I have three TV shows that somehow my internal body clock is super-tuned to watch. Mediawatch, 4Corners, and then Insiders. But probably in the reverse order.
I’ve watched Insiders since it started in 2001. (9am, Sunday mornings from about late February to early November.) And I just guessed that 2001 was the year this adventure all began. I haven’t even googled that so I am not sure. Ok – let me check. BRB.
OMG! I am right! According to wikipedia it started in July of that year. I have watched it as religiously as I could ever since. As a demonstration of that fact I will talk about TODAY.
TODAY I was on STRUGGLE STREET. We were partying hard all Saturday night and there was dancing and bumming cigarettes and I think I told a woman I had just met that she had a lovely face cause she looked a bit like Tilda Swinton. (TRUE STORY).
Naturally this meant we only got home at 2am but somehow I threw myself awake at 8:30. Actually I am not surprised I was awake so early. Usually after partying so hard I wake and quite suddenly attempt to go through all the evenings events in as much detail as my poor brain thinks possible just hoping whatever bullshit came out of my mouth would be forgotten or excused or placated by excessive damage-control on my part.
But as it happened this morning, although I did speak some epic trash, I didn’t think I had too much to be overly concerned about. By my standards anyway. But you, dear readers, would be HORRIFIED.
Anyway. Immediately my thoughts turned to Insiders. I had 30 minutes to recover so I lay there willing myself to be composed enough to get up and watch it. But I was a mess. As the deadline approached and passed I told myself I would get up later and watch it on iView. Problem solved.
But then at 11:30 when eventually I could muster the strength to crawl out of bed — I quickly realised it was Easter Sunday and that means it was a day off for the show. I should know this after 14 years right? I suck.
Bazza is the perfect old dude I wish I look like one day. With a weathered, ancient and wise-looking face, but still pretty attractive. His forehead creases look like a maths excercise book. They go across, and up at some Pythagoral angles! Good head of hair, pretty solid (but not fat). Unfortunately I think my ageing will be horrid. Let me explain. Although I am well old, I don’t quite look it. Indeed I could pass for 10 years younger (and that is not me bragging). But this will soon be a curse cause I will get old suddenly and just look ghostly and half-old and therefore like I have a disease or worse. People will take a second look at me just wondering if they have missed something.
But Baz is such a dude. He was a staffer for Bob Hawke but I think he isn’t a company man. I might be biased but he seems to just rip shit up no matter which side of politics he is dissecting.
I love his tiny segment on ABC Breakfast on Friday mornings. He’s a guest and it shows. He does a bit of analysis of the week’s politics while answering deadshit questions from the presenters, then gives a tiny preview of the Sunday show. In this format I think he dresses about 10% down — love it — and he smiles more, generally looks so much more relaxed, and that weathering in his face is so much smoother.
Once upon a time they had this segment called “Your Shout” which I adored. It was just some goob spruiking their politics for 30 seconds. Later it became like a group of friends doing the same thing and having a bit of a quiet debate about politics (which in the best examples they were so not used to). In 2002, less than 10 months after it started I emailed the ABC gushing about Insiders and said I would love to be on “Your Shout”. I confessed I worked for a politician and they wrote back saying, “thanks, but I was ineligible.”
This segment which Mike Bowers pretty much owns — has been around forever. I think. Anyway — I think I have a visual bias when it comes to the world. I love maps. I remember things by colours and scenes. I learnt the guitar by mapping the chord patterns in a look, rather than a math. I don’t connect with history until I can see, or visualise it.
So looking at politics is a really accessible and perfect way for me to understand it. I think cartoonists and photographers really are underrated when it comes to comment. And thus it is so good to see them get the credit. I mean cartoonists like Cathy Wilcox are just fucking incredible. Just check out her O’Farrell ‘toon:
And David Rowe — wow! It’s always so creepy, but I guess that’s the point right? (and ART!)
Back to you Bazza!
THINGS I MISS (AND DON’T MISS)
1) Paul Kelly — don’t miss.
2) Matt Price. RIP. He was really, really fucking amazing and I am so glad they still honour him at the end of every season. He was such a DUDE.
3) I actually miss Andrew Bolt — mostly so he could be accountable for his idiocy. (He had to leave the couch cause he got his own show on Channel 10).
4) The couch right to left set-up from 2001 – 2013. In 2014 suddenly Bazza was on the right hand side. the switch was entirely unsettling. Of course I’m over it now, but it really felt gratuitous and so, so contrived.
5) I would love to miss every time Piers Ackerman says something sensical and not tainted by super-super bias. But in fact that is pretty much every time he appears. Whenever he is on the couch— especially with David Marr opposite — I know it’s gonna be a good show.
6) I missed Annabel Crabb when she couldn’t appear cause of some conflict of interest — I think she had a paying show on the ABC. I am pretty sure I have a major, major crush on Annabel.
Here she is with Bazza. Too much awesome in this photo –V
7) Miss not having those epic, extended mash-up collages of the week’s events over some deadshit modern song that’s vaguely applicable. They go on forever — sometimes there are two per episode. (Actually they have brought that back!)
8) The major interview at the beginning just goes on TOO LONG. You can almost start watching the show at 9:20am.
9) I miss how during October-April (up here in Queensland super protected from the evils of daylight-savings-time) I can tune into ABC24 at 8am and get Insiders LIVE! Then watch it AGAIN on Queensland time. Amazing!
10) I really do miss Matt Price. 😦