If there was one thing that seemed, finally, to unite this divided nation, it was the overwhelming sense of embarrassment at Prime Minister Tony Abbott's performance at the G20 Summit and other recent international platforms.
Hell, even the US media were talking about how cringe-worthy Abbott is, which, given the usual standard of American politicians, is a bit like having Andrew Bolt pull you up for being too racist.
Because, yes, we might be a nation that takes part in illegal wars that kill hundreds of thousands of people, imposes apartheid laws on the continent's original inhabitants and locks up innocent people, including children, in hellish prison camps, but surely there is no need to be so uncouth.
Take Abbott’s insistence, in front of the whole world that coal is essential to prosperity.
Now sure, as the world's biggest coal exporter, we play an essential role in the entire fossil-fuel industrial complex that is rapidly destroying the planet’s capacity to sustain human civilisation, but do we need to be so loud about it?
When Abbott took the stage in front of representatives of the most powerful nations in the world at the G20, onlyto talk about his frustrations over how hard he is finding it to destroy universal healthcare as part of his ideologically-driven class war to smash the hard-won social gains of the past century.
You hear that and you just think, “shut up, you dork!”
It never seems to end. Showing the British prime minister around Sydney, Abbott used the chance to claim that “nothing but bush” existed before white settlement in 1788.
I mean, everyone knows the proper etiquette in relation to ongoing genocide is to acknowledge that some past wrongs were committed, offer platitudes about the “ongoing contribution of our First Peoples to our nation” and then let mining companies dump radioactive waste on Aboriginal lands.
Abbott should take a leaf out of US President Barack Obama's book. Sure, the climate deal he signed with China is actually based on allowing a rise in global emissions, which scientists say is pretty certain to condemn humanity to the horror of runaway climate change.
And yeah, every Tuesday, he signs a kill list that authorises drone strikes half way across the world that kill many hundreds of innocent people.
But he also did one of those hilarious “Between Two Ferns” comedy clips with Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover movies and it was pretty funny, so it's hard to stay mad at the guy, you know?
I mean, if you must commit war crimes and impose policies likely to destroy the basis of the planet to sustain human life, at least try to act a bit cool while you do it.
You know, people often say to me: “Carlo, with your incredible looks and amazing physique, you could easily be earning big bucks as host of a show like Q&A or at least The Bolt Report. Why do you keep slaving away for Green Left Weekly? I hear their beer fridge is almost never stocked!”
And yes, it's true. I am a pretty stunning specimen of a man, I do get many offers from big media institutions begging me to front their programs and, tragically, the Green Left fridge almost never has beer.
Of these statements, only one is 100% accurate. The others are more “true” in the Daily Telegraph sense of the word.
But the matter of beer does help explain why I keep working for Green Left, despite its all-too-frequent absence from the office fridge. I like beer. I like it a lot. And beer is under threat.
ThinkProgress.org published a terrifying piece in June titled “Three Ways Climate Change Is Going To Ruin Your Beer”.
Also, in the coming decades, we can expect shortages of wine, coffee and chocolate.
The very concept of surviving late monopoly capitalism’s seemingly ceaseless slide into barbarism — with its ever-growing tide of racism, war and reality TV shows — without such essential products is unimaginable.
Don't get me wrong, I am as upset about dying polar bears as anyone, but this is fucking personal. Sometimes, it takes a serious threat to your loved ones to make you realise just what is at stake.
The horror that calls itself the “holiday season” is nearly upon us. Keeping in mind that the very substances needed to make this period bearable are being threatened by an out-of-control system, there is a pretty strong case to support Green Left Weekly's call for supporters to buy gift subscriptions for friends and family.
This year, you can give a gift that actually contributes to the campaign against not just Tony Abbott, but also the whole insane system. Because, as we should never forget, there are no pubs on a dead planet.