Apparently English premier David Cameron - he has no claim on Scotland or the Celts - has emailed a personal note to members saying he would never work with anyone who 'sneered' at activists.
Oh those wicked sneering metropolitan elites.
It occurred to the pond that there could be a whole swag of Bell cartoons on similar themes.
Like climate science believers, the greatest threat to swiveleyesation since gay marriage. Like metropolitan elites, the greatest threat to swiveleyesation since climate science. And boat people, the greatest threat to swiveleysation since metropolitan elites.
And so on and so forth, with players of the game able to make up endless variations, with an ample supply of examples rife in Murdoch la la land.
But what do we understand as the grandest heights of swiveleyesation down under? Why surely it has to the right to piss money against the wall on poker machines and Tom Waterhouse while downing plenty of piss in a western suburbs club of your choice, a Taj Mahal of grog and gambling.
Oh dear that sounded suspiciously like a sneer - cross off the pond Mr. Cameron - and let's see who else we can sneer at.
Come on down James Allan, sneering away, another lizard in the pack of reptiles at the lizard Oz who routinely sneer at the ABC, this time under the header Aunty a poor judge of bias (inside the paywall, so you don't have to care)
Now here's a simple enough question. When was the last time you ever read a detailed, lengthy tract complaining, moaning and whingeing about the bias inherent in Murdoch la la land ... and not published in a blog or a boutique publication, but actually published in The Australian?
When was the last time you read anyone in The Australian denouncing the inherent bias of its editor Chris Mitchell?
Or the kool aid drinking culture? The sparrows all whirling and farting in unison, their opinions relentlessly the same?
Now we're not talking about criticisms you might find in the wild, as in Chris Mitchell v Robert Manne: The Australian editor to sue, we're not talking of sniping from the sidelines, as in Payback: The Bullying Tactics of the Murdoch Press.
No, we're talking a relentless, incessant, monotonous, repetitious set of columns culled from all over the place and featured at least weekly in The Australian, raving and ranting and complaining about the bias in the rag.
It's a dream of course, beyond the valley of delusion, but it comes in handy when it comes to contemplating the ranting about bias presented by James Allan, who proposes that he is a professor of law at the University of Queensland.
Let's see how it might have worked out in practice.
Does it really matter if every host of the ABC's Media Watch since its inception has left-of-centre sympathies?
And now what he might have added:
And does it really matter if every member of the commentariat Murdoch pack, since Chairman Rupert instructed his rags to go feral right wing, has ratbag raving rightwing climate denying sympathies?
Or if all the ABC political programs, not least Insiders, show an unmistakable tilt towards having more left-of-centre participants than right-of-centre ones, sometimes by a factor of 3:1?
And since he seems to have forgotten his self-proclaimed notion of balance:
Or, since we strive for balance and fairness, if all the reptiles at the lizard Oz and feral rags, not least the Daily Terror, show an unmistakable tilt towards having more right of centre and right of Gengis Khan participants than remotely sensible ones, sometimes by a factor of 99.99:1?
You could go on playing this game all day, because the rest of Allan's tirade is singularly unbalanced and remarkably one-sided, while supposedly pleading for the ABC to display a lack of bias.
The out clause?
Remember, this is not a private broadcaster that relies on advertisers and in a market economy decides for itself what views it wishes to appeal to. This is a publicly funded broadcaster with a statutory obligation to be even-handed. It spends billions of taxpayer dollars in a way that millions of Australians think is biased (when it comes to current affairs).
But hang on, the lizard Oz doesn't rely on advertisers in a market economy to make a profit.
The Australian doesn't make a profit, or at least that's a best guess about its financial situation, because its books have about as much transparency as the IPA disclosing details of its patrons and its sources of funding:
It's very hard to find out whether, or how much The Australian loses every year. Everyone seems to think it loses a great deal. But I talked to experts about the finances of newspapers, and they didn't know the exact profitability or in fact loss-making of The Australian because many of its finances are tied up with the other News Limited papers. The printing presses are shared, distribution is shared, and so on. So the finances are opaque. But on the other hand, everyone thinks it loses a lot of money, and I think most people see that it continues mainly because Rupert Murdoch sees it with pride, as the vehicle he can use to influence the trajectory of Australian life. So whether anyone has the will to keep it going with so much loss after Murdoch passes or loses his grip we don't know. I think it might be a fifty-fifty bet as to whether it would be able to continue. It presumably could be bought by someone else who might try and make a go of it, but whether it could ever be even vaguely profitable is unclear I think. (here)
Indeed. However you cut it, the rag is the personal plaything of a man who uses political influence to maintain his position in the marketplace.
Why no profit? Or at best a very marginal one? Well, this is a rag which routinely alienates a substantial part of what might otherwise become its subscriber base, so that it can keep drinking the kool aid and pursuing its assorted agendas, which incidentally inter alia involves the wittering and twittering of James Allan about the ABC, with - it has to be noted - Allan just one in a very long line of conga dancers ...
You see, you can't just let the rag off the hook with a wave of the hand and a mutter about advertising and the market economy and let them publish whatever views they like in order to make a profit. Not when in reality the rag is published in order to present a biased dog whistling view of the world subsidised by other parts of Murdoch la la land, such that even a humble viewer of The Simpsons once upon a time might have been helping out ...
But okay, how to deal with the complete fatuity and stupidity of Allan. Here we go. First he leads with the notion that what we need is even-handed impartiality, and not just impartiality, but the appearance of impartiality:
... imagine that the Wallabies had yearly Tests against the All Blacks but that nine years out of 10 the referee was from New Zealand. Of course, the referee has an obligation to be even-handed. But because of those debatable little calls (which in rugby union can encompass just about everything), we want not just someone assuring us of his impartiality, we want the appearance of impartiality (which is why the referee in real life will come from some third country).
Uh huh. So what does Allan propose for the ABC?
And that's where Scott and the ABC let us down so badly. When it comes to appearances the track record at the ABC looks appalling.
Personally, I think there is real bias at the ABC. But let's say I'm wrong. Why not at least improve the awful appearances and pick, say, at least one conservative host of Media Watch (ever) or make sure that exactly half of those who appear on Insiders have a lineage on each side of politics?
Yes, for the one program dealing with all forms and all aspects of the media, he proposes appointing a referee from one, biased side of politics ... a conservative host.
Which is why Allan and the lizard Oz let us down so badly. When it comes to appearances his track record - favouring conservatives - would look appalling. You see, you don't correct bias by appointing a biased host to a show which above all cries out for balance and the appearance of impartiality.
The whole point of Media Watch is that it assail transgressions in all forms of the media, not rule on them from either a liberal or a conservative point of view.
After waffling and warbling about the need for a referee to hail from Wales (oops, that's Gillard country, let's say South Africa), he's suddenly proposing that the referee be the Bolter or that prattling Polonius bore, Gerard Henderson.
