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Thursday, December 10, 2009

SANREMO: “The Big Bang Query, what a Nobel idea!” smoulders Payton L. Inkletter, “And may he rest in Peace, prize possession and legacy of fraternity”

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

10th December 2009:

Thursday: As I write in my sanctuary, aka the back room, the store room, the freezer room, the sewing room, the office, the computer room, it is after midnight (technically therefore it’s Friday), I am being entertained by Deni Hines and Christine Anu, four feet from me, on Live at the Basement, on the 27 inch TV that Baby Peggletter gave us as a second set last year, and which has been invaluable for me to catch Aunty broadcasts when the little people are being inculcated with their miscellaneous American soaps in the lounge; I couldn’t begin to tally the towering talent that Live at the Basement has showcased down through the years.

I was just now doing a Google search for Kerry O’Brien’s age, not content with the Wikipedia entry from way back, for there’s nothing like a bit of corroboration, and in the process I discovered Gerard Henderson's (Executive Director of The Sydney Institute) Media Watch Dog site. The reason for my searching for a seconding of Kezza the Great’s being 64 was a moment in his interview on Monday with Martin Seligman, when Mr Seligman made reference to Mr O’Brien’s age thus: “…I know you're not my age yet, but I think there's really hope even for people in their 60s…”: this struck me as curious, indicating that Mr Seligman assumed Mr O’Brien was in his fifties, as said journo could carry given the rude health of that thing on his head, and I was also remembering that Wikipedia places him as a ’45 baby.

So what, if anything, am I getting at? Only this: after digesting his recording of his correspondence with Amanda Meade on the matter of Mr O’Brien’s age in his Media Watch Dog issue 13, I glanced at Mr Henderson’s latest issue 38, and read his remarks about last week’s 7.30 Report. He seems bothered by that program not quite being, in his view, categorizable, for it covers “current affairs”, “literary review”, and “comedy”; I began to smell pettiness, but wait, there’s more… Mr Henderson then described Clarke and Dawe’s Thursday skit on the Liberal Party’s turmoil which had climaxed on the Tuesday with the election of Tony Abbott as leader.

He noted that Clarke, as Tony Abbott, ended the skit by blowing up the studio in a suicide bomb attack. What he wrote next is so precious I have to repeat it: “Pretty funny, eh? John Clarke is now into murder as comedy. Around the time that the 7.30 Report was going to air, a real suicide/homicide bomber murdered 19 civilians - including three Somali government ministers - during a terrorist attack on a medical graduation ceremony in Mogadishu.

Murder may be suitable material for comedy at the ABC Studio in Sydney’s Ultimo. But terrorism is not a suitable topic for humour in Somali.”

Now I suppose I must have been living under a rock, for I don’t recall ever reading anything by Gerard Henderson, but if that drivel is indicative of his style and his grasp of reality, then I haven’t missed much. What he wrote there is so stupid and flawed that I won’t bother thoroughly picking it apart, which I could.

There is limitless humour to be harvested from tragedies and wrongdoings, as just one of the fertile fields for tickling our funny bones and safely discharging nervous and emotional energies. I wouldn’t be surprised if neither Clarke nor Dawe knew anything about the Mogadishu tragedy unfolding, but even if they did, it makes not a dot of difference; their employment of the suicide bomber skit was clever and funny, two essential ingredients for successful humour.

Using Henderson’s rule, given that some variation of almost every sad event a human can experience is occurring somewhere at all times, no such comedy could ever be enacted. Twenty years ago this month I was emotionally fraught at my 63 year old father’s bedside in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as he took his last breath at sunrise, crippled by a massive stroke a month before. However, I wouldn’t have dreamed of objecting to then, nor now, comedy incorporating the death of a father. Get real and grow up please, Mr Henderson.


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