My first comedy parody composition!

So, in March I could barely put my fingers in the right positions on the keys of a piano.

I’ve sung in choirs and on stage. But to play my own music has always been a dream. But it’s also a dream I am terrified of, because I was carrying some memories from a childhood abuser. Never ever underestimate the power of an adult running down a child’s attempts to do something – it can and does lead to a lifetime of anxiety and harm.

But I have an awesome music teacher who knows how to teach someone like me, and I am super grateful to Spencer for giving me the confidence to get there.

So here is my first comedy parody song, complete with my beginners piano playing (which I incorporated in the nature of the comedy performance, good way to get extra cringe-ness!).

It’s in character as the nasty neo-con Bronwin Budget-Slap. Her working class butler has highjacked the teleprompter and changed the lyrics…

#parody #cringeworthy #piano

Wtf is “Millionaires for Morrison?”

Millionaires for Morrison is an Australian grassroots political activist comedy group based upon the US open source project Billionaires for Bush as a contemporary Australian equivalent – Millionaires for Morrison, which to date has four confirmed “Millionaires”, a website in development and a Victorian chapter with hopes to grow it beyond Victoria to chapters all over Australia. 

To date the Millionaires consist (some have only fledgling social media profiles):

  1. Bronwin Budget-Slap – self appointed leader of the Millionaires.
  2. Honey Ind’Munee – Women’s Delegate
  3. Mort E. Morrison – Start Up Guru (who doesn’t do social media atm)
  4. Penny Snevaenuff – Business Delegate

The plan is to uniquely modify the original recipe to target conservative regimes and raise issues (via satire) of structural inequality to those people who would avoid these topics normally.

In 2021, it’s hoped the “Millionaires” will attend political events and rallies all over the country to sing parody songs and recite poetry about social justice issues, like proper “sheep in wolves clothing”.

It’s an example of what is known as “overidentification” humour (MolĂ©, N.J. 2013: 289). It’s that kind of satire that mimics the kind of behaviour that a political movement wants to change, but does so, in such a subtle way, that it takes thought to appreciate that it is in fact, mocking that behaviour.

The reason for doing satire this way, is when governments start censoring or trying to ban political commentary political satire as the Australian government tried to in 2016/2017; it’s time to, well, up the anti. The Millionaires decided to continue to add to Australian political satire pot that features such legends as Sammy J, Shaun Micallef, The Chaser and Juice Media.

The fact is, left wing, right wing, we are all on the same airplane, headed for a monumental crash.

The tools of the oppressor have been well described in human history, yet we often fail to see them in operation, as self appointed leader of the Millionaires is subtly pointing out with her “Liberal Conversion” video series.

While some decry that democracy is losing out because of party politics, the fact remains that political positioning on a left and right binary, hasn’t existed for a long time. You will regularly hear Australians complaining that a political party they have supported for years, or even generations, has sold out.

Some of our Millionaires parody is more obvious, like the work of Mort E. Morrison, who plays on the endless stream of get rich gurus on the internet. But the ‘overidentification’ irony will always stand that there are people out there, that will believe money fixes everything and is the only human value worth aspiring to, even at the cost to their own communities.

Lots of comedians will tell you they just aim to be funny, and that’s totally cool. But political satire is a different beast altogether, it’s hard to deny it’s more somatic, change making sub texts.

Peak irony: “Millionaires” with IRL identities as members of marginalised communities. The ultimate court jester playbook move, they mock cruel side effects of profit before people every single day of their lives, by simply existing.

Ultimately, it’s not about party politics for us “Millionaires” it’s about conservative thinking and how it excludes human diversity and results in policies that harm people. It’s about issues and largely about how our obsession with money is trashing humanity and the planet.

And while we are on the subject of money, most conservatives would prefer the arts never get paid, but all that means is that we just make content that never ruffles a feather. So, if you can afford to buy us a coffee, you can here. You’ll get something for that too, unlike a neo-conservative policy document that promises the world and gives you a word salad instead. You’ll get even funnier outtakes and serious discussions about satire, social change and the future of democracy.

So, come for a ride with us Millionaires, particularly if you don’t fit what the twin set and pearls brigade finds acceptable or thinks is broken; because we “Millionaires”, are your people.

#millionairesformorrison #auspol

What is this Millionaires for Morrison thing? Australian grassroots political activist comedy group…follow them @millions4scomo

Reference cited: MolĂ©, N.J. (2013). Trusted Puppets, tarnished politicians: Humor and cynicism in Berlusconi’s Italy. American Ethnologist Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 288-299.

Follow Millionaires for Morrison:

The Bride’s Tears

I was married once, for 12 long years. It’s a chapter in my life I talk about privately, mostly. And my marriage, at one point ended up in That’s Life magazine (that’s another post all of it’s own) and it wasn’t a pretty story.

I have just spent since September 12 unsuccessfully trying to find a wedding photo of that fateful day in 1992. I guess that says something in itself!

When the 22 year old me cried during my wedding vows, people gushed emotive phrases over the tears of “joy”. It was sweet. It was touching.

