I used to think, as a child, that Norman Gunston was real. Not even his parody song Kiss Army in 1980 at the height of Kissmania disabused me of this illusion.
It was only much later that I discovered that Norman Gunston was a fictional character, just like some others nurtured by the ABC, such as the other classic 1970s comedic creation Aunty Jack.
I find it reassuring that the ABC has not abandoned its sense of humour, nor its desire to nurture comedic talent in Australia. This was revealed this week when, on its show The Drum, the ABC introduced us to the fictional comedic character ‘Professor Noreen Young’, an excessively woke individual to the point of hilarity, whose back story includes a close friendship with our loveable and (until recently) cuddly Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, and who makes broad declamations of an ersatz Marxist variety.
On the recent admission by the Prime Minister that he eats white bread rather than sourdough or multigrain, our new comedic genius ‘Professor Noreen Young’ told viewers the follow pearls of wisdom:
“I think the comment about white bread was really interesting. Who eats white bread in this country? Anglo men. I come from a working class background.
“We had brown bread because we were healthy. I think it shows a deep lack of understanding about who works in this country.
“I think that there’s a deep intersection of race and class… I do think that there are some politicians who understand what the working class looks like. It’s not white anglo men.”
I look forward to more utterances from this great new comedic creation.
I am certain that she is a fictional creation because she claims to be close friends with Anthony Albanese. Until his recent weight loss, it was quite clear that Mr Albanese was excessively fond of eating white bread, yet Mr Albanese is Italo-Celtic in origin, not Anglo at all. Yet much as she is so clever about nutrition, she is not claiming credit for the loveable Albo losing so many kilos lately. A real person, rather than a fictional character, would be talking about that quite proudly.
Otherwise, the thought processes behind a real person dividing bread into the woke (ie brown) and not woke (ie white), does descend from the risable into the seriously disturbing.
And not for the cultural appropriation of what it means to be working class, something which Professor Young can no longer claim to represent.
Do you know what a Kulak was? They were independent peasant wheat farmers in the Russian Empire prior to the Russian Revolution. At the time of the Russian Revolution, the new regime twisted the term to mean people who withheld their grain from the new regime. Lenin and Stalin came to denounce and persecute them.
As many as six million were murdered by the Soviet regime, and millions others imprisoned or deported to Siberia.
All for the crime of growing wheat for making bread.
Bread, and the grain we used to make it, is a matter of life and death – of plenty, or starvation. To talk flippantly of class hatred, and smugly of whether a bread fits a politically correct line, whether of race or class, is to ignore the historical lessons of the past, where matters of race and class have led to the withholding of bread, or the killing of those who make it.
And so it is for that reason that I hope that Professor Noreen Young is a fictional character, not a real human being. For if this Professor Noreen Young really exists, with her ignorance of history and her clear hatefulness towards those different to herself, then it truly marks that we still have those walking amongst us with the zealotry to inflict the sorts of horrors seen in the workers’ paradise of the Soviet Union.