Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And so off to The Punch for a most civil and illuminating standard of debate ... with bonus shock jock fever ...

(Above: Kyle Sandilands, the Daily Terror and a Daily Terror advertiser).

David Penberthy, writing as an introduction to The Punch way back when people were new to its alcohol, glass in the face ways:

One thing we ask - we strongly encourage readers to log on as themselves. We’re more interested in hearing from Ian Smith of Box Hill than Dingbat of Box Hill, as we suspect Ian might have something more interesting to say. We not only want to encourage a civil and illuminating standard of debate, we want to give every reader the opportunity to write for the site, under their own name.

Roll on the years, so we can come to a civil and illuminating standard of debate in A hole in his head where his brain should be:

It isn’t really a bombshell observation, but Kyle Sandilands is a dead-set, rolled-gold, card-carrying dickhead ...

Uh huh. Scintillating, and illuminating, even allowing that rolled gold is a pretty low rent form of gold, so the metaphor doesn't quite suit the image of a first water, state of the art dickhead. But do go on:

Why does anyone employ him? (who knows, ask the editor of the Sunday Telegraph perhaps?)

Why would any brand advertise itself on his shows? (not sure, does the digital advertisement for Medibank next to his digital mug at the Daily Terror count?)

The bloke is a piece of shit.

Ah, and so we come to the ultimate civil and illuminating standard of debate.

Naturally, Penbo did well, in his usual way, scoring well over three hundred comments before we stopped counting, mainly from the likes of Budz, Skip, Bobbo, Kika, B4Bear, Pedro, Punters Plan, Nathan Explosion, and so forth and etc. (Way more than the five poor old Georgia Waters copped for Kyle Sandilands' history of offence).

We didn't notice a comment from Ian Smith of Box Hill, but maybe he was lurking down the page ...

Now of course Penbo was writing about Kyle Sandilands, a certified brain dead zombie who stalks radio and television like the living dead, munching brains in the hope he might gain some intelligence, but sometimes you just have to wonder.

Does Penbo ever think back to his idyllic days of innocence, when he projected such a glow of optimistic hope, and now sees the ruins strewn before him?

But wait, I'm still feeling a little famished, the sweet tooth in need of a little more civil and illuminating debate. Come on down Tory Shepherd, and your subject - mindful of Penbo hit envy - is Kyle Sandilands, and your header is Sack bloody Kyle Sandilands. Lance the boil:

He’s a cretin, a hate-filled belligerent whose talent is in inverse proportion to his offensiveness.

Uh huh. Wouldn't be simpler to call him a fuckwit, and elevate the discourse even higher? But do go on, or perhaps we can summarise?

Toxic sludge leaking, dime a dozen dickhead given a voice, tepid giggling co-host Jackie O, arsehats will always be arsehats, but you can passively inhale arsehattery, and so on and so forth, including but not limited to, gibbering nasty insults and a list of Sandilands' past crimes.

Surely this puts you into a Penbo playoff. And sssh, we won't mention that The Punch gave Kyle Sandilands his very own spot in Girl's rape revelation stunned me. Anything for the hits and the faux controversy ...

And yet, and yet, in her list of everybody and everyone responsible, including listeners, Jackie O, big business, Austereo - how dare you remain silent Austereo - Tory failed to mention the daily Terror, the Sunday Terror, and its shock jock fellow travelling ways.

Tory did make one revealing remark:

It may be that you are revelling in all this controversy, as though it’s some confected outrage over a fashion malfunction or a naughty joke.

Indeed, and it might well be that The Punch is revelling in the controversy, whipping up confected outrage because the latest Sandilands outrage involved a stable mate.

But what about other - if we can keep the tone elevated - dickheads at work in talkback radio?

Would you think of Ray Hadley as a dickhead, caught up yet again in controversy, this time Hadley v Flannery: who's telling the truth?

Okay he has a regular column in the Terror, but is that any reason to let his ranting off the hook?

