Special day

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Last updated on August 6th, 2017 at 05:28 am

The Age’s Michael Leunig celebrates Anzac Day:

I knew a Turkish man who owned a coffee shop around the corner from where I used to live.

Ten Anzac Days ago I went to his shop for a morning coffee to be greeted by his wicked smile and twinkling eyes. “Good morning Michael,” he said, “Happy Anzac Day. This is the special day,” he declared with mock formality, “to remember that all invading armies must be thrown back into the sea.”

I have to say, it was not such a bad way to start the morning.

The ghosts of all Australians killed at Gallipoli salute you, Leunig. Following are his further points summarised:

• “Stupid, boring” Australians should be more like Muslims than Americans;

• The lyrics of a Christian hymn seem “to be more about a rampaging gang of morons than a wandering prophet who espoused radical love”;

• Leunig has authority issues relating to his childhood 50 years ago;

• Innocent frogs die in the name of terrorism;

• US movies are scary;

• A simulated bombing attack witnessed “many years ago” results in lasting problems: “I beheld as never before, a vision of massive modern hatred – spreading, surging and bulging red out of black, engulfing the land and sky and all imagination in a monstrous wave of hellish human savagery”;

• Kurt Vonnegut helps Leunig understand Australia;

• Wealthy Leunig believes childen should not be “aspirational”;

• Anzac Day is crap unless you spend it with someone who is glad Australians were killed … and who then moved to Australia.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/27/2007 at 01:52 PM
    1. Somewhere buried underneath the new carpark at Anzac Cove is an ordinary human heart.

      Yeah, some of our high-crime big cities in the US have parking lots like that.

      After reading this drivel, can I assume that Michael “Resents Everything” Leunig had a really miserable childhood?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 04 27 at 02:08 PM • permalink


    1. Nowadays, most boys don’t get the chance to light bonfires and burn human effigies, so they have to light bushfires and torch cars, hedges and St Vincent de Paul donation bins instead.

      No Mikey, that’d be your ‘Africans, Asians and Muslims’ with their ‘spirited good humour, lively thinking and sincerity’ who are getting their pyromaniacal rocks off.

      Posted by CO² max on 2007 04 27 at 02:25 PM • permalink


    1. So if I were dusky I could insult guys like Leunig to his face with impunity too?

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 04 27 at 02:45 PM • permalink


    1. I’m always amazed that Leunig is willing to remain in Australia.  Surely he’d be happier in Turkey or Iran or North Korea or somewhere.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 04 27 at 03:08 PM • permalink


    1. I am currently in the UK. On ANZAC Day I went into a tiny War Cemetery in a nearby village. To my surprise, there were 4 Aussies from the RAAF buried there. They were all in their twenties.

      They died young so that Leunig could live long and spout shit.

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 04 27 at 03:21 PM • permalink


    1. Sounds like he needs to move someplace where he can be mocked daily.  He might be happier in, say, Iran? Turkey?

      Posted by Old Tanker on 2007 04 27 at 03:44 PM • permalink


    1. #3 So if I were dusky I could insult guys like Leunig to his face with impunity too?

      SoberHT, you can insult him if you’re lily white.  What’s he going to do about it?  Cry?  Tattle to God in the paddock?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 04 27 at 03:54 PM • permalink


    1. What a demented, clueless and pathetic old fart.

      Posted by Mystery Meat on 2007 04 27 at 03:59 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t care how hard those teachers belted Leunig as a schoolkid, it wasn’t hard enough.

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 04 27 at 04:07 PM • permalink


    1. Wow, he really hates Australians doesn’t he?

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 04 27 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. I imagine it was the 8 year girls who beat up Leunig for his lunch money that chaps his ass, Dminor.  The teachers were bigger than him, after all.  Girls half his age, that’s a different problem.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 04 27 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. I knew a Turkish man who owned a coffee shop around the corner from where I used to live.

