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Interview with the Double Disillusionists

So, the good folks at Telum interviewed Dom and I for their media email blast thing, and I thought it entertaining enough to reprint here in not-email form. Enjoy!

Telum Talks To… Andrew P Street and Dominic Knight, Presenters, The Double Disillusionists
What inspired you two to make this election podcast?
APS: I naturally realised that writing a daily column and two books was insufficient for me to say all I had to say on the endlessly-fascinating subject of Australian politics, and that another time-consuming regular commitment would really hit the spot. And I was genuinely excited about Dom no longer being constrained by being employed by our public broadcaster and therefore being free to express political opinions, not least since he’s erudite, articulate and hilarious.
DOM: Aw, shucks! The obvious thing to do after four years of getting paid to talk into microphones is to find a way to keep doing that for free. Mostly I’m just trying to ride APS’ coattails now that he’s the nation’s greatest political commentator (by volume).

How do you know each other and what are your roles within the podcast?
APS: Dom and I met via a mutual friend with whom I worked when I was Music Editor at Time Out Sydney, and we just kinda hit it off when he started inviting me onto 702 ABC to talk about music-related stuff on a semi-regular basis. And Dom’s very much taken on the “Producer” role because he’s got actual broadcasting experience. I’m just some jerk who rambles on about whatever’s at the front of my brain at that moment and is far, FAR better on the page than on mic.
DOM: What he said, only I didn’t really know the mutual friend either, and was basically gatecrashing a party. We’re recording it via Skype because none of us are in the same place, so I try to play the role of traffic cop and interjector with various off-topic witticisms. Also, I generally haven’t been following the campaign as closely as APS and the guest because I’m travelling, so I tend to spend most of my time listening agog.

Most memorable campaign moments either from this campaign, or campaigns gone by?
APS: Has there been a memorable moment yet? It’s the most soporific election campaign in Australian political history, it seems to me. A few mid-debate knife fights would perk things up rapidly, though.
DOM: Nothing willl ever beat Mal Meninga’s political career – but it’s a pity nobody watched the first debate, because it was a true contest of ideas, on topics that mostly mattered, between two leaders who genuinely knew their stuff and engaged with voters. So of course a cable channel during the week’s top-rating football clashes was the ideal place for it.

Dom, you’re in Europe at the moment, so how do you ‘sync’ up for Andrew to tape the podcast?
APS: I am entirely at his mercy.
DOM: Lots of emails, the first seventeen of which say “Nah, let’s do it tomorrow”. Recording across timezones like this with two busy people and one bludging holidaymaker is unnecessarily hard, but APS and I really wanted to do this, and weren’t likely to be constrained by the sheer impracticality.

What are you working on apart from this podcast?
APS: I’m writing a sequel to my book about the Abbott government [The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott] at the moment – like, literally should be doing that right now instead of this – and writing my “View from the Street” column for Fairfax five days a week, while also doing the odd bit of other writing in all that spare time I have. And occasionally getting abdominal surgery, although hopefully that was more of a one-off.
DOM: I’m trying not to work as much as possible, and editing a podcast feels like a massive failure. I’m also writing a bit for The Drum, Daily Lifeand whoever else will pay me to sling a few words about. I’m also currently pitching a book called The Long and Excruciatingly Prolific Writing Of Admiral P Street, but as yet have no takers.

The ability to download radio programmes is nothing new, so why do you think podcasting is seeing such a surge in popularity?
APS: Is it actually popular? I just figure that podcasts are sort of like official websites were in the early 00s: they’re not especially valuable within themselves, but if you’re any sort of public figure you need to have one in order to appear that you take your career the least bit seriously.
DOM: They are a bit like what the Fauves said about three-pieces – everyone’s getting one together. But coming from broadcast radio, I really like the ability to make audio that people can listen to when it suits them, rather than the other way around. And the freedom involved is really delightful – both in terms of content and the invigorating freedom from getting paid.

