Thursday, December 17, 2009

And meanwhile, back on Planet Janet ...

I missed Janet Albrechtsen's bizarre paean of praise to Tony Abbott's honesty, sexiness and social grace in yesterday's Australian and frankly I wish I'd missed it altogether, but since it has been called to my attention, here is an interpretation.

Her overall argument appears to be that, in general (and in spite of the ghost of the example of Mark Latham that is forever before us, and away from which few of us can tear our gaze), a propensity for physical violence self-expression holds irresistible sexual allure. If I were Abbott, I would be backing away from that one at a run and yes I am sure he is indeed fit enough to run backwards. NOW READ ON ...
[Abbott] has something that is rare in the hermetically sealed, carefully controlled politico-bubble of Canberra. It's called authenticity.
That will be why his pronouncements on climate change (or, rather, on the government's actions on climate change) suggest that he wakes up every morning and tosses a coin to decide whether he'll believe in it today or not, depending on what he thinks is more likely to win votes.
And I'm betting women kind of like that.
Really? How much? Double or nothing?
Sure, some will never admit it openly.
How handy for your argument, then, Janet, should anyone ever challenge you to prove it.
Aghast, they will tell you that his religious convictions about abortion, RU486 and stem-cell research jar with a modern girl's feminist choices.
They are not 'feminist choices', and here you are showing, yet again, just how little you know or understand about feminism. They are human choices, to which, feminists argue, women have at least as much right as, say, the 20-year-old Tony Abbott you refer to below, the one whose frankness about his abandonment of his pregnant girlfriend you find 'graceful'.
But sure enough, many of these same women may find themselves muttering quietly among their closest girlfriends that, secretly, they find Abbott attractive.
I've certainly known more than a few women to mutter that secretly they found Turnbull attractive. Abbott, not so much.
While Abbott is known in today's neutered world of politics
This, of course, is nasty code for the inoffensive-looking and quietly spoken Kevin Rudd. Who, when last one looked, had a wife who looks like she has lots of fun, plus an assortment of happy-looking children.
for his off-the-cuff clangers
'Clangers' are the opposite of 'neutered', got that? Yeah, see, some of us think of Abbott's clangers .. erm .. no, I can't go on.

*Sticks fingers in ears, sings LA LA LA very loudly*
he is also a complicated mass of contradictions
About things like whether or not he believes in AGW from one day to the next, you mean? Or perhaps whether or not people should be allowed to choose whether or not they're ready to be parents?
The antithesis of the political nerd,
More nasty code for K. Rudd.
he is a head-kicker with a brain and a heart.
If either his brain or his heart were working properly, he wouldn't be a head-kicker. QED. Head-kicker. A kicker of heads. Think about it.
Sounds kind of interesting, doesn't it?
Um, no.
There is a candour to Abbott that is disarming.
Perhaps it disarms you, Janet. Personally I find it very, very arming.
He has admitted that as a 20-year-old, he was callow and unprepared for fatherhood. "I was psychologically unready for parenthood: that is the sad truth about me at the time. I just wasn't ready for it," he told The Bulletin in 2005
*Waits for other shoe to drop*

*Crickets chirping*
Try lining up the men in Canberra. Now look for the one who is the quintessential Aussie bloke
Because as we all know, the quintessential Aussie bloke is what we want running the country. No women, no poofters and no bloody foreigners thank you very much. Nobody with glasses, either. Or who speaks Mandarin. Especially not who speaks Mandarin.
try telling me, girls, that this mix is not even a little bit fascinating.
Janet, this mix is not even a little bit fascinating.
Compared with, say, Rudd.
THAT was unexpected!
So carefully controlled is his exterior,
Some of us call that 'grown up'.
few have any idea about the real Rudd.
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *Sound of sinister organ music*
He could not be more different from the new Opposition Leader.
Well, quite. And how fortunate we all are that that is the case.

I was going to say something about Albrechtsen's misty-eyed paragraph about Abbott's self-described 'love rug' and her hint (made via Nigella Lawson so it wasn't actually really Janet who said it, was it) that women who don't like Tony Abbott must be lesbians and everyone knows lesbians are, you know, icky. I was going to say something about it. But it is too, you know, icky.

As an old hippie myself I have neutral feelings about hair. I am far more interested in what is inside the hair or the absence thereof. It's this article's disturbing 'Doesn't being a hairy boxer make Tony sexy!' approach and its dreadfully clumsy attempts at effective rhetoric for propaganda purposes that are the real turnoff here. That, and the viciously unpleasant insinuendo about Rudd, and Planet Janet's generalisations about 'women', to whom she refers throughout not as 'we', but as 'they'. So it's not her that's thinking all this crapola about how sexy Abbott is, oh no. It's just 'women'. Because of course any real woman is far more interested in alpha-male body hair, head-kicking and punch-throwing skills than in wanting to keep her own freedom and live her own life in her own body.


persiflage said...

