A Crowd Pleaser

The only thing more interesting than state-level political history is state-level alternative political history. That’s why I’ve written the manuscripts for a series of eight gripping novels called The Winter on Spring Street Chronicles, an epic alt-history saga which dares to answer the “what if?” questions nobody has given enough of a shit about to answer before. Though the strongest manuscripts, in my humble opinion, are ‘Part V: Et Tu, Kennett?’ and ‘Part IV: Joan Kirner – Black Queen’, the following hypothesis is drawn from draft notes for Part VII, ‘Whither Napthine? – The Vet Who Never Was.’
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The Eight Deadly Sens – Part Deux

In the three months since I wrote the first half of my musical profiles on the Crossbench Senators (which were pretty obsolete even at the time) a lot of crazy shit has gone down in Canberra. Australia’s Woodstock Floriade has come and gone, Australia’s Disneyland Cockington Green has done a roaring school holiday trade and Eric Abetz has learnt to control silver with his mind. So where the Corangamite have I been? Well, mostly stuck on a horrible writing procrasticoaster, riding in circles around the rickety well-worn tracks of my limbic system while a sneering coat-hanger of a carny refused to budge the breaks. But the other reason for the wormwood-bitter pang of my absence is that each of the dozen times I’ve sat down to patter out this post I’ve been so overwhelmed with tedium and despair at the state of our Parliament that I’ve shut down into a drooling Palmeralysis. So, after a not-insignificant amount of pulling with the aid of needle nosed pliars and fermented grape juice, I present to you – my teeth.

Jacqui Lambie (Palmer United Party)

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Losing Our Heads To Save Our Necks

We must stop at nothing to prevent death-cult jihadists murdering innocents on our own soil. That’s why anyone who isn’t a covert member of ISIS will support the Government’s new, recently announced anti-terror legislation: the distribution of mandatory “Freedom Collars” to protect Australians from beheadings.

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Microparty Megaguide III: All Tommorow’s Parties

It’s sixteen hours before Anthony Abbott delivers his victory speech, leering like a blue-tied Caesar over the smouldering ruins of Gaul. I’m hunkered in my bunker staring at this screen, draped in a ratty grey dressing gown and struggling to think of a word to write. Maybe it would be easier if I thought that Labor had a chance, but that’s impossible outside the crumbling, ember-flecked Library of Alexandria that is Bob Ellis’ mind. Ellis, once a luminary activist, has lost the plot, vanished entirely inside himself, a bag of potatoes gone to seed – like he’s the jowly personification of the ALP itself.

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Microparty Megaguide Part II: Ecofascists and Country Matters

ECOFASCISTS AND COUNTRY MATTERS

If Metropolitan Australia rides the sheep’s back, it makes sense that said sheep would want to chuck it off, chew on its ear a bit then gallop off bleating into the sunset. Country Australia has been a major force in politics for a century. The Nationals are still the main recipient of regional votes, but in recent years they’ve become, in technical terms, the Liberal Party’s bitch. Under the leadership of Warren Truss – a man with the charisma of three-day-old Wonderwhite – the “rural rump” of the Coalition have become increasingly indistinguishable from their partner and have actually merged in Queensland. The Nats seem to be sustained only by meat raffles and the billions of tonnes of burning hydrogen that make up Barnaby Joyce’s head. Given the Oakeshott and Windsor’s centre stage role in the last hung parliament, rural Australia is now clambering to be heard, and they’re lead by a man with ratdrawn shoes and and ol’ Stetson hat who’s voice has been breaking since 1957.

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Microparty Megaguide Part I: Godbotherers

This election’s Senate ballot is over a metre long and requires a magnifying glass to read, with candidates sprawling from “A” to “ZZZ”. A lot of folk will use this as an excuse to vote above the line in the Senate like the freedom-hating reprobates that they are and end up unwittingly preferencing the Al Quaeda Alliance or Kony’s Australia Party because they don’t know the Faustian deals their party has made. Perhaps inspired by the power of the Independents in the last parliament a menagerie of candidates are also overwhelming the House of Reps, scrambling like seagulls for the discarded chiplets of democracy. But although most people seem to be frustrated with the Coles/Safeway duocracy of the two major parties, they’re going to preference them first anyway. This is largely because a lot of punters don’t understand that you can’t waste your vote by voting for minor parties in the Australian system.

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How many dead babies does it take to win an election?

I would say that reading about the election fills me with a hollow, nauseating despair; except that reading that reading about the election fills people with a hollow, nauseating despair also fills me with a hollow, nauseating despair. It seems like the most dull, painful cliché of this dull, painful, cliché-infested election is how dull, painful and clichéd the election is. Thus we are locked into an infinite regressive spiral, imprisoned by corrosive cynicism and shit Mark Knight cartoons. This is the Toyota ™ AFL Finals Season of our discontent.

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The Invisible Disappearance of The Silent Generation

Comparing generations is usually a ridiculous indulgence in pop academia and generalisations, and this post is no exception. Anyone who’s had the misfortune of reading any of endless execrable columns called “Why Gen Ys Are Twitter Dependent Sociopaths” or “Why Gen Ys Aren’t Twitter Dependent Sociopaths” written by some beaming twit in a tabloid lift out will know exactly what I mean.

We have a natural tendency to categorise and label because it saves us mental energy – it’s much easier to start with a template or a stereotype than to establish an understanding of a person from scratch. Of course, most of these assumptions are false, and we have to constantly strive to notice and discard them.

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