The Leyonhjelm Offensive: How And Why The Senator Told Me To F**k Off


Senator David Leyonhjelm was a one-man self-parody show earlier this week. If the aim of political satire is to hyperbolise your opponent’s stance, exposing to clear view their absurdity in all its glory, he really needed no assistance in disrobing his Emperor’s clothes of purported rationality, considered judgement, or informed prudence.

‘Fuck Off’, he intoned to us protestors in Title Case. You can hear him drop a fullstop, like a bead of bile spittle, between each word.

And Leyonhjelm was only at it again. He reputedly called Julia Gillard a ‘mangy dog’ when she, entirely coincidentally, passed the carbon tax. He also intimated that ‘perving’ wasn’t sufficient to diagnose breast cancer and ‘palpitating’ was better, and he didn’t mean self-.

Tuesday was the Melbourne hearing of the wind farm inquiry. I have (as Professor Greenhausen) set out on these pages, that this is the second Senate inquiry into this proven renewable energy since 2011, and the fourkenteenth review bromided by an Australian government or agency in six years.

Does it bear repeating? The only thing proven about Wind Turbine Syndrome is that it’s communicable, that is, psychogenic, particularly in rural communities petitioned by the discredited Waubra foundation and Landscape Guardians.

Neither of whom, bless my coal, have ever sought to protect residents from the documented health impacts and somewhat scarifying disembowelling of open cut coal mines. As for climate change? To paraphrase Senator Leyonhjelm, who gives a fuck?

Those of us at peace with the elements already know the answer sought by these recurring inquiries. It is self-evident. Certain fossil fuel lobbyists and their elected lackeys are inexplicably ‘more susceptible’ to the strobing effect of wind turbines which interferes in their executive functioning.

Can’t you picture them, on yet another inquiry field trip, swathed in wind repellent gortex, standing out in the drought-stricken paddocks, salinating under their blithe brogues. Intrepid vigilantes for skewered rare parrots are they. Round-eyed they follow the turbine tips, their optic nerves inscribing on pancaked souls 0 … 0… 0… 0…

It gets up some people, the wind. For some it blows ill. It rattles, it roars, it bites, it shrieks, it chills, it howls, it carries the portents of evil… you get my drift. For we have it from that authoritative source, first astrophysicist dog, that it also explodes bat lungs and causes mass goat deaths.

In the garb of the Flat Earth Institute (FEI) we protesters were simply making our way up to Tuesday's inquiry to give evidence of the historical precedent, from the medieval warming period, of Catherine Wheel Syndrome (in which people rolled directly off the Earth’s edge to spin out their vertiginous fate in the firmament).

There we encountered two Senators. 

Now elevator shafts and their lobbies are rather discomforting social spaces. The contraction of personal space, the vaulting through steel spine, this upright collective coffining – it’s just weird. But few people know that the whirring of cable and pulley has recently been shown to wind our audio receptors, tightening the temporal lobe which eventually snaps like an elastic band causing Lift Rage. Or so the Stairway Sanctity (ginger) group says.

We’d already accosted Senator Madigan, the more deserving of our pillory, waiting in the lift lobby – a place also fraught with auditory perils. My confrere Phil Evans (aka Emeritus Enseamiatus), rushed to his side in corduroy breeches. The whish whish whish as he closed in set off a disorienting quiver in the Senator’s occipital lobe inducing irritability, face reddening, lip pursing, and urgent poking of the elevator call button.

No wonder he declined FEI’s offer to endorse his inquisition. And perfectly understandable that he would pay no heed to us strapping a Greenie to a turbine and burning this, erm, satanic spherist heathen renewable sodomiser at the stake.

Anyway, back in this century, it was Leyonhjelm who really shone from under his cowled aura of doughty dudgeon.

Members of the Flat Earth Institute, outside Monday's Senate Inquiry into wind farms.

By the time he had skulked into the furthest reaches of the lift cubicle the poor man had endured – just think of it – the ear-splitting roar from his shower head, the thunderous crackle of his rice bubbles, the deafening sweep of the traffic, the piercing clang of the trams, the unrelenting strike of stiletto on flagstones, and what about that raucous regrowth bristling on his chin.

Can you hear it? A perfect cacophony, and that ‘utterly offensive’ interminable wind! Does it ever let up? It’s like a renewable… if only we could harness the…

You might think the beleagured Senator was offended by our attire as medieval astronomers. Actually it was the quills on our hat feathers which were chaffing rowdily, like fingernails down a blackboard.

Under this auditory assault the poor man’s occipital lobe and Broca’s area evidently sprang loose with all that racket and vibrated his Wernicke vertigo into concentration hypertension. It’s not called a brain snap for nothing.

Fuck Off was the least he could say.  And in the white noise of climate denial, fear mongering, pseudo science and self-interest, I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more of it.

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