Bruce Wayne / Batman


20120408-200428.jpgGrowing up, Bruce Wayne was an attractive young man. With the frame of a sprinter, and a chiseled jawline that would make a Romney son jealous, Wayne couldn’t help but draw the attention of both females and males alike.

And secretly he loved it. He loved it when the girl at the counter would bat her eyelids at him, or when the man in the stall next to him would take a sideways glance that pushed the boundaries of acceptable male heterosexual urinal relations.

Sometimes, long after Alfred had turned in for the night, Bruce would stand in front of his full-length gilded mirror and stare at himself for hours: neglecting to ask introspective questions about the death of his parents, instead distracted by the raw power and rippled lines of his hard, male physique.

He soon realised that good looks and fortune couldn’t bring happiness, beginning a lifelong quest for answers. The obvious place to start was the death of his parents, reflecting his belief that the family unit was key to a stable society.

Through his investigations, he began to build a political consciousness. The state had failed his parents and now it was failing millions of other Americans by squandering money on inept policing and failed social policies that were destroying traditional notions of the family. And how was Gotham’s over-inflated bureaucracy paying for this? By saddling successful businesses like Wayne Enterprises with an ever-growing list of company taxes.

He decided that the only way to fix things was to do it himself. So he stitched together his first batsuit and donated to the Gotham City Republicans, beginning a relationship with the G.O.P that would last to this day.

However, while Wayne was happy to influence politics indirectly, he never contemplated running himself. As an introvert, the idea terrified him – too many unanswered questions remained about his identity to risk the day-in-day-out scrutiny of the 24-hour news cycle.

Hints of the truth would surface over time – through his alter-ego Batman. As Batman grew to love the feel of rubber against his skin, so did Wayne. As Batman began mentoring a young Robin, Wayne found himself appreciating more and more the youthful vitality and teenage bravado that the boy brought to his life.

But instead of embracing the truth, Wayne ran from it.

He poured his attention into Wayne Enterprises and strengthened his ties to extremist elements of the Republican Party. He would host lavish fundraisers, espousing homophobic diatribes to any Party powerbrokers who would listen. Later, as the Dark Knight, he would don his batsuit and vent his frustrations through ugly acts of violence towards downtrodden “criminals” before returning home to drown his sorrows.

This year Wayne Enterprises’ Super PAC has been campaigning strongly for Rick Santorum, under directions from Bruce Wayne himself, who sees the Pennsylvanian as the best hope of advancing his pro-family, anti-gay agenda.

But even if Santorum was to secure the Republican nomination – and eventually the presidency – deep down Wayne knows that his sense of unease would linger. For no matter how many gay marriages Santorum prevents, or how many criminals Batman apprehends, the true cause of Bruce Wayne’s unhappiness remains unresolved…

Bruce Wayne / Batman

Jessica Fletcher


Cabot Cove, Maine, USA.

High salaries, self-funded retirees and economic comfort.

A strong social conscience and a history of liberalism.

A town in crisis.

While the 80s and 90s saw the federal and state governments wage a hard line war on drugs in big cities and focus on cleaning up violent crime, the people of Cabot Cove suffered. This sleepy little fishing village with a population of 3,500 had a murder rate higher than Johannesburg – with more 2% of the populace falling victim to foul play.

This is a story about a town, its social problems, and its saviour: Jessica Beatrice Fletcher.

Fletcher began life teaching at Cabot Cove High. It was there that her disillusionment with the government began. Funding was down, students were going without what they needed, and teachers like her were left without the means to educate.

She frequently dipped into her own pockets to buy reading materials and lamented that her colleagues didn’t do the same. She was pro-community and felt frustrated by the lack of funding and intense bureaucracy she faced in trying to get any good done. Her vote for Carter in the 1978 Presidential race was the last time she would cast a vote for a Democrat for many, many years.

The 80s saw Fletcher’s economic circumstances change significantly. The success of her critically panned but best-selling novel, The Corpse Danced at Midnight, elevated her into a higher tax bracket. She welcomed the tax cuts from the Reagan administration, but still gave generously to charities supporting inner-city youth. “We need to do this,” she would often tell her good friend, Sherriff Amos Tupper, “because the government sure as hell will not help these kids out.”

