(Above: more of Fiona Katauskas at New Matilda here).
Here at the pond we've studiously avoided commenting on the infamous trial now proceeding before the Federal Court involving the notorious columnist Andrew Bolt, but the coverage - mainly provided by Crikey and Fairfax - has been a joy to read.
Being an advocate of free speech, the pond believes the dolt should be allowed to be doltish in his own lunch time, and anyone else short of a sandwich in search of a picnic can have the pleasure in joining him for a déjeuner sur l'herbe sans crémé de la intelligence.
Still it's lovely to see him writhe on the spit, as many have done as a result of his verbal assaults. I particularly enjoy the notion that a reference to a gay white man with a law degree, just the sort of Aboriginal that deserves a special handout is as innocent as our reference to a straight white man with a degree in sarcasm and impudence, just the sort of commentariat columnist that deserves a special position as a minion of Murdoch.
Does straight and white have anything to do with anything?
Not really, but we all know the way that it works. Indeed some of the pond's best friends are gay, transsexual, multi-gendered, in to cross dressing, or bdsm or otherwise willing to stretch the concept of gender and sexuality, and once we've established that they are variously god mothers or god fathers to all and sundry and close bosom'd friends to the maturing pond, we can feel free to send them up shitless for the useless ruffians they are, most particularly because of the way they stretch the concepts of gender and sexuality.
Yep, we'll go on celebrating the way some of our best friends are homosexual or black while explaining why their rights should be denied.
Speaking of rights, it's worth reading Richard Ackland's Nothing black and white about Bolt's case and right to free speech, and in particular his closing irony:
The difficulty is we do not have a right to free speech, beyond the vagaries of the common law. If we had a charter of rights, Justice Mordecai Bromberg would be required in this case to balance Bolt's right of free speech with the rights of the applicants not to be racially picked upon and we'd have a better idea of where the line lies. But of course, Bolt campaigned furiously against a charter of rights.
Yes, and they say that the inventor of the guillotine ended up testing its efficacy, but as the spoilsport wiki explains, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who gave his name to the device, died of natural causes. And he didn't actually invent the device. That honour belongs to Antoine Louis, and but for the perversity of history, we might now be talking of a louisette.
No doubt in fifty years time some humble wiki compiler will be given the task of compiling all the errors, misinformation and disinformation in Andrew Bolt's blog, and at last the full to overflowing intertubes will run out of space altogether.
Hey ho, and we are of course in no way commenting on or undermining the matters currently before the court, and on we go to vital matters of state, and who better to explain them than David Penberthy, who at one time scribbled this immortal line:
... Byrne’s been busy advocating a polite modern rendering of Kristallnacht in the Inner West ... (Greens who see red over oranges).
Kristallnacht? Night of Broken Glass? Nazi Germany and Austria November 9-10th 1938? Is this the Marrickville I know, right here, right now?
Of course the polite response would be to accuse Penberthy of a breach of Godwin's Law.
The impolite reponse would be to accuse him of being an inexcusable wanker. But then I have to confess that the pond was part of the mob that went around the streets of Marrickville smashing up shop windows, rioting, destroying stores and businesses, burning down synagogues, killing any stray Jews who crossed the mob's path, or hustling them off to concentration camps. In ever a so polite modern rendering ...
Naturally Penberthy can't help himself, and he's at it again in the punch-drunk Punch with The Greens: when all else fails cry conspiracy.
Of course a better header would have been The Greens: when all else fails cry kristallnacht.
Generally, I'd rather eat broken glass than read Penberthy, but now we come to the indignation of Penberthy about those indignant about Penberthy dragging kristallnacht into the political discourse.
Yep, if you want mealy mouthed clap trap, Penberthy is your man:
I wrote a piece a few weeks ago describing this planned identification of businesses with links to the Jewish state as “a polite modern rendering of Kristalnacht.” Some Greens were deeply offended by this. Their indignation at protecting the memory of the Holocaust can be easily dismissed as confected.
Of course it can. As everybody knows, Greens are kissing cousins to Hitler, much as they might confect notions that they're not. Or perhaps they're satanists, or perhaps watermelon Communists. After all we all know the Nazis were into the occult and signed a pact with Uncle Joe Stalin. The Greens don't give a fuck about the Holocaust, unlike Penberthy and Tony "arbeit macht frei" Abbott, and treat it as a kind of confectionary ...
Hang on, hang on, from Marrickville to Nazi occultists to confectionary?
Yes, you can see where this is heading, deep into the wilder recesses of abuse:
If they regard this period of history as something we should learn from, surely they would baulk at the idea of creating a black list of businesses with links to the Jewish state. Jewish Labor MP Michael Danby was perfectly happy to place this proposal in its proper historical context, saying Marrickville Council could just start painting the Star of David on offending businesses. If every council in the world adopted this policy, the Israeli state would be destroyed economically. It would cease to exist.
Now there's a vision. The councils of the world destroying Israel.
Why it should be a doddle then for the councils of the world to unite and destroy Colonel Gaddafi. Problem solved Obama, just call me and Penberthy when it's sorted (silly man, thinking weaponry and armies when all he had to do was issue a clarion call to the councils of the world).
The Greens clearly believe they were damaged by sinister coverage of the policy. They weren’t. They were damaged because the policy is sinister.
So that's how to be unapologetically unapologetic. It turns out, after all, that taking an attitude to Israel is a polite modern form of kristallnacht. Which no doubt explains why the only Nazi signs I saw during the campaign in the streets of the Marrickville electorate were plastered all over signs for the Greens ...
