(Above: catch 26 William Mildenhall photos of old Canberra here).
It seems only yesterday that Canberra cracked the hundred, slid into senility, and trotted out the GG for one of those strutting displays of lost colonial glory they so love in the city only founded because Sydney and Melbourne hated each others guts, and the rest of the country didn't care, what with the sandgropers and such like determined on Texas-style secession.
So let's speak of other things.
At the height of the "please allow us to check your computer, your PC is broken" telephone scam, the pond used to while away a pleasant few minutes chatting with the Indian callers about their failed cricket team.
No acknowledge of cricket was required - handy for the pond - but a few general slurs about the way the sub-continent couldn't produce a decent Test cricket team would always stir the possum and produce an agitated response. Oh we had some fun times, even when the language turned excitable and heated, and actual communication deteriorated a little.
Sic transit gloria. The scam is gone and now the pond is now racing off to check its homework, just in case the PC really does fail to work, and we have to call in help from the sub-continent.
Now what were those three trick questions? Make more runs, take more wickets, hold more catches, fix that PC ...
Speaking of lost gloria, how weird is it that Sue Morphet has been appointed the new head of lobbying efforts to keep alive Australian manufacturing?
Morphet will be remembered as the head of Bonds, who shipped its manufacturing activities to China, trashed the "Australian-ness" of its brand, and produced what seems like a permanent slump in the share price, while pocketing a handsome pay rise (170% for the hard yards of sacking1,850). (You can walk down memory lane, if you're prepared to brave a forced video, in Morphet ends stormy stint as underwear queen).
It surely must have been some sort of understatement when she said on 7.30 (transcript here):
SUE MORPHET: Now not all manufacturing's going to be successful in Australia...
Damn right, bloody cricket jocks, but do carry on ...
... there's no doubt about that, but if we can put in the correct policies and if we can build the appropriate skill sets, then we can definitely encourage investment here in Australia.
Indeed. Just forget the jocks. They can't play cricket.
Now the pond wouldn't know Morphet from a bar of soap or a generic Chinese garment, and always encourages personal transformations and fresh revelations and insights, and wishes her well, along with Australian manufacturing, but it's surely a strange and wondrous world.
Oh and the pond is available for a most modest consulting fee regarding the possibility of shifting Australian manufacturing to New Zelund.
Right you've guessed it. The pond has flung this confetti in the air in the hope of being distracted from the most difficult task of all ... reading fulminating Janet 'Dame Slap' Albrechtsen at the height of her frothing and foaming frenzy of fear ...
Though it has to be said that the opening quote for More Borgen, less bogan a wise strategy is spot on:
"I would rather be a garbage collector than be a member of the commentariat scribbling for The Australian. Or writing for the Daily Terror. It's a more honest way of dishing out the dirt."
Dammit, those NZ subbies got it wrong again. Here's the Dame Slap quote:
"I would rather be a garbage collector than be in politics. It's a more honest way of dealing in dirt."
The rest of the piece deals with a Danish political drama, Borgen, featuring a female Danish prime minister by the name of Nyborg, which allows Dame Slap to slip the knife into assorted bogans.
Strangely, it seems that public broadcasters are entirely acceptable and make great drama ... if they're Danish or at least European.
Secondly Danish dramas send up all Dame Slap's favourite targets ... the EU, the United Nations (which thanks to her channeling Lord Monckton we know used climate science to move world government closer), and snide asides:
It is good to watch forceful yet sensitive women confront dilemmas without waving the gender card when it suits.
No doubt it's also good to watch forceful yet sensitive lyrcra-clad testosterone laden men confront dilemmas without standing under "Ditch the witch" and "Bob Brown's bitch" placards, waving a vicious gender card when it suits, and then denying it ever took place, when it suits.
And it provides an excuse for profound psychological analysis of the most penetrating kind:
For all the daily spin driving Nyborg's embattled government, no political genius came up with a "real Birgitte" campaign. They didn't need to. Nyborg is a character of grippingly real contradictions, warm yet also capable of cold-hearted decisions, ruthless yet also vulnerable, full of ideals yet also grounded in reality. Back to Canberra. Do voters have a sense of who Gillard is?
Indeed. Do voters have a sense of who Abbott is?
Oh we know he's surrounded by women. He has a gay sister and loves gays, even if he was once threatened by them, and he thinks maybe they should be allowed to marry, except of course as any decent Catholic conservative knows, they're going to burn in hell and should perhaps also be made to suffer on earth, and he has a wife who is faithful and loyal, and wonderful daughters, who are certainly not witch bitches who should be ditched.
