This time she’s been bagging ANZAC Day. The hide of the woman! In a series of tweets on 25 April, Catherine Deveny wrote:
“Anzac Day. A celebration of a society so fucked up it saw no other option than to go to war. Kill, rape and invade. Then glorify it.
“The ‘spirit of ANZAC’ does not define our nation. It’s our peaceful secular democracy rooted in workers rights, feminism & multiculturalism.
“Read your history. No war Australia has ever fought has resulted in our ‘freedom’ or ‘opportunities’.
“Days like #anzacday are simply a rewriting of history to stop the sucked in and ripped off burning down parliament and killing politicians.
“Not the day for it? The only day for it. Show respect? That’s exactly what I’m doing.
“It’s very clear Japan had no intention of invading Australia. The persistance (sic) of this myth is amazing/alarming/convenient.”
I’ve written here about why I didn’t put the boot into Deveny. But, many others disagreed with her in the strongest possible terms, as is their right.
What concerns me is that those brave, true-blue, hand-on-the-heart Aussies who tore into Catherine (for pointing out what others think is nothing more than the bleeding obvious) have not been given due credit for their insightful arguments, their compelling defence of the ANZAC tradition, their use of evidence, or their patient and persuasive polemic on why a view held, not only by Deveny, but also by many veterans, should be taboo. It’s a crying shame, really.
It seems to me that those people who took on Deveny should really get their moment in the spotlight. Their ANZAC Day efforts should appear whenever a prospective partner or employer happens to Google their name. After all, they must be so very proud, defending their country and all. It hardly seems fair that they should just fade into oblivion after taking all that time finding pithy adjectives to throw at a hard-working woman and mother who just happens to have a different take on ANZAC Day to them. I tossed and turned all last night just thinking about the injustice of it all.
So, here in my little corner of the blogosphere, I’m happy to shine a light on Deveny’s critics; happy to use my network to make them a lot better known. And, with a little bit of nifty internet research, I’m delighted to say, if you read on, you can get to know these Aussie heroes better. Perhaps you’ll even recognise one or two of them. Catherine tells me she’s already getting lots of emails from people saying, “Oh my God! I know that person!” And boy, do they deserve the recognition! So, here goes:
Richo Richman aka Richard Heath
As you can see, Richo has a real way with words. That’s why he’s such a hugely successful comedian. Really! Just google him and you’ll see all the gigs he’s done and where he’s gigging next. Well, maybe not. It seems Richo’s comedic talent is largely undiscovered – or, perhaps, undiscoverable.
Apparently Richo was educated at Timbertop school. Maybe that’s where he learned all those big words. Timbertop must be so proud.
Still, comedian and radio personality Meshel Laurie seems to appreciate his style. Perhaps we’ll see Richo performing the warm up for Meshel’s next show, eh?
Almost as cranky with the Greens and Labor as he/she is with Deveny, Ignibus (proudly incognito) boasts the photo of a cockpit of a superhornet as his/her icon. An RAAF connection there? Or simply Walter Mitty wishful thinking?
Come on, Ignibus – don’t be shy! Tell us who you are. After all, your nemesis, Catherine, is at least ‘man’ enough to make her statements under her real name. I’m sure your anonymity is an oversight.
Mick (aka Michael) Thom is a St Bernard’s College old boy. Ah, those Catholic schools, they really know how to produce fine, upstanding Australian citizens, don’t they? Tony Abbott, George Pell and now, Michael Thom! I wonder if Mick has political aspirations. I sure hope I can give him a little more exposure!
Michael’s an athletic sort and still close to his old alma mater. He’s the Vice President of St Bernard’s Old Collegian’s Cricket Club and their 2nd XI Captain – for now, at least.
If you want to join Michael Thom’s fan club you can find him on Twitter: @mickthom10
Russell (Mad Dog) Hutchison
Russell Nelson Hutchison (aka Mad Dog) is a Vietnam vet and avid beer can collector from Vincent, Townsville. Russell served as a tactical operator on HMAS Sydney and HMAS Stuart between 1965 and 1968, back in the day when women were scarce aboard naval ships; perhaps just as well.
Maybe we should introduce Russell to Gracie Grace who believes that Australian soldiers are unique among the world’s armies in their categorical rejection of violence against women.
Dean “Trash” Willis
Dean Willis is another one of those unassuming critics who hides his light under a bushel. Not one to push his real name into the limelight, Willis prefers to ‘trash’ people under his trashy pseudonym. He also goes by the name of Deany_yo on Instagram. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the extra traffic.
