May 2nd, 2009

Black Books (Bernard Looks Happy)

Lookin' like a superstar and feelin' queer...

This bright and airy Saturday I bring you an excerpt from Keating! the musical.

Paul Keating was Australia's Prime Minister from 1991-1996, heading a Labor (left wing) Government. I am not ridiculously pro-Keating, for various different reasons, but this musical is. I am ridiculously anti-Howard (right wing/conservative), and this musical is also that.

What this musical also is is heavy with the subtext, and awesome with use of musical genres and catchy, catchy songs.

To give you a bit of background on the clip I am about to embed under the cut; Keating did once describe Australia as being at 'the arse end of the earth', and Alexander Downer was leader of the oppposition whilst Keating was in power (he comes from South Australia and was Minister for Foreign Affairs for nine years under Howard's reign.) Downer was once very memorably photographed in costume for a fancy-dress competition in fishnets and high-heels.

And so we get 'Arse End of the Earth' and 'Freaky'.

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I love the very notion of Keating! That we should have a musical about such a recent part of our history. That the man himself should go to see it performed three times. It appeals to my warped sense of humour, and the satire, when it's there, is wonderful. I'll confess that I did find it a little too pro-Keating; that I would have liked a little more even-handed satire launched at both sides, but I understand creator Casey Bennetto's modus operandi; a rose-tinted view of how things could have been, had we not been lumped with Howard.

I really didn't like Howard. I'm not madly in love with our current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd either, but he has done at least three things already that I agree with in his year of being the leader; two more than Howard did in his entire eleven years.

But the main purpose of my posting this is 'Freaky'. It is so, so wrong, and yet, so right.