Despite the evident fact that some cases of the dreaded corona virus have been confirmed down here in Sydney, I’m not too concerned. I have a theory that we Australians must have at least a measure of immunity to it, as our entire country, including people and all non-human inhabitants, have been living with a government that’s been infecting us with a virulent strain of the arguably even more deadly con or conservative virus for years.
And at the same time we’ve also been struggling to survive that accursed cancer of the collective cerebral cortex, the neoplasia or, if you prefer, newsplasia caused by chronic exposure to Rupert Murdoch-infested and thus fake news media.
As in fact I wrote back in 2018 in a column that, so confident am I that no current-day reader will recall it, I repeat for your possible interest as follows:
Cancers of the body politic.
Visits last week to specialists who regularly monitor me for skin cancers (under control, thanks for asking) and a suspicious lung lesion (ditto) inspired me to recall the famous 1994 announcement by UK playwright, screenwriter and journalist Dennis Potter that he had named his terminal pancreatic cancer ‘Rupert’ after the person he had earlier publicly diagnosed as ‘that drivel-merchant, global huckster and so-to-speak media psychopath,’ Rupert Murdoch.
Regrettably, not to mention unjustly, the plucky Dennis Potter died of his personal Rupert not many months afterwards, while in the 24 years since then the empire of the media malignancy after which it was named went on to not just survive and thrive but mightily metastasize.
So mightily, in fact, as to not only further threaten the political health of its native Australia and its adoptive UK, but also to extend its pathological spread to the US.
In many and various forms, the most destructive of which has been that notoriously diseased if unfortunately very far from deceased disseminator of fakery and flakery, Fox News.
If ever there was a cancer on the concept of free speech, it’s this neoplastic organ of neo-liberalism at its most pernicious: the promotion of government by and for the rich at the expense of the rest; the preferment of selfishness over the social good; of lies over truth; religion over reason; theology over ethics, ideology over ideals; isolationism over immigration; and environmental exploitation over conservation.
And all the morbid symptoms of neo-liberalism as shamelessly promoted by Murdoch’s fuxed-up Fox and other elements of his cancerous News Corp, or rather Corpse, are shockingly evident everywhere this cancer can reach.
In the US, where it helped cause and continues to run riot in its support of the tragic Trump presidency in all its inane, insane and outright maniacal manifestations.
In the UK, where it has helped the Conservatives to con the country into the sicknesses of Brexit and social austerity. In Australia where the Conservative Coalition, or, in light of its obsessive support of fossil fuels over renewable energy sources in its denial of global warming, COALition is engaged in a life-and-death struggle to advantage individual and corporate greed over the social and collective good.
A struggle that will prove terminal in fast-approaching next federal election, I fondly hope. But meanwhile, in addition to blagging this gruesome government in my blogs, I’m thinking of taking a leaf out of the late Dennis Potter’s book and calling any new sarcomas, carcinomas, melanomas or other such growths that I get, and encouraging others to do likewise, after the principle cancers on our various bodies politic.
None of us these days can use Rupert as in Murdoch, of course, as that would be disrespectfully plagiaristic of the late, great Dennis Potter. But there are lots more names to choose from. Like Donald, obviously, on the part of sufferers in the US, and the names of any others who survive the rapid, indeed rabid pace of turnover in the Trump administration long enough to become sufficiently notorious.
Sufferers in the UK are more likely to name their cancers Boris and Nigel after the the most prominent carcinogens responsible for Brexit, Johnson and Farrage.
While we Australians have a very wide choice of names with which to christen and hopefully thereby curse if not cure any cancers we encounter, from Scott/ScoMo after the scammer who currently heads the Coal-ition government, and Josh after his fork-tongued treasurer, to any other Liberal or National MP you can think of, right down to Barnaby as in Joyce.
While for anybody who prefers to go global, onco-terminologically speaking, there’s a wide selection of cancer names available courtesy of such mega-malignancies as Vladimir, Putin, Xi, Jinping, Kim, il-Jeung, Rodrigo, Duterte, Bolsonaro and so on and on.
So many of them, in fact, that as long as each of us lives, we owe it to ourselves and our children to be as urgently involved in helping excise the neo-liberals and other such neoplasms from each and every body politic, just as medical science is so tirelessly working at controlling and perhaps even eventually curing our own corporeal cancers.