Friday, June 12, 2009

Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, dinkum mugs, fair suck of the raw prawn and venial sins

(Above: ultimate Australian survival pack, now available for tourists and Tony Abbott).

Poor Tony Abbott. These days each day he blogs in the Daily Terror feels more and more like a bout of existential despair.

There's bland Chairman Comrade Rudd enunciating ockerisms as if somehow he wasn't a Mandarin speaking foreign affairs bureaucratic ponce, and no one lays a glove on him.

Though many in the commentariat tried, and Abbott even tried to link it back to the Bazza McKenzie films. Shame, Abbott, shame. We loves our Bazza.

In his blog, Abbott indulges in some more love taps, under the header  PM, Aussies don't like being conned, but they're not the kind of phantom punch that could take out a Sonny Liston.

Kevin Rudd’s nerd-trying-to-be-normal side has been on full display this week: attempting to connect with “real” people by using the language of a cartoon character.

Prime Ministers have far too much responsibility ever to be just like everyone else and the harder Rudd tries, the odder he looks. One minute speaking Mandarin, the next channeling Barry Mackenzie: people are starting to question whether the PM is fair dinkum.

Don't you jut love it. As if somehow Abbott's dinkum use of dinkum somehow exempts him of the charge of trying to connect with "real" people by using the language of a cartoon character.

Which begs a couple of existential questions - who or what exactly are "real" people and why is my home town populated by cartoon characters speaking Australian slang?

But since we're on the subject of language, Abbott then proceeds to an interesting slip of the tongue:

The prime minister’s gauche efforts to be a man of the people are a venial flaw compared to government ministers’ chronic incapacity to give straight answers to fair questions.

Abbott really should have said venial sin, so that he could then get on to the question of Rudd's mortal sins, but for some reason he held his hand and his tongue, and the Catholic lurking within stayed silent.

A venial sin is of course one that doesn't concern a grave matter, it isn't committed with full knowledge, or it isn't committed with both deliberate and complete consent.

Knowing this, it's a tricky theological question to insist that Rudd's venial flaws don't compare to the mortal sin of government  ministers' chronic incapacity to give straight answers to fair questions. Indeed, these sound like venial sins too, unless of course they concern grave matters, such as have recently been discovered by Piers Akerman and involve the funding of a lick of paint on the Bombala Council's Progress Association Rural Transaction Centre.

Surely that should result in a trip to purgatory or a jolly good stay in hell. Remember, if there's no extenuating circumstances to get your sin into the venial category, then it's automatically mortal, and without penance sees you off to purgatory. A venial sin can be left unconfessed and get you through to heaven, though the sacrament provides the grace to overcome it. 

Fortunately venial sins aren't cumulative - they don't add up, taking you from yellow to red to sin binning or send off - so they don't end up in toto as a mortal sin, unless of course you keep on stealing bar mats from every pub you visit.

Which is a real relief, to know that getting a bit of Aussie slang wrong - even when asking for a fair suck on the sauce bottle - won't land you in purgatory.

But back to Tony Costello and his complaints about how hard it is to land a blow on the "on message" Rudd ministers:

Another favourite technique is to answer questions with such a shopping list of government initiatives that casual listeners assume things must be under control and polite interviewers have little time to probe.

At least a couple of times a week, I’m in media debates with government ministers. Invariably, they try to bury hard issues under a pile of verbal sludge. Some media consultants think that this works.

Certainly, the government’s good polls suggest that the public are still giving it the benefit of the doubt. My instinct, though, is that Australians aren’t mugs and will soon figure out the extent to which we’re being conned.

Verbal sludge? No, he's not talking about Catholic theology.

Instead note the talk of mugs. Truly dinkum. As in mug punters and mug lairs and mug wumps and mug runching and mug's game and mug ass and mug fuck and many other uses of mug which help establish you as a cartoon character skilled in Damon Runyon speak.

But can a man who has the notion of "venial" and "mortal" sins embedded in his psyche connect with "real" people by using the language of cartoon characters?

Well that's a theological question for another day, but hopefully you've gained an insight into the more arcane aspects of the Catholic church, along with an insight into why a once proud bovver boy for the Liberal party can't lay a glove on comrade Rudd, when a weekly boxing of the ears would be a useful corrective for the chairman's preening vanity.

Fair dinkum Tony, dinkum Ozzies don't like being conned by mugs but if you're going to do the colorful raw prawn thing, you're going to have to come at it a bit harder. Forget the venial sin stuff, embrace your inner Barry McKenzie and call  it like it is.

That's  right, grab a dog's eye with a dead horse, sit back and nail that sandwich short of a picnic dag for always pointing percy at the porcelain when we all know he's just  pissing in the wind. 

Oh and Tony if you're ever short of a dinkum word for us mugs, feel you're all over the place like a mad woman's breakfast, and wanting to be all wool and a yard wide, head off to Dagree's Great Aussie Slang. And have a real go, ya pie eating mug.


Adam said...

I think Tony needs to give us more credit. We all know that the PM is a wanker. It's just that the population decided in the last election that the Libs have even bigger wankers than Labor. Isn't that what politics is all about?

dorothy parker said...

Yep, if Tony thinks wanking on about Rudd being a dinkum ocker wanker is the way ahead, all he's proving is he knows how to wank about wankers. And we knew that already. At the moment we're up a bottle of well shaken sauce without a policy paddle in sight. Now remember the cane toad and avagoodweekend