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Post-#qanda evaluation: 4th July 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on July 4, 2011 by mjwill91

Topic: Terra Nullius, Carbon Pricing, Misogyny, Same Sex Marriage, Foreign Investment, Live Export, Mental Illness

– Note: Tonight’s blog is shorter, not feeling too well –

Stephen O’Doherty – CEO, Christian Schools Australia, Former Coalition MP

Is it wrong that I was surprised that he didn’t live halfway up Tony Abbott’s rear? O’Doherty’s criticism of Tony Abbott’s “wrecking” tactics, whilst not unique- was interesting to see coming from a right perspective and a former Liberal Party MP at that. Even more shocking was when he started discussing the benefits of tripartisan (ALP, LNP and GRN) agreement (shock horror!!) – who knew anyone related to the Liberal Party (even formerly) was capable of thinking down the path of mutually beneficial compromise.

Also unsurprisingly O’Doherty doesn’t support a change in the definition of marriage- unsurprising because he’s CEO of conservative Christian Schools Australian and comments on record supporting something that powerful people in the conservative movement oppose aren’t conducive to keeping ones job.

“Like the government, I like to start low” – Innuendo from the CEO of Christian Schools Australia? Tonight is full of surprises.

Rating: 5.5/10

Penny Wong – Finance Minister

My opinion of Wong is well known. Whilst I’d like to like her, I find myself unable to do so- due to her “parroting” of the ALP’s party line. Tonight was slightly different, she seemed a little more “herself” and a little less “party hand-puppet”. Saying that, she was “puppet-esque” at times, her attempts to explain parts of the Carbon Tax without revealing key features of the policy 6 days early were somewhat frustrating, but also mildly humorous.

Penny once again was asked the obligatory Same Sex Marriage question. She came out and said that she would be supporting a change in the Marriage Act to allow for same sex couples to marry at the ALP National Conference in December. Finally it looks as if we’re beginning to move towards the right direction re: total equality.

“when you’ve finished waving your hands around Mathias…” 

Tony: “can a misogynist make a great lover?” 

Penny: “I have no idea, I’m not qualified” 

LOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!

Rating: 7/10

Charles Waterstreet – flamboyant barrister

Waterstreet’s roll as “everyman” in the Climate Change debate was an interesting roll. It’s something we haven’t seen on #qanda before, someone who doesn’t know much on the topic, and is willing to admit this. He made a joke of believing Wong, then believing Cormann- which while humerous also displayed the idea that there are people out there who are genuinely unsure re: climate change & how government should respond.

Recipient of a strange “can misogynists be good lovers” question from a slightly unhinged “wealthy dowager-esque” woman was somewhat… disconcerting. Really, really disconcerting.

“Marriage has a meaning in laws? You can change laws”

“Think about gay divorces, who gets the Kylie Minogue collection??” – ha!! 

Rating 6.5/10

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor – Director of the MCA

The idea that Climate Change policy is too important to allow government to mess it up was an interesting point of view, one that I’d never really entertained before- but makes sense when you think about it. Saying that, of course it could never be- but in a perfect world decisions would be made by people who aren’t simply pandering to the fickle nature of a largely ignorant electorate.

Rating: 5/10

Mathias Cormann – Shadow Assistant Treasurer

How Mathias can argue for the Opposition’s Direct Action Policy by claiming that the government’s plan will cost families and businesses, and that their own (which will be funded through budget savings- technically a cost on families and businesses) is superior was rather specious reasoning, the sort of specious reasoning that we’ve all grown accustomed to from the Coalition under Tony Abbott.

Unsurprisingly Cormann isn’t supportive of gay marriage, because apparently marriage is “something special between a man and a woman” – which elicited obligatory jeers from the audience- thank god.

Rating: 4.5/10

 

 

– Matt. @mjwill90

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Post-#qanda evaluation: Gen Y Special Edition

In Q&A Evaluations on June 20, 2011 by mjwill91

Topics: Gen Y apathy, Marriage Equality, Rudd & Gillard, MEMES!!!!, Climate Change

 

@ruslankogan – CEO Kogan Technologies  

Pre Episode Impressions:

It’s pritE sAf 2 sA dat Ruslan hz a gud hed on Hs shoulders, wethR o not he’ll b abL 2 eqQ8 Hs Biz smarts 2 d sort of “god knows what’s goin 2 b askd next” natuR of #qanda iz yt 2 b seen, bt I’m quite hopeful. Also: Hs pictuR on wikipedia hz him warin a shirt, adorned w a quote frm Ayn Rand… How awesum iz that?

Translation: It’s pretty safe to say that Ruslan has a good head on his shoulders, whether or not he’ll be able to equate his business smarts to the sort of “god knows what’s going to be asked next” nature of #qanda is yet to be seen, but I’m quite hopeful. Also: his picture on wikipedia has him wearing a shirt, adorned with a quote from Ayn Rand… How awesome is that?

Contribution to the discussion:

Kogan spent most of Hs tym floatin somwher rownd d centre-right, whch wz an intRStN positN 2 tAk. Clearly a Biz mind, less likely 2 shoot dwn viral videos az simpl web weirdnss, rather apprec’n thR plAc n marketing & d digital econ, somTIN dat of corS Kogan iz mo thN qualified 2 comment on.

Kogan’s defense of social privacy – dat “you chuse 2 use, U tAk d risks- don’t complain f somTIN hpns f U chuse 2 actively share online”.

Translation: Kogan spent most of his time floating somewhere around the centre-right, which was an interesting position to take. Clearly a business mind, less likely to shoot down viral videos as simple internet weirdness, rather appreciating their place in marketing and the digital economy, something that of course Kogan is more than qualified to comment on.

