OUTRAGE! SHOCK! HORROR!
Some days it seems like being whipped up into a collective outrage over the days nontroversy. Be it people being sacked for telling risqué jokes on their twitter accounts or the Prime Minister getting stuck into the chaser because their media adviser told them the people on talkback radio didn’t like it, it does seem like being perpetually outraged over complete non-issues is this nations favourite pastime.
Yesterday there was another outrage at the very mediocre ABC comedy At Home With Julia. According to the press reports tonight’s episode features a scene where Julia and Tim have sex under the Australian flag. Cue the usual suspects that this demeans Julia Gillard, the office of the Prime Minister and my favourite that it’s disrespectful to flags.
Mr Forrest told colleagues the satirical take on Ms Gillard’s private life demeaned the office of prime minister, after learning tomorrow’s episode features on-air prime minister Amanda Bishop and actor Phil Lloyd, playing Tim Mathieson, naked on her office floor under an Australian flag.
“Having sex in the prime minister’s office under the Australian flag is the last straw for me,” Mr Forrest reportedly told MPs.
“The old English traditional shows like Are You Being Served – they were funny, but this isn’t. And to desecrate the flag dishonours what my dad did.”
Eh? I fail to see how your dad fighting in a war and one scene in a comedy program are connected in any way. And in fact if we weren’t fighting for the right to have a shag on our flag then what was the point?
Seriously though, Liberal MP’s are even calling for ABC’s funding to be slashed because of this great offence.
A Coalition MP yesterday called for the ABC’s funding to be reviewed, describing the episode as a “pathetic and disrespectful” denigration of the Prime Minister’s office.
So lets get this straight, the governments media enquiry is a great threat to freedom of speech and freedom of the media according to the coalition, but threatening to slash funding to the national broadcaster because they find a single scene offensive isn’t? OK then.
The simple thing to do is given the prior warning over this great Australian outrage, if scenes of a comedian playing the Prime Minister having sexytime under the flag offend you, just make a note not to watch the show. Simple, everyone wins. But that isn’t outragertainment, all these precious petals will take special care to tune in just so that they can be outraged and have something to complain about.
As for the show itself, the most offensive thing about it is that it isn’t terribly funny. Is it disrespectful to the Prime Minister? Meh, probably. But I’d rather live in a country where do have the freedom to be disrespectful to the offices of power if we so wish.
UPDATE: More from the ever perturbed John Forrest.
Victorian National Party MP John Forrest said abuse of the flag should not be tolerated and called for a debate on whether the the episode should screen.
“I’m thinking about my late father who lost three brothers for that flag,” he said. “The veterans are going to go ballistic.”
Incorrect. The current flag did not become our national flag until 1953.