Thursday, January 24, 2013

More buccaneers, loveable rogues and yammering voices than a body can stand ...

(Above: make sure you own the media or a nine shooter).

So here's how it goes, if you run with the right pack, beguile the best crowd, and charm the eastern suburbs.

You'll attract a fine obituary from the likes of Paul Sheehan.

If you're a common thief, an indolent prole, perhaps a shop-lifing single mum, or a wretched Celt ruining the UK, you deserve nothing but contempt.

But if you have the brass to make off with millions which once belonged to other people, why then you're just a charming buccaneer and a colourful corporate figure (or perhaps, if you turn up in the AFR, you're a loveable larrikin or an engaging rogue).

So it is in Sheehan's Colourful corporate figure died as he live, as the colourful corporate figure in search of excitement is given a big wrap and farewell.

Those seeking a more balanced, objective and less personal view, might head off to Paul Barry's Coe and Co. for the Monthly in May 2010.

By borrowing big, Allco was able to pay double-digit returns and hook in investors, sucking in precisely the people who shouldn’t be taking risks, such as self-funded retirees who need high incomes. It was like dropping shiny cluster bomblets for kids to pick up. Few investors had any idea how easily their money could be blown away.

Uh huh. But that's just being a colourful character, a charming buccaneer, and a loveable larrikin. Help out with modern art, give generously to charity, raise money for the Sydney Children's Hospital, do a nice lunch with Paul Sheehan, and all's forgiven, and no worries, because the eastern suburbs push will look after its own.

As the sub-prime crisis and greed brought Allco down, there was a suicide (Children bring Allco action), and a lot of people lost a lot of money, including the principals. But not too much for the principals:

And then there are the top blokes who built this house of cards, who should feel even more ashamed of themselves for taking a fortune from investors and leading them to disaster. Of course, the dynamic duo, Coey and Gordo, are not entirely unscathed. Their shares are worth nothing, they’ve slipped down the rich list and their reputations are in tatters. Coe has even had to sell one of his Vaucluse mansions, for an Australian record of $45 million. But as far as we know, he’s still got the one next door and his fabulous art collection is still intact. There are unconfirmed (and un-denied) reports that he has taken delivery of a new luxury yacht. Meanwhile, Fell is sitting pretty in his $28.7 million Point Piper pad, which he bought in his wife’s name just as the empire began to collapse.

Yep, that'll be enough to get you a kindly obit from usually grumpy Paul Sheehan.

Remember that next time you find it a bit of a struggle to get by on Newstart, single mum, and head off to the local brothel to ask about employment opportunities.

Remember,  it's not half as burdensome as having to drop off a mansion to pick up a luxury yacht ...

(Above: one Tess Corbett)

Meanwhile, attention must be paid to Bob Katter and his party, and the splendid contribution of his party's selected candidate for the seat of Wannon, currently held by Liberal Dan Tehan. According to Katter party hopeful in gay furore, Tess Corbett from Lake Bolac let fly:

"Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights," she said.

Apparently she has problems with the Catholic church!

In relation to planned changes to the federal anti-discrimination act Ms Corbett said she thought organisations should be able to discriminate. 
"I don't want gays, lesbians to be working in my kindergarten. If you don't like it go to another kindergarten," she told the Spectator.

No doubt the federal Labor party will do the right thing by Tess and make sure that religions locked on to the taxpayer teat can continue to discriminate. Or maybe that's about the first and last we'll hear of hapless Tess's step into the bigger pond ...

Meanwhile, the pond is standing by to take whatever drugs or alcohol is necessary to overcome the wave of nausea due precisely on the 26th January.

First came the news that in Victoria, the day has been the most violent day of the year for the past five years (Violence warning ahead of Australia Day parties forced video at end of link).

Then came the news that explained the violence - a comedy epic by Dick Smith showing refugees staggering ashore from a burning shipwreck.

