Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mount Isa Doctrine

A certified Obama-free posting™ !
No artificial ingredients

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you news from Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.
John Molony, the mayor of the Australian outback mining town of Mount Isa, is a straight-talking Aussie bloke, the kind of man who calls a spade a bloody shovel. But after suggesting that "beauty disadvantaged" women should move to his remote Queensland town, where men outnumber females five to one, he may think twice about being so forthright in the future. Under attack from angry locals, he is facing calls to resign.

Molony sparked outrage when he highlighted the shortage of women in the remote town in north Queensland (population 25,000) in an interview in his local newspaper. "May I suggest if there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa," he said.

It is almost unheard of in a politician to be completely lacking in tact, but Mr. Molony seems to be an example of such a rare species.

Leaving aside the merits of his proposal, it could have been phrased in a way that was flattering both to the numerically excess men in his town and to the women he was trying to recruit for them. He could have just said, "We've got a lot of great blokes here in Mount Isa, and a deficit of women. Word to the wise, ladies."

Hear me, Mr. Molony. Women who are, in your phrase, "beauty disadvantaged" — well, mate, at least you didn't say "beauty challenged," I'll give you that — aren't thick witted. They can divide five by one, and decode messages better than the Australian Military Intelligence Service.

As it is, it's hard to say who you have insulted most: Mount Isa's blokes, by implying that they are so desperate they'll revise their standards for feminine allure lower than the floor of the Marianas Trench, or the Aussie women who aren't classic beauties.

Mr. Molony, I don't think this is the time to announce your candidacy for Prime Minister. If you have a lot of pull with the Diplomatic Service, like incriminating evidence on its top 12 officials, maybe they can find a place for you if you are run out of Mount Isa.


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