Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mark Latham, Chris Kenny, the wretched Bolter and a dose of cricketing metaphors ...

(Above: the pond continues its infatuation with David Pope, here, and develops a taste for cricketing metaphors, apparently the best way to explain that the Australian media and the political class is full of losers and dropkicks).

And another thing.

It took the pond most of the day to remember that the free copy of the AFR would have landed on the front verandah, and sure enough it was there, and inside was the irrepressible Mark Latham.

The pond has developed a soft spot for Latham, ever since his immortal trashing of Gra Gra Richardson, which Mike Carlton also felt the need to pay homage to this weekend. (Labor gets some good advice far too late - being a fat cat Carlton also squealed about super).

There needs to be balance in all things, and a trashing of Gra Gra is just as useful as Paul McGeough trashing that pompous stockinged prat Alexander Downer in Alexander leaves us on a downer.

What a despicable wretched twit he is, but what luck the story is accompanied by a great cartoon by a great cartoonist:

What a fine Lady Macbeth Downer would make ... oh wait, he's already played the part for years ...

Has anyone learned anything? Well if you want the surest sign that Peter Hartcher, the journalist who single-handedly has driven Fairfax down a Rudd back alley, is now completely delusional, cop the wrap up to his own piece on the Downer follies, headed Blind allies of mass destruction:

If this means a future Liberal government is more rigorous and more independent-minded than the last one in making life and death decisions of war, then perhaps a central lesson has been learnt after all.

Oh go jerk the other chain, and jerk it bloody hard, you concocter of corn for geese.

Do you think any of the squawking geese, including Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott, right there at the head of the pack of the free and willing, deputy sheriff badges in hand, have learnt anything, anything at all from their decade long folly, which included the decade of denialism that subsequently followed, and the stupidity of elder party statesmen like "Downer bummer dude" Downer saying everything was for the best in the best of all worlds ...

Go back to writing about how the Labor party needs Rudd, and needs him now ...

Anyhoo, back to Mark Latham. The breaking of a taxi driver arm always made the pond wonder, that is until a recent encounter with a Sydney taxi driver made the breaking of an arm seem like an extremely mild, even fond, form of remonstration (yes, you, you crazed demonic speeding cabbie from hell).

And happily this week, he's writing about the political media, a generic brand which includes delusional axe-grinders like Hartcher and co and kith and kin.

Happily for the moment, Real joke is the political media, is outside the paywall, presumably because it's the only way known the AFR can attract a few hits.

Talk about a few hits and hoicks to the boundary:

David Speers, Kieran Gilbert, Chris Kenny, Peter van Onselen and Graham Richardson made more mistakes than the Australian batting line-up in India. Sky’s viewers would have been more accurately informed if the station had simply broadcast a test pattern. 
By Sunday, Richardson was in excuse mode, saying he didn’t know what was going on because, “I had a few personal issues, some family health things and I wasn’t on the phones.” 
If these problems distracted him from proper research, why did he repeatedly appear on radio and television claiming Rudd would run and win? 
In truth, Richardson couldn’t help himself, vaingloriously posing as a Labor insider and numbers man. This says a lot about media culture: the importance of ego ahead of accuracy.

Viewers would have been more accurately informed if the station had simply broadcast a test pattern. Oh dear ... and as for that cricketing metaphor ...

Too true, in the way that people catching trains in Sydney are more reliably informed by coming to understand that there is no timetable, there never was, and there never will be, and staring transfixed at the screens blinking the news that the train is only four minutes away can lead to a happy forty minutes of hypnotised bliss.

Thanks Bazza ... by golly that second Sydney airport in Canberra connected by NSW government very fast pigeon is going to be a real work of art ...

Now you can read the rest of the Latham piece at your leisure, but the pond was titillated at the way the ugly noggin of Chris Kenny appears in it.

The pond had wanted to knock the useless coconut, or the four piece six stitcher, or whatever the cricketing metaphor is, right out of the Easter show stall.

Oh let's just settle for knocking the Kenny block off in the Tamworth way.

Sadly the pond didn't do a good job, so it's handy that Latham steps up to the plate, or the crease or whatever the useless cricket metaphor would be:

Chris Kenny represents a different kind of ethical problem, involving questions of transparency and the public’s right to know. As a former chief of staff to Liberal foreign minister Alexander Downer and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, plus an unsuccessful Liberal preselection candidate in South Australia, Kenny is a rusted-on barracker for the conservative side of politics. 
Yet in his role as a Sky News presenter and editorial writer and columnist at The Australian, he has failed to declare his political background in the usual manner – that is, on his employers’ websites and at the end of his columns. 
Indeed, on The Australian’s website, Kenny’s Liberal links have been airbrushed from history. He is described as “a writer and columnist . . . who has worked in newspaper, television and radio journalism, as well as politics and media management, for three decades”. The blurb depicts him as an independent commentator when, in reality, he is a Liberal propagandist. 
This is the equivalent of Target advertising its clothes as Prada – a false and misleading practice. 

Or perhaps an aluminium bat promoting itself as solid willow, or a cricket groin protector box as a face guard, or whatever the cricket metaphor might be ...

On February 1 in The Australian, for instance, Kenny wrote a detailed piece on the South Australian Liberal Party, promoting Downer’s credentials as a state leader. 
At no stage did he reveal his close ties to his former boss – a sharp conflict of interest. This is the type of unethical behaviour for which a PIMA is required.

Indeed. What's even more remarkable is that Kenny found any credentials at all to promote. At least he deserves kudos for being a tireless worker in the Augean stables ... or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be as he trundles in from the Paddington end against a stiff Downer breeze ...

Latham also does over van Onselen, another fellow travelling kool aid drinking hack who pretends to be fair and balanced, but always ends up spitting on the ball and gouging the seam with his fingernails and covering the ball in Brylcreem, so it swings like a dunny door in the gale, or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be ...

Then Latham delivers another splendid cricketing metaphor, cunning, slow, even a little underarm, as if tempting a New Zealander to score a six off a molly grubber, or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be.

Of course you have to go that low when contemplating the Bolter, and his way of handling the truth, because he can't handle the truth, can he ...

So that's why Latham bowls a bouncer straight at the Bolter's useless head as he reveals the way the Australian Press Council is treated with contempt by News Limited:

While the Australian Press Council has received extra resources in recent times, major newspaper group News Limited treats its findings with contempt. To give one example: in December the high-profile News columnist Andrew Bolt was caught out providing a misleading interpretation of climate change data from Britain’s Met Office. Bolt’s response was to attack the Press Council, accusing it of “abusing its power” and “punish(ing) conservatives”. He believes the council is “staffed by warmists” – an outrageous slur on the integrity of the organisation’s employees. 
Bolt is the W. G. Grace of public life. When he is given out, he refuses to walk – in this case, throwing his bat at the independent umpire.

The piece put the pond in a serious quandry.

Really if we're serious about proper and full disclosure, what should the masthead for a rag like The Australian say?

The Liberal newspaper of the year ...
The heart of the Liberal party ...
Der Stürmer for Australia and the Liberal party ... (it's okay, News Ltd broke Godwin's Law and it's never coming back, no more fines for the swear jar)
The Australian, a paper for all Australians, provided they're Liberal ... and maybe National party, provided they're not protectionists or slightly mad like Barners ...
The underarm mollygrubber paper of the year ...
The go for the groin or the temple heart of the nation ...

Of course there are the old favourites like Is that the truth? Or was your News Limited?

Remember when you say a line like that it's all in the delivery:

And there are other contradictions and hypocrisies to savour:

Sadly however, News Limited continues to contribute to global bullshit at an astonishing rate.