Most memorable story / media moment you’ve been involved with?
APS: Zia McCabe of the Dandy Warhols once stripped me down to my underwear and put me in a cow costume. It was backstage at the Big Day Out and it was in order that I might therefore dance on stage with the dozens of other similarly-costumed folks during the Flaming Lips’ set, but I feel that the first bit of the story sounds slightly more exciting without the second bit.
DOM: Probably gatecrashing the stage of John Howard’s election victory in 2004. Instead of pulling a Chaser prank, I definitely should have given him a heartfelt thanks for saving us from Prime Minister Mark Latham.

Coffee, lunch or drinks?
APS: That sounds like the correct order to me.
DOM: Espresso martinis for lunch?

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
APS: I don’t care for the implication that I don’t already possess superpowers. I’m not necessarily wearing underpants outside my trousers simply because I don’t get how pants work, you know.
DOM: I would like to be able to be able to devour an entire primary school’s worth of sausages and lamingtons without getting a heart attack, because nothing tastes as sweet as democracy.

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2 comments on “Interview with the Double Disillusionists

  1. Dear Andrew,

    Your latest fictitious article is comical in the extreme. You attempt to sit yourself on a high moral ground and apologise for Sonia Krugers comments. Please understand that you are in the minority in your views and you are out of line (with real Australins) to publish your commentary on behalf of rational everyday Australians. Your article in summary is ( from my perspective) is one that is such a warped & apologetic left winged variety. You appear to rationalise your views on the basis of rational thinking on behalf of “real thinking intellectual people. — what you neglect to understand is that some groups of people representing Islam are irrational and without logic. Tolerance inside Islam of cowardly terrorism is the challenge the world faces, you are a coward for singling out a poor lady.. that notion is not rational.

    This country has gone mad… And people like you are not helpful.

    Answer the following;

    1. How many Buddists committed indiscriminate violence on inoncent people on behalf of their faith in the last 5 years? Name one?
    2. How many honour killings have Christians conducted in the last 12 months?
    3. How many Muslim countries in the world are civilised to the point where they are stable and profitable and peaceful … Oh maybe Saudi Arabia .. Whoops.. They are peaceful arnt they!!.

    4. The channel 9 commentators ( on the today show) that wished to distance themselves from Sonia’s comments explained that a Muslim woman was killed in the Nice Attack and therefore it’s a random attack indescrimite of religion.. Rubbish!!. This is warped logic, the attack happened in France because it is a majority Cristian country. The chances are that if you drive a truck through 200 people in a Cristian country you will know that the majoririty are not Muslim.

    Your article is inflammatory and is unwarranted, and is not the view shared by the majority of intellectual people in this country.

    Have you lived in a country governess by sharia law before you absolute goose!!

  2. Hi Andrew,

    I hadn’t noticed that you’d written this, so sorry for the delay. And thanks for posting a angry, badly-spelled screed on an unrelated page, like a reasonable adult would do and definitely not like some sort of weirdo. But since you ask…

    1. Loads, in Myanmar. It’s why so many Rohingya people are attempting to flee to safe havens like Australia, where they then get put in offshore detention because we’re abysmal global citizens: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/2/myanmars-buddhist-terrorism-problem.html
    2. Well, given that “honour killings” are typically men killing their wives or relatives, pretty much every incidence of intimate partner violence would be an attempted or successful “honour killing”. Being an angry, violent man who thinks that they have a right to control a woman’s body is hardly exclusive to any particular religion.
    3. Indonesia’s stable and peaceful and Qatar’s one of the richest and most well educated per-capita nations on the planet, so you’re going to need to invent more arbitrary straw man arguments to prove that Islam is scary, I’m afraid.
    4. I have no idea what you’re talking about, but to be fair I’m sure you don’t either. You know I’m not on the Today show, right? I’m not sure why you think your denial of something they apparently said is some sort of knock-down argument against whatever it was that you thought I wrote, but you should probably be made aware that it’s spelled “Christian”. You know, since you’re apparently among the majority of intellectual people in this country.

    And your “have you lived in a country governess [sic] by sharia law” bit is adorable. Not that I wish to suggest that you don’t know the first thing about how things work in the country you’re pretending to protect, but you do realise Australia’s not going to adopt sharia law, right? For one thing, the Constitution specifically prohibits it. Specifically, Section 116: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

    Gotta say, your majority of intellectual people seems woefully unaware of some pretty basic facts. But, y’know, thanks?

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