It is with great relief that we farewell the arrant nonsense that was The Good Old Days with Aunt Jemima, published in the Australian Big Issue between 2004 and 2006. It is a well known truism that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Parody, surely, is not far behind but parody done well requires a metaphorical trope with which to travel or, at very least, a firm and fairly chosen target. The Good Old Days with Aunt Jemima had neither of these. Indeed, the writer appeared satisfied at any time to delve into irrelevancies that might even be called surreal, were surrealism not the province of a creative group who actually have achieved something.
From the most basic central premise, the use of the name 'Aunt Jemima' - as it happens (though was the writer aware of this?) a commercial trade name (and image, of a black woman originally to a 'mammy' template) used in the USA since the late 19th century to sell baking products - seemed irrelevant and, frankly, a sloppy and ignorant appropriation. Any attempt to pass this off (as the writer seemingly occasionally tries to do with references to an 'Aunt Hamble') as a reference to the Australian-via-British Playschool doll Jemima does not cut, as they say, the mustard.
References throughout the column to 'Menzies Cakes' are a further example of an abstruse attempt at wit based purely on the jamming together of two ideas which separately (perhaps?) might evoke for the reader, or for a person of 'Aunt Jemima's' supposed generation, cosy domesticity and social comfort.
And furthermore (we stop taking notes at this point and start gazing into the distance)