Saturday, September 22, 2007

The great Australian brain shortage

Well, now we are in the twelfth year of the Australian brain drought and there's no end in sight. People have long since ceased to ask, "Do you think we'll have any brains this year?" and "How many brains do we have left?" They have now moved on to stoic acceptance.

It is worth asking again what has led to our current brainless state. We never used to have a problem with brains! There were plenty of brains to go round: brains for all! We saw a fresh flow of new brains into our country every year, and no-one went lacking for brains. Indeed, right through the 50s and 60s, the patriotic cry was: "One man! One brain! One country!" Our brains were our own, and no-one could take them away from us!

However, it's amazing what shortages can be created with a little political will and the money to back them up. Quite soon, shortages started appearing in the nation's brain supply. Little were we to know that these temporary brain shortages would turn out to be a recurring problem in our system of brain management.

The recriminations soon began: "This country never had enough brains to go around!" was the cry of the environmentalists. They maintained that we had exceeded the natural, sustainable amount of brains in this country, and that unless parts of the population started drastically cutting back on their brain use, we would soon be in deep trouble.
Socialists, on the other hand, maintained a rigorous Brain Redistribution policy. For a short time, the Whitlam Government tried to instate a National Brain Rationing Scheme, where brains were taken from the overly intelligent and given to the stupid. "It is greedy and selfish of the intelligent to be thinking so much with their brains, when the stupid people don't get to do any thinking at all!" argued one minister. However, the stupid didn't like being called stupid, and the intelligent weren't too happy about this policy either, and it never got off the ground.
Meanwhile, the right-wing insisted that only those who could pay for brains through their own ghard-earned money deserved them. Still others insisted on opening up the free market in brainns, and privatising the National Brainage schemes set up inn the 1930s and 40s by successive governments.

For a time, we seemed to have brains worked out. The great national shortage of brains reeceded, and while there still weren't quite enough brains to go round, most people had a brain, or at least half a brain to themselves. Sensible management of brains by politicians, combined with the contribution of some private brain providers, seemed to be working. There were sighs of relief all around, and people got back to the business of thinking with what brains they had.

Unfortunately, all was not as it seemed. After ten or so years with the brain supply being more or less stable, we have fallen into the worst brain drought of our history. What has caused this
current brain shortage is certainly up for debate, but the situation has become drastic. The brain levels in all states and territories has become so low that politicians have resorted to drastic measures to curb brain usage. Restrictions on thinking at certain hours of the day have become the norm, and brain users find themselves having to conform to a number of regulations regarding size and type of brain used.

Innovative solutions have been proposed, including the construction of new brain infrastructure for all the states and territories. Our Prime Minister, John Howard, has given it the inspiring title of THE NATIONAL BRAIN DRAIN. This 'drain' would lead to a 'national brain pool', and would be able to be accessed by all Australians, irrespective of background or intelligence.
It remains to be seen whether we can finally make our brain situation stable again, but many are confident that with the good will and devotion of our political leaders, that brains can be restored to their former place of prestige in our nation, and that we can restore our previous
high levels of brains.

However, there are many who doubt this can be achievable. Recent revelations that the brain drought stretches to very high levels, and that in fact many of our most senior politicians have been swearing off brain use for just this reason, have rocked the nation. It might be possible to admire our leaders for their stoic refusal to indulge in even the most basic level of thinking, but can it be safe to run a nation completely without brains? What could the consequences be for the management of our remaining brain stocks if this situation continues?

There are further allegations that the federal Liberal/National Coalition have helped to create the national brain shortage by their unusual dietary habits. It seems certain that, whatever the outcome of these current scandals are, that the great Australian brain shortage will not end anytime soon...

Federal Minister Philip Ruddock (or possibly Tony Abbott, it's hard to tell) refused to comment when questioned regarding allegations that he had contributed to the great Australian brain shortage by eating the brains of his fellow Federal politicians...


Caz said...

Sounds like an obvious case for a public-private-partnership.

If the Brain Drain PPP also encompasses solar and wind energy sources, and a dam, and a desalination plant, all the better.

To supplement the PPP project, all households should be required to install tanks to catch brain-drain run-off.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Does this report on the brain drain bear any relation to some mysterious zombie event that is taking place today? I will seek confirmation from Sydney's "face of the underground", Daz Chandler.

TimT said...

Good suggestions, Caz. A tank per head, perhaps? Though one suspects that some politicians would have precious little to offer.

Mitzi, I had no idea there was a mysterious zombie event happening - if there is. Daz Chandler - who's he?

Caz said...

I think it's reasonable to suggest that some households will have more run-off than others, while some, such as at the homes of economists, greenies, journalists, politicians and "personalities", will be found to be chronically drought-stricken.

We should save the not-yet-fully-brain-drained, rather than throwing precious synapses and neurons into barren skulls, hoping against hope that something will stick.

(Let's never forget: if you don't have irrational beliefs and passions in your twenties, you have no heart; it you still have irrational beliefs and passions in your forties, you have no brain.)

nailpolishblues said...

Do you know anyone over forty with a brain, Caz?

P.S. I am home on a Saturday night perusing an IKEA catalogue. My future, and my brain's future, is looking dim.

TimT said...

Look at it this way. In one language, the word IKEA just HAS to be an anagram of another very dirty, incredibly offensive swear word.

Actually, scratch that, IKEA is already an incredibly offensive swear word in the English language.

nailpolishblues said...

Oh come on, Tim, everyone loves not-terribly-cheap and mostly-fucking-ugly furniture! The textiles are even better. My eyes are still bleeding.

TimT said...

I don't know about that. But I got a catalogue from Sydney Uni the other day, advertising a number of goods (with the introduction of VSU, they're reduced to tarting stuff to their alumni via the mail) and I happened to spy an ad there for a silk tie.

God help me, it was the word silk that did it. My jaw fell open and I started slobbering.

Thankfully, I am the very model of fortitude and protestant resilience, and I resisted Satan's lures. No silken ties for me!

nailpolishblues said...

Great, thanks for making me open my junk mail.

Well, it has some rather pretty red stripes and it is silk...what's $50 anyway?

Oooooh SU a book!

TimT said...

But what would I do with it?

I suppose I could spend my last 50 dollars on it and then use it to hang myself.

nailpolishblues said...

Autoerotic asphyxiation.

Make sure you leave all your best unpublished poems nearby [but not too nearby]...just in case.

Caz said...

Nails - I tried glancing through my copy of the IKEA catalogue a couple of weeks ago. I got to about page five before dying. Fortunately a passing stranger knew CPI, revived me, propped me up on some Freedom Furniture scatter cushions, burnt the IKEA catalogue and then went on his way.

As you might have deduced, to this very day, I am still alive.

Oh, did I mention that I'm way past 40 Nails?

Answer that question with extreme caution.

nailpolishblues said...

...anyone else...?

Mitzi G Burger said...

Daz Chandler hosts Monday Overdrive on 2SER-FM. I help her present the show.

TimT said...


I assumed Daz was short for Darryl, or was a weird combination of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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