Tuesday, March 06, 2012

It's the little things ...

(Above: more Nicholson here).

It's the little things that mount up.

The pond usually recommends Phillip Adams as a soporific, less medicinally harmful than valium, as a way of nodding off to sleep. But then through the fast approaching fog of sleep, you hear something like "that's why we started the film industry", or words to that effect, said to Jim Sharman for no apparent reason, except to reveal Adams' delusional megalomania about his role in the feature film revival in the nineteen seventies.

Started the film industry? So much for Raymond Longford, Ken Hall, Francis Thring senior (vale top ham Frank Thring), Lee Robinson, Charles Chauvel, and a host of others who struggled through the silent and early talkie days to make Australian movies up against the strangling octopi of the British and American oligopolies (yes before Coles and Woolies, there was a dream of oligopoly).

Poor Jim Sharman. He battled on, as best he could, as you can discover here - he had an internet movie to flog which is hopefully better than The Night the Prowler or Summer of Secrets - and in any case what can you say when you're confronted with the gormless and the delusional?

You might think it a slip - re-started the industry might have had a better chance of floating (thanks for your efforts Michael Powell, but bugger off) - but it's the little slips that give the game away.

And then there was Des Ryan's offering Smartarse journos leave democracy better, not worse, which seemed to be saying that being a dickhead smartarse journo was somehow a noble enterprise. As if being a smartarse dickhead is ever a noble enterprise. Ryan must be the sort of journo who feels it's a mark of style to sidle up to a woman in a bar, and say "feel like a root?" You know, the sort of incisive, probing question a dickhead asks when in quest of a gotcha scoop.

Constant interruption and a refusal to listen to an answer is of course the sign of a journalist who's run out of ideas. It's the oldest routine of all, the kind of "when did you stop beating your wife", "how can we trust you" sort of bullshit that's about as penetrating as a dunny door flapping in a gale.

The few who bothered to respond to the Ryan missive didn't seem too impressed. The idiots of the press gallery are glorified proprietor grovelling gossip columnists seemed to best sum up the response. Crikey must have been desperately short of copy to fill in the day, when it decided to go with Ryan celebrating the gotcha as an art form ...

Yes, it's the little things that get the pond going. Speaking of little things, what a fine offering from that little thing, the Australian Financial Review, which in its editorial announced that The Treasurer has literally lost the plot:

... with his rant against mining magnates Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, wealth creation appears to have become, at least in Mr Swan’s eyes, a vice that runs against the grain of Australian society and which must therefore be fought against at all costs.

Meanwhile, in another section of the AFR, you can read Rinehart wants board seat at Fairfax:

Australia’s richest person, mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, asked for a board seat at Fairfax Media when she visited the company’s offices in Sydney yesterday.

The visit was her first since she emerged as the company’s biggest shareholder.

Presumably that's all part of her wealth creation scheme for the dodos at Fairfax, and nothing at all to do with promoting her personal view that boofhead billionaires of Australia rulez ...

What a shabby forelock tugging rag it is ...

Speaking of forelock tugging, is it possible to imagine a more gigantic forelock tugger than Jeff Kennett writing Swan's war against basic Aussie values for the HUN? As if billionaires represent basic Aussie values. So much for mateship and a fair go, with a Henry Lawson socialist tinge.

As soon as you hear someone rabbiting on about Aussie values, you know you're in a dark cave with a villain adopting the last refuge of a scoundrel. What a gargantuan tosser ...

And speaking of forelock tugging to miners, how pleasing it is to discover Barry O'Farrell knows where his forelock is, and knows how to give it a good hard tugging, as can be discovered by reading Access all areas: new rules for miners. Oh it's a fine day for frackers, and the chance to frack over New South Wales ...

You can imagine by the time that by the time the pond got to this effort by Adam Ferrier, it was time for a shriek of rage:

Oh a redhead. Why that's such a witty exercise in branding. Never let a cliche stand in the way of a stereotype when branding (and you can read the rest of his treatise here).

