Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Anyone cringe to death watching Q&A last night? Our brain dead PM, getting bludgeoned by an audience of wife bashers, yet turning her other cheek with that persistent monotony in her feminine resoluteness. We'll love her in the end.

We need someone with an understanding of semiotics and the ideology that is conveyed through such imagery, to deconstruct Q&A, and to bare its inner workings that are bluntly hidden from view, in that dark yet lit ABC studio. Someone like John Berger or Bill Nichols, but more contemporary and Australian, so as to pick up the more subtle cultural meanings.

Like reality television, Q&A pretends to be live, and it is, after all the staging and choreographing of what the producers think are the issues. Then there are the camera operators, the video mixers and the Twitter monitors, all reacting to that staged and choreographed tension, hunting for image based meaning, all too often semi consciously reinforcing new stereotypes, or not so subtly projecting their own bias and prejudice.

And I can't help notice, or maybe wounder, about the host, Tony Jones. Does he carry this sort of critical insight for his productions? Sitting there with a look like he knows better, like he's seen it all before, through his designer glasses that will age suddenly in a few years. Sitting there like a conductor of a country town marching band, he knows all the questions and the answers - the city slicker. Occasionally he spontaneously tries to circuit break the predictability of it all, but never so much as to disrupt the trajectory of the production - the message that is hidden from plain sight. In the end he surrenders to the "democracy" of it all, them the aristocracy, us the masses. Packaged in a new form of infotainment, all rising up from our technopoly.

May it all collapse some day.

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