Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Flatware Revolution

OF ALL the milestones in the rise of Western civilisation the most overlooked is the arrival of the fork. Until those Medici fashionplates took up the implement, dinner in Italian households must have been very messy affairs, what with all that pasta and sauce. From Italy forks spread to France and thereafter to England, but not in time to save Henry VIII from his reputation for oafishness at the table. Where forks were adopted, the pattern never varied: progress accelerated, democracy gained ground, free speech and property rights prospered. The blessings of the fork are obvious. While various monarchs have put away their queens, none since the implement’s adoption has resolved a vexatious marriage with the assistance of an axe.

Today in Australia we would do well to contemplate the noble fork, especially its relevance to scraping clean the squalor laid upon the nation’s plate by this appalling government and the habitual liar who, for the moment, leads it. Those Italians of old found that forks kept their tunics clean and so they might do something similar for us.

Stick a fork in ‘em, we sometimes say, they’re done – and Gillard’s lot are most definitely overcooked. Or think of a larger tool, the brandished pitchfork of the peasant in revolt.

In other parts of the world it has been ribbons and colours that expressed popular movements' disgust with diseased regimes – the Yellow Revolution in the Philippines, orange in the Ukraine and rose in Georgia. But Australia isn’t that sort of place. We are a bit more sedate and rather docile, which is the reason so few speed-trap end up on the wrong end of a shotgun, as they do in the United States, where citizens are less inclined to accept being supervised like children. And there is the other problem of finding just the right translucent shade of Harpic blue, the appropriate agent for flushing this stinking mob and cleaning up its stains.

A dining fork peeking above the breast pocket of a gentleman’s suit jacket, a daintier cake fork for the ladies – what better symbol to represent the need for an election. We should be taping them to car aerials, printing them on T-shirts, displaying their images on posters in front windows.

This is a government of no legitimacy and less goodwill. It is populated by rogues, protected by a compromised Speaker and sees its first priority as protecting a brothel-creeper in the House and, outside it, a young man who might put to rest suspicions of inciting a race riot if only he would come out of hiding. The Gillard gaggle has no moral authority because it lacks both decency and, as the polls continue to demonstrate, the electorate’s trust. Australia needs an election as poison demands an emetic.

So take up your forks, citizens, and drive home the point with a smile: Rudd and Gillard can wave their knives, but it can only be an election that determines who is genuinely fit to lead.

38 comments:

  1. The first bankruptcy recorded in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong was an importer of forks. The Chinese had knives and chopsticks and rejected forks by not bying them.

    "So take up your chopsticks, citizens, and drive home the point with a smile."

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    1. The Old and Unimproved DaveFebruary 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      To this day, the first tune young Hong Kong piano students learn to play is 'Knife and Fork'.

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    2. So children in Hong Kong are learning to play 'Knife and Fork'

      And in Australia my son is learning 'Chopsticks' ;-)

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  2. Sheer poetry Prof! My day is immediately brightened.

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  3. We can tell them to fork off!

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  4. I'd certainly like them to fork off.

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  5. A splendid idea, Prof, which will be immediately adopted in this household.
    The query, "I suppose a fork's out of the question?" may become a new conversation-starter at the dinner table.

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  6. Prof Bunyip Sir.I consulted the Michelin people and asked about the rating for this Government feast. Was advised they do not have a rating low enough, not even a plastic fork.

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  7. Suggestion for the Coalition election campaign slogan - It's Tine.

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  8. Fa forks sake!!! I hope when this lousy government finally gets forked off that a medal is struck and awarded to all of us long suffering voters for having to endue four years of hard labor.

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  9. This post is nothing but a cheap sneer at a government has created an economy that's the envy of the world. If it wasn't for the destruction of Tony Abbott, the so far unsolved problems that Julia Gillard still has would by now be resolved (eg the asylum seeker issue).

    Unemployment is amazingly low not only by international standards, but also by historical Australian standards. We are indeed blessed in this country to be governed so well. If this media-driven hatred towards our really talented female leaders in Canberra and Brisbane leads to a change of government in either or both places we'll all rue the day.

