Sunday, April 14, 2013

What I worked out a few years ago

News is bad for you


Anonymous said...

Hey Melbs, glad to hear you had a wonderful time and got back safe and sound.

Things are busy here to the point of being shit, and I may not have time to get back here for a week or so, but I thought I'd ask since you posted this thing on news:

I remember you once saying you grew up in a politically active lefty family, and I didn't really have anything to do with politics until the 2000s. So I was wondering if you could shed some perspective on the whole Thatcher controversy that's going on right now. I mean, I've read articles and watched videos and other arms-length historical stuff, but I'm interested in hearing a bit more from people who were personally engaged in this stuff at the time.

Input from others welcome too.


Mr E said...

Yeah Melbs,

Tell us about what it was like in the olden days! Please? Please?

[sitting cross legged on floor]

Melba said...

Well, I don't know what to say. All I remember about Thatcher is that people hated her, UB40 wrote a song called '1 in 10' which referred to the unemployment rate (of 10% at the time). The Brixton Riots - were they during Thatcher time?

My political awareness as a child was as follows: going on some ALP march or whatever wearing It's About Time buttons, then being in the car after Whitlam got sacked and being shocked by how shocked my parents were. It was like someone close had died.

Then after that I remember when Hawke got in in 1983, that was a biggy, my parents and everyone they knew were happy. They used to go to election night parties - not quite as bad as Don's Party but similar fashions and boozing on. In those days we hated Fraser and look how rehabilitated he is now! Amazing.

I can't contribute to the Thatcher thing, other than to recommend Russell Brand's essay on her - it's the ONLY thing I've read about her death/her 'reign'.

The only other thing, we don't have any comedy now that takes on politics. There used to be HEAPS and WITH PUPPETS. Those days are long gone and have been replaced with talent shows and reality tv.

I'm sure Mr E has some good political memories?

Melba said...

One more thing - her image was as a ball-breaker and a really really harsh person who didn't give a fuck about social justice and things like people who had less. The impression was that her government led the privatisation wave that AUS followed, also the anti-union movement. All those good things that Malcolm Fraser/John Howard did over here, and that then the ALP endorsed. This was the impression of her, also that her husband Dennis was just a lapdog and he got ridiculed a lot for that. Apparently it was frosty between her and the Queen.

little hat said...

That's what i love about holidays and particularly remote or overseas holidays. It's so refreshing and invigorating. and nothing changes. The things I couldn't influence continue to be uninfluenced by me.

I vote for more remote holidays as the antidote to "bad" news.

Melba said...

I agree Little Hat. That gets my vote too.

Anonymous said...

All those good things that Malcolm Fraser/John Howard did over here, and that then the ALP endorsed.

In those days we hated Fraser and look how rehabilitated he is now! Amazing.

Do you reckon that might be two ways of looking at the same thing? Do you reckon Fraser's changed all that much, or has the whole political spectrum crept so far to the right, like continental drift, that he just seems more moderate? It's something I hear discussed about pommy & 'merican politics from time to time (the other day I heard a commentator talking about the British opposition leader's speech about all the good that Thatcher did, and how far it was from the Marxist writings of his own father) and I wonder how much that applies here too. I'll definitely have a look at the Russell Brand thing. Thanks.

I agree on the lack of good political satire; or I guess, any political satire; or good satire in general. I was watching some old Fast Forward episodes (with puppets) the other day and was amazed by how well they stood up, what is it, twenty years on. Why is stuff like that so rare? I suppose it's difficult to get the right blend of crass humour and cutting commentary into a sketch (I know the Chaser blokes struggled quite a bit). That and it probably makes better economic sense to just do a fucking reality show about D grade "celebrities" jumping into a pool.