Monday, March 15

AIR GUITAR / Vote for me, I'll fix your car

Tim's latest post includes a quick mention of an air guitar championship in Penrith (where else?). This reminded me of Mike ‘The Bogan’ Keating from UWA. Mike was - and, for all I know, still is - an essential part of the landscape at UWA. A perpetual student, he devoted most of his time to student politics. Mike was actually a member of the labor party but he was too far to the left to move with the crowd that was headed up in the world. Last I heard he had started a PhD in politics and was still at UWA.

Anyway, I remember playing pool one time at the Hydie with Mike the Bogan and Eddie. In between taking his shots Mike would be playing a mean air guitar. He’d just wail on that pool cue, hit the imaginary whammy bar and bend the imaginary strings. The Hydie’s a pretty hip place so I’d get more and more embarrassed as the unironic display went on. Mike was perfectly oblivious. Eventually I said to Eddie, “Mike’s pretty good at playing that air guitar, huh?” Eddie turned to me and deadpanned, “You know why right? Practice, lots and lots of practice.” I lost the game.

I was at UWA for 5 years. In 3 of those years a friend of mine ran for guild president. Out of these friends, only Louise Pratt came close to actually winning. She learnt the lesson of her defeat, joined the enemy (the labor party) and she’s now a member of WA’s state legislature (where she was elected at 29!). Another friend (and ex-housemate also) with presidential ambitions was Mark Lockett. He had very little electoral charisma and got absolutely thumped. Mark Lockett had the distinction of getting about half as many votes as the other candidates on the left ticket. This means that a large number of students went down the list voting left for treasurer, environment officer and education officer but then they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for my housemate. Mark was a good guy but he was a CRAP candidate. Mike ‘The Bogan’ Keating came up with the respectable second place that was typical for the left candidate.

I have been checking out Louise’s parliamentary homepage. It has her very lefty inaugural speech; I guess she didn’t totally sell out when she joined the Labor Party. It also has a photo of her standing with two kids next to a car. The front is open and Louise is pointing to the carburetor. What is that all about? Vote for me, I’ll fix your car.


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