To what avail?
Now at other times the pond would simply call Allan a blithering idiot, just another nattering member of swiveleyesation, and walk on by, but it has to be noted that for a professor of law, it's seriously troubling that he fails logic 101.
But that's the trouble when you refract everything through the wrong end of the telescope and apply ideology to everything:
There's an easy way to show how pathetically unpersuasive are the ABC's arguments. Imagine every appointment to the top ABC news shows is given only to a right-of-centre person with Coalition links (as so many present ones have Labor links).
How long do you think it would be before there would be howls of protest from the other side of politics?
Actually it's pathetically easy to show how pathetically unpersuasive and how typically lizard Oz Allan's arguments are.
Way back when, the Howard government decided it would transform the ABC, and appointed Jonathan Shier to do the hatchet job. Shier fucked the ABC comprehensively and made such a hash of it that he only lasted in the job for a year and nine months.
Because in the end you can't run a broadcaster as an ideological machine ... just as you can't run an ideological rag like The Australian and expect to make a profit.
Allan spends an enormous amount of energy featuring a couple of programs - Media Watch is 15 minutes on a Monday night, The Insiders is an hour in the dead zone on Sunday at 9 am.
Why? Only the long absent lord knows, because a much bigger issue for the ABC is the way the BBC has done the dirty on it and cosied up to Foxtel and the Murdoch empire ...
But wait, it gets worse, because it turns out that judges aren't impartial, they are ideologically driven. Yep, the next time you head off to court, understand that you're in the hands of a judge driven not by a desire for impartiality and balance and justice, but driven instead by a hotbed of political ratbaggery:
...all of us bring to the table certain core beliefs that influence how we see and decide the borderline cases. Probably not the clear-cut ones. But the debatable ones, such as which political news to emphasise and discuss, which stories to focus on and which aspects of polls to lead with.
So the way the ABC selects its top hosts and participants for its big-ticket current affairs shows, choosing them overwhelmingly from one side of the political spectrum, means that we end up with less balance than if they were picked the way top judges are, with both sides of politics getting about even input.
Which is of course a nonsense, since by definition if you're a lawyer, or a judge, you are inherently conservative, already in a game played by winners who might affect to take certain stances but who are supposed to be above all even-handed, impartial and apolitical ...
And these days the ABC, which is in reality a relatively conservative institution, is routinely demonised as a haven of socialism, full of commie pinko perverts, but only if you look at from the perspective of the clan of kool aid drinkers at the lizard Oz, who strangely never seem to listen to Alan Jones and the rest of the shock jocks, or rail at the infinite stupidity of commercial television and their unwatchable alleged current affairs shows ...
Which is why Allan manages to sound both smug and other-worldly:
Unless you think journalists are inherently more even-handed, impartial and apolitical than judges. But who aside from Scott could say that with a straight face? (Hint: If you can you should move to Los Angeles and look for acting work.)
Yes indeed. Who could ever imagine the lizard Oz as the home for even-handed, impartial and apolitical journalists ...
Actually, here's a hint for James Allan. Why not move to Los Angeles and look for acting work. Well you can't go looking in Canada, because truly there's not a duller film industry in the world ...
Why not take an interest in scientology? Because you simply don't have the first clue about how to run a broadcaster, but clearly you have every notion of how to be a biased exponent of the law and show an enormous capacity to swallow the kool aid that flows from the water coolers at the lizard Oz ...
Meanwhile, the pond continues to be exposed to ABC ratbaggery of a real and tangible kind.
How many more times will the pond have to endure Scott Stephens turning up and discussing the world with Waleed Aly, as he did yesterday, blathering on about Kevin Rudd and gay marriage?
Here's a deal Prof Allan.
You can go on listening to Alan Jones and reading Murdoch rags, and the pond will go on demanding that the ABC should at last get around to displaying some of the liberal bias it's routinely accused of possessing.
How about we start with RN Drive, as hapless people are gadding about in cars, expecting a decent display of left-leaning liberal thought?
And instead they cop Scott Stephens ... and even worse he's demonising former chairman Rudd on the most obscure theological grounds imaginable, and carrying on about how wonderful Mehdi Hasan is for scribbling As a Muslim, I struggle with the idea of homosexuality - but I oppose homophobia.
It turns out that Hasan has repented. His idea of humility? Why he's absolutely opposed to homophobia, provided of course that poofters stay well clear of .mosques, because after all, they're just not Islamic...
You really don't have much of a clue Prof Allan, do you? Do you know anything of the suffering of ABC listeners and viewers in search of genuine left-liberal-secular bias? No, you clearly don't ...
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Welcome to the home of the original patented swivel-eyed loons, no substitutes or inferior goods accepted ...
Now don't take it from the pond, take it from the lips of Poodle Pyne.
It turns out that Bazza O'Farrell is a dupe, a gull, a loser, a drop kick, a mug punter. You see, he's been conned (O'Farrell 'conned' on Gonski deal: Pyne).
In other words, he's been bilked, sold a pup, had a fast one pulled on him. He's been diddled, defrauded, bamboozled, hoodwinked, dudded and done like a dinner. He's been taken for a ride, had the dirty done on him. He's been gipped, hornswoggled, swindled, hustled, stung, short-changed, tricked and cheated. He's been skinned and stiffed and misled and deceived. He's all-day sucker, or if you put it another way, he couldn't pick a lemon by sucking on it.
Why you could sell him a VFT to Sydney's second airport in Canberra in a trice. Hang on, how about selling him a monorail ...
Oh yes, the pond loves it when the Liberals eat their own, but fancy Poodle Pyne imagining he could do more than yap and race around in addled, empty-headed circles. Down poodle, down ...
Of course the logic dictates a couple of awkward conclusions. Big Bazza is such a dunderhead, he shouldn't be the premier of NSW. Or that feisty silver-quick red-headed fox is as sharp as a tack when it comes to selling the harbour bridge (with the Opera House tossed in as a bonus) to the mullet-head that she should be the PM ...
Well that was the entertainment yesterday, though we shouldn't overlook Quelle horreur! Passion for French may lose its rasion d'etre. The poor old French ... now all we need is a member of the Murdoch pack of lizard hacks to draw the obvious conclusion, which is that the French language is in decline because of gay marriage.
Speaking of gay marriage, the pond has also been drawn to the great controversy in the UK involving mad swivel-eyed loons.
Now the pond is always drawn to idle chatter about loons, and "swivel-eyed" is an apt addition to the lexicon.
You can read about the fuss, with links, at The Guardian in David Cameron, the 'loons' and gay marriage - what the national papers say.
It's all over the place, as if the English didn't already have enough evidence that they and their print media were barking mad.
Now it turns out that "swivel-eyed" might or might not have been said by one Lord Feldman, and certainly not by David Cameron, but it is quite clear that the insult is the work of deviant, devious members of the metropolitan elite.
