Logical inconsistency boomerangs

Today’s amusement is at the expense of the regressive progressive Legacy Press (c) and their take on the Commonwealth Games, currently taking place on the Gold Coast of Australia.

For those unfamiliar with the Commonwealth Games, think of them as the Special Olympics for countries that were colonised by Great Britain with the exception of the USA and basket case countries like Zimbabwe (although Myanmar is still competing).

To underline the purpose of the games, the original name in 1930 was The British Empire Games. Basically, it’s a way for all the athletes who would normally do “a Brian Jones” (i.e. not exit the pools) in the Olympics to get a medal. Which is pretty sad really, given the fact the Olympic Games itself is just a convenient way to bundle into a single event a collection of sports nobody normally pays to watch.

If the Olympics and Commonwealth Games’ actual sporting events are relatively pathetic spectacles, the opening ceremonies are even more tedious. It’s as if the event organisers sat around the planning table and said to each other, “I know what’ll liven up the prospect of a couple of weeks of synchronised diving and rhythmic gymnastics; a West End musical-style opening ceremony! Someone get Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John on the phone, stat!“.

The problem is, of course, if you have signed up to the entire list of left-wing “correct” positions to take on everything, yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games puts you into a tight spot, logically.

Why?

The Aboriginals; yesterday’s song and dance show was heavily-influenced by Australian Aboriginal dancing, music and ceremony.

On the one hand, commentators such as Phil Lutton want to underline the message that it’s time for Australia to ditch the historic links with the UK, that a constitutional monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century, and that things were altogether better before Australia was colonised. On that theme, many of his colleagues from his newspaper have campaigned vociferously to change the date of the national day, Australia Day, from its current date of January 26th (the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet) to show solidarity with the oppressed first people.

On the other hand, many of those Aboriginal people willingly took place in the opening ceremony of an event which celebrates Australia’s history as a member of the British Empire and, latterly, the British Commonwealth, and yet there was a small group protesting outside the stadium.

What is the correct position to take without destroying one’s progressive credentials? It’s a fine line to tread and one for which Phil has our deepest sympathies, after all, he desperately wouldn’t want to express the “wrong” sentiment and incur the wrath of the Twitter pile-on crowd.

What results, of course, is an article brimming with cognitive dissonance, probably not helped by the late evening hour that he had to file his copy and the, presumably, free-flowing Aussie beer in the press room;

He starts in rambling, grammatically-clunky style, desperately trying to keep the representation of the para-athletes in parity with the able-bodied, and doesn’t improve much from there;

Surely, this is not the time for jingoism in our fragile sporting climate.

A statement he then quickly goes on to disprove, of course, dismissing the link to England as an anachronism whilst cheering the kilted Scots. News flash for Phil, it was called the “British Empire” for a reason; many of the more successful colonial masters weren’t actually English; Hong Kong’s Jardine (Scottish), Australia’s Macquarie (Scottish), New Zealand’s Hobson (Irish), for example. Further evidence might be found by perusing the place names of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where there will be plenty of instances of Aberdeen, Hamilton and Perth. The monarch of the empire may have been German English, but a large proportion of their subjects probably only stepped foot in England to travel to a port of emigration.

Then we get an anthropological history lesson, which is a nice touch from the Sydney Morning Herald’s sports correspondent;

….but, if we agree that the first people to arrive in Australia landed 65,000 years ago, they’d have done very well to have settled 2,700km away within the same year. Oh well, it’s a sports journalist we’re reading here, after all.

The article continues by celebrating the beaches of the Gold Coast and a cursory nod at some local government corruption in the 1980s, which is, well, obscure and not relevant.

At least we can all agree that Prince Charles and his wife did look out of place. Well, overdressed compared to the dancers at least. Actually, overdressed compared to any resident of the Gold Coast of Australia, a place where “singlet” is considered appropriate wardrobe regardless of the social appointment; beach, bar, court appearance, state funeral, etc…..

Bill’s Opinion

Sometimes a sporting event is just a sporting event and doesn’t really need to be used as a cultural guilt weapon, especially as very few Australians are even related to anyone who has ever oppressed an Aboriginal, let alone actually been personally responsible for such oppression.

Also, regardless of how one feels about the relevance of the role of a monarch in 21st century Australia, surely the one person who looks least out of place at the British Empire Commonwealth Games is a member of the British monarchy?

Lastly, could someone also please have a word with the Aboriginal people of Australia and get them to agree on whether the Commonwealth Games are a good or a bad thing so that we can all virtue signal in the correct manner, please?

