Saturday, January 21, 2012

And so to the doings of relatively peaceful cultures, at least when compared to those pagan Romans ...

(Above: a problem since 1899, as revealed by the original The Punch in its cartoon. Click to enlarge).

The pond keeps a stack of old New Yorkers in the bathroom, in case of an emergency absence of loonery.

Flicking through a tattered back copy, it was one Chris Segedy of Brooklyn New York who brought a little light relief to pressing matters:

Christianity, it seems to me, played a central role in making Western Europe a relatively peaceful culture compared with pagan societies, including the "civilized" Romans.

Yes, and it culminated in the first and second world wars, with bonus holocaust. Now that's a knockdown relatively peaceful culture compared to those pagan societies. But wait, there's more:

... Europe's long history of Christianity has influenced its culture, particularly with regard to behavior and morality, and it's a mistake to ignore such a powerful aspect of the human experience.

Indeed, and its long history of warfare - whether the Hundred Years war, the Napoleonic wars, or the colonial adventurism from the Christian Crusades to the crusading ways of Christian Tony Blair - has been a powerful aspect of the human experience.

And wouldn't you know it. The New Yorker puts its letters up online, so you can read Chris Segedy in full here. So much silliness, so little time.

Even if there were a million monkeys typing a million ponds, only a thimbleful of the silliness available on the intertubes could cop a mention.

Speaking of silliness, this morning the tedious Jenny Macklin was all over the shop announcing great news for the clubs of Queanbeyan and Goulburn ... a trial of poker machine technology in the ACT.

Oh Labor party, you've done it again ... and come on Queanbeyan, don't be a bunch of spoilsports, you can make out like bandits and when the pond passed through at Xmas it looked like you could do with a bandit, ALP-led recovery (Barilaro rejects cooperation on pokies trial).

But I can hear you saying, okay, that's fair average silliness, but this is Saturday. How can we climb the Everest heights?

How about the solemn portentousness of the Daily Terror scribbling an editorial about the Wiggles?

Wiggles must get their act together, the anonymous editorialist intones, as he or she discussed the nation-wide trauma arising from one Wiggle replacing another Wiggle.

Ye ancient pagan cats and dogs, and not even a call for the Wiggles to be banned for their devastating impact on Australian culture ...

But wait, that's nothing, because you see Miranda the Devine has been out and about, cruising in favour of arch-yobbo Shane Warne, enthusiastically endorsing a jihad!

Shane Warne has declared a jihad against cyclists - and most motorists are with him.

Well we won't re-hash the saga of Shane and the cyclist, which is mainly of interest to those who think Shane Warne remains a celebrity because he could tweak a ball and a mobile phone.

But the Devine fallout from the fracas is all there in When will they stop pedalling nonsense?, and of course the answer is the twelfth of never, or at least until they stop peddling columns by the Devine as the best way to wrap your fish and chips.

Now you might think Warne and the Devine as co-crusaders in a campaign against cyclists is not even fit as lining for your budgie cage, but all that means is you lack a sensa huma and an ability to discover the shape of the universe in the froth on top of a cup of coffee ...

... perhaps Warne was so quick to hit Twitter with 16 tweets for his 630,000 followers on Tuesday night because he wanted to register his version of events before a less flattering interpretation cast him as a road rager.

Whatever the facts of the incident, it was an adept piece of damage control.

Yes never mind the facts of an incident. Who cares about the facts of an incident, when you can just carry on the road rage about bicyclists:

Even if he turns out not to be as blameless as he claims, Warne is right.

Yes even if he's in the wrong, he's absolutely right m'lud, and I refer to the principles established in the Mad Hatter's tea party. And now to maintain the mood m'lud a cartoon:

Now if it please m'lud, back to the Devine:

Motorists are sick of the silent two-wheeled menaces on our road. We are sick of the way they weave through traffic, run red lights, come out of nowhere and ignore road rules to suit themselves.

Yes, we're sick of it, sick of it all, sick of you, ya here, we're sick of everything, we're sick and we're not sorry we're sick, because we've had a gutful of being sick, and that's why we're sick and tired of it all, and when we're not sick and tired, why we're tired and sick ...

In fact, the only thing you might get even sicker about is the predictable bleating of the Devine, frothing and foaming like a demented, wailing, emotionally disturbed banshee ...

We are sick of the empty bike lanes that make already clogged roads impassable and the fact the bicycle lobby's power is disproportionate to their numbers. We are sick of their sense of entitlement and increasing aggression.

We are sick of the dangerous fiction that the road is there to share.

In fact, the road is there for cars. Bicycles are there only under sufferance.

And there you have - in a single snapshot - a portrait of the rude, boorish, arrogant, frequently verging on the psychotic - Sydney motorist, when offered a keyboard to express their feelings and attitudes ... rather than the more usual way of expressing their mood, behind a four wheel drive tearing around and tearing up the goat tracks that formed a foundation for the roads of inner Sydney ...

Next pedestrian you see daring to walk on a road, knock 'em down, and remind them that it's a dangerous fiction that the road is there to share, and remember, tell 'em Miranda the Devine sent you on your mission to create havoc and hell on the highway ...

Would it be a Devine piece without a spluttering final par offering up the heavy hand of the law?

Bike registration may be too unwieldy, especially for casual riders, but if guerrilla skirmishes between cars and bikes continue on our roads, the heavy hand of the law will have to intervene.

Now you might ask about the guerrilla skirmishes between cars and cars - like the car that rear-ended the pond's car last year - but we'll have none of that trouble-making nonsense from well known Trotsky-ites like yourself.

What we need is the heavy hand of the law, or at least the heavy finger on the heavy keyboard cliche of life ...

Meanwhile, it seems that Miranda the Devine and Harold Scruby are equally afraid of, and irritated by, bicyclists, as explained in Warne's bicycle rego demand belted for six.

It seems Mr. Scruby is with Warne in wanting some form of registration. Dear sweet pagan cats and dogs of Rome, Scruby and Warne and the Devine hanging around together ...

That would be the very same Scruby the Devine once called "a single issue zealot" while invoking Michael Costa calling him "Harold Screwball", as she moaned about anti-car activists and vegan cyclist Carl Sully (Fairness stuck in the slow lane).

Yep, the Devine has been scribbling about the evils of cyclists - in a fetid rampaging case of feral keyboard road rage - for many years, and the predictability is only matched by the banality of the thinking, and her capacity to provoke matching rage amongst cyclists. I guess it must help sell cockie-cage liner on slow days ...

So there you go Chris Segedy of Brooklyn, New York.

You might have your theories about Christians being better than pagan Romans, but we have Christian Miranda the Devine being benevolent, inclusive and embracing of bicyclists.

Sorry, you lose ...

Oh and you lose if you drive on Sydney roads too. Just remember somewhere someday you might well encounter someone behind the wheel with a pathological hatred of sharing the road with other users ...

I know, I know, anyone not living in Sydney will heave a sigh of smug relief. But remember the spirit of the Devine is everywhere.

As Chris Segedy sagely noted, it's a mistake to ignore such a powerful aspect of the human experience...

(Below: don't let the dress sense fool you. Those women are insufferable cyclists determined to ruin the Sydney road experience for Miranda the Devine and like).

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