It has brought out all sorts of proud loons, including Tim Bale, professor of politics at London's Queen Mary university, in Swivel-eyed loons or seeing clearly?:
...what is really happening? Is it that the so-called “loons” – and one wonders how long it will be before the label becomes a badge of honour rather than a gratuitous insult – are more numerous than they once were? Is it because they have become even “loonier”? Or is it because slagging off one’s superiors has become perfectly acceptable, where once it would have been unconscionable – or at least terribly bad form?
The first thing to point out is that the Tory grassroots are rather more variegated than the stereotypes suggest. Many of the poor bloody infantry certainly share the stereotypical view that Mr Cameron should give the country a chance to get out of the EU, find ways to prevent the imminent arrival of more Romanians and Bulgarians, and forget all this nonsense about overseas aid, wind farms and gay marriage.
Yes, and don't forget about the way gay marriage has ruined the French language.
Ah well, at least they've got over their issues with gay whales and now it's just the wind farms, helpng people out, and extending equality to all...
But soft, hush, speaking of swivel-eyed loons who look askance at metropolitan elites, something wicked this way comes ...
Oh never mind, it's just Tuesday and that means it's Gerard "Prattling Polonius" Henderson day, and his noble duty is to pour oil on the troubled matter of big Bazza and Tony Abbott in Abbott, O'Farrell have equal claim to Menzies' legacy:
Ah yes, it's back to that unfortunate matter of the conned Bazza.
What a Solomon Hendo is, how wise and just. He's almost up there with Abraham giving Isaac a good burning, such is his loyalty to all that's right and just in the world.
It turns out that in Liberal la la land, all is equal, first amongst equals so to speak, and everyone has equal claims and it's fair dibs me hearties, almost socialist you might say, such is the even-stevens egalitarian world of the swivel-eyed loons down under ...
Now of course Prattling Polonius is the only guardian of the sacred flame of Ming the Merciless left in the entire country. Only he knows the deepest truths, only he can speak with the power of an oracle ferreting through chicken entrails, so of course he has to join Poodle Pyne in reprimanding that dumb klutz big Bazza for speaking out of turn:
O'Farrell responded: ''I'm a Menzies man, Tony's a Howard man.'' Yet, as Abbott makes clear in his book Battlelines, he too is an admirer of the Liberal Party founder.
Yes Bazza, once again you've got it wrong, you've been conned by your faulty understanding of history.
Thank the long absent lord we have our present-day Polonius to adjudicate on the dispute, and yes, as any fair claim reader could predict, what follows is a long and exceptionally tedious sermon on the days of Ming, as only a prattling Polonius can manage.
You know, lo and behold, for there came upon the land a man blessed by god to lead the Israelites and the UAP, and to ban the filthy pinko perverted Commies and never you mind about democracy and plunge Australia into the mire of Vietnam, because you know, the dominos, the dominos, theyz fallin, and the White Australia policy was bipartisan, fair dinkum it was, so that makes it alright, because you know the Asians is coming, the Asians is coming, and Ming was a monarchist, because you know it's okay to support the Queen but assorted queens on Oxford street is entirely another matter, and it's true he didn't do much for the economy - remember 1961 - but hey who cares about the economy when your real aim in life is to become the Warden of the Cinque Ports ...
It is only fair that Menzies be judged by the standards of his time. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was bipartisan support for White Australia.
Indeed, and if we may be so bold, it's only fair that Adolf Hitler be judged by the standards of his time, because the treaty of Versailles was just so unfair, and that Weimar Republic, why it was full of decadent artists and bohemians and it was just so wrong ...
And now, if it please the court, might we be permitted to smote wildly at those who dare to offer themselves as guardians of the meaning of Ming when they don't have the first clue about anything:
In an article in the November 2008 issue of The Monthly, historian John Hirst suggested O'Farrell was unique to the modern Liberal Party in that he was a moderate disciple of Menzies. Hirst is a fine historian. However, until Howard's time, he was known to be a supporter of social democratic parties such as the ALP. It seems after his political conversion Hirst looked back on a Menzies that never really existed.
Known to be a supporter! Of filthy vile social democratic parties such as the ALP.
Well the pond never!
Arrest that man officer, he doesn't have a clue:
It is fair to say that both Fraser and Howard, in their different ways, followed the Menzies tradition. As has O'Farrell in office. And as Abbott is likely to if he wins in September.
Uh huh. Yes, in their different ways, some took the high road, and some the low, and some the road least travelled, and yet they all ended up in the bush.
Oh wise and judicious Solomon, oh guardian of the flame of Ming.
But what does it mean to follow the path of Ming?
Now by Henderson's own account, this would seem to imply that Tony Abbott will forthwith embark on a foreign adventure, in the manner of Ming in Vietnam. Perhaps Syria, perhaps Iran, perhaps Indonesia? Oh come on, there must be somewhere we can have a foreign adventure. New Zealand or Tasmania - would it hurt to do a Gareth Evans? - if that's all we've got ...
Naturally Abbott will ignore the economy and fuck it up - remember '61 and the Ming way - and he'll certainly drum up all the ferocity hatred fear and loathing he can manage for boat people, no matter if they come from Afghanistan where Australia has already done its best to help wreck the joint (isn't Iraq and its current flurry of bombings working out well).
And what about a referendum to ban the greenies? Why surely that speaks to the heart in every member of the commentariat in the land ...
After all, they're completely responsible for the ruination of everything, and to the pond's certain knowledge are engaged in a conspiracy with the United Nations to introduce world government, perhaps run from New York, or perhaps from Moscow.
Except, except, oh dear sweet awkward delsuions, it's quite likely Tony Abbott will have to swear an oath of loyalty to that fervent ratbag greenie, King Chuck. Will it be a House of Cards all over again?
To make things better, the least Abbott can do is reintroduce conscription, so that men and women can be sent around the world to fight against the dominoes, and perhaps save us all from vile pizza ... or perhaps the carbon tax, by having a green army out on the land, helping save the planet, in the best socialist way.
The swivel-eyed loons are alive and well in Australia, and the pond wouldn't have it any other way ...
(Below: more Rowson cartoons at The Guardian here)
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/21/2013 09:06:00 AM
Monday, May 20, 2013
So last night the pond sat through the two hour twenty minutes generational saga The Place Beyond the Pines, featuring the Beagle (Ryan Gosling) as a wall of death motorbike rider turned bank robber who comes up against - what to call Bradley Cooper, the Squirrel? - an ambitious cop who shoots him and uses the killing to further his career as a DA.
Somehow the two sons - the Beagle's is tortured and introspective, and the Squirrel's a drug-taking brat - end up in the same school, and the question arises as to whether the Beagle's spawn will take down the Squirrel and/or his spawn ...
