Oi, boofhead!
June 3, 2015 8:47 AM   Subscribe

A short explanation of why an Australian state's parliament officially declared Eddie McGuire to be a boofhead.

Adam Goodes is an Australian Rules football player for the Sydney Swans. (Aussie Rules, previously.) He happens to be a Andyamathanha and Narungga man. During last Friday's Carlton-Swans game (part of the AFL's Indigenous Round), he celebrated a goal with a war dance inspired by the Flying Boomerangs, the underage Indigenous Australian Australian rules football team. This dance confused and upset a number of (white) Australians, like Andrew Bolt and Eddie McGuire.

Eddie McGuire is an Australian media personality and president of the Collingwood Magpies Football Club. He has an unfortunate track record of offensive statements, particularly with regard to Adam Goodes.
McGuire was part of Fox Footy’s commentary team for the game against Carlton, and reacted to the display by saying: “We’ve never seen that [celebration] before and I don’t think we ever want to see it again to be perfectly honest, regardless of what it is.” McGuire was widely criticised, but in the following days he took it further, suggesting Goodes should have warned people of his celebration plan. McGuire also linked the issue to same-sex marriage, and said Goodes’ dance was “a made-up dance, this is not something that has been going on for years.”
This Wednesday, Jeremy Buckingham, MLC, a life-long Collingwood fan and member of the NSW Legislative Council, put forward a motion (p439) supporting Goodes and condemning McGuire. Sections 1 and 2 noted and recognised Goodes' sporting and community activity, and supported his "cultural expression", but Section 3 has attracted the most media attention.
3. That this House condemns Mr Eddie Macguire, the President of the Collingwood Football Club,
for:
(a) his comment that ‘This is a made-up dance, this is not something that has been going on
for years.’, and
(b) being a continual boofhead.
Boofhead has a proud tradition in NSW parliament, and is not necessarily unparliamentary language.
The PRESIDENT: On 6 April 2005 I was asked to rule whether the term "boofhead" is unparliamentary and, therefore, out of order. I am generally in favour of the tradition of robust debate in this Chamber and believe that members of the House should not be too precious about their public lives. Having examined a precedent and considered the issue deeply, I find that the term "boofhead" has been used in past debates in this Chamber and, having regard to the rulings of previous Presidents, I rule that the term "boofhead" may be considered unparliamentary only if the member so addressed finds the term offensive. I am advised that the Hon. Ian Macdonald does not regard the term as offensive. Accordingly, I rule that on this occasion the term "boofhead" is not unparliamentary. However, I can warn members that I have discovered that the following terms are unparliamentary: scabs and rats, treacherous turncoat, thug boy, nong, and duplicitous Labor lap dog, which have been ruled out of order.
posted by zamboni (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
"You rat! You treacherous turncoat! You duplicitous Labor lap dog! You total nong!"

"Out of order!"

"You boofhead!"

"I take offense to that!"

Boofhead
posted by eye of newt at 9:09 AM on June 3, 2015


Yeah, B for 'boofhead' sounds about right. Lock it in, Eddie.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 9:10 AM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Video of the motion being proposed... without point b, sadly.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 9:18 AM on June 3, 2015


I nicknamed one of our cats "boof" because he's a bit of a dropkick at times and looks like a boof.

My wife said "what's a boof?"

Oh the joys of marrying an American girl.
posted by Talez at 9:22 AM on June 3, 2015


To contrast: comments on the Adam Goodes celebration debate from a far more credible Australian, Waleed Aly.
"The minute an indigineous man stands up and is something other than compliant, the backlash is huge" - via ABC's Offsiders
If Australia was a lot more like Waleed, and a lot less like Eddie, I'd feel a lot better about calling myself Australian.
posted by Chipeaux at 9:27 AM on June 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wow! That dance was barely anything. I expected something a bit more noticeable. I think even the No Fun League would allow that without a blink.
posted by srboisvert at 9:36 AM on June 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think even the No Fun League would allow that without a blink.

