Monday 4 July 2016
Like I’ve written before, I try to avoid discussing politics, but in light of the recent, and at the time of writing, still undecided Australian federal elections, I’m going to go right ahead and write about politics. And also fame, although the two don’t necessarily need to go hand in hand. After all, one can be famous and not political, and vice versa.
Here in Australia, we’ve just come off an eight-week campaign that flowed into our federal election. Unlike the U.S. we’re not limited to two candidates from two opposing parties. No, we have the luxury of having candidates from many, and varied political parties, some of which are beyond stupid. We have our two major parties, a few minor parties, and then a multitude of tiny lil parties and independent candidates. Not all of those tiny lil parties are sensible or good, but due to our political system, we allow practically anyone to form a political party. Yep, any ol’ schmuck can run for parliament in any ol’ dumba$$ party. I won’t go into naming any of them as I don’t really want to have to deal with the hate mail from the zealots. But it is the beauty and stupidity of our political system, that we allow political parties from all walks of life.
As of writing, the votes are still being counted, and we’re in a bit of a predicament once again. It is highly possible that neither major political party will be able to claim victory on primary votes alone, and will in fact need the preference votes of the minor parties in order to claim government. However, it seems also that it is possible that once again the Australian public may be faced with a hung parliament. For those who don’t know, this is where neither major political party has enough seats in parliament to govern in the majority. They need the minor parties to support them because the difference in the number of seats held by both majors is very small – almost equal numbers of seats held by both majors, in fact.
We probably won’t know the outcome of the election until the weekend, if we’re lucky. Failing a clear winner, we may have to go back to the ballot again. It’s not unheard of that the public is required to vote a second time; it happened a few years ago, and we were no better off the second time around. Still, it’s our right where electing our government is concerned, and it’s a right that I, for one, don’t take lightly. Seriously, I can’t complain about getting the government I don’t want if I don’t vote, right? And how many people around the world are not actually ever allowed to vote? Too many, I’d guess.
The aftermath of the election is that we don’t have a majority governing political party yet. Still, at least we don’t have to deal with some of the candidates for the upcoming U.S. election. You guys have it pretty rough, I think.
Now let me head over to the aftermath of fame. Ben. Benny. Benster. Most Australians will probably know who I’m referring to when I mention Ben’s name, especially if I add that he’s a former AFL player. Ol’ Benny C has got himself in a spot of drug-induced bother again. Again. Again. Standing in the middle of the freeway directing traffic, evading police when they arrived on the scene . . . Ben, Ben, Ben. How many chances does a drug addict get because he was a famous football player? Apparently, lots.
There’s no doubt that Benny needs help, whether he admits it or not. He needs serious help, and he needs to spend time in an intensive drug rehab centre, far away from those who provide him with ice, far away from his friends and family, so that he can genuinely get clean. He needs to think of his kids, and the effect that his drug abuse is having on them, and will continue to have on them as they grow up. He needs to accept help. But by the same token, people need to stop giving him chances just because he was a famous football player.
If I were an ice addict and doing the things that Benny is doing, there’s no way on earth that I’d get away with them. I’d either be jailed or forcibly sent to rehab. So, my question is: why isn’t Ben going to jail or being sent to rehab? How many chances does he get that an ‘everyday’ junkie doesn’t get? Far too many. For Christ’s sake, he got away with going to live and work in a small country town to avoid serious punishment for other alleged criminal indiscretions, and that town is alleged to have a high rate of drug usage. I say alleged in reference to the town because I don’t believe drug abuse is any worse in that town than it is in many others. There’s no denying that there are drug issues there, but there are drug issues in a lot of towns and cities around Australia.
The question still stands though: how much can you get away with if you are, or were, famous? And while I’m at it: why is it that famous people think that they deserve more chances than y’know, non-famous people? Mind you, that second question is a whole other post. But Benny, come on, get yourself some help and stop acting like an entitled, albeit drug addled, a$$hole.
Guess that’s something that he has in common with some politicians – the a$$hole thing not the drug addled thing . . . I hope. 😉