The one time my Caucus delegated powers to me to do a dirty preference deal with the Labor Right, the buggers didn’t show up. An avid and over-earnest, if naïve student of the dark arts of dealing I’d even arranged to meet the Student Unity negotiators at Norton Street’s Bar Italia, scene of the Leichhardt Council mayoral battle that was filmed as Rats In The Ranks. When I got a call on my mobile—the size, shape and colour of two chocolate paddle-pops stuck together, and I couldn’t really afford it, but I was so proud—to say that they couldn’t make it, a deal’d been made with the Libs instead, regrets, I could have strangled a kitten in pure frustration. Who were they to deny me the chance to make arrangements to lock out the Trots, to play the game, to imitate, most importantly, the players?
Akermanis, a veteran Aussie Rules star, was sacked this week by his club, The Bulldogs, because he refused to be silenced, in his media jobs, from talking about whatever was on his mind. As Patrick Smith writes in The Australian today: “He was speaking openly about what the club needed to be kept inside.”
You can see what would have happened here. The club would have said something like, Jason, if you must keep these media jobs, just write and say the anodyne stuff that’s expected of you: we’re playing one match at a time, the boys will be giving 110 per cent and football will be the winner. To this, Akermanis said: No.
Good on him. And good on him for continuing to speak. I loved it when he poleaxed one of the commentators on The Footy Show by saying, simply, “At least I’ll be remembered”.
And here’s my devil’s advocate question: if Akermanis was sacked for breaching the code of the locker room, the unwritten law that what’s said there, and said on the training paddock, stays there, and if you apply this code across sport, shouldn’t it have been Timana Tahu who was sacked during the rugby league Origin series, and not Andrew Johns, notwithstanding the offensiveness of Johns’s remarks?
It begins: the media making sense of our first female Prime Minister on the hustings, cycling through cultural narratives, understanding Gillard through particular narratives of the feminine. I remember reading at one point a series of academic articles around the narrative framing of Pauline Hanson within the context of symbols of feminine power; the idea being that at times of crisis, a strong feminine figure comes to the fore, embodying the ‘traditional’ cultural values under threat, in the manner of Boadiccea or perhaps Thatcher or Indira Ghandi or Aung Sun Suu Kyi. This figure speaks out to protect her ‘children’, the disenfranchised, in Hanson’s case the ‘Aussie Battler’ or whatever. This was a way of making sense of the transgressive female figure in the public domain; the idea that this happens only when mother-love, a force of nature not understood in the domain of men but experienced as very powerful and pure, overwhelms and the invader must be stopped. Culturally we recognise this as an appropriate narrative of feminine power.
This, though, is not that. Gillard has to some degree positioned herself within ‘traditional’ values with her reactionary comments on gay marriage and asylum seekers, but there’s no real sense that she’s more representative of the battlers than Abbott, particularly since today’s announcement that he’ll be dropping WorkChoices as a policy. There’s some value perhaps in exploring the idea that Gillard represents a kind of protestant work ethic and mainstream and Abbott a more marginalised and subversive Catholicism, echoing older debates in Australian social and political history, but by and large, that is not what I see happening here.
Instead, when I look at this photo, what I see is the unmarried older Gillard going to the altar, so to speak; Gillard as Australia’s Bride, visiting the Governor General to get permission to marry. We’re already engaged to her, but she hasn’t moved into the Lodge yet, and she’s decided that she won’t until we walk her down the aisle and go through the formalities. This is the path she must take before we can make sense of her as a wife/mother of the nation.
cross-posted at terriblefabulous
As any man is, who grew up in the Reagan and Thatcher eras of right-wing television, I’m guiltily enjoying my growing cultural hegemony. When I pass the billboard for the remade A-Team film on my way to the station each morning it cries to me; “the popular culture references of your age and class are the new universal by which others’ alternatives are measured”. Of course all glory is fleeting, but to have your own personal childhood’s cultural markers socially fixed as standard is a pleasant compliment.
You go, Hollywood imperialism. You keep doing it for us Anglo white collar thirty year old blokes—we can’t do it without you.
But that’s by the by. In China, they’re living the dream.
Yang Youde, 56, has twice repelled government-backed demolition crews by firing the cannon and peppering workers with fireworks.
Mr Yang manufactured his arsenal with used stove pipes and $US300 worth of fireworks, and his cannon can fire projectiles up to 100 metres.
“I’m a law-abiding citizen. I don’t believe these fireworks can kill,” Mr Yang said in an interview.
Mrs KARYN PALUZZANO: My question is addressed to the Premier. Will the Premier update the House on ethics courses?
Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY: The member for Goulburn is trying to find a rurosexual. I will give one last quote. A rurosexual knows that essence of armpit does not pull the chicks like a good dose of Calvin Klein. I cannot believe the Leader of the Opposition has allowed this member’s linguistic talents to remain hidden for so long.
[Lt. Chaurasiya’s] commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois… could have discharged her under the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Instead, he determined in February that she should remain in the Air Force because she acknowledged her sexual orientation for the purpose of “avoiding and terminating military service.”
Pricing regulator IPART proposed rises of 44-62 per cent [in energy pricing] over three years to pay for a backlog of network maintenance and the Federal Government’s proposed ETS.
Port Macquarie mum Cassandra O’Meara said she was looking for ways to cut use after her family’s power bill went from $500 to $1700 thanks to a new pool and plasma TV. “It’s just ridiculous,” Mrs O’Meara said of the cost jump yesterday.
On the NSW Government’s Relationships Register, here is everyone’s favourite upper-house Christian conservative, Gordon Moyes:
..there is already adequate protection for their rights under all the laws protecting de-facto relationship whether same-sex or different partnerships. Having the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages administer the relationship register is just an attempt to have a back door marriage.
Over to you, boys:
Heh. Back door.