Can You Feel The Love Tonight?


Last week, we asked Emily Maguire which figure in Australian public life she thought merited a promotion. "Ben Pobjie," is the name she named. This week, we prove that some wishes can come true. Ben Pobjie is now not only‘s resident satirist, he’s also a member of the 20 Questions pantheon.

Ben is well known to readers for his trenchant explorations of tough contemporary issues like midget racing, the contribution of supermodels to the body image of young women, and the overall superiority of NSW Labor politicians when it comes to sex scandals. Those who know him to be a satirist love him no less than those who mistake him for a political commentator.

A fixture on Melbourne’s comedy scene, a poet, a spoken word performer, a blogger and a podcaster, Ben is a man for the new millennium. Will 20 questions suffice to tell such a tale? Probably not, so we’ll tell you something else for nothing. In addition to the above, and to the below, Ben is also an admirer and defender of the work of the late, great Estelle Getty.

1. If you were given $5 million, what would you spend it on?

Guitar lessons, a house in Switzerland, cosmetic surgery, some burgers, etc.

2. Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Megan Follows.

3. What trivia topic will you beat everyone else in the pub to the buzzer on?

Monty Python.

4. The headline you’d most like to see on the front page of a daily newspaper.

"Fielding Suffocates Under Naked Netball Team! Saucy Pics pages 4-13!"

5. Complete this sentence. I’d like to hear Kevin Rudd say "…"

"Yippy-ki-ay, motherf*cker."

6. If you could have made one major life move differently, what would it have been?

I would have neglected my writing talent and practised my rugby more.

7. You’re on a desert island with only a magical television for entertainment. It only broadcasts sports. It can only broadcast one sporting code. You choose the sport.

Cricket. TEST cricket.

8. You’ve been appointed research director for an organisation funded by a hands-off philanthropist. What do you tell your staff to find out?

Which lifts Megan Follows is likely to be in.

9. How often do you check your email?

Every five minutes or so — less often while asleep.

10. What annoys you about politicians?

You know that thing where Wayne Swan keeps repeating key phrases in the middle of his sentence? Yeah, that. Oh, and Julie Bishop. What’s her deal?

11. Name someone in Australian public life who deserves a promotion.


12. Name someone in Australian public life who should be out on their ear.

Melissa Doyle. I mean, yes, give opportunities to the mentally disadvantaged, but there’s a limit, surely.

13. Can we fix climate change?

No. Have a drink and try not to worry about it.

14. If we were in a karaoke club and not online, what song would you sing?

"Mack the Knife."

15. Have you ever seen a ghost?

I haven’t even seen the movie Ghost.

16. Computers could be improved. How?

They could have the ability to mate and give birth to cute little computers.

17. I’m going to get a coffee? What can I get you?

An iPhone.

18. Do you have a hidden talent?

I hope not, I’ve tried to make it all pretty obvious.

19. What image should hang on the wall of the PM’s office?

A winged velociraptor with a rocket launcher.

20. What question should we ask our next interviewee?

Which is your favourite Indiana Jones movie?

BONUS: This is the question from our last interviewee:

Is honesty the best policy?

Hmmm….Is honesty the best policy?
This all depends on what the goal of the policy is. If your aim is to feel smug and superior to others, honesty is an excellent policy to help achieve this goal. If, on the other hand, you are looking to perform multiple prolonged acts of adultery, honesty is a very bad policy indeed. Look at it this way: should you be accused of murder, honesty is the best policy if you didn’t do it, and the worst policy if you did. As a general rule of thumb, however, honesty is, at least, not as good a policy as universal healthcare. It is a better policy than "The Things That Batter", but has a less amusing name.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.