You can catch a link to the advertisement here at Mumbrella. Or instead of clicking on the link, you could just pluck out an eye before it offends you.

Naturally the pond doesn't think the ad should have been banned - Smith's gained more publicity from the banning than from whatever feeble placements his pathetic campaign could have paid for, which was quite possibly the aim of the controversy.

But there is an upside, even now he's mining his indignation. A few more people will know about Smith's simple-minded jingoism, and his desperate attempts to pump up a feeble, failing, flailing brand.

Hell will freeze over before the pond ever buys anything with the name of Dick Smith on it, and that's a ban that will stick ...

If it wasn't enough to see Smith making a gherkin or a pickled onion of himself, recently there's been the extraordinary sight of a giant American combine, McDonald's, dressing itself up as dinki di Macca's, the Aussie burger supplier.

DDB Australia is the one to blame for that monstrosity, as you can read at Campaign Brief here.

It's hard to work out what's more nauseating - Smith shoving crappy rip-off food, Macca's pumping up its bloatware crap food, or Sam Kekovich demeaning the noble lamb by ruining it in a McDonald's lamb burger.

Is this what the diggers died for?

Never mind, it reminded the pond why commercial television is unwatchable, and why the streets will run red with blood this Australia day. So many people mad as hell, driven mad by watching Macca's ads and then eating Macca's food ...

Meanwhile, readers of the lizard Oz will be tortured by a conundrum.

Naturally the editorial at the lizard Oz claims that the Manner of captain's pick illustrates poor judgment, and talks of misjudgment, martyrdom, act of revenge, clumsiness, political execution, winner-take-all brutality, faceless men, decrepit Labor, and cynicism (outside the paywall because the lizard Oz editor's voice must run wild and free).

Meanwhile, Warren Mundine, who got done over by Bob Carr for a Senate position, and let his membership of the Labor party lapse, pens Labor finally does right thing by indigenous voters for the very same rag, but you have to fight the paywall to read it.

It's remarkably generous and blithe and sharing, way more than the pond feels most days of the week about the Labor party.

You'd have to be blind Freddie not to notice the way the NT branch of the Labor party lost out to the conservative Aboriginal push in the last state election, and its Berrimah-line posturing about liberals from the south ruining everything is just more of the same.

Mundine took a simpler view:

... it is a shame that such an important milestone has to be mired in a debate about internal party process...
This announcement has been 112 years in the making. Like most of Australia, I hope it will contribute to better outcomes for indigenous people.

Well Warren unfortunately you're scribbling for a rag which is desperate to mire everything in a debate about how evil Julia Gillard is.

But as usual there's an upside, because at least on this matter Mark Latham and Peter 'short memory' Garrett should keep their yaps firmly shut.

And finally the pond was bemused to read Bettina Arndt getting deeply distressed and concerned in Plenty of fish online, but that's no danger to monogamy (behind the lizard Oz paywall, but really you don't have to pay up to share the distress and the concern).

Can too many first dates create an unrealistically high bar for good relationships, undermining commitment and threatening marriage stability? That's the challenging issue raised by Dan Slater in "A million first dates: how online dating is threatening monogamy", just published in The Atlantic.

That's a challenging issue?

Ye ancient cats and dogs heralding the arrival of yet another first world problem, of the trivia and indulgence kind, you have done a mighty job.

Never mind, it was the duty of the pond to wade through Arndt's reams of gibberish, just so you could be saved the arduous job, so the conclusive finding could be reported:

Online dating has its flaws but is hardly posing a threat to the future of marriage.

Wasn't it gay marriage doing that, last week sometime?

Anyhoo, what a relief. The pond knows the world will sleep more soundly tonight knowing that marriage is safe from the dire implications of cads and bounders using online dating to undermine the very concept of marriage.

Now if you've reached this point, bravo, you need a medal, a good lie down and a break from the media ...

(Below: oh choke on it Paul and Tess and Dick and Sam and Bettina and all the rest of the yammering voices)

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