Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Little Johnny Jackboot

Saw John Howard last night. Was idling on the rank outside Chifley Tower when I noticed a gaggle of TV cameras opposite, on the corner of Phillip & Bent Streets. Didn't think much about it until, a few moments later, saw them backing up the street towards the entrance to the Wentworth Hotel, filming a lone figure striding towards them ... accompanied, at a distance of a few metres, by several slim young men in dark suits and trailed by a young woman. It's always a bit of a shock when you see in the flesh someone so familiar from media images. Rather more thickset, even bullish, than I imagined. A big head. Something strange about his body, as if the torso isn't properly articulated with the hips, making his walk seem a little ... parodic, perhaps. Like an animated leggo man. Couldn't help thinking about the Prime Ministerial penis tucked away in whatever kind of jocks he wears. And the Prime Ministerial goolies too. Because the walk spoke of power I suppose, of patriarchy too, of a kind of refusal to countenance opposition of any kind. Apparently he's bothered by the way cartoonists draw him as a little man, how he's known to many as Little Johnny; but I've always preferred the long version of that one, Little Johnny Jackboot. It was, in an (un)expectedly chilling fashion, amply confirmed in this sighting.