Dude. I know he privatised Qantas, deregulated this and, indeed, liberalised the other. However, he did so in a suit of peerless quality and often with Don Watson’s adroit hand up his arse and I miss him.
Although, given his blokey swipes at Combet’s Coming Out Party I rather think the ALP doesn’t feel the same.
I burble, natch, re PJK.
Warm Lettuce. Fistful of dollars. Twice cooked soufflÃ©. Les bon mÃ©taphores flew from his papist mouth will all the oiled alacrity of, er, things flying in to Paris Hilton’s throughout Celebrity Blow Job Smackdown. Perhaps he was at his easeful best when firing at Thug Tuckey, ‘You box-head you wouldn’t know. You are flat out counting past 10.’
This may not represent the man’s unquestionable erudition. It does, however, indicate his spunk.
As is the habit of former PMs, PJK returns to public life a curmudgeon. Along with Mal, Gough and Bob, he has the swagger of a pastoralist and all the coyness of a souped up backhoe. (Although, we can’t imagine John refigured as someone who’d actually ever speak his mind, can we? When I think of John’s future passions, I do not imagine them to be civic or compassionate. I imagine he might become zealous about, for example, matchbox cars. And bore his grandchildren with rambling descriptions of each tiny vehicle until, perhaps, finally one of his brood has the cheek to say, ‘Shut the fuck up you pointless tool!‘)
But, back to the plot: the old, NSW Right luvvie was a deft and funny talker.
I’ve tried to fan the flames of, well, flames in this locus [PollieGraph] re the dreariness of our public conversation. It’s my contention that all hues of Left are now rendered in a foul ironic grey. And that, in this breach, the Right now has developed something that passes for humour. (And if you don’t think humour matters, then we have nothing further to discuss.)
Et, voila. J’ai Ã©tÃ© accusÃ© of being a Nanna who didn’t understand the Hip Lingo of the young a Bovril-choofing cat lady who had nothing more relevant to offer than, ‘well, in my day.’
This, clearly, is bullshit. Oh, I am a Nanna however, there is ample evidence that (a) public life is shite and (b) Leftie progressive types have become, if possible, even more boring than the batshit that always smeared much of their prose and talk. To the point where we now must recycle decade-old rage from Keating as evidence of an intellectual pulse in anything resembling a ‘progressive.’
Ok. So one or two red raggers still egest good humour. And, fuck you (without sweet talk or a cuddle) if you don’t like Philip Adams. I’m very fond of him. Beyond the onanistic bludgers of academe and the dull, thudding noise emitted by the Green folk (your souls may be pure but your mouths are empty of engaging chat) where do we look?
Don’t tell me it’s not getting worse. It is. Ask PJK. He’ll back me up. Or, then again, maybe he’ll just call me a scumbag.
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Bio: Helen Razer is a prolific if prolix writer. She contributes to various websites and to The Age and The Australian newspapers on matters of arts and culture. She is writing a novel. She is a broadcaster on terrestrial media. She’s become obsessed by this campaign and isn’t sure why.
1. Steven Kambourison
Helen, I’m in broad agreement with those sentimonies, although could you nominate commentators from the Right who are taking on (some semblence of) humour? When discussing this issue earlier I was put on the spot and couldn’t put forward a name. Sure, John Roskam has a raffish, squeaky-voiced charm about him, but who else?
In lieu of further comment, here’s one of my favourite Keating exchanges:
Mr Fife: Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. I ask the Deputy Prime Minister to withdraw those remarks.
Mr Keating: Of course I will not withdraw them ‘disgusting’ is not unparliamentary, you clown.
[From Hansard, 18 April 1991. Also featured in Paul Keating’s Book of Insults. It was the only book I’ve seen shaped like a banana!]
It is always great to see him come back out and provide a bit of relief from bland, beige and banal muck that passes for passion and humour in the current political debate. I live in hope that one or two of the new breed will find the confidence to continue the legacy of strong, passionate debate well laced with humour that has marked Australia’s political landscape in the past.
Keating wasn’t always good at it. He was just a little tedious as a young bloke but he grew into it so well.
Well said H Razer the biggest offender in the last week has of course been John Howard and his unfortunate crony PC I think the plan is to bore the country into voting for them by unceasing dribble on interest rates and the economy.
Certainly Howard’s technique of deliberately garbling his speech to make him ‘unquotable’ (as his biographers say) is here working against him voters only have the 30 seconds between chopping the vegies and making sure the wok doesn’t catch on fire to get his policies.
Kevin R is trying but we always need a short sharp reminder from PJK to tell us how it’s done.
p.s. Kambouris that quote is truly great.
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