Now it was nice to see Ben Mendelsohn making a living as the new Warren Oates and Rose Byrne turning up to whine again - though no one has ever given the pond a good reason - so oi, oi, oi and all that, but the movie seemed to be trying to say things about what was wrong with the United States and District Attorneys, while celebrating motorbikes and wheels on the wild side, but by the end of it, the pond was ready to erupt and cross swords with anyone about anything.
So what have we got?
Well not Paul Sheehan, frothing and foaming about public servants and sex and frolics and wildcat judges in Judges' frolic folly costs us dearly.
And not the schizophrenic rags and their reading of the runes, managing to extract entirely opposite headlines from the very same poll results. Guess which way it went. The reptiles at the lizard Oz went one way:
While the Fairfaxians came to a slightly different set of headers:
Naturally there's not a single named source for the story Federal Labor MPs urged to state switch if they lose at the September Federal election, and sundry politicians, including Chris Bowen, are invited to hose down the unsourced speculation, and the question arises, can the Daily Terror sustain this sort of casual, insulting, mischief-making, deceptive and misleading storytelling and bullcrap exclusives all the way to the federal election?
Does Ryan Gosling look like a Beagle?
Of course he does and of course they can ...
What a vile humbug ideological warrior rag it is ...
Meanwhile, in the usual way, the reptiles at the lizard Oz have put a story by Bjørn Lomborg, Harvesting forests to reduce fossil fuels the next big boondoggle, behind the paywall so they can charge you for it, when the very same piece was published here, Hugging a Burning Tree, some five days ago and can be accessed for it.
Yep, the next big boondoggle isn't hugging a burning tree, it's Chairman Rupe charging like a bull for what is free ...
Free is about all Lomborg is ever worth, especially this piece, which conjures up a world where environmentalists - un-named - are leading the charge to burn down the trees of the world, and heroic Lomborg is standing up for the trees. Won't someone think of the trees, he moans, without mentioning how Chairman Rupe might save a few trees by refusing ever again to publish the Daily Terror ...
Look, if the Philippine Daily Inquirer can publish Lomborg being a twit - for free - what on earth is he doing locked up in the lizard Oz, and worse, being printed on paper derived from cut down trees (and let's not swallow all this cheap talk about recycled pulp, when the lizard Oz recycles pulp Lomborg).
Actually when you google the piece, it's all over the place like a virus, and all for free ...
Meanwhile, there seems to be trouble in plant, what with Peter van Onselen daring to compare visionary Bazza 'let's have that second airport in Canberra' O'Farrell to Bob Menzies, and even worse, daring to suggest that the likes of Christopher "chant it to me in Latin" Pearson and Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen might be barking mad, or at least a little prejudiced, as you can read in Heir to the Menzies legacy, which seems not to be affected by the paywall because it carries an astonishing insight ...
This newspaper's columnist Christopher Pearson recently described O'Farrell as a "pretend conservative", lampooning him for signing up to the Gonski schools reforms. Janet Albrechtsen did likewise, going one step further by describing O'Farrell as "not a real Liberal". Yet it is hard to argue with O'Farrell doing a deal with Canberra when it involves better outcomes for his home state. As one senior Liberal insider put it, "I wonder if those columnists have even looked up the details in the Gonski package. It includes principles Liberals are supposed to support, like a devolution of authority to local schools."
Dame Slap and the Latin man off with the vicious pixies? Cheap-arsed uninformed cheerleaders for Tony Abbott's brand of feral conservatism and rampant negativity?
Who'd have thunk it ... and where has van Onselen been this last decade? Does he have any clue about the rag he writes for?
The cheerleaders are of course only doing the bidding of their master, who right at the moment is turning into a tweet eccentric, suggesting that senility is just around the corner.
Here's the tweets that made Crikey suggest that Rupe needed to take a Bex (and never mind the kidneys) and have a good lie down (the world according to Rupert):
Yes the man who bought MySpace and turned it into a wasteland has the cheek to offer advice to Facebook.
But Crikey jumped too early, and missed the best tweets of all:
(More twittering tweets from a tottering tweeter here)
Once again the sight of a pitiful, weeping and wailing billionaire churns the pond's stomach with the unfairness of the universe ...
Yes, the fish always rots from the head:
What an ugly miserable world Murdoch la la land is, full of climate and NBN denialists, as his minions carry out his mission ...
The pond hereby apologises to the Beagle, and other beagles everywhere.
Now for those of you who came in late, perhaps you're wondering about the Beagle joke.
Credit where credit is due, we owe it all to Anthony Lane at The New Yorker reviewing Gangster Squad (behind the paywall):
Gosling, who did such demanding work in “Blue Valentine” and “Drive,” must have laughed when he got the “Gangster Squad” script and realized that his principal duty, as Sergeant Jerry Wooters, would be to deliver The Look. You know the one: imagine that your local animal shelter sends out a fund-raising leaflet, and Gosling is the beagle on the cover. It never fails.
So whenever you're tempted to take a look at a rag put out by Chairman Rupe, remember he's pretending to be a long suffering Beagle, tortured by taxation. And if you swallow that, you'll swallow anything ...
At least Ryan Gosling only makes bad movies, and a few good ones, whereas Rupert Murdoch's empire ruins lives ... and at least Gosling is cute, even if his companion isn't a beagle ..
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/20/2013 08:38:00 AM
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Enough already, the pond reserves the right to call the long absent Abrahamic god the original inspiration for Hitler ...
What better way to start a Sunday meditation than to contemplate the dull desiccated thoughts of the anti-laughter, anti-comedian brigade, as represented by Vic Alhadeff's Don't call me a Nazi-Nazi: trivialising a word sends the wrong message about a genocidal regime.
Now for starters, the pond reserves the right at all times to refer to the genocidal god of the Jews as an early example of Nazi behaviour. We're not just talking Pharaoh and his men and their chariots, we're talking the whole enchilada. Show us a few panels Mr. Crumb (click to enlarge):
Mass slaughter, mass extermination, and just one lucky dude and his kin and a few selected animals make the cut!
Now the only sensible response to this capricious, o'erwheening brutality seems to be laughter but Alhadeff is in the sombre and as dull as ditchwater school of life:
But then there's ''The Soup Nazi'' - an episode about a surly delicatessen owner who refuses to serve customers who flout his excessive rules of decorum. It's witty and well scripted, but it commits a cardinal offence: it trivialises the meaning of what a Nazi is, and in doing so degrades the language associated with those who devised, planned and perpetrated the most grotesque genocide in history.
It goes without saying that in this moment, Alhadeff reveals himself to be anything but a Seinfeld aficionado. He doesn't have the first clue about Seinfeld or its humour, and the moment he yabbers about a "cardinal offence" he's a fit subject for Seinfeld comedy.
