Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And so to yet more spam in the pond's email box from a relentlessly blathering commentariat ...

By golly, that Amber Jamieson, an intern at Crikey, knows how to get the pond's juke box jumping.

Going where the pond fears to tread - into the maw of the Murdoch moloch machine - she came back - like Homer from 3D world - to bring us this startling bit of haw haw legalese:

News Digital Media as publisher of The Australian collects your personal information to assist us in providing the goods or services you have requested, to process your competition entries, and to improve our products and services. We or any of our Australian related companies may be in touch by any means (including email or SMS) at any time to let you know about goods, services, or promotions which may be of interest to you. We may also share your information with other persons or entities who assist us in providing our services, running competitions or with other companies who provide prizes for competitions or reader offers.

This company is part of a global media and entertainment company. We would like to share your information with these overseas-related companies so that they can contact you with special offers. If you would prefer us not to, please contact our privacy officer at:

Privacy Officer
Phone: 02 9288 3212
Fax: 02 9288 3139
2 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

Not, as Amber points out in No privacy at The Oz, a simple opt-out box in the sign in form - as easy to do as apple pie in this modern world of digital decency - but instead a demand that you phone, fax, or send an email to the Privacy Officer to get yourself off the list, and out of the clutches of the global media and entertainment machine. All so you can cop a copy of the Oz's First Draft email newsletter.

This is the kind of form I'd expect from bottom feeders in the digital world, harvesting email addresses so they can be spammed into uselessness.

Thanks but I see I've got a better offer from my dentist, who can give me root canal therapy without asking me for my email address.

It shows the same sort of crassness that saw Qantas go into a social media meltdown with a hashtag backlash (Qantas in new social media fail). Amongst the pond's favourites:

Couriers to make sure my staff around the world get their lockout notices any hour of the day or night #qantasluxury

#QantasLuxury is a complimentary cheap hotel room because your cynical airway left you stranded in Adelaide, of all places. Adelaide.

Oh Adelaide, Adelaide, how cruel they are.

Hey ho, on we go, and to avid Murdoch watchers this morning's story involving Senator Bill O'Chee could well be a slow burn, with all the details to be found in Investigation of political favours against News Ltd.

Who knows the truth of the matter. It's safe to say that if a Labor senator were involved, it would likely be dismissed out of hand as a matter of sour grapes, but Bill O'Chee was a senator for the Nationals, allegedly asked by a News Ltd operative to cross the floor to give commercial television operators a black eye.

Operative! So much better than executive, and all thanks to Gerard Henderson for introducing this term into the common vocabulary.

And now let us briefly pause to note what we won't be paying to read - even if only by way of offering up an email address at the moment - in this morning's lizard Oz:

Not that we needed to worry about missing Bettina Arndt, the cockroach of the commentariat, who seems to be showing righteous indignation about Fairfax in her lizard Oz appearance ...because there she is this very same day, over at Fairfax dispensing wisdom in Combating myths of women's work is a full-time job.

Is she helping Fairfax change its tune by whistling her very predictable tune for them?

To cut to the chase, it seems women aren't time poor and aren't concerned about the contribution of men to household work, and women don't want to work, they just want to take care of family responsibilities and structure their lives around servicing the needy men around them, and a woman should just give a man sex any time he wants to just keep the poor dear happy, and it's all the woman's fault if things go wrong in a relationship ...

Oh wait, the pond's taken the Arndt message so much to heart, that seems a montage of all Arndt's perceived wisdom about the world. Never mind, rest assured, all's well in this happy world, provided of course it stays a man's world ...

Or to put it another way by misquoting Arndt, Blinkered social commentators are wonderfully adept at peddling selective truths.

Sadly, not even The Australian's paywall can hide all of Arndt's offerings, but what a relief to be sheltered from Janet Albrechtsen.

Meanwhile, there's the usual blather from Peter Costello - the unctuous Cheshire cat smarmy smirk is simply too much to bear - in Line of left behind Obama forget old beliefs - as he proves once again that holding two ideas in the head at the same time is simply impossible for some.

Try this one: Guantanamo Bay under Bush was a bad idea, and what a pity Howard and Costello never pointed it out, and it remains a bad idea under Obama. Try another: Afghanistan under Howard and Costello was a bad idea, and it remains a bad idea under Gillard. How about this one. Waterboarding is torture. It was during world war 11, as determined by the United States, it was during the Bush years, and despite the best endeavours of the current crop of Republican candidates to bring it back, it remains so today, and what a pity Costello and Howard never had the guts to spell it out and point it out with vigour.

Costello speaks of a conga line of politicians, but if ever there was a man at the head of a conga line cheering on the most reprehensible initiatives of the United States, look no further than the Cheshire cat smirker.

Whether water torture is worse than reading Costello we'll have to leave to others to decide.

Meanwhile, there was just one bright bit of news arising from an excellent survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson university. Sure it was a small sample with a relatively high margin of error, but an essential truth seems to have been confirmed:

"Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. "Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all." (here)

By golly, sugar rots your teeth, and the minions of Murdoch rot your mind. Okay, it's a statement of the bleeding obvious, but the pond feels like that woman cracking the chalk open to see all the black ink sinking into the rotting teeth ...

(Below: and now for a rousing finale, which brings together Bettina Arndt and the minions of Murdoch. Click to enlarge).

Oh and for those who know nothing about chalk and ink, here it is. See, that ink does get in! Oh okay, it's a good thing, but only if you think News Ltd is a kind of toothpaste rather than a global media company after your email address.


  1. DP, could you dig into your pile of photos and locate that one of Peter Costello during the '04 (or '01?) campaign where he was at the end of the line to an outback dunny?
    You may have been glued to the Leveson Inquiry, and, like me, relished the way the Right Honourable Lord Justice read that malicious tripe from the Mail into the record during the early part of Steve Coogan's evidence.
    Anyway, today's journalists, though furiously flapping Harto's tea-towel of denial, would easily default to being dunny-seat-warmers for the next clown.
    Back to Leveson & Coogan on "tabloid revenge" ...

  2. OK, DP, you aren't sold on the benefits of 'social media'. Maybe, then, you'll not buy a Facebook phone when they are available.
    A pity, since this phone is code-named Buffy for now. Maybe that's a nod to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jana_Riess and Mormonism and Kolob.
    As if it wasn't enough that the Scientologists exude their weird beliefs.

  3. I can't watch that ad without recalling the Naked Vicar Show spoof of it where one of the kids proclaims "The old mole broke my chalk!"


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