      Sounds a little too stereotypical to me, Turkish man…must own a coffee shop. I think the asshole made that whole story up. But speaking of invading armies, a real Turkish Coffee Salesman would have delighted in telling Loonig about how the Turks almost exterminated the Armenians around the time the Ottoman Empire was winding down.

      Posted by Arty on 2007 04 27 at 04:57 PM • permalink


    1. Good point, Arty. He’d be one hypocritical Turk, that’s for sure.

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 04 27 at 05:14 PM • permalink


    1. Does Leunig know French? Maybe we should encourage him to move to France. He’d like it there for all sorts of reasons. Less Christians, more Muslims, more america/australia/britain/israel hating, more appreciation of “quirky” art, French movies,… the list is endless.

      Let’s start a fund, to buy him a nice cottage in Southern France, just outside of Marseilles somewhere. If we raise enough, we can even pay for his plane ticket and immigration expenses.

      This is what’s called a win-win solution.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 04 27 at 05:15 PM • permalink


    1. So if I were dusky I could insult guys like Leunig to his face with impunity too?

      I think anyone with two huevos to rub together (actually, one would probably be plenty) can insult Leunig to his face with impunity.

      Posted by R C Dean on 2007 04 27 at 05:16 PM • permalink


    1. Leunig is an ass.  Here’s the only Turkish quote that counts on ANZAC Day:

      “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

      – Kemal Atatürk (who commanded a Turkish division at Gallipoli by the way)

      Posted by JJM Ballantyne on 2007 04 27 at 05:36 PM • permalink


    1. #14, yes and they like ducks too -especially served with orange.

      Posted by Big Arnie on 2007 04 27 at 05:52 PM • permalink


    1. #1 RebeccaH

      After reading this drivel, can I assume that Michael “Resents Everything” Leunig had a really miserable childhood?

      I don’t think he ever left his miserable childhood.

      Posted by kae on 2007 04 27 at 06:37 PM • permalink


    1. What a sad case! One wonders if he can derive any pleasure/contentment/meaning from his life at all.

      Posted by debi L. on 2007 04 27 at 06:42 PM • permalink


    1. What a wonderful piece of excrement this guy is.

      No doubt during WWII he’d either be feeding the gas pellets into the shower vents or busy organising a welcome party for the Japanese as they were bombing Darwin.

      Posted by rightsaid on 2007 04 27 at 06:51 PM • permalink


    1. This person is a pathetic piece of human detritus.
      You just know that deep down inside his hard, black heart that he really got himself off when the Iranians accepted his racist cartoon for their competition.

      Posted by Bill Calvin on 2007 04 27 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. And apparently Rudyard Kipling was racist. Here’s the hymn he was referring to, the line ‘lesser breeds without the law’ occurs in the second-last stanza. I think Leunig’s being just a tad over-the-top about it all.

      Posted by TimT on 2007 04 27 at 07:06 PM • permalink


    1. What a shame the Age doesn’t allow readers to post online comments on such articles…

      Posted by Abu Chowdah on 2007 04 27 at 07:07 PM • permalink


    1. It warms the cockles of my black, bile pumping heart to know that loonypig is as unhappy as he is.
      Here is a man with little tallent, “whimsy” (like mumsy only it wont breast feed you till your 14)and a lot of luck ended up becoming a wealthy an successful man in his field. (no not the paddock)
      And hes completely miserable.
      He believes all the “correct” things, mouths the right platitudes and his life is still a complete fuckup.
      Id love to see what a shrink would make of him, I suspect narcissm and some sort of autism relating to reality.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 04 27 at 07:13 PM • permalink


    1. This is the special day,” he declared with mock formality, “to remember that all invading armies must be thrown back into the sea.” I have to say, it was not such a bad way to start the morning.

      Is Leunig saying D-Day was won by the wrong side? That would certainly show a continuation of his rabid anti-Semitism. The D-Day invasion was huge setback for Hitler’s Final Solution. No D-Day and it is likely all Jews would have been exterminated in Europe by 1946. His apparent conversion to Islam confirms he is heading in that direction. Modern Islam is the new Nazi Party.

