Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It's Wednesday, and time for an update on the culture wars raging like a WA burn off ...

Disturbing news today from the Holt street bunker, the Maginot line of the Murdoch empire, where the valiant cultural warriors entrenched in mental fortifications almost as solid as the concrete block and moat that surrounds the police down the road, go about the daily business of scribbling for The Australian ...

They're giving Janet Albrechtsen away for free - free, I tells ya, no gold bar to block your view - and she's writing about Margaret Thatcher. It's a double bunger of bliss, and yet ... it was also a test. Like a junkie passing by a stall offering a free hit of heroin ... but the shakes have passed, the temptation no longer strong.

Even the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth in a solid phalanx of whining and moaning had little effect:

They give away their premium conservative ratbag, and want to charge for dull plodding Paul Kelly and hapless Mark Day bitching and moaning about Sky being done over? Things are awry in the world, or perhaps they're perfectly right.

Meanwhile, if you want a movie review of a movie about Margaret Thatcher featuring Meryl Streep doing her usual mimicry and calling it acting - two strikes for the pond, and more to do with movie-making than ideology and political posturing of the Albrechtsen kind - you can head off to The Guardian, and cop a review for free, in The Iron Lady: first screening.

Oh wait, you've valiantly refused to do that, seeing as how that piece ran on the 14th November, and you wanted to keep yourself virginal, unsullied and pure, to discover what Janet Albrechtsen thought about it on the 7th December. And you've already seen the xvid?

Never mind, there's plenty more by way of masochistic torture on hand for diligent readers, none more so than Peter "the smirk" Costello blathering on about gay marriage in Labor has to choose between believers and true believers.

One of Costello's most remarkable insights is that gay people simply don't exist in postcodes any further out than ten kilometres from the major cities G.P.O.s (or what's left of them if they haven't become shopping malls).

This explains why gay marriage is exclusively an issue for inner urban elites and Greenies, and why Bob Katter was dead right to advise that there were no gays in North Queensland. After all they'd sent his gay half-brother packing so there was no need for him to walk backwards to Bourke ...

Yes, thanks to Costello, we learn that there are no homosexuals to hand anywhere outside the inner city where dangerous gay activists lurk, upsetting the Australian Christian Lobby, and making things very hard for poor old Julia Gillard:

The mums and dads who live in heterosexual relationships in the outer suburbs that swing between Labor and the Coalition and decide elections have a different view on this issue. So Labor had to choose whether to woo them or hold on to its inner-city base.

So whenever you want a decision made on principle, fairness, inclusiveness and humanity, toddle off to the smirk. He'll set you right. It's got nothing to do with any of that. It's all about marginal votes and cynical calculation. Practise hard enough, and you too can be a politician with a smirk, clapping hands with the cult of Hillsong ...

Alternatively, you could become Tim Blair, who recently decided to get his knickers in a knot about Wendy Bacon, and portentously headed his piece Academia on path of destruction.

Now you cant expect much in the way of deep thinking from Blair and the Blairites, which is why the caption for the accompanying photo of Sydney Harbour captured the mood perfectly: Barnacles beware: Tiny sea level rises in Sydney Harbour.

Having done his basic scientific training at Truth newspaper, Blair is a model of scientific rigour, rectitude and methodology, which is why he's perfectly placed to denounce Bacon and her study, which concluded that the Daily Terror was leader of the Murdoch pack of nattering nabobs of negativity when it came to climate science. (Newspapers lose their balance on climate coverage).

Naturally all that Blair can offer in response is idle sarcasm of the Stalinist kind:

A comprehensive audit is underway to identify exactly who was responsible for those positive articles and to establish the guidelines for a thorough re-education process. In advance of this, our basement-located training facilities have been completely sound-proofed.

Oh tee hee with bells, and never you mind that instead of positive or negative, accurate and insightful might have been better:

In her 70-page report, which is not at all stupid and reflective of a predictably academic hostility towards commerce and progress, Bacon claims that "many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011".

This is true, but we can't help it if many Australians choose to listen to the ABC. Perhaps Bacon's report will serve to enlighten these people by drawing further attention to The Telegraph's excellent coverage.

Yes, they really do jerk their own chain in Murdoch land on a regular basis, but any suggestion that they're chain jerkers will be met with the usual paranoid hostility, preferably with a reference to the ABC, or quite possibly Fairfax. You knew that was coming didn't you?

So we've got a range of newspapers offering a range of views on the carbon tax, from yay-for-taxation government huggers at Fairfax (particularly Melbourne's Age) to those questioning the government at The Daily Telegraph and elsewhere. Bacon herself notes the striking "differences between publications". This is a clear and encouraging sign of media diversity.

In other news today, the Daily Terror presented clear alternatives to the theory of evolution and the theory of relativity, citing incisive stories about creationism and the tenth dimension as an encouraging and clear sign of media diversity. A report on the intrinsic value of E-meters will lead the weekend editions, along with compelling evidence of the shocking truth of scientific conspiracy discovered by flat earthers ...

Blair then goes on to show his own diversity by trotting out the latest favourite item in the denialist true believer camp, the research of coastal engineer Doug Lord.

Diversity, you see, doesn't actually involve considering diverse possibilities. It involves seizing on Lord as the latest saviour (oh Lord Monckton, where have you gone, why have you forsaken us).

You can of course find alternative interpretations, as in Lies, Damn Lies and Graphs, you just won't find them in Blair or the Daily Terror, not when monomania and jokes about barnacles are the way to go. You'll search long and hard for a reminder in Blair's babblings about Lord that Lord has been reported as accepting the science of climate change.

So in what has become the latest line of bunker-like fortifications amongst the denialist mob, we're now accepting the climate science and just arguing about the extent of the impact?

Take it away Mr Blair, do your very best impression of Alan Jones:

Here's a challenge for Wendy Bacon's journalism students at the University of Technology. If Australia's contribution to the total amount of carbon dioxide generated globally is just 1.4 per cent, how much of that sea level rise is because of us?

I work it out to be 0.0139mm, or 13.9 microns. This is approximately the depth of a fine coat of paint.

Or indeed a fine sheen of silliness.

For bonus marks, please point out how a 1mm sea rise adds up to the destruction of the planet. You might begin with the level of threat this presents to a solitary barnacle.

Yes folks, the sea has risen by 1mm, and now thanks to King Canute and Tim Blair, it has magically stopped and will rise no more, and don't you worry yourself about ocean acidification, or the sense of developing renewable resources, not when you can go on ranting about climate science in such a profoundly silly way.

It would have been a lot simpler for the Terror to admit that it's on a crusade against climate change, rather than rolling out Tim Blair as the chief defence lawyer.

Blair is little more than a dandified doodle bug, an irritant burr, a kind of moronic Macca every day of the week, trolling away at his blog, and setting the tone for the rag, such that you have to suspect John Hartigan might have been right when he talked about the importance of journalism, rather than the limited intellectual value of bloggers, barely discernible from massive ignorance ... all eyeballs and no insight.

On any typical day, Blair can be seen having a go at Stephen Conroy for getting a tad emotional about nuclear leak and not being able to drink milk... which is why we so look forward to Blair ordering up a hearty supply of the baby food recently withdrawn in Japan after it was discovered that it contained traces of cesium. No doubt after a year of hearty munching, he'll be able to stand proud, and show Conroy for the cry-baby pussy he is ...

Yes, you have to talk tough and strut macho in Tim Blair land, and always remember to talk about V-8 grunt (Cesium in baby milk powder shows lingering threat of radiation in Japan).

And on any typical day, Blair can be found making a joke about the weather and Al Gore, often together, since he does so love his double bungers. When a reader noted that global carbon emissions had increased by a record amount, and he wasn't doing much to help, Blair snapped:

I’d be prouder if it was causing some warming. Sydney is currently colder than a parliamentary hallway.

Truly, you'd have to be a gadfly of Blairite proportions to enjoy Blair's luddite trolling, but here's the thing. With Blair running defence for the Terror, while running a blog which is routinely surly, silly, snappy, sarcastic and savage, the blurring of lines between reporting in a sensible way, and ill-tempered ranting is now almost complete at the Terror.

And what you get is all eyeballs and no insight ...

Perhaps it's entertaining to a Blairite, but not much more informative than a hamster doing its thing in its wheel ...

Meanwhile, speaking of percentages:

Second thoughts, make that 0.0139mm, or 13.9 microns of commitment, the approximate depth of a fine coat of paint. That's something Tim Blair can understand, and it's so scientific ...

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