Carlo's Corner: Stop your whining, accept your fate

Issue 

There is something symbolic about the way media commentators have turned on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Here is a man heading an organisation that has exposed a whole array of serious war crimes committed by the most powerful nation on Earth and, for his troubles, confronts the real threat of extradition to the US via Sweden, where he could face a Supreme Court indictment and potential jail, torture or even the death penalty.

Yet when Assange tries to draw attention to his plight, he is abused as an “attention-seeking narcissist”. These people must walk past someone drowning and crying for help and shout: “Oh for Christ' sakes, it's always you, you, you, isn't it!”

This is often followed by claims Assange was “naive”, because “what did he expect would happen” if he took on the United States? Because, really, anyone who takes on Great Power and exposes its crimes just has it coming.

These people should have been paid to walk around US streets during the riots that followed Martin Luther King's assassinated in 1968, telling enraged African Americans who had just seen another of their leaders gunned down: “Well, really, what on Earth did you expect? I mean, opposing the Vietnam War and racist power structures? You can't be naive.”

Anyone who points out an example of injustice or suffering in this country these days is roundly abused by the media as a whinger.

Every day a new company announces its shedding jobs? Rent and electricity bills going through the roof? Hundred of thousands of people homeless? Indigenous peoples still dying 20 years sooner than the rest of the population?

Oh, stop your bloody whining, we've never had it so good!

In a June 18 opinion piece in the Fairfax media entitled “Mired in gloom, but the outlook's good”, economist Ross Gittins complained that people were feeling gloomy about their financial future at the same time as the data showed the Australian economy was looking good.

Gittins wrote: “My theory is we have two-track minds.”

This article came out the same day as Fairfax said it was sacking 1900 employees. Gittins must see a devastated co-worker who has just received a redundancy letter and tell them: “Oh stop your snivelling! Your problem, mate, is you've got a two-track mind.

“I mean, just look at how much better this economic data is than Greece's! Oh come on, smile you miserable prick!”

Fairfax commentator Jessica Irvine got outright abusive at the fact ordinary people refuse to jump up and down for joy at the state of the nation in the latest data shows drastically rising rental stress for those on low incomes as housing affordability worsens significantly, but just be grateful you have a home.

So stop whining, keep your head down and accept your fate. At least Australians are not facing a police state in which we can just disappear to be tortured with no legal recourse. Well, unless you are Julian Assange. And if you are, you had it coming anyway.

Read more Carlo's Corner columns.