31 May 2008

Old enough to know better



This piece by Alan Ramsey was absolute rubbish. It doesn't matter how many days or weeks a political leader/party wins (how many days/weeks did Howard "win"over the last term of government, and why should anyone care?).
We've been missing the point. Brendan Nelson has been a lot smarter politically than ever we thought him capable of ... Nelson has surprised us.

If you thought of Nelson as a moron, perhaps he has surprised you. He hasn't gone from moron to genius overnight, and to contend otherwise is an indictment of your judgment rather than anything that might be said about Nelson.
... "Cabinet splinters over fuel".

It has done no such thing, but the issue continues to dominate, no matter how absurd. People understand soaring petrol prices. They care little about why. They want the Government to "do something". Rudd in a corner can buckle. Two censure debates in two days, three urgency motions, a raft of parliamentary questions daily.

Plus interviews ad nauseam on radio and TV all week.

The Parliament is Australia's best-subsidised and lamest theatre. Malcolm Fraser used to dominate Bob Hawke in Parliament, but the 1983 election rendered that "dominance" irrelevant. Paul Keating took on all comers in Parliament, including John Howard, but by the mid-'90s Keating couldn't be bothered with Parliament and Howard applied the passive rope-a-dope strategy to any attacks Keating made toward the end. Kevin Rudd outflanked Howard through the media, treating Parliament as almost an afterthought.

So what if he faced a censure motion from a dispirited and directionless opposition - come off it Ramsey, call thing paper-tiger savaging for what it is.

Brendan Nelson won't lead the Liberal Party to the next election, but even if he did he has no credibility, nobody believes he'll cut petrol excise. Nelson won't come close to winning for that very reason - that, and the fact that no signs exist of any longterm thinking to avoid an energy crisis, which is implicit in Rudd's signing the Kyoto treaty.

The whole point of retaining Alan Ramsey is to tap into his experience with politics and politicians over four decades. The idea of him going all giddy over one week, one stumble by a new Prime Minister who has taken to office more smoothly than any in recent history (discuss), and retreating into breathless inanity Annabel Crabb-style.

Then, there's Ruth Ritchie's embarrassing gushing over The Gruen Transfer.
As someone who used to work in advertising, I'm not sure my opinion should be canvassed on The Gruen Transfer, a new show about advertising.

Definitely not. The show was celebratory and not too probing, just what an advertising tosser could have hoped for. What was missing there was the justification of the means (an ad) by the end (making more money).
The advertising practitioners are for the most part entertaining and knowledgeable.

Typical advertising person: gushy, with a twist of bitchy.
The intricate filthy inner workings of the advertising industry are fascinating.

Not really. Those ad people on that show were no more interesting - indeed, mostly much less so - than the panel of taxi drivers or nurses assmbled for Andrew Denton's Enough Rope.
It may come as a shock to punters but Melrose Place's D&D Advertising bore as much resemblance to a real agency as Bob The Builder does to Multiplex. From the early days of Bewitched and the beating we took from personal association with that idiot Darrin Stephens, advertising people have always felt misunderstood and misrepresented.

And if it doesn't come as a shock, and if "punters" is a term used only by patronising wankers, what then? Far better to explore the irony of people whose job involves communication feeling misunderstood. This is like dentists having poor teeth - at some point it ceases to be funny and becomes an indication - an advertisement, if you will - of professional failure.
Some of the smartest people alive can be found in the creative department of an advertising agency

Very, very few. Some charmers, perhaps, but I'd be more encouraged by the out-of-the-box thinking of self-consciously krazy kreatives if there was any evidence of thinking going on inside said box, or by those who produce the box in the first place.
Of course, when they learn how much their guests earn to flog us stuff we don't need, they may kill half the industry.

Assuming they do "earn" what they get, Ruth, and that the link between ad and revenue is strong enough to sustain such rewards.
I'm sure all the plumbers at home feel equally misunderstood and in need of a show about S-bends.

I'm not sure they all need patronising though, good luck trying to sell them stuff.

Here were two examples of reviewers who failed to understand what it was they were reviewing, and its impact on the community which those under review would serve - and the fact that those people are the same ones who read their columns. This reading may be seen to encourage this circle-jerk of myopic reviewing, cementing the silly assumptions of otherwise perceptive writers, which would be unfortunate.

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