Madonna or Kylie?
“Dannii. Because I like imitations.”
Lady Gaga or Nicky Minaj?
“Nikki Webster, because I’m an old-fashioned girl. And she needs the help.”
Like many drag queens, Pauline Pantsdown is good with a quip. But unlike most (and in common with the aforementioned ladies) Pantsdown is also a bona fide pop star.
In 1997, Pantsdown made #5 on Triple J’s annual Hottest 100 poll with ‘Backdoor Man’– a parody single featuring voice recordings of right wing politician Pauline Hanson, set to a disco beat.
In 1998, her follow-up Hanson parody ‘I Don’t Like It’ reached #10 on the ARIA charts, giving Australia one of its unlikeliest and most amusing hit singles.
Pantsdown has been pretty quiet since then, give or take the occasional benefit show or ‘Where are the now?’ segment, but something’s inspired a comeback: for the first time in a long time, there’s a real chance Pauline Hanson could be elected to public office.
“She only needs about two per cent of the vote, and the dodgy preference deals she’s done could be enough to kick her the rest of the way,” says Pantsdown (real name Simon Hunt, a lecturer in Media Arts at UNSW).
“There’s a very real possibility we’ll wake up on Sunday with Pauline Hanson in the Senate.”
And what’s wrong with that, you might ask?
Sure, Hanson demonised Aboriginals and Asians through the ’90s and issued hysterical warnings that Australia could one day be run by a half-human, half-machine lesbian Chinese-Indian Prime Minister called Poona-Li Hung. But that was years ago, right? Isn’t she just that nice lady from Celebrity Apprentice these days?
Not quite, contends Pantsdown: “I don’t like her, dare I say, because there’s a nasty streak in her which is getting off on the fame aspect and she’s simply switched from demonising Asians to demonising Muslims.
“She knows she can’t get any attention by going off at Asians and Aboriginal people anymore.”
Hence, Pantsdown is back, warning voters that they must be careful when voting for the Senate in this weekend’s Federal Election.
“Basically, all the micro-parties got together for this conference run by ‘preference king’ Glen Druery. And they agreed, to varying degrees, to feed preferences to One Nation,” says Pantsdown.
“It’s crazy time! If you vote for the Sex Party, you could be voting for Pauline Hanson. If you vote for the Animal Justice Party, it’s a vote for Pauline Hanson … With 22 parties favourably preferencing Pauline Hanson in the NSW Senate race, a below-the-line vote is the only safe vote.”
But is there just a part of small part of Pantsdown that hopes Hanson does win? After all – no Hanson, no Pantsdown.
“No. The idea of a Hanson balance of power is a real nightmare, not a laughing matter – as unintentionally amusing as Pauline might be at times.
“I just hope she gets a job. After fifteen years of unemployment, relying on government funds and making money as a serial election candidate, it’s time she got a new Centrelink officer.”