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Mark Latham And The Pixies At The Bottom Of The Garden

Sometime last century, when AFL player, Micheal Long put in a complaint about being called a “bl#ck c#nt” by Damian Monkhouse, a lot of people said that it was just part of the game and that Long should just put up with it. I made the observation that if somebody called me a “white c#nt”, I’d be more upset about the noun than the adjective.

This, of course, led to a long lecture about how I couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to be black and be subjected to racism. And, of course, that was true. Any privileged group attempting to suggest that they truly understand what it’s like to suffer discrimination, is like a man who, after having his first prostate exam, announces that now he understands what childbirth is like.

These days, most people understand that racism has no place anywhere – not even a football field – but, even at the time, I wasn’t trying to trivialise Michael Long with what I said. My point was simply that it was a reflection of our society that being called “black” was still more objectionable than being called something that I still feel needs censoring even though everyone knows that the word was “c*nt”…

So, at the risk of being taken the wrong way, I’m going to express my thoughts at the reaction to the Mark Latham comments from last week.

For those of you who missed it, Latham told his viewers: “The boys at the boys school look like dickheads doing their video, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.”

Now, if I say that I understand that being called “gay” by someone like Latham isn’t something that’s pleasant even if the program has very few viewers, I know that a lot of you will say that I can’t possibly understand. So I’ll try to make it clear: I can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be that student. He may be gay, he may not be gay, he may not be sure. Whatever, it was a nasty thing to say because Latham was using a public forum to attack a high school student who’d done nothing more than try to show some empathy by being part of a video for International Women’s Day.

I mean, if Latham wasn’t sitting in his cosy little studio with his agreeable mates around him, the conversation might have gone like this:

Latham: The boys at the boys school look like dickheads doing their video, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.
Sensible Person: So what’s your point?
Latham: That the boy speaking may have been gay!
Sensible Person: What’s that got to do with anything?
Latham: Well… um, we shouldn’t let gay people make videos.
Sensible Person: Why not?
Latham: Well, it’s part of some political agenda to silence real men like me.
Sensible Person: So let me get this straight, you think that a teenage boy on a student video is part of some gay conspiracy to silence you. Why?
Latham: Well, he looked gay!
Sensible Person: You look like a garden gnome, but what’s that got to do with anything…

However, at the risk of equating a prostate exam with childbirth, I can’t help but observe that even calling the other boys “dickheads” was the sort of bullying that we see far too much of, from people who think that being armed with a microphone entitles them to say what they like without having to face any consequences. Accepting one’s right to “free speech” also means accepting the dangers which are: being sued; being sacked; being criticised; and, of course, being punched in the face.

No, I’m not condoning violence, but I do accept that calling people names to their face runs a risk. And while they may not be right to hit me, I’m not going to get a lot of sympathy when I say that I was merely objecting to political correctness by following Mark around saying that his resemblance to a garden gnome will be handy now that he’s unemployed, he can have a job sitting with the pixies in the garden saying nothing.

Contrast Latham’s comments with Peter Dutton’s rather strange reaction to the letter from the chief executives supporting marriage equality. It’s strange that he had no problem with CEOs expressing support for Liberal policy, or the campaign against the mining tax, but when they didn’t agree with his world view, he thought that they should give up their million dollar paychecks and become a politician and work for a paltry $250,000 a year if they wanted to express an opinion.

Dutton told us: “If Alan Joyce and any other CEO wants to campaign on this or any other issue in their own time and on their own dime, good luck to them.”

One wonders why he singled out Alan Joyce. Of course, one has a theory, but let’s slot Mr Latham into Mr Dutton’s shoes.

Latham: The CEOs look like dickheads writing the letter, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.
Sensible Person: You mean Alan Joyce?
Latham: Yeah, him!
Sensible Person: Well, he is. He’s openly gay.
Latham: I rest my case.
Sensible Person: So, what’s your point?
Latham: Well, he’s gay.
Sensible Person: And?
Latham: Why should a gay person be expressing a view about same sex marriage? It’s just not right!

Yep, I know, I missing something. I know, it’s political correctness gone mad when a nice man like Mark can’t call people names on his own show. I know that the main reason that his show was cancelled was it’s lack of ratings in spite of Mark trying just about everything to create controversy. And I know that I should have written about the irony of Pauline Hanson talking about the dangers of vaccinating one week and suggesting that we should vaccinate against Muslims the next: “Vaccinating against Islam? Aren’t you worried about side effects, Pauline?”

Whatever, Mark Latham is gone. And, for some weird reason, he was blaming the person who sacked him for his dismissal.