So it's good that Mark Latham is now pounding away in the AFR. 

Why if he keeps going, the pond might forget all the other dire ponces that write for the rag, and remember that a copy lands on the porch each week ...

The pond was trained by The Australian and other News Ltd publications on the art of hate and class warfare - listening to ABC FM can leave you bathed in a warm glow of fuzzy classical music - and by golly, it's good to see it given back in kind, or by way of an upper deck clearing of the table or by being despatched to the boundary or whatever the cricketing metaphor is ...

Now here's a question for Latham? Is Gerard Henderson the Bill "the corpse with pads on" Lawry or the Trevor "Barnacle" Bailey of the commentariat?

"His stubborn refusal to be out normally brought more pleasure to the team than to the spectators."

Or is there an even more boring cricketing metaphor to hand? Apart from the game itself, or reading Chris Kenny in The Australian? Or listening to Gra Gra? Or wallowing with van Onselen? Or suffering from the delusions of the Bolter? As they scratch away at the crease in search of a run or a handy dissembling distorting bit of propaganda ...

Remember lads, it's personal:

The word "Dorothy" came about from the first class cricket scene , or at least it was the first time I had come across it, it is a slang term for "a Six". So if you get hit for a six or you have hit the ball for a six someone may say to you, "geez that was a big dorothy you hit today". Justin Langer says that it may have come out of "dorothy dix- six"? (here you go, cricket coaches).

(And a big thanks to the pond's grandmother, without whose tedious prattle about cricket, the pond would know nothing of cricketing metaphors).

No retreat, no surrender, and no bloody new rules ..

(Above: first up, yesterday's skywriting over Sydney. Second up, the paranoia it induced. Why do Xians so cruelly torture the pond?)

It being Sunday, the pond thought it a good chance to meditate on the rule-making game.

A little while ago, Bill Maher did a routine about a bunch of guys sitting around making up new rules, which got the Catholic League and the weird Bill Donohue upset, which must have pleased Maher no end, and now what should turn up as brand new evidence but Garry Wills piece, Catholics and Jews: The Great Change (currently outside the New York Review of Books paywall).

Now as you'd guess from the title, Wills spends most of his time contemplating the appalling history of the Catholic church in relation to the persecution of Jews, and the lengthy struggle to devise a new rule, which is that Jews are alright, and not actually Jesus killers worthy of heaps of abuse, but inter alia, he also takes a moment to deliver a tasty aside on the church's bizarre, surreal attitude to contraception, which involved the repression of liberal forces within the church back in the days of Paul:

... Birth control was a subject Pope Paul had removed from the council’s purview, saying he would settle it himself. He appointed a commission of loyal and learned clerics and lay Catholics to advise him. When it became clear that the commission was going to admit that “natural law” arguments against contraception were groundless, the powerful head of the Holy Office, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, injected new conservative bishops into the commission. When even this stacked commission continued its case for contraception, Ottaviani cooked up a new “minority report” and told Paul that the question was still open and he could continue the ban on contraceptives.
The argument Ottaviani and others used was that Catholic people had for years acted on the belief that Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii (1930) had declared use of contraceptives a mortal sin, meriting hell if not confessed and renounced. Catholics had borne the economic burden of famously large families or the guilt of living in sin by using contraceptives. Was the pope now going to say that a pope had misled them, that they were not really going to hell or did not have to have that eleventh child? That would destroy the papal claim to certain knowledge of God’s will in matters of basic morality. F.X. Murphy, circulating among the confidants of the pope and the inner circles of the council, said that Paul’s highest priority throughout the council was to retain the prerogatives of the pope. Admitting that the papal statement of Pius XI had misled the world for decades was a blow he felt the papacy could not endure—so he caved in to Ottaviani and his clerical squadron, and issued a renewed attack on contraception in the encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968). (see the original text for footnotes)

Yes, the absurdity of infallibility, the irrational desire to avoid apparent contradictions, in a faith which is riddled with absurdities and contradictions, led the church into a condition roughly equivalent to its new rules and inventions in relation to such quangos as limbo and purgatory.

... the doctrine on contraception rested on a recent (1930) and unequivocal encyclical by Pius XI, which had been reinforced in 1951 by Pius XII’s condemnation of all contraception except “the rhythm method” (abstinence from sex during a women’s perceived fertile period). There was no way, in this case, for Paul to get around blatant contradiction in “church teaching,” so he affirmed a continuity in truth that has been recognized by Catholics ever since as a continuation of error.

The good news, as Wills notes in his last footnote?

...In the most extensive survey ever undertaken of Catholics under thirty, funded by the Lilly Endowment in the 1990s, so few accepted “church teaching” on contraception that pollsters could not register the number; it was proving so low as to fall within the margin of error. It was statistically nonexistent. See Dean R. Hoge et al., Young Adult Catholics: Religion in the Culture of Choice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), pp. 200–204.

Put it another way, in what we might call pond or Bill Maher speak:

Stupid men making stupid rules that only stupid men could believe or follow.

The other good news was that Pell looked exceptionally strained and stiff - rather like a turnip - in his Easter message - it's up here at the moment if you  can stand it and your idea of a good use of time on a Sunday is watching a turnip in action (but it will move on from the top of the magic faraway tree as the easter bunny disappears over the hill).

The flash splash at the top of the Catholic home page was a doozy, all those thorns, and revolving crucifixion imagery, right out of the old Mel Gibson play book.

Pell must have been feeling the thorns, because yesterday he was feisty enough to force an apology out of Fairfax for a piece written by the irrepressible Barney Zwartz, who when not beating up on the Catholic church loves a good story about Pastor Danny raising people from the dead. (see I was raised from dead, woman tells, and remember it's not Pix or Post, but Fairfax, and see also the humble pie Apology to Cardinal George Pell).

Naturally Barners couldn't resist having another go yesterday - just reporting the facts, frock wearers, just the facts - as you can read in Pell and Hart outraged over allegations.

Funny how the church gets outraged at idle chatter of cover-ups, yet never seemed to summon up the outrage you might have thought decent and honourable when it came to proven evidence of abuse. The pond invites anyone interested to endure the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, and not experience outrage or wonder on which planet Christopher Pearson found evidence that Ratzinger had helped cleanse the church.

As for Pellist thinking, why you only have to contemplate the week-old scribbles of the Cardinal for the Sunday Terror to get a good laugh, as with this moment in the tribute Pope Francis:

Some don't like the Catholic message, but the church provides good copy and cannot be ignored. 132 delegations attended, with 31 heads of state, including a representative of the President of China and the outrageous 89 year old Robert Mugabe, the tyrant from Zimbabwe.

Yes, there's nothing like a shindig blessed by the attendance of a tyrant to provide good copy, but don't go looking for copy noting that Pell and Hart or the rest of them were outraged by Mugabe's presence, or the outrageous conduct of a church that would allow it and stormed off in a righteous sulk...

What's even more admirable is the way Pell manages to make his homilies sound like they've been written for ten year olds or the 'oi oi' brigade:

By a happy coincidence a Sydney deacon, Daniel McCaughan, was one of the Pope's two assistants, who joined him in the crypt to retrieve and carry the ring, just as another Sydney deacon, Nicholas Rynne assisted the Pope in the earlier Mass for the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. On a less exalted note the Australian flag waved by the delegation from the Sydney universities was by far the largest in the Square!

Dinkum? The biggest flag? Why tie me kangaroo down sport, before a gigantic dump truck flattens it ...

Meanwhile, it's only fair to note that Archbishop Jensen has also delivered his Easter message, the last one thank the long absent lord, as She arranges for that smirk to disappear into the great silence, the eternal void.

