Wednesday, May 09, 2012

From a wild Pellist to where the interesting wild things are ...

(Above: a short joke. Time for a take-down notice to YouTube? But if the link disappears, the joke won't).

It will be recalled that, according to the chattering classes, Cardinal Pell won the debate against evil angry atheist Richard Dawkins.

Typically, that idle chatterer and common town gossip, Andrew Bolt, awarded the points to Pell in A Point to Pell UPDATE Four and a half, actually.

And that lounging layabout at the lizard Oz, Greg Sheridan, was enraptured. You'll need to google the following to breach the paywall and bathe once again in the banality of his piece Pell's Performance was a revelation:

There were times in Monday night's great debate on the ABC's Q&A between Catholic Cardinal George Pell and militant atheist Richard Dawkins when you felt the boxing authorities would step in and call a halt to the bout.

It makes it all the funnier then, that as a result of Pell v. Dawkins, we now have Pell v. Deveny and Twitter, and lawyers at ten paces, as picked up by Crikey in Devamation: George Pell pursues legal action over a Deveny tweet, and then followed up by Fairfax in Pell's threat to sue Twitter highlights law's use-by date.

It seems winners aren't grinners, and now it turns out that a quarter of the Irish priesthood is revolting. And why wouldn't they be, when you can read stories like McGuinness: Vatican failed sex abuse victims:

Commenting on recent action taken by the Church to censure outspoken liberal clerics, among them the high-profile Co Fermanagh author and journalist Fr Brian D’Arcy, Mr McGuinness accused the Church of trying to silence progressive priests and deflect attention away from Church failings.

The pond fondly remembers the days that revolting Irish priests were in plague proportions downunder, teaching the pond theological niceties, but it seems boy troubles, cover-ups and regressive conservatism have wounded the Irish church irredeemably.

And now Pell wonders why his stumble got a cynical laugh, and the lawyers are his first resort ...

If that's winning, perhaps the Cardinal should follow the pond in a bout of stylish losing ...

But at least it helps turn the pond into a budget-free zone.

Each day there's a federal event, the chattering classes wheel and turn in unison like a clattering, squawking flock of parrots, and it's even funnier when these paid-up, professional chatterers label a brief bit water-cooler chatter as the doings of the inner west cafe latte set. Yes, look in the mirror you mrymidon Murdochians ... the chattering classes is you ...

In the good old days, a conversation about the budget would revolve around the price of cigarettes, beer and petrol.

These days we get much more sophisticated, nuanced coverage:

Poor hapless rich. Smashed to a pulp in the downunder gulag. Thanks Matthew for the heads up. The next time the pond passes a forlorn billionaire in King street, Newtown, a dime will go into their out-strethed paw.

Promise. Oh those heartful, soulful, doleful, woeful, smashed and ruined eyes eyes, it's heart-breaking, gut-wrenching ...

Oh yes, it's class warfare day at the lizard Oz. Let the always reliable Dennis Shanahan expose the full, shocking, extent of the breach of faith:

Last night Swan redistributed the fruits of capitalism and those billionaire miners to make Australia a fair-go society and make amends to the low-income earners, families and pensioners who have felt the Gillard government didn't care or didn't understand about the pressures of rising costs of living. (Google the text to read the rest).

Disgraceful, outrageous class warfare.

But enough already.

The story that really caught the pond's budget-free zone eye involved Monica Attard and the Global Mail, first given an outing in Crikey (the latest Atttard out as Global Mail editor amid crisis talks), and then in the usual way turned up today in Fairfax as Editor leaves independent online magazine after power struggle.

Sad really, but where to start with a noob 0.95 beta web effort?

Perhaps with the antiquarian name, with its echo of the very successful online Daily Mail brand? Or even worse The Globe and Mail, a Canadian brand which isn't global but which also echoes the days of post and telegraph in its header. Canadians!? Do't they have a common loon on their loonie?

But there was an even more pressing problem. There's a good chance that if you head off to the site with the wrong browser or without tablet functionality, the site simply won't work to its full potential. They seem to have done some hasty patching since the pond last visited, and now it's possible to scroll, but it still scrolls left to right in a counter-intuitive way.

Someone back in the day let the design team have their head without thinking of the first rule in a content site - it's the content, stupid, not the design.

It's also the functionality, and if there are people still stupid enough to use IE (not the pond) or are trapped on a Mac (the pond), make it so for them.

There are billions of pages out there, and the lack of stickiness and the stench of irrelevance now hangs heavy around the neck of the Global Mail.

And what's this? A black splash for the site's name? Is there a funeral going on?

Time for a very quick and much more extensive re-think before a re-launch if they want to get a firm foothold in the conversation ...

The absent lord knows, any voice that's not a mrymidon Murdochian voice is needed, and it needn't be as gross as The Punch, or that even more offensive Punch clone, The Drum, but why oh why if they wanted to be Pro Publica, couldn't they have ripped off that site's more sprightly and clean design, and got on with the content ...

And speaking of funerals, there's just time to honour yet another reason the pond went surreal and proud of it, thanks to the likes of Lewis Carroll and Maurice Sendak ...

Between giving the world a budget or a book for children of all ages, please think of the children ...

1 comment:

  1. After his court case, Bolt has espoused himself as a staunch defender of free speech. However it is nuanced defence in that it primarily only extends to conservatives and redneck racists. He manages to publish posts of obscure racial identity issues abroad, with the obligatory disclaimer of "Can't comment for legal reasons". Which is surprising as those lawyer scallywags over at News Ltd seem to have no issue allowing Caroline Overington to write about racial identity ( ).

    But without even bothering to check his blog, I am almost certain Bolt will not post about the infringement of free speech by Pell (taking legal action against Deveny) or by Crosby and Textor Polling (taking legal action against ALP MP Mike Kelly). This would not fit Bolt's narrative that its the "evil left" out to get you!

    It occurred to me this morning that Bolt is the commetariat's equivalent to a Zoot TV commercial. He attempts the role of an "independent" Hayley Lewis, a Kieran Perkins or one of the Daddo boys (what a deep pool to pick from) espousing the benefits of some cereal or household product and how not only will it do the job it's designed for, it'll also enrich your family's whole happiness - cut away to wrestling with children on the (white) couch.

    But Bolt is not selling cereal or cleaners, he's selling the Liberal party and to a lesser of a degree conservatism. The problem for him with conservatism is that it's a principle. And principles have a nasty habit off getting in the way of your unwavering support for a political party.

    Like Gerard and Albretchesen they are the fabled scorpions. We must accept them for what they are: "Paid-up, professional chatterers - on behalf of the Liberal party of Australia" with all the neutrality of Zoot.


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.