Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Comment - Gillard And The Lost Boys

There are denizens of this wide, brown land of ours, who do little to contribute to the term, ‘proud Aussie battler’.  There are people amongst us whose goal in life, it would seem, is to degrade, incite and generally heap insult upon those they disagree with.  And there are those who call Australia home, who are downright cowardly, little more than gormless worms, hiding in their digital holes, slinging insults from the safety of their personal computers thinking themselves witty, urbane, insightful.

On Monday, via social media site Facebook, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in what was a first for a high ranking politician, hosted a chat session, fielding questions about the implementation of the Gonski Report into school funding reform, NAPLAN and teaching quality, amongst other things.

An attempt to tap into immediate feedback, the session lasted an hour with many questions answered, and more “tabled for further discussion”.  However, it was after the PM logged off, that the aforementioned gormless worms reared their tiny heads, too cowardly, it would seen, to sling their odious words whilst the object of their hatred was still ‘in the building’, as it were.

“Get my dinner ready”, “Lube up Julia”, “Are your pubes as radiant, shiny and glorious as mine?” and even a Jones-esque, “How’s your dad?” were amongst the comments posted in response to the Gillard chat, from a group of all male citizens who really don’t warrant the kudos, as they would see it, of being named again.

What they do deserve however, is the utter contempt of the rest of the population, the sneers and disgusted half-chuckles we reserve for fecal matter found on shoe soles.  For despite the fact many of us disagree with those in power, sometimes vehemently, when did it become an accepted behaviour to so viciously attack, personally, the person or people we disagree with?

To my mind, this is a part of the trolling epidemic perhaps, and an offshoot of the rise and popularity of social media – people are able to comment instantaneously, they do so from the safety of their own homes, and even though the aforementioned didn’t hide behind monikers, for the most part, it still shows that to say something so dirty is no big deal anymore, there’s nothing anyone can really do, so cop it.

No doubt there will be many, far more insightful investigations into this sort of thing, but in the meantime, this comes down to cowardice and a general lack of respect.  I can only surmise that the mothers of these haters raised them like the barnyard vermin they are, and that perhaps this misogynistic behaviour is a call for help from a group of little boys who miss their mummy.

For little boys is what they are.  They think it’s cool to hate on a person in power, particularly one who has copped more than her fair share in the week just gone.  They lack the mental capacity to form coherent arguments and so resort to schoolyard bullying in an attempt to gain themselves some attention on a wider scale (ironic that I’m writing this, then).  Further, good and honest debate is paramount to the workings of government and public life in general, regardless of how you feel about specific policy or policy setters, and behaviour like this shunts that to the wayside, sabotaging meaningful debate, diluting it and rendering it less powerful, the flow-on effect being that we’re worse off because of it.

These people shouldn’t call themselves Australians, they shouldn’t consider themselves battlers, they shouldn’t consider themselves much at all.  This sort of behaviour is abhorrent – perhaps if someone wrote something about them being selfish bully boys, they’d think twice about how this sort of thing impacts on people, society in general, and the debates we should be having but aren’t.  Lube that up.

Samuel J. Fell

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