Friday, April 11, 2008

Irwin on the side of caution

Swapped at birth - Brendan Nelson and Butthead
(Lovely photo of Brendan comes from

No change to report. I’m still steeped in that ‘what have I done?’ phase. I knew it would be bad but, even by my standards, my current sense of other-worldness is severe. I miss all the tedious things I used to complain about, not least of all because I now have so few of those daily irritants that used to keep my mind active. Consternation was such a big part of my being. Life seems somehow empty without daft politics, absurd celebrities and insane episodes with service providers.

I believe I am thoroughly cured of television. My last viewing investment met with so little reward that I believe one’s not so beloved ABC owes me money. I take cash, credit cards and book vouchers people when you have a moment. Readers may be familiar with the wonderfully odious Irwin family of Australian ‘conservationists’. Steve Irwin famously perished a couple of years ago failing to observe the conservationist’s golden rule – conserve yourself. You certainly look like a bit of a twat if the thing you’re trying to protect repays you with a fatal dose of its best foe repellent.

Post Croc Hunter, the family business (modestly called Australia Zoo), has hit the headlines for everything from chronic tax shyness to accusations of animal neglect. Irksome Irwin urchin ‘Bindi’, aptly named after a noxious weed, beams from every available flat surface cuddling whatever slithering thing has foolishly strayed into range while vile Mom Terri puts in the hard yards commuting between cash registers. Rumours of a rift between founding father Bob and Terri had ignited the airwaves so I tuned in to see Bob on Australian Story the other night. His interpretation of ‘revealing all’ in a frank and fearless interview was to say absolutely nothing so there was more than enough unsaid for several sequels if the ABC can wrest itself from its torpor of smugness for long enough to ask a question. The reason for Bob’s coyness became apparent this evening when a handsome ‘retirement package’ was announced. Funny how one’s reservations about quality and integrity seem so easily alleviated by large amounts of money. I’m fairly sure it would work on me should anyone feel inclined to test the theory.

I have been quite cheered by the success of the Tibetan protests. The fire extinguisher in London was a stroke of genius. Whoever thought of that one has a Palme Pants and a large glass of sauvignon blanc awaiting them at the Wetherspoon’s of the their choosing. Paris was a blast too. The thing’s only got as far as San Francisco and already it’s got more security than Hannibal Lecter. Respect.

Less cheery, in fact downright gloomy, are the unfolding and entirely predictable events in Zimbabwe. Where are all the assassins when you really need them? Come back Carlos the Jackal, all is forgiven. And what about a little condemnation? Yes, I’m talking to you world ‘leaders’. Nothing runs faster than a white man accused of racism. All that despicable piece of excrement Mugabe has to do to get the entire developed world to look the other way is to toss out the c-word every now and then. Just to clarify, that would be ‘colonialist’.

Our own Kevin Rudd has been in Beijing doing his bit too, dressing down the Chinese in their own tongue. Or maybe he was just ordering lunch and asking for a copy of House of Daggers to be sent up to his room. I don’t speak any Mandarin so I can’t be sure. I have to be a little careful what I say about Kev as Ma Pants is his biggest fan. He is the great milky hope. To Ma Pants, he is the political equivalent of a Magnum Blanco. That he’s as naff as nylon doesn’t seem to bother her one polyester iota.

Whilst the Milky Bar Kid has been out and about advising the world on making itself a better place, the opposition leader, Dr Brendan ‘Butthead’ Nelson has been meeting ‘ordinary’ Australians in places where they most like to congregate – supermarkets and petrol stations. It was only fairly recently that Brendan found out that Australia was in fact populated with actual Australians. He wasn’t able to convince any of them to vote for him but he did receive $3.05 in tips and an Employee of the Month award from Woolworths. He now says he will definitely be getting out more and has developed great respect for beer.

I suppose in time I’ll begin to see the humour in my surroundings but reading back on some of my old material, I can’t imagine at this moment there could ever be a politician in this country with a mastery of the preposterous to match a John ‘Chopper’ Reid, a Ruth ‘Head Girl’ Kelly, a Tessa ‘The Scowl’ Jowell or a Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown. Brendan has promise though…


Andrew said...

Pants, I get the impression you are not keen on the collective Irwins. Totally endorse what you say and what a marvellous word to slip in, odious.
Good read.

phil said...

That's not an 'urchin', that's as natural born a goblin as I've ever seen. I'd say there were three in the bed at conception, something must have slithered out of the zoo.

Bwca said...

goblin ? dear phil, please!
Until you pointed out the Butthead resemblance, I had been feeling bad (for the badgers) about thinking he looked like A BADGER.
Now which of Dr.Butthead's cohorts is his beavis?

and re "he’s as naff as nylon"

is 'naff' doubly N.A.F?

dysthymiac said...

Re those tacky Irwins:
what an achievement that they have always made me feel sorry for those poor bloody crocodiles.

but I won't say that too loudly because I recall thinking at the time that
Professor/Dr. Germaine Greer
would have been publically lynched if she had been in this country when her perfectly logical
London-Telegraph-commissioned assessment of the SteveIrwin oeuvre was published.

Little Bindi looks a bit like a crocodile too.
Poor thing is named after a weed whose reviled seed pains everyone's feet in summer lawns.
Ten years from now that child will be paying-back her heritage in spades, no doubt.

dysthymiac said...

after consulting my Host CopperWitch blogger we have agreed that Peter McGauran
is the Beavis to Brendans Butthead.
(is McGauran still a Senator? - who cares)

lindymorrison said...

The pollies will become just as nutty to you as those in the UK although here they are less eccentric, Oz Federal parliamentarians dont have that edgy upper and working class extremes but there are some real crooks working in some state governments and always worth a laff. Celebs exist in a poor taste magazine world down here - not worth a mention and the providers will let you down on the most important days.
Most of all coming from cloudy Europe the bright light will blind you for some time and your vision will be lost but eventually you will adjust and see again.

BlissHill said...

I really enjoyed this post Pants. Very observant of you.

Brendan Nelson feels like an undertaker to me, and that little Bindi twat is as embarassing as her Dad (go Germaine!!!). Poor Bob Irwin deserved/needed that money, but maybe he should have waited the interview until the bucks came through, then slugged 'em. His timing was out. There's a lot of power and dignity in silence.

Kevin from Heaven is at least more courageous (foolish?)than the squeaky clean JH, who thought he knew it all, and played it safe. We may as well insult the biggest and potentially most dangerous nation........

Robert Mugabe? No oil, no care. Africa is a ruined continent where one place calms down, another erupts. Wild men with machetes and spears everywhere ready to chop up the populace, and AIDS round every corner.

Now I'm depressed....... :0(

That's So Pants said...

Hell everyone and a hearty Pants welcome to you Ms Morrison

I opened with dread this morning thinking I was bound to have offended someone with this post. What does it take?