A tweet by Catherine Deveny on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
A tweet by Catherine Deveny on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Comedian slammed over Anzac Day tweets

A MELBOURNE-BASED comedian who tweeted that Anzac Day is "Bogan Halloween" and a celebration of Australia's "fetishism of war and violence" has been slammed for her comments.

But like most pile-ons on social media, many took things way, way too far.

Catherine Deveny tweeted on Tuesday that "serve" is not the right word for our armed servicemen and women.

"Why do people in the armed forces use the word 'serve' to describe their work despite it being no more dangerous or prone to upheaval than many other jobs?" she wrote.

"It's just a job and work. Throw the term 'serve' in the bin. It's part of the fetishism of war and violence."

Later, she wrote that it was a "hilarious notion" that our Diggers fought for our right to free speech and that "Australians who have worked in the violence industry have fought wars to suck up to the US and British".

On Tuesday, a former soldier wrote to Deveny: "Catherine, I served my country, as a soldier, for 26 years. How many did you serve? Zero."

The comedian responded: "You didn't serve your country, you chose a job in the violence industry."

On Facebook she declared that she can't wait for Anzac Day to be over.

"I abhor Anzac Day and can't wait til it's over. I am so delighted to hear the chorus increasing every year saying 'Anzac Day is bullshit. It's a Trojan horse for ­racism, sexism, toxic masculinity, violence, homophobia and discrimination'.

"ANZAC Day is f***ing disgusting and should have gone in the bin decades ago. As it gets closer my head feels tighter and tighter and I feel more and more nauseous. I blame the collective cognitive dissonance seeping in."

She finished with a third tweet late on Tuesday night: "ANZAC Day. It's Bogan Halloween."

Deveny has been here before. She is an outspoken critic of Anzac Day and previously wrote that she expects the "yearly hate explosion over my Anzac Day opinions".

"My views, that Anzac Day does not reflect the inclusiveness of all those affected by war, nor our more sophisticated understanding of the true machinations and motivations behind war are neither rare, radical or new."

In recent years, she wrote: "Anzac Day. A celebration of a society so f***ed up it saw no other option than to go to war. Kill, rape and invade. Then glorify it."

The response is almost always the same. Some support her, many are disappointed.

"It must be that time of the year again," Guy McRedmond wrote on Twitter.

"When you try to convince yourself that you are somehow relevant by tweeting more uneducated rubbish about ANZAC Day and serving members of the ADF. It's easy to post crap to get a reaction. Certainly a lot easier than serving one's country."

Another wrote that Deveny has "the right to free speech but this is vulgar. Would you say that to the face of an elderly soldier?"

Journalist Tom Steinfort tweeted simply: "Catherine Deveny. Yawn. Don't give her the attention she craves."

3AW host Tom Elliot said he was "upset" by Deveny's comments.

"Bloody hell, she is an absolute nutcase," he said. "This idea that fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan where you could be killed at any time is riduclous. What on earth would Catherine Deveny, a left-wing, alleged, not very funny comedian know about such a thing?"

The Australian Defence Association told The Australian Deveny was being "deliberately provocative".

"(She) ignores that serving in our Defence Force means accepting the obligation to 'work' in an unlimited liability occupation," the Association said. "That's why it's serving, not just working ... "Moreover, Australia has a Defence Force, not 'armed forces'."

But others responded with threats of rape and violence and ruined any chance for sensible debate.

Catherine Deveny is no stranger to backlash over her Anzac Day tweets. Picture: Scott McNaughton
Catherine Deveny is no stranger to backlash over her Anzac Day tweets. Picture: Scott McNaughton

After a series of tweets in the lead up to Anzac Day this year, Deveny wrote that Anzac "trolls" are "ignorant and uneducated and prove my point better than I ever could ... Show Some Respect = Shut The F*** Up Or I'll Threaten To Rape You".

She's not the first Australian with a profile to speak out against Anzac Day. Former SBS presenter Scott McIntyre was sacked in 2015 after referring to Australians marking Anzac Day as "poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers".

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded on Twitter, saying it is "difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments" and that the "despicable remarks deserve to be condemned".

That didn't stop him from posting a bunch more tweets on the subject in 2016.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied sparked a major backlast last year when she tweeted, "Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)."

Last week, she doubled down on those comments, saying "you don't even need to mention the diggers (to get a response). You just need to ask for people to extend their empathy to others".

News.com.au has reached out to Deveny for comment.

rohan.smith1@news.com.au | @ro_smith



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