“Recreational outrage” is annoying

Maybe it was the phase of the Moon yesterday, but two different people were unhappy with discussions here and launched personal attacks. Google says I’m not the first to coin the term recreational outrage, but it’s certainly a perfect description.

If you read my every word — and I know you do, Gentle Reader — you’ll remember that my compulsory 9/11 post from 2006 mentioned “recreational grief”, a term I picked up from Encyclopaedia of Death and Dying:

The degree of public mourning following the deaths of Lady Diana and John F Kennedy Jr led social observers to wonder if grief is an ever-present latent feeling just waiting to be exploited by the political elite, if people’s lives are so empty that they engage in recreational grief… Perhaps individuals are emotive puppets manipulated by the mass media and/or political elite, and people cry because they are shown other people crying for a celebrity.

Perhaps outrage is also an ever-present latent feeling. If people’s lives are so comfortable that there’s nothing serious to get angry about, they’ll find somewhere to vent their outrage — going to considerable effort to find it.

Yesterday’s incidents could well illustrate this.

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Weekly Poll: Who’s the ultimate pop princess?

Composite photo of the nominees

Ask and it shall be done! Who is the ultimate pop princess?

In alphabetical order of first name, we have 9 nominees. As usual, if you disagree with the shortlist you can take it up in the comments.

  1. Amy Winehouse: “For the kids who don’t like ‘mainstream’ pop,” says the Snarky Platypus. “Never mind the fact Amy is probably more mainstream than Dannii Minogue.” I trust his judgement in these things.
  2. Anthony Callea: OK, OK, he’s fading fast. But it gives me a chance to make a pathetically gratuitous gay reference and waste 15 minutes looking at his photos. It was either him or Elton John, and there’s only so much my stomach can take.
  3. Björk: Yes, her music’s bizarre, but she knows how to deal with intrusive journalists.
  4. Britney Spears: Where to begin? She’s got it all! And it’d be polite to say something nice about her at the moment, she’s had a rough week.
  5. Dannii Minogue (not pictured): Since she did so well in our poll for Governor-General, she must be included. I didn’t bother with her photo, though. Just look at Kylie, squint and grimace.
  6. Kylie Minogue: Neighbours and Stock Aitken Waterman to… superstardom. Not even cancer can stop her! She even inspired our new national anthem.
  7. Madonna: I suppose there’s some life still left in the old hag.
  8. Melissa Tkautz: “She is kinda obscure to non-Australians / trash pop culture junkies / E-Street watchers,” warns the Snarky Platypus. “She’s kinda obscure to non-Australians,” warns the Snarky Platypus. “Actually, obscure to most people, except for trash pop culture junkies & E-Street watchers” However this gives us a chance to introduce Melissa to a wider audience. Read my lips! [Beware, there is rap. Sort of.]
  9. Olivia Newton-John: Another oldie, but she’s the closing act for Mardi Gras this year so presumably someone thinks she’s worth it.
  10. Someone else? Discuss!

As usual, go to the website to vote — scroll down to find the poll on the left-hand side.

Previous results: Most people reckon Australian of the Year is worth keeping, but only if they choose more relevant people. We shall return to this subject in December…

[poll id=”19″]

The Beast is Dead

Foxtel recorded the last episode of Beauty & the Beast last week. Good riddance. That’s one less outlet for the toxic opinions of Stan Zemanek. It’s also an end for a program which, since 1964, has institutionalized sexism by apparently requiring four “lightweight” opinions from women to “balance” one strong, solid man. How about we replace it with A Beauty and the Beasts, a panel show hosted by, oh, Germaine Greer balanced out by Richard Wilkins, Jamie Durie, Anthony Callea and Eddie Maguire. Any other suggestions?

Anthony Callea: “Young Boys not My Weakness”

Scene: The Logies After-Party. Kate Ceberano starts singing. Anthony Callea, who recently “revealed” he was gay, shyly declines to join her in a rendition of Young Boys Are My Weakness. And fair enough. Everyone knows that Anthony’s real weakness is stocky, heavily-tattooed Latvian leather daddies. Actually I just made that up. But it’ll be interesting to see how far the rumour spreads. [Update: And if you read the comments, you’ll see that’s not the only part which was “made up”.]