I'll have you know that Eddie McGuire takes no pleasure in disallowing something with even a modicum of fun. What kind of half-arsed No Fun League do you think he's running?
posted by Talez at 9:41 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the unironic use of the term "footy" goes a long way to demonstrate why soccer never caught on in the states.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:00 AM on June 3, 2015


Urban Dictionary: Boofhead
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:15 AM on June 3, 2015


I think the unironic use of the term "footy" goes a long way to demonstrate why soccer never caught on in the states.
I think the existence of a "Fox Footy" channel anywhere in the world just shows conclusively that Rupert Murdoch must be stopped.

But Boofhead...
Doesn't seem a very potent insult on first listen (and I've been called 'foophead' and much worse, so I know). eye of newt's link quotes a Melbourne Age headline about obnoxious footballers saying "It's time for Bozo and Boofhead to go", which made me immediately think of Beavis and Butthead. Boofhead sounds like a bowdlerization of Butthead (of course, any place that needs to bowdlerize B&B has a LOT of work to do).

"Boofhead was the name of a cartoon character in a Sydney newspaper during the 1940s."
They just don't name comic strip characters like they used to. It just takes too many words to call somebody a "pointy-haired boss" or "Pearls Before Swine croc".

I think of it more like an intentional corruption of the word 'Buffoon*', line Bugs Bunny would turn the insult 'moron' into "what a maroon" (which always made me wonder, if he can't get that word right, who's the REAL moron?)

*But I haven't considered Buffoon to be an insult for a long time, thanks to a friend in the radio business who had a top-rated morning show for years with the alias "Captain Buffoon". (He also bought jokes from me so I proudly contributed to his buffoonery.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:41 PM on June 3, 2015


Boofhead sounds like a bowdlerization of Butthead

Like eye of newt's link says, the most commonly given etymology derives it from the obsolete bufflehead, a word you'll usually only hear from bird watchers.

Bugs Bunny would turn the insult 'moron' into "what a maroon"

Related: I recently learnt that What a revoltin' development this is is actually a catchphrase from The Life of Riley, not an original Looney Tunes coinage.
posted by zamboni at 1:29 PM on June 3, 2015


This has all coincided rather neatly with National Media Dickhead Day (formerly National Andrew Bolt Is A Dickhead Day)...
posted by prismatic7 at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2015


I think the unironic use of the term "footy" goes a long way to demonstrate why soccer never caught on in the states.

Plus, footy doesn't even mean soccer in this context.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:08 PM on June 3, 2015


Not just a boofhead, "a continual boofhead". Brilliant. This totally made my morning.

(I'm also completely cerflummoxed by the fact that anyone cared about the dance. It was about 10 seconds long.)
posted by kjs4 at 7:19 PM on June 3, 2015


Doesn't seem a very potent insult on first listen

Which I think is the point. It shows a level of contempt that isn't possible using more formal or even profane language.
posted by kjs4 at 7:37 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I'm also completely cerflummoxed by the fact that anyone cared about the dance. It was about 10 seconds long.)

As Chipeaux notes above, Waleed Aly nails it - "There's no mystery about it at all. Australia is a very tolerant society, until minorities demonstrate they don't know their place".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:09 PM on June 3, 2015




I can't wait for Eddie McGuire to retire or drop dead or lose his voice or whatever it takes to shut him up. He thinks he's a media mogul but he's just the piss-weak sidekick to bullies like Sam Newman.

And my respect for Adam Goodes only increases every time he's in the news. He took his mum to the Brownlows! Australian of the Year! Does a war dance to celebrate a goal after being booed by a shitty racist crowd! What a champ.
posted by harriet vane at 6:02 AM on June 4, 2015


I can't wait for Eddie McGuire to retire or drop dead or lose his voice or whatever it takes to shut him up.

Don't hold your breath. He probably uses the same necromancer as Murdoch and Fred Nile.

Andrew Bolt is actually a hollowed out husk operated by minor demon of no repute.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:43 PM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


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