McKenzie Wark on 6 Aug 2000 20:26:35 -0000

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<nettime> Little Johnny (fwd)

"We no longer have roots, we have aerials."
 -- McKenzie Wark 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2000 21:43:29 EST

Dear friends -
Just to let you know: Little Johnny releases his new single "I'm Sorry" 
tomorrow (Monday). I'm on the Channel 9 "Today" show at 7:50am; Radio 
National around 8:15am; and 2DAY FM at 8:15pm. There should be a story in 
the Sydney Morning Herald today. I'm filming lots of other interviews that 
should pop up over the next week or so, and we should be on Rage on Friday.

The website goes up around 10am or so at

I've attached a story that went out on the AAP wire service last night, so 
the other Little Johnny will get to read it by morning. I'll see you all in 

SYDNEY, Aug 5 AAP - The artist-formerly-known-as Pauline Pantsdown has 
returned to centre stage as Little Johnny - the latest in Australian 
political satire, complete with comb-over hairstyle.
  Pantsdown sent up controversial One Nation leader Pauline Hanson by 
joining various recordings of her voice in the top-ten single, I Don't Like 
It, which sold 30,000 copies and managed two nominations at last year's ARIA 
  Now Simon Hunt, who digitally invented the Little Johnny (LJ) character 
has no less than Prime Minister John Howard in his sights with the debut 
song, I'm Sorry.
  The song has been digitally compiled by Mr Hunt, using fragments of Mr 
Howard's voice, in an effort to find "the apology within".
   Mr Hunt, who lectures on sound at the New South Wales College of Fine 
Arts and has a background in theatre and film, collected 65 minutes of 
"Howard-speak" from television and radio interviews.
   He said after about 450 hours manipulating the sound using computer 
software, he was left with 7,500 words, parts of words and phrases.
"Even then, I still couldn't get the little guy to say his 'r's
properly," Mr Hunt explains.
"It's no wonder he's so unwilling to say the word 'sorry'."
He said he had turned his attention to the Prime Minister because he was 
beginning to take on all of Mrs Hanson's ideas.
   "He's become her and she's become him," he said.
   "I have never seen them in the same room at the same time - so they must 
be the same person."
   Mr Hunt said it was too early to predict how Mr Howard would react to his 
newly created alter-ego.
   "I'd expect him to take it on the chin," he said.
   "But he doesn't have much of one."
   But if the Hanson experience is anything to go by, Mr Howard may now have 
every reason to fear for his electoral fortunes.
   Pantsdown ran as New South Wales Senate candidate in the 1998 federal 
election, confronting Mrs Hanson and her adviser David Oldfield at every 
turn, with the brightly-dressed drag character's campaign featured in 
domestic and international media coverage.
   Liberal MP Cameron Thompson, who successfully defeated Mrs Hanson for the 
Queensland federal seat of Blair attributed his success to his focus "on 
doing something for the local people, while she (Mrs Hanson) was doing 
battle with Pauline Pantsdown."
   But Mr Hunt says LJ does not have much work to do to bring about Mr 
Howard's political downfall.
   "I think he's on the way down anyway," he said.
   "I'm going to get a reputation for kicking people while they're down.
It's good to hurry things along anyway."
   He thought long and hard about the prospect of introducing the LJ
character after realising he would have to endure hundreds of hours of Mr 
Howard's voice in the studio.
   "I didn't think there was a song in him because he speaks in such a
monotone," Mr Hunt said.
   "For all her drastic faults, Pauline had melody."
   Mr Hunt says there's even something in the character for the followers of 
the latest fashion trends and in particular, hairstyles.
   "The mullet is dead, the comb-over is back," he said.
   LJ and his debut single will be officially unveiled to the public in
Sydney tomorrow but the character had a successful first trial run on the 
weekend at the Newtown Theatre during the inaugural Miss Reconciliation 
Quest, an Aboriginal drag contest.
   AAP as

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