Friday, 18 November 2011

LAUGHING UNDERWATER (Spectator leader Nov 18)

Perhaps they should include the video for Sexy and I Know it, by LMFAO, in GetUp’s 2050 “carbon tax” time capsule. This current chart-topping hit features a bunch of young men in their undies wiggling their tackle around, and will tell future generations all they need to know about the value of the contemporary popular music scene.

Also waggling their tackle around, metaphorically speaking, are Wayne Swan, John Hewson, Bob Brown and, er, Penny Wong, who have all agreed to “be a part of history” by contributing their very own “letter to future generations” to be sealed in GetUp’s time capsule to prove they “cared enough to speak up in an era when fear and cowardice almost won the day.” You don’t have to hang around to 2050 to imagine the earnest and unctuous words they, and others, will have penned. The air of self-righteous smugness will no doubt be as fresh as a daisy when the capsule is finally popped opened in the Museum of Australian Democracy thirty nine years hence.

Time capsules cut both ways. Although there is a faint possibility the Museum will be under water by then, there is a far greater likelihood that the prophesiers of doom will by 2050 have been shown to have exaggerated the scientific hypothesis of human-induced climate change in order to justify a reckless tax, and that without drastic and economically-suicidal actions by China, the US, India and others, the Gillard government’s carbon tax will be acknowledged as having been deceptive, unnecessarily expensive and utterly futile.

“Well at least we did something,” or “we thought we were doing the right thing” will be the awkward justifications when, and if, anybody ever bothers to open GetUp’s latest gimmick. Hopefully they include the aforementioned hit single. It might, in the end, be less embarrassing than everything else in the capsule.

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