Hailing from Australia’s east coast, it seems congratulations are due to Mr Willis and his wife Melissa. They’ve just had twin boys.
Oh, what lessons he can teach them on how to engage in respectful debate and how to speak to women. Lucky, lucky boys – and lucky Melissa to have such a gem for a husband.
Brendan Teejay Brookman (click to see his smiling face) is a Townsville based soldier with the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. Brookman was deployed in East Timor from 2009 to 2010. It appears his passion is now to defend the internetz against womenz like Deveny. And what a fine job he is doing!
The army must be bursting with pride to have Brendan showing the world’s netizens just what fine men our modern Australian army is producing.
Poor old Gracie Grace (above) must be having heart flutters at the idea that one of our brave boys could suggest that the way to deal with Melbourne comedians who don’t agree with him is to line them up in front of a firing squad. Australian soldiers would never think such a thing, would they Gracie?
Our next proud patriot, Grahame Hopewell, resides on the south side of Brisbane. He’s the father of three, including a daughter. You wonder if a ‘rifle butt to the face’ is Mr Hopewell’s standard method of discipline, or whether it’s a punishment reserved for women who get above their station.
Grahame, we’re sure you’re right in asserting your arsehole is prettier than Deveny, but I’m curious. Just how much time a day do you spend looking at your arsehole as opposed to talking out of it?
If there’s one thing Deveny did right on ANZAC Day, it was to give the stalwarts of that proud tradition an excuse to show us just what kind of people they are.
Ari is a veterans’ advocate and I think we can all applaud him for that. I come from a military family and I know how appallingly successive governments treat our veterans and how important it is for our veterans to have good advocates.
I guess it’s a good thing that advocates should be particular about where they put their penises (God knows Catholic priests aren’t so particular!) And, I think we should give props to Ari for the creative idea of turning our Dev into a dartboard. As his old mates at the ex RNZN Navy Club say, Ari has ‘never been one to hold back’.
It just makes you wonder whether that applies to all his endeavours, doesn’t it?
Eliah James Sutton is a personal favourite of mine. An alumni of Mountain Creek State High School at the Sunshine Coast, but now resident in Darwin (presumably in the army), Eliah used to post as Shmeelsy on Myspace. Here Eliah tells us ‘you gotta ask your self is this where you wanna be when jesus comes back … sitting on your ass feeling sorry for your self’.
Clearly a good Christian boy, Eliah also fills us in on what he’s looking for in a woman: “Chicks with brains and high sex drives … brains don’t really matter …” Perfect. An ideal candidate for home-schooling his children.
… clearly, Catherine, losing a few IQ points might help if you want to endear yourself to Mr Sutton.
On Facebook, Eliah was keen to get his friends to join the Catherine Deveny feeding frenzy.
And even emailed Catherine direct, just to make sure she got the message:
Nick Shackcloth is also from Darwin and planning to join the Australian Defence Force in August this year. I bet they’re champing at the bit to have Nick join the forces and bring a bit of class to the military.
Encouraging women to commit suicide by plunging off the top of high buildings is certainly a more modern twist on chivalry than escorting little old ladies across the road. (Still, being a lollipop lady for octogenarians might be a tad dangerous given that Nick spends so much time texting from his Sony Xperia (TM) smartphone.)
Nick was educated at Coolum State High School at the Sunshine Coast – I’ll bet he’s on their honours board.
Graeme Hopkinson (posting as @churchurchur on Twitter) is a 46 year old charmer from Queensland. Click if you dare, girls, but have a bottle of smelling salts at the ready! We don’t want you swooning in a sudden attack of ‘the vapors’!
Graeme, dear, if your wife ever leaves you, you must use this as your RSVP pic!
Originally from New Zealand, Graeme now lives on the Gold Coast where he spends his time, selflessly encouraging people who don’t agree with him to top themselves. Clearly, disagreeing with Graeme must be so painful that death would surely be preferable!
Not one to cave to political correctness, Graeme is happy to castigate girlfriend beater, Chris Brown, for being a ‘dumb nigger’ while feeling totally comfortable hurling verbal abuse at Ms Deveny because that’s … um …. different.
You have to love a man who can keep two totally conflicting ethical viewpoints in his head at the one time.
I bet Graeme would be good at juggling too – if only he could find some balls.
Lest I be accused of bathing the men in glory while ignoring the ‘fairer sex’, it’s important to note that most, but not all of Deveny’s critics were men. There were some lovely ladies laying in to her as well.
