Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Look kitten, I don't care what you say, Hendo is a genuine feminist ...

(Above: the pond stands by for some mansplaining).

Before you head off to Sky News tomorrow night - that's if you bother to pay for TV when many people wouldn't watch it if you paid them - and hunker down with Richo, still in the schedule at 8pm, please prepare by reading the smackdown of Richo at The Monthly.

It's a little long in the tooth now, with a March date, but Richard Cooke's Is Graham Richardson psychic? is a most satisfying addition to a growing pond collection of Richo smack-downs.

The pond's favourite pars, which manage a side-swipe of Bob Ellis at the same time?

He is our Not-stradamus, perhaps the only person writing in pen who can make the For-Novelty-Purposes-Only prophecy of Bob Ellis look like Nate Silver-grade modelling. Graham Richardson is a one-man, multi-platform, multi-purpose bullshit generator. He’s also the single most utilised and listened to political commentator in Australia. 
This demand would only be surprising to someone who hadn’t seen TV since the millenium. We’re at the end of a media era where whole unembarrassed careers were built on being relentlessly wrong about everything - wars, interest rates, even where the rain will fall – apparently with no consequences of any kind. There’s no industry, not even finance, that rewards failure quite like 21st century punditry. Apart from one – psychics.

You'll have to read Cooke to discover how Richo's punts would embarrass the tea lady, but in any case the pond has its own duties to perform, because this day it has discovered a most important truth, thanks to the political punditry of our very own prattling Polonius, Gerard "I shall wear my trousers rolled" Henderson.

When contemplating misogyny, prejudice, glass ceilings, Julia Gillard, the fate of women in politics, business or the world at large, it is essential to obtain the wise advice of an old white male, preferably one bloated by a long and distinguished history of bile, preferably directed towards the ABC, inner urban elites and academics.

Who better than Hendo, bloated white whale of the Sydney Institute, scribbling furiously for Fairfax in Policy, not gender, will decide Gillard's fate at ballot box.

Naturally Henderson delivers a smack-down of a "left-wing historian" and "academic" - remember to sneer like Ian Richardson when saying these words - one Marilyn Lake, for daring to suggest that some grand old men of Labor politics might be given a fond farewell.

Heck, some of them are youngish white men. How fair is that?

It turns out that the real problem - for Lake and everyone else - is that no one knows how to shut Simon Crean up.

Caught in the grip of relevancy deprivation syndrome, simple Simon is proving once again that to be an expert on any sort of policy, the best position is to be on the back bench and sound off ...

But then Simon surely passes the Cooke test for political commentary. Having mounted the most astonishing failed coup in recent political history in Australia - perhaps in all of Australian political history, at least since the Rum Rebellion - who better to speak authoritatively on the matter of superannuation? And raising red herrings and fears and loathing?

But back to Hendo, who is tremendously upset that female academics should speak out, when it's well known that women should be quiet in the temple. As the wise Paul advised in Corinthians 14:34-35, women should remain silent in the church of politics.

They aren't allowed to speak, but must be in submission, and if they must inquire about something, for the love of the absent lord, they should ask their husbands, or Hendo at home, because it's simply disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church of politics and express a point of view.

Otherwise Hendo must perforce give them a spanking, on their naughty squirming bottoms, and where's the pleasure in that?

The misogyny/patriarchy interpretation of contemporary Australia appears to be fashionable within academe.

Oh those fashionistas. Just like women to be obsessed with fashion and fashionability, when you need to be a crusty old crustacean, a limpet clinging to a rock, unchanging and eternally biassed to a singular point of view.

Because there's simply no sexism afoot within contemporary Australia, and you only have to ask an old wise white male like Hendo to understand that sober reality.

The pond has absolutely no idea where these female academics get their piffle from, and it's surely true that female academics are only in their positions because of their witch-like powers.

Take this wretched female academic - it's most important to remember that they're female academics, unlike Hendo, who has no sex at all:

Last October Professor Susan Sheridan, of Flinders University, wrote in The Australian Financial Review that Abbott ''inhabits a culture with a long tradition of hatred and fear of women - and he reflects that culture''.

Naturally this leaves Hendo with only one choice, one he's not happy with, but an old white male just has to do what he's got to do, and so he disses that witch for her poisonous toad, eye of newt, toe of frog, fillet of fenny snake thinking ...

O'Connell and her colleagues, some of whom were male, linked the vilification to ''the example set by some members of Parliament and by shock jocks and certain cartoonists''. But no one was named.

Oh dear, don't say there were certain lickspittle male followers captivated by the charms of academic witches, and yet none of them could name names.

The silly helpless creatures - aren't they charming when they're helpless, cute, like kittens - simply couldn't remember the names of Alan 'put her in a chaff bag and drown her out at sea' Jones, or infamous one-time cartoonist for The Australian Larry Pickering. With his cartoons too sordid even for the pond.

Or any of the parliamentarians who stood under placards designed to whip up a tea party in Australia ...

For shame, and QED, because without names being named, the fearless prattling Polonius finds it impossible to investigate the charges, prosecute the case, consider it with the infinite condescending wisdom available to the clear-eyed older white male.

And what if he could?

You see it's all just hamless sledging, of the kind where white soccer fans might be thought to be having a jolly jape amongst chums by making monkey calls and waving inflatable bananas.

It is true that, on the web and elsewhere, there have been some sexist attacks on Gillard - principally from some members of what I have termed the lunar right. 

Not that it would be wise for Hendo to name names.

But it is also true that John Howard, when prime minister, was abused by sections of the radical left - who were wont to link him with Nazism. Similar barbs have been directed at Abbott. 

Indeed. Remember, let's not name names, instead let's pause to admire stoic John Howard and brave, heroic Tony Abbott.

They just took it on the lip because they're men, proud men, tough men, hard men willing to get down and dirty, happy to ditch those bloody witches.

The one thing you must not do is purse your lips and disapprove of simple-minded abuse, not when a newspaper can, in fine satirical mode, compare a politician to Mao and Stalin ...

And happily there are plenty of women who aren't pussies, who can take it on the lip:

Successful democratic politicians have long recognised that such verbal anger goes with the job. The likes of Howard and Bob Hawke did not complain about sledging. Nor did Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Helen Clark in New Zealand or Anna Bligh in Queensland. Nor does Angela Merkel in Germany today. 

Indeed. As Angela Merkel herself once said:

It seems to me that the fact that I am a woman is a bigger issue than the fact that I'm from the East. For me it isn't really important. I've only ever known myself as a woman.

Amazing really, when it's well known that Merkel and Thatcher are only known as men, or at least iron ladies, or women with pants ...

Yes this sledging stuff is jolly good fun. What happens on the field should stay on the field. Unless it can be spread in every newspaper and TV broadcast in the land.

The good news is that Gillard will fall in due course because of policy and administration, and it will have nothing to do with gender, and lordy lordy, la di dah, will that teach the red-headed ranga ball-breaking bitch a thing or two about public discourse ...

And how lucky we all are to have the likes of Gra Gra Richardson and prattling Polonius Hendo to explain it to her ...


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.