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Last night, I agreed with a man I thought I never would. So, this morning I’m making my peace. I’m sorry, George Brandis.
George Brandis, the bloodless Butcher of artistic flair rode once more into town this week, atop the palomino named Attorney General, brandishing (sorry) the six-guns on legislation and baby-boomerdom at his hip, a flicked wrist away from painting the streets red with tape once more. The townsfolk laconically registered his moving through their midst with the same lowered eyebrows and thumbs flicked off chins that met his entrance last time, when he arrived to torch the crop.
However, as George swung his hips through the saloon doors, while the clientele remained silent, Brandis did not. And as hard as it is for me to admit, as I’ve been the staunchest critic of the man (even going as far as attempting to commission an Archibald prize entry depicting Brandis as Slobodan Milošević in response to the art cuts), credit where credit be due: there be gold in them thar sentences.
The night, I found my head bobbing in pursed lipped confusion over the sensible platitudes uttered by the man who wanted me to starve eight months prior. Brandis, the gormless husk, had somehow bloomed into the verdant daisy of sensible political discourse. I attempted to find solace in the thought that I accepted Brandis’ comments, because he wasn’t here with the sole purpose of stealing my bread, nonetheless, a statement ran around my head that I couldn’t shake.
George Brandis is making sense to me.
On the wording of the same-sex marriage plebiscite: “The question should be as simple and as self-explanatory as possible,” Brandis told the ABC’s Insiders, before vowing to equally fund the “yes” and “no” aspect of the vote.
On edging some sense into the violence that has torn us apart recently, calling for moderation in attaching the label “Terrorism”:
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) July 23, 2016
He even span his lip toward One Nation, calling the views of Pauline Hanson “unhelpful” and “wrong”, before stating that it would be “ludicrous” to deny the legitimacy of her comments, because they are views held by a cross-section of the public.
I suppose it’s Introduction to Politics 101, the playing of both sides, but it is that very fact that has removed the jam from my donut, dripping with the purple saccharine goo of smugness. I didn’t know George could be so moderate, and I certainly though that I would never have shared ground with what I assumed was the quintessential cardboard cut-out villain. The man in the black rimmed glasses.
I’m instantly reminded of the gruff bearded bloke with the shovel in Home Alone, about whom Macaulay Culkin believed the horror stories espoused by his brother, instead of doing his own thinking, before finding common ground and a life lesson during that scene at the church.
As it goes for George and I. I know I’ve taken the assumptions as gospel, and laughed at hilariously negative photoshop wizardry as an outlet for my disappointment, and for that I’m sorry. I did the easy thing, not the right thing.
But, you surprised me, George. I certainly didn’t see you wielding the shovel at an opportune moment against the cranium of fear-mongering Australian political discourse.
And you know what? I’m not afraid anymore.