Last night, the ABC’s Leigh Sales had a tub of yoghurt thrown at her. Considering the other instances of our dairy-spattered criticism, a pattern is obvious.
Last night, the menu of our antagonism increased, as the ABC’s Leigh Sales became the latest public figure to have a dairy product lobbed at her.
Per Fairfax, “Perth Police said Sales “took evasive action” after a 49-year-old man threw the yoghurt container. They also said it hit the stage, splashing some yoghurt on the ABC’s 7:30 host. ‘It’s all fine, I’m relieved it was nothing more sinister than yoghurt and that nobody in the audience was hurt,’ Sales told the Herald.”
— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) July 28, 2019
How did we get to this? How did we become the nation that lobs food at those we disagree with? What chides me is that we’re seemingly beyond cultivating our arguments, our points, as this vaudevillian method of discussion has now taken root. We’ve rebirthed the stockade, as the few are judged by the passing many, those who clutch foodstuffs and yearn for the opportunity to participate.
To use the example of Egg Boy and Fraser Anning, clearly, the lesson is that we’re going to have to crack a few eggs to make ourselves heard. That act (and the international kudos) that followed, clearly enabled another in the less popular egging of Scott Morrison, and, ultimately, a lesser piece of dairy pegged at Leigh Sales. Typically, this yoghurt chucker has fans, as the (now) standard post mortem is underway, as we discuss what the egging/yoghurting meant and whether the individual took it too far, or not.
A woman who through dereliction of her duty has allowed corrupt politicians to get away with blue murder garners sympathy because someone throws some yoghurt at her. No wonder the left gets beaten all the time.
— Textrovert (@Karlcastan) July 28, 2019
It’s part of our nonsense zeitgeist. Which is disappointing, as we’re a nation that honours the quip, the comeback, the stagging of one’s foes. Gough Whitlam’s words remain legendary, as does Paul John Keating’s promise to do us slowly. Clearly, we no longer have the patience for such a thing, as now we’ve brought the breakfast table to our arguments; we peel back the lid and cock our arms as the previous generation did a grenade, and hurl it at our chosen target for maximum effect.
In a famously deleted twist, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove originally climaxed in a pie fight between the highest echelons of American responsibility and their Russian counterparts; the scene highlights the folly of man, and the stupidity of leadership. The pies symbolise the nuclear bombs and the fight the end of existence when all other options are exhausted and the armaments we’ve built now speak for us.
I’m not sure we possess the same depth as Stanley’s subtext, as I fear we’re doing it to, on the most basic of levels, get even.
If that’s how we operate, our discussion, like Kubrick’s, may end not with a bang, but with a custard pie fight.
Grow up, you lot.