Friday, June 08, 2012

And so to a Friday potpourri of Katter, Barners and Albrechtsen ...

(Above: Bob Katter on The Circle).

What jolly fun to see Bob Katter get agitated about gay marriage, pick up his book and start to read it as a way of avoiding any further questions on the topic.

Couldn't he just have picked up his train set and stormed off the set in style? If you're going to be a petulant adolescent, at least to it in a grand manner, rather than a teenager fiddling with an iPhone.

Now go to your bedroom Bob, at once, this instant, and don't you come out until you've washed out your mouth with soap and finished reading your book, and are ready to talk in a civilised way to the adults around you.

But how pleasing to see Steve Vizard lurking in the background. It warms the cockles of the pond's heart to be reminded how he's now become a useful, honest, hard-working, value-adding member of society serving as a panellist on The Circle.

Meanwhile, speaking of Queenslanders - go Queenslanders - it seems good old Barnaby Joyce has been getting agitated about the Chinese stealing land from - or should we say investing in - the Ord River Scheme.

Barnaby's been wandering around for quite a few days now, blaming the Labor party and Bob Hawke, and doing a remarkable impression of Doug Cameron, raising the spectre of the foreign devil (or gweilo, as Queenslanders talk about anyone south or north of the border).

This has caused considerable distress to his brethren in Western Australian:

West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has urged his federal colleague Barnaby Joyce to reconsider his opposition to foreign investment in agriculture and argued that Chinese investors could help complete the state's Ord River irrigation scheme, which has been under construction since 1959.
"This is not about buying the farm," Mr Grylls said. "The farm doesn't exist; we are building it." (here).

Barners has been maintaining the rage and this morning copped a smackdown from Craig Emerson, but it's true there are serious questions to be asked.

Clive Palmer is in the pocket of the Chinese, and the LNP in Queensland is in the pocket of Clive Palmer. Does this mean Campbell Newman is a Chinese agent? Go Queenslander ...

Watch out Barners, they're stealing your home state while you're abroad saving WA.

Put it another way. Will it ever be possible to have sensible discussions of gay marriage or Chinese investment while demagogues like Katter and Barners are doing the rounds? The pond merely asks the question in a fair and balanced way, naturally you decide ...

And the next time someone mentions the Chinese government's treatment of dissidents, cop a look at the treatment of dissident Julian Assange by the Swedish, British, Australian and United States governments.

So it goes. In other news this morning, Judith Sloan reveals she's a fool:

Who'd ever have guessed it? And then there was Greg Sheridan somehow imagining he didn't sound like a fool as he indulged in a bout of breast-beating mortification.

Screen caps, no links to the golden bar of doom, it only encourages them, and innocent readers might go blind.

Meanwhile, reluctantly, it has to be acknowledged that the business of the pond is to delve into the seamier side of commentariat life, and that includes the return of Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen to the opinion pages of The Australian.

If you click on Successful, independent women: enough to drive the sisterhood mad, you will hit the golden bar of frustration. But if you google the following, you can slip in for free, and read:

The audience laughter will be used to justify this unfair treatment. Can't you take a joke? But the laughter from Q&A's inner-city audience simply reinforced the double standards among so-called progressives because, let's be clear, the treatment of Rinehart is ideological. A high profile, left-wing woman would never have received the same uncensored, sneering criticism.

Yes, that Ju-liar ditch the witch Bob Brown's bitch Julia Gillard is simply not a high profile, or for that matter, a left-wing woman. Case closed. Lock her in a chaff bag and drop her out at sea ...

The context? People sniggered at Gina Rinehart. People? Sorry we meant to say evil, caffè latte sipping, chardonnay swilling, sushi swallowing inner city leftist socialist pinko pervert elites.

Well if you're going to indulge in stereotypes, why not go the whole hog. The upside? Happily Janet Albrechtsen will never ever appear again on that wretched, biased program with its awful double standards and inner-city elite audiences ...

Speaking of double standards, the rest of Albrechtsen's tirade is a heroic defence of Rinehart, but more importantly, a panegyric to long suffering, vexed, abused, tortured Bettina Arndt:

It has become orthodoxy among Arndt-haters that because she writes often about men, she must be anti-women. Her sympathetic discussion of men's views about sex and gender relations are regularly attacked by female journalists and bloggers, who sneeringly dissect her articles, line by line. Often their nasty, rambling responses are as irrational as they are inarticulate.

Oh dear. Well as one of the irrational and inarticulate - not that we mind that sneering abusive dissection from as expert a mud-slinger as Janet Albrechtsen - it seems somehow the pond is part of a vast empire to silence and repress men:

Arndt writes that she is drawn to writing about men's perspective on these issues because "the constant attacks on men has meant they have dropped out of the cultural dialogue".
That's a great shame, she says, because talking about heterosexual relations without hearing men's views is surely nonsensical.