You can cop it here, on both cheeks if you like, and if you've got absolutely nothing to do this Sunday (Perhaps you could explore tiddly-winks, which can be morally uplifting and character forming. There's no need to prove you're a Spartan by watching a Jensen ...)

Jensen also likes to speak in the sort of twaddle designed to terrify eight year olds:

“Like you, I have a real judge. Think how much more God, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, must be able to hold me to account. It should make us tremble.”

Actually the thought of attending a religious school or living in a country ruled by Mugabe is what makes the pond tremble, and there are a heck of lot of others that are knee-tremblers too, and it isn't an all-seeing, all-knowing god who must have the biggest bloody database and set of super computers in the known universe, buried deep in the heart of planet Jupiter, or perhaps here in good old Teegeeack, thanks be unto Xenu,  to keep track of all the secrets buried in the pond's heart (sheesh, wouldn't it have been more sensible to bury the secrets in the brain?)

What is always amazing, and usually astonishing is the Christian-centric world view peddled by the angry Sydney Anglicans, on display in David Pettett's God turning the other cheek:

How staggering is it that God’s ultimate response to our rejection of him at creation in Eden is that he should become one of us and allow us to reject him all over again at Calvary? And the irony (if that’s the right word) is that this second rejection, this slapping God again as he turns the other cheek, becomes the means of our reconciliation. 
Yes it works. 
Turning the other cheek works not because the Lord Jesus wants us to be seen as weak, to allow the bully to walk over us, but because, understood properly through the Cross, it is an act of reconciliation. Humanity has slapped God in the face and has told him we don’t trust him. The mess the world is in is the direct result of this rejection. At the Cross God has turned the other cheek. He has opened himself up to rejection a second time. Christians have the unique message that in this act of God there is reconciliation.

How staggering is it that the Anglicans still peddle the old Adam and Eve and Garden of Eden routine, but how more remarkable is it that the world is in a mess because a non-existent mythological character, that face-slapping Adam, gave Her a hard time.

It's always puzzled the pond that She simply failed to take account of the way the world would eventually turn, what with all those bloody Buddhists and Hindus and Confucians and Commie atheists and such like breeding like rabbits in India, China and other parts of Asia.

There's Christ peddling the message to the middle east, and in due course it gets carried to other parts of the world thanks to ingenious imperial and colonial designs carried out by looters, rapers and pillagers, but knock the pond down, She overlooked a way to reach the growth centres in Asia and the sub-continent.

Oh sure the Opium Wars were a solid start, but as it turned out, not solid enough.

Now as any decent brand will tell you, looking to the Asian market is all the go, whether it's fast food, 'burgers, pizzas, a decent soda, or computers (Apple was number one in 2012, though it's been hurting recently, followed by Nestle, Chanel, Sony, Samsung, Uni-President, Panasonic, Nike, Canon and Starbucks).

God's a bit like Barbie, who didn't penetrate as hoped, while the pyramid schemes from the United States have also found the path tough. Perhaps that's why pyramid schemes and pie in the sky shonks selling religion have only lately come to the party, with millions of heathens and philistines over the centuries consigned to Hell or purgatory or whatever space you reserve for the hapless lot who missed out on the message from the middle east purely by chance, luck and being in the wrong time at the wrong place.

Why on earth didn't She put in place Facebook a heckuva lot earlier? Or Baidu?

The name Baidu is a quote from the last line of Xin Qiji's classical poem "Green Jade Table in The Lantern Festival" saying: "Having searched thousands of times in the crowd, suddenly turning back, She is there in the dimmest candlelight."

Indeed. Instead She's left it to Raj Gupta in The Brave New Facebook World to explore the new technology, and instead all he can do is grumble about it becoming a grumblefest: least in my observation (perhaps it is just my particular ‘friends’), whereas Facebook may have begun as a social connector, it is now increasingly being used to grumble. It may be about politicians, friends, events or something else. The point remains the same – Facebook, and other social media, can become a grumblefest.

In the pond's observation, Gupta seems completely unaware of the reflexive irony of grumbling about grumblefests, all the more since his grumbling has resulted in the pond grumbling about his grumbling so that we now have a heaps galore grumblefest.

In the pond's observation, the Angry Sydney Anglicans are in fact always angry about something, though you can often distill it down to a few pet themes - women, gays, materialism (except their own), advertising (except their own), and the entire world for being errant sheep who refuse to follow them along their mad chanting path. Like this:

Sometimes, Facebook posts from Christians seem more like they come from a crooked and depraved world than hearts that desire to shine like stars in world, so that others would know Jesus. 
The challenge: how are you going on Facebook?

See? Always angry about something, anything, depravity will do, the whole bloody crooked and depraved world, but never finding a reason to get agitated about the persecution of gays in Africa while they go about their supportive of persecution missionarywork ... or the repression of women in their very own church ...

And so we go full cycle, back to Bill Maher.

New rule. Now it's angry Anglicans telling you how to behave on Facebook, as if there isn't enough of that already from people on Facebook who never shut up ...

Truly what we need this Easter is more of the astonishing, wide-ranging, insightful and inspirational polling conducted by George Pell, who isn't just an expert climate scientist, and a handy Vatican voter and rule-maker. Yep, he's a pollster who could make any of the usual pollster hacks tremble with his incredible understanding of things:

The pope has started well and is broadly accepted as a taxi driver and the waiter who served me a cappuccino both confirmed.

Funny that. Only last week a taxi driver playing classical music and refusing to listen to Alan Jones, and a barista making quite a decent coffee assured the pond they'd never heard as much crap as they'd been hearing from the established church in the period leading up to Easter.

Sadly it was only a sample of two.

If only the pond could conduct a poll as deep and as insightful as the Pellists ...

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. 
Kurt Vonnegut 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

So many choices, so little time ... why pay to enter, come to think of it, why enter at all?

This being the Easter break, there's plenty of time to contemplate the tremendously insightful offerings at the lizard Oz, known to some haters of the national psyche as The Australian (surely An Australian, or A few rabid Australians or Some ratbag Australians would be a little less insulting as a header, because the use of "The" is downright outrageously offensive).

First up is Paul Kelly, such a pompous ass that he never seems to realise he might actually be a pompous ass. Kelly no doubt thinks he's being witty by flinging together a flock of cliches, like the bumpy road to the light on the hill, mixed with seasonal chatter about messiahs, as if the stupidity of religion should also infest politics.

Well the lizard Oz has their messiah, just like they had their messiah in John Howard and Alexander Downer and such like, and what false and useless messiahs they turned out to be. And the pond looks forward to the new messiah being an emperor wearing a bizarre aggregation of clothes (oh yes, it's not just the lizard Oz scribblers that can mix metaphors and cliches to produce arcane nonsense).

Next on the countdown comes Peter Van Onselen, a deep drinker of the lizard Oz kool aid:

 Radical agenda? The current federal Labor government is about as radical as a used tea bag. All they do is bleed over the new poor, toiling for a humble 250k a year ...

Wash out your mouth with soap before drinking tea cut by half with sugar and milk, Mr. van Onselen, if you think actual black tea is so dangerously radical.

What an abject fellow travelling fop.

Now about a little regional perspective.

Indeed. The pond looks forward to Michael McKenna's twelve volume edition, "Why Joh Bjelke-Petersen was a statesman and a visionary, and why any attempt by deviant Labor perverts to upset him always turned into fizzers".

Now how about a little dose of greed is good? 

It's always good to know that greed is good, especially over the Easter break with the Xians yammering about giving and tolerance. We need a specially hardened tough nut, with rock solid nut casing, a professional cynic and utter doofus for the job. Hmm, who can we select?

