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Friday, 6 February 2015

No News Is Good News, Mrs Gumbie

Ignorance, said Thomas Gray, is bliss.
Gray, as far as I am aware, spent a lot of time wandering around churchyards, so I’m not certain he’s overly qualified to decide what best floats the boats of the living, but there is no doubt he was on to something.
There are many instances, for example, when I’d prefer to remain blissfully unaware.
I read somewhere that each year on average, a spider will wile away the wee small hours sitting, standing or walking on a sleeping human’s face 23 times.
I also read somewhere that 93.4% of people sleep with their mouths open.
Would I prefer that somebody woke me at 3am to tell me that a Trapdoor Spider was sitting on my top lip measuring my mouth up for a day care centre for its four million children?
The hot nymphomaniac you’ve been banging for 12 months turns out to be your long lost sister. Would being made aware of that transport you to a state of bliss?
I don’t think so.
After you were born, your dad took you to every pub in town and tried to swap you for a slab of VB  and a carton of Winnie Blue.
Pass on that little nugget of information? No thanks.

Unfortunately, as a callow youth I embarked on a career as a journalist, which meant that I had a responsibility to be as informed as possible.
(Journalism was different then.)
I spent years interviewing politicians of all political stripes: some were good and some would sell their own mothers into sexual slavery, but all of them were intelligent, educated and could tell the difference between a psychopathic Islamic terrorist and good boy disenfranchised by a society ruled by white, middle-aged Western male paternalistic imperialists.
They were people whose opinions meant something, because those opinions were based on a sound education supplemented by logic and reasoning.

Naturally, even though I eventually escaped the Twitter-sewer that is journalism today, I continued to be a responsible citizen and keep myself informed, but I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something was missing.
One day I realised what it was: I was spending my days reading and listening to people who had not only twigged to Tom Gray, but were embracing his ignorance maxim like Bill Shorten grabs a knife.

Take the Australian Senate cross-benchers. If you could somehow convert bliss into a power source you could run a major city off the ignorance of Sarah Hands’on-Dung alone.
If Hands’on-Dung could do Adelaide, Ricky Muir could certainly do Melbourne, Mrs Jacqui Gumbie could light up Tasmania and we could fix the national accounts by flogging Clive Palmer and Glenn Lazarus to Greece.
ALP-deputy Tanya Plibersek thinks Africa is a country. Hook her up to a transformer and a couple of jumper leads and the whole place would be lit up like a Christmas tree.
Radio Haw Haw (the ABC) presenters not only embraced the ignorance, but tried to dress it up as news.
Clearly, subjecting myself to their views every day was shorting out my logic and reasoning circuits. I needed to do something drastic, so I did.
I embraced the ignorance.

Well, two months in and I have to say that old Tom knew what he was talking about. Ignorance really is bliss.
Christine Milne? No idea what Vinegar Tits has been up to and don’t care.
Bill Shorten? Don’t fink I’ve fort about him for more van free seconds.
Hand’son-Dung? Last time I heard her she was crying in the Senate. Again.  For all I know she still is.
Tony Abbott? When I left him he was about 15 months into a season of The Incredible Shrinking Prime Minister. Blessed may the humble be and inherit the earth the meek shall, but it doesn’t cut any ice with an electorate that voted for a warrior and found themselves with nothing to keep out the bitter chill of the winter of discontent that heralds a Shorten ALP administration but a wet blanket.
Eschewing Radio Haw Haw doesn’t mean I’m completely news-free, mind. The local FM station interrupts its play list of the Complete Hit of George Thorogood and Jimmy Barnes tributes for a three minute bulletin on the hour..
Local items generally consist of gripping stories like ‘Local Plumber Fixes Pipe’ or ‘Cat Survives Two-Hour Tree Ordeal’.
National news items are devoted exclusively to Mrs Gumbie slagging off Tony Abbott, but as they are the deranged harangues of a woman who makes Christine Milne sound like the voice of reason, they can be safely ignored.
(People from interstate may wonder why a woman who, when approached by a Government minister to vote for a particular piece of legislation is almost certainly going to say something like “Dunno. Show us yer cock and I’ll think about it”, is given any air time at all.
It is because Tasmanians will embrace ANYBODY that makes it onto the mainland stage. To others she may well be a thick-as-pig-shit trailer trash slag, but down here she is ‘influential Tasmanian Senator, Mrs Gumbie’.
I tell you what though, if ignorance really is bliss, she must be the happiest thick-as-pig-shit trailer trash slag on the planet.)
International items don’t get much of a run – mostly because Mrs Gumbie doesn’t have much sway at the UN – but those that do make the cut are a bit like a cryptic quiz. If you can decipher the clues, you win a prize. Last week, I was told that Tony Abbott had ‘knighted Prince Phillipe the Greek’. A few weeks before that, I learned that a ‘malaise ian aeroplane in the sea had crashed’.
All in all, then, there is a lot to be said for old Tom Gray. I haven’t become ALP deputy-leader or a member of the Australian Senate, but I’m a lot more relaxed and I get to go to bed every night with a cryptic puzzle to mull over as I fall asleep.

PS: A few days after I wrote this, my trusty FM news-hounds informed me that Mrs Gumbie had declared that Malcolm Turnbull would make a much better PM than Abbott.
I laughed out loud. Not even Liberal backbenchers could be that stupid.
PPS: The day after Mrs Gumbie declared her undying love and respect for Malcolm in a Muddle, my trusty FM news-hound declared that "Liberal MPs were revolting". I had assumed that this was just another ad homonym attack on money-grubbing 'Tories', but it appears to be true!
PPPS: Abbott has been a dud PM, no ifs or buts, but by God I hope he gets up, because if he isn't I'll have to endure 4-and-a-half years of my trusty FM news-hounds saying "Tasmanian Senator Mrs Gumbie, the kingmaker who was instrumental in ousting former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ..."