Lopping the Poppies
No nation has perfected the art of the backlash quite like Australia. Sure, Russia had the gulags, France the guillotine and Britain the stocks, but falling out of public favour in Australia lands you the antipodean equivalent: the merciless floggings on talkback radio, the forced labour of tabloid appearances and the gruelling interrogations by glossy mags where you beg absolution for your illicit text messages/turkey-slapping/Best Western fling with David Oldfield. Then, once your spirit is broken and your mind reduced to mush and you’ve apologised for all four series of ‘Tonight Live’, you’ll be exiled to the E-list reality TV circuit of celebrity fat camp and karaoke specials.
John So seems to be the latest victim of the ever-turning worm of public opinion. Turns out he’s not our ‘bro’ but more the disgraced cousin who hocks Grandma’s antique wedding ring to pay off Fat Tony. The Age paints So as an out-of-control meglomaniac whose profligate spending is sending Melbourne broke. But what of the rapping, smiling, clapping, not-at-all-patronising image of the ‘diminutive China man’ the media’s been so mad on? And if So goes, what becomes of a thousand subeditors’ dreams of coming up with all the more creative ways to pun on his surname?
A Jet backlash? Please. The Jet backlash has been on ever since those boys set their pointy cowboy boots inside a recording studio. Their paint-by-numbers rock riffs and carefully-coiffed facial hair made them a target for scorn on sticky carpets the country over. Wearing thongs to the Arias? ‘Tex did it years ago,’ someone jeered. So what will become of Jet, once the supermodels leave and the coke dries up and the lights rise for the last time? Future, thy name is Roxus.