I’ve only got three months left to live but at least I’m not Anderson Cooper

“Hello and good evening, welcome to Anderson Cooper 360. I’m Anderson Cooper and for those wondering about the numbers, one way of measuring the planet shown behind me is by dividing it into 360 degrees. Obviously the inference being that, here on CNN, we report all the facts from all angles without bias, agenda or spin.”

Oh my God, I get this goddamn sick feeling in my stomach when I lie. I hate it.

Tonight we will be analysing the latest developments from the alleged hacking of the presidential election by the Russians. We will be discussing today’s explosive disclosure that somebody unimportant to President Trump met someone with a Russian-sounding name at a suburban Starbucks in 2009, or was standing in line at the counter at the same time at least.

On the panel tonight we have my colleague at CNN, Dave Democrat, another colleague here at CNN, Lisa Liberal, and to prove we aren’t an echo chamber, we also have CNN host, Don Lemon.

Christ, here we go again; rinse and repeat, speculation, strawman, question whether there will be an impeachment, discuss it for an hour and then come to the conclusion that it’s still not the smoking gun we’ve been hoping for these past 14 months.

Fuck! It’s been FOURTEEN MONTHS! Please God, when can we move on and start reporting news that actually means something?

So first, let me ask you, Don, what’s the significance of these latest shocking revelations?

Well, I’m glad you asked me that Anderson, and can I just say that these allegations, if they turn out to be true, are the most outrageous developments since yesterday’s news that a Whitehouse intern once drank Russian vodka in a bar in Columbus, Ohio after they graduated from college?

Yes you may, Don, that’s a great perspective, thanks. Do continue, please.

Yes Anderson, these developments are indeed scandalous. We still don’t have the full details of what coffee was consumed by whom although we do know that the member of the campaign in question usually opts for a Skinny Decaf Venti with hazelnut syrup. Whether this was their order on this occasion we are yet to ascertain. (Continues on this theme for 20 minutes)

Is this what I’ve become? Born into one of the richest, most powerful families in the country, Yale-educated, on a trajectory for greatness and I’m stuck here 5 nights a week listening to people agreeing with themselves that we’ve got a buffoon as executive leader?

Where did it go wrong, that’s what I want to know?

I know where it went wrong; my fucking parents. Why on earth did they give me 3 fucking last names? “Anderson Hays Cooper”? They’re all bloody surnames. I was fated to have a shit life from they day they Christened me.

What’s wrong with “David” for fuck’s sake?

(Lemon continuing) ….and so we’ve got a crew on the scene waiting for the local Sheriff’s department to make a statement on the nationalities of the staff at the particular Starbucks and whether or not any of them have Russian backgrounds or, indeed, once played Tetris as a child”.

Thanks Don, great analysis and insight as always. I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got time for this evening. Tune in tomorrow for further breaking news on this historic situation. Goodnight.

Oh, please God kill me now, let it be over.

Bill’s Opinion

Apologies to Half Man Half Biscuit.

“Methinks the lady doth…..”

The Australian Foreign Minister sure does get around a bit. One day in Canberra, London the next.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stopped short of throwing her direct support behind a ban on ministers having sex with staff.

Curious.

She goes on to give some advice to the press on their job descriptions;

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned the media not to take it upon themselves to police the Turnbull government’s new sex ban, saying it is a matter of personal responsibility for ministers to abide by their expanded code of conduct.

That’s fairly unsubtle; “keep your prying noses out of our private lives”.

Some of us may have previously been of the opinion that the press were a necessary part of the checks and balances applied to those who wish to wield political power over us.

And she suggested the ban should be read in the context of the wider purpose of the code, to prevent conflicts of interest, misuse of public money or undue influence.

That’s a helpful interpretation for us all there; “it’s a code of conduct to prevent probity issues so don’t go publicising promiscuity and extra-marital affairs unless you can prove corruption”.

One almost gets the impression La Bishop is becoming concerned about something personal.

“It’s certainly not open season for the media,” Julie Bishop said.

Quite right, we wouldn’t want an open season and all the concomitant erm, openness that would bring.

Ms Bishop said there were aspects of politicians’ lives that were private and should be kept private.

Oh, do tell us more about which aspects you’re thinking about specifically….

Bill’s Opinion

What politicians do in their or other people’s bedrooms is their business and should remain that way. There might be three exceptions to this rule however;

  1. Where there is evidence of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  2. Where there is a perception of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  3. Where the behaviour contradicts previously-stated public positions by the individual.

And now for some speculation; this will blow up in the Australian Prime Minister’s face as it is highly-unlikely that this will be the final sexual dalliance to be or have been occurring at senior government levels. By writing his moralistic code of conduct, he’s just given a green light for these stories to emerge.

Of course, he could have just fired the Deputy Prime Minister immediately and watched the news cycle move on to the latest Donald Trump tweet. But that would have required vertebral fortitude.