Now others have mourned Israel becoming a humorless homeland (may be paywall limited, and you may have to google) and announced that the greatest threat to the country is a loss of the precious natural resource of a sense of humour (of course if it's in Haaretz, humourless right-wingers will come out in droves).
You see, Seinfeld's soup Nazi doesn't commit a cardinal offence. Nor for that matter does Mel Brooks in The Producers when he offered his show's signature tune to the world, Springtime for Hitler and Germany:
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race! S
pringtime for Hitler and Germany
Rhineland's a fine land once more!
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Watch out, Europe We're going on tour!
Springtime for Hitler and Germany...
And there's a good reason that Larry David puts his Survivor episode in his top five Curb Your Enthusiasm shows. That's the season four episode where Larry's father brings a Holocaust survivor to a meal, and he gets into an argument with a Survivor of the TV series as to who is the better survivor.
Sure it skates on the edge, but all good comedy skates on the edge. There's a point to it:
Now Alhadeff goes on digging ever deeper a humourless hole, getting agitated about grammar Nazis and spelling Nazis and diet Nazis and in the search for a free kick, Glenn Beck referencing Goebbels and Rush Limbaugh doing the femi-nazi routine, and PETA doing a holocaust on your plate with its campaign relating to six billion slaughtered chickens ...
And then he comes up with the killer blow:
This is neither about censorship nor about curtailing the right to humour.
But actually it is about censorship and curtailing the right to humour, or else he wouldn't conflate Beck and Limbaugh and PETA with soup-kitchen Nazi jokes. You see Seinfeld's funny, Beck is lame. Just as the Daily Terror comparing Conroy to tyrants is lame, just as the pond is routinely lame, just as the Bolter is always lame and with it a profound absence of humour, just as any thought emerging from the Pellists and the angry Sydney Anglicans is beyond the valley of the lame.
This is easier to see when you get beyond the exceptionalist stance.
Comedians shouldn't make jokes about Mao and Stalin - two men who did more for the killing fields than Hitler ever managed?
Kurt Vonnegut shouldn't have mined the fire-bombing of Dresden for the black humour embedded in Slaughterhouse-Five?
And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.
Of course other writers have been down this path - Phillip Roth wrote a story for the New Yorker in 1958 called Defender of the Faith:
I met with opposition right off,” Roth recalls. “… The New Yorker began to get letters, dozens and dozens of letters, canceling subscriptions, by Jews, and I began to get angry phone calls from various Jewish organizations. Would you write these stories if you were in Nazi Germany? And I was suddenly being assailed as an anti-Semite. This thing that I detested all my life. And a self-hating Jew. I didn’t even know what it meant. It never dawned on me when I was writing that story that this was going to cause a conflagration. But that’s what happened when I began to write. (here)
Yes, the humourless and the righteous have always walked amongst us, always vigilant, always censoring, always undermining and clucking, and always with the best of intentions:
It is a concern about how we use language and the impact of that. Everything begins with words. That includes racist violence and genocide. When words are used irresponsibly, they lose their meaning, their power and any historical import they might carry.
The irresponsible use of words! Which implies the responsible use of words, and a life of eternal dullness. Piss off James Joyce, you're so irresponsible ...
But can anyone be more irresponsible than Alhadeff, who is quick to play the victim card:
In the context of trite Nazi references they become cheapened, the experience is diluted and the words are offensive and hurtful, particularly to those who suffered.
And then equally quick to deploy teetering logic:
Borders on blasphemy?
Uh huh. But the pond routinely indulges in blasphemy, and certainly rails against the Catholic Encyclopaedia's notion of blasphemy, and is immensely pleased that the Commonwealth of Australia doesn't recognise blasphemy as an offence and no one seems to have used the notion since the Victorian government had a go at a socialist journalist in 1919 (here).
Which is just as well if you're going to call the Abrahamic god the original Hitler (oh go away Godwin's Law, you've been abolished, thanks to Chairman Rupe) ...
So why does Alhadeff think blasphemy is a useful concept? The pond should care?
Enough already, where do we get to?
No one owns the word, yet it connotes the most catastrophic regime of modern times. So it becomes a balance between rights and responsibilities, and a matter of awareness. We need to ensure that a 14-year-old is able to tell the difference between a Nazi and a harmless radio presenter.
Indeed. But that isn't the business of comedians nor comedy. Let the 14 year old do history, and learn a lot about the curious ways of the world, and especially the censorious ways of the religious.
Let's not reduce humour and comedy to what's safe for a 14 year old.
Let them learn that life in a prison camp in the second world world war wasn't quite as imagined in Hogan's Heroes, and that relationships between the Indians and the white folk weren't quite as portrayed in F Troop. Let them discover and contemplate the meaning of the missing verse of Rolf Harris's Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and his invitation to Bruce to let certain folk loose (for some reason the wiki seems to think it was Lou) ...
And so on and so forth, endlessly, since the world is full of cliches and stereotypes, and so the history lessons need to last a lifetime, and one of them might involve a discussion of what Charlie Chaplin was attempting in The Great Dictator.
And let the fourteen year old learn the golden rule of comedy. If you're black, you can do black jokes and use the word nigger; if you're white, you're up for a shellacking. Leave it to Chris Rock and Richard Pryor and Cedric the entertainer and the other greats ... (argue about the top ten here).
And if you're a man, and you do sexist misogynist jokes, you might end up castrated, and nothing wrong with that. And if you're a Jew and you want to do Jewish jokes, go right ahead, but it helps if you have the timing and canny sense of how far to go that Larry David and Seinfeld show ...
And some really good jokes about Vic Alhadeff wanting to reduce the adult world to what should be in the minds of fourteen year olds will be your first port of call for a successful comedy career.
And now how else to end, though not with the original, which is only a click away on YouTube, but the broader stylings (blessed by Mel Brooks' making a brief appearance) which might well raise questions about political correctness and the gay sensibility as the default for Broadway shows. So it goes.
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/19/2013 08:49:00 AM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Where to start?
Well as always best to start with grievances. That's the whining, moaning, whingeing, right wing commentariat way.
And possible solutions. Say what? Never heard of them.
First on the agenda, if it pleases the chair, the matter of ASIC and internet censorship, as recorded a few days ago: Bumbling ASIC heralds new internet censorship era.
This copped another outing on RN's Drive last night, as you can hear in Australia's internet censorship, as Jasmine Westerndorf of Melbourne Free University explained the outrageous, secretive, furtive behaviour of ASIC, and never mind that they were incompetently trying to shut down a scam website.
Why only the other day the pond had a terribly engaging conversation with an Indian scam artist, pleasantly chatting on about how Indian cricket is stuffed (it's best when knowing very little about Indian cricket to just keep repeating the game is totally corrupt and rigged, and the scammer really should do something about it, it's bringing disrepute to the game around the world, and you can get a decent scammer taking the bait and going on and on about how Indian cricket and the IPL is one of the wonders of the world. Next thing you know he's entirely forgotten his mission of helping you fix the PC you're running, even when it's a Mac).