No need for a long comment here. Albrechtsen's view on life, the universe and everything else, but particularly on women and politics miss out very thoroughly on the reality. Spitefulness and cattiness are a poor substitute for good analysis.
I prefer not to have an opportunistic headkicker as the alternative leader of Australia - or anywhere, really.

zoot said...

Nice smackdowm Ms Cat

librarygirl said...

Gosh I hate this sort of passive-aggressive nastiness parading as journalism. If you take out every time she uses the word "women" or "some" or "many" and just whack in "I", "me" or "Janet thinks" we get to her point much more quickly - I think she has a teen crush on Abbott!

Ann ODyne said...

rage prevents me from being coherent here .. the loathesome Janet has her own ticking sexual-landmine BristolPalin ... bloody Micks keep insisting "100,000 terminations per year" which I have never believed until seeing her say that Callow Unprepared-for-fatherhood impregnators, are in fact just Quintessential Aussie Blokes. ah! that explains the 100,000.

Janet - you twunt, watch that Bristol of yours and her Aussie Bloke mates.

Abbottosaurus earned my enduring loathing during his callow-moment news era when he SMIRKILY SAID
"we all wonder if we'll answer a knock on the door and see a boy say "hello Dad"
WTF? WTF-ing F?

More coherently, ditto what Persiflage says above.

naomi said...

Jeez Pav, I think you are being a bit harsh. Don't you know, that as I am but a girl, I am totally into making my mind up about someone's views on the basis that I find them virile and attractive. And I will be like, totally inspired by watching Janet and Tony running, hand in hand, at the front of the next Right To Life Climate Skeptics Bring Back the Biff Triathlon.

But seriously, who's to say Kevin doesn't have one hell of a love rug under that tidy suit? We would never know, would we? After all, he keeps his clothes on. And for that we are grateful.

Henry said...

So, Tone's idea of birth control is to dump his pregnant girlfriend, huh? Right, goes with his student "prank" of monstering the women's room, I s'pose. Quintessential Aussie. Yeah, gotta love that.

And I see no reason to think he's grown up much between then and now.

BTW, re: nerds and neuters. Yes, Kev's a bit quiet (thankfully) but I reckon Therese would go off like a firecracker.

BTW2, amusing to see Barnaby Joyce (Abbott rusticus) complaining about the artwork in Parliament House. "My four-year-old could have ... etc". Barney's on top of everything, now that he's in with the Headkicker.

harrumph, etc.

Anonymous said...

As I've said before, I'd rather have sex with Gollum. Lucy

Armagnac Daddy said...

Does she also throb with lust for Mark Latham?

Barnaby Joyce?

Both genuine and unafraid to be bolshie about their views, both completely nuts (like Abbott)?

Anyway, I think I'm pretty authentic about my views (such as "Abbott is a tool") and I have a reasonable smattering of chest hair, and I've even dabbled in some vaguely pugilistic arts (doesn't tai chi qualify??), so I assume Ms Albarnone will be trying to hussle in on Beloved's turf before long...

I have the added bonus that I DON'T. EVER. wear budgies...?

Peter said...

Surely the ABC can declare her unfit to be a board member?

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

I remember once reading that Abbott reminded women of their abusive ex-boyfriend (I think the author was including emotionally abusive). Obviously as a man I can't judge that directly, but it seems to ring true.

If so, I suspect there's a grain of truth in Albrechtsen's claim that Abbott will do better amongst younger women, simply because fewer of them have been through that experience, as well as the fact that they don't have the memories of abortion being illegal.

OTOH it's tragically true that most women either have direct experience of the apparently charming boyfriend who can turn really nasty, or seen it indirectly when a friend went through it. I suspect that this fact will prove rather inconvenient for Janet's fantasies.

genevieve said...

even worse than this, which we can expect from Albrechtsen anyway, was a similarly weird piece from Julie Szego in the age about two weeks ago.
Completely horrible stuff, similar callow loverug snuggler op-ed pre-feminist waffle, the only thing differentiating it being an absence of Rudd-bashing.
REALLYBLOODYSCARY to think there are newspaper editors out there out there who think people can't see through him. He's the last resort of a very dead party. Why is that such a hard thing for the papers to admit?

Anonymous said...

Kevin Rudd is a self-important, blather-ridden conference-whore and your starry-eyed reverence needs to be dropped asap. Resume customary waspishness, please.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

You astonish me, Clarry. I thought I was being quite waspish enough to be going on with.

