Laugh Through The Pain, As Gladys Berejiklian’s ‘War On Festivals’ Is Now A Glorious Meme


Gladys Berejiklian memes

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On top of being misguided, Draconian and deeply confused, Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW government’s “war on festivals“, launched a few short weeks ahead of a state election, feels decidedly self-destructive.

After all, becoming embroiled in public spats with everyone from events organisers to pill-testing experts to bits of boomer-bait like David Koch seems like bad optics at the best of times.

It’s an even worse war to wage close enough to an election that even un-engaged voters will step into the voting booth with the vision of Gladys Berejiklian mouthing off patronising condemnations and pseudo-science when pressed to admit her role in the collapsing of a popular music event.

But thanks to her frequent snafus, and the admission that she doesn’t actually have firsthand experience of some of the key issues she is presiding over, Berejiklian has finally been given the meme treatment. And it is truly wonderful.

The memes, which have been rapidly spreading thanks to Auspol-focused meme pages, take jabs at Berejiklian’s hardline status on anything resembling a good time out, and cast her as a red-eyed cultural gatekeeper willing to wage a war on everything from the Liberal National Party to Spike Milligan’s lauded nonsense poem ‘On The Ning Nang Nong’.

It’s a jape, of course, but it’s also a neat skewering of the behaviour of boomer politicians who grew up in a period of extraordinary privilege — able to attend university for free, enter the housing market, and live in a world un-fucked by the worst excesses of capitalism — and who use their time and energy to police young people.

That’s not the only kind of Berejiklian meme floating around either — following the viral success of the “leave a poo at Gladys Berejiklian’s doorstep” Facebook page, a bunch of pranksters have gotten in on the fun, creating events for “Snorting ket off of Gladys Berejiklian’s mail box” (that’ll go down on April 4, apparently), and “Throw [a] flan at Gladys Berejiklian’s face” (Sunday June 9). For the record, please don’t actually do any of those things.

For their part, the Berejiklian government are clearly in damage control mode at the moment, attempting to resolve the war on festivals by making the process of risk assessment as opaque — and thus, presumably, as hard to criticise — as possible.

It’s a bold strategy: we’ll find out if it works for them come the State election on March 23.

Lead Image: Australian Green Memes For Actually Progressive Teens