Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sub-Prime Ministerial Crisis

Neckeneck by Pants

If I begin by quoting Princess Diana, you will have no trouble locating the business of this post in the index of gravity I know you keep meticulously for matters of world import.

'There were three people in this marriage. It was a bit crowded.'

Yes, that is what the koala-eyed martyr to style over sense told BBC Panorama interviewer Martin Bashir back in 1995, leading many of us watching to speculate more about what had become of the famously serious and probing Panorama than to muse over the skeleton of the royal marriage. It had been three years, after all, since the Wales's separation had been announced by the then Prime Minister John Major with a characteristic sombreness that was custom made for such an occasion. It was old news then. Why should it be of even the remotest interest now?

At that time, the Oprahfication of the media was merely a spark in its creator's greedy eye. We did not know then that within a wink of that eye, every item would be judged by its ubiquity, portability and endurance rather than its intrinsic value. A Princess Diana story was like a plastic bag. It could transport and distribute any amount of emotional tat and would take a thousand years to biodegrade. Little did we realise that this plastic standard would be the one by which every public interest story would be judged into a Disneverever future.

Cut to Australia and Election 2010 - Two Punches and a Judy. Much like the historical royal scrappage à trois, there are three people in this tussle. All are appealing to us to lift them into credibility via seasonal prêt-à-porter notions. We are all Martin Bashir now. But where to begin? The plot is less engaging than one of those desperately hopeless American sit-coms that die halfway through the first series. We have only the characters on which to pin our ... hope is too fantastical a word. All I can think of is undespair. Let me press on with my nightmarish imagining.

Neckeneck, a play in three scraggly acts by Pants

Dramatis Personae
Punch 1 is played by Kev Nrud, a sorehead from Queensland.
Judy is played by Muzga Lard, a redhead from Victoria.
Punch 2 is played by Mezda Rabbit, a bonehead from New South Wales.

It's very much a work in progress but here's where we are in our workshopping.

Act 1 - Location : The merry-go-round.
Punch 1 has a sort of breakdown which is a bit serious because he's meant to be running the country. Judy pushes him off the merry-go-round and takes over. All action is offstage which is a bit confusing for the audience.

Act 2 - Location : The slippery slide.
Judy and Punch 2 stare at each other for the longest time. Punch 1 goes into hospital.

Act 3 - Location : The sandpit.
Punch 1 emerges from hospital having had his gall bladder removed. It is not known whether a plastic bag has been inserted in its place as, clearly, not all possible gall has been exhausted. The principals are joined in the sandpit by any and all living former leaders of every political party and a couple of dead ones to boot. John Belushi yells, 'food fight' and it's on for young and old.

Anyone's guess but a car crash is definitely in the mix.