Monday, May 11, 2009

Christian Kerr, Billy Bragg, Ted Nugent, and name-calling from the Right

(Above: Paris Hilton. Notice the uncanny resemblance to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Why the sweet thing reads Sun Tzu, and possibly even in Mandarin like our own Manchurian candidate).

I've always suspected Christian Kerr inhabited a cloud cuckoo land all his own, but his musings in Crisis needs some more name-calling from the right are way beyond any clock you might buy from Switzerland.

It's Kerr's bizarre thesis that the right is somehow mute, stricken, their tongues torn out, silent against the approaching apocalypse in these dreadful times.

Clearly while he might write for it, he actually doesn't read The Australian.

As guardian of loon pond, I'm indignant. All the squawking and crying and calling of the loons, and Kerr can't hear them? Janet Albrechtsen, go wash out his mouth with soap.

To prove his point, Kerr first of all has to go back to a fatuous remark made by left wing musician Billy Bragg after the fall of the Berlin Wall, comparing the durability of socialism to the longevity of flares.

Golly, if I want to set up a straw man, can I go back to anything that clown Bono has said over the last twenty years, whether about politics or Christianity? Or how about the great Ted Nugent's regular rants in the Waco Tribune-Herald:

With the spirit of Crockett, Bowie, Travis, Charlton Heston and Martin Luther King Jr. in my soul, I will take the stage at the Alamo around 4 p.m. Wednesday — Tax Day — to speak my mind, celebrate freedom and perform a fire-breathing rendition of the National Anthem on my American-made guitar. I shall create a rousing soundtrack for righteous defiance across the land.

With hero warriors of the U.S. military in attendance, my guitar will not gently weep.

We hope our fellow Texans join us where Col. Travis’ warrior ethos steeled his men for battle. “God and Texas, victory or death.” Let’s get it on.

Martin Luther King at a tea party?! Come on Ted, drawl some sense in Texan.

But back to Kerr, and what has to be the strangest bout of gibberish to cross my path in recent times:

There has been an enormous amount of political name-calling since the global financial crisis descended, but virtually all of it has come from the one side: the Left.

Lordy, lordy, pass the spit bucket, I'm feeling gob-smacked, as Ted Nugent himself might say.

Some of it is dressed up in high-falutin' language. Kevin Rudd is an expert in this. Take his talk on neo-liberalism. Take that "neo". Is there a more portentous prefix? Neo-liberalism suggests some nasty mutant strain and much more evocative and catchier than, say, talking about N1H1 liberalism.

Actually, Christian, it was the conservative strain of viral political theology and philosophy which started to throw 'neo' around like confetti, imagining they were somehow how in a new Keanu Reeves Matrix

Up until quite recently your very own born again right wing columnist and former treasurer of NSW Michael Costa put 'neo' in front of every word he could find, as you might expect of a neo born again neo columnist for the neo right.

Indeed 'neo' came back into the lexicon in a powerful way way back when Irving Kristol embraced the term neoconservative in 1979 in Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed Neoconservative.

Sure, the term had been around before that, but being a 'neo' became a badge of honor amongst extreme conservatives. I don't see how you can blame the left for 'neo' becoming slightly shopsoiled, by over use and abuse, most notably by neo cons themselves who mistakenly thought George W and Dick Cheney were the way ahead. (Thank the lord, we're told by reliable sources that Dick's now working on his memoirs How To Shoot Friends And Interrogate People).

But what's all this nonsense about the need for capitalists to fight back?

I don't suppose you've noticed, but capitalism still runs the show in most countries, with the good news that once again they've managed to socialize the losses while running off with the profits.

Somewhere deep down, at the end of the column, I think I begin to see a point. Which is that Malcolm Turnbull is cutting through in the opinion polls like an extremely blunt razor confronted by a week's chin hair on a yeti or a big foot.

So what's Kerr want to lift the standard of debate, to elevate the political discourse? Like Margaret Thatcher's joke about socialists sooner or later running out of other people's money? Nah, nothing witty or clever or sharp like that, or even borrowing it as a bit of trading off. 

