Gillard blames the Tea Party for rude signage, Albrechtsen says get real on rough s*x. Just another day in paradise

31 Aug

It is but a few short months since Julia Gillard made a fawning, obsequious speech to the US Congress declaring, among other things, that the US must be at the centre of a new world order, and “I firmly believe you are the same people who amazed me when I was a small girl by landing on the moon.”

“I firmly believe you are the same people??” Oh, never mind.

In a bit of a turn around, Ms Gillard this morning expressed regret at what she perceives to be the “Americanization” of Australian politics after placards plastered with slogans such as “Ditch the Witch”  and “Bob Brown’s Bitch” were held aloft at recent anti carbon tax rallies by ageing demonstrators.

An aside: if we were ever in doubt, these rallies ought to convince us that demonstrating is definitely for the young. I don’t want to be thought ageist, but if you’re going to distort your features with rage and flying spittle, it looks a whole lot better if the facial features are fresh and young to start with. Howl me down if you will, but for every thing, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn and if you’re smart, you just suck that sad fact up and go for dignity.

Back to the placards. We do not want to follow the Tea Party’s downward spiral into personal abuse and extremist comments, says the PM, and public expressions of displeasure such as those displayed at the anti carbon tax rallies are not faithful to the robust Australian tradition of political debate that is the envy of other nations.

Have a look at these and tell me the PM isn’t being a girl.

I haven’t even put up the rude ones with language a whole lot more racy than witch and bitch.

The placards that offended Ms Gillard are obviously nothing to do with the influence of the Tea Party, which wasn’t in existence when these representations of the Howard/Bush alliance appeared around 2003, expressing public opinion on the invasion of Iraq.

If anything, the public has been comparatively restrained in its depictions of Gillard.

In Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006, I watched furious demonstrations against the then governor of the state, in which he was depicted life-size in papier-mache entwined with a busty blonde mistress and escaping the city in a helicopter. The slogans that draped the tableau read (in Spanish of course): This man is a murderer of children and he f**cks his mother, and other spectacular insults, leading me to contemplate the remarkable contradiction between the power of the church in Mexico and the freedom of the people to foully abuse their politicians.

I am willing to bet every peso I have that the Tea Party had nothing to do with the Oaxaca signage either. The PM might as well have suggested we are being Mexicanized.

What I do wonder is why Ms Gillard chose to comment at all on the placards, because there’s really no way of doing it that doesn’t make her look a bit precious, especially the attempt to tie it in with the Tea Party. Someone really needs to tell her that silence can be golden, and that knowing when to talk and when to shut up is the beginning of wisdom.

Janet Albrechtsen. Well. Ms Albrechtsen has today written a column in the Australian in which she encourages women to take sex instruction from that rapidly tattifying TV series Sex and the City. The one in which everyone wears Manolo Blahniks to the corner store, and, oh god I can’t be bothered talking about it. It held my attention for a nanosecond and then I thought I must be waiting at the dentist’s flicking through Cosmopolitan magazines to distract me from fear, and not at home on the lounge at all.

Albrechtsen titles the column Let’s not be tethered by simple sexual stereotypes. That’s got to be an ironic reference, I thought, right? Wrong.

The “tethered” in the title refers not to sexual bondage, or at least I don’t think it does, her piece has done my head in, but to an anonymous male ‘fessing up in a British tabloid newspaper about what he calls his inner goat. This fantasy animal apparently carries the burden of the young man’s less attractive sexual urges, the ones that make him want to bang a woman brainless, without first shaving, washing, putting on cologne or even asking her name.

As one of the Sex and the City women expresses a desire to be banged brainless, this all ties in, somehow. You’ll have to read it, it’s beyond my powers of explanation.

Albrechtsen also takes the opportunity to be supportive of Bettina Arndt who apparently encourages all men to love their inner goat, in spite of the vile reactionary  howling of the feminist furies who, as one would expect, have no sympathy for inner goats and want them strung up by their little goaty beards.

All this seems pretty harmless and daft,  but where it gets icky is when Albrechtsen uses as an example the Strauss Kahn case, in which the alleged victim suffered vaginal bruising, to argue that injuries such as that do not necessarily indicate rape. “The stubborn puritanism that says if a woman is bruised during sex it must be rape needs to be challenged,” she writes. This is in response to a comment by Richard Ackland, in which he muses about how sex can possibly be consensual and cause vaginal bruising.

This is an example of how our media is rapidly going down the toilet. Janet Albrechtsen in the Australian critiques Richard Ackland in the SMH who discusses the DSK evidence using information gathered from a postmodern media pastiche, then Albrechtsen analyses something written by Bettina Arndt in an un-named British tabloid. Albrechtsen then recommends that her readers watch hour after hour of the TV series Sex and the City, and everybody winds up in a piece on No Place for Sheep about tethered goats. I ask you.

