Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tim Blair, Clint Eastwood, the Australian Film Industry, Miranda the Devine and starting school as a way to social oblivion

As ever, profoundly concerned that readers get a decent right wing loon fix, and deeply concerned about the inadequacy of the Duffster (see below) as reading matter - let's face it, a Little Golden book has more intellectual depth and philosophical insight than the Duffster's musings about state Labor - we did a quick look around loon pond.

And found bugger all. Good ol' Tim Blair is in love with Clint Eastwood - no, not that kind of poofter girlie boy love but manly, strong, deep, bass voiced, in a right wing John Wayne kind of way - and his latest movie Gran Torino.

Well, we're partial to a bit of Clint ourselves, not least his deeply anti-liberal piece of punkery in Dirty Harry, for which some soft wet types see Gran Torino as a kind of apology (seeing as how Clint reaches out for young Asian gang members to teach them the ways of truth and justice and pacifism. Bugger that for a left wing conspiracy joke).

But never no mind, if the new soft Clint lights your wick, whatever turns you on. But Blair isn't content to let it rest there. He still uses Clint to berate wet lefties and the Australian film industry. Somehow Blair sees Clint, the biggest box office draw these last fifty years in the biggest film market in the world, with over 300 million, as an exemplar for an Australian industry with a domestic market around the 21 million mark.

With marketing insights like that, no wonder Blair doesn't need an economics degree. He's just a natural free range dufus all the time. 

No wonder no one pays attention to him when they can listen to fine minds like little Billy Kristol (what, he's no longer writing for the New York Times) and Rush Limbaugh (hope Obama fails and America goes to hell in a handbasket for voting in damn Yankee traitorous libruls). Now those folk, those are the real quick draw Clints of right wing loonacy.

Let me explain this to you Tim, you marketing devil you. Big movies cost a shit load of money. They need a big captive audience. Australia is a small market. Australian movies, most of them, get diddly squat spent on producing and selling them. That's just the way it is. A few break out, but most fall to the nine tenths of all movies are crap rule (which rule the USA also follows).

The cost of Australia, that giant sized Fox turkey, funded by your master Rupert, would have allowed 160 mini-sized Australian film turkeys to be made. The A$40 million sunk into it by the Australian taxpayer would have funded ten A$4 million medium sized Australian turkeys. Next time you carry on about Australian film bureaucrats and government subsidy please mention the foreign bandit who looted, pillaged and raped the tax system to produce a show which lowered the brand of Australia (and Australian movies) for the next five years. Kenny? We should be so lucky.

Over at the Sydney Morning Herald, Miranda the Devine spends an entire column devoted to whether to hold back kindy kids preparing to start school: Holding him back can do just that.

It's so mind dumbingly, mind numbingly obsessed with the ways of the middle classes and the weight of expectations they dump on their kids that (a) I can't begin to contemplate it and (b) it makes the Duffster look good.

Sample thinking: holding back your child is likely to produce a ticking time bomb because it will mean more students in year 12 will be of legal drinking age. Legal drinking??? What the fuck? You think 17 year olds worry about legal drinking when they want a drink, apart from how to get hold of the booze? 

Dear deluded Miranda, you have nothing of sense or usefulness to say about young people. I started regular drinking in a pub at age 15 in the safety of the lounge bar. Schoolies week developed long before your anxiety about 18 year old binge drinking. If only I could grab you and shake you hard while I shouted into your face: "for god's sake, get a grip on yourself. You know nothing!"

Sample expert: Bob Perry from Charles Sturt University telling us all that age doesn't matter (so why are we so fussed about age, if it doesn't matter?) But wait, it does: "Knowing you're the king pin but that you're only that because you're older can't be all that good for self-esteem". Say what? Ah ma'am, I know I'm only six, but I'm having an existential crisis because I perceive that others perceptions are based on my height and my brains and my age and my ability to bash the shit out of the underlings that surround me.

Sample anecdote: anxious North Shore mother of two Nicole, who agonised over the decision to send her son to school before he turned five. Now long years later, she thinks she made the right decision. He's turned out okay, which is lucky, because you know, that one wrong fatal decision about when to start schooling could ruin your child's life, turn him into a teenage alcoholic, a misfit, a kid lacking confidence, and quite likely a sociopath, a convict and a divorcee.

Next week, Miranda the Devine holding forth in a forthright way on the chardonnay chattering classes and their silly latte North Shore obsessions. Whatever, she's big, she can embrace contradictions. Come to think of it, she's nothing but contradictions.

Some times you know I think the only answer is to pave over loon pond with concrete and put up a high rise block and fill it with right wing commentators so they can actually grasp the reality of the world most people live in. Then we could start a new soap called Loon Central, starring Tim "Macho Man" Blair and Miranda the eternally dumb Devine. What a soapie star she'd make. 

"Did you hear that Maggie Simpson down the road is holding young Kenny back?", she'd muse over a hot cup of tea. "Yeah, Maggie seems to think he has a future in shit disposal!" "No, you don't say ..." " Yes I do ..."  "Well I never". "Want another cup of tea?" "Tea", says Miranda, remembering Tony Hancock and John Osborne, "a cup of tea? Is that your answer to it all?" "Well no", says Tim, "being as this is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world n'all and would blow your head clean off ..." (Sorry Tim, golden rule, never filch great lines of dialogue from a movie. It's called trading off, or trading places or some such).

Anyhoo, Miranda to do the plot about the teenage rebel with a cause, sent to primary school to be socialised waay too late, and Blair can do the dialogue in his easy flowing gadfly way, and together they will produce a great script that will save the Australian film industry - just to show how easy it is. (Curse you evil public servant film bureaucrats you).

And Rupert can do the tax rort and Fox can produce ... and Clint, well I have a teensy suspicion Clint might pass, even if Tim made a pay or play offer ... He might be a tad leery about that man love thing, only because of the age difference of course ...

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