What now makes me want to cry is the subtext: the bride is so grateful to have found such a man.

There is an element of truth in that. Because I knew I was performing something I didn’t understand fully at the time. I was performing heterosexuality. I was performing because if I didn’t I wasn’t sure what would become of me if I did not try and play known tradition out.

There was a part of me that didn’t want to be shunned and knew that if I said, “I think I would prefer to love a woman and I’m not sure if even that is true”, my life would be more unbearable than it already was. There was no other messaging around me other than straight, so in my subconscious, I very much thought there was something wrong with me.

So I did feel grateful, for an opportunity to fit in for a while, when I never really had fit in before.

I want to talk about the wedding day tears, because I think they are symptoms of a cultural phenomenon in how traditionally sexist culture works. We tell men to trust their gut instincts about their decisions before acting and tell those assigned female at birth that any anxiety is the more romantic butterflies in the stomach. Where in fact, it these butterflies may be the warning we are meant to heed.

These butterflies are often anxiety about the expectation of servitude. Of knowing we are supposed to be the nurturers of the earth’s manhood and that martyrdom is our supposed natural locale. We are conditioned to not use our gut instincts to forge on to make decisions, but harness the butterflies inside to avoid doing anything that appease others.

Prior to my marriage, I was already shaping up to be a traditional gender role misfit as an assigned female at birth military trades-person. I had been assaulted and abused at work enough for being female and I even left the military to become a proper wife. The result was 12 years of abuse and misery.

I tried to feign excitement about wedding planning. Because we are supposed to dream about our wedding day since almost birth, I hadn’t ever thought about it until I was engaged. I really just wanted the holiday at the end and thought that the money would have been better spent on travel. And after I fled this marriage, I grew my life into the life I wanted, on my terms and that included lots of travel.

I have the Oprah Winfrey show to thank for a course of testosterone after watching a show where this was discussed as a way for housewives to improve libido. Not that there were any problems with that, but just that course of drugs was totally unnecessary and had not be questioned by the doctor, because my husband was also pushing the agenda.

I’ve never forgotten him telling me after the divorce his new partner (who he had an affair with) “couldn’t leave him alone in the bedroom”. There was such glee in his voice as he thought he was telling me something that would prove I was a failure.

My unspoken response, “thank goodness, because it’s not me having to do that”.

This was the 90’s there was no discussion about the fact boring, unfulfilled lives with controlling and domineering husbands was the cause of the libido fails. For me it was that and the fact I am pansexual attracted but also asexual. In other words I am not attracted to a gender identification, but a person and I am not that sexual.

Of course, I would go on to spend 46 years of my life trying to prove I wasn’t asexual. I tried everything from kink to tantra. Sure, I could force myself to enjoy myself, but it rotted me at the core.

The word ‘frigid’ is a double edged slur. If you say no when you’ve said yes before, you are frigid. If you are reserved you are ‘frigid’. Frigid and slut are used as ways to dehumanize women (AFAB) interchangeably.

This is because at every turn sex is promoted as life’s necessity, something like air or water. If you present with low sex drive you are painted as pathologically sexually bereft, almost less than human.

Doctors look over their glasses at you with concern. Partners feel rejected and slighted. And when I am left alone without any kind of sexualised pressure I feel….

Happy. Content. Balanced. More prone to joy.

I’d like to think we are starting to move past measuring human worth from the default position of biologically and socially defunct reproductive and sexual values. But one look at media when a partner leaves a heterosexual marriage for a same sex relationship will shows slow burn narratives of deceit and “turned gay” conversations. Which is simply not accurate or truthful.

Society shoves people into “the closet” and put it’s foot hard against the door. It takes quite a bit of an internal shoulder barge from inside our closet to get out when surrounded by “straight” values.

I was anxious on my wedding day for a veritable layer cake of reasons. But most of all because I was already so controlled by traditional narratives about my role in life that I was prepared to throw away everything I had done that wasn’t deemed traditional. I was prepared to give away my happiness as I gave my hand in marriage.

There’s an irony in the wedding cake metaphor here. Because I refused to have the traditional man and woman on the top of the wedding cake. I instead asked for clear glass blown pair of dolphins, me proclaiming it was representative that we both loved the sea. There’s two jokes on heteronormativity right there.

Contrary to hetero-normative belief systems, *queer people don’t come out. Even the language of this is hetero-normative. We don’t suddenly come out, we are.

I’ve even heard people regularly say about someone they know “becoming gay” or “turned lesbian”. Like somehow the human default setting is heterosexual and queer people uploaded a virus. Some take it further as though we are the virus.

But the antidote to both conscious and unconscious hetero-normative bias is love. Excepting we all have different ways to love, loving humanities different ways of being human.

My wedding day tears were my gut instinct telling me I was giving away not only my hand in marriage but my right to safety and control.

And I did not experience safety or control in my own body again for many years, not even after my marriage. Not until I understood fully who I was and had embraced my asexual queer self.

*I use the word queer as I am reclaiming what was once a slur. Other LGTBQIA+ people may not use this as I do and that is their right. But it is also my right to use this term as a way to invert cultural norms.