Vaginal bruising can of course occur during consensual sex and it doesn’t have to be rough sex. Rough sex can also be consensual. Perhaps Mr Ackland needs to watch Sex and the City. Or one of those late night French films on SBS. It is amazing how throwaway comments can reveal so much about a person, often far more than we ever needed to know or indeed that the person ever intended to tell us.

In a porn movie, a hotel maid might well enter the room of the Head of the International Monetary Fund, a room she believed was empty, and on encountering the great man’s inner goat emerging naked from the dunny, find herself overcome with desire and mysteriously compelled to spontaneously offer her body to the horny stranger for consensual rough sex that leaves her bruised and injured.

Yep, as a porn movie that would work. But in real life, it stretches all credibility. I think Albrechtsen is arguing that men ought to be allowed to say they want to bang women silly sometimes, and women ought to be allowed to say they sometimes want to be banged silly and they don’t mind incurring some vaginal bruising in the process. These are deeply personal matters about which, unlike Richard Ackland,  I have no opinion I’m willing to share.

Quite what any of that has to do with the events that occurred in Strauss Kahn’s hotel room, I don’t know.Perhaps it will all become clear in the future when we’ll all know the difference between the sheep and the goats.

Update: My curiosity piqued by a commenter’s reference to Ms Albrechtsen’s intimate life, I spent a little time researching this and discovered that the lady appeared on the arm of Mr Michael Kroger, Victorian Liberal Party heavyweight, business man and political commentator at union boss Paul Howes’ 30th birthday bash on Saturday night.

The two are apparently a new couple. I do not know if this goes any way to explaining Ms Albrechtsen’s strong identification with the women of Sex and the City, the inner goats of men, and bruising sex.

12 Responses to “Gillard blames the Tea Party for rude signage, Albrechtsen says get real on rough s*x. Just another day in paradise”

  1. paul walter September 1, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I admit to not reading the comments on
    Gillard closely, but if the proposition is that Gillard hasn’t been mauled by the Mitchell and co’s rottweilers in tabloid press and media, I’d have to disagree categorically- the Bolt/Milne vomit is only the most obvious and blatant latest example of a rogue media emboldened by the sight of weakened federal government, imposed by forces not explained by media and press, unless you take into account writers like Jeffrey Sachs, Jonathon Roth or John Pilger.
    Brown is another on the wrong end of reactionist prejudice and cops it worse than Gillard even, but he always knew the vested interests would be against him.
    I’m inclined to beleive the story out in the wake of Bolt/Milne, that the story is the manifestation of an- unreported- power struggle within Murdoch Australia between the extremist Mitchell and his foot-soldiers and John Hartigan, the overboss.That Milne is still at the Oz at all, must suggest that Murdoch himself backs Mitchell, which comes as no surprise, given Murdoch’s own pathology, more obvious to outsiders as he ages.
    As to Albrechtsen, it’s reported a new lover, away from thatmarriage bed so valorised by conservatives, is involved; likely Albrechtsen is shamefaced at her betrayal of her husband, a cold fish merchant banker. Perhaps she ended up finally finding out there can be more to life than just telling lies for an ungodly salary, but cant reconcile her own stumble against the fact of her unreasonable standards applied to others behaviours, via her stentorian moralising columns. With her legs up, at a motel somewhere, she’s as basic, compromised and compromising as her press victims, but we only get to hear about her compromises from isolated corners of the internet.
    Hence the Sex in the City thing, involving two things: a valorisation of consumerist society, dumbed own and her self justificationary, red-faced outlook.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 1, 2011 at 6:48 am #

      Wow! How do you know all this stuff?
      No, I don ‘t argue that Gillard hasn’t been mauled, I know she has. Just that the mauling is no worse than anybody else’s mauling, and I’m no fan of Bush’s poodle.
      Also for Gillard to try to claim a deterioration of civil behaviour in Australian politics because we’re learning from the Tea Party is just ludicrous and desperate and deceitful. She knows that’s not the case.


  2. David Horton September 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I do hope that if Paul knows anything else about Albrechtsen’s sex life (or Bettina’s) he will keep it to himself. Much too much information about that awful woman.

    Have to disagree with you (a rare moment) on the signage. Sure the Howard-Bush menage a deux (trois if you count Tony, but that’s another mental image I could do without) received a lot of scurrilous protest as you illustrate above. But it seems to me that those protests were aimed specifically at the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the personal relationship between Bush and Howard that seems to have led to our otherwise unaccountable eagerness to be involved.

