Culture

Liar Liar

I follow the excellent Tony Martin on The Twitter. Today he posted a link to a video that he did for the GristMill folk. You may not know them by their business name, but you are likely to have encountered the work of Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope (THE LIBRARIANS and VERY SMALL BUSINESS).

I clicked Martin’s link and found him playing the part of Michael Munna a fan of right wing talkback radio commentator Arrabella Twat. When it finished, I hit the ‘next’ button and found a video of Robyn Gardener playing Arrabella Twat (pronounced ‘Tw-ahht’). This is the first time I’ve seen either character.

The second video shows Twat “on-air” speaking her mind. At one point, she talks to her unseen offsider about the “Ju-Liar slogan”.  I am happy someone in comedy world has tackled this because it has been on my mind since right-wing radio commentator Alan Jones bandied the term about recently.

If you read this blog, you’ll know that I am a thwarted lefty who doesn’t have much time for the modern ALP. I wasn’t a KRudd supporter and nor do I support Gillard. I had hoped there might be some positive change when she became PM, but Labor continues to disappoint comprehensively with their centre-right, Liberal Lite policies.

However, I am also unimpressed with people like Jones spouting insulting nicknames at the PM. I find it hard to believe that he is bothering to hurl putdowns that remind me of the schoolyard name-calling I found amusing when I was 11 years old.

Jones has an ideological disagreement with the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax policy. That is to be expected. But he jumps a lot of logical steps between disagreeing with an idea and then deciding it is acceptable to insult the cheerleader of that idea.

How about this one, Alan? Wayne Swan is hogging all those tax dollars – why not call him Wayne Swine? And while we’re at it, he smells, too, just like all the big taxes from the stinkin’ Labor Government!

Jones expects to be taken seriously, yet his idea of political discourse isn’t worthy of respect. Insults are easy. Playing the woman and not the ball, also easy. Coming up with a well-thought out series of propositions to persuade others that your ideological position has merit, is much harder. And it’s the job of the Opposition rather than Jones, but one thing at a time.

Although I expect very little from him after his involvement in the Cronulla riots, I think I am needled by this latest behaviour because it so clearly resembles the immaturity of children who are learning how to communicate and how to become socialised (that means becoming social, rather than socialist, Alan).

As naïve as this may sound, I would like to live in a nation where we discover what we want as a society through the process of investigation and discussion. Insulting those with whom we disagree is uncivil and counter-productive. Alan Jones could have had a point about a carbon tax, but I stopped listening when he squandered his time punning about the PM’s name.

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