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Beyond blunderdome: How Australia murdered criticism

Yesterday, public criticism died with Pauline Hanson and Kerri-Ann Kennerley perfecting the self-own. Clearly, we’ve overindulged. 



It’s getting particularly late in the election cycle. You can tell, because we’ve gone less around the bend, and more into the cauldron, as we gaze the festering eye of newt bubbling within, cackling maniacally. Clearly, the usual cut-and-thrust of campaign attacks will no longer do, as we’ve entered into the realm of the self-own. Yesterday, we had but two shining examples of it. Pauline Hanson criticised the tone-deaf racism of Fraser Anning, claiming that he should bugger off because he’s trying to be another Pauline Hanson.



Pair that with Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s rant, where she ripped into Bill Shorten (who will “change our lives as we know it”), but also the great weight on the government tit. The pointy end of this festering turd happens to be her target, the people she hates so much, those who represent a large part of her audience. After all, those who are able to watch daytime television are probably not at work, and probably aided and abetted by the government. Oddly these people would be her original fans, now old enough to be on the pension.




Clearly, we’re a nation divided, not along partisan lines, but rather of logic. Further to that point, our boom industry is no longer mining, but the uncovering of deliberately grating voices to put on the television. But while the financially comfortable versus the financially uncomfortable is the engine that powers the election (see also: the RMS Franking Credits) we’re a way off from our very own ‘let them eat cake’ moment, one brought to you by the amazing power of Rupert Murdoch’s stoneware cookery.

What this morning represents, is the death of criticism. We’re two weeks removed from the Great Resignation, where almost ten candidates fell on their own sword, their slip lubricated by the application of a strip club pole, Islamophobia, circulated pornography and/or more Islamophobia.

Clearly, those we love to hate have removed our solitary joy we have in them, as clearly, the only person who hates Pauline Hanson more than us, is Pauline Hanson. It’s difficult to hit someone who wants you to hit them. It’s less fun. The ease of modern criticism is a wine we’ve replaced all our meals with. The growth of Twitter threads, Facebook comment boxes and op-ed publications (shout out!) has allowed us to elevate everything and admire nothing. It’s been valuable in keeping idiots in check, but like super gonorrhoea, it has now grown beyond the antibiotics in place to stop it, which makes our complaint pointless, as we’re entirely superfluous, as they’re doing it for us, fashioning our dislike into a shiv to cut us with.

The candidacy of Scott Morrison is exactly that. All the conspiracy theories about him sullying a McDonald’s bathroom, all the fists we shake and all the retweets we donate to him in an effort to bring him down has resulted in an uber tacky King Kong that threatens to scale the top of Canberra and swat us away with a rolled up Trading Post. The fact that he based his economic policy on an AC/DC hook is no fluke. It was created so we critics could share it. Last week, Morrison quietly announced that the country will remain in deficit, but the damage is already done. We were the host for the virus. They played us like a damn fiddle.



We’re all guilty of it. This publication was the first to break the story about his poorly photoshopped shoes, and we felt like it meant something. It didn’t. We beat the competition to achieve what exactly? Perhaps we were the first to wander into the trap, the first to be wrong. Clearly, the only person who benefitted ‘wore’ the shoes. Perhaps we need to go full-millennial and heed the musical lessons of The Simpsons, in that these heinous towering beasts we brought to life will stop trashing up the discourse the moment we stop paying them attention.



Yeah, probably not.

But I’m tired. So very tired.



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