Kogan’s defense of social privacy – that “you choose to use, you take the risks- don’t complain if something happens if you choose to actively share online”.

“You could register at Kogan.com.au” …. *Tony glares angrily*

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Despite copping a fair bit of flak 4 saying dat he wz a climate-change sceptic, I’d hav 2 sA dat az a whol I enjoyed Kogan’s input. Frankly I’d lIk 2 find out Y ppl felt it wz appropriate 2 boo SOME1 4 simply expressing dat dey aren’t 100% sold on d idea of climate change? Seriously? He isn’t saying he doesn’t tink dat climate chAng iz real, he sed he expressed doubt & wntd 2 Lern more- & 4 dat he wz booed… sumtimz d “ideological purity” (to steal SOME1 phrase) of dEz ppl iz mighty disheartening.

Translation: Despite copping a fair bit of flak for saying that he was a climate-change sceptic, I’d have to say that as a whole I enjoyed Kogan’s input. Frankly I’d like to find out why people felt it was appropriate to boo someone for simply expressing that they aren’t 100% sold on the idea of climate change? Seriously? He isn’t saying he doesn’t think that climate change is real, he said he expressed doubt & wanted to learn more- and for that he was booed… Sometimes the “ideological purity” (to steal someone phrase) of these people is mighty disheartening.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

@samahhadid – UN Youth Representative, human rights activist

Pre Episode Impressions:

f Samah iz NEthing lIk she wz wen she wz lst on #qanda n Feb, I tink we cn fairly certan n d predctN that, 1. She’ll b an informative & perspicacious panelist, & 2. dat she’ll most likely b d panelist lEst likely 2 says “totez”. Her performance durN her lst appearance on d shO wz brilliant & d way she handLD herself wen bullied by Piers “Pigs” Akerman wz az enjoyable az it wz affirmative. d affirmation dat despite stereotypes, ther R smrt & weL engaged Gen Y’ers out ther.

Translation: If Samah is anything like she was when she was last on #qanda in February, I think we can fairly certain in the prediction that, 1. She’ll be an informative and perspicacious panelist, and 2. That she’ll most likely be the panelist least likely to says “totez”. Her performance during her last appearance on the show was brilliant & the way she handled herself when bullied by Piers “Pigs” Akerman was as enjoyable as it was affirmative. The affirmation that despite stereotypes, there are smart and well engaged Gen Y’ers out there.

Contribution to the discussion:

1ce agen Samah wz d vox of rEsN. Saying that, ther wasn’t any1 dat unreasonable on tonight’s panel- duz dat mAbE hav somTIN 2 do w d fact dat evry1 iz Gen Y? duz it pRhaps sugest dat Gen Y iz less partisan dat X & d Boomers? I’d lIk 2 tink so. Her suport of reforms 2 d ALPs “revolving door” leadership & pRT organs wz wlcm.

Translation: Once again Samah was the voice of reason. Saying that, there wasn’t anyone that unreasonable on tonight’s panel- does that maybe have something to do with the fact that everyone is Gen Y? Does it perhaps suggest that Gen Y is less partisan that X and the Boomers? I’d like to think so. Her support of reforms to the ALPs “revolving door” leadership and party organs was welcome.

“A lot of reality TV shows are lets face it, crap”

“interwebs”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

NothA gr8 contribution by Samah Hadid. Her arguments DIS tym around, whilst stil good, lack d sAm sort of well-thought-out-ness dat dey did lst tym. Her argument dat d “Say Yes” rallies wer BetA representations of d wider communities views re: d carbon P$ thN Galaxy, Nielsen & Newspoll wz mo thN a ltl flawed.

Translation: Another great contribution by Samah Hadid. Her arguments this time around, whilst still good, lack the same sort of well-thought-out-ness that they did last time. Her argument that the “Say Yes” rallies were better representations of the wider communities views re: the carbon price than Galaxy, Nielsen and Newspoll was more than a little flawed.

Rating: 6/10

 

@joshthomas87– Comedian

Pre Episode Impressions:

Overall, Josh Thomas iz a pritE fune guy- he’s also apparently a gud cook. However: wethR o not he hz d smarts 2 Ans insightfully 2nt iz yt 2 b cn. I’ve yt 2 “forgive” him 4 bn Gen Y’s rep on TAYG, mainly cuz he sorta looks lIk d stereotypical, wild-haired, ADHD suffering Gen Y’er stereotype, somTIN weL wrth getin rid of.

Translation: Overall, Josh Thomas is a pretty funny guy- he’s also apparently a good cook. However: whether or not he has the smarts to answer insightfully tonight is yet to be seen. I’ve yet to “forgive” him for being Gen Y’s rep on TAYG, mainly because he sorta looks like the stereotypical, wild-haired, ADHD suffering Gen Y’er stereotype, something well worth getting rid of.

Contribution to the discussion:

Hs :-Q 2 Jones “Is Baillieu Liberal” sort of sums ^ aL d h8 I hav towards d a-polity of sectors of my gnr8n. Saying that, DIS wz EzalE forgiven by Hs impassioned (but stil ultim8lE Josh Thomas-ey awkward) monologue n suport of mariG equality, & how d mariG Act az it stands currently actually reenforces undRlyN homophobia n society.

Translation: His question to Jones “Is Baillieu Liberal” sort of sums up all the hate I have towards the a-polity of sectors of my generation. Saying that, this was easily forgiven by his impassioned (but still ultimately Josh Thomas-ey awkward) monologue in support of marriage equality, and how the Marriage Act as it stands currently actually reenforces underlying homophobia in society.

