In Rob Idol’s week that was, Trump, Abbott and the Freedom Party all competed for the title of “Most Racist Policy Platform”, the Wu-Tang Clan made us all double-check the fine print and an adorable primate did an adorable thing on the internet.
Hello all and welcome to this week’s TBS Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve had Trump out Trumping himself, Abbott trying to out-Trump Trump and attention drawn to a day in Australia’s history that most us simply want to forget.
This week it’s been all about Trump, Donald Trump. The potential Republican candidate at the next US election completed the transition from crazy to downright dangerous as he managed to suggest a policy platform that would have Hitler begging to be his running mate.
Trump proposed two major strategies to combat Muslims. I’m sure he meant to say ISIS. The first is to temporarily ban anyone of the Muslim faith from entering the United States. That’s right, roughly 1.7 billion people (or a little over 20% of the world’s population) would no longer be allowed access to the United States of America. The logistics of such a policy are as ridiculous as the idea itself. I’m sure terrorists have never lied about their identity to get through security. You can expect yarmulke sales to skyrocket.
The second (and far more dangerous suggestion) was to employ systems and databases to track all those of the Muslim faith inside the United States. In fairness to Trump, the idea was put to him by a reporter, however, he unashamedly and wholeheartedly supported the idea. The obvious comparisons to Nazi policies were immediate and far-reaching. However, support was immediate from many of his supporters, who at this point I can only assume have collectively suffered more blunt force head injuries than have occurred in the entire history of the NFL. Oh, and our old mate Geert Wilders is unsurprisingly in his corner as well.
Trump has defended himself by comparing his suggestions to the treatment of Japanese, Germans and Italians by FDR because apparently the previous existence of xenophobia in the history of a country is all the justification you need. Other commentators have chosen to remind people (lefties) that former President Jimmy Carter took similarly drastic steps against Muslim immigration when he banned Iranians from entering the US during the Iranian Hostage Crisis; because again, the only justification required for an idea as stupid as this one is that someone else did it first…and he was a Democrat who won a Nobel Peace Prize!
Thankfully, the majority of the world agreed that everything proposed by Trump is ridiculous and dangerous. British PM David Cameron labelled the idea “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong,” as a petition in the UK to ban Trump from entering the UK raced towards half a million signatures. Beloved actor Harrison Ford, obviously sensing that Trump may actually have no grip on reality, had to remind Donald that Air Force One wasn’t a documentary. The richest man in Saudi Arabia, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal also condemned him as a disgrace to his party and his country.
Some in the media are suggesting that Trump’s rhetoric is now so ridiculous that he simply must be either attempting to save face by forcing the Republicans to disassociate with him, that he’s a simply a Democrat secret agent, or even what I suggested back in August.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of one of the darkest days in Australia’s modern history, the Cronulla Race Riots. While most of us look back in shame at this abhorrent hijacking of our flag, our name and the permanent tainting of the popular Southern Cross tattoo, others seem to think it should be remembered a little differently.
Nick Folkes, the founder of the ironically named “Party for Freedom” (a new anti-Islam party), believes that the anniversary should be commemorated as a “rebellion” and the deserved death of multiculturalism in Australia.
Mr Folkes was previously a member of the Liberal Party, however, he broke ranks some time ago in response to support for “progressivism” such as same-sex marriage. He went on to join, that’s right you guessed it, One Nation.
Unsurprisingly, Folkes stance simply seems to be in opposition to anything that isn’t related to being White, Male and Heterosexual.
Amid claims that he is simply looking to “celebrate Australian culture by holding a halal-free barbeque,” the NSW Supreme Court and the Federal Court have ruled that Mr Fokes and his party will not be permitted to hold the supposed “memorial” or any form of public assembly on the grounds that it would stir up racial hatred.
Despite the ban, far-right groups gathered in the area, with one anti-Islam protester claiming that his tyres had been slashed.
Like herpes, Tony Abbott is fast becoming the irritation that simply won’t go away. Mr Abbott wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph this week suggesting that Islam needed a Reformation in the same style as his beloved Christian faith, that “cultures are not all equal,” and that we need to “proclaim the clear superiority of our culture.”
Apart from the absolute ridiculousness of his commentary, which has been criticised by both sides of politics at home as well as abroad, the simple fact is that his stance is both misguided and incredibly hypocritical.
Let’s start with the obvious. Abbott suggested that Islam did not support the separation of Church and State and, therefore, implied that he did. This from the man who refused to allow his MPs a conscience vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, a stance that can only be justified by it being in contravention to the doctrine of his religious beliefs.
He also suggested that Islam, due to the lack of a Reformation, did not accept pluralism within a society. Yes, he suggested that Islam did not support pluralism by implying that they needed to change to fit in with everyone else. He might want to reach for a dictionary next time.
Mr Abbott might also consider brushing up on the history of his own Church (he could start by reading TBS). The Reformation that he is presumably referring to is the movement started by Martin Luther in an attempt to reform the Catholic Church. Or maybe he’s referring to the Counter-Reformation, the internal attempt to reform the Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation. A movement, that among other things, sought to repudiate pluralism within the Catholic Church.
Then again, his assertion that he would have won the next election does suggest that his interference is simply based on delusion, rather than malice.
Wacky and Wonderful
It was revealed this week that Martin Shkreli, one of the most hated human beings on Earth due to his moves to raise the price of AIDS medication by 5000%, was the successful purchaser of the one of a kind secret album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” album by the Wu-Tang Clan for $2 million. In fairness to the musicians, the sale was agreed well before Shkreli’s business practices became public knowledge.
It may turn out, however, that the joke is on Shkreli with the alleged inclusion of one of the strangest clauses in history in the contract for the purchase.
The clause supposedly states:
“The buying party also agrees that at any time during the stipulated 88 year period, the seller may legally plan and attempt to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, which, if successful, would return all ownership rights to the seller. Said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/or actor Bill Murray, with no legal repercussions.”
Personally, if this doesn’t somehow result in a reboot of the A-Team starring Bill Murray and the Wu-Tang Clan, I will be bitterly disappointed.
Lastly, there’s this, which needs no further discussion and is easily my favourite thing on the internet this year: