(Above: once again we find ourselves on the slippery slope, sliding to a year full of disaster, anarchy and doom-saying. More First Dog providing accompanying pictures here).
Mike Carlton is usually astute when it comes to identifying serious - even solemn issues - and his contest to choose the Australian Whinger of the Year for 2011 in A gutful of all the bellyaching deserves serious, solemn attention.
But when it comes to the nominations, it's a let down. Only six, and then only the most obvious contenders, leading off with nattering naboob Tony Abbott, bellyaching billionaire Gerry Harvey, God botherers George Pell and Fred Nile, and moaning miners 'Twiggy' Forrest and Gina Rinehart.
All these are sterling contenders - some might even be hot favourites - but let's face it, that iconic horse race the Melbourne cup always has twenty three or four hot gallopers willing to go round the track in the quest for glory, and Carlton has nobbled his piece by limiting the field.
Sure he's called for further suggestions, but he really should have left room for a lot of other favourites, long shots who might, just might, trounce the favourites.
For starters, surely the entire Murdoch stable should be given a place under starters orders.
Does familiarity breed contempt? Should only individuals be nominated for selection? Why not The Australian? What a stable of moaning bellyachers, alarmists and chicken littles ...
If it must be individuals, then surely Chris Mitchell deserves a run around the track for organising the most vociferous, repeated, monotonous braying and neighing to resound around the land for the entire year?
What about his regular team players, who will always turn up for a whinge fest, and even make a clever pun about the days of whine, as if they hadn't spent the year whining before slipping out of view behind the paywall.
Someone has to stand up for these nag battlers. What about the Shanahans, stout-hearted natterers full of negativity:
Just say no! And surely if you spend the year saying no, it should count when the oat-eaters get ready for their year end contest.
And what about outsiders, always ready to try a little slip sliding as a way to bolster their nag appeal:
As First Dog began explaining up above, once you start slip sliding on the slippery slope, who knows where it might all end:
Expert slip sliders on the slippery slope of the slippery dip surely deserve recognition.
And this is just a short sampling of today's field. There's also stuffy Paul Kelly stuffing it up the Labor party again, shrill Greg Sheridan shrieking about India v China, fearless Frank Furedi taking aim at y'artz, and from yesterday harassing Henry Ergas urging the world to expect nothing, as the only way to avoid disappointment ...
And we haven't even begun to consider candidates who rest from exercise on the weekends, like argumentative Janet Albrechtsen. Surely by running this sort of stable, Chris Mitchell deserves a slot at the starting gate?
And what about the wider Murdoch pack? Why no mention of Andrew 'the bolter from the blue' Bolt? How could lightweight gadfly Tim Blair be overlooked? Why no mention of the sterling work of Miranda 'hang a greenie from a lamp post today' Devine? Does all Piers 'Acca Dacca' Akerman's sterling whining for the entire year count for naught? And yes he's at it again today ...
Now I know what Carlton will say. It's the business of journalists to be impotent moaners and whiners and whingers, standing on the sidelines berating all who pass, like eunuchs in the Imperial Household in the Forbidden city.
But as any diligent student of Chinese history will acknowledge, some of these eunuchs gained a remarkable amount of power. And where would Carlton's contenders be without a eunuch standing by, waiting to take down the braying of Tony Abbott or Gerry 'I'm down to my last squillion' Harvey and make it a front page splash?
And we haven't begun to consider all the other media giants.
The shock jocks, routinely given a rap over the knuckles with a pigeon feather by ACMA (2GB won't be punished for asylum funeral quiz), do exhausting track work every day preparing themselves for 'whinger of the year' events ...
And who could ignore the sterling work done by the shock horror investigative reporters who fancy what they do in Today Tonight and A Current Affair constitutes journalism, when really it's the most juicy collage of whingers and moaners available in televisual form for feasting viewers ...
And is there no room at the inn for The Punch, stable to a huge pack of contenders? No Barners? No Sophie Mirabella? And what about The Drum, which has managed to reduce the tone of the ABC online to a frenzy of rabid whining ratbags ...
Modesty forbids that there should be a reflexive category, for those who routinely whinge and whine about the whingers - let's give Media Watch a break here, they wouldn't know how to keep up the pace with the long staying nattering nags - but a list which includes the Pellist heretics and leaves out the Jensenist nepotics is just too short-winded.
Which is why the pond proposes that keen punters bombard Carlton with a list of their favourite nominations.
Here he is, standing by, waiting for the world to expand his puny, Sydney -focussed list of groaning gallopers at firstname.lastname@example.org. The time is right to bellyache about his very limited understanding of the art of bellyaching, and give him rich fodder for his column ...
All this leaves barely enough time to bellyache, whinge and moan about the Daily Terror asking this question:
When the answer is the bleeding obvious. Science is in tatters in this country because of the routine trashing of science by the Murdoch press. What's the point of becoming a part of the academic elite, perhaps even an inner city dweller, or a wearer of elbow patches, if the reward is sniggering about 'so called' scientific experts, and their arrogant display of expertise? As in the matter of climate science.
When Tim Blair and the anonymous editorialist at The Australian are on hand to explain that the correct response is to print the controversy, publish the arguments, all in the name of diversity, because science is some sort of relativist democracy. It works for the theory of evolution - no one can make a monkey out of them - and it surely must work for climate science ...
And yes, there the very same day, as the Daily Terror worries about a nation of dunces, they publish Miranda the Devine maintaining her dunce rage in We must see level heads or our coast is doomed ...
Now if Paul Whittaker as the new editor of the Daily Terror can't get a number in Carlton's horse race, then the race is rigged, or someone has been doing a Fine Cotton.
As for the matter of science, let's leave it to Dr Phelps, surely another strong contender in the Carlton gallop:
In an address attacking global warming, Dr Phelps said it should not be forgotten that ''some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes in the last century have been scientists''.
''We should not be so surprised that the contemporary science debate has become so debased,'' Dr Phelps, pictured, said. ''At the heart of many scientists - but not all scientists - lies the heart of a totalitarian planner.'' (here)
And the fiends invented totalitarian traffic lights too!
Come on Dr Phelps, give Carlton a hard time as he tries to limit his field. How could he possibly leave out the Marieke Hardy of the Right? (and more here if you're a genuine masochist):