Hunting Nazis is hard work so painting Hitler moustaches onto Josh Frydenberg posters does us all a big favor. We’re in campaign mode in Kooyong and nothing says Nazi more than a Jewish-Australian Treasurer whose family escaped the Holocaust.
The strange woman who lives in my computer like a virtual Anne Frank recently implied that I’m a Nazi too because unless I support Egg Boy’s Freedom Egg then I am a fascist. It’s an Axis Powers chicken or the egg thing.
So I’m kind of offended because I’m not really a Nazi but there are lots of them out there and so many things these days to be offended about. It’s like the old joke about Gillian Triggs, Tim Soutphommasane and the dead cartoonist – you just have to go looking for them.
Down here in leafy Hawthorn there are lots of Nazis. It’s where rich people go to die; dissatisfied communication specialists to sulk and unemployed journalism graduates to mow lawns. It’s a Weimar recipe for disaster with its faux jazz bars and Kurt Weil theme nights, its vast economic disparities between the rich and those with a second swimming pool and its suspiciously fascist Hugo Boss franchises.
Fertile grounds for a social media meme megalomaniac called Julian to rise to the top by playing on the resentments of a defeated people who want to know why they haven’t got the NBN yet.
I am on busy Glenferrie Road just outside the railway station, the cupcake shop and the old Casey’s nightclub where like an inner suburban Salon Kitty tired private school boys just back from rowing training used to be herded to go and breed. I’m interviewing the independent candidate and she is waiting for the revolution and wearing dark spectacles like Doctor Strangelove as she hands out her flyers to a white power elite that drive four wheel drives and eat Kale.
I like independents because they make me feel better about my own inability to ruthlessly rise to the top. I ask about her brochure that seems to be an impressive mix of tax cuts for small business, repairs to the Town Hall rotunda and establishing a new world order.
She says it’s the third time she’s run and then whispers some unspeakable hate speech I never thought possible in Hawthorn (but very likely at the Burwood-end of Mount Waverley or maybe Northcote). ‘It’s about time we got a woman into this seat… I mean the Liberal’s run Frydenberg and the Green’s Burnside it always… you know, a certain type of man’
As a Nazi hunter I’m right onto this, ‘ummm, you do know Burnside isn’t Jewish, right?’
But then I realize with horror she meant Men Like Me. And all the other men like me. Even the nice defeated-looking one over there wearing army fatigues and a Baby Bunting papoose.
On Glenferrie and Riversdale next to the church where I got married by a Catholic priest who was probably an Italian fascist I spot a young boy singing Tomorrow belongs to me (Der Morgige Tag ist Mein). The defeated faces of those watching – retirees about to have their franking dividends cut, parents dealing with rampant school fee hyperinflation, Transurban shareholders still wishing East link or something else on the Eastern front was built. Surrounded by his uniformed, blonde acolytes I’m relieved to learn it’s just a private school auditioning its upcoming production of Cabaret.
I am an auctioneer’s gavel. Down tree lined Anderson Street and its bespoke twin baby cricket ovals where I once played cricket during my golden years they are auctioning off that one million dollar house for four million but they will have to pay in stolen museum art as the bitcoin economy crashes.
A young Aryan couple in matching Hugo Boss suits from Box Hill or possibly Dandenong who are moving up in the world raise their arms to salute the auctioneer. They remember a sadder time when they also had to mow lawns to pay their HECs and have expansionist tendencies that will never be satisfied until they retire at 45.
One day they will kill themselves in a newly renovated bunker with polished floorboards, a gun and air purification units but they haven’t worked this out yet.
Michael Scammell finds Nazis on his computer all the time
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