Alright, problem solved. When anyone wants a greedy doofus, Chris Kenny is always standing by.

Our very own lizard like Gordon Gekko! Say no more. 

Let's move along, skipping Ross Fitzgerald getting agitated about education for indigenous children. Clearly he didn't read Michael McKenna and come to an understanding why being a statesman like Campbell Newman only involves the wearing of flip flops and the Circus Oz capacity to perform backflips on a daily basis.

Shame, Ross Fitzgerald, shame. Giving less money to indigenous folk would do wonders for our budget bottom line. Just ask Campbell Newman.

Yes, it's most unseemly, talking of both sides lifting their game, when one side has a Messiah and the other doesn't. Just ask Paul Kelly.

So how can we wrap this up with a ratbag fundamentalist frothing and foaming at something, anything?

Oh it's so easy peasy, the pond thought you'd never ask:

Ever looked at a cute little squirrel or a rabbit, gazed deep into its eyes, and wondered if the lights were on? Try doing it with a photo of Angela Shanahan, then watch as she flails away at horrified feminists, and see how she fawns and whimpers as she boldly dances with the enemy man, 

Take a deep breath and hum:

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire,
Bright eyes
Lover of men without fail ...

There's a smell of Brut along the horizon
A strange glow of Gillette in the air
And nobody seems to know where you go,
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream.

Now there is of course a human tragedy at the heart of this revolving digital splash at the top of the lizard Oz, as the rag displays its wares like a sex emporium in Amsterdam.

And here it is.

Poor hapless Christopher Pearson has been bumped down the page to the opinions and letters section:

And now you can see why the pond is so tortured. What a wonderful gallery of temptations, of chocolate bilbies and verbal hot cross buns for Easter reading.

But breaking the lizard Oz paywall is tedious, what with the selecting of the text and the googling and all, and there's only so much time in the day to spend listening to ranters (it was so much easier when you could spend a day at the Domain and just waft between the neo-Nazis, Commies, perverts and Webster.)

So choices must be made, a time for decisions and revisions of decisions.

It's true that Shanahan is profoundly tempting, what with her header For the new feisty Gillard, misogyny is just so yesterday, and her grand thumping opening, which smites Gillard mightily:

There are times when I am ashamed that some women are so simple. One of those times was Julia Gillard's misogyny speech. It didn't surprise me because the Prime Minister is a politician and her tirade against Tony Abbott was a typically clever inversion of the complaints against Peter Slipper. The hypocrisy of that was noted by the press gallery. 
What is shaming is that so many women tied to the ephemeral media, the mummy bloggers, the twitterati and even some experienced real journalists, actually fell for Gillard's appalling rhetorical scam.

After all, someone has to point out day after tedious day how Julia Gillard is responsible, completely and utterly and comprehensively and in every way imaginable, for everything that is wrong with this country, as she steers it towards 40 million malcontents, and sure enough the lizard Oz always manages to find that someone.

And by golly, Shanahan surely packs a lot into that opener, a simple mind speaking of simple minds, a woman ashamed of women, a writer for a rag you wouldn't want to use as bird cage liner for fear of frightening the cockies ranting about ephemeral media, a deluded mention of real journalists falling for appalling rhetorical scams ... when Shanahan's thoughts are no deeper than a wisp of wind on an autumn day ...

Calling them as deep as a gust would be to defame gusts of wind ...

All the same, there are many pleasures to be had reading Shanahan, and some might opt for the easy option.

Parrot-like use of stereotypes and stupidities, the sort of insights you'd expect of someone who believes in burning bushes and George Pell, and resounding lines like this:

She (Gillard) has twigged that only the sort of people who tweet to the ABC's QandA still support her. She went all out to court every avenue and byway of the ephemeral media. Mummy bloggers were all the go for afternoon tea at Kirribilli, and most of them are too star-struck, flattered or simple to just say no to an overt political ploy. But even though they loom large in their own estimation, the support of bloggers and trolls and twits and other assorted virtual viragos is not enough. Real people are really not online 24/7. 

So much bile, so much hate, so much fear and loathing? Are Xians usually full of it over Easter? Of course they are, especially the Catholic fundie ones ...

So don't expect to hear too much more about misogyny unless she is trying to oil the waters with the other Emily's Listers. She has finally realised that her friends in the leftie-feminist-green blogs and twitterati who all thought she was just so "our Julia" were wrong. Nobody in the real world thought misogyny was important. And no one thought it was real. 
Gillard has lost a huge amount of support, even among the young, and the sheer listener power of the Kyle and Jackie O phenomenon and other stuff such as the TV show The Project gives her an audience she has previously eschewed. It takes her right out of her comfortable fan base, but she hopes it will give her a sort of rough cachet. She may be laughing cynically all the way to the next Newspoll. Who knows? 
Actually, I can't help laughing myself at the sheer brazenness of the woman. No feminist bull there.

It's a tremendously useful reminder of a yowling cat, scratching and clawing, sheerly brazen in its fear and loathing, the rich raw taste of suppurating bile ...

But it involves a sacrifice, because real people can't be online all the time with Shanahan, real people have to get away from the computer and run wild and free, and dance and laugh or at least giggle, and where does that leave Pearson and his Words with the power to move, and its mystical multi-cultural opening?

On Tuesday, after church, I was taken home by a Vietnamese taxi driver. The radio was on and an announcer played Boney M's version of Rivers of Babylon to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its release. 
 The driver, a knowledgeable Buddhist, was more than just politely surprised at my knowing the text in Latin and the King James version, and the assurance that in Latin Rite and Orthodox congregations across the world the Lamentations of Jeremiah would be being sung in musical settings - most of them ancient and very formally demanding - lasting many hours during the course of Holy Week.

Oh the poignant juxtaposition of Boney M, and the intricate formally demanding requirements of lamentations lasting many hours and involving people who seem to fear their own shadow.

Strange, it seems so easy to lament when you read the lamentable lamenting of the rest of the rat pack at the lizard Oz ...

Now there's no doubting that some pond readers will prick up their ears at the mention of Pearson and the Latin rite (get that prick out of your ears, we're not talking of Stephen Frears or Joe Orton).

And truly it's great, a clear winner, what with plenty of actual Latin, accompanied by actual translations, a compendium of ancient jibber jabber given a modern setting:

If there is a postmodern lesson to be learned in all this, I suppose it's that civilisations never quite abandon or forget their meta-narratives. They just morph like this one into ganja-sodden Rastafarian versions for the disco generation, where the only technical developments are that some of the voices are entirely studio created and half the line-up lip-synch.

Oh indeed. It's a nice reminder that contempt goes hand in hand with Christianity.

But at last we've cast out Bruce Springsteen, and got that high culture George Brandis was yearning for. Sock it us, Mr. Pearson

Vitae Sion lugent eo quod non sint qui veniant ad solemnitatem: omnes portae ejus destructae: sacerdotes ejus gementes: virgines ejus squalidae, et ipsa oppressa amaritudine. 
"The paths of Zion mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness."

 Sighing priests, afflicted virgins, bitterness? Is this a cryptic message for Angela Shanahan?

In his commentary on the Way of the Cross at the Roman Forum during Holy Week 2005, days before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger talked about "the filth that defiles the church". He was the first person in a position of great authority to do so in many years and took unprecedented steps to expunge it but got virtually no credit for doing so in most of the media. 

Yes, yes, we understand he maintained the ban on filthy contraception, and continued to stop priests experiencing healthy pleasure in sexual intercourse with consenting adults, on pain of being consigned to hell, but about that message for Shanahan?

