At Home With Julia
I hate football. There, I said it. Curse me. Stone me. lock me in a tiny room with At Home with Julia on loop. I deserve it all.
It makes me a bit of an outcast, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t bring myself to care about a group of guys in short shorts lumbering after a piece of cow hide.
This is despite being born and bred in Melbourne, where AFL is the prevailing religion and all the players are Gods.
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A small minority of people have expressed some concern with the ABC top-rating satire, At Home With Julia. The main complaint has been that the program does not show respect for the office of Prime Minister, nor for the incumbent.
Satire about political leaders is nothing new in Australia. The Rubbery Figures series showed little respect for John Howard, and cartoonists regularly take the mickey out of almost any political leader.
Respect for the office of Prime Minister has never been a strong theme in Australia. In America, the office of the President does carry strong respect. It has its own Seal, its own presidential anthem in Hail to the Chief, and the incumbent is referred to as Mr President, whether popular or not.
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As the controversial episode of At Home with Julia aired last night, it became more and more clear that if the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard is recalled for anything besides perceived incompetence, it should be for her role as a lightning rod for Australia’s unashamed public misogyny.
Hear the shrieks. “What do you mean, ‘misogyny’? We’ve got a woman prime minister,’’ screams the defence, quietly adding, “not that she’s any bloody good.”
Fair comment. What isn’t fair comment, even in the dirt of politics, is public ranting against the witch, the bitch, and Juliar. And then there is ABCTV’s screen insult to both comedy and an intelligent woman who leads the country.
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When The Chaser had an epic humour fail with their Make a Realistic Wish Foundation skit, the consensus was that they missed the mark because good satire picks a target worthy of lampooning. Sick kids and the charities which raise money for them didn’t come close to that.
On that score, Australia’s 27th Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be a prime target for satire. If you can’t have a good old fashioned crack at a Prime Minister who has stumbled from disaster to disaster, who can you have a crack at?
Heh heh. We just said “crack”. Geddit? Cos, you know, the PM’s a woman? Excuse the puerile sexual innuendo. Mind you, anyone who laboured through the satirical show At Home With Julia on the ABC last night had to tolerate much, much worse.
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