Thursday, June 21, 2012

As Team Angry Athiests storm to a winning lead, Penbo's angry about ponciness yet again, and ponces angry about plagiarism provide a Friday joke ...

(Above: click to enlarge. Graph via ABS).

Great news for the Angry Atheist team, by which we mean the placid, irascible, inert, indifferent, inchoate bunch of no-religionists who took the trouble in the 2011 Census to advise the bureaucrats of their view on imaginary friends.

Angry Atheists have soared past Angry Anglicans, who dropped by 1.6% to 3.679m, way below the happy band of no-religionists at 4.796m. (by Angry Anglicans we mean that bunch of true believers who seem to accept that Sydney Anglicans are right to be consistently angry about women priests and gay marriage).

That's a clear gap and lead, 22.3% to 17.1%.

How long before the Angry Atheists topple the troublesome tykes, still sitting on 5.439m, but shedding 2% since 2006, and now sitting at a very gettable 25%?

How it must have troubled, shocked, disturbed and alienated Barney Zwartz. Perhaps he shed a tear as he typed Godless overtake Anglicans, as Hinduism doubles.

Yes, the cows are looking forward to a new world.

The best news for Team Angry Atheists, is that not only are the no religion mob up from 15%, (as the no religion mob came out of the closet), but that, of the people in the 15-34 age demographic, some 28% reported no religious affiliation (an interesting tweak poor Barney overlooked, but which can be found here at the ABS summary).

And dammit if Jedi followers aren't also on the move up - feel the force Angry Anglicans.

Well the young people will inherit the earth - what's left of it - and it seems that the siren song of secularism falls on fertile ground. (yes the young are a better bet than the meek and the mild to cop the raw future prawn).

It almost seems as if all these Angry Christians, giving all sorts of minorities a hard time, might just be talking themselves into minority status. Time for a little more peace and love and forgiving, perhaps, and a little less anger? Or is it time for some mergers? Perhaps a reverse take over of the Angry Anglicans by the Scientologists, as a way of avoiding a Catholic flanking move?

The pond's partner advises that if New South Wales defeats Queensland, all will be perfect in the secular world. Somehow it seems wrong to associate Queenslanders with agitated Christians, or with lions in the colosseum, but it does suggest that point scoring should be taken in fun, and not too seriously.

In the meantime, how to maintain the rage?

Well the pond's still brooding over Anthony Sharwood's dickheaded attempt at humour in A guide to Ecuador, home of the "Julian Revolution", but it's a day old and already rotting blog meat.

Can someone give Sharwood three years in Guantanemo or just a year of what's been dished out to Bradley Manning, and then let's see how funny he can be about human rights in the American system, vis a vis Ecuador.

And then there's dickhead David Penberthy, who while running a blog, valiantly predicts that the future for newspapers lies in tree-killing, as he explains at tedious, maudlin length in Never mind the Fairfax bollocks, papers can survive.

You have to admire Penbo for his relentlessly bogan, philistine mentality, and the repetitive way he manages to drum up the same old stereotypes. His last par is a ripper, full of cliches and stereotypes:

Many of the papers which have suffered the most in the US have been the high-end, la-di-dah ones who have fed their readers a steady stream of lofty and impenetrable yarns about the peace process in the Middle East, and yuppie lifestyle supplements about inner-city bars, when they would rather be reading about local crime, feel-good stories, property prices, suburban restaurants, shopping and sport. It is possible, to borrow a phrase, for newspapers to sack their readers, and we have no intention of doing that.

Lordy, lordy, lah di dah, and so it's on into the future with newspapers carrying on as usual in a tabloid way, standing by to serve as fish and chip wrapping and lino underlay (Do they still make linoleum? Does anyone use it? Is there any way to usefully recycle The Punch as lino underlay? Is there thus still a genuine need for tree killers?)

If we take this approach, newspapers can and will survive because so many people still want them. They like their format, they like their authority, they turn to them for explanations of big events such as a federal budget or a terrorist act. They like the simplicity and clarity of the writing, especially in their dominant tabloid form.

They like the Daily Terror and the HUN for their authority?

Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to send all those jaffas spraying into the air.

Simplicity and clarity? Shouldn't that be galleries of tits, and the simplicity of seeing Pauline Hanson nude?

Onwards News of the World, you're the future of newspapers. Oops ...

Never mind. Go the Sun Sunday. What's that you say, it dropped 24%, and the other tabloids also did it tough in the land of the tabloid, but the Daily Mail is doing nicely with its online strategy? (here).

The newspapers with the best chance of survival are those which share the values and interests of their readers. Much is written and said by right-wingers about how supposedly left-wing the Fairfax papers are. I don’t think the problem is ideology, rather a tendency towards squeamishness and pretentiousness in the way they select and edit stories.

Well you could never accuse Penbo of pretentiousness. Stupidity in spades, yes, but never pretentious, and how lucky for News Ltd that his confused thinking isn't determining the digital future of newspapers in Australia. Especially The Australian, which would be on life support except for cross-subsidy within the empire that keeps its tendency towards squeamishness and pretentiousness alive and well.

