I have two pictures hanging in my living room but the one that faces me when I curl up in 'my' corner of the couch is of Paul Keating. I'm looking at him right now. He's youngish in this photo, maybe in his thirties, speaking into a radio microphone, a big pair of earphones half on, half off his head. He looks, I'll be honest, readers, fucking amazing.
Keating. Oh KEATING. I love him so much. I could not love him more. And so of course, I live in constant hope/fear I'll be told to interview him for work and in the process make an absolute tit of myself. Kind of like the time I had to interview my nerdy crush Niall Ferguson (shut up) and blushed so hard the entire way through I could feel the heat radiating off my cheeks
The thing a lot of people who love Keating love about him is his wit, his put downs, and I'm no exception (if you need a refresher you can get a taste here).
But Keating's gift for barbs means some people (*cough* Andy *cough*) are critical of my Keating love and accuse him of being a big fat bully.
To which I say: have you read Keating's infamous 1992 Redfern speech? I mean have you READ it? Keating may have bullied other pollies in his time and tolerated exactly zero fools but I don't think that a man who can deliver a speech like that can be called cruel. What's that you say? You want to read an extract of this speech I'm talking about? Oh, well, okay if you insist.
"... As I said, it might help us if we non-Aboriginal Australians imagined ourselves dispossessed of land we had lived on for fifty thousand years - and then imagined ourselves told that it had never been ours. Imagine if ours was the oldest culture in the world and we were told that it was worthless. Imagine if we had resisted this settlement, suffered and died in the defence of our land, and then were told in history books that we had given up without a fight. Imagine if non-Aboriginal Australians had served their country in peace and war and were then ignored in history books. Imagine if our feats on sporting fields had inspired admiration and patriotism and yet did nothing to diminish prejudice... There is one thing today we cannot imagine. We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through fifty thousand years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of dispossession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation. We cannot imagine that. We cannot imagine that we will fail."I mean, come on. Come ON. That speech was made 20 years ago and have you ever heard a politician make a better one?
There seems to be a general kind of idea, perpetuated through dopey magazine articles and the like, that personality is more important for women fancying men than it is for men fancying women. Most of the time I think this is bullshit because I am as superficial as any boy I know. But at times I have to concur that personality can, just a little bit, outweigh other considerations. You see Current Day Keating is not a dreamboat. I'm not blind: dude is getting old and kinda... jowly. Even Young Keating, although undeniably slicky and kind of handsome, was not really physically my type. But would I, given the opportunity, throw it all away for a simply FILTHY weekend in a white sheeted hotel room with our former Prime Minister and an open mini-bar? Weeeeell, the answer to that question is between me and my diary, readers, but I can say this: I would give it a bloody long hard think.