Sensitive, thinking Australians have been left aghast and reeling by the Australian people's recent bewilderingly witless choice of government.
Now we (those same sensitive Australians) are bracing ourselves, shuddering, for this weekend's next democratic expression of the brooding masses' unfathomable mood.
Yes, I speak of this weekend's ABC Classic 100 Composer Countdown.
The countdown will bring us the results of the ABC Classic radio station's poll that has enfranchised all sentient Australians to vote for the one composer they simply could not live without. Who can tell who the Australian people, in their present ugly, fearful-of-change mood, will vote for?
ABC Classic invited voters (in a form of preferential voting) to name up to 10 composers. But we had to make our choice of number one quite plain so that the poll will tell us (just as the late election told us who was the nation's favoured prime minister) who is the nation's favourite composer.
At the best of times the results of the annual Classic 100 polls (they began in 2001) reveal a cautious, blissfully higgerant bogany conservatism. Listeners vote for what they know well, for what tinkles tunefully in their memories. It's sometimes as easy to predict who or what the polled listeners will elect to top their 100 as it often is to predict who will win a federal election.
So for example one knew Dvorak's undemandingly lightweight (but melodically cunning and populist) symphony number 7 (From the New World) would run away with 2009's Classic 100: Symphony just as surely as one knew the third-rate but politically cunning John Howard would gallop away with the federal election of 1996.
That the people preferred Dvorak's nice little symphony to ANY of music's mightier and more momentous symphonies (those of Beethoven, say, or of Sibelius) was an unfortunate glimpse of who we are. May 18's result, too, revealed a national ear more tuned to easy listening (Scomo's electioneering performances reminded me of the twanging tripe that wins awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival) than to anything that requires one to actually listen to the lyrics.
Since the election Labor luminaries, diagnosing Labor's defeat, have apologised to the people for a Labor campaign that was cruelly intellectual, torturing the people with far, far more IDEAS (those troubling, pesky things!) than today's average Australian mind (only tuned, now, to the intellectual demands made by Married At First Sight) can cope with.
"We were far too complex for the electorate," a remorseful Joel Fitzgibbon, Labor's newly appointed shadow minister for resources, apologised on the ABC's Q&A.
And so one will listen, braced for the worst, to Saturday's and Sunday's suspenseful Countdown. The greatest classical music is fiendishly complex (for those who have the minds of muddle-headed wombats) with, for example, a Beethoven piano sonata or a Sibelius symphony teeming with almost as many moody ideas as Labor's late campaign teemed with policies.
Before May 18's horror result, with its revelation of the state of the national mind, I would have confidently predicted a win, on ABC Classic this weekend, for one of the undisputed genius-giants of music, for Beethoven, say, for J.S. Bach, for Mozart, perhaps for my own choice, the Finnish wizard Jean Sibelius.
As it is, now, I half expect the misguided people's choice (especially if lots of Queenslanders vote, and one looks forward to Antony Green's psephological analysis of the Classic 100 data) to be the composer of something awful, but popular and easy to hum
So remember you read it here first if, on Sunday, in the home strait Beethoven, Bach and Mozart are overhauled perhaps by Albert Lenertz, composer of the Aeroplane Jelly Jingle, or perhaps by Bruce Woodley, co-composer of our de facto national anthem, I Am Australian, and composer of many of The Seekers' most mediocre chart-toppers.
But my red hot tip (and I have an informed, horrified source at ABC 100) is that the composer we can't live without is going to prove to be dear Peter Allen, composer and performer of the sentimental-patriotic blockbuster I Still Call Australia Home.
That sweet, soft composition (it is the Australian equivalent, in music, of Australia's great culinary composition, the pavlova) is the ditty for our times. It is the song lots of us will be singing, weeping into our beer during our homesick exile in New Zealand as we wait for the Australian people to come to their senses and vote the Morrison government out of office.