In a week with another school shooting, the American gun lobby is turning its sights on Australia. Plus: smacking children, cancelling Christmas and farewelling Peter O’Toole.
Santa cancels Christmas. To state the bleeding bloody obvious, it’s Christmas (bah! Humbug), but I intend to pay little or no attention to the season in this, my final wash-up of the week’s events (as seen through my bizarre brain) for 2013. The only concession I am prepared to make is to share this absolutely fantastic and powerful Christmas TV commercial for Greenpeace. It is well worth a watch (particularly as a representative of the Australian Family Association called it “cynical” and hated it — what greater recommendation could there be?) because it shows Santa in an entirely new light. (Trigger warning; if you are a Downton Abbey fan, you are in for a shock.)
What a pig. To continue the theme of indefatigable defenders of the “family” and our precious little ones from nefarious left-wing propaganda, there was also a bit of a kerfuffle this week over that notorious feminazi Peppa Pig. The ever-vigilant Piers Akerman picked up the subtle pro-women propaganda of the ostensibly inoffensive cartoon character and exposed it. For starters, the main character is a female pig! As Geena Davis and her Media Institute have pointed out, male characters outnumber female characters three to one in family films. So typical of the left-wing ABC to falsely encourage girls to think they matter.
Mind you, the ruction over Peppa did lead to the tweet of the week, from the head of the Marxist ABC cell himself:
Tony Abbott smackdown. Families were taking a bit of a bashing all round this week — in the case of the next story, literally. Our fearless leader, Tony Abbott, kindly delivered some caring parenting advice (so suitable for this time of year) when he admitted gently smacking his own daughters on occasion. His paternal advice led to the runner-up for tweet of the week:
Now that’s good parenting. Ben Pobjie also agreed Abbott was just pussyfooting around when it came to the effective guidance of young people — especially considering how corrupted they have been by Peppa Pig. His advice was that Abbott needed to man up.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would definitely approve. He wants asylum seekers to sign a code of conduct. I guess if they fall short of it they’ll get a lot more than a smack, because he’s one Australian who really gets punishment. I daresay he’ll be getting young reprobates like the ones in this next story to sign up ASAP — for their own good, of course.
Australia in gun lobby’s sights. This week brought yet another school shooting in America, almost one year to the day after the horrific slaughter of very young children and their teachers at Sandy Hook. The response of both the pro- and anti-gun control lobbies in the US appeared to take aim at us in Australia. Journo and talent judge Piers Morgan, who has rather impressively re-invented himself as a dogged supporter of gun control in the US, tweeted this powerful comment:
This week also saw the end of Holden in Australia, Bettina Arndt warning heterosexual staff at the ABC about their woeful example by refusing to get married, while our federal government quickly stepped in to stop gays and lesbians who wanted to get married from doing so, presumably because that’s a woeful example, too. (I find it hard to keep up with what the family values crowd do and do not approve of. No doubt new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson can enlighten me.)
We also lost the actor Peter O’Toole this week — which led me to discover this remarkable 1963 round-table featuring O’Toole (while he was preparing to play Hamlet), Orson Welles and two other erudite gentlemen whom I did not recognise. If you have 20 minutes or so, do watch it.
It’s a reminder of the kind of TV we simply no longer see. Poorly shot — the camera often can’t keep up with who is speaking, the participants’ minds move so quickly — it feels just like being a fly on the wall during a conversation between the gods. The end is missing but, frankly, who cares? Maybe, after Akerman, Arndt & Abbott succeed in decimating the ABC budget, we could go back to television that is all about the content — like this.
And, in honour of the Ashes victory, a remembrance of cricketers past in another runner-up for tweet of the week, even if it does appear to have taken its time to get to me.