Thursday, November 10, 2011

In honour of John Thomas Looney and conspiracy theorists everywhere ...

(Above: is this the only show to be sending up the media and ACA and parochialism?)

Today the buzz amongst navel gazers is the implications of chairman Rupert turning up in Australia to tap Harto on the shoulder and send him on his way, then tap Kim Williams and put him in charge of News Ltd.

There is much charming talk of ink in the veins - Bruce Guthrie is obsessed with it in Change of tack: man overboard:

Not only have they lost their protector and advocate, John Hartigan, but he has been replaced by a man who doesn't have a drop of ink in his veins.

Quaintness beyond quaint, as Guthrie discusses Harto's love of a punt and enjoyment of "several beers" a day, a stark contrast to Kim William's love of music, opera and marrying the daughter of a Whitlam!

Worse, according to classical music hater Tim Dick in Cultural shift as pay TV boss picked to run News (forced video at end of link), Kim Williams is "erudite", which seemed to imply that, by way of contrast, the Murdoch rags are unscholarly, common, ignorant, uncultured, uneducated, ill-informed gutter rags.

Amazingly, the change came at the very same time as the media enquiry is all the go, and at the very same time that The Australian, in its inimitable way, keeps maintaining the rage:

Feuding and fussing and fighting and adolescent snide silliness in the alleged heart of the nation. Yep, there's no call for erudite, not when you can maintain the rage against Manne.

If you listen to the more feral News Ltd hacks, full of paranoia, the media enquiry is an exercise in revenge, worthy of North Korea, as it examines:

The extent of the anal obsession with Robert Manne by News Ltd hacks - which has produced an equally unhealthy obsession in Manne with the hacks - is shown in the addenda to Manne's piece for his blog, Notes on Evidence Given to the Media Inquiry, which shows the war encouraged by Bolt and others with the professor in stark detail (herewith the mentions, in pdf form, and herewith the ranting attached to the blogs, in pdf form).

It takes The Hamster Wheel - rather than the rantings of News hacks - to deflate the mounting amount of Manne:

But it does point to the first problem Kim Williams will face, which is to manage the paywall and extend it throughout the empire, and at the same time, somehow encourage consumers to pay for the sight of adults indulging in adolescent feuds.

Good luck with that ...

Meanwhile, as loon pond was inspired in no small part by the wondrous example of J. Thomas Looney, we turn to the way the chattering classes have found their water cooler topic of the week, which is to promote a film by Roland Emmerich, the auteur behind such masterpieces as Godzilla, Independence Day, Eight Legged Freaks, The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000 BC.

Now you might wonder how the son of a wealthy founder of a garden machinery production company could direct such a vast array of stunning and diverse masterpieces, and all at once you will understand how it is simply impossible for the illiterate, uneducated stumblebum William Shakspere to write the plays fools give him credit for ...

Thing is, there's no positive evidence for any candidates, including Shakespeare himself.

Uh huh. Farewell Bill Bryson, and all the dozens of other Stratfordians who've assembled a quite decent array of positive evidence.

As Anonymous director Roland Emmerich tirelessly opines, Shakespeare's parents and children were known illiterates; he was neither travelled nor well-educated.

Just like Abraham Lincoln, really, but it's true poor old Bill could never match Mr. Emmerich's wide-ranging oeuvre:

... the plays evince a knowledge so broad and intimate as to have become playful; a kind of knowledge never common, especially in Elizabethan England.

No doubt in much the same way that Roland's films evince knowledge that has never been common in Hollywood. But stay, there's a problem:

Which brings us to the second point; the truth-value of the movie as a whole.
So devoted is Emmerich to his cause that he has deformed his entire portrait of the times to give his theory legs.

Ah, it's what we might call the eight-legged freaks problem. Or it's the "it's only a movie" problem ...

So says James Shapiro, English professor and Shakespeare scholar from Columbia University, for whom the film is "flippant" and "ridiculous", a revisionist fantasy based on the nutty theories of J. William Looney, an early 20th-century cultist, feudalist and luddite.

And it's at that point Farrelly commits a thought crime which all enthusiastic conspiracy theorists will seize upon as stunning proof she's not across the facts of the matter.

John Thomas Looney was the source the strange idea that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the author of Shakespeare's plays, and he attracted fellow loons - most notably Sigmund Freud - like a handsaw attracts hawks.

Never mind that de Vere died in 1604, and "Shakespeare" plays kept appearing until 1612, they either weren't written by "Shakespeare" or were issued by a canny publisher on drip feed seeking to maximise yearly Xmas sales ...

Well the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship is a grand cavalcade of loons - here's a handy list of notable supporters, which includes Justice Antonin Scalia - how did you guess - but then you also have the Baconian theory, and the Derbyite theory, and the Marlovian theory, which claims antipodean Mike Rubbo as a supporter, as he showed at too great a length in Much Ado About Something (no wonder the UK broadcaster wanted it shortened).

Yes, if you want to waste a life, you can delve into all sorts of arguments and contrary beliefs about the Shakespeare authorship question.

In the end Farrelly shrugs her shoulders and says the play's the thing and the truth should out, and demands to be taken to the tower, and so she should, when even Lucy Kippist boxing on at The Punch, in Shakespeare a fake? What fools these mortals be, gets loony Looney's name right, and calls his name "unfortunate".

Why that's like saying loon pond is "unfortunate".

Well the pond - in retailing the thoughts of Kippist and Farrelly - has already done more than enough to help retail the wretched movie, all in the name of highlighting the world's endless taste for conspiracy theories, when muddle always wins ninety per cent of the time, and the genuine ten per cent of conspiracies we rarely get to hear about.

That's why the Shakespeare fracas is up there with the birthers, the 9/11 truthers, the moon landing, fluoride, creationism, and all the other nonsense it takes a full wiki to list and a full wiki to discuss...

When in reality today there's only one unexplained conspiracy.

That's Media Watch heading off to a holiday which will see the show on vacation for months, leaving the field to The Hamster Wheel, at a time when the media enquiry is in full flight, changes are afoot at News Ltd, and the NOTW scandal is about to gain fresh breath ...

They'll regularly update the web site, they said. As if updating the web site means anything as the Xmas drought sets in ...

Well the pond's not the only one to notice, but you'd have to head behind the Crikey paywall to hear Margaret Simons' squawk Mega Aunty failure: Media Watch break ill-timed given media inquiry.

Only November and the blackness and the void descends, and inside the ABC they wonder why they're called a flock of lazy cardigan wearers with strange funding priorities, trotting out Crownies to prove how Bill Shakespeare must have been a nobleman ...

(Below: speaking of conspiracy theories ...

And speaking of entirely credible conspiracy theories as weak-kneed liberals weaken the hive or the nest or whatever, as cogently explained by this New Yorker cartoon).

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