Sunday, May 21, 2006


I often have the desire to punch the people I see on TV. For example, last night while watching the RAW Comedy final on the ABC, the desire to punch Wil Anderson hard in the balls reached its usual white-hot level. However, when I reviewed the whole week's worth of Punchables, I decided it was probably unfair to find Wil the MOST punchable of the week, considering he engenders rage simply by being extremely shithouse, which, though a severe crime, seems like nothing at all when placed next to other examples of extreme shithouse-ness with a far uglier aspect to them.

The case in point being: JOHN HEARD.

Did you catch him on SBS's Insight program about gay marriage on Tuesday night?


That is what I felt, anyway. Because I just don't understand how someone can enter this debate having completely discounted the systematic discrimination visited upon gay people in this country, and chosen instead to focus all energy on creating secondary shit-fights about how 'it is selfish for gay people to want children', 'the Australian population agrees with me', and 'gay people don't want to get married anyway'. I mean, while these opinions can be opposed on their own childish terms, eg. 'no, it's not selfish at all', 'well, that doesn't make them right', and 'hey, you don't speak for everybody', I find it just incomprehensible that someone could believe those arguments can be put forward as points that in any way outweigh the basic fundamentals of the issue (of which gay marriage is one part), that is, EQUAL RIGHTS. Please, just think about the completely different standards you're applying. Because that is what it is fucking ABOUT. Do you think gay people are not equal to straight people? Do you think gay relationships are not equal to straight relationships? Do you think straight people should have more rights than gay people? Do you think it is in any way defensible that gay people are excluded from the rights that straight people enjoy? Are you a PUNCHABLE GOON?

I had a massive fight with my dad after that Insight program. Similarly, I couldn’t understand his response at all. The first thing he said once the show ended was, “Well, do you think that was really fair and balanced? I mean, it’s pretty clear that one side had to be more courageous in putting its views forward, eh?” And I was like, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? COURAGEOUS?!” And he was like, “Well, there was a definite hostility. And those people (who oppose gay marriage) represent a feeling in the community and so should get a fair hearing.” And I was like, “But they’re WRONG!” And he was like, “Well, that’s your opinion.” And I was like, “NO. They’re WRONG. Why should I consider their views or worry if they feel uncomfortable? They SHOULD feel uncomfortable.” And he was like, “You’re such an elitist. Community sentiment actually has value IN A DEMOCRACY.”

And, well, I couldn’t speak for fully thirty minutes. Because I was crying. Hot silent tears of rage. It was like I’d been slapped. And I was unable to make any arguments because any attempt at speech would have exploded into an humiliating and indecipherable loss of control. I was such a hostage to my extreme emotional reaction that I was barely managing to maintain what I had going - which was, red-faced shaky glaring from hot streaming eyes. I was finding it a challenge to even breathe without convulsions. And I kept waiting and waiting to calm down and regain my composure, but the confusion and anguish and rage and revulsion and disillusionment just kept building on each other, so for ages there was no relief.

To give you some historical context, I’ve only ever felt like this once before in my whole life, after the INFAMOUS! MASSIVE! 2004 PRE-CHRISTMAS BUST-UP @ Cookie between me and my sister’s now fiancé. Which was over the same issue. And I’d never before felt rage like that towards a real person. I mean, sure, I get mad all the time at figures in the mediated wider world, say that I hate them, have zero respect for them, etc. But it just doesn’t happen in real life. Until that bust-up. Which was the first time ever on a personal level that I felt something so violently negative. And we haven’t recovered from it. Nor are we likely to. Seriously, my opinion of him sank too low to allow for rehabilitation, and I’m intractable like that.

So anyway, back to Tuesday night’s immobilising anguish. Because while I was in the throes of it, I realised that I found these two flashpoints so incapacitating for 3 reasons:

1. The shock of having to make an equal rights argument at all. Because it’s supposed to be obvious, with merits indisputable and overwhelming, etc.

2. The shock of having to defend the principle of equal rights IN MY OWN FAMILY. Sure, the outside world is tainted by all manner of freaks, but MY FAMILY IS A NON SHITHEAD-AFFLICTED UNIT. How can it possibly be otherwise, when I love these people?

3. The realisation that ideas of tolerance and balance are being used to support people whose views are hateful/exclusionary/discriminatory (either in their origins or implications), while I should really make an effort to temper my intolerant and anti-democratic views, and quit being such a foolish discredit to myself in taking things “so personally”.

All of which makes me mad.

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