Instead of weighing as to whether Chaser’s song last night was offensive or humourous (because, frankly, I don’t care), I’d like to skew this whole thing a little differently. Couldn’t the fact that that gronk saying that stuff is the ultimate sign that Australia is a flourishing democracy, where you can say what you want, do you what you want, and be who you want (within the law) without fear of massive repurcussions?
Some time ago, on YouTube, a user made fun of the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. The user made a video that said, among “defacing” pictures of the king while putting pictures of exposed feet over others (both extremely offensive to some Thais), he resembled a monkey. Fun and games I saw it as, while also a political message. That message was proven to be right after Thai media came out in an uproar, reminding everyone that it’s a criminal offense, in Thailand, to say or do anything that may insult the king. A criminal offense.
North Korea, you get killed for saying anything critical about their dictator.
China is more likely to imprison you for dissent, rather than give a television station funding to make a satirical show.
And let’s not get into the whole “I wonder why there’s no opposition party in Zimbabwe ‘elections’?” question. For the uninformed: there’s no opposition because they’ve either been killed or driven out of the country.
So, yes, squabble over who is offended or not (I think that too is a sign of a healthy democracy), and if I cared some more I’d take part, but as I don’t, I thought I’d make this whole this relevant to me through a sociological lens. The fact that Chaser has the opportunity to offend and people have the opportunity to speak out should be a focus of someone at least, right? Howard could get on and say “While I don’t disagree, I think that it’s a sign that what the Coalition has done for the past decade is foster a healthy and proactive Australian democracy with such and such …”. Of course, he won’t, because whoever is setting out his campaign isn’t nearly as smart as I am.
O f course, by now, anyone who knows me well will know that I’m a supporter of ‘censorship’ (of sorts). So I expect to be called a hypocrite any time soon. Such is my second middle name …