“What frightens me the most is the lack of compassion towards these [boat] people”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

wz ultim8lE :-O dat Thomas wz (mostly) abL 2 kEp ^ & contribute intellectually 2 d discussion. I tink I mite evN b abL 2 4giv him 4 Hs terrible hair.

Translation: Was ultimately surprised that Thomas was (mostly) able to keep up and contribute intellectually to the discussion. I think I might even be able to forgive him for his terrible hair.

Rating: 6/10

 

@faustinathefuzz – TV Host 

Pre Episode Impressions:

Ok, I swear dat DIS iz goin 2 mAk me swNd lIk som sort of evil, racially profiling racist, bt I alwys mstake Faustina Agolley 4 d leadR ;-o of Sneaky swNd System, Connie Mitchell- Xcpt Faustina’s ‘fro iz fR mo impreSiv & luscious.

Translation: Ok, I swear that this is going to make me sound like some sort of evil, racially profiling racist, but I always mistake Faustina Agolley for the leader singer of Sneaky Sound System, Connie Mitchell- except Faustina’s ‘fro is far more impressive & luscious.

Contribution to the discussion:

“Fuzzy” t%k d “voice of d centre-left”, a supporter of socially progressiveness bt a social privacy advoc8 dat gave a gud argument agAnst d creation of an overly lRg digital footprint. wen it comes 2 d digital footprint, my “handle” @mjwill90 takes ^ evry sngL pg on g%gle wen searched- bt wen inputting my actual name, not a sngL rEzlt n d 1st 18+ pages (even wen filtered 2 “from Australia”) iz me.

Translation: “Fuzzy” took the “voice of the centre-left”, a supporter of socially progressiveness but a social privacy advocate that gave a good argument against the creation of an overly large digital footprint. When it comes to the digital footprint, my “handle” @mjwill90 takes up EVERY single page on Google when searched- but when inputting my actual name, not a single result in the first 18+ pages (even when filtered to “from Australia”) is me.

“Marriage should be between Love and Love”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

ultim8lE a gud panelist. Actually, ther wer n bad panelists 2nt. Fuzzy’s suport of mariG equality & social progression, coupled w her pashN 4 on9 protection (ie. overshare) – bt her rejection of government creatD censorship infrastructure endeared her 2 me.

Translation: Ultimately a good panelist. Actually, there were no bad panelists tonight. Fuzzy’s support of marriage equality and social progression, coupled with her passion for online protection (ie. overshare) – but her rejection of government created censorship infrastructure endeared her to me.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

@jameswpaterson – Associate Editor of the IPA Review 

Pre Episode Impressions:

I’ve n previous knowLdG of DIS panelist. @ aL.

Translation: I’ve no previous knowledge of this panelist. At all.

Contribution to the discussion:

Blew d horn 4 d yung Liberals lowd & strong, although- dat wz a given, & unlike mbrs of d “actual” Liberal pRT he seemed 2 b socially progressive- I mean, since wen hz SOME1 somwot aSoC8D cum out & sed dat dey suport mariG equality, w/o slipping n “but won’t SOME1 pls tink of d archdiocese?”.

Translation: Blew the horn for the Young Liberals loud and strong, although- that was a given, and unlike members of the “actual” Liberal Party he seemed to be socially progressive- I mean, since when has someone somewhat associated come out and said that they support marriage equality, without slipping in “but won’t someone please think of the archdiocese?”.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation: 

“I was happy to see the back of Malcolm Turnbull”

yyssw. k. feck off. U had me rght ^ 2 ther. I put ^ w yor yung Liberal rhetoric, I put ^ w yor “hug an Abbott” stance- bt wen U actively criticise & wer glad 2 b rid of d most thoughtful, intelligent & modR8 Liberal leadR n d lst two decades- n. I’m SBTA. We can’t b fRnds NEmor.

Translation: – yeah. ok. fuck off. You had me right up to there. I put up with your Young Liberal rhetoric, I put up with your “hug an Abbott” stance- but when you actively criticise & were glad to be rid of the most thoughtful, intelligent and moderate Liberal leader in the last two decades- no. I’m sorry. We can’t be friends anymore.

Rating: 0/10

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Post-#qanda review – June 13th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on June 13, 2011 by mjwill91

 

Topics: Live exports, party reform, the NT intervention, Julia and Tim

 

Peter Garrett – Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

Pre Episode Impressions:

I swear that I was legitimately trying to do a proper write-up of my pre-episode impressions of Garrett, but I got side tracked by this hilarious compilation of his “dancing” that I think does a pretty good job summing up my pre-ep impressions:

 

 

 

Contribution to the discussion:

Good lord, I can’t believe that I once felt like one day I’d become a member of the ALP. Garrett steam-rolling over questions of sensible reform with basically “Everything is fine, love the ALP” was disheartening. Frankly, if it weren’t for the fact that the alternative is completely reprehensible I’d wish swift death on the party.

Garrett’s pathetic attempt to justify the more racially geared components of the NT intervention was particularly disgusting. How anyone could claim that the intervention wasn’t racially discriminatory AND YET for some reason the Racial Discrimination Act has been suspended… hmmmm…..

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Disappointing… actually disgusting. Any sort of lingering doubt that i’d want to become a member of the Labor party has been swept away completely. Usually i’m not so annoyed by politicians failing to do anything but follow party the party line… but… it’s something about Garrett’s “devolution” from activist to political hack that is particularly disheartening

Rating: 2/10

 

Natalie Pa’apa’a – lead singer ‘Blue King Brown’ and activist 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Never even heard of her before- I’m going to listen to some of her music before the episode starts.