But as usual the pond digresses. The solution to the covert, corrupt, incompetent filtering indulged in by ASIC is to get yourself hooked to a VPN. They're cheap these days and you can roam the intertubes with a sense of freedom and wind blowing in your hair, as you drive your sports car through the streets of Paris.
And do what the pond does, and host websites offshore - check out Amazon, which offers a most comforting level of redundant back up and at a modest price. Oh sure you can still be attacked in Australia, and you need to be clean in an American way if you host in the good old USA, but still, the furtive Conroy clowns in Canberra can't stop you delivering to the rest of the world.
That's the way it goes in the world of Conroy. Go offshore.
It reminded the pond yet again why the pond could never vote for a government containing a Conroy. But at least there are solutions.
Now for another grievance, if it pleases madam chair.
Why do journalists insist on telling a story, as Jacqueline Maley does in Joe goes into bat and is hit with a Jones bouncer, and yet they refuse to provide a link to the primary source of their story.
It's a rhetorical question of course, because the intent is to prevent readers leaving the page. It's to encourage "stickability" rather than flightiness, but that's because the rags never seem to have been given a coffee mug with that wretched quotation variously attributed to Chinese proverbs and Richard Bach, If you love your readers, set them free and encourage them with links, and if they come back to you, it's because they enjoyed the read, and if they didn't, it was because they were pissed off having to google the source.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that Maley's story, which concludes ...
Hockey's battering by Jones was all the more worrying because the Coalition doesn't need the loony right to win votes. Let's hope it doesn't court it in government.
... is made all the more entertaining by heading off to listen to said loon batter poor old Joe, as you can hear by soiling yourself at 2GB here.
Everything Maley says, every adjective she uses, is true. The parrot harangued, screeched, attacked, abused, offered unsolicited advice, was shrill and loud, and was full of rude bombast and standard climate denialism, wind and solar power abuse, and also squawked and made a meal out of Jolly Joe's personal wealth and stomach surgery (what a meal, what a meal), and yes ...
It was amazing because of the way Hockey took it. He let Jones chase him around the microphone like a schoolyard bully.
All the funnier because Jones wondered about Hockey's lack of spine. Here he was given a verbal bashing and he took it, he wriggled on the hook, but swallowed cold talk about the global warming hoax and jibber jabber about Medicare being unaffordable, the tapeworm in the Australian economy ... and so on and on, an endless rant and jolly Joe just sucked it up, swallowed the humble pie and begged for another slice ...
The shadow treasurer remained silent while Jones compared asylum seekers to cows - although in fact it was not a straight comparison, because Jones was contending the nourishment of asylum seekers should actually come second to feeding "our" cattle (always amazing how cows assume Australian nationality whenever people wish to make a political point about them).
To be fair, Hockey could barely get a word in. But why did he go on the show in the first place? The opposition has never been in a stronger position. It doesn't need the likes of Jones, and most of his listeners are about as likely to vote Labor as the Prime Minister is to be invited to Jones' Southern Highlands pile for scones and tea.
Indeed. It was the most abject and contemptible performance, deeply humiliating yet richly comic, as deeply and as richly nauseating as chocolate cake ...
A couple of solutions. Please Ms Maley, provide the link, you do yourself no harm, and you add to the fun.
Second, the pond is reminded yet again why the pond would never buy a second hand vehicle from jolly Joe, let alone a used economy. And as for the parrot ... can there be a sadder, more outrageous galah, Major Mitchell cockatoo to you, in the land ...
And so to the standard Saturday wheeze, for which sadly there are no solutions, as the pond contemplates yet again the bizarre world in which the Latin-loving Christopher Pearson, inter alia expert climate scientist, lives ...
(Christopher Pearson, channeling Alan Jones).
Now the whole purpose of Pearson's piece, Roundtable they forgot: wheel turns full circle at fashionable Fin, (behind the paywall to save your sanity) is to deride Labor, the Greens, the ABC and its Fairfax stablemates and the AFR, and the attitude of said journalists to business and business people, which it goes without saying, almost, but the pond will say it, is condescending and sneering ...
Yes, they must be really peeved at the lizard Oz that the AFR had a surge in circulation by sounding lickspittle to its business readership.
But here's the funny bit. Pearson blames the AFR for persuading business types to go with a price on carbon.
Now why would business types be so easily led?
Well here's the Latinate Pearson telling an anecdote about the Fin's readership:
The worst element in the equation was that a lot of prominent people in business were preposterously vain and susceptible to flattery. It meant that they could be bullied or cajoled by journalists into endorsing all sorts of "progressive agendas", mostly without having given them much thought.
Uh huh. Now that's the way for the lizard Oz to get on the side of that preposterously vain, susceptible to flattery, empty headed, addle-brained, easily led, deluded, bullied and cajoled members of the business community.
Come on down Gina Rinehart, you completely vain, preposterously susceptible to flattery ratbag you, surrounded as you are by toads and lickspittles and the Bolter ...routinely endorsing the Bolter and the rest of the commentariat and their retrograde hideous unprogressive, nay backward agenda, clearly without having given them much thought as you yammer on about ATMs.
Oh it's always an ugly sight to see a pathetic whining moaning billionaire - did you take lessons from Clive Palmer or from Stanislavsky? - but what are we to make of you now after Christopher helpfully explained how preposterously vain and susceptible to flattery you are.
Why next thing you know, you vain wretch, you'll be writing a poem and carving it into stone ...
Yep, no doubt that the Latinate Pearson is a wondrous inspiration, and the pond eagerly awaits his thoughts on the direct action program proposed by Tony "climate science is crap except when it isn't" Abbott ...
Truth to tell, there is only one opinion piece worth reading at the lizard Oz this day, and that quickly fell off the rotating digital splash at the top of the page, since it indicted both the major parties.
There's not too many who paid any attention to the specious dodge whereby Australia is now no longer Australia when it comes to the migration zone. We have, in the most schizophrenic manner, excised ourselves from ourselves, as Peter van Onselen notes in Lesser angels to stain our character. (behind the paywall because no one cares about staining angels these days).
It is one thing to excise certain islands on the outer perimeter of our nation from the migration zone, but the entire nation? Such a policy does not pass the sniff test. These laws should be challenged through the courts, as they surely will be, and, just like Menzies' legislation attempting to ban the Communist Party, they should be struck out.
Well that's one solution, and the pond has another one, which is to call down a pox on both their houses ...
(Below: now if only Nicholson would whip up a cartoon for Latin-loving Pearson. More Nicholson here).
Oh and before we go, the pond's love affair with David Pope continues unabated. The pond could have saved a couple of hundred words by running the cartoon below yesterday.
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/18/2013 08:23:00 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
Which naturally brings us to our second loon of yesterday.
