I love The Chaser, not so much for their willingness to push boundaries, but for their approach to satire as an art form. They really do have a unique capacity to bring out the best and sometimes the worst in Australian society.
Yesterday’s stunt could only ever have ended in someone being arrested, if not shot. While I tend to agree with Neil Fergus from at least the potential for personal harm angle, even ‘Dolly’ Downer openly conceded that The Chaser comics never intended anyone any harm.
“They presumably were – as is the nature of their show – aiming to humiliate a lot of well known people,” he said. “On this one occasion I managed not to see them, so it shows just how lucky you can get.”
There is a certain inference that the boundaries, of what is supposed to be a highly restricted security zone, are not clear and not properly secured. As one commenter to the ABC articles states, ‘How can you be arrested for being waved through by police???’
Humiliation with purpose is the entire focus of good satire. Delivering a message in as pointed a manner as possible it’s goal. Yesterday’s ‘stunt’ certainly achieved that. Security forces are highly embarrassed, and so they damn-well ought to be. They failed in their tasks and mightily so. Sure, the gag might have gone horribly wrong, but what’s to say, with snipers on rooftops and armed police at every turn, that something still won’t? This is a part of The Chaser’s message to those who think throwing a veil of intrigue and faux importance around this international goose fest is the way to win friends, influence people and inspire awe throughout a gullible populace. Australian’s, in general, aren’t gullible. We have an inate irreverence for authority and a deep-seated disdain for pomp and circumstance. I know I do at any rate.
I reckon what The Chaser did yesterday was an absolute hoot from a number of angles, and more power to them. The more often we show up our politicians and other pretenders to high office for the false-fronts they really are, the more moderate our society will remain. And so it should always be.