Jeremiah's lament over Jerusalem tells us: Sordes ejus in pedibus ejus, nec recordata est finis sui: deposita est vehementer, non habens consolatorem. "Her filthiness is in her skirts, she remembereth not her last end; therefore she has been overthrown, she had no comforter." 
 In among the lamentations and the penitential Psalms there are signs of hope; not least, St Paul's recapitulation of the Last Supper. 
Also fresh in my mind is a lesson from St Augustine on the Psalms: "I would to God that the ungodly who now try us were converted, and so were on trial with us. Yet, though they continue to try us, let us not hate them: for we know not whether any of them will continue to the end in his evil ways. And mostly, when thou thinkest thyself to be hating thine enemy, thou hatest thy brother, and knowest it not."

Oh, what a shame, it's about men, and hating brothers, and all Pearson could muster to hate was disco lovers and Rasta folk.

We've learned today that women are embracing men - an astonishing new phenomenon feminists are powerless to prevent - so Angela Shanahan will probably miss your entire point Mr Pearson.

Could we re-write it just a little?

 ... though they continue to try us, the brazen upstart ungodly mommy blogging Kyle Sandilands loving feminists, let us not hate them: for we know not whether any of them will continue to the end in their evil ways. And mostly, when thou thinkest thyself to be hating thine enemy, the twits and the twitterati and the ranting ratbag journalist, thou hatest thy sister, and above all, thou hatest thyself and all those around you, and knowest it not."

Ah yes, there's nothing like a little dose of Catholicism over Easter as a reminder of that hate, guilt and self-loathing that are the foundations of the church, and the foundations of any decent musings for that lizard rag, The Australian ...

And now it's time to run wild and run free with a cheery laugh and think not of the fate of newspapers which will soon be delivered only by the internet its correspondents routinely revile ... so many ironies, so little time ...

And so to a thought on why some can never be fucked going through the gateless gate, or reading The Australian at all, and certainly refuse to pay for its dubious pleasures, there being more fun dancing to disco with Rasta men in Amsterdam, or so the pond is reliably informed ...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Off in Murdoch la la land steering the Titanic towards some townhouse sea views ...

(Above: just to get the pond off to a good start, free of cant, superstition and hypocrisy, before plunging deep into it in Murdoch la la land. Sign on a Portland van currently doing the Facebook rounds. Oh Portlandia, Portlandia).

Each day the pond likes to chart the paranoia levels on view in The Australian, ostentatiously paraded in whatever is the headline story on the digital front page.

This Easter, it seems that Julia Gillard, herself, and personally, and with some mystical skill, is steering Australia towards a population of more than forty million.

See, this is what it says:

It is of course meaningless gibberish, proposing a causal connection that simply doesn't exist, hinting at causal solutions which are in reality outside the control of Gillard, Tony Abbott, the Pope, the Sydney Anglicans and the Holy Ghost.

The pond thought they should all get an honourable mention, because it is a good Friday, which is to say a Friday where Optus is still working. The Optus The (go on, you can do the German by now).

There are many more fruitful avenues for The Australian to explore in its ongoing campaign for population controls driven by federal government action.

A nicely topical starting point would be that Gillard finally has acknowledged her Roman connections, and the way she steered Jesus Christ towards crucifixion. 

Now you might think that implausible, but remember, she's an atheist - and each denial, each crowing of the cock, is a miniature crucifixion, steering Christ on to the rocks like a wretched Titanic.

Hmm, the pond could get quite good at writing gibberish in the way Ben Packham routinely does, a hack beyond average hackery. 

Meanwhile, the pond looks forward to the federal government policy solutions Mr. Packham proposes in relation to the population crisis which has arisen from Ms Gillard's wifully wayward steering. 

No doubt the newly arisen Messiah can implement them, along with supporting proposed Labor changes to superannuation, in September.

Armed guards at the airport shooting one in ten temporary entrants? Complete abolition of 457? Free contraceptives provided by government in every bedroom? Compulsory abortions? 

There must be many steps that can be taken ... and bravely The Australian has taken the first one by scribbling an alarmist splash which the pond has taken upon itself not to read or link to, on the principle that it's good Friday and enough, enough you ranting clowns, already.

Surely if you lie down with flea-carrying dogs, you will arise on the third day a flea, or if you splash about in the mud, you will never manage to turn a sow's ear journalist into a purse ...

Or some such thing.

Moving along, the Daily Terror contrives an equally ingenious splash to arouse resentment, fear, anger and loathing this good Friday, and it is a good Friday, because the Murdoch press is always keen to spread hate, and that surely is a Christian thing to do:

Now why, you might ask, are there inverted commas around 'Luxury houses' in that header?

Well it turns out that the luxury houses are in the first par of the actual story townhouses with "magnificent sea views".

Now there's nothing more guaranteed to sort out the cats from the dogs in Sydney-siders  than sea views.

People have been known to kill or maim simply to achieve sea glimpses, let alone sea views, which is why the Daily Terror has so knowingly targeted its demographic, the vast west, yearning for sea glimpses, in such a canny fashion, and why the festering, simmering, resentment, fear and loathing is sure to erupt like an irritated boil at some point.

See how the story builds (click to enlarge):

It is of course completely unacceptable, this sea view lifestyle luring fat cat bureaucrats and public servants to the sinfully indulgent lifestyle of Christmas Island, with its bright lights, bars, casinos, hookers and gambling dens. Sheer luxury, a twenty four hour party, 7/12/365 and leap year.

It goes without saying that the pond is standing by to join the Daily Terror campaign to ensure that all windows in said luxury townhouses are covered in black plastic. Oh sure, it might be an island, which brings you sometimes uncomfortably close to the sea, but there shall be absolutely no sea views.

Pending of course the transition of said AFP coppers, teachers, healthcare workers and such like into army tents. With absolutely no windows, thank you very much.

Now you might think that another angle on the townhouses makes them look more like typical examples of dull, tedious public architecture of the banal Canberra kind:

This would only establish that you're a pretentious poncy middle class or high brow git, perhaps a relative of Don Dunstan living in Adelaide, simply incapable of understanding sea views (which, it has to be noted, are very different from dull, flat, bay views).

Naturally the locals are up in arms and the corridors of power have reverberated with shock and indignation, not at the aesthetics of the design, but at the sea views. There are no sea views in Canberra, only lake and snow-capped freezing hillock views, and the Liberal party is outraged to the core.

The pond understands, having started off life in a nissen hut.

Now this is only an illustration, derived from a UK source, an evocation of the structures that once could be found outside Tamworth in the quaint hamlet of Oxley Vale and it is true that we lived in luxury, with actual verandahs, and views of the Peel river ... oh, the views, the views ...

But still the pond understands why the Terror is outraged and stirring up trouble and getting Xmas islanders agitated.

Surely when the second messiah arrives in September, he will stop the boats, smash the luxury townhouses, reduce Australia to a population of ten million, and all without deploying contraceptives that would see Australians sent to hell in vast droves. There are, the pond is reliably informed, no sea views in hell ...

The pond was feeling lucky, so it kept trawling the Murdoch outlets for more stories about which to be enraged, horrified, shocked and indignant, full of resentment, fear and loathing, but the luck ran out.

The HUN led with the story of a freak city wall collapsing and killing two people, but please, whatever you do, don't imagine this is a plea for regulation of the building industry and its safety standards.

And The Courier-Mail was quite besotted with Scott Driscoll:

Apparently the Member for Redcliffe had been running a taxpayer-funded community association secretly, or so it's asserted in Taxpayer-funded organisation controlled by MP Scott Driscoll declared insolvent, with 20 jobs lost.