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    1. Gawd, you write crap, hamjar.

      That 'economy that's the envy of the world' line is wearing thin. Labor didn't create it and will certainly begin to destroy it once their policies, like the carbon tax, kick in.

      Julia Gillards unresolved problems are hers alone and have nothing to do with Abbott. She and Rudd eagerly dismantled the policies that have led to the flood of countryshoppers costing the taxpayer billions.

      Bligh and Gillard are not the wildly talented leaders as you are trying to spin them. That's why they are gone next election.

      Rue the day? What a joke. It will be a huge celebration to see the back of both of them.

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    2. Hammy you're almost there.

      Just put in a few more grammatical mistakes and spelling errors and you will appear the stereotypical lefty airhead.

      I like the bit about the Tony Abbott being destroyed. Lefties love a bit of fantasy.

      jupes

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    3. I've seen quite similar posts elsewhere in the last few days. Is that GetUp campaigning for there paymasters?
      I hope it's not someone directly from Labor, trolling on taxpayers' money.

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    4. Old Handjob is as big a liar as its political master.

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  10. AR: It's Tine! Brilliant curtain call for a government that did us prong.

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    1. We can rely on you, Prof, to call a splayd a splayd.
      (yes, I recycled that one too!)

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  11. Good idea, but I predict it will be too clumsy a show object so won't catch on.

    Now if you promote it enough, it might grow legs, and it could well be that when we actually go to vote, we wear that symbol and tell everyone why as in: " We know Labor ,the Greens and independents are DONE so we brought the fork to puncture them and prove it publicly"

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  12. The Old and Unimproved DaveFebruary 21, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Given Henry VIII's weight problem, a fork on the table would have been inadvisable.

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  13. From Hammy: "...really talented female leaders in Canberra and Brisbane..." From the Bard: "Idols of idiot-worshippers."

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  14. We had quite a lot of "fork talk" a few years ago, but then it was all about the fork in the road. With the recent re-staging of Pink Floyd's The Wall concert, I'm tempted to offer again my bit of delinquent doggerel as premiered at the linked Tim Blair (olden days) post, Meet The Forkers.
    We need a little re-education,
    We need a little editorial control;
    Some fresh metaphors for the doorstops.
    Kevin! leave those words alone.
    Hey, Julia! leave that phrase alone!
    All in all it’s just another fork in the road.
    All in all you’re just another fork in the road.

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  15. The word “fork” derives from the Latin, furca, “pitchfork”; and, I submit, it is with pitchforks and other agricultural implements, rather than daintier utensils, that righteously aggrieved citizens need to assail this incompetent government and its noisome ordure.

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  16. Trying to render idioms into literal language, especially for folk with a poor grasp of English, is often quite difficult. One such occasion arose recently in attempting to spell out in simple language what it means, "To speak with a forked tongue."
    Overcome with a senior's moment, I could not think of a suitable example to make the figurative more accessible. Maybe readers could assist.

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  17. She still here? I've been immersed in work and thought when I woke up this morning the whole Labor nightmare might be over. Unfortunately, it requires the exercise of democracy to break the deadlock, but those in charge essentially hate the concept; for the parking cop at heart, it feels so good when you've got your boot on a whole country's neck.

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  18. There is a larger tool, and it's called KRudd.

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  19. Your magnificant Bunyipitude has failed...

    ... failed to recognize that the implement of the Australian peasant is a combine harvester. Nothing so dainty as a pitchfork to remove this government. ;-)

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  20. If I may say so, Prof, I admire your wit, and some of your bloggers are up to engaging at that level. And I agree that somehow the shamans, the incompetents and the corrupt needed to be forked out of all levels of the education sector, the ABC, and the like. But, some (leaving aside hammygar - although his latest effort suggests that he is in fact writing parody) appear to have taken the advice of the commentator in Network (1976) to open their window and do no more than shout "I'm as made as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore". Needs be that we must engage in the tawdry and time-consuming business of engaging in politics. On this, may I make just one point? I would like to see Abbott as PM. He deserves it. But what about the Greens? They seem to garner 10-12% of the vote, and that might put them in the position of the DLP in the 1955-1974 period; that is, of controlling the Senate. The challenge for the Liberals (and those of us who join them) is undermine the Greens support base and attract a large proportion of it to the Liberals. Malcolm Turnbull is better placed than anyone else to meet this challenge, and a leadership place must be found for him. (Of course his CO2 policy is not on, but the world-wide retreat on this front should make it easier for him to retreat too.)