      Aside: Wonder if he knows that fundamentalist Islam means he will not be able to draw ducks, or any other living creature?

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 04 27 at 07:42 PM • permalink


    1. I’m a newcomer to Mr. Leunig’s writings and now understand all the feelings of revulsion he inspires. What a black hole that man is! How many suicides, insane puppy dogs and weird weather patterns follow in his wake as he walks down the street? He’s like Dracula…

      Posted by dean martin on 2007 04 27 at 07:50 PM • permalink


    1. To be honest though, isn’t this a bit of a yawn…..kinda like “Another Anzac Day, another f****d up Leunig column about how we are all warmongerers”……why the Age keeps printing this crap around Anzac is amazing – are they trying to bore their dwindling readership?

      Has Terry Lane had his go at the subject yet? or have they finally got rid of him?

      Posted by MB on 2007 04 27 at 07:50 PM • permalink


    1. “They are what the dinkum, working-class Aussies used to be when we were growing up,” says my friend. “They keep the spirit alive, they’ve got the humour; they remind me of what Australians were like before we became so stupid, boring and up ourselves, like the Americans”

      And they killed all the abos and hated poofs and were sexist and christian and all that. Make up your minds moonbats, do I be proud or ashamed of my roots?

      Posted by HC44 on 2007 04 27 at 08:02 PM • permalink


    1. I should tell Leunig it’s not his day, either.

      Posted by kae on 2007 04 27 at 08:04 PM • permalink


    1. The writer is set upon and beaten black and blue. This tale often helps me to understand Australia.

      Leunig didn’t quite understand that whole Mohammed cartoons/Islamic Thinkers Society thing did he?

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 04 27 at 08:26 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder where he saw the bombing demonstration where napalm was used?  Where and when?

      I think he’s made the whole thing up.

      Posted by Stevo on 2007 04 27 at 08:41 PM • permalink


    1. Leunig. What is his claim to fame? Really, when one thinks about it, his appeal –  media wise, is only to the disaffected, self-loathing, pseudo intellectual, who in their own minds, believe they have the sophistication of a ‘Paris Arteest’. When in reality, they are just victims of a progressive education system, with propaganda thrown in, add a dose of ego and you basically have your standard lefty twat.
      Believe me, I have read of some of their inane ‘scribblings’, spelling, diction and proper research are not a big factor I am afraid. Pontification and self importance is though.

      Posted by BJM on 2007 04 27 at 08:46 PM • permalink


    1. Another pile of excrement from someone who used to have a rapier like wit.

      The title speaks of Xenophobia and racism, yet we have this:

      they remind me of what Australians were like before we became so stupid, boring and up ourselves, like the Americans

      He, Devenny and the other delusional hacks who buy shopping from an aged foreign shopkeeper, smugly announcing their superiority,  dennouncing others as racist, whilst sticking the boot into Americans, need to haver a good hard look at themselves.

      Posted by Nic on 2007 04 27 at 08:55 PM • permalink


    1. In Leunig’s defense.
      I fear that there may be people reading and contributing to these comments who are not familiar with Leunig’s work from the 70s to the invasion of Iraq.
      I agree that he has lost it completely. All of his wit and all of the creedence he used to have by virtue of his apparent independance from tacky public discourse has gone out the window. His ideas and arguments are now so ludicrous and inconsistent in their support for some categories of lives over others, he seems to have crossed the border to derangement and despair, and I guess I wonder at the wisdom of publishing him before he works out these various disorders.
      But I say that because for many years his cartoons were often brilliant with tremendous insight and wit, and not that political at all. I have most of his books and my children need little encouragement to read them (along with Crumb and Ungerer and Viz) because his work used to show us things seen nowhere else and were often very funny. I struggle to teach my kids that there is no such thing as a good or bad person, just good or bad ideas/actions/cartoons. He’s currently very sick. But some of his work was great.

      Posted by ooh honey honey on 2007 04 27 at 09:11 PM • permalink


    1. Happy Anzac Day. This is the special day,” he declared with mock formality, “to remember that all invading armies must be thrown back into the sea.”

