Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's time for a set of Sunday shaggy dog stories with bonus shaggy Sydney Anglicans ...

The pond always likes to start off a meditative Sunday with a good news story.

Now there's a bad news story to start, which is that at ten a.m. on a Sunday on Ten,  the Bolter continues to mount the Bolter report ...

But that's balanced by the good news that today there's no second session of Bolterdom. It seems that the program has bolted from its afternoon slot.

On his return the Bolter picked up 168,00 viewers, and by way of comparison, the Insiders did 166,000 and 71,000, though perhaps more to the point is that the ABC's religious show Compass scored 281,000 and even History Cold Case on SBS managed 207,000.

In that once treasured afternoon slot, which bolstered the numbers and made the Bolter seem vaguely respectable, today there's basketball first up, and then there's an aged documentary The Secret Life of Dugongs.

If they'd called the doc The Secret Sex Life of Dugongs, they might have done a bit better, but apparently no one at Ten thought to change the name of the Bolter's report to The Secret Sex Life of the Bolter. Talk about a ratings winner, and the pond's offering the pitch and the concept free of charge ...

Amazingly you can watch recent Bolter on YouTube, here, which says a lot about Ten's concern for intellectual property breaches when it comes to the Bolter. Isn't calling it intellectual property something of an oxymoron?

The pond suspects that account owner SkepticGronk is actually a pen name for the Bolter, wanting the world to pay attention to his rantings ... maybe self-publishing is the way forward.

The Bolter is now stuck in the early Sunday graveyard shift, where only the fluff-gathering navel gazers reside. The direct competition, for those looking for similar intellectual stimulation, includes Gilligan's Island, a couple of morning shows, sport talk, business chat, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Second thoughts, perhaps they should call the show The Bolter: The Brave and the Bold Ranter.

Should the pond take pleasure at another's plight in the television graveyard shift, having once suffered the same experience?

Well the pond is no natural grave dancer - dancing in the dark is more the riff - but a little Baudelaire will fix things:

En tout climat, sous tout soleil, la Mort t'admire 
En tes contorsions, risible Humanité 
Et souvent, comme toi, se parfumant de myrrhe, 
Mêle son ironie à ton insanité!

Or if you will:

In all climes, under every sun, 
Death admires you at your antics, ridiculous Humanity, 
And frequently, like you, scenting herself with myrrh, 
Mingles her irony with your insanity! (the original and several translations here).

Sheesh, bummer dude, that's where thinking about the Bolter on a Sunday will do, so it's time to do a tour of the parishes, and where better to start than the Sydney Anglicans?

But before we do, there has been very little in the way of measured commentary in relation to the recent affairs of the Labor party - the lizard Oz, as always is desert of fear and loathing - but can the pond propose that you meditate this Sunday on James Button's excellent Beyond the king. The younger Button seems to have inherited something of the elder Button, and is a most seemly and wise Button indeed, especially in his cogent understanding of why Chairman Rudd was the solution you have when you don't have a solution. ...

But wait, before we head off to the Sydney Anglicans, can we also brood, or meditate on this?

Mark Latham has been in fine form this week, indeed you can find him in the weekend AFR under the header He's a hater and a wrecker, but I feel sorry for Rudd (outside the paywall at time of writing).

Speaking of good hating, Latham strutted his stuff earlier in the week on radio, and delivered this lovely blast:

"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. (a transcript of most of the rant is here, forced video at end of link).

Amen to that brother, and you didn't even mention that he routinely scribbles rubbish for the lizard Oz.

Hold on a tick, before we head off to the Sydney Anglicans, can we also meditate a little about the use of anonymous sources in the mainstream media in the latest bout of blabbermouth wrecking?

For example the pond has heard, from unimpeachable, impeccable sources - including a highly placed apparatchik within the federal Labor party - that immediately the budget is revealed to have a $30 billion deficit, Julia Gillard will stand down, and the job of PM will be given to Bill Shorten.

Hang on, you say, what anonymous source?

What right does the pond have to unleash this ridiculous canard, this unsourced, unamed speculation, this Le Canard enchaîné.

Welcome to the modern world of journalism, where canards are always welcome, speculation is an art form, and stooges and self-serving leakers run rampant.

