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The mad Mullahs of Moderate-stan

By Rex Ringschott - posted Monday, 22 January 2007

There’s a place not far from here. Not an exotic place because exotic is a word that conjures up the idea of unique and fascinating. Not a welcoming place either really because, well, it just isn’t. Nevertheless it’s not far away, and as renowned travellers, we Australians shouldn’t overlook it as a place to visit, however temporarily.

Moderate-stan is currently under the sway of a group of very opinionated, very loud writers and speakers. The mullahs. The main skill of these people seems to be that they are very opinionated and very loud. The other skill they have, if you can call it a skill, is that they’re extremely moderate. So moderate in fact that much of the rest of the population fails to achieve this refined level of moderation.

The mullahs however do hold considerable sway over the people for the simple reason that they’re very very loud, and very, very definite, and people whether they agree or not, or maybe just aren’t that certain about things, don’t feel its their place to question or raise objections to somebody so loud and definite After all they’re busy with their own lives, looking after the kids, paying off the mortgage, and it just doesn’t pay to stick your head up sometimes.


This is because, when it comes to matters of moderation, the mullah’s style is to attack. If the institutions of moderation are under threat, or indeed if there is an institution that is not yet behaving moderately, the Mullahs will, in a frenzy of venom spitting moderation, attack their foes, sully their reputations, impugn their motives, make outrageous accusations, and accuse them of destroying the very fabric of society through their intolerable immoderation.

The victims of the mullah’s fury include scientists, priests, artists, cartoonists, playwrights, filmmakers, authors, and poor people who have the gall to hold their hand out.

The Mullahs maintain close ties with people in government, but they’re also smart enough to cultivate close relationships with people who may not yet be in government but maybe one day will be. These government and government-to-be people know that the Mullahs are influential and provided that they are all singing from the same verse of the Hymnbook of Moderation everything will be nice and tuneful, with none of that dreadful discordant rubbish, what’s its called? Jazz!

Most people therefore are generally cluey enough to pull their burqua of moderation over their head when they walk out the door in the morning. It provides enough camouflage to enable them to get on with things, and when they get home they’re free to indulge in a little quiet immoderation because the Mullahs don’t have their eye on what goes on in the people’s private lives. Yet!

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First published in LaborFirst Bloggers on February 16, 2006. It is republished as part of "Best Blogs of 2006" a feature in collaboration with Club Troppo, and edited by Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen et al.

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About the Author

Rex is a crotchety ALP member based in Melbourne, who works neither in the media or government, but is facinated with the workings of both. He posts on the LaborFirst Bloggers.

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