      I’m sure the Byzantine Christians would have agreed with the Turk.

      Posted by JSchuler on 2007 04 27 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. #34,

      You are correct. Leunigs’ best work for much of the 70’s and 80’s was not overtly political, in fact some of his work would very much agree with the thinking of readers from this site. I have some of his classics framed, they are so good.

      That said, he has totally lost it.

      Posted by Nic on 2007 04 27 at 09:50 PM • permalink


    1. Did they serve ANZAC biscuits in the coffee shop?

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 04 27 at 10:01 PM • permalink


    1. Poor coot, listens to the ABC too much.

      No. Make that: Listens to the ABC.

      Posted by Gravelly on 2007 04 27 at 10:15 PM • permalink



      For some reason that article reminded me of… muesli. Yep. It really gave me the shits.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 04 27 at 10:20 PM • permalink


    1. #34 & 36
      I agree. I have a couple of books with his stuff from the 70’s in it. Now he has definitely lost the plot.

      Posted by kae on 2007 04 27 at 11:05 PM • permalink


    1. I swore I wouldn’t respond any more to anything written by or about Michael Leunig because his hatred of his country, his people and of himself infuriates me.

      After reading his Anzac Day piece, however, I realised that he was writing about himself:
      “Many years ago I witnessed at close range a low-flying aircraft bombing a target .. I beheld as never before, a vision of massive modern hatred … the experience awakened the hearing of deeper and more distant things in later years …  When the bombs start to fall, your brain turns to shit and come [sic] out the hole in your arse!”

      Posted by ann j on 2007 04 27 at 11:06 PM • permalink


    1. Steve (#31) asks:
      “I wonder where he saw the bombing demonstration where napalm was used?  Where and when?”

      I lived alongside a RAAF bombing range in NSW in the 70’s, and saw hundreds of bombs dropped and 20mm cannon fired from Mirage jet fighters. Never once saw a napalm drop.

      I agree with Steve, I reckon Leunig made that up, what with the Eeeevil Napalm being powerful “anti-war” imagery and all.

      Leunig has lost the plot.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2007 04 27 at 11:11 PM • permalink


    1. #34 I agree too. He produced some really clever stuff back in the day. Way back!
      I used to have a few Leunig collections myself, and I enjoyed reading them. They’re probably still around, in some dusty corner.

      He made a name for himself by being non-political. In fact he was originally employed as a political cartoonist but rebelled and started doing stuff with teapots and ducks, and it was weird, but kind of interesting. A sort of childish rejection of cynical, real-word politics and business.

      But then he became famous, and ever since, he’s been going downhill. He’s gone political, which ruins the whole point of what he was about in the first place.

      But you should know we have actually discussed Leunig at length in the past, we’ve had these well-intentioned discussions of Leunig’s strengths and weaknesses.
      Now we just make fun of him.
      Why not? He hates us and everything we stand for.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2007 04 27 at 11:22 PM • permalink


    1. #10 Wow, he really hates Australians doesn’t he?
      Yes. He’s a self-hating Roo. (And a duckwit.)

      Posted by andycanuck on 2007 04 27 at 11:37 PM • permalink


    1. Crikey, ooh honey honey, I bet your kids prefer the Fat Slags over Leunig’s stupid ducks.

      Posted by slatts on 2007 04 28 at 12:22 AM • permalink


    1. slatts

      I believe loonypig was used as a template for a cetain character named Johnny.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2007 04 28 at 12:36 AM • permalink


    1. People who decide to use days of remembrance to climb on their own personal soapbox make me want to “forget” my medication for a couple of days. This is not a laughing matter, Leunig, no matter how smug you feel about it.

      So as long as we’re invoking Rudyard Kipling, here’s a little reply of my own. A little late for ANZAC Day, perhaps, but I hope it comes across in the right spirit.


