Mormons and Young Liberals are so eerily similar. They are all so clean and tidy, so fresh-faced (with Mormon and Young Liberal males seemingly unable to grow any facial hair), so earnest and irritating, so credulous and deluded in their daft beliefs.
So how is it, one marvels, that there is not yet a satirical musical about the Young Liberals?
Meanwhile the famous satirical musical about the Mormons, the Southpark creators' The Book of Mormon, continues to pack the theatres. Your cosmopolitan columnist has just been to see this gobsmackingly blasphemous entertainment at Melbourne's Palace Theatre.
Coincidentally there comes the news this week that the national Young Liberals have a new president in Canberran Josh Manuatu. Mr Manuatu, his photograph of course revealing him to be tragically beardless (and so eerily Mormon-looking) told his interviewer of the profound religious experience that had converted him into a Young Liberal. He had heard then prime minister John Howard making a miraculous speech about opportunity for everyone. John Howard's speeches never had this impact on me, but then I am an atheist.
My visit to The Book of Mormon was a ripper and irreligious evening out. We went on to the show from a devilish Fitzroy bar/café called Naked For Satan. Marvellous Melbourne!
And yet, as an arts patriot I did wish, while we watched this ultra-American composition about a quintessentially US cult, that there were Australian equivalents for us to flock to see. Where are the musicals about our own nation's ridiculous cults, written by our own musicians and librettists? For me the Young Liberals, and indeed the Liberal Party per se, bristle with potential material for a chortling musical satire.
The thinking atheist who approves of Christians being scoffed at comes away from The Book of Mormon with confused thoughts.
Theatrically it is a wonderful entertainment. But the banal plot and the filthy words are like something masturbatory post-pubescent boys might come up with while pissed. The most popular "joke" in the show has a diseased black Ugandan complaining again and again (he finishes the show with this comedic blockbuster) "I've got maggots in my scrotum!" The massed audience in the Palace, rolling in the aisles, seemed to think this the best comic line in the history of theatre. The raging popularity of The Book of Mormon reinforces my feeling that western culture is now as Trumpianly debauched and dumbed-down as it has ever been.
The smooth-cheeked Young Liberals are always ferocious monarchists but your bearded columnist is a ferocious republican.
And so I report that one evening last week there was an item on the TV news so graphically and stomach-turningly horrific that in horror and despair I had to look away. It was a horror movie, right there on my TV.
"Oh my God! Tell me when this is over!" I gasped to my dog, Voss, into whose comforting mongrel fur I had buried my (ashen) face.
The network had given no warning that the coming item might distress and offend since it, the story, contained no routine carnage of war, no footage of human skeletons beset by newsworthy famines.
No, worse still, this was a story about the irrational deliriums and ecstasies stoked in the plain people of a corner of Britain by a visit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Ahead of the glittering orgy of their royal wedding on May 19, the two celebrities are touring Britain's loyal nooks and crannies. Wherever they go they are leaving behind them a wake of gibbering, forelock-tugging working-class simpletons.
The wide-eyed gibberers are somehow entranced by the imagined magic of a glimpse of (or better still, some small talk with) these celebrity blue-bloods.
In this shocking news item reporters descended on the wide-eyed British gibberers who had just been Harryed Meghaned. Their (the gibberers') faces were etched with awe, their trembling voices trumpeting and tromboning with amazement, the skin of their faces radiating an unhealthy glow (eerily Mormon-like) of reverent adoration.
Networks should warn us when they are about to show us this kind of obscene obsequiousness, this loyalty porn.
In the event my ever meeting Jesus (for his Second Coming is said to be imminent, with some suggesting he may even be the suspiciously perfect Roger Federer) I dare say I might carry on like these loyalists.
But that good, plain people carry on in this demented way about other merely mortal people (and I am a journalistic veteran of umpteen royal visits and have seen this phenomenon, shuddering at it, again and again) always fills my democratic, socialist, egalitarian bosom with dismay. It is an ignoble way to behave.
Of all the arguments for our becoming a republic the best has always been that it will take away from weak-minded Australians this reason to display fawning conduct unbecoming in a proud human being.
"You can look up now, wimp," Voss the mongrel advised as the news bulletin moved on from this shocking pornographic royalty horror in Britain to some lesser atrocity (not many killed) in one of Trump's designated "shithole countries".
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