It was her own motivation and disillusionment with government bodies that compelled Jessica to take matters into her own hands. Cabot Cove’s law enforcement and local government were at breaking point – with unlikely, isolated incident murders plaguing the community and causing confusion and widespread moral panic.

But complaining would get you nowhere, thought Fletcher. “Sometimes, we Americans have to roll up our sleeves, and get the job done,” she cried.  “If I see an opportunity to help out my community, I’m going to do it – I’m going to shoulder my burden. We don’t need the government to save us and we certainly don’t need their red tape to hold back the cleaning up of Cabot Cove.”

This is the attitude that made America what it is today… and the attitude that compelled Jessica Fletcher to solve 268 murder cases, armed only with her intuition, charm and matronly instincts.

In the mid-80s, Fletcher became associated with local political groups and began campaigning for local Republicans in Congress. Using her sizable network and celebrity to endorse candidates, she secured the election of several Republicans, always careful to stay away from the crazies and focus on good, fundamental centrists with their hearts in the right place.

She even stepped into the fray, answering the Governor’s call to fill in for an unfortunately deceased Congressman for a few weeks – such was her respect and pull in the local party. That was as close as she’d ever get to ins and outs of the machine, and her brief encounter with the inner machinations of Maine’s legislature left her as befuddled and cynical as ever.

Jessica Fletcher made the world a better place. She saw problems and she fixed them – consequences be damned. She was a Republican, an American and a hero, and the people of Cabot Cove salute her today.

Jessica Fletcher

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Leonardo

A born leader, Leonardo has always felt a sense of responsibility – not only for his brothers, but also for humanity.

“Sure, Master Splinter taught us to be ninja teens. But he also taught us that sometimes democracy can be more powerful than swords when it comes to helping people – and mutant amphibians – achieve a better life.”

Leonardo’s progressive tendencies naturally pushed him towards the Democrats. A big Obama fan, Leonardo likes to think that there’s a bit of Obama in him, in his even-handed approach to leading the turtles.

Sometimes, after a hard night of battling Shredder’s foot soldiers, he switches on CNN and finds solace in Obama’s own struggle to make inroads in Afghanistan. Yes we can, he thinks to himself.

Donatello

When the internet age arrived, Donatello was in his element. Having “done machines” for years, the world of email and online bulletin boards came naturally to the technologically talented turtle.

His net buddies provided the intellectual stimulation his brothers never could, and he spent hours in online chat rooms, where he was exposed to all sorts of wacky ideas.

One of these was Ayn Rand’s theory of Objectivism, and it wasn’t long before Donatello’s voice could be heard resonating around the sewers, espousing radical libertarian ideas that he’d picked on some underground website.

During such rants, the other turtles just roll their eyes and ignore him, knowing that if every turtle was left to pursue their own self interest, anarchy would prevail (duuhhh!).

Raphael

“You can take my sai – when you pry them from my cold, dead flippers,” reads the sticker on Raphael’s bedroom door. A member of the NSA (the National Sai Association), Raphael has been a strong advocate of the right to bear arms.

His unwavering views on the second amendment are matched by his equally black and white positions on abortion and gay marriage, and he has been known to go into intense fits of rage when Michelangelo teases him about being a closet homosexual.

Raphael has voted Republican since he was eligible and recently filled in for Chuck Norris at a celebrity martial arts demonstration, raising money for GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry.

Michelangelo

Although known as a “party dude”, parties of the political kind have never interested Michelangelo; he has often said that he’d rather eat an anchovy pizza than watch a presidential candidate debate.

Despite this, recently Michelangelo has become more politically aware. When Herman Cain, President of Godfather’s Pizza, entered the 2012 Presidential race, Michelangelo thought he finally had a candidate he could support.

However, since learning about Cain’s border protection policies, Michelangelo has become deeply critical of Cain (and Godfather’s Pizza). In his own act of political protest, he has sworn never to order from Godfather’s again, despite really loving their super taco deep-dish.

