Recap: Mad As Hell, February 20th 2013

In a special investigative report, Shaun goes undercover as a member of the outlaw motorcycle gang The Bandidos. But his cover is blown when he uses the word “allegorical”.

Shaun began the first episode of the second season by introducing us, the viewing audience, to the changes since last year – the move to Wednesday, which means the news is now half digested, not fully; the studio audience, who won’t be seen, despite the chance of canned laughter, and the doomsday clock now counting to the election. And of course, the vagrant sleeping on the set, who was obliged to shout: “I’m as mad as hell, I’m going to take it for about half an hour.”

The first story wasn’t making Shaun mad, more in sorrow than in anger. But it was too late to rename the show “Shaun Micallef’s Mellencholic as Hamlet”; as the cost of changing the titles was prohibitively expensive – the cost had been amortised over the 2 seasons.

The subject was Sports People and/or State or Federal Politicians, who are both heroes, both being accused of taking something they shouldn’t, facing corruption allegations, and both making up most of the TV news content. Two religious figures, who weren’t involved weren’t asked. But without religion to guide our morals, are we driven by self interest across a sea of shifting sands – send your entries into the competition. You could win a set of Juanita Phillips Head screwdrivers.

Are these shifting sands heading for the fiscal cliff? In the Mad As Finance segment, Jennifred Stoles, pushed the ‘tortured analagy’ further, describing the driving of the Fiscal SUV towards the Cliff, with Obama along with Wayne and Julia as the Fiscal Thelma-and-Louise. But if Obama gets his budget through, they’ll go over in a Fiscal Hang-glider, but be still stuck in the Fiscal Chasm. Shaun just had one debt-related question – why are the US using a clock to count their debt – shouldn’t it be a calculator?

In Australia, we have the burden of Freedom of Choice, unlike in Russia where you get up, walk through the snow, queue in line for hours, vote for Putin, go home and almost get hit by a meteor. We have a choice come election time, but no choice to have it. You can choose on policies, or purely on how you feel. So Mad As Hell is going to provide the shallow comparison as anything else would be boring.

Vomitoria Catchment compared the image of Tony Abbott to Barack Obama, but his impersonation wasn’t thorough enough – where’s the commitment. And in suggesting that a child was ignoring him due to the dropping of the school kids bonus, Shaun was worried they were getting too much into substance. Vomitoria pointed out you just had to watch him speak to see how riveting he is.
Julia Gillard has decided to wear glasses now, a concious decision to look more like Kevin Rudd. Casper Jonquil believes the stats are in her favour, as the last 15 PMs wore glasses, except for most of them.

This years’ election is important, so Shaun crossed to Ross Dropsheet at to see how it was being gambled on. Craig Emerson has the shortest odds for being the politician to lose the election for the Labor party, whereas Cory Bernardi has extremely short odds for the Liberals. Everyone in the Australia Party is equally likely to lose it. Just remember to always gamble… (responsibly).

Maggie Bathysphere and the ABC Sports team returned, reporting from Russia ahead of the Winter
Olympics… in 12 months. Maggie told Shaun she was stunned and amazed by the recent findings by the Australian Crime Commission into the drugs in sport investigation. Tennis can be ruled out, because our players never win anything, so how can they be taking anything. Shaun hates the grunting in women’s tennis, but Maggie has no problems with it. Even Organised Crime is distancing itself from Sport, to try to avoid tainting their reputation.

It turns out news does occur in places other than Australia, so a new segment: News From Countries Other Than Australia. Royal Watcher Gay March reported on the abdication of the Queen of Netherlands in favour of her son, and how Prince Charles is dropping hints to his mother. And King Richard was found under a carpark, but having exceeded his 2 hour limit, the owner has sent a bill to the palace. But they won’t pay it – he was a Plantagenet!

The Pope is Pooped, and Shaun crossed to Ginny Boem to discuss how a new pontif will be elected: a pageant, with rounds in national dress, glass confessional and bathing costume. We were treated to an advanced look at the candidates and their odds during one of their recent photo ops.

A new political party, Rise Up Australia, which is against multiculturalism, has recently formed. Shaun spoke with (or at) Ars Millionbeard now and earlier, asking if the Rise Up motto would appeal to zombies more than anyone. The Liberal Party’s response was that resurrections would always be higher under a coalition government.

As a final word, Shaun was quite bemused by the little smirk given by Julie Bishop when talking about “sharing thoughts” with Kevin Rudd. She might be interested in giving him an “ambassadorship”. If they were to get together, it might bring together the warring sides, like Romeo and Juliet. Or in a more modern context, like Avatar.

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