Contribution to the discussion:

Pa’apa’a’s (woah apostrophe nightmare) explanation of youth thinking re: not joining the Labor party because the ALP and LNP are becoming too similar & their unwillingness to listen to the issues that really matter to Gen X and Gen Y was succinct and earned a well deserved round of applause from the audience. Not only that, it accurately summed up why I could never join why the ALP or the LNP in their current form.

Her criticism of the NT intervention, specifically that it was done in the best of intentions, however due to it being “top heavy”, it feeling like it was “imposed” by white Australia onto Indigenous Australian communities, that some found it more destructive than productive was good, enlightening even. However, she was unable to suggest any sort of alternative to the intervention- and that is where the problem lies.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Easily the best panelist of the evening. Not afraid to speak her mind, unwilling to bow/acquiesce to questioning from Wells and Katter. I felt that her frustration re: the intervention was admirable, I also felt that she didn’t have any sort of idea as to an alternative to the admittedly fairly reprehensible intervention, which more often than not is the norm when it comes to intervention critics.

Rating: 6/10

 

Bob Katter – Independent MP 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Ah, the “Mad Katter”. I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t have any sort of impression of Katter before tonight’s show. Seriously. Someone would need to be under a rock, in a cave, on Mars with fingers in their ears to not know of/ or at least heard of (or have heard) Katter before. Tonight is going to be very interesting. Katter doesn’t like being interrupted, nor does he like being asked “awkward” questions…. in short: I don’t think Katter is going to like tonight.

Contribution to the discussion:

Sometimes it’s as if Katter lives in his own little world, where things are just a little bit different than the real world, and the default mode of communication is yelling. His interesting version of economics, that I like to call “Katternomics” is a thing to behold. I’d like to talk more in depth re: Katter talking about the specifics of his new political party, but I literally couldn’t understand everything second word he said.

Katter’s “animation” re: one rule for white people and one rule for black people and the inherent racism of the indigenous intervention and his anger direct at the current government’s lackadaisical attempts re: closing the gap was… unexpected. I think it surprised me that I found myself actually agreeing with Katter.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Well, we survived- just, despite his best efforts to turn it into “Bob Katter’s Yarn Hour”- which actually would be an interesting program- perhaps Sky News could give him an 8:30pm, 1 hour once a week type show called just that. Whilst i didn’t appreciate the rambling about his new political party (that I’m going to predict will be a total flop policy follow-through wise), his passion re: indigenous rights was admirable.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

Mike Carlton – journalist and commentator 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I have no negative opinion of Mike Carlton pre-episode. I’ve enjoyed his work and he’s one of the few commentator’s that are able to commentate without sounding like an overtly left or right hack/ blaring mouthpiece for a specific cause or issue. Should be interesting to watch- i fear he’ll be underused.

Contribution to the discussion:

Carlton’s criticism of the ALP as a “withering and dying, empty shell” seems overly harsh, however I’m going to have to agree. The turn away from unionism and the ALPs refusal to bend on social issues like marriage equality has begun choking Labor.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Interesting panelist, ultimately underused- as I predicted.

Rating: 3/10

 

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells – Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health

Pre Episode Impressions: 

This will be the second time that Fierravanti-Wells will have been on Q and A this year. Given the first appearance, I really can’t say I hold much hope that her performance tonight will be any different from last time, namely: sticking to party lines et al. Hopefully she wont spend her time on the panel tonight trying to show off emails from her constituents that all seem to fervently support the Coalition’s policies.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Oh lord. Within the first 20 seconds of her talking she began talking about emails she had gotten about the live export outrage. Her particular hypocrisy when it came to criticising Garrett for not talking Faulkner’s reforms seriously, then in the next sentence dismissing Reith’s proposed reforms of the Liberal Party was particularly disgusting.

Her dismissal of progressives was hilarious…. silly conservatives.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Yet another politician wastes an hour extolling the benefits of their party whilst suggesting that a vote for anyone else might as well be a vote for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei… hmm, very original Ms Fierravanti-Wells… and not at all tiresome.

Rating: 2/10

– Well… It wasn’t a “brilliant” episode… but I suppose compared to last week’s Tayshus-induced abortion it was ok.
I’ll leave you with this, a video of “The Best PM we never had” (definitely not my words) doing his best Garrett impression:

 

– Matt. @mjwill90

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Post #qanda review – June 6th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on June 6, 2011 by mjwill91

Topics: Refugees, Banning Smoking, the Nanny-State, Carbon Tax, Israel

Christopher Pyne – Manager of Opposition Business, Shadow Education Spokesperson

Pre Episode Impressions:

Guh. Wasn’t he only JUST on the show? Well- yes, it’s been something like 8 weeks since he was on last- but still, they couldn’t have gotten someone else? I think my opinion of Chris Pyne is fairly well known. He’s… a prat. Many an afternoon I’ve considered playing “drink when Pyne makes a point of order” game during #QT, however I am still to do it, fearing likely alcohol poisoning. I have NO expectation that he’ll contribute anything to the conversation (however- that’s not just because he’s Chris Pyne, it’s also because he’s a sitting front politician).

Contribution to the discussion:

Typical Liberal Party propaganda re: Howard stopped the boats (well, no – he just diverted them to an island) wasn’t unexpected…. His criticism of Oscar Schindler who was apparently “doing it for the money” (woah- Jewish-Stereotype-Alarm!!!) was completely unexpected. I haven’t heard too many people criticising Schindler… well- not outside of certain neo-Nazi groups.

