Culture

While We Were Distracted, Clive Palmer Became The Greatest Philosopher Of Our Time

Something is happening here.

Sometimes great art and philosophy is so future that you don’t even understand it straight away. Sometimes our dumb human brains, those slimy orbs of jelly thoughts, don’t have the capacity to decipher great works. It can take a while to digest these things. You think people were into Plato straight away? You reckon no-one ever said to Nietzsche, “My dude, you need to stop talking about the futility of existence at parties, you’re freaking everyone out”?

This is a long way of saying that something is happening with Clive Palmer (well, something has been going on with him for a while, but this is different). While we were busy worrying about the US government caring so little about Australia that they couldn’t even commit our prime minister’s name to memory, and the fact that the planet is dying before our very eyes and our elected leaders don’t seem to give a shit, Clive Palmer was quietly forging the most puzzling and inspirational social media presence of any Australia politician in the game.

I present to you Exhibit A: a short poem about a hot dog.

Why did Clive Palmer sit down today at 4.37pm (I assume he was sitting; no-one likes to tweet with their butt unsupported) and decide to write a three sentence poem about hot dogs? Why doesn’t he like hot dogs? Why are the only three choices a hot dog, a hamburger and a lettuce? Are we to believe that Clive Palmer sometimes finds himself in situations in which he eats a whole head of lettuce?

Why did he think this was so vital that he also posted it on Facebook?

This social media post is not an anomaly. Taking in Clive Palmer’s entire Twitter archive is an overwhelming experience — and I expect, a rich topic for someone’s thesis on great works of poetry in the 21st Century — but even just looking at the posts from this month alone, is quite a wild ride.

There was a farewell song for Cory Bernardi.

(Cory got a poem too.)

(Oh wait, it’s still going.)

Clive wants people to be nice to each other, but he also wants you to get something back for being nice. Kindness is a transaction. You’ve got Clive’s bonafide guarantee on that, friends. He doesn’t want you going out there and being kind with no rewards, he wants to assure you that that kindness will be returned. He doesn’t want you to have any doubt about that.

Sometimes Clive asks questions that give you a bit of existential dread because you don’t know the answer, and actually don’t fully understand the question in the first place. Great art can do that.

Sometimes Clive starts a tweet and doesn’t finish it, but he doesn’t delete his mistake tweet. In real life you can’t delete your mistakes (mostly).

Sometimes Clive is like, “you know what? I’m not going to tell them the specifics on how to improve their lives — even though I, Clive Palmer, absolutely do know what the key to happiness is — but I want them to know that I know, but also be encouraging”.

You said it, Clive.

Sometimes Clive wants us to take a minute to feel inspired by ladders and also, the ocean, two things in life that are catastrophic when you combine them, but separately are extremely vital.

Sometimes Clive decides he needs to lay some hard truths on us, because hard truths are the only way that we can grow as a country.

Sometimes Clive just wants you ungrateful clowns to know that he is out here for you every second of the goddamn day.

Occasionally Clive comes up with controversial ideas that could change the face of the country.

Other times Clive just likes to take the temperature on how everyone’s day is going.