The Corruption of the Cutie: Is Turnbull Now a Mean Girl?
Is Turnbull just a Mean Girl, or is he a Heisenberg or possibly a Trumbleberg? What has he become? The once suave leather jacket wearing moderate has transformed into the incarnation of Abbott with his sycophant speech. A man full of angry personally abusive ranting and zero policy.
The media seem to really get their rocks off on this type of abusive ranting politician. They love it. They channel Highlander with “There can be only One!” in their writing. They wallow unashamedly in it. As they did with Abbott. For this reason, vulnerable people will always be doomed.
The media (except VanBadham) have missed the mark. The only thing that will be immortalised about the Turnbull Speech is how the media got this wrong. Except Van Badham. Trust Van to be head and shoulders above the rest, standing against the grain.
The media have compared the sycophant speech with Gillard’s misogyny speech. There is no comparison. Where can Turnbull go from here?
The Corruption of the Cutie
A common trope in movies is the ‘corruption of the cutie’. That is, the ‘nice guy or girl turned villain.’ When Turnbull became leader he was seen as the ‘unbeatable good guy’ with 60% plus in the polls. A wide appeal. The nice guy next door.
How Turnbull has transitioned since he stole leadership from Tony Abbott is in line with this trope of corruption of the cutie – it is a slow progression of nastiness, until the transformation is complete and *BAM*! The lead good guy is now the lead bastard and he is a bastard in spades.
This is epitomised in Mean Girls when the good girl character Cady, becomes a mean girl herself.
Walter White, calm, nerdy, good, family loving chemistry teacher, turning into Heisenberg, self obsessed, greedy drug lord, “I am the one who knocks” in Breaking Bad, is another example.
For some, they will be torn between the good guy who they believe is still deep inside, and will be loyal to him, waiting for his return. This is how I was with Walter White. I never got my wish.
I failed to realise the good guy is either dead, or never was. People will realise the same with Turnbull.
The Bullied who Fight Back – Right vs Might
The corruption of the cutie, is the role Turnbull played the other day. This is in stark contrast to the trope of the bullied character, who stands up in the end, in the case of Gillard. The character who is the butt of jokes, picked on, ridiculed by bullies. However, has the personal resilience to stand strong in the face of adversity. Always determined to rise up with a right versus might speech.
Gillard’s speech was about right versus might. It was Gillard insisting that the right of women to enjoy life free from sexism is paramount above the might of the misogynists.
Turnbull’s response to Shorten’s objection to cuts to family payments by calling him a sycophant and a parasite, was all about might versus right. This was Turnbull insisting that the might of the rich and powerful always is paramount above the poor, the worker, the downtrodden who fight against them.
A stark contrast indeed. The media have this, very, very wrong.
Turnbull – Bringing Back the Ugly
Indeed, Turnbull will think people love him for being a bully. His inner circle will tell him so. It worked for Abbott after all. His party members have felt so adrift with not being able to express their true ugliness. They are excited now they can clap and cheer at bullying in all it’s glory, like they did with Abbott on a day-to-day basis. Now again in love with Turnbull because he is bringing back the ugly.
They had no choice but to get rid of Biff from Back to the Future…
But Now they have Steff – the ultimate rich mean boy
Now they can clap and cheer because they have the actual God of all mean rich boys. All the rich kids love this guy. They love him because he is rich, he decides the pecking order, he decides who gets to go to the best parties. He reassures them all daily that they are superior and the poor kids are just scum. That makes them feel so much better. By their clapping and a cheering you can see the meaning of the message. The message is the LNP thrive on ugly politics.
They love Steff-like characters because he is real true arsehole. He picks on the poor kids. They get behind him and stand tall, staking their ‘rightful place’. Feeling strong by the jollies they get from humiliating ‘the working class trash’. They all play a part in reminding them, that even if you turn up to the rich kids party, you will never be one of them. You. Do. Not. Belong.
In 16 Candles, Steff, made sure he let Andie know she did not belong. Just like Malcolm made sure he told Bill that he does not belong at the same table as rich men.
Well I guess we should have seen that coming…….
No Comparison to Gillard
Gillard’s Misogyny speech was a rousing speech. It can be encapsulated as the determination trope. This is brought on through the determination that is required to face daily, sexist slurs and pointed sexist ridicule. It is the determination that is required to get up every morning and face a narrative that talks women down, while she was determined to always talk women up.
Gillard’s message was to everyone – I am a leader. Follow me and say no to sexism and misogyny and make the world a much better place for women.
Turnbull’s sycophant speech can be encapsulated as the evil gloating trope. It is what mean people do. They gloat. It is brought on by a born to rule mentality. A mentality that aims to bring the good guy down. It is brought about when the popular kid or the rich kid sees their perfect world threatened by the inclusion of an outsider. An outsider they consider who does not belong. The threat that ‘the lower class’ may just make it to the place they see as rightfully theirs. A right they inherited, and did not have to *yuk* ‘earn’.
Turnbull’s message was really to his party. As a leader, follow me and I will teach you how to keep the worker trash out of our posh parties and I will make the world a much better place for the deservedly wealthy.
The message to everyone else was – I am a leader, follow me and I will make sure if you ever actually ‘make it’ I will be here to put you back in your place and remind you where you truly belong – with the other working class trash.
Where to From Here?
The media has played this up for all it is worth. However, deep inside so many Australians is the love for the Aussie Battler. Shorten will continue to stand up for the little guy, the worker and the poor.
Turnbull it seems will continue his Shorten bashing from a place of ‘you don’t deserve to be here’.
If Turnbull continues these mean girl rants, he will realise that even those who were once loyal will turn on him. When you become an Mean Girl, not everyone will love you.
He may realise that even though his internal party members love him for being the meanest, nastiest, rich-boy bully; those on the outside, especially those suffering under his cuts to family payment, will not feel the same way.
Stop the Bus!
Now he has started on this trajectory, is there a way back for Turnbull? To get out of this dilemma, and claw his way back to any semblance of decency; he may need to pray that the leader of the right-wing instructing his every move, is taken out by a bus.
(Don’t worry, she doesn’t die….)
Originally published on The Red Window Blog