The 2009 video of Tony Abbott in seeming support for a carbon tax (long before the ALP suggested one) sent Pyne into a denial-spiral- talking up the Opposition’s Direct Action Plan, which seems to constitute planting a lot of trees and hugging each other (heteronormative couples only, obviously) under a rainbow.

Whilst Pyne was supportive of of a Two-State solution, his statement that Arab-Israeli’s having the same access and freedom to movement as Jewish Israelis was… beyond disgusting. It was a bold faced lie. I’m pretty sure there are no cities in “Israel proper” that are under siege. I’m pretty sure that Jewish Israelis aren’t subjected to strip searches on the street by IDF soldiers. I’m pretty sure that Jewish Israelis aren’t required to go through checkpoints to get from one side of Jerusalem to the other… Fuck off Pyne.

“I want to talk about Centenary House” – huh?

“She’s scolding me again” – Pyne on Roxon

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Oh. Christopher Pyne. I actually expected you to be FAAR more annoying. Not to say that you weren’t annoying. You were. Quite in fact. Perhaps it’s just in comparison to Tayshus you seemed like an incredibly “not annoying” person. I could have awarded you like a 5/10 or a 4.5/10 if it hadn’t been for your denial-spiral induced by Abbott’s 09 extolling the benefits of a carbon tax and the fact you clearly have never even bothered doing even the slightest bit of research re: Israel.

Rating: 4/10

Lee Rhiannon – Greens Senator-Elect 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I’m in several minds about Lee Rhiannon… I suppose I should start by saying that I support the majority of Green social policies, however I find their economic policies a little “wooly”.  Quoting a good friend of mine:

The ultimate flaw with Green politics is that they make a virtue out of ideological purity, which is frankly self-indulgent. Everyone has to compromise to achieve anything (especially in this minority government). People who refuse to compromise in favour of ideological purity are selfish. –@esseeeayeenn (seriously, follow him- great & interesting guy)

I couldn’t agree more @esseeeayeenn. That sums up my total criticism of The Greens and current Green politics in Australia in general, however it’s far more eloquent that I think Id’ve been able to put it. My biggest problem with the Greens is their refusal to compromise. Something which effectively killed the ETS, and Rudd’s Prime Minister status as well.

Saying that, I’m fairly supportive of Lee Rhiannon’s (and Marrackville Council’s) anti-Israel stance, although I thought they went about the proposed boycott of Israeli products in the wrong way. Personally I do think that Israel needs to be made accountable for their actions. In the same way Ratko Mladic is being tried for crimes against humanity for his part in the Srebrenica Massacre and the Siege of Sarajevo, so should Israeli Tzipi Livni, for her part in Operation: Cast Lead, the use of illegal white-phosphorous weapons on the civilian population of Gaza City and for the Siege of Gaza in general.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Her explanation of the anti-Israel boycott was far better sold tonight than it has been at any other time. Unfortunately it was interrupted by the strange hooting of the most likely deranged Mr. Tayshus. It’s a shame that his crazed hollering basically ruined an interesting conversation about one of the defining conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.

If you’re promoting human rights, that doesn’t make you anti-Semetic” – THANK YOU Ms. Rhiannon. THANK-YOU. Being anti-Israeli, being anti-Zionist doesn’t make me anti-Semetic.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Another interesting panelist. Her views re: Israel are slightly more extreme than mine, but she appears to be doing it for the right reasons, which is admirable nonetheless. When it comes down to it, Israel does act like apartheid-South Africa at times- but yelling that at them, trying to shove it down their throat WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!

Rating: 5/10

Sandy Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus) – comedian and author 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Ok, I’m going to have to admit- I’ve never heard of Sandy Gutman or Austen Tayshus before. Ever. So… yeah. I have no preconceptions when it comes to how he’ll behave as a panelist on tonight’s show.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Oh. Um…. Why?

Puns. Puns everywhere.

MORE PUNS!

Destroying my #qanda

THIS ISN’T GOOD NEWS WEEK!!!

….Sorry. I’m medicated” 

“Julia Gillard planking…. maybe with Tony Abbott” – O______O “WHHHYYYY????”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Worst. Panelist. EVER! – Please. Never let him back. He’s worse than like 20 Piers Akermans put together.

Rating: FUCK OFF AND DIE /10

Paul McGeough – Senior Foreign Correspondent, Fairfax Media 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Once again, I have no real preconceptions of McGeough before tonight’s program- due mainly to my limited knowledge of him.

Contribution to the discussion: 

An interesting addition to the panel, albeit COMPLETELY underused. However- I think it’s unlikely that he could have gotten too many words in without being hooted at by Tayshus.

His time on the Gaza Flotilla was of specific interest. However he wasn’t able to go into great detail  without being blasted as an “anti-Semite” by

“at the end of the day it ceases to be the right of the individual when it’s up to the state to carry the health costs” 

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Interesting and totally underused. Sigh.

Rating: 3/10

Nicola Roxon – Minister For Health and Aging 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I don’t mind Nicola Roxon. One of the more fiery members of the cabinet, she’s willing and able to go toe to toe with anyone on the Opposition benches. Of particular note is her successful attack on Tony Abbott’s legitimacy and commitment when it comes to combatting cancer, specifically the double standard that is accepting donations from British-American Tobacco, then standing up in front of the Cancer Council at a fundraiser and saying “we’re doing everything we can to fight cancer”. Set to be an interesting panelist… well… perhaps. I’m always a little dubious when it comes to sitting members the govt. &/or opposition.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Her poor explanation of the government’s Malaysia Solution was disappointing, but unexpected. It seems as if the government is trying to do this for the right reasons, but is going about it in the COMPLETELY wrong way.

