Beverage-Based Insults

August 15, 2009

Today’s guest lecturer, Tim Richards, looks at the controversial topic of libation vilification…


“You are going to have a piece of policy that comes direct from the manic monkey cafe of inner-suburbia nirvana-ville straight to you!”

Well, crikey. When Senator Barnaby Joyce frothed over (like a vigorously prepared cappuccino) with these words in Canberra in June, a few thoughts occurred to me:

1) Canberra has that effect on people.

2) Where can I find this Manic Monkey Cafe?

3) And do they do good lattes?

Which then led me to reflect on the time-honoured practice of conservative commentators using beverages as insults

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The U.S. Election & The Right-Wing Blog

October 22, 2008

John Richards takes a stroll though the world of the American right-wing blog…

I love elections. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find election campaigns fascinating. When I visited Texas in 2006 I got caught up in the drama of the Gubernatorial Election, which was a three-way fight between the incumbent, a feisty Grandmother, and Kinky Friedman. It was a lot like Big Brother, except the winner got to be in charge of Texas. None of them seemed to have any policies, except “taxes should be lower” and “the other two candidates are probably paedophiles” (the second never overtly stated, but always suggested in ads with ominous music, silhouettes and phrases like “protecting our children”). I also learned a new word – gubernatorial – so it was both entertaining and educational.

I’ve been following the US elections obsessively. It’s such a great cast this year – as the US’s Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson put it, “you got your grizzled old veteran who’s trying to win one last campaign, you’ve got the brash rookie who inspires millions, you got the hockey mom who’s governor by day, naughty librarian by night, you’ve got Biden who’s all… Bideny there…” And the actors are great. You honestly believe that Sarah Palin is a real human being (although I think the writers went too far by calling her children Trig, Track and Bristol. Not terribly believable, guys).

While the Outland Institute has existed as a physical educational facility since the mid-1600s, our online annexe has only been up since July. Every day we receive a printout on the teletype machine of the most popular blogs across the wordpress universe, and many of them are political in nature. So I’ve been indulging myself by reading dozens and dozens of insane conservative blogs.

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