Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kate Grenville and Omar Musa on Q and A

One thing that you can be pretty sure of when watching Q and A is that if some arty types are on they will trot out hackneyed PC cant to an almost self-parodic degree. And they'll mindlessly, shamelessly support either Labor or the Greens. It's almost as predictable as the panel itself consisting of a majority of lefties.

Last Monday's episode, held in conjunction with the Melbourne Writers Festival, was no exception. Take author Kate Grenville. She made her political allegiance explicit almost immediately.

KATE GRENVILLE: ... Somebody has got to stand up for the Labor Party here, and at least they are talking about putting a carbon tax on the table ...

Well, yes the carbon tax is one clear difference between the two main parties. There are others, such as the fact that Labor are a hopelessly incompetent, venal rabble, led by a compulsive liar who doesn't believe in anything at all except power -- a woman who stabbed the elected leader in the back, then said she had nothing to do with it; a woman who is now abusing her power to try to stop the media from investigating aspects of her own personal history that are of legitimate public interest.

Well, of course Labor are just the kind of party who would try to inflict on the nation a non solution to a non problem after promising they'd do the exact opposite just before the election in order to steal it. And Kate brings her searing intellect to bear and thinks this is a good thing. Brilliant.

She also thinks this government is not illegitimate:  

KATE GRENVILLE: ... You talk about an illegitimate government, I mean, if the hung parliament had gone the other way, would you still think it was illegitimate?

Well, no. Because it wouldn't have come to power on a ginormous porkie.  

KATE GRENVILLE: I mean we do have an incredibly unstable and unsatisfactory political moment. But the fact is that however it was arrived at, we do have a government which is - which represents the electoral acts best bet at what the people wanted.

Except they clearly don't want it. And mainly because they were lied to ... about the carbon tax.

Later on, she dodges the Craig Thomson affair, alluding to Senator Mary Jo Fisher:

KATE GRENVILLE: Yeah, look, I don't know anything about the culture of unions except that, you know, grubbiness - as Don says, you know, grubbiness is part of the human condition, I'm afraid, on both sides. I mean, let us not forget that there is also a Liberal member of parliament at the moment who has been charged with shoplifting and assault.

Not only is Grenville using the same nasty, dishonest argument as Julia Gillard; she's using almost exactly the same words! Hell, it's almost as if one of Gillard's soulless spin doctors gave Grenville a briefing before the show.

How sad is that? She's a renowned writer, yet could have had her words scripted by a hollowman. That says as much about her as the whole literary scene, don't you think?

There was another, er, wordsmith on Q and A. He was a poet called Omar Musa. And he was to the left of Grenville.

You can always rely on these grungy young hepcats to really tell it like is, man! And he didn't disappoint, describing Tony Abbott as a "pugilistic wing nut". (They love using that word "pugilistic", don't they? It's one of their favourites along with "philistine". It makes them sound, like, really intellectual 'n' all.)

He loved it so much he used it again:  

OMAR MUSA: Yeah, definitely. I mean it's got to a point where it feels like it's a choice between the devil and deep blue sea, you know. You've got this pugilistic knob head on one side and then you've got this sort of gutless wonder on the other ...

But strangely, the "wing nut" was now a "knob head". Why that? Clearly Omar thinks Abbott so eeevil he's a shape shifter ...

Much like his fellow artist Grenville, Musa was mighty reluctant to condemn Craig Thomson:

OMAR MUSA: Look, I don't know. I'm going to presume he's innocent until he's proven guilty, firstly. But I mean, if it turns out that he's been abusing his power and using $100,000 on prostitutes, I mean... 

TONY JONES: I don't think anyone's suggesting that amount of money went on prostitutes... 

OMAR MUSA: Well, I mean, that would be some... 

TONY JONES: matter who spent it. That would be... 

OMAR MUSA: That would be some Olympian sort of shagging. Well, all right, if it turns out that he was, you know, abusing his power then he needs to be punished for that but it hasn't come - he hasn't been in a court of law so I can't really comment on that

I admire Musa's commitment to such noble principles. But strangely he calls Abbott a pugilistic shape shifting wing nut-knob head without trial.

Omar, you've forgotten his right to a presumption of innocence! That's a basic human right, remember. You can't deny him that, can you? As Tony Abbott might himself say, "I am not a pugilistic shape shifting wing nut-knob head. I am a human being!"

But nup. Omar thinks he's guilty as charged. And in a strange parallel with the Thomson affair, Abbott's perceived attitudes to prostitution inform this belief:

OMAR MUSA: Yeah, probably. I mean but, then again, this is a guy, it came out today, who said that he would be willing to sell his arse, you know, to get the support of the independents.

Omar was obviously trying to provoke conservatives here. But I fear he may have offended some of his fellow Greens voters as well. Surely it's a basic human right to sell your arse, isn't it? Clearly, it would be deeply homophobic and puritanical to say otherwise.

Intriguingly, he follows up with this:

OMAR MUSA: Yeah, but he'd even consider - I mean, that implies that he'd be willing to sell his soul as well.

Eh? He thinks people's souls are located in their arses.

Well, he certainly has a very creative mind. His poems must be wonderful.

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