There has just been another instalment of the old “24 Hr media cycle” lament from Canberra. This time it’s from Julia, who is fretting that that the Internet and pace of the news cycle were working against in-depth discourse. Don’t get her wrong, she jurst lurves the opportunities of the Internet and rejoices in its influence in the “democratization of public space.” (This may put her at odds with Communications Minister, Conroy, who is obsessed with censoring it.)
The gist of these arguments is that the constant need to feed the cycle results in a lack of depth in debate with the result that politicians appear to be shallow and puerile. No explanation is given of why they appeared that way before the rise of the 24 hr cycle which has retaliated by blaming the government’s 24-hour spin cycle.
In an example of the problem, Federal Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten called for Australians to respect the census and not kid around. He feels that the question on religion should only be answered in ways that the government recognizes. He has specifically banned Jedi’s, and Pastafarians, none of whom will be counted. The Jedi faith responded with a press release today:
“Australian Jedi’s have noted the blatant discrimination demonstrated by the Gillard government in their decision that our faith and that of Pastafarians not be recognized in the 2011 census.”
Spokesman for the faith, Grand Master, Bin Arby – Wan Manband said today that, “While we consider the census to be merely an exercise in information gathering for future political vote buying, Jedi’s who wish to participate, should be allowed to do so and be counted.”
“It is difficult to understand why the state wants information on religious affiliations, as it has no role to play in the church, so there is no reason for this question,” he added. “In any case if such a request is made, it seems odd to censor the answers they don’t like.”
Mr. Manband stressed that this did not upset Jedi. “Getting upset leads to anger, anger leads to revenge, revenge leads to … – well it explains why several members had left and turned up in black hoodies, clutching LNP membership tickets.”
“Relations between the government and the Jedi faith have been under stress ever since Treasurer, Wayne Swan, falsely accused the Trade Federation of causing what he has referred to as the two speed economy,” Mr. Manband said. “The reality is, that the mining sector is moving faster than the rest of the economy because the government hasn’t been as effective at screwing it as it has been with the rest,” he added. “Even a Wookie understands that, despite being as thick as two short planks.”
He stated that he also wanted to refute suggestions that Jedi mind tricks had anything to do with the public’s determination to vote out the government, or had caused the widespread perception of the greens as a ridiculous bunch of authoritarian wankers. “This is a deliberate fabrication propagated by Brown and Gillard, and disseminated through the Fairfax dark side media, the ABC’s The Drum, and leftie blogs,” he said.
“We also wish to make it clear that Jedi are nonpolitical,” he added. “There is no truth to rumours that the LNP leadership have been receiving covert Jedi arts training in secret camps in the Australian outback.” “This appears to be Coalition misinformation and seems to have the finger prints of “Menzies House” all over it,” he concluded.
Jedi’s represented 55,000 responses in 2006, down from the estimated 70,000 in the 2001 Census.