How about petulant, childish abuse instead?

... the Liberal leader hit his mark just two days later when he accused the Prime Minister of "spending money like Paris Hilton". Rudd likes to look earnest. That line made him out to be contemptible and hare-brained.

Well bugger me dead. Of course, that's what we need, and come to think of it, it sounds so witty and clever, it's right up Margaret Thatcher's alley. It should in time earn Malcolm a place alongside her in all those 'quote of the day' sites festooning all over the web. 

And as for elevating the debate, making someone sound contemptible and hare-brained is pure genius, a real winner.

Suddenly I feel sorry for Paris Hilton. Or should it be Christian Kerr?

Capitalism is an optimistic creed. There will not be much to smile about this budget week, but the prospect of a few jibes like that is enough to lift the spirits.

Mate, mate, digger, cobber, mate. If the prospect of Malcolm Turnbull calling Kevin Rudd Paris Hilton is enough to lift your spirits, the lord help your spirits.

But how can Malcolm do any better than this masterstroke? Could he call Rudd a pint sized power mad Tom Cruise? Or what about a bare-backed Carrie Prejean Christian with a hugely expensive boob job budget? Or maybe he could call him the Susan Boyle of budgets, just without the looks or the voice?

Capitalism is an optimistic creed? Sounds more like a dumb fuck creed if that's the best it can muster. 

But virtually all the talk we get comes only from one side. It's puzzling. P.J. O'Rourke examined the conundrum in his book Parliament of Whores almost 20 years ago.

"How come," he asked a friend, "whenever someone upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever someone upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?" "We have jobs," came the reply.

Guess that means the Republicans in America lost their jobs in the recession. How else to explain all the tea parties and the marching in the streets, and the talk of secession and revolution and bless his Texan socks, old uncle Ted playing his guitar as one last gasp for freedom and the American way?

Suddenly Kevin Rudd's earnestness doesn't seem half so bad as Christian Kerr silliness.

Please dear boy, read the paper you write for in a little more detail, and all will be well. It employs a right royal bunch of columnists who spend words like Paris Hilton, all in the optimistic creed and cause of capitalism. They have to be able to lift your spirits, or we're all doomed. 

Take it away Ted, help out your soul mate Christian with some righteous geetar driven revolutionary rhetoric:

The Boston tea party was not simply symbolic. It was a physical manifestation of a real, honest-to-God human condition.

It was the fire of independence burning in men and women’s souls, determined to escape the shackles of slavery and tyranny, daring to take on an unknown world for their driving instincts to practice the religion of their choice, freely speak their minds, keep and bear arms and pursue their own happiness.

The original tea party participants made it clear that the British goons who followed them to the Brave New World would not be allowed to impose on them what these early Americans came to get away from.

Those same basic primal instincts are alive and well in free men across America. They will not let the fires of liberty die. With Fedzilla accelerating its gluttonous orgy of unaccountability and ramping up its wanton blowtorching of our paychecks with blatant impunity, we the people are once again de-sheeping and stepping forward.

When I arrived at the Alamo early on April 15, a glowing, handsome throng approaching 5,000 had already gathered at the west wall of the Shrine of Texas.

Smiling people of every description, ethnicity, color, creed, size, shape and spirit were assembled to make their voices heard.

I needed to warm up my American guitar to unleash the properly orchestrated emotional soundtrack for such an event on such hallowed grounds.

After a brief, uppity exchange with the crowd, I rendezvoused with a group of federal, state and local law enforcement friends and some wounded heroes of the U.S. military — — for a fine San Antonio Mexican lunch, where I loaded up on a gargantuan wave of inspiration from all these amazing warriors.

Back at the event, speakers were firing up the crowd with shared logic, self-evident truth and a “we-the-people” reminder: Runaway governmental corruption can be reversed if we’re truly serious about making it happen.

(You can check out Ted's regular musings of a Texas wildman here. Some day we hope to make him a regular in loon pond).

(Below: a batch of shop soiled neo cons, once proud to be neos, but now somewhere in a different matrix, or possibly another galaxy. Let's never speak of them again).

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