Come on down Richard P. Sheridan and show how the good folk of Dallas Texas conduct a political debate (Hear Richard P. Sheridan's Vile Voicemail and follow the links for more detail).
And so we came to another day of pie in the sky bye and bye.
Prices will be lower, taxes will be lower, taxes will be abolished, but the compensation will be maintained, a few public servants will get the chop but who cares about the cardigan-wearers of Canberra, a little less super for working class bludgers, but who cares about bludgers, the environment will be fixed with the wave of a hand and a band of stoute-hearted workers, and all will be well, and so on and so forth.
Naturally the pond was standing by, waiting for a frothing and foaming denunciation of such largesse, an outraged attack on hip pocket politics and cheap and easy bribes and meaningless promises, much like the attacks delivered on those meaningless promises delivered by federal Labor when they announced they'd deliver a a surplus, it was a dead cert, London to a brick and you could put your house on it (and please remember to gamble responsibly and never bet with Tom).
In particular the pond was standing by for endless ranting from the reptiles at the lizard Oz.
Yes, that's how deluded and optimistic the pond remains, no matter the troubles faced in this troubled land in the grip of a dire budget emergency.
Of course not.
Instead there was the usual euphoric ecstasy, which surely can only come from drinking the kool aid, and the insights considered so important that the thoughts of David Crowe were placed outside the Oz paywall, in Significant new phase in march to election:
The Coalition's promise of a "tax cut without a carbon tax" seemed too good to be true over the past few years, as Tony Abbott skirted every demand to prove how he would pay for it.
Now the Opposition Leader has outlined real policy details in a way that confounds his opponents.
"Real policy details". Now there's a man who's spent too much time at the Liberal party website reading about "real policies".
What confounds the pond is the way the lizard Oz manages to avoid any scrutiny beyond this man love, as Crowe blathered on in said state of euphoria, a bit like watching a modern-day Caesar, a vir triumphalis doing a march through a porta triumphalis, perhaps announcing peace in our time, or at least a successful operation to cure a budget emergency (much nastier than a burst appendix).
Pledging "no surprises and no excuses" if he wins power, Abbott has found a way to offer a cut in the cost of living without imposing too many budget changes that hurt the hip pocket.
This is a significant new phase in his march to the election.
Actually it's not even a significant new phase in the lizard Oz's coverage of the march to the election.
It is a paper dedicated to the art of a fearless and complete lack of scrutiny. Which is no doubt how it inhabits a real world of real policies.
Here's how the lizard Oz covered it in its cocky cage liner edition:
And here's how the Daily Terror lined up for the big grab:
Yes it's the old defame Bugs Bunny come up with a carrot routine.
You could almost imagine our superjock MAMIL transforming into that image of the angelic boofhead Jarryd Hayne, come to save the hapless, useless Blues from the filthy deviant toads.
Now contrast that with the treatment dished out to the fat lady on the 15th:
Now the funniest thing is that today is the day the squalid Daily Terror has chosen to launch a bizarre beast it has dubbed news+, a variation on the lizard Oz's gold brick of doom and EXCLUSIVE access to bias, prejudice and unbalanced coverage.
Aw it's so pretty, and you simply couldn't think of it as a demand for money, more just become a subscriber and wallow in thugby league and Fox Sports.
Meanwhile, there's no talk of the need for belt tightening, or going without at the Terror. Remember it's pie in the sky time:
Yep, it's not bribery or a boondoggle if you aim dead set at the wallet.
Poor old Simon Benson did try to introduce a little balance in his coverage of the alleged "budget emergency" in Opposition leader Tony Abbott's budget reply aimed at wallets:
He (Abbott) did not address how he would pay for his generous paid parental leave scheme nor address other structural problems in the Budget.
But that was the penultimate, very short par, and the rest was all about the pie in the sky. You'd think there might be more questions asked of the man the Murdochians and the polls have dubbed the next PM. Hard questions, hard yards, ...
So here's an offer the pond thinks is completely fair. The pond will indulge in news + when that pie in the sky turns up in the purse ...
Yes you sexist clowns, there's more to life than wallets, what about the purses, and dear Mr Benson, take a look at the front pages.
Do you really think two lines constitutes balance in a rag the pond wouldn't use to line a cocky's cage because it's getting harder and harder to find a copy left on the seat of the train by a disgruntled reader who has wasted their dime and five minutes of their life?
Speaking of trains, Fairfax in old Sydney town decided to downgrade Abbott to a third class ticket so it could headline the first class rail revamp:
In old Sydney town, the pie in the sky is always symbolised by the quest for a reliable rail service.
Silly old granny has copped a leaked copy of the new timetable, and done a winners and losers verdict in Winners and losers: all change in rail revamp, forced video at end of link, when as the hardened Sydney commuter knows, it's all - as Elton John put it in his memorable lyric - just pissing into the wind (or was that a candle?)
A timetable doesn't count for much when a train malfunctions and the entire system collapses, and you can't catch that VFT to Canberra to make an urgent international flight.
Meanwhile, Michael Gordon at last asked the obvious questions in Abbott pledge at odds with claim (forced video at end of link):
His decision to use the proceeds from several cuts that have already been announced also underscores the question: where will he find the savings to pay for other priorities, such as the promised modest cut in company tax.
Indeed. The pond was prepared for stout-hearted belt tightening, but it seems we can still have it all.
Predictably, with this good news, in other sections of the rag, the fawning reaches epic lizard Oz proportions, most notably from the reliably disappointing Peter Hartcher, who styles himself as an SMH political and international editor, but who routinely sounds as if he's trying out for a job at the lizard Oz.
Naturally Smart politics from a leader who's growing up is positively uxorial in its praise of Abbott's smart politics and intelligent budgeting.
Now all this is no doubt all very well, but how different is it from the lizard Oz?
And what a bleak uninviting dismal landscape the lizard Oz presents.
Today, in the usual way, in its revolving splash of digital dullness at the top of the digital page, it features Dennis Shanahan getting breathtakingly shocked by the audacity of Wayne Swan, Graham "Gra Gra Swiss Bank Account" Richardson announcing the federal budget was a last will and testament, whereas as he so sadly proves politicians hang around in the atmosphere like a fetid mugwump swamp long after their use-by date has expired, and Peter van Onselen pulling himself up on his teetering high heels to announce that it's high time the government stopped talking about an opposition budget black hole.
Actually it's high time that van Onselen stopped using cliches like high time, and settled for a better cliche, and admitted he's one of the lizard Oz's deepest drinkers of the kool aid.
Throw in Anthony Albanese rabbiting on about something or other (have we got a study for a study about a second Sydney airport for you, but sssh don't mention it in the budget) and Kevin Donnelly denouncing the education revolution - because you know, private education is just so wonderful - and the aforesaid David Crowe, and is it any wonder that the pond feels bleak, existentially alienated and deeply alone in this hostile universe, as we sail through it, mere pimples on a pimple planet?
