Monday, May 07, 2012

Politics is an illusion: Don't take it too seriously!

The Blowfly had the good fortune to recall the words of George Bernard Shaw during the week.
“My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”
And so it was in Australian politics last week.
Shakespeare could not have set up a more hilarious plot. Nor Bob Hope’s comedy writers!
A beleaguered government, trying to prepare for the delivery of a budget, was under attack because of allegations that it’s Speaker has sexually harassed a male staff member and rorted the travel system.
This was followed by revelations that this staff member sought counsel from non other than Mal Brough, the Liberal stalwart who is seeking to take the Speaker’s seat at the next election. And to add slightly more intrigue the Opposition-heavy Chris Pyne admits to a late night drinking session with the sexually harassed staff member only one month before the complaint was made.
Tony Abbott, the Opposition leader, gives a TV interview saying, in words carefully chosen, that he new nothing about these events. Nothing! Nothing!
Out of left field comes one of Australia’s richest men, Clive Palmer, to announce his intention to enter parliament. Clive has previously told us about his conspiracy theories and now delivers a promise to build a new Titanic.
And in a seemingly unrelated incident Rupert Murdoch was declared an unfit person to run a media empire by a committee of the UK parliament.
What has happened to the world ?
Is all this stuff about 2012 and the world ending finally coming to fruition?
This scene of comedy-sketch proportions provoked The Blowfly to consider another illusion that seems to dominate our existence.
Ponder this!
Lets say you were a purveyor of newspapers.
Your revenue streams consist of sales of printed matter to the populace and advertising from businesses.
Recently you have been struggling with your revenue streams because of the new technologies that are able to leverage this beast known as the internet.
You bought into My Space a couple of years ago so that you could learn more about this phenomena and get the march on your competitors. You paid about $900 million for it and you sold it for less than 10% of that only recently. It was a costly lesson in understanding people’s emerging needs.
It seems the populace has this overwhelming desire to share information about each other with each other.
And they want to do it for FREE!
Oh dearie me! How are you going to build your wealth if people are going to share information for free.
Twitter and Facebook are aiding and abetting this.
And Twitter has been responsible for the acceleration of some social movements such as the ‘Arab spring’. You fear it because using Twitter decimates the need for people to buy newspapers. Ordinary people can become reporters and disperse reports quickly about incidents, injustices and scandals.
You’re damned if you can understand Twitter so you poke your toe into the water with it. You express your views as everyone else seems to do on Twitter.
You tell people , on Twitter, that the ALP government in Australia needs to go.
This ALP government is also developing something called the National Broadband Network. It will allow Australians to communicate with each other faster AND………..with the rest of the world!
Your business model would really come under pressure if this happens.
You find other allies to align with to prosecute your cause.
Climate change has been a controversial topic in your country of birth. But it seems to sell quite a few newspapers! Especially as you have been able to motivate crowd-pleasers such as Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones to keep spruiking their scaremongering.
And Tony Abbott falls in behind quite easily. Just as your editors know that the populace only reads the headlines as they rush past the newsstands, or listen to the 20-second grabs on TV so does Tony. He is a master of the three-word slogan and creating fear in the hearts and minds of voters. He studied politics as a Rhodes scholar and he knows you have to keep it simple and destructive.
It is in your interests to use the full resources of your empire to preserve the full resources of your empire.
Your timing is perfect.
Your interests and those of the conservatives glove together neatly.
They have committed to pulling down the NBN. This means you may be able to preserve your newspaper revenues longer.
They have committed to repealing the carbon tax. This means you wont be penalised for cutting down the trees to print your newspapers.
The status quo will largely remain. 
That is, after all, why they are known as conservatives.
In the meantime you have been fighting a rear-guard action trying to maintain the revenues of your existing economic activities----newspapers!
You worked out ages ago that the best way to do this is to create headlines.
Politics is usually good for this.
Politicians tend to take themselves seriously and believe that they can make the world a better place.
This fits perfectly into your mode of operation providing they are taking the world where you believe it should go.
Politics gives you much scope for headlines.
When politicians tell the truth your newspapers can tear them apart and invade their private lives because anyone who tells the truth is likely to be a homosexual or philanderer.
When politicians tell lies your newspapers can damn them because no other person ever tells lies and there must be no moral fibre in a society that produces liars.
Sometimes however the news gets a little slow and newspaper sales flatten out.
In order to create more fodder for your reporters you get up to mischief. A little phone tap here, a little bit of scare-mongering there, and not to mention a good sex scandal-----especially with a homosexual angle!
And that, my friends, is the illusion!
Many believe that politicians pull the strings of our society and that politics is to be taken seriously as an altruistic endeavor.
There is another reality that would save the populace from a lot of anxiety.
Politicians only think that they pull the strings.
But like a good old-fashioned puppet show it is simply a distraction that should be perceived as entertainment of the highest order.
As any blowfly knows, it is the puppeteer that is actually pulling the strings.

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