    I don’t remember Howard being pictured in a sexual pose with John Anderson to suggest being screwed by coalition partners, or being constantly attacked on his character, or attacked for being a man, or on his looks (leaving aside cartoons where appearance is fair game). He was being attacked for particular decisions (as he was for his approach to refugees, and the Tampa incident) just as other PMs have been. Gillard is being attacked on the basis of her very being (as has Brown been for a long time), there is a determination to revile her so much as to delegitimise her PMship and then the government. And this is, yes indeed, Tea Party tactics with their whole attack on Obama for being black, Marxist, born in Kenya, killing old people, unpatriotic and so on.

    We need to be very wary of false equivalence “they do/did it too”. It seems to me that the attacks on Gilllard and Obama are both quantitatively and qualitatively different to anything we have seen before, and they follow the same play book of destroying vaguely leftish governments and replacing them with something from the far Right.

    PS Did you see the woman on Sunrise today talking about schoolchildren’s photos on school facebook site? I forget her name (Sally something perhaps?) but she was simply labelled as “cyber safety expert”. Something of the whiff of your other friend MTR about her. I am sick of tv stations getting away with labelling people as “cyber safety expert” for example, as if they are quite objective independent experts, without providing their actual affiliations or background.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      But Howard is in a sexual pose with Bush in the After Saddam illustration. Not being screwed but engaging in a consensual (homosexual) encounter!

      And there were posters calling him the c word that I didn’t want to put up.
      I do agree that there is a hatred of Gillard seemingly based on the fact that she exists. Some argue it’s a gender thing, but I don’t agree with that and as you point out it’s used against men as well. As I’ve probably said before, I know I’m not nearly as clear -eyed on the Gillard issue as are you – I have to struggle with a visceral thing every time I see and hear her. I’m much criticized for this in my household, and quite rightly. I think that like with all strong emotional reactions it has its roots in the personal psyche, but I haven’t got round to analyzing myself yet, at least not on the Gillard matter.
      But I know it’s not the Tea Party that’s made me feel this way towards her!

      I never watch morning TV but I know Sunrise is one of MTR’s usual outlets. She is also trotted out as an “expert” but as far as I’m aware she has no qualifications – if she does she keeps them very quiet, as she also keeps silent about her Baptist faith.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      UPDATE: My curiosity piqued by PW’s reference to Ms Albrechtsen’s intimate life, I spent a little time researching this and discovered that the lady appeared on the arm of Mr Michael Kroger, Victorian Liberal Party heavyweight, business man and political commentator, at union boss Paul Howes’ 30th birthday bash on Saturday night.

      The two are apparently a new couple. I do not know if this goes any way to explaining Ms Albrechtsen’s strong identification with the women of Sex and the City, the inner goats of men, and bruising sex.


  3. David Horton September 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    A match made in heaven, I think. Hard to think of a couple more deserving of each other.

    I didn’t mean MTR was on Sunrise, but this woman reminded me of her.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      MTR will be on Sunrise in the next couple of weeks I’m sure, when her book, edited with the unfortunately named Abigail Bray and called Porn Inc, hits the market.


    • Jennifer Wilson September 2, 2011 at 6:28 am #

      David, I must have been thinking about your comments on the particular type of hostility directed towards Gillard, Brown and Obama – because I woke up realising what you’ve probably already understood. That this hostility is driven by outrage that Gillard is a woman, Obama is black, and Brown is gay. That is, none of them fit the profile far right wing types perceive as having the right to rule. The cons profoundly resent them, don’t see why they should listen to them, and want them out so a “real” leader can take their place.


  4. paul walter September 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Must admit, I can’t stop laughing at the “Olympia” pastiche, with Howard’s fig leaf and an enigmatic Osama with Saddam’s head on a silver platter: ouch!


  5. paul walter September 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Just reading a relevant article in the “Loon Pond” just arrived in in- box, where the Mitchell/Hartigan “philosophical” disagreement, if it can be dignified in that way, that deals with much of what we’re discussing here,including Mitchell’s poisoners and Hartigan’s attitude (as I listen to Philip Adams discussing the downfall of the ABC, with Quentin Dempster and others).
    I should link it, no doubt it is some thing that can be googled up in the interim, sorry.


  6. DT DownUnder September 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    The only surprise is that Ms Albrechtsen has written about her inner goat publicly. I for one am not at all surprised, having the opportunity to intimately know a couple of women with “social conservative” attitudes. It is my personal understanding (certainly no science) that it’s all about pleasing the powerful men – thus partaking in power (which is what turns them on). To do that ‘pleasing’ they (“socially conservative” women) are prepared to go further than most of the liberal “sluts” (hey, that’s the way they refer to themselves!) Off the soap box…;)


    • Jennifer Wilson September 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

      Well, looking at some of the world’s powerful men I can only conclude that power really is the aphrodisiac because they don’t always seem to have anything much else. Oh, there’s money!


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