Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The dog whistler's pets parade in full public view ...
(Above: now there's a handy use for the burqa, and more Pope here, as it's coal, coal, coal for Australia).
In these darkening times, the pond is always on the lookout for light relief, and that's why the pond frequently thanks the long absent lord for George Christensen being a member of the national parliament.
Just the other day Christensen criticised Jacqui Lambie for confusing and conflating assorted issues in her recent outbursts on the burqa and Islam and so forth and etc.
Yes, there he was in George Christensen says Jacqui Lambie is doing anti-burqa movement a disservice.
Now Lambie has her own problems - when the leader of your party says you're a bear of very little brain, the likelihood is that you'll get stuck in a tree when you go looking for honey.
But Christensen's remarks were a particular kind of doozy, as ratbag radicals took aim at each other:
Queensland National MP George Christensen told Fairfax Media that while he agreed with the points Senator Lambie had been attempting to make regarding Islamic law and the burqa, she had no idea how to argue the case and was doing the campaign to ban the burqa a disservice.
"She goes too far and quite frankly she doesn't know how to argue the key point, she's doing the argument actually no favours and she should shut up because she doesn't know what she's talking about," he said.
Uh huh. To prove his point and to prove his own capacity for insight, Christensen then came out with this tweet:
WTF? How did the Daily Mail and Sharia law get into the debate on the burqa?
Now there's a confusion and conflation of epic proportions.
Clearly Christensen hasn't the foggiest clue how to argue the case and is doing the campaign to ban the burqa a disservice.
There has been absolutely no indication that Sharia law stands a snowball's chance in hell of getting up in this country, any more than demands by Jews to bury cutlery in the garden.
For starters, there's the matter of pig, and even though the pond is on the wagon, the principle of alcohol. The pond feels about pigs much as Homer Simpson did
Lisa: “I’m going to become a vegetarian”.
Homer: “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”
Lisa: “Yes Dad”
Lisa: “Dad all those meats come from the same animal”.
Homer: “Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!"
And that's long before we get to matters like chopping off hands, or a decent stoning, as approved by the Old Testament ...
In fact the more Christensen went on, the vaguer and stupider he sounded:
"Jacqui Lambie mangles the message which is a shame when it comes to the issue of the burqa because there are serious concerns about it which many people have; having your face completely covered just instils fear in people," he said.
"It's alarming," he continued, "it's not conducive to human connection and it also causes a security concern, you don't know who's under it."
Mr Christensen denied he was "whipping up" fears about Muslims and said the country needed to debate the issue of the burqa being worn in public.
That's the best he's got? It instils fear, it's alarming, it's not conducive to human connection, as if the pond wanted to go up and establish a human connection with any crazy stranger wearing religious insignia in the street?
It reminded the pond of a genuine penguin sighting the other day in the streets of Glebe. There were two of them in full regalia, and all the old memories of being tortured by hot, sweaty, extremely grumpy Dominican nuns in the Tamworth sun returned.
These days the full regalia is a cut-down, streamlined affair, but still eccentric enough, especially on a warm spring day, though not quite up to the sort of images of nuns Fellini used in his films to scare the pond senseless:
By golly, is that why when the pond has nightmares, it's a sure bet Sally Field will fly into view?
Eek, take it away, oh for the love of Homer's pig, take if away.
Now if Christensen wants to go full French, as a determined secularist and sensualist, the pond is always ready to go all the way with him.
But you have to argue the case coherently. The only sensible ground is security, but the trouble with that is that the head gear is the least of the security risks. You're not going to fit too many high explosives in a belt around your head.
There's a good argument that in certain matters identification is important - getting through Customs, attending a police station or a court, getting into a bank which already has the right to take a view on motorcycle helmets and so forth.
But these are limited matters, and might be attended to by the same laws that punish people for wearing Richard Nixon masks when doing a bank job. What a cruel defamation of a wonderful man.
Is George going around saying people can't wear party masks honouring wonderful men like Richard Nixon and Ronnie Raygun?
The real danger in concealing weaponry or explosives surely lies in the expansive dress.
In which case what to do about the mumu?
By golly that doesn't look quite right.
Now the pond has the perfect secularist solution. No one should be allowed to wear any religious signs in the street. That takes care of the nuns, angry Anglicans, vexatious priests and their ostentatious collars, Christians with crucifixes - as if the pond wants to look at reminders of either a suicide or a filicide - and Scientologists wearing dumb grins after giving even more money to a pyramid scheme in the pursuit of aliens ... yes, even the kippah, or the pilleus cornutus would have to go.
Now the pond would also make sacrifices. That wonderful dress garnished with garlic, wooden stakes and silver bullets would have to stay in the wardrobe, and the pond would have to promise not to wear the witch costume that bedevils and torments evangelicals on Halloween ... maybe the Goths would have to make a gesture too, like only wearing skulls indoors... Sorry head bangers that goes for you too ...
But before we get to that point, it might be wise to have an intelligent discussion, which seems to be way beyond George, full of fear, loathing, paranoia and irrational emotional surges of rhetoric as bad as Lambie.
Poor old big Mal tried to pour oil on troubled waters, when he might have been doing something more useful, like fix the fucking useless broadband in this country, but in the meantime, George had doubled down:
"Team Australia needs to make this decision [to ban the burqa]," he said.
Team Australia? If the pond is on George's team, is there any way to get out of the team?
"There are many views in the community on this. People think that it shouldn't be allowed in public places. I think if you ask the majority of the community you'd find an overwhelming no answer. It would be interesting to take a poll."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged people last week not to "fret" about a person's religion or clothing but the outspoken Queensland MP appeared to rebuke his leader.
"If someone walked into a bank with a full covering like that I'd be fretting about it. There are legitimate security issues that people have when someone walks into a public place where you cannot identify them," he said. (here, forced video at end of link)
Uh huh. More garbled, alarmist hysteria, this time confusing and conflating the interior of a bank with a public place.
The trouble of course is that Abbott's selective dog whistling and blather about team Australia has empowered all the right wing ratbags, but it got the pond to musing with the partner about how things can change in a lifetime.
There was a time when it was men who had to take off their hats to attend a Catholic service - yes hipsters, men wore hats, stay proud and pork pied - and women had to cover their heads, and anyone who forgot and wore a scarf would cop a lot of disdainful looks. And the pond attended Lutheran services in Adelaide which rigorously separated men and women across the aisle, a routine done as much by Jews as Islamics.
Now the pond finds all this of stuff offensive, but the question for libertarians and liberals is how much they want government to intrude on private behaviour and private beliefs, even when displayed in public.
Twits like Christensen twittering away do very little to inform this kind of debate, or help in reaching a consensus, yet Christensen had the pride and the hubris to suggest he was doing a better job than Jacqui Lambie ...
But then George has been in training as a professional fuckwit from an early age. You have to head off to Vexnews here to get an insight into his upbringing, as revealed in a student newspaper:
Vexnews even provided a pdf of the student publication here.
The pond takes the view that once a ratbag, usually a continuing ratbag in politics, and Christensen routinely confirms the thesis.
But where's Tony Abbott to denounce him as a bear with very little brain?
Posted by dorothy parker at 9/24/2014 07:59:00 AM