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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A sad event that only harms the cause

I don't like to say it, but I am glad that I missed the ceremonies at the Tent Embassy today. That way I managed to avoid the dramas at the nearby restaurant, The Lobby. Now am I defending the comments by Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, that were used as the incitement for a couple of hundred protesters heading to The Lobby to encircle the building and act in such a manner that security forces were needed to remove Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Jugears Abbot? Most definitely not. But when will protesting groups get it into their heads that acting like thugs only does harm to your cause?

We saw the same thing back in the 1990s following the election of John Howard. There was promptly a protest on the lawns of Parliament House, driven by the union movement. I know - I was there. And like the majority of attendees, I was down the slope, watching the stage which included the rather odd sight of the then-Secretary of the ACT branch of the Community and Public Sector Union, dancing and singing. Like the majority of those attendees, I knew nothing about the drunken antics of a much smaller group of protesters who decided to literally bash down the doors into Parliament House, an even smaller group of them decided to break into a shop and loot it. At one point I did get a bit bored and had a wander around including going by the courtyard where the drama occurred. I couldn't see exactly what was happening but something clearly was and the sheer volume of eskies and discarded beer cans made it rather obvious that whatever was happening was most likely alcohol-fuelled. However I never so much as even suspected an attempted invasion of Parliament House was occurring. But because I was there at that protest, for a long time I was referred to by non-supporters of the union movement at work as 'one of those Parliament House invaders'. This behaviour by a small proportion of the attendees damaged the entire point of the demonstration against then-pending changes to industrial relations. It made the entire union movement look bad. Nor did it help for a small, radical faction to start pushing hard to have the union movement pay all legal fees for those charged for that invasion of Parliament House. The entire point of that demonstration was badly compromised.

I suggest that the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and the worthwhile things it stands for, will now be overshadowed by the actions of a minority, compromising the potential good that could have come out of the event.

the REAL Excess Baggage

Alleged 'reality television' programs seem to go through phases. Obviously weight loss is the current preferred flavour. The newest addition to the stable is the WIN/Channel Nine program, Excess Baggage. This 'reality' sees a group of overweight 'ordinary' people all paired up with an overweight 'celebrity'. Naturally the winner shall be the pair who lose the most weight.

What gets me is this idea of featuring celebrities. In whose mind at least, are some of these people celebrities? Let us have a quick squiz at some of the line-up.

There's a former Australian Rules footballer who retired some twenty years ago. While Dipper is a big personality, was a damn good footballer and well known to Aussie Rules fans of his era, how exactly does that make him a 'celebrity'? What proportion of the country will have a clue who Dipper actually is? I suggest not a lot.

We have a paparazzi photographer who thinks he is a Mohawk Indian with a fetish for psychedelic colours.

Best of all, my favourite, is the international celebrity in the ranks. That's right folks, we have the ex-husband of a pop star. How much bigger can you get than the bloke that Britney Spears gave the boot to via a text message? Answer: much, much bigger. Let us put this into perspective. Kevin Federline was a broke, occasional backup dancer when he met Britney and they hooked up. When the marriage ended, Federline did pretty well out of the deal, now on huge alimony payments that mean he doesn't even have to do the occasional work these days. So he sits around, blowing that alimony on food and drink as is obvious from the size of his gut. Of course there was also his impressive career as a rapper. What a flop that was. He probably should have then tried out for the US diving team as he sure had the nosediving gig right. Yet he is still going by that stage name of K-Fed. Briefly aligning himself with the professional wrestling world to help promote his debut album probably didn't do his credibility much good either. This is a 'celebrity'? This is a 'celebrity' that is worth importing into the country? This is something that the public supposedly want? Oh pluh-eeeze.

For my money, the only saving grace would be that of the program host, the still delectable Kate Ceberano. But even Kate's attractions are going to struggle to get me there. There is probably some grass growing somewhere around my place worth watching.

Hey WIN - I've got some news for you. The REAL excess baggage is the numbnuts who approved this crap.
Here endeth the rant