Friday, March 23, 2012

Pond luck, or stuck in Canberra again ...

(Above: maestro, eerie X-Files music please, as Sense goes MIA as Palmer talks up CIA).

Talk about pond luck.

Take a couple of days to visit the capital of Orstralia (you bloody beaut), and immediately news of a vast, international, gigantic conspiracy breaks.

Now mention a conspiracy and the pond is always there, front and centre. Truthers, birthers, grassy knolls, the war on Xmas, the Easter bunny and the fake chocolate affair, Area 51 and Roswell, and dozens more conspiracies have captured the pond's attention over the years.

Oh others had their fun, and played while the pond was away. Clive reveals sinister hand of foreign governments, croaked Bernard Keane in Crikey, and Clive's ruined it for all us CIA-funded rabble rousers burbled John Birmingham.

And then it turned out it wasn't as grand a conspiracy as first imagined. It seemed that all that talk of treason on a federal level was wrong. Bob Brown wasn't a traitor, and wasn't on the C.I.A. payroll.

It was actually only the Queensland Greens. And then you began to wonder why the powerful C.I.A. would chose such a humble, hollow, imperfect clay vessel to ruin Australia, its coal-mining industry and inter alia billionaire Clive Palmer.

And how - given the state of China and the coal industry and Clive - it seemed a singularly inept conspiracy. Could this be the explanation of why the United States was failing in Afghanistan? The C.I.A. couldn't even stage a decent coal conspiracy ...? Truly, oh noble agency, if you want to ruin the coal industry, talk to the pond. We're standing by ready to engage in a vast international conspiracy ...

Even worse, there we were in the heart of the nation, waiting to see what unfolded by way of a protest against the powerful machinations and forces for evil besetting this fine country, and all that could be mustered was a couple of hundred old farts with nothing better to do.

Even the redoubtable Canberra Times, fresh from its bunker in Fyshwick, just a stone's throw or a crow's flight from the porn shops and the massage parlours and the only retail evidence that Canberra is actually alive - found it hard to get excited, as they did their best to whip up some enthusiasm for the dismal spectacle in Madcap milliner stars at anti-carbon tax rally.

Clive was supposed to turn up to address the rally, but had to phone it in:

Mining magnate Clive Palmer was supposed to address the rally in person, but had to phone in his address from Queensland because he is unwell.

What's that? Unwell? Let's hope, in the royal style, that Clive has at least three food tasters on hand. After all, when the C.I.A. embarks on a conspiracy, there's usually no end to it. Just one look at the Bourne trilogy explains how deviant, devious and relentless they are.

Sadly, it was left to the clowns to carry on, but not before Clive showed he was as adept at climate science as he is at conspiracy theories:

''The truth will set us free,'' Mr Palmer said, adding that carbon dioxide was beneficial to plant growth.

The truth will set us free? No, no Clive, the slogans are "The truth is out there", "Trust no one", and "I want to believe" (ah X-Files, how we miss you, and so must Clive).

And waiter, please lock that man in a room full of carbon dioxide, and let's see how long he lasts. Purely in the interests of science.

Mr Palmer - who earlier this week alleged links between the Greens and the CIA - asked the crowd when Ms Gillard was going to resign.

Well actually Clive as soon as you present firm evidence that the Greens are tools of the C.I.A. and the minority government collapses.

The rally, which was entitled ''The Planet is Cooling'' was then addressed in person by South Australian geologist Professor Ian Plimer.

Oh Plimer, Plimer, such hard and low times, and such a low-rent crowd, and never mind the ones that could afford the penguin suits.

What was the pond to do?

Well for a start why not bask in the orange glow of Harmony Day lighting? That's right you switch off the lights for an hour because of the crisis in the world, and then you switch on bonus lights for the night to establish harmony in Canberra (not that there was much harmony as Jacqueline Maley noted in Wooh! And that was Harmony Day, if you missed it).

What else to see? Well after the fuss about the banning of Segways, what a relief to see Segways back on the concrete Canberra promenades (you can see a sortie of Segways here), and how pleasing to see Chief Minister Katy Gallagher win an award for support of cycling (Gallagher awarded for encouraging cycling). Because truth to tell no one should win an award for the design of the ACT government building, though if it was allowed, a few might well be shot ...

Never mind, how pleasing to stroll amongst the leafy green fields while the public servants played touch football for lunch.

Oh what a fine bunch of able-bodied men and women, ready to leap into the fray at a moment's notice, or form a square as soon as the gatling's jammed, and all the molochs of Murdoch can offer are slights and slurs on these brave public servants ...

After noting that morning radio on 666 - not so much the sign of the beast as the sign of a cup of tea and a scone - is perhaps the most boring on earth, with a film reviewer spending some twenty minutes expounding on the charm of the original The Manchurian Candidate and no one in sight to stop him yammering, it was time to listen to the Cosmic Conversations on 2CA, and discover that weirdness can never die in a town determined to be weird ... (dear sweet absent lord, they even podcast it).

At least the music - firmly set in the nineteen seventies - would have set the demonstrators spirits in high gear, as they grooved to Kneel Dimond, Sherbet and such like.

Yep, it was time to leave, leave quick and leave fast, before the rot set in and the sight of the cardigans in the stores began to tickle the credit card.

It was time to get back to the real world, and to The Punch punching on.

Oh noes, and the pond missed it, missed it all ...

Bring on the penguins.

(Below: when not watching dancing penguins, the pond recommends 2CA for easy listening pleasure).

(Below: that wasn't a demonstration, this was a demonstration. Now just put Clive on the blower please. Oh the adrenalin, oh the excitement).


  1. why waste time on 200 odd, very odd, ignorant buffoons. size of the crowd says it all really.

  2. There wasn't this level of unhingement while the Coalition was last in office. It started in earnest when Kevin kicked them out in '07, and has picked up pace ever since. Those who turned out in their ...dozens... to this "rally": what could they hope to achieve? The so-called carbon tax is officially Law; it comes into practice in a few weeks. So they achieved what, exactly? and who, apart from skinhead radio and a tiny number of political tragics like us, even noticed that they shuffled their weary way to Canberra for a pointless day out?

  3. Oh anon, I love it, you evoke it so and thus, especially having just shuffled on my weary way to Canberra for a pointless day out and then shuffled back. The point of course is who paid for the buses to ferry this cargo and silliness and irrelevance back and forth and so rented a crowd, though not much of a crowd ...


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