Is it any wonder that loons in Dallas exercise such a magnetic pull? Or perhaps the pond should move to the NT where loonishness is a way of life and people actually buy a rag knowing it's crap, because what else is there to do?
Yep, here's the pitch for the Terror again:
All of this, on top of the broadest and richest range of quality journalism in the country driven by well-known columnists such as Tim Blair, Joe Hildebrand, Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Miranda Devine.
Well known raving right-wing ratbags and fundie Catholics, they mean.
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/17/2013 09:05:00 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The pond presents so many bold, capped exclusives you'll beg for mercy, but be warned, there's a test at the end of it ...
By now there's probably not a person on the planet, or at least on the full to overflowing intertubes, who hasn't been given a ink to the sad and sorry story of Amy's Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro, a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona.
There, the pond's work is done, recycling common gossip, hapless moths caught in Facebook and Gordon Ramsey's flame, inclined to invoke God and worst of all to shout in capitals.
Now everybody knows that shouting in caps is guaranteed to set people off.
But what happens when you saunter across to the wretched reptiles at the lizard Oz?
Peter Reith rabbiting on about industrial relations is an "exclusive", or should that be "EXCLUSIVE" in bold, reprehensible, eye-ravaging red?
Reith will demand that business pressure Tony Abbott?
Can the reptiles at the lizard Oz get any sillier?
Reith of course has turned the ABC's The Drum in to his own personal fiefdom, routinely attempting to stop one of three innocent passers-by on their way to a wedding, and berating them up hill and down dale about IR and anything else that upsets the "let loose the hounds" man.
Now that's a screen cap, but if you want to frolic in the fields of REITH-ness (yes you too can let loose the hunds with the style of our besten hundetrainer), why simply click here (may be slow to load) and you can spend hours absorbed in eye-glazing reading.
Have you thought about masturbation as an alternative? Oh it's a solitary activity, but it can be more pleasurable than reading Reith.
The main point however is that a man who routinely arms himself with a megaphone and shouts from the ABC's publicly funded steeple about the joys of the private sector, is incapable of giving an "EXCLUSIVE".
Shame, lizards, shame. You're as bad as a bakery in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Naturally that lazy reptile, Paul "Magic Water" Sheehan is in on the game too. In Fantasy figures and bungles mean election gambit must be rejected (what a clunker of a header) he exhorts Tony Abbott to grasp the mantle of no, and embrace nattering negativity - something Abbott is unlikely to do - but even worse, he puts everything that Wayne Swan is quoted as saying in Bold.
It's a childish device, for an increasingly childish mind, and hovering in the pond's mind throughout was that hapless bakery in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Meanwhile, the pond has been taking an interest in Tim "Bleagh" Blair ever since he time-warped himself back to 2003 in pursuit of satire.
"Bleagh" you say with a raised eyebrow? Isn't that unkind?
Not really, because in the post-Godwin's Law world we all inhabit thanks to News Ltd, Scottsdale bakery abuse is all the go ...
Here's how Bleagh opens a typical snippet - it's hard to think beyond two hundred words if you're a muppet link freak:
Climate wailer John Connor believes I've misrepresented his religion ...
The point isn't the debate over 400ppm, or 350ppm as a mark of doom, the point is that Blair is routinely offensive because ... well because he's routinely offensive.
The only good news is that because of the way things are working at the Terror these days the thing was posted at 4.43 am - such a tragic life, the life of a reptile blogger - and no one had clocked in to process the comments:
There's no point in rising to the bait, there's no point in debating anything at all with Blair.
After two hundred words, he tends to get confused, and he's inclined to put key points into bold ... when he's not filling up space with his links ...
Confusing religion and science is just another day's hacking for the hacks in the world of Murdoch la la land ... it's the passing it off as some form of mutant wit that's the real piss-off.
And now, if we may just go haring off in a completely different direction, it's NAPLAN week, and already there are mumbles and grumbles surfacing.
Why it must be time to do a Tim "Bleagh" Blair!
There was Peter Job's NAPLAN is driving our students backwards, and Alan Stokes' whimsical Spare play time and grill the child, and NAPLAN results used as entry criteria for private schools, and so on and so forth, but as always in times of stress, the pond turns to the deep north for guidance.
Sure enough, there it is today, and never mind the verbosity of the header, in A teacher has been sacked over cheating as Queensland tops list of NAPLAN breaches.
Oh Queensland, look you've done it again:
Figures provided by education authorities this week reveal 24 school staff - including seven principals, a deputy principal, 15 teachers and a teacher aide - were involved in cheating, security and general "incidents" during the 2012 NAPLAN exams in Queensland.
And that's just the ones they caught. In the pond's day, cheating was an elevated art form, but likely it's early days for teachers, and hopefully they'll learn.
Naturally the incidents were down-played by the relevant authorities, they were self-reported, of a minor nature, yadda yadda, but how pleasing is it that, thanks to NAPLAN, teachers are at last learning to cheat. Or spend minor school fortunes on trial tests and trial answers ...
For too long, the world has had to put up with prissy poncy exhortations to just do your best, and be true to yourself, and just try, tri-tri-triantiwontigongolope, and now they're in the real world, training their students for a lifetime of cheating, or perhaps a career in finance or a merchant bank ... and all because of NAPLAN tests!
Or perhaps a life in Britain, post-Margaret Thatcher.
Yes it's yet another gratuitous Monty Python throw to something completely different.
In this Bleagh mess, please allow the pond one decent link, to Andrew O'Hagan's sound spanking of Margaret Thatcher, in Maggie, for The New York Review of Books, outside the paywall at the moment, so rush on over.
Now any man who would walk outside a bar rather than shake Margaret Thatcher's hand immediately has the pond's attention, and it turns out O'Hagan grew up in one of the towns her policies comprehensively ruined, and by golly does he return the compliment with both barrels.
The pond was reading it in the foyer of the Opera House, waiting to hear Ashkenazy conduct Walton's first symphony (that's just to reassure people the pond is 'leet, and what a rousing piece it is), and the cackles resulted in a number of people moving away from what they thought was a demented bag lady ...
What's even more amazing, there's no talk of an O'Hagan "exclusive", nothing in caps, nothing in bold, just the odd flamboyant letter to start a paragraph, along with a vicious, venomous dissection which is a joy to read.
Oh and it runs longer than two hundred words, so Tim Blair can't read it, let alone link to it ...
It's enough to restore the pond's faith in the intertubes.
At least until we make the essay the subject of a NAPLAN question ...
Answer to that hidden question: William Walton was sent down from Oxford without a degree ... and yes, there's more to life than a test or Margaret Thatcher or Tim Bleagh.
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/16/2013 09:02:00 AM