Enough already. Here's hoping the pond will be around in five years time to gloat, and we can repeat Penbo's futurist predictions, and we'll see what juice is left in his rabidly defensive and remarkably silly approach.

Speaking of repetition, now for a truly bizarre Friday odd spot, a kind of Ripley's believe it or not (1):

The science writer Jonah Lehrer, author of the runaway bestseller “Imagine: How Creativity Works,” has become the latest high-profile journalist to be caught up in a plagiarism scandal, with a counterintuitive twist that could come right out of his own books: The journalist he has been accused of borrowing from is himself. (here)

Plagiarism? Off to the dictionary the pond went: act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau's plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne. (here)

That's right, to plagiarise the dictionary, there is no crime of self-plagiarisation, the crime is to plagiarise another, and here's the kicker, without acknowledgement. You can beg, borrow and even steal, provided you acknowledge the act and offer a credit, and don't do too much of it. Even a schizophrenic can get out of jail with this definition ...

So what Lehrer was really accused of - by media blogger Jim Romenesko - was repetition, recycling, self-borrowing, self-duplication or some other bizarre wording to explain that people continually repeat themselves, and borrow from themselves, and nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with that.

The pond was immediately of the opinion that Romenesko was a fuckwit, but of course that would be a repetition of a concept regularly deployed by the pond.

And then blow the pond down (a repeat of a favourite phrase) if The New Yorker hadn't published an apology regretting the duplication of material, and then Lehrer himself expressed remorse, saying it was wrong and a mistake and it wasn't going to happen again.

Well good luck with that, but suddenly there were two additional fuckwits at the scene of Romenesko's original crime, and now the sweet lad is going to start footnoting himself. (2)

Is it time to bring back William Shakespeare so he can stand trial alongside Lehrer for their shocking acts of plagiarism? As for that serial self-plagiarist Bach, to the musical gallows me lad, string him high and string him hard (3).

Oh well, it makes for a silly Friday, and what better way to prepare for a silly weekend, and a look at the way the Angry Anglicans try to twist the Census figures into a winning scenario ...

(1) the reference to Ripley is a homage, not a passing off, infringement of intellectual rights, or a form of plagiarism
(2) the pond appends this footnote to indicate that while this material is derived from another source, the pond might well use it in the future without a footnote, and if you've got a problem with that, go take a flying leap ...
(3) the pond was unaware that it was plagiarising, or imitating the verbal style of Long John Silver, and offers profuse and profound apologies to Mr. Silver.


  1. Will we see a corresponding drop in the number of chaplains in schools now?

  2. This article is just another example of the anti-Catholic sectarianism that consumes the sandal-wearing elite of this country.
    G Henderson

  3. AJ, perhaps we will get a few Hindu priests as chaplains instead. I wonder how the Sydney Anglicans will cope with that?

  4. While nationally the Anglicans have done pretty poorly in the census, the truly Angry Anglicans – the Sydney Anglicans- have had an especially ordinary lustrum. Australia-wide the Anglicans have had a net loss of 38,000. The Sydney mob, though, have lost a whopping 31,000 of the flock all on their own! Time to bring in the Anger Management consultants, perhaps?

    Browsing the Angries on the web, I’ve noticed a mood to pre-empt post-census accusations of incompetence and wastefulness levelled at the very costly (tax-subsidised) evangelising mission started by Papa Jensen in 2001. They are quoting scripture like this:

    “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

    How true!

    BTW I’ve got a theory to explain the hiatus in Jensen the Younger’s 'Seven Sins of Sydney' series. It’s a clever modernist literary device (he’s like that). He will delay the next installment until everyone thinks he's just being slack, and then out it will come – Sloth!

  5. Dorothy, I see that Newtown has more than twice the national percentage of Godless! This despite it housing the engine-room of the Angries - Moore College. Only 10% of Newtownians are Anglican. That's nice!

  6. Oh Anon, don't tease. Each day the pond waits for a communication from GH, or at least his dog, yearning and hoping and dreaming ... well if he'll write a letter about Mark Latham to Crikey ...

    And interesting figures Anon. 31k? To lose the odd 5k may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose 31k looks like carelessness or ratbaggery.

    And you almost had me with the sloth, even though it would be a sin of sloth to be slothful to illustrate the vice of slothfulness, but I think you'll find the fifth promised Smutty Little Secrets. Surely he's had time enough to discover all the smutty little secrets lurking amongst the Sydney Angry Anglicans ...

    As for 10% of Newtonians, Anon, I'm shocked and appalled. I thought we'd cut them down to 1%. I walk past Moore College most days and it feels a little like Camperdown cemetery ...

  7. Dorothy beware an Angry Anglican who walks the path of homophobia and misogyny towards salvation.

  8. That's a truly terrifying link, Anon. It seems Phillip Jensen, God, and Jesus, are very, very angry, but quite content that people be consigned to outer darkness, weeping, gnashing teeth, destruction, eternal fire, and second death. In other news the boogeyman under the pond's bed has a very grumbly tummy ... what does this forebode?


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