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    1. Best way to defeat the Greens is make Senate seats based on population numbers rather than a set number for each State.

      Notice how many of them are from Tasmania?

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    2. The bulk of the 10%-12% who vote Green are part of a certain social milieu and mindset. Generally the inner-city 'educated', 'sophisticated', cosmopolitan tosser. The type of clown who has to drink a certain obscure brand of coffee and beer. Have a specific kind of noodle and mushroom in their stir-fry with a particular type of sauce. A CD collection of 'artists' no-one has ever heard of. Voting Green is just another way for them to set themselves apart from the unwashed suburban and regional hordes of Liberal/Labor voters. It's a way of re-inforcing to themselves their self-deluded cultural and moral superiority.

      Turnbull leading the Liberals would not cause one of these folk to dump the Greens. It's not really about Green policy or the 'environment' for these people, even if they do pay lip service to it. It is about being in a small minority of 'enlightened elites' etc. A generation or so back, these were the same types voting Democrat etc. I can't see people who choose to live in the core of a massive concrete jungle being overly concerned or enamoured with nature and the 'environment' etc. It's all a big wank-fest.

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    3. Andrew L: "small minority of 'enlightened elites" Are you saying this is the same crowd who had to drive Volvos (with their headlights on) at half the speed of everyone else?

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    4. Andrew L - Is there some evidence to support your propositions? I have not anything much to go on except what my recently graduated son tells me about what his generation thinks, and my own now a little dated recollections of ANU undergraduates. Some at least of this generation vote Green because they don't like either Labor or Abbott-led Liberals. Many are "concerned or enamoured with nature and the 'environment' etc". Turnbull is attractive to this generation and maybe he might weaken the Greens vote. Unless someone on the Liberals side does, we are in for years of Green obstruction in the Senate, (and, sparked by a refusal to pass the budget, maybe a double dissolution that will return even more of them). These years might be interspersed with Labor governments who give the Greens a lot of what they want. It will not be easy to avoid this result.

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  21. Good grief hammygar's post is funnier than the Prof's forks. Priceless comedy. Etruscan semiotics at ten paces!

    -Carl

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  22. On the speed trap issue, they set fire to them in the UK and blew them up in Greece. Oh to dream!

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  23. Speed cameras are banned by law in British Columbia. Who said Australia's the "envy of the world"?
    PS. Even with the hazards of ice and road markings/roadsigns covered with snow for a third of the year, fewer traffic lights and permissible kerbside turns at red lights, the British Columbian road fatality rate is less than in Australia.

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  24. Prof.,

    Your finely-tuned fork development was brilliant.

    If a fork was stuck into the "Gillard gaggle" would tomorrow's headline be: "Forkin' Hell"?

    PS. When I was in the Pilbara, one of the town firemen was known as, "Forklift Fred". I was never game to ask why but could it be relevant to the current situation in Canberra?

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  25. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    A stick over a fire is the original fork, Prof as we camping stalwarts well know. I'm visualising a big pointed stick, fire-hardened, with a squirming leftie or greenie on the end. Just lovely. We could stick it right up 'em. Corporal Jones had a similar idea, I believe. A spriggy twig notifyingly in the top pocket, picked as needed, would allow all to signal their participation. A mining magnate, indeed, could by nomenclature find himself particularly drawn to the theme.

    Let's at the least flay and fry them with stick in the form of our best lingo lip, eh Prof? - as you so admirably do. That'll burn 'em up.

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  26. Professor, I am taking out my ancient silk screening gear and running off a half dozen t-shirts for my family. We shall wear the fork and hope others take up the call. Many thanks for the symbol.

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