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27 comments

  1. passum2013

    it dont matter the colour dont take this as a insult but a complement .As my reply is kunts are useful what are you.***************************************** bang

  2. Jerry

    I heard the saddest little man being interviewed overnight and it wasn’t Donald Trump it was Mark William Latham.The man who nearly won the 2004 Election now praises John Howard, Nuclear Energy and Donald Trump and applauded him that he had married a beauty queen nudge nudge wink wink. He was talking to 2GBs Luke Grant overnight.The man has sold his soul to the Conservative rich kocker ockers boys club.Instead of analysing the chip on his shoulder he now has become a misogynist extreme right wing fundamentalist.The man’s a puppet.Get some help Mark.

  3. David1

    I dare not think of the reaction if one of the disturbed Latham’s sons announces he is Gay. Perhaps he would not react the way I anticipate…very badly, I hope so. Maybe there is decency hidden away behind the facade

  4. kerri

    I was more offended at Latham’s comments because the implication was that the only male who would speak out for the rights of women would be a gay male!

  5. tanginitoo

    Too disgusted to write what I really think about Mark Latham, other than to say that if I were younger and could still walk, I would seek him out and spit in his face! And I am a pacifist at heart!

  6. wam

    hahaha The lord start my day with a giggle but this is the best morning laugh. I have had for years.
    That aside, the use of c*nt reflects the way Australian men usually think of women. Some men all of the time but all men some of the time.
    Ironically, in my time it was the penultimate insult for man to man just behind the reference of man to man. I well remember winning a tennis match by lobs and drop shots and the reaction was:
    ‘you f*cking poofter c*nt why don’t you play tennis’. Glad there was a net between us, he looked angry enough to have done me some damage

  7. Keitha Granville

    I am not a prude – but for some reason I absolutely detest the “c” word. I am an occasional user of other expletives, but that one ? – never. My children all know NEVER to use it when I am around and any FB posts on my page with that word will be immediately deleted.
    I am glad Mark Latham has been deleted, what a total tosser.

  8. wam

    the lord is a morning giggle but this is a great laugh to start the day.
    Sadly the insulting noun is how many Australian men think of women. In my day, the ultimate insult was – poofter c..t but you could be an endeared silly c..t with poofter never endeared. In some social section those feeling still exist.

  9. Alan Baird

    You mean he’s a True Blue Labor man who’s come out…? As a Tory? Geez! Who’da thought? It’s not as if THAT many Good Solid Labor men have joined corporate Oz immediately after quitting their Honourable jobs. I have a suggestion. As a prelude to reality, get rid of the term, “honourable” when there is ANY connection with politics. Then you might start with realistic expectations of their very human condition. That PM baton he’s got in his knapsack? Sorry. It’s in his pants. Expect that and you will be less disappointed. Still disappointed, just LESS disappointed.

  10. Pilot

    Mark Latham speaks for himself. He claims he speaks for all Australians but in my opinion he’s nothing more than a pathetic, frustrated gutless wonder. Howard won the 2004 which was basically unwinnable for the lying little pr*ck. But peoples’ reaction to Latham got Howard over the line. Australians have been aware of Latham and his BS for years, but Murdoch was looking for more Labor bashing and scaremongering, Latham was his man. And what a flop!! All p*ss and wind, flaps the gums and BS falls out. He’s an utter disgrace and will fit in nicely with the Libs. I’m thinking their poll numbers will fall even further as he tries to attack 18C.

    I was having a drink at our watering hole with my mate Gavin (a printer by trade), a full blood local indig. His nephew (also indig) came up behind us and said, “How you going ya ol’ black bast@rd?”
    I touched Gav on the shoulder, and turned around to face the young fella and said, “Who you calling an ol’ black bast@rd?”
    “Gavin,” he said, “my Uncle.”
    I turned to Gav and said, “Fair dinkum, are you black?”
    “Yeah, he said, “Look at me, black skin.” By this time Gavin’s brothers on the other side of him had tears in their eyes trying to stop laughing, they knew something was coming…. Young Colin, the nephew was still looking puzzled at the exchange.
    “Oh,” I said, “I thought you were just a messy printer…..”
    The place erupted in laughter and young Col went so red…… My shout……….

  11. Barry

    Alan Baird
    “As a prelude to reality, get rid of the term, “honourable” when there is ANY connection with politics”
    I point blank refuse to use that honourific. NONE of them deserve it.

  12. Jerry

    It appears all these Sydney Macho Ockers males seem to be all under the spell of the very unopenly gay Allan Jones.They all seem to want 2GBs Head Scout master and tough disciplinarian’s approval?Do they see him as the father figure they never had? Why do all these tough men fly to Allan like bees to a honey pot?Are they so scared that they themselves think they are gay? If all these men are repressed homosexuals like ‘Colonel Fitts’ in the movie ‘American Beauty’. Alan will be the last to come out? Tis an interesting conundrum though?

  13. Freethinker

    At the beginning,2004 I was disappointed with Mark Latham, after I feel pity considering him a person who developed personal disorders, now just ignoring him and put the blame on those that sponsor his “work” which perhaps it is compatible with their ideas.

