Duck by a goose   16/3/2006

The bloody duck said it all. On the job last night we couldn’t make much sense of the Commonwealth Games opening screening on TV in the background. We weren’t alone.
It was underlit, poorly attended, incomprehensible and the usual self-indulgent wank of some overpaid arty-farty. And there were all these references to a duck.
Then on ABC radio this morning I was told the obscure narrative behind the barrage of imagery was by Melbourne’s unfunniest cartoonist — who has made the duck his motif — Michael Leunig.
Melbourne’s most notorious anti-semite, Leunig was mentioned in despatches last month when one of his doodlings was published by an Iranian paper as a fine example of Jew-hating comic art.
Matt Price in The Australian explains how the signature bird of an occasional cartoonist for a newspaper with a circulation of only 150,000 is somewhat deficient in the recognition department. He politely refrains from commenting on the duck’s relevance to an international sporting carnival:
The decision by Commonwealth Games organisers to bookend the three-act theatrical segment of the opening ceremony with appearances by Michael Leunig’s whimsical figure proved confusing to spectators and TV viewers unfamiliar with the Melbourne cartoonist’s work.
“Did it have something to do with bird flu?” asked a bewildered New Zealander.
“Was it based on a May Gibbs character?” wondered a bloke from Brisbane.
“What’s with the duck?” asked a fellow from South Africa.

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6 Comments for 'Duck by a goose'

    16/3/2006 | 11:16 am

    I just heard Steve Bracks on the radio trying to explain the duck. Hilarious!

    16/3/2006 | 12:31 pm

    Watching from NSW we loved the flying tram and Yarra display, though. And Melbourne all lit up.

    Thomas the Tout
    16/3/2006 | 3:51 pm

    Driving back from Avalon t’other evening, listening to ABC radio. Heard that only five floats in this years Moomba parade. Later saw a little bit of the Opening Ceremony, and thought -“this is the replacement for Moomba”! The fireworks were a bit special. But as for the wood-duck…
    Whatever else we may think of the good points of these games, they are not generating much excitement. Does this mean that Sydney (with the Olympics) has primacy over Melbourne? Are the Commonwealth Games a poison chalice?

    Michael Gill
    16/3/2006 | 9:26 pm

    What the DUCK were they thinking?

    What about the Aussie athletes’ uniforms? They were appalling. Poorly tailored unlined school blazers made of synthetic material that would not sit or fit correctly being forever blown open in the breeze.

    Why would the overseas sporting public give a toss about an AFL legend and captains wandering about on the river?

    You couldn’t even see the 70 odd fish that cost millions and seemed to do nothing let alone be relevant.

    The whole theme of the main opening was all leftist themed nonsense that was certainly beyond the capacity of commentators to interpret.

    Gee, is this an elction year or something?

    25/3/2006 | 9:40 am

    Leunig the anti-semite. The age-old tactic e.g. Anti-Bush = anti-American. It’s worth getting things right before accusing someone of racism. You guys should know. For clarity (from the Australian)

    The Leunig cartoon falsely entered in the Iranian competition was one that the then editor of The Age newspaper, Michael Gawenda, refused to publish in 2002 on the grounds it was “inappropriate”.

    It depicts the Auschwitz concentration camp complete with the ironic phrase “Work Brings Freedom” over the entrance, with a small distressed figure with a swag over his shoulder in front. The next panel shows what appears to be an Israeli military camp with the words “War Brings Peace” above its entrance, with an Israeli soldier standing in front.

    mikal skeates
    30/3/2006 | 12:58 pm

    I was ashamed to be a victorian last week. I am from melbourne and I was appauled at the opening ceremony then came the closing I was gonna die. It was the slowest most drawn out theatrical bile I have evr encountered. Being in the event business it was the last straw. I was never going to ever criticise melbourne having lived in sydney for years I get to hear all the rivalry. I was involved in the olympics and was invited to participate however the melbourne commonwealth games organisers could not find it in their hearts to employ one melbournian let alone anyone from australia for there event. The games were the most hoplessly organised event in history. Lucky no one saw the mess the fighting the debacles behind the scenes. I am sorry melbourne but the (not aloud to mention urban provincial group- deleted because we are not a free country who can excercise freedom of speech) concered were the usual suspects who high jack everything and turn it into a open free expression of their mind set. Arty Farty ………. (deleted) wankers of the …..(deleted)arts mafia (not the other one). I have edited my story so it will at least in part be published because as we all know even if you are of the persuasion yourself you are not allowed to generalise or make sweeping statements about certain groups of individuals who highjack and self promote using tax payers money. Its a big thumbs down for the melbourne artistic directors of the ceremonies .

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