Roxon’s admission that if Tobacco was a new product, it’d never have been legalised sounds nice- but ultimately it makes the government look even more insipid. Everyone is in total agreement re: the danger of Tobacco, but because it’s already a legal product they “can’t do anything” about it. No. Not true. You could phase them out. You could ban them.

This was followed by a delightful conversation about the Nanny-State and the regulation of planking. Of which i’m blaming Roxon entirely… for starting the whole thing. What was that? Was that the sound of someone jumping a shark on water skis? Methinks it was.

Roxon’s support of a Two-State solution, but her disagreement with calling Israel an “apartheid’ state is actually a breath of fresh air from an increasingly state government.

Her attack of Pyne’s incredibly stereotypical view of people suffering mental illnesses (that they’re often poor, homeless, our of jail et al) was applauded… damn right!

“I want to tell you a funny story about planking. Well. No. Planking isn’t funny” – I am 12, and what is this? Seriously? I thought this was a political program…. 

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

An interesting panelist. Surprisingly candid for a sitting government member, but of course she was still very much on government message. She didn’t say anything even slightly controversial- but at least she didn’t read from the government script line for line.

Rating: 6/10 … although she should lose 10 points for perpetuating the planking discussion…

– Matt. @mjwill90

Articles

Post #qanda review- May 30th 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on May 30, 2011 by mjwill91

I’m in quite an officious mood tonight, so I decided to “structure” my post-#qanda evaluation a little more rigidly than usually. For each panelist there is a section discussing any sort of bias I have towards them before the episode, a section discussing their individual contributions (positive and negative) to the conversation and a section which evaluates their performance. Give me feedback as to whether or not you like this new set-up and i MIGHT take it on board.

Topics: Carbon Cate, Carbon Pricing, Liberal Leadership tension, inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and live export cattle.

<Ok. Well. WordPress devoured my original 2000 odd word uber-evaluation like it was… i don’t know- some sort of incredibly rude metaphor… umm ….. semen & ejaculate material at a bukkake party? I don’t know- nor do i really care. So, this one will be of lesser quality. If you have a problem with it, go die. Seriously. Not in the mood>

Joe Hildebrand – News Ltd. Columnist & “hand model”

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I have high hopes coming into this that Hildebrand will be memorable. He’s proven in the past on shows like Sky News’ Paul Murray Live that he can be an interesting and topical guest whilst also being funny. I EXPECT GREAT THINGS. Hopefully he can live up to his “thinking-man’s Chaser” title… that I just gave him.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Joe works for News Ltd. An entity that I regard with varying levels of contempt. Saying that, he did a good job defending The Daily Telegraph from the hooting of Rundle, who seems to think that News Ltd. is somewhat akin to cancer. Personally I prefer to think of News Ltd. like the Death Star. Sure it’s a weapon of mass destruction and a symbol of tyrannical oppression (especially if you had cousins who lived on Alderaan), but imagine for a minute the 100 000 000 or so people who lived on the Death Star. To them, it was just “Home”.

Oh, and he needs to be applauded for this quote here- possibly the most brilliant thing. ever, (paraphrased b/c wordpress wiped the original)

“Malcolm Turnbull is like Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He’s all, I have a brain the size of a planet, and yet I have to go to divisions, sigh”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Brilliant panelist. Was able to balance joviality against seriousness, something whats-his-face from The Chaser was largely unable to do. Long overdue panelist. Hope to see him back there soon.

Rating: 7/10

George Brandis – Shadow Attorney-General

Pre Episode Impressions: 

I really don’t like Brandis. Fair warning- nothing he says tonight is likely to get me to change my views on him. He’s a horrible little negative man, someone troll-like or as I like to call it “Grahame Morris-esque”. I expect nothing but anti-government this, anti-carbon tax that. Unfortunately this seems like all we can expect from our current alternative-government at the moment. Disappointing.

Contribution to the discussion: 

When granddad begins forgetting things, you send him to a home. When a horse is nearing the end of its usefulness, you either put it out to pasture or sell it to the dog food/ glue factory for $50. “Where is he going with this?”, you ask. Well. Brandis is that granddad. Brandis is that horse. Let’s give him a nice feed-bag of oats and let him look at fillies all day.

Brandis was adamant that his party at no time in it’s history has supported putting a price on carbon… Well… Howard’s proposed ETS waaaay back in 2006/07 was effectively “pricing carbon”. Under the helm of Turnbull the Coalition (or parts of it) backed Rudd’s ETS- ALSO technically a “price on carbon”. So either Brandis is lying, or he’s lost the last 4 or so years of his life. Either way, perhaps it’s time for him to move aside.

We should probably also call Brandis’ eye-sight into question- because apparently he can’t see any leadership tension in the Liberal Party…. Bitch, please. Someone with severe autism could pick up on the fact that everything isn’t all smiles and rainbows in the shadow cabinet. I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised, I mean even if he was staring into a “leadership chasm” he’d be unlikely to report it/ talk on national TV about it, would he?

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Brilliantly ineffectual. Wasted space on the panel. We seriously could have just got a recording of Tony Abbott refuting things, saying “no” and being borderline offensive and saved on Brandis’ air-fares. I didn’t expect anything, so i’m not really disappointed. It seems that to have an interesting, independently thinking Liberal Party MP on the panel we’d need to invite Malcolm Turnbull back… Which isn’t a bad idea. I for one welcome out aristocratic, merchant banker overlord (ping Mr Citizen Cam, Esquire.)

Rating: 2/10

Kate Lundy – Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Don’t know much about Kate Lundy. I suppose you could say that for a politician, that’s both a good and a bad thing. Saying that, i’m probably likely to support her, because I tend to fall left of centre at a push- despite wanting to remain as centre as possible

Contribution to the discussion: 

Woah. Ok. I was way off. One word. Rude. When asked the perfectly reasonable question “why does the government ridicule and vilify people who don’t believe in human induced climate change instead of working with them in open and productive discussion” she jumped down the audience member’s throat and began a whole “in 2007 we received an outright mandate to act on climate change and in 2010 we received a nominal mandate to act on climate change” rant. Hey Kate, did you hear the question? It wasn’t unreasonable. There are people out there who don’t believe in AGW, and instead of ridiculing them as “flat earthers” it’d make more sense to go out there and educate them.

Continued wow: She HATES The Greens… or at least she’s been told not to be friendly about them in public. I counted three separate occasions when she chucked the government’s new bed-partners underneath the gorram bus. Yes. If the Greens hadn’t got all “it’s my way or the highway” when it came to Rudd’s ETS, not only would we be on the verge of having an ETS (1 month, 2 days away in fact) but we’d also still have Rudd as PM. So sure, there’s bound to be animosity there- but keep it in private, ok? Laughing heartily as Rundle tried to explain why The Greens were important does nothing for you image.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Disappointed that a Labor Senator would sink to the sort of cheap, disgusting stunts, disregard of genuine questions and outright pettiness that wouldn’t be out of place if Barnaby Joyce or Christopher Pyne (dear lord, next week *tear*) were on the program.

Rating: 4/10

Guy Rundle – Columnist for “Crikey

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Never heard of him… well not before the run up to the show where I was “kindly warned” that I might need some sort of receptacle in which to store my upwardly expelled stomach contents.

Contribution to the discussion: 

Did he really contribute that much? Sure, he attacked News Ltd. (or was that not-News Unlimited? I don’t know- it wasn’t very funny, clever or memorable) at every given opportunity, but he didn’t really offer much, especially when compared to the other panelists.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Non-person in the episode. It was disappointing. I went to all the trouble to acquire a receptacle in which to store my upwardly expelled stomach contents, but didn’t need to use it.

Rating: 4/10

Jackie Kelly – former Liberal Party Minister 

Pre Episode Impressions: 

Not great. I’m not a fan of Jackie Kelly. She’s one of the few politicians that has the ability to annoy me long after they’ve exited parliament.

Contribution to the discussion: 

“I live in Sydney. It’s costs a lot of money. I can’t afford petrol for my Lexus, or underfloor heating for my newly renovated rumpus room. Working families are taxed too much. I don’t know exactly what a working family is- are they the people that tend to my pores at the spa?”

Saying that, her support and PRAISE even of Malcolm Turnbull as “the smartest man in politics” endeared her to me. Slightly. It’s nice to see someone on the right not saying “the Coalition front bench is a bromance, nothing is wrong- please look away now so we can continue kicking each other under the table”. It’s nice to see someone on the right suggesting that Turnbull’s “intentions’ are not exactly “pure”.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Jackie Kelly’s overall performance had it’s highs and lows. She wasn’t as ardently right wing as I remember her being – perhaps that says more about me than her. Her realistic interpretation of the Turnbull Situation was a refreshing, honest view from the right. Finally. Saying that, her constant whining about cost of living was really off-putting.

Flippancy + Punny-ness = #qanda SHOUT-OUT!

– Matt. @mjwill90

Rating: 5/10

Articles

Post #qanda review- May 23rd 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on May 23, 2011 by mjwill91

After a prolonged absence from writing these weekly Q & A summaries caused by sheer lackadaisicalness, some sort of ennui related to pointless bickering and the discovery of pornographic Doctor Who fanfiction- I’m back! (kidding re: porn, i was just very lazy and couldn’t be bothered to swap to ABC24… although I’m pretty sure Doctor Who porn fanfic exists, the internet is a filthy place as Gail will attest to i’m sure)

Ok, tonight is Sydney Writer’s Festival themed, so for once we don’t have a panel filled with self interested politicians (rather we have self-interested writers, yay- change is a good thing)

Issues: Pornography, the Self-Hating Jew and “Labeling”

Michael Cunningham – Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours 

An interesting panelist, who would have been better if it didn’t sound like he was baked out of his mind for the first half of the show. He gave some great insights in the porn debate, offering us the position of the gay pornography consumer, a position that is often overlooked and frankly is a position that i’ve never considered before.

Also, i never realised that there was such a thing as “Obama underwear” – you learn something new every day. Rating 5.5/10 (minus 1 point for being stoned)

Gail Dines – Feminist, anti-pornography academic and writer 

Oh, wow. Well… what to say about Gail Dines…. well- this afternoon when I was still uncommitted re: watching Q & A and I asked Twitter to decide whether or not I should watch it tonight, I received multiple tweets expressing basically the same sentiments,

Gail Dines will be there to say some wacky shit.

  • @cosmicjester

I thought, hmmm- interesting, but I still wasn’t sold on the idea until:

Chances are Dines is going to make you want to watch lots of porn. So, you know, you may want to organise that 

  • @dearhumanity

Sold.

Oh. Wow. Apparently men are evil, porn-consuming monsters- out to rape and destroy and cause anal-prolapses. I’ll be sure to remember that next time i log onto GagOnMyCock. FFS.

I especially “enjoyed” her rants, in particular the one comparing suing pharmaceutical companies for shonky medications to suing pornography producing companies for creating “damaging porn” – it was quite lulzy.

I don’t like people. Everyone knows this. Rarely does someone piss me off so much that I’m literally incapable to write cogently about them, congrats Gail- you do.

She is literally EVERYTHING that is wrong with the off-shoot “men are evil” feminist movement. I’ll go further- she’s everything that’s wrong with modern society, personified.

Rating NA/10 – I couldn’t bring myself to rate this poor excuse of a human being.

Brendan Cowell – Actor, screenwriter and author 

Another interesting panelist. I don’t think anyone was really “boring” this week… saying that he was chronically under-utilised. I did however enjoy how his jovial attitude towards sex seemed to get under Gail’s skin. Anyone that annoys Gail is someone that I have time for. 5/10

Howard Jacobson – Man Booker Prize winning author of The Finkler Question 

Wow. Jacobson was far more interesting that I gave him credit for before tonight’s program. His insistence that the male mind was a “dark evil forest” or something of that ilk was frankly unwarranted, or at least ill advised considering he seemed to lack the ability to understand that women consume porn as well. Perhaps his message would have been better if he was capable to see both sides of the argument.

His “coming out” rant at the end of the program was frankly odd, and probably a little offensive. Mainly odd. Actually a little creepy. Rating 4.5/10

Leslie Cannold – WOOO!!!! – ethicist turned novelist 

Can I actually talk impartially about Leslie Cannold? Hmmm…. No. Because she’s awesome. If you don’t follow her on Twitter already… DO IT! @LeslieCannold – there you go, that’s her “handle” or “@name” or whatever you want to call it. Follow. Now. Stop reading, go to Twitter- follow her then come back.

On probably the oddest panel ever, Leslie was a refreshing voice of “normality” Her refutation of some of the more insane points of Dine’s argument (read: all of Dine’s arguments) was BRILLIANT. As was Leslie’s counter-argument that the pigeonholing of men and women into stereotypical abuser/abused roles actually does more damage to the feminist movement that pornography.

I’d love to go into depth in a while about this topic, remind me ok?

Leslie Cannold. Great Q & A panelist or BEST Q & A panelist? I think the latter of the two. She was clearly the “winner”, the best panelist this week, probably the best panelist this year. 9.5/10 – Please come back Leslie. Soon.

Oh my!

-Matt. @mjwill90

Articles

One Night in Zim: An Erotic Thriller- Q&A Panelist Evaluation (April 4th, 2011)

In Q&A Evaluations on April 4, 2011 by mjwill91

Couldn't Resist.... *all glory to the hypno-toad*

Topics: Libya, Foreign Relations, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Carbon Price/Tax, The ALP

Robert Manne – writer and academic

Manne is sort of like ‘alternate Pilger’ isn’t he? It’s like: ‘oh, Pilger isn’t available, get Manne’. But he’s not as good as Pilger, is he? I give him 3.5 Pilger’s out of 4. Which means if you go to my Pilger eval. you can work out what Manne’s score is.

Kevin Rudd – Foreign Affairs Minister

Kevin Rudd. Social Media Darling. Milky-Bar Kid. Terrifying Terminator-esque Robot. Boring Librarian. The many hats of our ex-Prime Minister. I think they’d be few people who’d disagree with the statement that Kevin Rudd circa 2007 – Kevin07 was a media (both old and new/ social) darling. He easily waltzed into Federal Parliament- a ‘Ruddslide’. I also think they’d be few who’d disagree with the statement that as a PM he became half Ruddbott half Barbara from BankWorld. On tonight’s show Rudd displayed the skill that made him a darling in 07. He was personable, jocular (not Garrett jocular) and displayed the weird ‘Rudd Quirk’ that we all love/despise/fear to some degree. The ALP should be in damage control tonight. Rudd absolutely threw the party under an bus- pulled them out, gave mouth to mouth & brought them back to life, before throwing them under another bus. He was absolutely scathing of the party, but of course- that wasn’t surprising. Interesting notes: Zimbabwe is Zim. Rudd and Bishop met in Zim. A steamy African night, only one mosquito net- they had to share a single bed. It was never spoken off again. Rating: 7.9/10

Julie Bishop – Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister

 

Patron Deity of the Death-Stare. We all waited in rapt anticipation for one one of her patented death-stares… alak, the only one we got was a ‘mini-death-stare’ when the audience started laughing at her ‘no carbon tax under the government i lead’ rant. She kept up the faux-Rudd lovin’ that the Coalition have been peddling, a strange tactic- but worthwhile. Bishop is somewhat moderate. She also makes sense, unlike her bicycle-mad leader. A good panelist. Hope to see her back soon. Rating: 7/10

Jeff Bleich – US Ambassador to Australia

Wasn’t a fan of Bleich. His insistence that the US wasn’t an empire was absolutely laughable. A TOTAL non-panelist. Not even worth rating. Rating:  0/10

Louise Adler – political publisher

A political publisher that isn’t a right-wing hack? That’s a bit different. I enjoyed Adler- often playing ‘devils-advocate’ to the other panelists. She wasn’t really all that used, which was a shame, because she seemed an intelligent & moderate person- an increasingly rare commodity. Rating 6.5/10

The ‘Winner’ of the episode however was The Silver Fox, who slipped this sly question to Rudd in at the end of the show,

“Were you overwhelmed by the tide of other’s ambitions?”

#FOXBURN!

I’ll leave you with a video of the ‘famous’ Bishop Death-Stare:

 

Night All!

– Matt @mjwill90