Take the glamorous would-be make-up-guru-to-the-stars, Olivia Smith, posting as @OliviaMae13 on Twitter.
And, you know what they say! ‘Bogan is the new black!’
So there it is – it’s not a complete run-down of all those who threatened Deveny with rape, suggested she should kill herself, or simply took the time to tell her how ugly she is – but it’s the best I could do in a day. I’m sorry to all those people I didn’t get a chance to spotlight. Maybe next time.
And, I can’t complete this post without a special shout out to those fabulous people at the Quality Hotel Mildura Grand who, after hearing of Catherine’s tweets, decided to cancel the booking she’d made at their property for the duration of her Curvy Crumpet show in Mildura.
Apparently, it’s a new policy being tried out – guests’ political and social opinions must conform with management’s before a booking can be honoured.
What’s next, party political hotels? The Quality Hotel Mildura LNP Grand? The Tullamarine Airport Greens Hotel? The Laverton Labor Inn?
Those clever bunnies at Quality are set to revolutionise the hotel industry! Just watch! Next we can segregate based on religion and race too. What fun!
And, what fun ‘Defending Deveny’ again. She certainly keeps me busy! Buzz me Deveny, this is turning into a full time job! We gotta talk about commission rates!
PS: If you want to see both Deveny and me (preferably not for the purpose of topping us, raping us, or encouraging us to plunge from high buildings) we’ll both be appearing at the Reality Bites Literary Festival in Cooroy, Sunshine Coast, Queensland from the 25-28 July. More details here.
Update – Friday 17 May 2013:
Yesterday, a man called Peter sent through just the sort of comment I’ve been waiting for. YouI would have thought this post gave fair warning about what I planned to do to people who sent through gendered and abusive comments!
“Too good to spam!” I thought and promptly googled Peter’s details, aided by the email address attached to his comment. I subsequently published those details here.
“Oh, Peter!” I wrote, “Such a very poor business decision.” I pondered how many of his customers would remain after learning how he speaks to women on the internet. Here is Peter’s comment:
“fck you moron my grandfather getting wounded Darwin was lie,get your fck head out of your ass smell the rose’s what about broome( lots of aboriginals got wounded and killed so that lie to are you racist to now, it ather parts western australia were bomb to so was thats lie to , were where your fck uneducated parent’s from,maybe just maybe they where hiding behind bong,so that why your drug fcked whore, look in the mirror ,your the joke you idiot, my grandfathers never did what you say happen, how fck do you know what they did you read it somewhere plz O plz give us book, your not only unaustralian but it think your racist you have branded not only white aussie’s and aboriginals who have served this country as well you know what wrote,”
I pointed out, for the record, that I would not have publicly revealed Peter’s full name, email, town, business name and connection with a Christian school if he had written something along the lines of the following:
“I disagree with Catherine Deveny’s views on ANZAC day. My grandfather was wounded in Darwin during World War II, I am very proud of his service, and ANZAC Day means a lot to me and my family. Is Ms Deveny aware that many Aborigines were also wounded and killed in the wars Australia has been involved in? Aborigines are given so little recognition in this country. Isn’t it right that we should commemorate their military service?
Yes, terrible things happen in wartime but I think most Australian soldiers simply ‘did their bit’. I’m sure my grandfathers were never involved in anything untoward, so why shouldn’t we take some time on ANZAC Day to honour them? I worry that views like Ms Deveny’s are disrespectful to many people whose families served our country – including our Indigenous population. Perhaps Ms Deveny should think a little more carefully before voicing criticisms next time.”
My point is that this blog post as not ‘outed’ people for disagreeing with Deveny – but for the way they did it.
To his credit, Peter has since posted what I believe to be a sincere apology:
“i wish to make this public, LADYs and Gentlemen im very sorry for my language and the way talk about women in general today i was outline, i have never talked like that in my life,unless its to your face without the swearing, im very sorry as i have PTSD and the med plays hell on my mind but that not way i shouldn’t talk or say anything about or anyone even if i dont like what they say thankyou chrys for pulling me up i was out of line.”
As the aim of this blog was to make people reflect on the wisdom and consequences of abusing women online (and elsewhere) I think the appropriate response is to accept Peter’s apology, remove identifying details from this blog post and hope he has learned a lesson.
The Anzac Spirit. Top 100 Hate Comments – Catherine Deveny
Are Australians militaristic fascists now, too? – PZ Myers, Pharyngula