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Saturday, November 24, 2007

When something's so cringeworthy, it makes you smile.

The following paragraph is from an article in Melbourne newspaper The Age about John Howard's impending loss to Labor candidate Maxine Mckew in his seat of Bennelong. To set the scene, Howard is giving his parting 'I concede we have lost the national election' speech at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney in front of the Liberal Party faithful. At some point during the function his opposing Labour candidate for the seat of Bennelong, Maxine Mckew, is flashed across the big screen. It's a little like someone carrying a poster advocating gay rights through the centre of Tehran. It's never going to get a positive reaction. Anyway, the article (which you can read in full here) describes the incident in the following way:

"When Ms McKew appeared on giant screens around the Wentworth Hotel ballroom, filmed being feted by the Labor faithful at her Bennelong function, loud boos rang out [amongst the Liberal faithful]. Some Young Liberals abused the Labor candidate, one yelling 'get a facelift, you slag'."

There is something so horribly Australian about this comment. It's so unwarranted, so crass, that it almost makes you want to applaud - really slowly. It's a comment that screams, "for me, whether I've had thirteen beers at a day-nighter at the MCG, or I'm at a national political party function, I pretty much act the same way." As Will Ferrell says in Anchorman "I'm not even angry, I'm impressed". Makes you just want to say, "what was going through your mind just before you decided to say that? What is the thought process there?"

Was it something like this:

"Ok, we've just lost the federal election... that's bad. How can I rectify this? Oh, there's the Labour candidate on the big screen. They reckon she's going to knock off John Howard... hmmm... she's a woman. God, look how happy she is when she smiles... so smug... Like she's better than me... hmph... I've got an idea. (Screams the immortal line: Get a face lift, you slag!)... hehe...Oh yeah!... yeah that's right!... Stay down Mckew! Stay down!... hehe, I reckon that showed her!"

Everybody sing along now. I am... you are... we are... well, you know the rest.


Lima said...


What is it about politics that tends to inspire a football like mentality? You're always going for your team, you hate the opposition and generally you tend to support the same team your parents did...

It all seems slightly pointless really...

James Pender said...

hehe... nice one lima.