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Tuesday 19 April 2016

We ARE a Weird Mob! Explaining Monkeys on Typewriters for Dummies

Outgoing Tasmanian Federal Senator Jacqui Lambie (she of the peacock feathered-hat, above) has never once been accused, in her 31 months in Canberra, of having one of the sharpest minds in Australian politics. But yesterday, in what was thankfully one of her last cringe-inducing speeches in the Senate, Lambie reached a new low for even her thought-processes (or perhaps those of her advisor Rob Messenger, below, who is, thankfully, no relation of mine. Nor is he me.)
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had recalled the House of Representatives and the Senate just so the Senate could defeat Government Bills and give him the "trigger" for a Double Dissolution and federal elections for both houses on July 2. In the meantime, Turnbull had changed the way voting will take place, almost guaranteeing Lambie and her fellow micro-party senators (such as from the Motoring Enthusiast Party, I kid you not) won't get re-elected. And good riddance, I say.
Arguing against the Bills - and thus signing her own pink slip (a P45 in Britain and Ireland) - Lambie "joked that the legislation 'had been drafted by a room full of monkeys on a typewriter'."  Writing on The Huffington Post Australia blog, a none-too-bright-himself reporter called Josh Butler said her remark made him think of "that classic scene from The Simpsons." What it made me think of was the classic cartoon above, rather than the Mr Burns scene below.
Now, before I go any further, let me insert a "disclaimer" here. No names, no back drill, but I have to confess I know the woman who frames legislation for Federal Parliament. I know her very well indeed, and have done so for eight years now. And I happen to know that she has a typewriter in her house - an Olivetti Lettera 32 portable. It once belonged to her late mother and before that to a great Australian poet. She, like me, is fond of Procol Harum's 1967 A Whiter Shade of Pale, with its Bach G-string air and its sexy Chauceresque lyrics. All of which means, of course, that my friend is a woman of class, style and distinction. She is also hugely qualified and does a brilliant job of framing legislation (though not, admittedly, on the Olivetti).
But I digress. The point here is that Lambie (and Butler) have completely missed the whole idea behind the "infinite monkey theorem". The point of it is that monkeys, given enough of them, and time, will produce classic literature (and maybe even "classic" legislation). So while Lambie was presumably attempting to suggest the Bills were a mess, all she did was succeed in giving the impression that they had the potential to be masterfully written, comparable in structure to the works of Shakespeare. And knowing my legislature-framing friend as well as I do, that's entirely possible, if not, perhaps, likely.
Sadly, and staying on the subject of monkeys, the Lambie comment wasn't the only bit of nonsense being uttered in our Senate yesterday. Victorian Senator Stephen "Bozo" Conroy (below) got stuck into the Governor-General for seeming to be a party to Turnbull's manoeuvres. Conroy tried to draw comparisons between the Government's legislation and the 1975 Constitutional Crisis. I'm no defender of having a Queen's representative in Australia, of course. But like Lambie, Conroy missed a very vital point in all this. As a direct result of The Dismissal, the G-G of this country must now do precisely what the PM tells him or her to do. In theory, he or she can still dismiss a PM, but in practise, he or she wouldn't even dare to think about it, let alone try. Otherwise he or she would suffer the same fate as Malcolm Fraser's "Cur".
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's response to Conroy's outburst was, let's face it, the next best thing to an abject apology on behalf of the Labor Party. Thus, it became one of three newsworthy apologies issued in Australia yesterday. One of the others was issued by former Olympic Games champion swimmer Grant Hackett, who, after a failed comeback attempt in Adelaide, got as drunk as a newt, boarded a flight and seriously groped the poor fellow sitting in front of him. Hackett has yet again promised to focus on good behaviour in future.
The third apology, of course, was a joint effort from American actor Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard and was heard from TV sets across Australia with much bemused amusement. The couple had to say "sorry" in order to stay out of jail after illegally bringing two little Yorkshire Terrier dogs, Pistol and Boo (below), into the country, thus allegedly threatening our "biosecurity".
The contrived apology video, recorded by Depp and Heard and played in court on the Gold Coast, came across as sounding about as sincere as Adolf Hitler's promise to Neville Chamberlain over the Sudetenland in 1938.
Naturally, someone got hold of the video and quickly turned it into this, which is actually pretty funny:

Steve Colbert also has a funny skit at 
But hey, guess which one of the three apologies led the evening news on TV last night? Yep, that's right, the Depps. After all, we ARE a weird mob! And up on the Gold Coast of Queensland, people are, with a certain amount of justification, known as Bananalanders (as in, they're bananas):


Anonymous said...

The monkeys are the only ones that come out of this with their dignity intact! Funny stuff. ;)

Richard P said...

Here's a great parody of the Depp/Heard apology:

Robert Messenger said...

Yes, I enjoyed that Colbert skit, and he was very good on the didgeridoo I thought.