      I went into a college room, a lecture to take in
      The professor, he tells us waging war is but a sin
      “It’s never justified,” he says, and all the students nod
      While I sit there in astonishment, my brain gives me a prod:

      For it’s “Warhawk” this and “Warhawk” that and “Nazis on the right”
      ‘Cause they never will support you, and they’ll hope you lose the fight
      They hope we lose the fight, my friends, they hope we lose the fight
      And they never will support us, ‘cause they think we shouldn’t fight.

      I read the daily papers, but I wish I hadn’t done it
      They give their column inches to some guff about the sun. It
      Is going to kill us all they say, and won’t listen to facts
      But some with half an ounce of sense will quickly get the axe.

      Yes, it’s “Warhawk” this and “Warhawk” that, and “Aussies have no brains,”
      But they’ll cozy up to allies when there’s danger in the wings
      There’s danger in the wings, my boys, there’s danger in the wings
      And we’d better stand together, for there’s danger in the wings.

      For making mock of allies is a way to show your pride
      In being sweet and sensitive, and saving your own hide
      Should trouble brew, it’s all our fault, but wait a week or two
      They’ll change their minds three times or more before the battle’s through.

      Oh, it’s “Warhawk” this and “Warhawk” that and “Kikes leave Palestine”
      And I guarantee the New York Times will say they front the line
      They’ll say they’re at the front, my boys, but when we’re doing fine
      They’ll say we’re losing badly, report from the front line.

      America, Australia: this war just isn’t clean
      There’s no straightforward, Caucasian, therefore mean
      We’re fighting forces outside us, and forces inside too
      But when we’ve got Osama, we can tell them all: Fuck you!

      Hah, it’s “Warhawk” this and “Warhawk” that and “Bush’s war for oil”
      But they’ll whine and scrape their booties when Osama’s plans are foiled
      The terrorists are losing, and Osama’s on the boil
      ‘Cause his plans are being foiled, boys, his plans are being foiled.

      Posted by Tungsten Monk on 2007 04 28 at 12:38 AM • permalink


    1. Crud. The Typo Fairy has visited me. The second-to-last stanza should say “There’s no straightforward enemy, Caucasian, therefore mean.” Sorry.

      Posted by Tungsten Monk on 2007 04 28 at 12:41 AM • permalink


    1. #47 TM

      Fine Shot Sir!

      Posted by CO² max on 2007 04 28 at 01:07 AM • permalink


    1. Well done, TM.

      If Kipling was still around, I’m sure he would approve.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2007 04 28 at 02:22 AM • permalink


    1. “On Anzac Day, coffee and jokes with a Turk might be the most meaningful and fair dinkum dawn service you could possibly have.”

      Or perhaps with an Armenian?

      Posted by McAnzac on 2007 04 28 at 02:24 AM • permalink


    1. Message for Mr. Michael Leunig:

      While I have to plead ignorance as to the specifics of your upbringing, I strongly suspect you weren’t paying attention when your father was giving you the ‘talk about the facts of life’, most pointedly his admonishment that, ‘Son, there are times when you really have to have some balls.’

      Posted by Michael Sheehan on 2007 04 28 at 02:39 AM • permalink


    1. #34, 36, 40.

      Leunig used to be wonderful (as in, full of wonder) precisely because he never commented on politics or thought he knew anything about it. His musings on whimsical humanity and ducks have been fun for many years.

      He probably got bored with that. Hence his political execrations.

      Posted by carpefraise on 2007 04 28 at 03:12 AM • permalink


    1. Hmm, I seem to have duplicated the post of daddydave.

      Sorry about that.