Recently, he has been hanging out at the Occupy Wall Street protests, wowing Brooklyn hipsters with his old school skating moves.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Breakfast Club – Part 2 of 2


On 24 March 1984, five teenagers spent the day in detention at Shermer High, Illinois. It would change their lives and their politics forever.

Andy Clark – The Athlete

After spending the day in detention with his fellow Breakfast Clubbers and hooking up with Allison, Andy made a fundamental decision: no longer would he be ruled over by his domineering father. Soon after, he ditched the jock jacket for a leather one and the Sting albums for Spingsteen. Over the next four years, his renegade streak would grow, culminating in the ultimate act of rebellion in 1988: Voting for Michael Dukakis. His hardcore Republican father was furious – just what Andy had bet on.

What started out as an act of teenage rebellion soon grew into a full time obsession. After gaining entry into Northwestern on a wrestling scholarship, Andy joined the College Democrats and devoted his time to recruiting more members through his jock connections. While he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he was a good-looking, popular and had an individualist competitive streak honed over years spent on high school wrestling teams.

He soon became the president of the College Democrats and after college got a job in the office of the Cook County Democratic Party, where he continues to work today as chief recruitment coordinator. He counts he day he met Barack Obama as his most exciting, when the then Senator travelled to Cook County as part of his 2006 book tour.

Allison Reynolds – The Basketcase

After Claire gave her a makeover and Andy made out with her, Allison had an awakening.

It turned out that life wasn’t as black and white as she’d thought. You didn’t have to eat Cap’n Crunch and Pixie Stix sandwiches to get noticed. Putting on a little makeup wouldn’t make you a whore. Life was a kaleidoscope of grey and there was nothing wrong with treading the pragmatic middle ground.

After matriculating, she attended Chicago State, where she studied English and political science. Lunchtimes were spent sitting on the lawns sneering at the radical left students with their endless causes to rally behind. Allison also joined the politics society, where she became fascinated with theories of the Third Way, believing that the end of the Cold War would signal the death of the old left/right dichotomy and the beginning of post-partisan politics.

With her political consciousness now fully developed, Allison graduated and took up a job in middle management at the Chicago Department of Sanitation. Despite her parents’ protestations, she purchased a modestly priced apartment in the suburb of Humboldt Park, insisting that it was “pretty safe now” (and besides, she loved Puerto Rican food). Allison voted for Clinton in ’92, hopeful that he would restore balance to America through his modest realignment of the tax system. She was largely satisfied.

In 2000 she voted Gore and had strong hopes for Kerry in ’04 but was once again sorely disappointed. In 2008 she finally had the ultimate Third Way candidate. Obama would usher in an era of post-partisan, post-racial politics

Today, she has niggling concerns about the success of the post-partisan project, but consoles herself in TED videos online.

Brian Johnson – The Brain

Brian Johnson’s upper middle-class family had pushed him to the brink of suicide and the Breakfast Club helped him to see it. He came out of that day repulsed by what he saw as a glaring double standard in his parents’ liberal values system – while dinnertime conversation in their comfortable Georgian- era home often centred around helping the starving kids in Africa, his parents seemed oblivious to the emotional hunger of their own child. All of the sudden, his parents, and the liberal “elite” more generally, seemed to Brian to be a bunch of walking contradictions.

From this moment on, he vowed to devote his life to showing up the champagne-sipping, liberal elite for what they were: hollow, godless, and haters of America.

Upon graduating from the University of Chicago summa cum laude in law, Brian went on to a successful job in a top tier law firm, where he specialised in corporate litigation. In his spare time, he authored papers with titles such as ‘Clinton’s wasteful spending and why the liberal elite must be stopped from destroying America’. Gradually, the language became stronger and when the Clinton sex scandal erupted, Brian was there, pen at the ready. The result? A 3000 word polemic that was widely circulated in Republican think tanks: ‘The Clinton affair, family values and how the Republican Party can take back America’.

It was wildly successful and following its release it was rumoured that Karl Rove personally approached Brian to advise President Bush. He has opted to stay out of the White House to remain in the corporate world, where he continues to publish anti-liberal essays, online at: http://www.freedomlovingamerican.org.

