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…

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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

Kath Day-Knight


When Kath Day-Knight voted for Kevin Rudd in 2007, it was the first time she had voted Labor.

“To be honest, I’m a swinger – when it comes to voting at least,” she says with a giggle.

“But when I saw K-Rudd on Sunrise with Mel and Kochie, he just came across like such a down-to-earth guy. I’ll tell ya, he gave my sauce bottle a fair shake!”

Kel was also caught up in the hype of the Kevin ’07 campaign, and produced a special commemorative sausage for the election: a combination of Darling Downs beef, Chinese five spice and cheese.

However, on 24 June 2010, Kath woke up to Mel and Kochie reporting that Julia Gillard was going to challenge Kevin Rudd for the Prime Ministership.

“I couldn’t believe it! I just felt that it was undemocratic you know? And after everything he’d done for us Indigenous Australians.”

After the election in August 2010, Kath gradually began to come round to Prime Minister Gillard. She was proud of the fact that Australia had a female Prime Minister, and one with whom she could closely relate. In Gillard, Kath saw a fellow footy fan (albeit for the wrong team); a  woman who shared her love of shoulder pads. In Tim, she saw a little of Kel.

But all the time there was a niggling feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

“I guess I just felt that Kevin hadn’t been given a fair go you know? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to vote for Tony Abbott, who’s such a negative nancy. But Julia’s just not floating my boat anymore.”

Kath says she’d vote for Kevin “in a heartbeat” if he was to come back for another go, which she compares to Ben Cousins’ return to the AFL to play for Richmond – but without the history of drug abuse.

Her daughter Kim on the other hand can’t see what all the fuss is about.

“Mum and Kel are such Kardonnay Socialites. They forget that Labor brought in the bloody carbon tax. Cujo’s food’s gonna go up $40 a bowl – Brett’s done the sums.”

Kath Day-Knight

Mr Bean


“There is no such thing as society: There are individual men and women, and there are families.”Margaret Thatcher, 1987.

Historians are divided on the impacts of Thatcherism and what sort of Britons it produced.

On one side are those who view Thatcher’s Homo Economicus Britannia as a positive creation: a creature who thrived in the open market, success assured with the right mix of entrepreneurial savvy and raw hard work.

On the other side are those who say that Thatcher’s Britain produced a generation of sociopaths: unable to relate to their fellow human beings, cruel and single-minded, whose pursuit of their own self-interest could easily lead to calamity.

Mr Bean was a solitary man of few words. With an almost alien inability to relate to other humans, he instead found friendship in a brown Teddy bear.

Neither a successful High Street banker nor a hardened coal miner, as Thatcher’s labour market reforms kicked into gear, Bean moved between a series of low-paid jobs in London’s services sector.

But this didn’t bother Bean, who seemed resigned simply to drift through life. Realising his inability to influence the bigger picture, he instead focused his attention on solving the little things in life: purchasing the right toothbrush through trial and error, or changing into one’s swimming trunks without taking one’s trousers off.

On his meagre income, Bean made do – stealing Christmas trees helped. He even managed the occasional holiday.

So when people around him complained about the increasingly fractious nature of British social relations thanks to the Tories, he couldn’t understand what they were complaining about; what did it matter that wages were not keeping up with inflation when your only major expense was petrol for your Mini Cooper? Why would you care if family benefits were inadequate when your closest companion was a stuffed toy?

In ’92, largely just to spite the whingers around him, Bean resolved to vote to bring John Major back for another term. However, he never made it to the polling booth, distracted on election day by the task of running a blue, three-wheeled Reliant Regal off the road.

After meeting Queen Elizabeth, Bean became a staunch monarchist. Unlike many people, he never supported Charles’s marriage to Diana and stood by the Queen’s seemingly cold reaction to Diana’s death. When Tony Blair began posturing around the passing of the “people’s princess”, Bean was appalled, and strengthened his resolve never to vote Labour.

Today, perhaps for the first time in his life, Bean shares something in common with his fellow countrymen: a sense of confusion as to what David Cameron’s “Big Society” actually entails and what role he, a tweed-wearing man of thrift, who has never participated successfully in any society (let alone a “Big” one), is supposed to play.

Mr Bean

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

Indiana Jones


When you’re an only child  being raised by an eccentric single father whose head is buried deep in medieval literature, it’s not surprising that you’ll seek guidance from somewhere else.

This was exactly the home life faced by a young Indiana Jones growing up in rural Utah. Jones felt an emptiness that went beyond lingering questions about his mother. He longed for something outside the confines of his musty home with its book-lined shelves, and someone other than his father, who, for the lack of attention he paid Jones,  may as well have been back at Oxford.

As he gazed across the Colorado Plateau, unexpectedly, he found answers in Washington and in the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

In President Roosevelt Jones found a scholar-cum-elephant hunter, who could really pull off his Rough Rider cowboy hat. Roosevelt could fill gaps in his personal development that his own father never could, and so he began to shape himself in the President’s image.  In doing so, he set off on a spiritual journey that would also deeply affect his politics.

Like his idol, it didn’t take Jones long to discover that real adventure was to be found beyond the manicured lawns of his Ivy League school, and beyond the shores of America. As his country began to explore its newfound post-adolescent strength by adopting a more proactive foreign policy, so Jones jumped into the world of 20th century international archaeology with a zealousness for acquiring museum pieces that would have made Teddy Roosevelt proud.

He soon realised that the world was a dangerous place, filled with child slave drivers, slimy Frenchmen, and snakes. Then there were those damn fascists. In World War II, Jones worked for the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA’s predecessor), preventing the Nazis from capturing the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, actions which were pivotal in changing the course of the war.

Arguably more important to the war effort, Jones voted Democrat for the first time in 1932, bringing to power another Roosevelt with an outward-looking foreign policy.

Jones’s adventures abroad opened his eyes to new experiences and cultures. He formed close friendships with people from ethnically-diverse backgrounds like Sallah and Short Round. When he voted for Truman in 1948, he did so in the hope that the president would deliver on his civil rights platform.

Jones didn’t vote in ’52 but was pleasantly surprised by Eisenhower’s stand during the Little Rock Crisis. Under Eisenhower, Jones was again approached by the CIA, who asked him to spy for them in China, under the guise of an archaeologist studying Shang Dynasty bronzes. This time he declined their offer; Short Round’s family had participated in the Long March and had brought Jones around to the Maoist cause.  For the next two decades, he was shunned from holding tenure at any major academic institution in the US.

Driven to the fringes of academia, Jones began associating with underground archaeologists from the radical left, and in 1968, authored a paper on archaeological evidence for Marx’s theories on economic development. It wasn’t until the election of Jimmy Carter that Jones was finally accepted back into mainstream academia. 

But it was too late. Like so many victims of McCarthyism, Jones had fallen into a deep funk, comforted only by the occasional hard drinking session with his lifelong friend, Marion Ravenwood.

Indiana Jones