Please note that this post is much more about the repulsiveness of Albrechtsen's rhetorical tactics than it is any kind of hymn to Kevin. I don't fancy Kevin (uh oh, there's that trope again) very much myself, not least because I worry about the judgement of anyone who belongs to any organised religion. But there's a big difference between starry-eyed reverence and merely pointing out what Albrechtsen is doing while giving Rudd credit where it's due. I save my starry-eyed reverence for musicians and actors.

Frances said...

One problem with his leadership is surely that "Abbot hater" simply doesn't have the same ring as "Howard Hater". It sounds more like "Abba Tater." (And, he does look a bit like an old spud).

So, how will his supporters be able to discredit those who dislike him? "Howard Hater" seemed to be the biggest weapon in their arsenal back then.

saint furious said...

*Sticks fingers in ears, sings LA LA LA very loudly*

In my need for caffeine, I read this as "stick figure in ears, singing LA LA LA very loudy" and thought it was a fairly accurate description of Mr Abbott. :D

Helen said...

and Planet Janet's generalisations about 'women', to whom she refers throughout not as 'we', but as 'they'.

Also, the "we" is referred to as "girls". I can't express how irritated I am at the continuing fashion of "journalists" and "opinion writers" continually referring to grown women as girls. STOP IT.

lucy tartan said...

Hilarious, and some classic comments here too.

doorbitch says hangst, which seems a little drastic to me.

elsewhere said...

Bleergh (for JA's effort, not yours).

TA has the body of a skinny road cyclist (as opposed to a strongly track cyclist), which looks okay on a teenage boy but weird on a man of a certain age, esp one with a love rug.

Can an old hippie feel neutral about hair?

I bet that Kevin Rudd has the hairless body of a Chinese swimmer under those suits of his.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

'Can an old hippie feel neutral about hair?'

Heh. What I meant was (without going into too much detail, ahem) that in my day one was relaxed about hair, whether body, facial or head. There was no fashion to adhere to, not in the way that these days everyone under thirty thinks all body hair is icky, though of course individual tastes differed, with regard both to one's own grooming and other people's. But by and large we all had laissez-faire hair.

Anthony said...

try telling me, girls, that this mix is not even a little bit fascinating.

Janet then orders another Cosmopolitan and discusses which pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes Tony would like.

Michael said...

I don't know which is more depressing - the fact that this stuff is published in a mainstream paper, or the readiness of so many people to rise to the bait.
Isn't this just another example of snarky column writing? Instead of looking seriously at policies, they make a few outrageous suggestions ('women secretly admire a chauvinist male'/'cyclists deserve to be run off the road') and sit back in the knowledge that readers will be indignant and will elaborately try to unpick and demolish the (nonsense) points made.
Not so much a columnist as a troll-umnist

Red Horse said...

Lovely post, P's Cat, I'm still grinning about it even as I type.

Ms ODyne mentioned a figure of 100,000 abortions per year. Perhaps I can provide some perspective about that number.

A dear friend, very keen to have a child, discovered eight weeks into her first pregnancy that "there was no viable foetus" (or any sort of foetus, really) and that she would inevitably miscarry one day soon. On her doctor's advice, she had a curette and a good sob. She also discovered that her procedure would be counted towards that 100,000 "abortions" number - as it's a stat that doesn't differentiate between procedures.

You'll be pleased to know that she subsequently had (in separate pregnancies) two gorgeous boys.

BwcaBrownie said...

ah dear RedHorse, oDyne would be quick to point out her numbers reference was not lighthearted, she is part of the statistic also not involving a viableFoetus.

JA practically says that 'impregnate and disappear' is merely being an Aussie Bloke, and then suggests this type should run our nation. I am enraged by her.

Loving comment by Michael - trollumnists and hope it sticks. I proffer TrolLifers for those who have guugle alerts for the f word disguised above, and the a word, so they can swoop in and faffle.
JA is probably one of them.

Red Horse said...

Thanks Bwca Brownie, and I provided my response because it seemed ODyne thought the numbers were dodgy too. I understood her reference to it was not lighthearted and, in light of your further info, I offer my commiserations.

Ampersand Duck said...

Yairs, Red Horse, I've contributed to two numbers in the abortion statistics for missed miscarriages that had to be (painfully) dug out when I could have had pill to helpfully eject them. Thank you, Mr Abbott.

I heart you so much, Pav. Thanks!

Helen said...

Red horse, I've made that very point many times in online comments and an entire blog post, but it has never penetrated the thick skulls of the people who love to bandy that statistic about. The "100000 per year!" is an article of faith among the forced-birth "community". It's such a lovely round number, and so easy to remember, even if you're something of a dunce.

w/v "borribil": A hairy man who farts in the bath.