Pauline Pantsdown

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Simon Hunt, sometimes known as Pauline Pantsdown, is an Australian satirist and Australian Senate candidate who parodied Pauline Hanson, a controversial former member of federal parliament, in 1997.[1] His birth name was Simon Hunt, but he changed his name by deed poll so that he would appear on the electoral ballot as "Pauline Pantsdown"; he later changed back to "Simon Hunt". He is the son of David Hunt, a retired Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.[2]

As Pantsdown, he is a drag queen whose taste in fashion parodies Hanson's, and is best known for the songs "Backdoor Man" and "I Don't Like It". The song "Backdoor Man" was a huge hit on the youth radio network Triple J after its release in 1997, being played almost hourly due to a massive number of requests, making it into the 1997 Hottest 100 list at number 5. However, less than a week after its release, Hanson obtained a court injunction against the song, claiming it was defamatory.[3] In September 2004, after Hanson launched a campaign for the Australian Senate, the ABC was reported to be planning a challenge to the injunction. However, after public criticism from Hanson, the ABC backed down.

Pantsdown performed a remixed version of "I Don't Like It" at the 2011 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Party during Bob Downe's 'Retro-Gras' DJ set just days before Hanson announced her candidacy in the 2011 NSW state election. Pantsdown also performed a remixed version of "I Don't Like It" on Channel Seven's The Morning Show on 22 May 2012. Nearing the end of the performance, Hunt undid a rainbow-coloured button-up shirt and revealed a T-shirt with the slogan "ABBOTT is INSIDE me" written on it, with a caricature of Tony Abbott's head beneath it. In an interview following his performance, he claimed that he was partly inspired by the "hurt and pain" that, in particular, the communities Hanson targeted at the time felt, and "wanted to give them an opportunity to laugh back". Kylie Gillies also noted that Hunt now lectures at a university (Media Arts, at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, or COFA).

Homebake appearance[edit]

The resulting controversy resulted in Pauline Pantsdown making an appearance at the 1998 Homebake live music festival, complete with apparently gay half-naked Asian dancers. He was booed and pelted with objects and later claimed "Homophobia is alive and well in Sydney".[4]

Songs[edit]

"Backdoor Man"[5] consists of a series of samples of Hanson's speeches stuck together to form sentences such as "I'm a backdoor man. I'm homosexual. I'm very proud of it", and "I'm a backdoor man for the Ku Klux Klan with very horrendous plans. I'm a very caring potato", parodying Hanson's conservative politics. Hanson vehemently condemned the track, claiming that the song portrayed her as a prostitute and a transsexual.

A 23 second sample of Pauline Pantsdown's "Backdoor Man"

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After the injunction over "Backdoor Man", Pantsdown released the follow-up single "I Don't Like It" in response. Once again the song used segments of Hanson's voice to parody her, this time with equally ridiculous but less personal lyrics such as "Why can't my blood be coloured white? I should talk to some medical doctors, coloured blood is just not right". Once again the song was a hit on Triple J and peaked in the ARIA Charts at #10 during the 1998 federal election campaign.

In 2004, on the Rock Against Howard compilation, Pauline Pantsdown released the song "I'm Sorry" under the pseudonym Little Johnny, which had appeared as a download on his website some three years earlier with a video. This song used the same techniques to parody John Howard's refusal to apologise to the Aboriginal people of Australia over the Stolen Generations.

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