  14. Vikingduk

    Isn’t that the same Alan the parrot jones that was busted for soliciting sex in a public toilet all those years ago when he was Australian rugby union coach? Tried it on with an undercover cop? That plagiarist parrot jones? Some one on this site may know

  15. king1394

    There was a time when Mark Latham was quite an admirable Labor leader and some of his writings such as ‘civilising global capital’ were worth reading. He seemed to have a total breakdown and personality change at the end of the 2004 election, though he had also thrown a few wobblies previously. In recent years he has swung over to the extreme right of political thought.

    No one seems to question why his program was not popular, but I would suggest that few people want to listen to the vitriol, foul language, irrationality and naked hate that nowadays comes from Latham. In putting him into the public eye, the right gets to show him as an example of the ‘real’ left, which suits their purposes. The poor man needs rest and counselling in my opinion.

  16. David1

    Vikingduk…yes the same Jones

  17. Vikingduk

    Thanks David1, nice to know memory still works.

  18. helvityni

    ” But what, precisely, was Latham’s crime? He insulted, offended and humiliated with vigour and gusto, but isn’t that what the Sky News and News Corp want?”, asks Mungo MacCullum on Menadue’s blog. 🙂

    Dutton did not like the Qantas CEO Alan Joyce expressing his views on gay marriage. Why not , I ask, as it was OK for the other big business leaders to travel to Canberra to tell how the tax cuts for big business should be dealt with.

    Different strokes for different blokes….?

  19. jim

    Lathams a gift to the LNP and their rightwing media,else he’d have no job at all.

  20. Jon Chesterson

    Very good points made and the monodrama brings home the message, the script, the hidden agenda. Free speech comes with an equal dosh of responsibility, something many including politicians forget and seem to conveniently ignore. We live in a society, that means others have rights just like you do, so be civil. Forget political correctness, be civil – and that means be fair and take responsibility for what you do and say. Now politicians should also take note that their position of office comes with responsibility to – public responsibility. This goes something like this – You do not have an absolute right to mouth off, neither on matters you do not understand nor to express your opinion, especially on matters that have nothing to do with your position of office – That is abuse of office and abuse of power that you are expected to respect, for which you have a public responsibility for. And if you can’t stomach that, you must resign. So again I call for Dutton’s resignation and a public apology from Latham. Parliamentary rules should be introduced to ensure political accountability and curb the excesses permitted under Parliamentary privilege. And the opening quote is priceless, ‘most people do not listen with the intent to understand, most people listen with the intent to reply’, politicians should remember that, and that other rogue Alan Jones too!

    [Barddylbach Chronicles 2017]

  21. lawrencesroberts

    99% of politicians are crackers but this is close to mocking the afflicted.

  22. diannaart

    First, heartfelt apology, Rossleigh, for not reading sooner – genius, champagne blogging.

    Am of the belief, until we humans learn to treat each other with respect, the “C” word may only be used by those whose anatomy includes such an organ, the “N” word only by those whose skin is blessed with melanin, the “F” word by gays and so on. This message is to whichever group of people who are not held with high regard by a bullying majority – own your identity, your right of reply, your right to bring bullies to account.

    We are well into the age of Post-Truth, have been there for decades in fact. We are also in the century of open, in-your-face-hypocrisy. Those who call loudest for “free speech” need constant reminding they are accountable for their speech.

    PS

    Anyone think Bolt will offer Latham a job?

  23. Jack Straw

    diannaart Those who call loudest for “free speech” need constant reminding they are accountable for their speech.

    These people are lazy thinkers and set in their ways.

    In the end Latham is a weak man and he has sold out to show business.Like all the shock jocks do.

  24. corvus boreus

    ‘Cloaca’ is my personal favourite pejorative.
    A cloaca is a multi-tasking rear orifice used for peeing, pooing and procreating.
    Amphibians, reptiles and birds all possess cloacae, as do a few types of invertebrate, fish and mammal, but humans do not.
    Cloaca is a term of biological anatomy that is not gender discriminatory (like an anus).

    Eg In his eagerness to inflict general harm, Latham inadvertently jabbed his venomous proboscis up his own cloaca.

  25. diannaart

    CB

    My knowledge may well be incomplete, but I did not know that any mammals possessed a cloaca (one of my favourite words) with the exception proving the rule; Mark Latham last seen disappearing up his own cloaca.

    🙂

  26. corvus boreus

    diannaart,
    The monotremes (Echidnas and Platypodes) have undifferentiated bottom bits, as do the tennecs (shrew-like critters from Africa and Madagascar) and a few types of African (placental) and Australian (marsupial) moles.

  27. diannaart

    Thank you CB

    Certainly appears to be a very pragmatic evolutionary process.

    I often lie in the grass in my garden and watch an echidna (or two) snuffle through the leaf litter – I will not permit Latham near ANY little beings.

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