Like all marketing hammers, guru Ferrier sees everything through the reverse end of the telescope as a nail - brand management - to be handled by brand managers like Ferrier. Looking at the lad - who fancies himself as an expert in "coolness" - took the pond back to the days of the younger Jim Sharman, before he resorted to the intertubes to flog his films, and a question Gillard might ask of Ferrier:

She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a fright
I'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead

Brand manager, manage your brand, and don't imagine a treatise on political branding in The Punch is doing your brand any good at all.

Meanwhile, the war between Robert Manne and The Australian continues, and all those rabbits who think freedom of speech is at stake in this country should read the finer details of what has now become something of a Sicilian vendetta. If The Australian believes so passionately in freedom of speech, why didn't it answer Manne's quite reasonable questions, Manne having answered theirs?

Manne sounded like he was suffering from a persecution complex, but sometimes being paranoid is just a matter of being in possession of the facts:
  • On what date was the Freedom of Information request concerning my ARC Grants submitted by The Australian? (I was trying to discover whether it was made after the publication of "Bad News".)
  • What was the reason for the request? (I wondered if they would try to disguise their obvious political motives.)
  • How many requests have been submitted?
  • What are the names of the academics and scholars being pursued by The Australian?
  • What are the grounds for pursuit in these and not other hundreds of instances?
The pond has had its troubles with Manne, but who can argue with this?

... it can often seem that an editor whistles, and the well-trained team of attack dogs - Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine, Tim Blair et hoc genus emerge from their various kennels, teeth bared, snarling, moving in for the kill. This is the kind of culture that now prevails in the media corporation that dominates between 65 per cent and 70 per cent of the Australian newspaper market. (here).

There's only one problem here. It can often seem? Surely that's a little too soft ...

And perhaps the metaphor of attack dogs, when really it's more like a flock of starlings, whirling through the sky in unison, before landing on a palm tree, and spreading guano everywhere, or perhaps shrieking at territorial intrusions like a bunch of noisy Indian mynah birds, driven by some atavistic desire to destroy everything around them.

Phew, you can see where minor things eventually lead, to a Vesuvius eruption.

So let's get back to speaking of little things. Take for example, Pat Robertson showing he's even more delusional than Phillip Adams when it comes to ways of stopping tornadoes ripping through the Midwest of the United States:

"If enough people were praying [God] would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms,” Robertson said on the show. (Pat Robertson: Tornadoes Could Have Been Stopped If People Had Prayed)

Two thousand years of failed prayers, and they still don't get it. Next thing you know it's all the fault of godless atheists, women and homosexuals.

Yep, it's the little things, and the delusional creeps that can get the pond going ... but you know what? If even Don Imus can't stand Rush Limbaugh, then the pill popper is in trouble ... (Don Imus Calls Rush Limbaugh An 'Insincere Pig' ...)

Oh it's been a fine kettle of fun, with Jon Stewart limboing down with Limbaugh, Michael Wolff joining in about the Grand Old Puritan Party, and advertisers rushing anywhere, provided it isn't with Rush. Sometimes the little things mount up.

Take it away Alice Cooper:

You can burn my house
You can cut my hair
You can make me wrestle naked
With a grizzly bear

You can poison my cat
Baby I don't care
But if you talk in the movies
I'll kill you right there

It's the little things
It's just the little things
Aw it's the little things
It's just the little things
Yeah it's the little things
That drive me wild

(Below: and now for another entry in that inexhaustible, ongoing series of Mitticisms)


  1. OK, DP, so who is the "solo genius zipping back and forth from Bungendore in a sports car"?

  2. All I know EA is that I can't play the clarinet and I never drive the open top to Bungendore. And dammit, it can't be Phillip Adams because he lives up Gundy way, where an ancestor once got busted for being as pissed as a parrot and disturbing the peace, in the Parker way. Which is more than Adams has ever done for the world.

    So it's over to you to decipher these Gillard runes:

    You see we’re not run by some wise old owl playing the clarinet in the bath or some solo genius zipping back and forth from Bungendore in a sports car while the political class wastes its time on doorstops. I think we’ve got a smart, hard-working people, tough businesses, and yes, a class of economic officials that the world envies.


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