How about Michael Smith, who recently lived to rant another day, thanks to Julia Gillard giving him the Fair Work Act? (Talk about a stench of hypocrisy, given his ranting about Gillard and her deeds, like the Fair Work Act).

What about Chris Smith (no relation) who earned the Power Index award, Sydney's most shocking shock jock?

What about Alan Jones? Dear sweet absent lord, they're even talking of sharing Jones with Melbourne listeners (Mac Radio to share shock jock with Melbourne).

What have the innocents of Melbourne done to deserve this? Isn't it bad enough that they might, through some accidental moment of overhearing, have to suffer the thoughts of Neil Mitchell?

Compared to these megaphones, these cockroaches of the airwaves now spreading throughout the land, Kyle Sandilands is small, if offensive, beer.

Okay, he insulted a colleague in the great Murdoch hive mind, but how about a crusade against all that's wrong with radio in Australia, and a crusade against those lick spittle fellow travellers at the Daily/Sunday Terror who help spread their infamy further? If the pond can just paraphase your final thoughts:

You are culpable, and you must act.

Lance the boil, the Punch. Keep up the campaign to sack Kyle Sandilands, and while you're at it, maintain the rage about all the shock jocks on a daily basis, and especially the shock jocks who are routinely given a perch in the Terror.

Unless of course you're just in it for the hits and the comments, and the incisive, illuminating discourse.

Truly, if they ever want to re-brand the Punch, and give it a title true to the tone of its stories and its loopy demented commentators and commenters, "loon pond" is available for sale.

Then Penbo can write all he likes about pieces of shit, and Tory spit the dummy about lancing the boil, and not wonder where the Shakespearean tone went.

Meanwhile we've spent days agonising over this:
Thanks Fairfax subbie, I've still no idea what it means. Many of the few? Is that the same as fairly unique?

But it surely stands as an excellent segue into the gobbledegook we've come to expect from the commentariat at The Australian, and here's just a few columns at The Australian the pond won't be reading today:

Pay to read an apparatchik rabbiting on about apparatchiks, and how to fix the Labor party, without a whit or jot of irony. Surely they must be dreaming ...

Pay to read Gary Johns, seemingly incapable of reconciling two thoughts in one line, which is that it might be possible to recognise Aboriginal people in the constitution, and support them with a decent educational infrastructure (unless of course Johns wants them to get learning by way of hurricane lamp at midnight).

Now I know they're dreaming.

And then there was this typical outburst by the anonymous editorialist:

What's that you say? There's no gold bar, and it can be read by all who are lukewarm on gay marriage? Yes, and you could throw the pond in the briar patch if you like, but instead of wasting time reading a piece that will be predictable to the nth degree, isn't it time to ask, if you're gay, why you still subscribe to, or read this wretched newspaper?

Think. Again.

You might even be better off reading Paul Sheehan about bad sex writing, unless of course you prefer to revert to The Guardian's older story, Bad sex awards: the contenders for a night at the In and Out.

Being as shameless as Sheehan, the pond offers up The Guardian's Stephen King quote as an exemplary pleasure, and a counter-balance to the shocking sense of tawdriness derived from reading The Punch:

A scene from Stephen King's 11.22.63

"She said, "Don't make me wait, I've had enough of that," and so I kissed the sweaty hollow of her temple and moved my hips forward ... She gasped, retreated a little, then raised her hips to meet me. "Sadie? All right?"

"Ohmygodyes," she said and I laughed. She opened her eyes and looked up at me with curiosity and hopefulness. "Is it over, or is there more?"

"A little more," I said. "I don't know how much. I haven't been with a woman in a long time."

It turned out there was quite a bit more … At the end she began to gasp. "Oh dear, oh my dear, oh my dear dear God, oh sugar!"

(Below: yes, it's a photoshop, but perhaps someone could knock up a "Civil and Illuminating Standards of Debate for Dummies", which might also be of use to The Punch's writers and readers).

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