Mathew Mackie

Current Affairs Wrap: When Mally met Trumpie, Eminem’s existential crisis and Fairfax strikes


Approx Reading Time-11It was a very special week in Current Affairs Land, as domestic and international issues melded into one clusterboink that we’d all rather forget. That, plus Eminem!





The great tradition of arranged marriages of Bollywood, two likeminded, financially advantageous parties met for the first time in the public gaze, crumbled and gave themselves to awkwardness, suffering the ignominy of knowing what the audience was thinking.

Sadly, when Malcolm met Donald, there was no dance number.

Which is a shame, because a fanciful, yet rigidly choreographed number would have been a fudgesight more entertaining than what we received: an unenthusiastic moral handjob, where one congratulated the other on the rusty scabbard they used to eviscerate the floundering marlin of US public heathcare, chumming the GOP health bill in return… which allows this!

Fortunately, the meeting closed on a positive, as Malcolm felt that he and Donald were closer than friends, indeed using the other f-word: “family”.

Arranged marriages within the bloodline. Hot.


I’m unsure if I’m becoming older, and therefore everything seems more stupid as a result, but elsewhere in news of abject chicanery, this week North Korea took a breather from attempting the nuke errbody, and changed tack, claiming that the CIA is out to kill their fabulous leader. Now, North Korea has a reputation for being somewhere in between Woody-Allen-paranoid and Gary-Busey-crazy, but the claims of a CIA-sanctioned attempt on Kim Jong-un’s life might be legitimate, primarily because of the priors of that particular government department – which I’ll now illustrate, after we cue the muzak:

1953 – CIA overthrows democratically elected President of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh for threatening to nationalise the oil market, placing the Shah on the throne. The Shah, friendly to Western interests is anything but to his own people, ruling with the muscle of the SAVAK, his secret police.

1954 – CIA overthrows democratically elected Jacobo Árbenz, for his attempt to nationalise Guatemalan industry. Replaced with right-wing government, over the next 40 years, 100,000 Guatemalans would perish.

1954-1958 – In an effort to destabilise North Vietnam, the CIA (through Edward Lansdale) attempts to place the puppet government, lead by Ngô Đình Diệm, which in turn sparks the Vietnam War.

1961 – CIA assassinates Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, a bloodthirsty man of ill-repute, who had the backing of Washington since the middle 1930s.

1961 – CIA assassinates popular Congo leader Patrice Lumumba.

1965 – CIA eventually overthrows Indonesian President Sukarno, something they’d been trying to enact since 1957, primarily for his neutral ground in the Cold War. General Suharto, his contemporary, is responsible for the massacre of anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 suspected communists. The CIA, alongside our government agencies, were said to have supplied the names of these people to Suharto’s people.

1973 – CIA overthrows Chilean leader Salvador Allende (who kills himself), putting General Augusto Pinochet in power.

1980 – CIA supplies arms and training to El Salvadorian government forces to quash the rebellion, in turn bringing about hideous massacres such as El Mozote.

1989 – US invades Panama to remove President/drug dealer/CIA plant Manuel Noriega.

Plus that whole middle ’80s chicanery of funnelling money and arms to Islamic fundamentalists in order to halt the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, which in turn shifted to the US itself, which came in the form of 9/11.

Plus more!

Thanks, CIA!




Closer to home, and away from the tinfoil hat, Fairfax journalists have walked off the job in repsonse to the paper deciding to slash their metropolitan news centres, and ultimately thinning the number of journalists in which to report on the conditions within this country. Now, because you didn’t ask, I’ll tell you. As a pseudo journalist, and grandson of a journalist, we’re under no illusions of our worth. Yes, it’s no longer the 1920s like we’d all prefer it to be but the peeling, dinosaur, objective journalism should still roar over the landscape, especially now that bullshit is the new black. I don’t pretend to know the answers; if anything my winding, wobbling prose is probably killing the industry but there’s always room for more voices at the trough.

In response to the strike, a headline was printed, on a front page no less, with a rather glaring error. Now, for my money, it’s a clever message, like when the Corleones were sent a mackerel in a flak jacket, but others in the office are not so sure.

You decide.


Wacky and wonderful

And finally this week, we regale in a date which will surely live on in infamy, when surrealism finally walked into the legal system of New Zealand. Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers, is bringing legal action against the New Zealand National Party for the apparent illegal use of his seminal motivational banger, Lose Yourself, in one of their marketing videos.

Two points of contention here: the NZ NP doesn’t really sound like they have beaucoup dollaz to make it worthwhile, because: Google Eminem’s house. Also, perhaps as a plea deal, we could have him in the NZ Senate. Classic win-win.

Although, all of that is background, as the legal proceedings gave us a morsel of insanity, as nine po-faced opposing legal eagles sat through the track in the court, listening to the NZ NP version, then the original, before giving their analysis.

Picture a courtroom scene, where the teary witness gives their testimony. Everyone waits in silence for their turn to talk, to cross-examine the bawling witness. Now, replace that with Mom’s spaghetti. I’d very much like to show you that, but ironically, the video has been taken down due to copyright infringement.




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