Ah, an actual story, as opposed to a sea views beat up. Most un-Murdochian.

Shame, Queenslanders, shame, so what a relief to discover that the curr-ish mail managed to pick up the sea view story, though "the exclusive" was more discreetly tucked away amongst many other exclusives.

That's more like it,  that's more Murdochian ...

Oh the shock, the bloody sea view horror and shame. And oh dear, it seems the pond has failed to link to any manifestation of the story whatsoever ....

Perhaps on the third day ...

Now, now, let's not start talking of the commodification of news, and the use of old brand names to peddle the same sordid stuff from state to state.

An exclusive's an exclusive even if it's only exclusively reprehensible to exclusively reprehensible Murdochians ...

Meanwhile, speaking of Queenslanders, what fun to see Premier Campbell Newman do yet another of his famous backflips, an art form he perfected early in his premiership, along with barrel rolls and Immelmanns and other stall turns.

It's all there in The Premier has changed his mind about ending indigenous welfare trials in North Queensland, and it shows once again that Newman picked the wrong dog in this dog-fight.

Yep, he picked on Noel Pearson, Tony Abbott's pet, and worst of all, the key proponent of Tony Abbott's pet northern Queensland scheme, where the second Messiah is often wont to show up to show he cares, and a throwaway line in the story tells who leaned on who ...

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, in Brisbane yesterday, said he wanted to see the reforms expanded to communities across the country. 
"I'm happy to work constructively with all levels of government to make sure this happens," he said.

Constructively? Happy?

Indeed, construct that Mr. Newman, surely the silliest, most inept and most politically unaware state premier currently doing the rounds ...

That'll be the last time you believe Murdoch newspaper stories about outrageous government expenditure in North Queensland on schemes with sea views, eh Mr Newman ...

(Below: and now, since the pond is always keen to show off the harbour glimpses you get from Newtown, here's Francis street in 1952, and below that Proclamation Day in the square in 1942. Oh the views, the views, and now it's off to a hot chocolate and a hot cross bun, and a reminder that Christ died so we could all enjoy sea views and Murdoch rags).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bring on the Swiss bank accounts .... Class warfare, Gra Gra and Gibbo style ..

(Above:  almost Easter! Click to enlarge. Way more Pope here at the Canberra Times. Gorge yourselves, indulge, have a cartoon austerity truffle thanks to poor old Fairfax because times are so tough even 250k isn't enough to afford compound easter eggs these days).

Dear sweet absent lord, does the pond feel foolish or what, and thanks for all notes bringing the pond up to speed, the acknowledgment of same delayed by Optus deciding to crash its broadband across the inner west.

The Optus The.

It turns out that David Pope is the top gun, the very best shearer in the shed, the ringer who could knock over Robert Mitchum and Jack Thompson and three hundred sheep in the morning, and still have time for an afternoon's cartooning, and an  award winner to boot, as revealed in Picture of success: Pope named top cartoonist.

How narrow and provincial Sydney people are, thinking they're the centre of the known universe, when the choice is a hot contest between Tamworth and Canberra.

Mortifications, breast beating, ashes and sackcloth aside, better the lost lamb discovered than the banal bloody flock you find cartooning for the Murdoch tabloids.

But a warning, the pond only wears the cilice on odd days, and refuses to draw blood ...

Right, that business aside, here's how the pond was going to start the visual day:

(Click to enlarge)

It's been doing the Facebook rounds, and perhaps it should have been saved for a meditative Sunday, because at the heart of the absurdity is Scientology.

But the pond is feeling whimsical and confrontational, and inclined to propose that the author got it wrong, because the heart of the absurdity should have been The Australian, a cult where on a daily basis cultists can be found scribbling and going about their daily ritual abasements.

What further evidence would anyone require if they've managed to wade through the wretched diabolical Graham Richardson in The challenge that wasn't proves that God must be a Liberal voter, and right to the end (and worse might even have spent time and labored to google and break the paywall, since paying for Richo is simply a Rivkin too far).

How long is it since the attempted abortive coup? And there's Gra Gra still yammering on about it as if he's a player.

Even worse, there's the wretched Joel Fitzgibbon yammering away from the back bench. How many days since the Labor party promised it would deliver unity and strength?

Does that include Fitzgibbon blurting out lines like this?

Former chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon has joined other Labor MPs concerned about the prospect of taxing the superannuation earnings of the wealthy. 
After the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, again refused to rule out such a tax, Mr Fitzgibbon feared Labor might botch the definition of what constitutes a ''wealthy Australian''. 
 "You can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you're still struggling".

The Herald liked it so well, they even put it under a photo of Joel Fitzgibbon:

Let's roll that around on the tongue one more time, it's as delicious as the cask shiraz with blackberry and plum overtones the pond loves so well:

 ''In Sydney's west you can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you're still struggling.'' (Fitzgibbon joins chorus of Labor MPs concerned about super tax, with forced video at end of link because Fairfax is also on struggle street).

Bugger the pond dead in any style you like - how they love that saying in Tamworth - you can be rolling in a quarter million of hay, 250k, an Easter bunny showbag full of smackeroos that in one year give you the paper worth of a quarter millionaire, and you're on struggle street!

You're barely getting by, you're doing it tough, you're howling in fiscal pain to the high heavens. The suffering is a spectacle piteous to behold, the sackcloth and the ashes, and the renting and the tearing, and the McMansion only contains a humble ten rooms, with billiard table but absolutely without a decent 3D movie theatre done out like Hoyts. The popcorn maker remains only a hope, a vision ...

And below that, others are doing it hard too:

''Coal miners in my electorate earning 100, 120, 130, 140 thousand dollars a year are not wealthy.'' 

Indeed. Tell that to the 120,000 single parents, 100,000 unemployed people with disabilities and 250,000 out of work for over two years who eke out a living on Newstart, which if you happen to be single with a dependent child or children comes in at the grand total of $537.80 a fortnight (or so it says here).

Now the pond isn't good at maths, so let's round that out to 538 and multiply it by 26, and we come - if the calculator is working properly - to $13,988 smackeroos a year, a glorious, fulsome, almost overflowing with generosity sum. Here no struggle street, no struggle street here, as Chopper was once heard to say ...

Fairfax presents Fitzgibbon's remarks in the context of Ferguson's "class war" and Crean's "trashing the Labor brand", but what it really represents is the dissident rump shooting their mouth off, and so it goes on, the internal war, plainly visible, with it being left to the Fairfax reporter to note that if elected, the Coalition would reintroduce a 15% tax on superannuation for 3.6 million people earning $37,000 or less, something like five hundred smackeroos per year for 1 in 3 workers.

But even the 'heading to 5,000' Fairfax readers who responded to the poll below the Fitzgibbon thought bubble thought he was talking through his hat

At time of writing, 71% had voted that 250k was enough to live off in Sydney (though amazingly that still left 29% thinking it wasn't enough because Sydney is just sooooh expensive m'dear, soooh exhaustiing, soooh delibiltating sweetie, oh I just don't know how I get through the day ...)

Contemplating all this, the pond wonders what use Joel Fitzgibbon serves by continuing to appear on the back bench for the Labor party, when it sounds like he should be going independent, or perhaps forming his own party, the Independent Party for struggle street quarter millionaires in the western suburbs ...

But there is of course another use for Joel Fitzgibbon, which is to take the pond's mind off Gra Gra, but duty calls.

The sad thing is that every day is Christmas Day for Australia's conservatives because Richardson poses as some kind of alternative.

