Saturday, June 16, 2012

And so to Alan Jones, and talk of chaff bags and drowning kittens ...

(Above: an exceptionally evocative snap by Craig Greenhill, found here. Refuge, last, scoundrel).

Every so often the pond, in a winter reverie, dreams of sticking Alan Jones in a chaff bag, taking him out to sea, and dropping him into the wide blue ocean.

What's that you say? That's a tad unseemly, perhaps even words and ideas a little inclined to violence or brutality?

Not really, because thanks to ACMA, we know Jones failed 'reasonable efforts' test, but chaff bag OK, which is to say that talk of chaff bags and drownings and PMs might be a bit tawdry, a bit disparaging and disrespectful, but it's not really that strong, intense or inflammatory.

Of course when you get down to the nitty gritty, you might have to put on the air of a gangster in a show like Blue Murder or Underbelly. You'd need a big chaff bag, and a good rope to tie off the top, and then you'd need to hook it up to a fridge or a stove or something else that's heavy.

And on the way out to the drop zone, the figure in the chaff bag would be writhing and squawking - Jones is inclined to be something of a parrot - and possibly begging for mercy, but you'd have to steel your heart against the noise. Become calm and remorseless and implacable. Rather like a shock jock broadcaster intent on spewing bile and hatred on a daily basis, creating a figure so full of fear and loathing that even the average Freudian might be puzzled.

Then it's just a matter of dropping the bag over the side, along with the heavy weight. Depending on the weave, the bag would either quickly or slowly fill with water. The figure inside would struggle against the constricting bag, writhe against the inflooding salt water, but soon enough the water would reach the mouth and nose, and instead of air, the figure would be gulping in the sea, filling the stomach and the lungs, and as the last flutters and bubbles of air escaped, the figure would go limp as it drowned.

This might sound a bit grim, so the pond always recommends a final shot, looking up at the sky above, as the chaff bag, weighed down, floats in the enveloping blue, and the final escaping bubbles make their way towards the surface, and the blue sky and the sun and freedom.

Perhaps there's a little too much empathy in all that, perhaps the pond still remembers too vividly a childhood experience when the family cat had some unwanted kittens. For no readily explicable reason, the pond was invited along by grandad to watch as the kittens were loaded into a sugar bag, and then we headed off to the mighty Peel river ...

Once at the river, the purpose became clear. The squawling, squeaking kittens in the bag were hurled into the muddy river, which was then in flow (not guaranteed for the mighty Peel much of the year). The bag filled with water as it drifted downstream, but buoyed by an air pocket, stayed bobbing on the surface for quite awhile. Eventually the sounds of the kittens died away, and the bag sank below the water.

Was that the reason the pond identified so strongly with Tony Perkins in Psycho, watching and gnawing as a car with a body in the boot hesitated before sinking into the swamp? As an accomplice in murder ...

It was a tender age to be watching this spectacle, especially as experience being dumped in the waves at Bondi and swallowing sea water, or inhaling the chlorine-laden waters of the local pool, or sucking up soap-saturated bathwater, or even frolicking not too far away in the brown waters of the Peel meant it was possible to have an inkling of what the kittens endured before they drowned.

It was perhaps the cruellest thing the pond ever saw in childhood. It was a coward's killing, avoiding taking the knife to the kittens in an eye to eye way. It was also a cheapskate's because it avoided the cost and difficulty of putting them down one by one with a bullet in the brain - what with the cost of bullets and the need to take the kittens out of town, and then eye them one on one as you put them down. It was what the lumpenproletariat did ...

If you've ever seen it done, you wouldn't talk so flippantly about drowning any kind of creature in a chaff bag.

Whilst disparaging and disrespectful, they were not strong, intense or inflammatory enough to be capable of being construed as urging violence or brutality.

Oh that's okay then, we can be flippant.

Will someone supply the pond with a rather large, perhaps oversize chaff bag? We'd like to put the entire ACMA team in it, and take them out to sea, and then show them what it feels like to be at the other end of violence and brutality ...

And so the parrot gets a tick for carrying on with his hate speech ... and all's well in the world of Australian media.

And meanwhile he cops a belated, slow moving slap on his wrist for his continual egregious errors in relation to climate science.

It was way back in May 2011 that Media Watch pinged Jones for his mathematical blues, in Lessons in hyperbolic gestures, and that was just a sequel to its pinging Jones for getting his .001% figure wrong in March 2011, as can be seen in Balancing a hot debate.

So ACMA finally gets around to issuing a ruling in relation to matters which went to air in March and June of 2011 ... in June 2012. And in the meantime Jones carries on his relentless campaign of scientific ignorance and stupidity, and Media Watch is still pinging him, as it did in April 2012 in Lost in conversion. While ACMA is lost in paperwork and pathetic spineless legalese ...

Waiter, where's that bloody chaff bag.

Oh wait, is it possible to drown a turtle? Yes it is, but you might get a fine green soup, with the tasty flavour of ACMA humbuggery ...

Still now that the use of chaff bags and drowning has officially been approved as a metaphor, it's exceptionally tempting.

It could, for example, be used on Christopher Pearson.

