Fanciful cartoonist Michael Leunig spoofed something out for The Age today.
This is nothing new, really.
Leunig has been crafting whimsical but thought-provoking cartoons for the paper since before most of you reading this knew how to use a toilet.
And like any artist worth their salt, the meaning of Leunig’s drawings are open to interpretation.
He often uses adorable little characters like The Duck and Mr Curly to soften otherwise abrasive or confronting themes. His enduring interest in the “fragile ecosystem of human nature” has, for the most part, made him one of Australia‘s most celebrated creatives.
But we gotta say.
We have no freaking idea what ya boy is getting at with this cartoon, loosely described by The Age as a “take” on the same-sex marriage debate:
Michael Leunig's take on the same-sex marriage debate. pic.twitter.com/O3wyILNL5l— The Age (@theage) October 24, 2017
After a solid five minutes of sitting here at my desk, looking over this picture with the same mental rigour I would a sudoku puzzle, I just don’t get it. At all. Not even a bit.
Am I dumb? Or did Leunig wake up this morning and go, “well shit this thing’s due in an hour I better just fart this out real quick and go back to sleep”?
Turns out I’m not alone in my confusion, with the Australian Twitterverse left similarly stupefied:
what the fuck does this mean— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) October 24, 2017
I'm going to need to be talked through this— Vote Yes ???? (@stuartfaz) October 24, 2017
Not so much a hot take…just bloody confusing, WTF— Rebecca Sullivan (@beck_sullivan) October 24, 2017
One Twitter user, @lumpist_dick, tried to find meaning via a vintage anti-vax Leunig piece:
Is this something about vaccines giving us rickets?— Cool Hand Puke (@lumpiest_dick) October 24, 2017
Others took a more blatantly sarcastic route:
wow banksy back at it again— slay-son ???? (@lizardhospital) October 24, 2017
michael leunig please donate your incredibly smooth, perfectly spherical brain to science— Tom Westland (@tomwestland) October 24, 2017
And some people were just downright not having a bar of this kind of half-arsed, half-baked, no-mans-land contribution to a debate which has taken a huge emotional toll on our LGBTIQ community:
michael leunig retire bitch— periscoped divorce (@bederunner) October 24, 2017
Jokes aside, we hope Leunig did have an agenda behind this work. Twitter user @raelenetania sympathetically supposed Leunig’s work could be about how “contorting oneself for an unnecessary debate has one outcome… exhaustion”.
And yes, the SSM debate is exhausting. But for who?
It’s certainly not as exhausting for the ‘no’ voters as it is for the huge community of Australians whose basic equal rights are hanging in the balance.
It’s far more exhausting for the LGBTIQ folk who have had to campaign for years to even get a vote. Who have had to endure hate campaigns, homophobic violence and vandalism of property as a result of fighting for that vote. Who have had to justify their love.
Or, maybe we just don’t get it.
Either way, we wish Leunig the best of luck with the removal of splinters. From his ass. After all this fence sitting.