The Breakfast Club – Part 2 of 2

The Breakfast Club – Part 1 of 2


On 24 March 1984, five teenagers spent the day in detention at Shermer High, Illinois. It would change their lives and their politics forever.

John Bender – The Criminal

One day in detention wasn’t about to change John Bender’s outlook on life, but it did get him a new girlfriend in Claire, whom he would later marry. Bender’s views had been cemented early in life. Living with an abusive alcoholic father had bred in him a distrust of authority figures that planted the seeds of libertarianism in his mind. Bender would never graduate from Shermer High – he dropped out soon after that Saturday in detention.

However, free from the shackles of an institutionalised education, Bender’s entrepreneurial nous started to blossom. With a little help from his new girlfriend’s wealthy family, he purchased an Apple Macintosh IIe and dived into the world of software programming. He also developed an interest in the stock market and it wasn’t long before he had combined his two passions, designing a program that could accurately predict commodity price movements.

By the early ’90s, Bender was a made man. Having sold his software to the Bank of America, he established a boutique brokerage firm in Chicago and was soon up to his eyeballs in cocaine and Dom Perignon. Bender’s politics crystallised in this period. He railed against high taxes and Big Government – the government had done nothing for him in the past and now it just wanted to tax self-made men like him. Where was the logic in that?

In 1988 he became interested in Ron Paul’s candidacy for President and the Libertarian Party. Since then he has tended to vote Republican, backing candidates who are pro-market but not pro-life, and in 2012 he is once again hoping Ron Paul will win the Republican presidential nomination.

Claire Standish – The Princess

Soon after joining the Breakfast Club, Claire realised there was more to life than pearl earrings and skiing trips to Colorado. Where was the reward in having life delivered to you on a silver platter?

Enter John Bender. While Bender had started off as simply a grab for attention from her quibbling parents, it soon became apparent that he was much more than that. Reforming John Bender would become Claire’s personal Fix-Her-Upper, the challenge that would bring fulfilment to her otherwise vacuous life. And she loved him for it.

Despite initial misgivings about Bender, Claire’s conservative parents came round to the young man, admiring his ‘organic entrepreneurial spirit’ and it wasn’t long before the couple was happily married. Claire studied PR and encouraged John to enrol in a community college course in business studies. When he wavered with his software design idea, she pushed him forward.

She was also successful in her own right. Upon graduating, she entered into a big-name PR firm and managed several big accounts during the early ‘90s, including for Sega, Pepsi Max, and Janet Jackson. She voted Clinton in ’92, purely out of respect for his rapport with the common man, but swung right in 2000, under the influence of her husband’s anti-tax, small government crusade.

By 2008, Claire’s talent for PR had started to get noticed by the right people in Washington. When she received a call to help out a struggling Hilary Clinton in the race against Obama to secure the Democratic nomination, Claire couldn’t refuse. That fall she came up with her best idea yet – the infamous ‘red phone’ ad.

Despite Clinton’s failed run at the presidency, Claire stayed in Washington and it wasn’t long before she had made the seamless transition from Clinton to the other side of politics, recruited by the Koch brothers to work on strategies for undermining the Obama administration in the lead-up to 2012.

The Breakfast Club – Part 1 of 2

Optimus Prime


Prime with climate sceptic Lord Monckton.

This immigrant narrative is a familiar one. A war-torn homeland. Persecution. Asylum sought in a land of prosperity, freedom and perceived justice. A disheveled group of would be vigilantes, looking for another chance to establish themselves as valuable, functionally-important members of a new world.

It was a complex political world which greeted the awakening refugees from Cybertron in 1983 – one which molded their young leader, Optimus Prime, into the robot humanoid truck he is today.

Like so many immigrants before him, Prime’s politics echoed those of the party in charge when he touched down. Ronald Reagan’s view of a strong, optimistic and self-sufficient America was the political foundation of Optimus’ early years in the land of the free.

His gravitation toward the right continued throughout the ’80s. Fuelled by a growing sense of impotence stemming from his inability to escape the violent conflicts of his homeland, Prime became obsessed with strong family values and the strength of America’s position in the world.