This weekend he produces a most bizarre monarchist love-in with Greg Craven, as they both celebrate the House of Windsor and the diamond jubilee and the Queen. You can read about it in Welcome, Greg to the club that celebrates the Queen's attributes, or if you can be bothered, and can't penetrate the paywall, by googling this final par:

At a time when a learned but singularly implausible Archbishop of Canterbury has presided over doctrinal and institutional chaos, the Queen speaks calmly and with evident sincerity in her Christmas and Easter broadcasts about penitence, grace, sacrificial love and salvation.

A couple of token broadcasts a year and that's all she's good for?

Routine blather, as opposed to the much more human portrait of an indulged, tortured family as featured in the movie The Queen? The sort of royal drama that helps keep women's magazines afloat ...

And which one do you imagine to be the more honest and realistic, and in the end, sympathetic portrait? Flesh and blood, or Pearson style humbuggery?

All the same, without wishing ill on the current Queen, the pond looks forward to the not too distance future, when it can scribble:

At a time when a learned but singularly implausible Pope has presided over doctrinal and institutional chaos, welcoming anti-semites into the church's bosom, bringing back the Latin mass, maintaining the war on married priests, women and contraception and abusing American nuns for daring to think that caring for the poor is more important than caring for Rome, King Charles III speaks calmly and with evident sincerity in his Christmas and Easter broadcasts about climate science, sustainability, Gaia and the need to save the planet.

(You can read Bullying the Nuns at the NYR, outside the paywall).

As for the mummy-loving Charles - and nothing wrong with that, except perhaps if you feel the need to marry a mother-substitute - he routinely infuriates the wingnut right wing, especially in America, with his speeches, as he did back in 2010 with 'Follow the Islamic way to save the world,' Prince Charles urges environmentalists:

Prince Charles yesterday urged the world to follow Islamic 'spiritual principles' in order to protect the environment.
In an hour-long speech, the heir to the throne argued that man's destruction of the world was contrary to the scriptures of all religions - but particularly those of Islam.
He said the current 'division' between man and nature had been caused not just by industrialisation, but also by our attitude to the environment - which goes against the grain of 'sacred traditions'.

And so on and on:

'The inconvenient truth is that we share this planet with the rest of creation for a very good reason - and that is, we cannot exist on our own without the intricately balanced web of life around us.
'Islam has always taught this and to ignore that lesson is to default on our contract with creation.'

The inconvenient truth!? Shades of Al Gore. How does your average right wing nutter respond?

This nauseating blend of Chucklehead’s own religion (ecomoonbattery) with Islam will be the transitional ideology the remnants of Great Britain pass through on the path to Islamic theocracy. Having been commandeered by its worst enemies, the pillars of British society that would be expected to serve as the foundation of its defense will continue to be instrumental in its fall. (here)

And the best news of all? Britons want Prince Charles as next king:

Prince Charles has overtaken his son William as the people's preferred successor to Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of her Diamond Jubilee.
YouGov's poll for The Sunday Times newspaper found that 44 per cent of respondents want Charles to succeed his mother, with 38 per cent opting for William.

Yes, oh yes! Christopher Pearson will get what he's wishing for ...

Take it away Robbie Burns, erase that memory of the kittens for the pond:

'Twas on a Monday morning,
Right early in the year,
That Charlie came to The Australian
The young Chevalier

Charlie is Pearson's darling
His darling, his darling
Charlie is his darling
The young Chevalier

He was walking doon the street
The city for to view
When he spied a bonnie squirrel
The windae peeking through

So light he jumped up the stair
And tirl'd at the pin
And when the squirrel let him in
He saved the squirrel fair.

He set Gaia on his knee
All in his highland dress
For brawly well he kent the way
To save a Gaia lass

Oh Charlie is Pearson's darling
It's up yon climate science mountain
And down yon global warming glen
We gang a milking go
With Charlie and his brave inconvenient men
And truths ...

Oh Charlie is Pearson's darling ... (and repeat incessantly)

(oh dear, profound apologies to Robbie Burns, and ye can ken the original here).

(Below: artist unknown).


  1. I will make a fearless prediction ---- if somebody made the chaff bag comment and you substitute John and Jeanette Howard or Phoney and Margie Abbott for Julia Gillard and hell would break loose. It would be the end of the world as we know it. ACMA and Jones and his fellow loony ravers would be all over it and it would be regurgitated in the Maggott Media nonstop. What a pathetic ruling from a pathetic lot of grubs. How can any sane person say the chaff bag comment is not an incitement to hatred and violence.

  2. My favourite picture of Alan Jones

  3. Where would the world be if we all enjoyed Prince Charles standard of living.

  4. Where would we be? oh, I dunno, Windsor Castle?

  5. You've done yourself proud with this one, Dot.

  6. No rf only smug people get into Windsor. I'll be outside seeing if I can spot you. Please wave from one of the parapets that's a dear.

  7. Great post. Forcing readers to look squarely at what drowning in a chaff bag really means is a wonderful way to make them look at their own rhetoric. I wish you could get that passage published on The Punch or in the Herald Sun so Alan's audience could see it.


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