It turns out that Richo, himself thick as thieves with the plotters and the conspirators - think of him as Lady Macbeth if you can stand the abuse of Lady Macbeth - is ready to explain how Fitzgibbon was part of the high comedy on the day:

... along came Simon Crean. He claimed he could bring six on board and the possibility of a challenge became real yet again. The door had been opened just a fraction. Some of the Rudd camp were smart enough to doubt Crean so the deal was struck that each one would go to Joel Fitzgibbon's office and pledge themselves to Rudd. As lunch approached on Thursday, only one had turned up. So by midday the Rudd forces reaffirmed the decision to take no action to bring on a ballot.

They couldn't organise a newspaper for an outdoor dunny ...

Now the pond has had its feuds with Mark Latham, but really, his smack-down of Richo was so delicious, the pond feels like running it again:

"Why don't people listen to Graham Richardson? I'll give you one good reason – he's the man that walked up to Eddie Obeid once and said: 'Here, on this platter for you, I've got a seat in the NSW upper house on behalf of the Labor Party.' 
"How can the man who put Eddie Obeid into the NSW Parliament be wandering around talking about political judgment, calling the Prime Minister an idiot? The biggest idiot in Labor politics today is the man who put Obeid in Parliament: Graham Fredrick Richardson. 
"I've had a gutful of the bloke who was a paid lobbyist for Ron Medich, who got into scandals about Swiss bank accounts. How can you say you're a Labor man when you've set up Swiss bank accounts? Swiss bank accounts worked for Kerry Packer. 
"It's shameful that this man has any reputation, the man who set up the wheeling and dealing, 'whatever it takes' culture in the modern Labor Party. He's the bloke who wrecked the place and he walks around like he's got clean hands like Mother Teresa, knows all the numbers. All he knows how to do is put people like Obeid in Parliament ... and it's a real achievement in public life for Richardson, but 20 years after he made that decision, it is contributing to the destruction of the federal Labor government. He should crawl under the rock from which he came. (here, with the usual forced video attached, because Fairfax is on struggle street).

Well it seems that the message has finally hit home.  After a long, pathetic and self-serving account of the failed coup, Gra Gra faces up to his patented stupidity, as routinely circulated on Sky radio and in the Murdoch press:

If there is a fourth loser, it is my good self. I fully expected the caucus to remove Gillard last week, particularly as the smoking ruins of the media laws cast a pall over all of them. I expected them to act in their own self-interest, and I was wrong. Had there been a ballot, it would have been close but Rudd would have been defeated. Alas, I am fallible.

Well that's a polite way to describe a goose, perhaps on the basis that goose abuse is wrong. Week after week, Richo has been stirring the possum and playing with weak minds like Joel Fitzgibbon's ...

So what's left for Richo? Could he just wander off and check his Swiss bank accounts, Scrooge McDuck style, and see if he's on struggle street yet? Or will he just crawl under the rock from which he came?

In your dreams...

What dignified rock would want to provide shelter and a home for Gra Gra?

While he was slinging the mud, Latham also had a few words for Joel Fitzgibbon:

"I know Joel Fitzgibbon well. Fitzgibbon's first instinct in public life is panic, and you saw that yesterday when he's wandering down the corridors saying, 'we've only got 31 per cent of the primary vote'. He's an amateur. He's a buffoon. He is not someone who – when I was running for leadership against Beazley – who we thought was good enough to come into our council of war. 
"If Rudd is relying on Fitzgibbon, again, it just points to the fact that he's got the dregs of the labour movement with him. People like Richardson and Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon's second instinct in life is to blabber non-stop, on and off the record, to the media; he's addicted to the media as badly as Rudd ...

Hey Mr Fitzgibbon, the pond hears that you're suffering. We understand you're on struggle street, with that wretched Remuneration Tribunal only allowing backbenchers a base salary of $190,550. (or so it says here).

Even allowing for generous benefits and entitlements, that's barely staying alive, the wolf is pounding on the door, the babe in threadbare rags is howling, the class warfare is stripping you down to the bare bones, and there's no porritch or gruel in the house ...

Have you thought about asking a kindly rock for a home, so you can crawl under it?

Or perhaps the pond could offer you some advice on Swiss bank accounts?

They're easy to set up, and while what you can do with them isn't what it once was, they remain ever so handy. Just ask Richo, maybe he'll also help you with that Independent Party For Struggle Street Quarter Millionaires ...

And it will give particular conviction to any future speech you'll make about class warfare, what with your long-suffering class under such dire, immediate threat ...

(Below: the pond's 101 guide to class warfare, and how to have fun while conducting it).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Optus The, part two ... with bonus Dame Slap ...

(Above: don't blame the pond, blame First Dog and his anti-Optus rant, on view in Death to Optus!, way back in 2009).

Now where were we, before being so rudely interrupted?

That's right, practicing our German.

The Optus The.

No, totally incompetent Optus, it doesn't help to be told that all your customers in Newtown, Camperdown, Enmore and Stanmore are suffering too. Shared suffering isn't redemptive, it's just bloody suffering.

The Telstra The.

You useless ning nongs, we've been there and suffered with you too. Get yourself a decent competitive service, and we'll think about jumping.

The Mike Quigley Stephen Conroy NBN The

You pathetic bunch of losers. It certainly doesn't help the pond when deprived of all connectivity and its grasp of virtual reality - the only reality it knows - to be watching a repeat of Air Crash Investigations - what else to do than watch people suffer and die in aircraft porn - to be bombarded with cheerful ads about how anyone can join up to the NBN. In 2050, if we're lucky, you hopeless bunch of incompetents. Roll out? Someone needs to roll over you ...

The Malcolm Turnbull Tony Abbott The.

You dingbats, you vile traducers of truth and technology. Just say it three times so the pond finally can believe you finally get it. Copper is fucked, it is finito, it is finished. And don't tell the pond how grand the cables, the gloriously ancient HFC running past the pond's house promises continued glorious connectivity. It's fucked, it is finito, and so is the Optus infrastructure which requires technicians running around like wombats to sustain. FTTH you cheaters, you abysmal deceivers, you liars, you gormless luddites, not this current muck ...

There that feels better, and no doubt the German readers out there can make the appropriate translations.

In the meantime, what's been happening?

The pond is totally lost. Apparently that prattling Polonius yesterday scribbled Labor so lost that even its confused diehards stagger (forced video at end of link). Well he would gloat and scribble that, but it's yesterday's news, out of date, wrapping fish and chips somewhere, even the footnote where he apologises for one error while overlooking so many others he commits on a weekly basis ...

We need some balance, some sanity, so thank the long absent lord, it's Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen day, and lordy lordy, is she frothing and foaming in Gillard's selfish hold on high office is destroying the Labor brand (behind the paywall so you don't have to pay for ranting):

There is a reason why the word oxymoron fits neatly when the word progressive is applied to members of the Left. Sometimes, more moron than oxy. Take this fantastical conspiracy theory following the bloodless coup-less events in Canberra last Thursday. 
In search of fingerprints on Simon Crean's call for a spill on that fateful day, forget Kevin Rudd's pudgyhands. Instead, the "talon-marks of Australia's dark overlord, Rupert Murdoch, are etched all over this announcement", wrote David Donovan last Thursday. 

Indeed. It is simply outrageous to suggest that the relentless three year campaign by Rupert Murdoch and his minions to spread fear and loathing, and undermine the federal Labor government at every turn - led by those valiant crusaders at the Daily Terror, the HUN and the lizard Oz - have anything to do with the hysteria suffusing the government.

Why comparing Conroy to Stalin is just a pleasant satirical thrust - up there with the pond's Germanic Die Conroy Die -  a jolly jape amongst chums.

