were so exposed across the media and I am concerned about the repercussions of such exposure."

Oh, you're such a killjoy! Look how happy they look on the front page! See how all our souls have been uplifted by this wonderful story! Isn't it worth it, for your children to be forced by their idiot mother to sleep rough, so the public can enjoy the feelgood story of the year?

Dr Sarah Wise, of Anglicare Victoria, said Michelle's story had put a human face on hardship experienced by many Victorians.

She said it showed that people trying to do their best could still get nowhere.

No it fucking doesn't, Dr Wise. It puts a human face on the fake hardship assumed by many Victorians who deliberately make things harder for themselves than they really are in order to get attention.

And it shows that people who absolutely REFUSE to do their best get on the front page of major daily newspapers.

Seriously, Dr Wise, on what planet is a woman who intentionally chooses to sleep in her car with her children when she doesn't have to "doing her best"? Shove it, Dr Wise.

And shove it, "Michelle". I hope you get a house, and I hope the roof falls in on your stupid publicity-whoring head.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun

Blanche is gone.

She came out of the deep south to bring us a message.

A message of hope, and of love, and of the joys of middle-aged promiscuity.

Without her, the 80s would have been nothing but biting sarcasm and rustic idiots.

With her, it also had a bunch of sex jokes.

She knew the fine line between having a good time and being a wanton slut, and how entertaining that line could be.

But in the hands of Rue, the character of Blanche Devereaux was more than just a brazen sex-crazed hussy. She was a mother, and a friend, and an art gallery employee apparently, although evidence for this was scant.

A piece of the 80s just slipped away, and we are poorer, wearier, and sadder for it.

Farewell, Rue. I will think of you whenever I think about the irresistible sexuality of 50-year-old women.

Which is, let's be honest, a hell of a lot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In other news:

Hundreds of Latvian blondes have paraded through Riga to boost spirits during the recession.

I think I can safely say that the only way this idea could be improved upon is if the English language underwent a major evolutionary upheaval resulting in the words "improved upon" coming to mean "absolutely perfect".

Weekly Inspiration

Last week I performed at Wordstock as part of the Emerging Writers' Festival. It was a celebration of the music of AC/DC, and a wonderful time was had by all.

My song was "Ride On". My interpretation is below:

I want to tell you a story.
A story about freedom

I remember when I was a boy
Sitting on Santa’s lap
And he asked me, “What do you want?”
And I didn’t ask for a Transformer
And I didn’t ask for a football
And I didn’t ask for my parents to stop using me as a pawn in their increasingly violent passive-aggressive power struggles
I asked for FREEDOM
Freedom, and nothing more

And Santa smiled at me in wonder
For never before had he seen a two-metre tall four-year-old
And it was that day, sitting on Santa’s lap, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the Flinders Street toilets in peak hour
That I realised that Santa truly was real
As real as hope
And as real as love
As real as that jolly old homeless man who every Christmas dressed in a red suit for our amusement
And offered me a shiny new coin if I would only accompany him to his secret bone palace deep in a nearby cornfield, where he had a special surprise for me

And though I never got to see that palace, because I was late for my weekly parental shame session, I still saw what he was getting at
That strange, cheerful old man, with his gummy smile, his twinkling eyes, and his voluminous trousers
He taught me a lesson that to this day pounds in my head incessantly like a great, wise, intrusive drum

That lesson is
The freedom to follow your own path, to chase your dreams
To walk blissfully and unsuspectingly into a cornfield if that truly is what you want from life
The freedom to lay on a riverbank, looking up at the stars, counting them, night after night, continously losing count and starting over again in a frenzy of self-destructively obsessive behaviour, gradually eating away at your own mental health until inevitably you begin cutting yourself and become convinced that your wife is the reincarnation of the Egyptian god of death
Because freedom cannot come with conditions
If you want to defend my freedom to pluck tulips from a field and arrange them attractively on a piece of corkboard
Surely I must likewise defend your freedom to hack mercilessly at your wife with a Phillips-head screwdriver and throw her into the river, all the while gazing up at the stars and bellowing “Stop looking at me” at the top of your lungs
That’s freedom. It is non-negotiable.

Not non-negotiable like Israel’s policy on new settlements
Not non-negotiable like an ultimatum from a lover who tells you, it’s me or the zebra
Not non-negotiable like a cheque you wrote to the Church of Scientology while under the influence of powerful muscle relaxants

No, freedom is non-negotiable like…the dew on a newborn baby’s face
And sure, you can say, what does that mean?
You can say, how does one negotiate dew?
You can say, why are you rubbing that baby’s face on the grass
The point is that freedom is like a baby’s face: innocent, and unscarred
And yet it can be ugly, and objectionable, and sometimes you want to punch it
But you can’t defeat freedom by punching it
Which is how it differs from a baby’s face
Because you can definitely defeat a baby’s face by punching it
It’s really, really, easy.

But I’m not here to talk about babies
Or the myriad practical benefits of punching them
I’m here to talk about freedom
And a wise man – I think it was Daryl Braithwaite- once said, if you love something, set it free

And I knew what he meant

For I loved someone once
She was a beautiful, mad, wild thing
When we made love it was like…two crazed bison trying to get out of a hedge maze:
Intense, and violent, and easier with a map
And I loved her as I have loved only 4 or 5 other women, tops

But I let her go
I said, I must let you have your freedom, for I love you. Go. Be happy.
And she said no. I will stay
And I said, I cannot live with myself knowing I am keeping such a free spirit caged in a prison of expectation and routine. Go. Live your life.
And she said no. I want to stay.
And I said, I am NOT a jailer! Go now, for both our sakes, and with my blessing
And she said please, let me stay by your side, for I have a crippling gambling addiction and am unemployable
And I said, honestly I would be more comfortable if you just left. Frankly if I’d known you were living in my garage for the last six months I would have done this much much earlier.

So she left. Not without tears, and not without regrets, and not without a tense police sieges, but she left

And yes, it can be heard, being alone, when I pass her on the street, warming herself by a burning stack of unsold Big Issues
But I know I gave her her freedom, because I loved her that much

And nobody ever said freedom would be easy
Freedom isn’t like putting on a pair of pants, or swallowing a bee
It’s not that simple
Freedom is more like losing your virginity to Bert Newton: it hurts like hell and you may need carpet shampoo afterwards

But we don’t WANT freedom to be easy!
We chase freedom because it is hard!
Because we know we must fight
We know we must struggle
And we know it will be worth it
When we stand up strong and proud and throw off our chains!
When we clench our trembling fingers into the fist of freedom
And punch the baby of tyranny square in its adorable face
When we cry to the heavens, we are FREE

We don’t need your rules, or your conformity, or your manners, or your social mores, or your basic level of human respect

We’re heading for a better world, a world of liberty and choice, a world of magic and wonder, a world of mysterious cornfields and terrifying flashbacks

We’re riding on to the new world, riding on to freedom
When I say free, you say dom, FREE!
OK, that didn’t really work, but that’s OK, because you’re FREE to respond in any way you see fit

The time has come people!
Jump on board the freedom train, and let me drive you to Happiness Station
Hold on tight, because we’re making no stops, and the driver is dangerously unqualified!

Toot toot!

And the original: