Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Big Brother is laughing at you 

Everyone - mostly in Australia but not exclusively - is still talking about the political statement made by the latest "Big Brother" evictee, Merlin Luck (that's his real name, by the way), who upon his exit from the house unfurled a hand-made banner saying "Free th[e] refugees" and staged a silent protest in place of the usual Q&A session with the show's hostess (for non-Australian readers, this refers to the Government's policy of holding illegal immigrants in detention centres until their status is determined).

Merlin apparently "hoped his action would help demonstrate that it was possible to be a normal person and have a political conscience." Or, for that matter, not be able to spell (although Merlin claims the letter fell off on the way - the magic obviously didn't work).

The current "Big Brother" household is, of course, an intellectual powerhouse as far as politics are concerned:

"Last week the legitimacy of US and Australian involvement in Iraq was the topic of a rather passionate discussion in the Big Brother kitchen.

"Housemate Bree stated that George W. Bush's motivation for sending troops to Iraq was driven by a personal vendetta. According to the attractive Queenslander, Saddam Hussein had killed George Bush Sr during the first Gulf conflict and now George Jr was out for some good old-fashioned Texas-style payback.

"Another bimbo in residence, dizzy brunette Ashalea, had previously asked: 'Where's the Berlin Wall?' This display of ignorance was only compounded by pretty-boy Wesley, a housemate who has vocalised his desire to be Australian PM. The budding politico sagaciously put his arm around Ashalea and explained that the Berlin Wall ran down the middle of a 'communist country' known as Berlin. It was erected by the 'rich' communists of the east side of the country to 'keep out' their 'poor' comrades from the west."
Never mind demonstrating a political conscience; how about demonstrating first some intelligence?

The stunt wasn't popular - Tim Ferguson in the "Sydney Morning Herald" notes that the crowd booed Marlin's actions, which gave Tim a launching pad to have a go at the "Queensland squinting suburbanites" in the audience for showing "their true, dark, colours." As a squinting Queensland suburbanite myself, and somebody who had to wait in a queue to get into this country (unlike Merlin, whose parents illegally overstayed their tourist visa, and who in his 20 years here couldn't have been bothered to obtain Australian citizenship): Tim, we might all have two heads each up here in Queensland, and barbed wire around our houses, but lately we've learned how to make a pretty good cafe latte.


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