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Today, Barnaby Joyce said that the two victims of the NSW fire only had themselves to blame. Can we boot him out already?
Back in the latter part of the 1970s, the creators of Happy Days had a problem. They had crossed over into the realms of the stale, and if nothing was done, people would stop watching.
Their solution was to make America’s most safe neighbourhood rebel, Arthur Fonzarelli, jump over a shark for and, eyyyy, problem solved. Clearly the logic was using the same old tired Fonzie format, but just cranking it up to unheard levels – a desperate ploy to remain relevant.
It failed, and a term was born. Today we witnessed Barnaby Joyce’s own desperate leap of faith, as he jumped over logic and sense, vowing not to disparage the two lives lost in NSW’s bushfires, but quickly deciding to disparage them, because they probably voted for The Greens and they deserved what they got.
Barnaby Joyce defends his criticism of lack of backburning by Green councils with these eyebrow raising comments : “I acknowledge that the two people who died were most likely people who voted for the Green party – I’m not going to start attacking them.”
— Trudy McIntosh (@TrudyMcIntosh) November 11, 2019
Like Fonzie before him, Barnaby suffers from oversaturation of a one-dimensional character. He’s a one-note joke. And like all one-note joes, they all possess a limited appeal, but why does he endure assaulting us with his presence?
Awfully, his capacity for awfulness knows no bounds. Using the tragically dead to elevate himself at their expense is not a reach for Joyce. The back catalogue of Barnaby is something to be sealed in concrete and plunged 40,000 leagues under the sea. He recently took to cold-calling people to muddy the abortion debate in NSW, he’s fought the media, GetUp!, his part in the Menindee Darling River Fish Kill or spending $675,000 of taxpayer money within three weeks.
Even with the benefit of the doubt, he’s far exceeded his allotment of appalling epithets. There’s also his long-drawn-out paternity scandal, fighting Johnny Depp and being subject to his own Subject 44 challenge and being sent home from parliament.
It makes me think it’s deliberate, that his Beethoven-grade tone-deafness is a desperate writer’s room ploy at making the stale fresh. Barnaby no longer has a rope to what’s real. He’s the actor that can’t escape the character.
In real terms, we’re dealing with the illogical power of the minority. The rest of the nation believes he’s a joke, a problem, a manufacturer of headlines. The only thing he has to offer is repeated doses of contempt to everyone who isn’t him.
If we’re doling our blame, surely it must go to the 62,637 people of New England who decided he was the best person to represent them.