      Posted by carpefraise on 2007 04 28 at 03:13 AM • permalink


    1. #31 & 42. If the Loon is old enough he could have seen me doing it in my yoof in the 60s. We sent down a lot of old fashioned air-ground stuff from Vampires, Meteors and Sabres — 20 and 30 mm cannon, HE rockets, 1000lb HE bombs and napalm — onto the beach at Morna Point range near Nelson Bay.
      The napalm was colourful for the spectators on the ground but ripple-fired HE rockets gave the most joy to the knuck squeezing the trigger because he could watch the missiles all the way to the target.
      The last ripple of HE rockets for the day was always aimed into the first row of breakers and a jeep sent down to gather fresh fish for dinner.
      Maybe if Loonig had spent some time doing it instead of watching it, he would be OK in his old age.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 04 28 at 03:18 AM • permalink


    1. #54 Carpfraise

      execratious excretions

      (thanks for the new word)

      Posted by kae on 2007 04 28 at 03:23 AM • permalink


    1. Unfortunately, pathetic fuckwits such as Leunig are the sort of people that when the chips are down, will come crawling back to people like us for help.

      He has been in the same league of Pilger, Chomsky and Fisk for a while now. His pathological hate for this country is completely inexcusable.

      If he really hates us so much, why doesn’t he hold hands with the Thick Sheik & Keysar Trad and fly off to Iran? As we all know, his anti-Semitic cartoon have been and will be well received there.

      Posted by The Best Infidel on 2007 04 28 at 03:27 AM • permalink


    1. #54 & 56 Thanks for the new word from me too.
      I really execrate Loonig.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 04 28 at 03:51 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, looky in today’s Australian, Kochie and Mel find a new dawn

      Posted by kae on 2007 04 28 at 05:03 AM • permalink


    1. #55 Skeeter:

      Leunig was a yoof in the 60s, however I believe he was a conscription conscientious objector.  So I doubt he ever saw any air-ground firepower demonstrations.  I always missed out when the RAAF came to town on seeing such demonstrations through poor timing.  I thought we hadn’t used napalm since Korea.  So I was mistaken.  That got me thinking, I’m sure the M2A1-7 flame thrower used napalm as the fuel.  I know it could use any liquid, because I trained on it using water.  Water is bloody hard to burn , so I never got to use the real thing.  So there’s another weapon I’ve fired (and forgotten about) to put on my CV!!!

      BTW, great story.  Leunig wouldn’t think so.  Australia rates near the top of polls that you read about on freedom, income and quality of life.  I’m at a loss to know why he deplores the great Australian way of life.

      Posted by Stevo on 2007 04 28 at 06:51 AM • permalink


    1. Did anyone else notice last Saturday in the Age/SMH Leunig’s cartoon misspelled Gallipoli as Galipolli?

      Posted by anthony_r on 2007 04 28 at 07:09 AM • permalink


    1. #60 Thanks Stevo.
      I didn’t intend to please Leunig.
      The RAAF may not have used napalm in anger after Korea. All my 7 years’ service was between wars and I left the RAAF in 1960, so I should have said 50s rather than 60s.
      Delivery of napalm was not practised in my weapons training but there was always one delivery of napalm in the Land-Air Warfare demonstrations at Morna Point, usually from a Vampire. I think it was used mainly because it gave better photo opportunities than explosives in sand. I can understand people finding it a bit scary.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 04 28 at 08:10 AM • permalink


    1. My goodness, #16.  That quote from Ataturk brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not even Australian.

      Posted by Sonetka’s Mom on 2007 04 28 at 11:05 AM • permalink


    1. The other article in The Age today which really irritates me is the one by Tracee Hutchison. Had to write a rant in the middle of the night, I was so mad. Link here.

      Posted by Legal Eagle on 2007 04 28 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. Who cares what Traceeeeee thinks? Ignore the idiotic, fuckheaded bitch.

      Posted by McAnzac on 2007 04 28 at 01:09 PM • permalink


    1. It’s perfectly obvious that she doesn’t think at all. I can’t believe that stories like that get published.

      Posted by Legal Eagle on 2007 04 28 at 09:02 PM • permalink


    1. Daddy Dave—Send Leunig to Southern France?  Wouldn’t Dalrymple kick his ass?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 04 28 at 09:48 PM • permalink


    1. Stevo—Most manpack flamethrowers used gasoline when you wanted range or thickened napalm when you wanted adhesion.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 04 28 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. #16 great quote.

      Posted by Anthony_ on 2007 04 29 at 11:20 PM • permalink


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