Round, like a circle in a spiral Like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning, On an ever spinning wheel Like a snowball down a mountain Or a carnival balloon Like a carousel that’s turning Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping Past the minutes on its face And the world is like an apple Whirling silently in space Like the circles that you find In the windmills of your mind
Like a tunnel that you follow To a tunnel of its own Down a hollow to a cavern Where the sun has never shone Like a door that keeps revolving In a half forgotten dream Or the ripples from a pebble Someone tosses in a stream.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping Past the minutes on its face And the world is like an apple Whirling silently in space Like the circles that you find In the windmills of your mind.
The Windmills of Your Mind is one of those songs, like MacArthur Park that makes no sense at all, until you think about Tony Abbott’s mind and consider that it may, actually make perfect sense. Who knows what goes on in Abbott’s mind? No wonder he’s been dubbed, “The Mad Monk”. Deputy Prime Minister, Tony Albanese, once famously said of the Leader of the Opposition, “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.” And then there was that bizarre non-interview with Mark Riley which seemed to confirm there is something very, very strange going on under those product-enhanced tufts of hair. How does one explain Abbott’s gymnastic backflip on maternity leave? How can he stand up in Parliament and rail against Julia Gillard’s carbon tax as if it is some kind of demon-inspired communist plot, when it was exactly the solution he advocated in 2011? It’s not just the ‘windmills of Tony’s mind’ that are spinning; his political pirouettes leave the rest of the dizzied population thinking WTF just happened? But now, an explanation has been advanced into what exactly is going on in Tony Abbott’s mind. While it’s hardly reassuring, it came as quite a revelation to me and I’m excited to share it. Here’s how I came across it. It was around around 10pm and I’d long since gone to bed when my phone ‘tringed’ on the night-stand next to me. If it had ‘pinged’ I would have ignored it, but the ‘tring’ suggested an email from a close friend, so I rolled over and blearily swiped and stabbed at the phone until the message was displayed. It was from my friend Matthew Addams. “Chrys, I’ll call you to discuss this,” read the cryptic message. Discuss what? Ah, there was an attachment. I thumped the night stand until my hand fell on my glasses. I opened the attachment and started reading an absolutely brilliant article speculating on what it is that guides Tony Abbott’s thought processes. Clearly argued and hugely insightful, the author suggests that three, often-conflicting, core beliefs underpin Abbott’s worldview:
– Catholic morality – Neoconservative politics – and the firm belief that he is destined for greatness.
“The conflicts inherent in the first two are exposed only when you think carefully and deeply about the impacts of policy in the real world,” the author notes. But, he argues, “Abbott’s pedigree and training for maintaining internal contradictions without resolution … is first rate.” According to the author, Abbott is a simplistic thinker. He attempts no synthesis of these core beliefs. Instead, like some kind of demented butterfly flitting from hibiscus to dahlia to stinking roger, he settles upon a policy based upon one of these political plant-species, until that position becomes uncomfortable or unprofitable. Then, he rapidly takes flight, his thoughts landing on another, often completely contradictory view, from the core belief du jour. “He holds paradoxical ideologies and just doesn’t feel compelled to think through or resolve this. That’s not what motivates him,” explains the author of this revelatory view of the mechanics of Tony’s maize-grinder. “Wow!!!” I emailed Matthew. I felt like someone had just unzipped Tony Abbott’s head and let me peer inside. Suddenly, everything made sense.
Tony Abbott’s mental windmill, it seems, has three sails named, “God says …”, “Show me the money and bugger the proletariat”, and “I just can’t wait to be king”. By now I was wide awake and stabbing at my phone in a vain attempt to send a link to the article to my social networks. But it wouldn’t link. Why? Because, d’oh, I realised it was a Word document. The brain ticked over a bit more. It was an original Word document. It wasn’t a published article. It was a draft article written by my friend Matthew. “Matthew wrote this???? Matthew????” Now I was so excited I was jumping up and down in my bed. (It’s a very long time since my bedsprings have had such a great workout!) “Did you write this???? It’s brilliant!!!!” I emailed Matthew. As it turned out, he had indeed produced this incredible piece of political insight. Matthew pinged me on Facebook. His intent in sending it to me, he said, was that maybe I’d think it was good enough to put it up on Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear. “It’s too good to be hidden in a blog!” I declared. “It has to be published where it will get a huge audience!” Fortuitously, I remembered that a friend of mine mentioned he had a contact at Independent Australia. (Be warned! Leisurely curry lunches on lazy Saturday afternoons are not just for idle chit-chat – my networking radar is on 24/7!) “Perfect!” I thought. With Matthew’s permission, I imposed on my friend for an email address and permission to drop his name and shamelessly flogged Matthew’s article to the editor of IA. Fortunately, he agreed with me that the article was ‘brilliant’ and agreed to publish it. So here it is, the first ever published article by my dear friend Matthew Addams and how very proud I am of him – and it.
I highly recommend that you read it. I haven’t been this excited about discovering a new writer since I found Jane Douglas at Putting her Oar In! Go on! Head over to IA and have a read – and then share it with your friends.