Under Prime’s leadership, the Autobots quickly became advocates for the use of force and bravado in foreign policy. This attitude was further hardened by heightening tensions in Cold War America and their contact with Republican humans, Sparkplug and Spike – good old boys whose embrace of their extra-terrestrial friends was an ironic inversion of their lack of empathy toward human immigrants from war torn nations.

With the end of the Cold War, Prime mellowed – while still a registered Republican, he was more open to centrist views and particularly concerned with the rise of the religious right. It took until the year 2005 before Optimus Prime’s once passionate political streak was reinvigorated, this time in the face of an emerging threat from the green-left.  

The alarm bells first rang when he sat in on a screening of An Inconvenient Truth – Gore and his band of climate alarmists would destroy the natural order of life for all machine-kind. As a transforming truck, he was intensely angered by the concept of pricing carbon, seeing it as a literal threat to his lifeblood and that of his friends (raw energon was found to have a global warming potential 2000 times that of CO2). From that point forward Prime committed his life to lobbying for energon exemptions as part of any international climate change agreements or domestic legislation.

Prime’s lobbying efforts have been impressive: he donated generously to the Republican Party in 2008, established a successful web campaign titled Energon-fuel for life, and embarked on a world-wide speaking tour with Lord Monckton. He now counts Monckton as an uneasy ally, unsure of his overall approach and appeal to younger voters, but seeing him as a necessary, and surprisingly effective conduit to other parts of the community.

Prime has recently reached out to Galvatron, requesting his help to combat what he perceives as climate change alarmism. His efforts have been rebuffed, as the transforming cannon has gone on record, believing a price on carbon (and energon) will ultimately make nation states, individuals and interplanetary robotic warriors more accountable for their actions.

As Starscream once said, “you can’t deny the science”.

Optimus Prime

Ossie Ostrich


Oswald Q Ostrich’s family settled in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg in the late 1950s. Fleeing a Europe beset by Stalinism’s iron fist, Ossie’s father Yuri Ostrich took to the relative ease and comfort of Australian life.

Quickly unionised, Yuri joined the Labor Party. Never religious, his religion became the Coburg Football Club and the VFA.

His son Ossie grew up with a strong sense of dual identity between his central European heritage and his family’s love for Melbourne Labor politics and Victorian amateur football.

Ossie, however, couldn’t play football. But he could play politics, and it wasn’t long before he was on the road to becoming one of the great numbers men of the Victorian Right. In virtually every preselection in Melbourne’s northern suburbs from the 1970s onwards, the influence of Ossie Ostrich was felt.

He also grew up with a wise-cracking, self-deprecating sense of humour – probably some sort of coping mechanism he’d developed while growing up an immigrant bird, he’d think as he got older. The humorous Ossie was the one Australia came to love. But the other Ossie is a story which has never really been told.

Ostrich, as a great backroom man, could move numbers against anyone. And when he couldn’t beat them in branch meetings, he’d lure them onto Red Faces on the pretense of a publicity stunt, where inevitably they’d make a complete tit of themselves. No one would vote for someone who Red gonged and scored a ‘2’.

In those days, Hey Hey was a hotbed of political division.  Ossie often nearly came to blows in the Green Room after taking issue with something said by prominent Grouper, Wilbur Wilde.  

Ostrich and his father split over politics in 1992, after former Prime Minister Bob Hawke retired from Parliament. At the ensuing by-election, ever the machine man, Ossie was instrumental in the campaign of the lacklustre Labor candidate. His father, already resentful of Hawke’s liberalisation of the economy, looked no further than his former football hero, Phil Cleary. After Cleary’s victory, Ossie pursued him to the High Court. His father didn’t speak to him for years.

Ossie retired from television in the 1990s to concentrate on politics. While he remains a loyal Labor voter, he was expelled from the party in the early 2000s after trying to oust a sitting MP and factional enemy from his safe seat. Head office grew suspicious when 640 ostriches signed up to the party in a three week period leading up to preselection.

It had Ostrich’s hands all over it. His dream of ending his working life with a spot in the Victorian upper house was dashed. He’d ruffled too many feathers.

Ossie Ostrich