And just to keep the drum beating in as offensive a way as he possibly can, Penberthy reports on the way Balmain candidate Jamie Parker's car
... had been vandalised and that he had received death threats and letters calling him a Nazi and a Jew-hater.
... had been vandalised and that he had received death threats and letters calling him a Nazi and a Jew-hater.
Is Penberthy shocked? A tad disturbed? Well hardly, how could he be, since raising the kristallnacht spectre is a rough equivalent to calling Parker a Nazi and a Jew-hater, and to make sure you get the point, Penberthy rubs it in a little harder:
Parker’s choice of language in this interview has now been picked up by people in the Jewish community, some of them with links to ALP, as further evidence that the Greens have got a few issues they need to resolve here. “These Jews” now believe Parker went close to claiming the Greens had been a victim of some kind of Jewish conspiracy. As Pauline Hanson might say, Jamie, please explain.
The interview with Parker referenced by Penberthy is by Antony Loewenstein in New Matilida, under the header Are The Greens Ready For Hard Ball?
Its author "Antony Lowenstein" is described by Penberthy as an independent journalist ... a strident critic of the Jewish state and the author of My Israel Question.
Yes, and he also happens to be an atheist Jewish-Australian political activist, but sssh, don't mention the Jewish connection. There are some Jews who just don't fit in.
Well Loewenstein is big enough to look after himself, and he can be found at his blog here, and I do thank Penberthy for helping me understand why few people in the Murdoch stable thought nothing much about Julia Gillard being labelled Bob Brown's bitch.
Not when you can see that term, raise it and double the bet by dragging in the Nazis ...
In fact, if you read Cut and Paste in The Australian - Bitchgate: more hypocrisy over the unsavoury placards at Tony Abott's people's revolt - the bitch word on a placard in a rally can be conflated with Paul Keating using the word "bitch" in private.
That's right, private language is the same as public discourse and a placard. (Fuck me dead, let's hope no one hears the terms of endearment I reserve for my partner in a heated moment, the wretched tosser and dickhead).
But then you have to be a fully blown delusional goose to take Jonathan Green's gentle description of Cut and Paste as an "an amazing decontextualised pastiche" as "high praise!"
Is there any way you can cut through the cynical delusional bitchy 'whore of babylon' workings of this section of the lizard Oz? I suppose you could just observe that it lowers the tone of the rag, but that would be to assume that the rag had a tone to lower ...
Oh dear, a reader points out that the word 'bitchy' has strayed into the pond.
Quick Tony, go and position yourself in front of it, and elevate the tone of the debate.
Oh and another reader looming over my shoulder has somehow taken a fence when it comes to the mention of Tony 'arbeit macht frei' Abbott ... somehow thinking that this infamous phrase emblazoned above Nazi concentration camp entrances is an appropriate comparison for Abbott's current assault on the unemployed and disability pensioners (naturally celebrated in the usual unctuous, forelock tugging, Uriah Heep way by the anonymous lizard Oz editorialist in Endorsing tough-love reforms).
But of course it has nothing to do with it. You might think this is a sinister attitude to Mr. Abbott's long familiar routine of dole bludger bashing, but truth to tell, it's the policies that are sinister.
Or so a half-baked, half-assed Penberthy might assert.
But the thing that really brings out the pedant in me is the way Penberthy misspells Loewenstein's name not just once, but twice as "Lowenstein". Has Penberthy got some kind of attitude to atheist Jewish Australians? Is this his cheapest shot? To misspell a name?
As Pauline Hanson might say, Penberthy, please explain. Or can we just call you Ponborthy?
Still reading Ponborthy gave me a clue as to a way forward. Stray readers of the pond will know that every second minute we urge readers to boycott News Corp and all its products, in the vain hope of bringing it down, and thereby sending off the likes of Penberthy and Andrew Bolt to experience life on the dole under Tony "arbeit macht frei" Abbott ... (Oh okay, there's another buck in the Godwin's Law swear jar).
How could we fail to see that all we need is the councils of the world to unite?
If every council in the world adopted this policy, News Corp would be destroyed economically. It would cease to exist.
Now pardon me while I toddle off to write a letter.
Dear Marrickville council,
it has come to my attention that you are engaged in a campaign to induce Israel to treat Palestinians within and without its borders a little better, when in reality you should be engaged in a campaign to destroy News Corp ...
Done and dusted! Within a year, the councils of the world will make News Corp just a memory of a bad dream ...
(Below: while we're on the subject of conspiracy theories, and it's Friday, my favourite routine in the last week ? Appended to Miranda the Devine's column Who's the extremist now? and no doubt inspired by her rhetoric, came this explanation of the source of the signs at the rally:
The Bob Browns Bitch one was done by a person with artistic capabilitity and access to art materials, because whoever produced it used 4 paint colours, solid base of canvas not paper, and professional lettering made to appear amateur ...
Whether this was done through Labor’s sources, as people have been suggesting, or through personal resources, neither of these placards was an amateur job. My husband is a professional artist, and from knowing work you only have to look and see about people’s work ....
Yes, the sign and others at the rally were a professional Labor party conspiracy! You could only read it in a Murdoch rag, much like you could only read the inflated estimates of crowd size in their coverage.
Still now we know the dangerous radical Labor party conspirators attending the rally. Arrest the lot of them! Here are the ringleaders:
Oops, sorry, wrong angle. Here are the real professional Labor party conspirators! Notice their age and garb! Sinister! If you recognise any of them, dob them in to Ponborthy at once.