But do we really have a sense of who he is? Can anyone manage some cheap half-arsed condescending analysis on the basis of a Danish television show, because it's an easy, simple-minded way to whip up a column, while putting down people in the real world?
Albrechtsen wraps it up with what she perhaps imagines is a stiletto thrust to the rib cage:
Of course, the best tonic for refreshing democracy is facta non verba. Deeds, not words. What matters more than even Borgen's fine script is the act of queuing outside a local school, ticking your name off the electoral list and heading to that wobbly cardboard ballot box to vote. What a shame Nyborg's name won't be on the ballot paper.
Never mind. Perhaps Francis Urquhart's name will be on the ballot paper instead ...
Meanwhile the lizard Oz has erupted into a frenzy, with a whole fury of gold bars, shock, horror and outage:
The trouble is, the pond couldn't get anyone to take a bet on the lizard Oz's response.
The odds were so short as to be utterly meaningless (remember to gamble responsibly and only on sporting events, because after all, sport isn't designed as a physical activity, unless you count the exercise your thumb gets texting in a bet).
But then came the Daily Terror, and the pond was happy because suddenly the Godwin's swear jar was overflowing. Here's the front page:
And here's the digital edition:
Is it possible to imagine anything more childish, more petulant, more over the top, more reprehensible?
Has Senator Conroy arranged for author Gemma Jones, who dares to claim a byline for Julia Gillard's henchman Stephen Conroy attacks freedom of the press, to be taken to a dark room, made to listen to hours of heavy metal music - or perhaps The Wiggles and the Hooley Dooleys - then taken out the back and shot, in a casual, gratuitous way worthy of Stalin?
He hasn't? How strange ... perhaps in a day or two. The pond can only live in hope ...
Hopes aside, the pond has a stylistic quibble with Gemma, concerning the use of "henchman".
In the pond's day, that was a good and useful word, but really it should only ever be used in conjunction with "lick-spittle lackey".
We look forward to the next front page and perhaps something a little more sprightly, say "lick-spittle henchman".
As the Murdoch press more and more comes to the style of Maoist or Stalinist rags, dishing out abuse willy nilly, some respect should be paid to tradition!
And why not consider an additional honorific, something like Gemma "useful idiot" Jones, in honour of the way her useful idiocy serves her masters and brave chairman Rupert ...
There is of course a journalist in Borgen:
Fonsmark goes from dating one aide to sleeping with the prime minister’s spin doctor, who promises to leave his wife and children for her. They celebrate by making love at a hotel – but the following morning she finds him dead in bed.
Fonsmark, who fears she may be pregnant, has to carry on covering an election as though nothing has happened. (and there's more here on the now rather long in the tooth Borgen, which shamelessly borrows from The West Wing, while in the United States, they just like to rip off House of Cards).
Steady, you say, what has sordid fictional sexualised soap nonsense got to do with the heroic freedom fighting justice league known as The Australian and the Daily Terror?
Who knows. Go ask Dame Slap, she's the one who started the sly innuendo and meaningless comparisons ...
There is no simply comparison between conservative politicians Tony Abbott and Francis Urquhart ...
Abbott might have the same murderous nattering negativity, and he might have had many a field day with the Slipper affair and the Thomson matter and the Gillard slush fund, never to be dramatised because they cut too close to the bone, and would get the ABC a boning ...
But he simply doesn't have the style ... and style, it has to be said, is everything ...
Francis Urquhart: [aside] A politician needs a wife, and other people too regrettably. Little elves and sprites to do his bidding, even unwitting pawns who don't know who they serve... and of course one needs a sympathetic ear amongst the men and women of the press, those valiant seekers of the truth.
Yes, those valiant seekers after gibbering meaningless Stalinist and Danish TV comparisons. And when they stop being hacks, they usually become flacks:
Penny Guy: Oh, Roger! You're not taking cocaine at 8 in the morning at the Conservative Party Conference.
Oh surely not, say it isn't so Francis:
Francis Urquhart: You might well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.
(Below: oh look, silly childish photographic renderings and comparisons are so catching, and the pond so infected by reading Murdochian outbursts, it was simply irresistible, if completely meaningless. Now if this doesn't get an offer for the pond to sit cheek by jowl with Akker Dakker, the Bolter, Timothy
"the gadfly" Blair and Miranda the Devine, what on earth will? Is there a touch of Julius Caeser here? Should we beware the Ides of March?)