by Fregmonto Stokes
In which I confess my Eco-Communist Conspiracy with Livinia Nixon to overthrow the government.
It’s normally best to let a play speak for itself, but having received a tongue-lashing from Andrew Bolt and the commenters on his blog for the upcoming production of Kill the PM, I am going to offer an unreserved apology for my artistic crimes, and respond to each of their accusations in turn:
On our Resemblance to Islamic Terrorists.
“The above fringe dwellers sound like ISIS, kill those that don’t fit your ideology.”
Jenny w of Melbourne
Jenny w makes a salient point: when the play was written a year ago the title seemed provocative, but to our judgment fell within the bounds of free speech and satirical commentary championed by the likes of Attorney-General George Brandis. With the appearance of ISIS and the subsequent security crackdown in Australia, ‘Kill the PM’ now has an unintentional resemblance to the twitter rant of a Jihadi short on original material. If I’d known the play was going to be performed in this context, I would have given it a different name, if only to protect my collaborators in Australia, who will be bearing the brunt of the criticism while I stay sheltered in my Venezuelan bunker.
On Infantile Death Threats.
“In lieu of a reasonable, real word responses the best these perpetual juveniles can come up with is puerile fantasies of violence, as if killing Tony Abbott or some other similar nonsense would simply fix all their complaints overnight.
The hypocrisy is delicious too. Would a play entitled ”Killing Gillard (And Maiming Tim)” have been funded with taxpayers cash?
It’s no wonder the left is such a joke these days, if this is representative of their thinking.”
Notch of Winston Hills
Notch’s analysis is spot on here: this play is intended as a direct attack on the puerile fantasy of redemptive violence and political assassination. In a representative democracy, assassination can never be justified: it is immoral, and only ever sparks repression in response. Like Notch, I doubt that a play entitled Killing Gillard (and Maiming Tim) would have received public funding. Instead, during Gillard’s time in power, the right relied on commercial radio hosts such as Alan Jones and Liberal Party pundits such as Graham Morris to issue tongue-in-cheek death threats (‘Put her in a chaff bag and throw her out to sea’ from Jones; ‘She should be kicked to death’ from Morris). Puerile fantasies indeed.
On Public Funding.
“Time to cull the funds and those involved in doling them out from the public purse.
If Art cannot find a sponsor then it is not art”
A piercing insight into the machinations of the art world from Rocky: from Michelangelo to Damien Hirst, artists have been dependent on wealthy benefactors. And what better working definition could be given for contemporary art, where each piece is only valued for the market price it fetches? Nevertheless I’d like to reassure both Rocky and Bolt that this production, in the Alan Jones tradition, is privately funded, with no leeching off the public purse/welfare teat etc. Not for the first time, Bolt’s research has left a little to be desired: we have no affiliation with the rate payer funded Sydney Fringe festival. The play is entirely financed by our director, Jimmy ‘Battler’ Dalton, working a 9 to 5 job while paying the highest tax rate. In Bolt’s defence, it’s very hard in Australia to avoid indirect links to public subsidies, as his friend Gina Rinehart will attest. Gina has been gifted untaxed access to the common mineral resources of the nation, while also using taxpayer funded roads and infrastructure to increase her personal fortune and finance one of my favourite works of televised performance art: The Bolt Report.
“The Left is the natural home of the closet totalitarian – and the barbarian.”
Bolt hits the nail on the head: the left harbours closet totalitarians, who promise their dictatorships will only be temporary stages on the path to utopia. In contrast, the right’s totalitarians are out of the closet and proud, from the obvious example of European fascism through to the US sponsored military dictatorships of the Hispanic world. It is only in these circumstances – of unambiguous authoritarian rule – that I see assassination as morally (if not always strategically) justified.
On the Death of God.
“This is so typical of the rabid Left!
No one hates like the Left.
Still where there is a general absence of Christian values
and moral code what can one expect?”
Drillerpaul of Warragul
With the precision of a well trained oil prospector, Drillerpaul has struck upon the key theme of Dostoevsky’s novel ‘Demons’, the original inspiration for ‘Kill the PM’. In ‘Demons’ a group of misguided revolutionaries plot to spread murder and mayhem in provincial Russia, but only succeed in murdering their own co-conspirators. Dostoevsky was concerned about the moral vacuum created by the loss of Christian values in his motherland, and several of his characters grapple with their faith amidst the chaos. To delve into this theme, one of the would-be assassins in ‘Kill the PM’ is also a committed Christian.
On Our Subversive Ideology.
“You’d hardly know they were Australian really, they are so anti-Australian. I can only assume they are communists.”
candy of brisbane
While I agree with Candy’s broader categorisation, I would place myself more specifically within the autonomist/libertarian communist tradition, which is anti-totalitarian as well as anti-nationalist. So I’m opposed to both the authoritarian ‘Communist’ Chinese government and the racist, colonial foundations of the Australian government, but I prefer to express my opposition through performance rather than armed insurrection. Candy’s mild mix up is understandable: it’s true that from the outside, an independent theatre project can sometimes look like a North Korean labour camp.
The Wellspring of my Personal Torment.
“Anyone with a name like “Fregmonto”, either real or assumed, is bound to have a lifetime of issues.”
Case of Melbourne
I won’t deny it, Case, every time I meet someone new I have to qualify that I am neither a ‘Greg’ nor a ‘Fred’, nor a ‘Frog’ nor a ‘Fig’. I blame my biological father for this egregious crime.
On our Broader Conspiracy.
“Is there a pattern here?
Yes and it is called Socialism and this country is on the verge of being pulled down by the Left and none in the media are standing up other than you Andrew.
Even last night we had Livinia Nixon again tell us that last month was the hottest for decades.
I’m not sure where she is living, but we had very cold mornings and nothing like the so called 9 degree minimum overnight temperatures.
Stating to think that I won’t bother watching the forecasts on TV and it will be better to just go outside and look at the sky.”
Keith of Werribee
Damn it Keith, you’ve exposed our knavish scheme: Channel Nine weather woman Livinia Nixon is indeed one of our comrades in the eco-socialist conspiracy to destroy the Australian nation-state and replace it with a federation of solar powered workers’ co-operatives. Good luck sky gazing in search of the next conspiracy.