I have two daughters, a grand daughter and two grand sons. I have many other relatives, neighbours and friends. Close friends and friends separated by distance. Friends and relatives I love.
The mere thought that someone has hurt a single hair on their heads could well have me feeling murderous and grieving for a long time. If then a creature like Senator Derryn Hinch – cursed be his name and cursed be the Senate that has him in its fold! – decided to publicise the gruesome details of that event (real, alleged or imagined) would make both, my grief and my urge to be murderous near impossible to control.
Hinch has no idea about grief. He has a platform which he has turned into a pulpit of hateful dogmas. He has no idea of what he is saying nor what the effects of his sayings are, how powerfully hurtful they are and how close to being lethal they can be. Hinch does not protest. Don’t make the mistake of thinking his frenzied and mindless attacks are acts of protest. Don’t think that his sonorous accusations, all his drum beating and all his crass and vulgar, his bilious hatred towards a sex offender are acts of protestation.
They are anything but.
They are simply acts.
Acts by a bad actor
They are acts of accusation which, like ancient Greek stage masks, are worn to hide some flaw in his character. Hinch wears a mask to hide his attempts to gain kudos and relevance. Distinction from the rest of us. To hide his lack of, or his inadequacy of, almost anything that a compassionate human has. His loud accusations are nothing more than masks of inhumaneness.
He committed this despicable act of tweeting the gory details of what Aiia Maasarwe had suffered in the hands of a savage, not so as to correct an errant law because if that was his purpose he could have done it by many other means, very powerful means and much more effective means, means that we could all relate to and give our consent; this tweet of his shouted in no uncertain language, “I am your saviour, I am your messiah!”
It is the shouting of delusion, of psychopathy – in any case, of a deep psychological problem, desperately seeking a cure.
And, instead of correcting an errant law, the highly possible change that Hinch has effected would be that he brutalised the law. By this grotesque act, he is urging the masses to put pressure on the legislators to create new laws -or, rather to exhume old laws from the graves civilisation had buried them in a long time ago- and to apply them anew. Old, abandoned brutal laws become the new accepted brutal laws.
Next stop, if Hinch has his way, will be capital punishment or banishment for stealing a loaf of bread.
Hinch was born with a tin howler in his hands which he took for god’s golden mike and so he uses it at every opportunity to tell the world what the principal teacher of morals, according to some, Jesus, would say.
Hinch, like almost all politicians does not want to change the law. Such laws give them air and legitimacy. Something to hang their hat on. An emblem.
No, they are after the tin howler, the one they think god uses to straighten us all up.
I cannot bear to see his face let alone listen to his grating rants. I’ve stopped listening to him pretty much the first time I heard him speak. Can’t remember what it was but no matter, the message hasn’t changed one apostrophe or one exclamation mark since he started. One issue, one solution, one dogma: Stop the law from being the law, be as graphic as you can when describing the brutality a victim has suffered, create even more victims out of that one act of savagery, so that the law would change and so that he, Senator Derryn Hinch would be declared our Messiah.
Never mind that his dogma causes more victims, more grief, more pain, more virulent pain, more lasting pain.
It seems our radio stations, our TV channels, our press and our Parliaments have been, at some point not that long ago suddenly stormed by a horde of bastards and now we hear and see nothing putrid hatred for humanity.
From George Brandis’ “we have the right to be bigots, you know” to Dutton’s “they’re doing well at Manus and Nauru” to… things said in such number that, well, let me borrow Jack Hibberd’s delicious line, “too numerous to enumerate!”
Bastards, one and all.
What do we do? What do we do in a state where Democracy is the clarion call and “freedom of speech,” its slogan?
The ancient Athenians had an answer. Ostracism.
Every year – once only a year and against one only citizen – people in Parliament would be asked if they want to hold an ostracism. If yes, then two months later (enough time for discussions to take place) a minimum of six thousand people would gather in the agora, the market place, the speech making place at the centre of the city and there they would scratch on broken pieces of pottery the name of the man they hated the most and place them in great urns. Men who have done unconscionable wrong or men who, like Aristeidis the Just, simply annoyed people. These were generally rich, influential people who got under the skin of the commoners for one reason or other. I won’t go on discussing this summary law, other than to say that there was no court, no judicial process, no lawyers, no prosecution nor defence lawyers, no involvement by any other person or body of persons. Just you and your ostracon, your shard of pottery. You were asked to participate in a reverse “popularity contest” by scratching on that shard the name of the person you hated the most.
Officials would preside and the person whose name appeared the most would be given ten days to get out of town – for ten years.
These were almost exclusively people of wealth and influence because it was they who could cause the greatest civil agitation and harm.
The banished person would be kept away from Athens for ten years with death being his punishment if he tried to come back any earlier. And when he did, all was forgiven. His property was not confiscated, his reputation – good or ill – remained and he would not be stigmatised for being ostracised.
Only one per year.
It was a way of keeping the political process and the ego of the politicians, just that little bit more sanguine. More circumspect.
It wasn’t an idea that was perfectly executed but certainly one that requires some examination as to how to improve it and make certain that it stays uncorruptedly in the hands of the common citizen.
And although, many rascals (Cleon and Cleophon are two that come to mind) have escaped this process, Senator Hinch, I’m certain, would be told to pack his venom-dripping bags and leave the country. I’d be there, at the agora with enough anger and fury to make sure I’ve spelled his name right:
And please don’t bring up his own story of molestation. Whatever it was, it must have been horrific and would have had enormous impact on his views about paedophiles and sexual miscreants. This should make him think even more about what he is saying about what words he is using about what impact these words have upon the victims and their family.
The incident did nothing of the sort and at the kindest, one would say he is acting so relentlessly out of revenge.
I’m not so kind to people who cause so much grief.
He is doing it so obsessively because it’s the only thing that gives him, in his mind, the legitimacy to hold a mike, a tin howler and I very much wish that someone would take it off him because he is using it to cause harm and not good.
Yes, we could do this done by vote but an ostracon would see him out of the scene quicker and cheaper, which is what is sorely needed.
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