"With media reform laws looking likely to have been passed today, it is almost certain he, or his local minions, overnight whispered beguiling words mixed with threats to Crean and others to force a spill today," raged the managing editor of "progressive" online journal Independent Australia. In the end, common sense, not claws, defeated the media laws.

It is of course typical of Dame Slap that she wouldn't actually reference the actual work. In the polite world of social media, links are provided, but not in the world of Murdoch's paranoid castle, because it might take you out of the crib and into the virtual world (the dark forces of Optus permitting).

That way too you miss out on the tweet sent into the digital world by Murdoch featured at Murdoch's marks all over Labor leadership spill:

And look, here you can get even more tweets from that dark fiendish twit - that overlord who seems to have entirely forgotten the hard place David Cameron found himself in because of the truly despicable and outrageous conduct of the News of the World and other Murdoch titles which would have seen any other responsible CEO or Chair sacked and driven from any decent company ... but not where the lust for filthy, irresponsible power is strong, and oh Luke, how the dark side is still strong ...

Now the pond can't go with Independent Australia's more detailed conspiracy theory, but how grand it must feel to know that they've been read and incurred the wrath and the ire of the righteous Dame Slap, herself not above joining with Lord Monckton to decry the United Nations using climate science as a way to bring forth world government.

Oh yes, when it comes to stupid conspiracy theories, she's an ace at the game.

The pond particularly loved this Francis-loving twittering by the overlord, in the grip of the dark side:

But back to Dame Slap, and yes without a hint of irony or the slightest sign of self-awareness or reflexive meta-irony in the conduct of her public discourse (what's that, Simon Crean isn't handing out Arts grants anymore?), she spends the rest of her column doing what Murdochians are expected to do ... assaulting and destroying Gillard and the Labor government.

What's most amusing is the continued elevation of Martin Ferguson:

Martin Ferguson, who resigned on Friday after also signalling the need for a leadership change, falls into the same camp. The Ferguson family -- Martin, his brother and father -- have given 71 years of service to the Labor Party in parliaments, state and federal. 
These two men, Ferguson and Crean, from families who together have represented Labor for 139 years, represent the centrist and sensible Labor brand under Hawke and Keating. That's why Crean and Ferguson could no longer support Gillard.

Now at any other time and place, this sort of nonsense would have been led as prime examples of nepotism and the need in the Labor party for some fresh blood, instead of this never-ending nepotic dominance ... this incestuous control by families within the firm, like dons handing it on in the Mafia.

But in this flip flop Dame Slap view of the world, the enemy of your enemy suddenly becomes your friend and so the childish, arrogant efforts of former chairman Rudd to seek revenge and a new ascendancy become the adult way to behave:

Remember, too, that these two Labor men, both former presidents of the ACTU, threw their lot in with Rudd, a man famously described as having "no Labor values", who is loathed by the union movement. This is how dire things are now in the Labor camp. 
 Ferguson and Crean are standouts because they are among the few adults of the federal parliamentary Labor Party. Yet the adults now sit on the backbench while too many children, some known best for throwing stones at miners, the rich and the media, sit in cabinet.

Yes, because throwing stones at Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Chairman Rupert is just so wrong, and so naughty, and Dame Slap runs special severe classes for recalcitrant children who dare to speak up about anything ...

There is of course a peculiar resentment, a fervent hatred and fear of loathing of Gillard that Dame Slap calls her own.

Is it the red hair? Is it the shared Unley heritage? Is it the bogan accent?

Back in July 2010 Albrechtsen mused in Mea culpa time? Not so fast on this very subject:

Start with something so basic it barely gets a mention. That voice. Gillard's accent is curious. Especially if, like her, you grew up in Adelaide, had a working-class background and went to public schools. I'm often asked why I don't sound like Gillard. Easy. No one in Adelaide sounds like Gillard. Certainly no one who went to Unley High School, hardly a school of hard knocks. Could she have manufactured those broad nasal vowels, so different even from her Adelaide-accented sister, to fit her political emergence within Labor's left-wing factions? You feel so cynical even suggesting it.

No you don't feel so cynical, you just feel like Dame Slap, and what a deeply dirty feeling that is ...

Anyhoo, we come to the latest assault, and Dame Slap tackles the subject of toughness, concluding:

All she is left with is tough like "Aussie" Joe Bugner at the back end of his boxing career.

Yes, she'd even do the dirty on poor old Aussie Joe, even though he'd danced with Muhammad Ali (to the delight of certain nuns) ...

Gillard picked some choice words to describe last week. "I was appalled," she said on Monday. We must show self-belief, not self-indulgence, she said. A more accurate word for Gillard is selfish. To be sure, all political leaders are egotistical, over-confident and selfish, and let us admit too we are all selfish, some more, some less. 
But Gillard represents the worst kind of selfishness. Hers is not self-interest combined with vision. 

Absolutely. Her vision simply doesn't allow for a world run by Gina Rinehart, Andrew 'the Bolter' Bolt, the rest of the Murdochians and their dark overlord (turn to the dark side, Luke, turn to the dark), Clive Palmer, incompetent state gauleiters like Campbell Newman, and so on and so forth. They're not selfish people, they just want to rule the world, or perhaps the universe, like Pinky and the brain ...

And here's the most amazing feat of all. Albrechtsen finally comes out and reveals her deep connections to Menzies House and all the other twits who celebrate the fatuous stupidity of Ayn Rand. Yes, she actually does it ...

When Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard pursued their own self-interest to lead the nation it was fuelled by a genuine vision based on a set of convictions they fought for, often in difficult political circumstances.
These leaders followed in the tradition of rational selfishness best described by philosopher Ayn Rand. It's productive, rather than destructive self-interest, that caters to something bigger than a person's ego. 

Ayn Rand!? The very same Ayn Rand who was a welfare queen, who took government assistance while decrying others who did the same?

And now she's a philosopher? As opposed to a self-serving hypocrite? (and she's not much of a philosopher either, special pleading at her wiki aside).

Ah well, in Dame Slap's world, Lord Monckton is a climate scientist, so it must be right.

Naturally Dame Slap concludes with a rant about all that's wrong with the current Labor government - you know, carbon tax, offshore processing, yadda yadda - and without once mentioning their failure to run the NBN through Camperdown while ensuring the pond's extended family in Tamworth are on super fast speeds ...

And to cap it all off, she repeats the Ayn Rand routine:

At present rates, come September 15, the "hard working" Gillard will have plenty of time to read Atlas Shrugged, Rand's most famous treatise about selfishness that is rational and productive rather than Gillard's irrational, destructive variety.

Dame Slap routinely jumps the shark and nukes the fridge but isn't it astonishing to read an actual member of the commentariat in the lizard Oz recommending Ayn Rand, one the most destructive, selfish, irrational, unproductive, and hypocritical writers of the twentieth century ... as sensible reading material ...

Putting her right out and up there with the marathon-distorting times, lying dissembling world of Paul Ryan, who liked Ayn Rand until he discovered she was a political liability and then ditched her.

It brought to mind long-forgotten memories deeply embedded in the pond of young Liberals attending to Ayn Rand. And that verse from the bible:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, I read as a child, heck I even read Ayn Ran: but when I became a woman, when I became a member of the commentariat at the lizard Oz, when I pretended to be an adult with special insights, I put away childish, indulgent things... and mind candy ... and Ayn Rand ...

If only, but that would require a little intelligence and reflexivity, and sadly all Dame Slap has is a rather large cane, which she wields with monotonous predictability, along with occasional forays into Randian stupidity.

It has to be asked. Is she a covert agent for Optus?

(Below: ah, memories, way back in 2009 here. Where are the sweet young things now?)