Yes you need a woman to explain men and allow men to be heard. Of course only women can tackle the job, or perhaps only one woman. And so to the glorification of Arndt:

Arndt has always been attracted to issues deemed unmentionable by cultural gatekeepers. Thirty-five years ago, sex was the taboo subject. As editor of Forum, she challenged that orthodoxy. Talking openly -- and graphically -- about sex earned her a two-year ban from live television and radio by the Broadcasting Control Board.

Is it wrong to note that Playboy was first published in 1953 and Penthouse was published in 1965, arriving in the United States in 1969? And that the pond first danced on the stage at the Metro in Kings Cross in Hair with naked cast to the music of Tully in 1969? And Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex found its way on to middle class shelves in 1972?

Forum was a late-breaking magazine attempting to body surf the free form exploration of sexuality that flourished in the nineteen sixties, but truth to tell burbled along underground in the fifties.

Nothing wrong with trying to cash in on a trend, eking out a softcore middle class place away from the more explicit routines you might find in a Penthouse Forum, but enough of the hagiography and martyrdom and mythical unique ground-breaking ways of Arndt.

If anyone did anything meaningful for an adult approach to sex in Australia in the ugly years, let Don Chipp be given some credit. But back to the mealy mouthed nonsense:

She now argues that with women dominating public discussion of gender and sexual issues, men's views are being silenced.

Men are silenced, and only a woman - heroic Bettina Arndt - can speak for them? They've been so emasculated and silenced they can't say boo to a goose, or call Julia a Ju-liar?

It's the simplistic hagiography - mere cheerleading - that's most offensive, especially when Albrechtsen blathers on about cultural gatekeepers. Who's the one writing opinion for The Australian?

Well it goes on and on, in the Albrechtsen style, this defence of Arndt, mixed in with a vitriolic denunciation of Arndt-haters, which makes this line a hoot:

This is not one of those vacuous calls for civility usually trotted out by those trying to avoid scrutiny.

Which is just as well because it's a most unseemly and uncivil - and vacuous - attack of people who dare to say boo to Arndt. So let's wrap up the haigiography:

Arndt is tough and unafraid of robust debate. But reading the latest ridiculously offensive responses to her, one is left with the overwhelming sense that the women who hate her most are the women most in need of her advice.

Ah yes, that'd be the sexually unfulfilled women who just need a good fucking front and rear. Said politely of course, but the pond knows how to decode a message about man-hating and failing to love a root. Just lie down and take it dearie, it's just a bit of giving and it'll be over in a minute or two ...

Never mind, the funniest thing is all the talk of hate.

The thing about Arndt is how, because she's been going slowly down a one-way track, she's become a figure of fun, going over and over the same old ground from the same old viewpoint, like a pile driver banging away.

In much the same way that Albrechtsen's column, viewed in the right way, is hilarious, a scream and a hoot, full of the usual regurgitated bile when a laugh or two might have done more for the world ...

And that's what must hurt most, as Arndt becomes irrelevant to the ways of the world, her views derided and seen as out-moded. It turns out that she's now found refuge on Wendy Harmer's Hoopla website. Big deal. What's wrong with the New Idea or Women's Weekly?

But speaking of comedy gold, the best line in Dame Slap's piece?

For many of Arndt's female critics, common sense seems to grate like manicured nails on a chalkboard.

But, but, but, where does that leave boofy, hairy arm pit lesbians with the grit of hard work under their un-manicured nails?

Probably as happy as larry, and without a subscription to The Australian ...

(Below: bouncing balls to that, as the pond publishes another cover in its intermittent example of 1975 Forum tosh).


  1. "that the pond first danced on the stage at the Metro in Kings Cross in Hair with naked cast "
    i thought i recognised you dorothy,i was the bloke in the front row next to the bloke in the raincoat.

  2. I always cack myself laughing when the Bettina Arndt and Janet Albrechtsens of the world think they know what is going on in the heads of men...

  3. Was Bob Katter reading Sydney Anglican's recommended evangelical response to the Christian acceptance of gays and lesbians?

  4. Truth to tell, Anon, I can't swear the cast were naked at that precise moment, but I certainly do remember the men in raincoats, usually to be found in the Lido, the Roma, and various other exotic cinemas in George street. Perhaps it was your hot breath I felt on my neck the day I sought refuge from the rain?

    Really Janet Albrechtsen doesn't have the first clue about the sociology of sex in the sixties in Australia.

    As for Bob Katter, other Anon, what a continuing delight he is, with the cackle of a chook, and the insight and humanity of a pigeon who might best be turned into a squab pie, just like my grandma used to make ...


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