One of the most cutting scenes in Dickens’ Oliver Twist is when the thin, ragged boy tremulously asks for more gruel. The master, “a fat, healthy man” is outraged. As are the board of the workhouse, “eight or ten fat gentlemen” who are almost suffocating in their fake piety.
There’s something about the volubly self-righteous that they apparently see no conflict between their endlessly-signalled virtue and their actual behaviour. As the saying goes, the louder someone protests their honesty, the more you should check your pockets.
Similarly, the louder someone declares themselves to be tolerant and inclusive, the stronger the certainty that they are one of the world’s most vicious bigots.
There is something about conservative politicians, particularly those of the Christian faith, which triggers the tolerati into making fools of themselves. Last week it was the turn of same sex marriage activist and author Magda Szubanski.
Despite loudly decrying the public belittlement of women, Szubanski has repeatedly and viciously denigrated the PM’s wife, Jenny Morrison.
For Szubanski and her ilk, conservative governments are anathema. As a coping mechanism, they deny their democratic legitimacy by portraying them as totalitarian […] She herself claimed on election night in 2019 that the Coalition’s return to government had been brought about through sinister mind control techniques.
“You look at Morrison (who) comes from an advertising background,” she told her fellow panellists on ABC’s The Drum. “I know a bit about advertising, and I know that … they do that neuro-advertising, they’ll measure your brain and go straight to the amygdala.”
Perhaps she might recommend foil hats to ward off the evil conservative mind-rays?
Certainly, Szubanski is a waddling advertisement for the sort of brainwashing she sees under every conservative bed.
Earlier this month, Szubanski saw conspiracy in an innocuous image of the Morrison family alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “What’s this little hand signal thingy??,” she tweeted, referring to an enlarged highlight of Jenny Morrison’s left forefinger touching her thumb as she clasped her daughter’s wrist.
The insinuation was not subtle. As the Chicago Tribune noted in 2019, members of 4chan began spreading disinformation in 2017 that the ‘okay’ sign – as signalled with an encircled thumb and forefinger – was a symbol of white supremacy. By doing so, group members hoped that progressives “would take up the cry that the OK symbol was racist and, in so doing, make themselves look ridiculous”. And as Szubanski has proved, they have succeeded.
Of course, making Szubanski look ridiculous is like shooting a manatee in a wading pond.
Mind you, for someone so adept at spotting the lurking white supremacy in a conservative politician’s wife, Szubanski is notably reticent about her own blackface past.
“If I have any gift that I hope I can give to this country, it’s an ability to use words,” Szubanski told ABC’s Q&A audience in 2016. What a pity this wordsmith is incapable of uttering the phrase “I apologise”.The Australian
Meanwhile, Szubanski’s expressed hope in her ability to use words is about as ridiculous as her blatherskite about “courage and tolerance”, and as vain as her wish not “to come across as a whinger”.
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