Flag Burning City: Troops Out Now!
I don't have Pay TV, which is unfortunate as I spend so much time reclining slack-jawed in front of the idiot box. Luckily, a friend who does have Foxtel records The Daily Show with Jon Stewart onto DVD for me in weekly doses so I can stay in touch with some of my favourite political satire.
I imagine American liberals must be feeling the way we do here in Australia - frustrated, disillusioned and exhausted by our governments. However, at least there's a huge network in America of satirists, humourists and activists to make it all that bit less oppresive. We don't have that in Australia; there simply isn't a large enough population base. Something that's only of interest to, say, 5% of American adults still has a potential audience of about 10 million people. In Australia the numbers are tiny. (This is also why each sucessive series of Australian Idol gets worse and worse - the talent pool here is exhausted).
There's more hope online. There are many great blogs out there, such as Sailing Close To The Wind, Spin Starts Here, occasional politcial gems from Ledders, and Senator Andrew Bartlett. But off line, there's not so much. There's no Australian Al Franken or Molly Ivins (let alone a Michael Moore, which is probably just as well; we have enough problems with the obesity rate already).
As for political satire on TV...well, there's The Chaser. But even I have to admit that a lot of it is pretty stupid. (And I thought so before Chas got arrested. In my opinion - and apparently I'm in a bit of a minority on this - the best Australian political satire on TV was Backberner. But, just like the way companies discontinue all my favourite products, Backberner has been off the air for four years now, and there's nothing that's satisfactorily replaced it.
Still, I suppose we should be greatful that there is at least the internet. Next year is an election year for both my state (NSW) and Australia, so I'll probably start a satirical blog of my own (oh great! An excuse to neglect this one. More so!)
I've also started updating my photo gallery a bit, so there'll be more chances to goggle in horror in the days ahead...