Indeed now that the pond has let loose the rumour, what's the bet how long it takes before it finds its way into the press?

What's more amazing, people get paid for this sort of drivel, and yet the pond is willing to bet its own self-serving speculation above is just as accurate as the likes of Christopher Pearson proposing Simon Crean as leader of the Labor party.

As well as Latham having a go at leakers, Lenore Taylor makes all the obvious points about this in her last column for Fairfax, Media tread fine line when tribes go to war, before she heads off to The Guardian down under. Roll on The Guardian down under ...

Fairfax and the lizard Oz keep rabbiting on about how threadbare the Labor party front bench looks ... maybe they should take a look at their front bench some time soon.

Now wait, hang on a second, sure, this is getting to be a shaggy dog story, but while we're stuck at Fairfax and the AFR, before we head off to the Sydney Anglicans, can we just contemplate the superb effort by Emma-Kate Symons scribbling The Disney girls gone wild effect, in a bid to sound like a wowser supreme (behind the paywall so you'll never know what the Disney girls gone wild effect means).

It's a terrible column, long on rhetoric, argument and hysteria, completely shorn of data, statistics, proof and actual evidence. It's yet another wowser rant - of the kind you'd usually head off to the Sydney Anglicans to find - and it's all about how Twitter and movie stars and magazines and movies and porn and Harmony Korine have placed women more and more in danger of rape.

You'd expect to find it in a tabloid rather than the AFR, but there you go.

Somehow Symons jumps the shark by dragging in the horrific pack rape of a woman on a bus in India into her column, and somehow relates that matter to the vile, indolent ways of the media in the west.

Does Symons have any idea of just how prurient and repressed Bollywood movies are? Or the rest of Indian media?

Thanks to the Haryana Tribune, the pond can offer you OMG: Most disturbing sex scenes in Bollywood. Prepare to be shocked out of your skin. And if you want an insight into Bollywood's mores, why not read Breaking Bollywood's Rules, or have a crack at A Brief History of Bollywood Sex and Romance.

Now times have changed and standards have relaxed a little from the days when hand-holding or a kiss stood in for a wild-eyed orgasmic fuck in a Bollywood movie, but the prudish rules and the relentless titillation remain much the same in most movies, and if you take a look at mainstream media, you'll find that the country looks and sounds as if it's still caught in a Victorian England time warp (the bureaucracy is too).

A nanosecond thinking about it, and there you go, it completely undercuts the notion of Disney girls gone wild peddled by Symons.

Instead Symons ends up sounding a bit like a Scottish cardinal telling the world all the time how bad homosexuality is while behind the scenes going the grope and maybe going the full hog ...

The pond could spend all day going through the many stupidities in Symons' piece but time is short, and we must, we must head off to the Sydney Anglicans - with whom Symons shares many simplistic notions and positions.

But before we do, could we mention that if Symons wanted a genuine example of truly awesome and sickening sybaritic indulgence, and the ravaging and ravishing of the entire planet, she merely has to look at all the advertisements for the filthy rich lifestyle of the filthy rich that litter the pages of the Australian Financial Review - whether real estate, the current state of Maserati, stories on the art market in Dubai or advertorials promoting a holiday on the Greek islands.

But hang on a second, that barely leaves time to mention Mike Quigley before we head off to the Sydney Anglicans. Why is the man still in charge of the NBN? Why is the government allow him to dangle and run a half-baked inept operation before the incoming Liberal government sack him for incompetence?

Oh shucks, that also barely leaves time for the Australian Financial Review shedding tears over Martin Ferguson as a forward thinking advanced in the brain business sympathetic member of the Labor party.

Why they even wrote an editorial about it in Labor dumps the best of its breed, behind the paywall so only featherheads will lose money or sleep thinking about it.

Martin Ferguson as the best of breed? With the greatest respect, that's the shaggiest part of this shaggy story, since Ferguson is a hack who has long exhibited Stockholm Syndrome, and whom Mark Latham once labelled a climate science denier. (here)

If that dunderhead is best of breed, perhaps it helps explain why they looked to  Conroy and gave him the chance to fuck up the NBN and the media reform package roll-out...

The one thing you can say about the AFR is that they want to charge a lot of moola for journalists who would never make the cut as best of breed ... roll on The Guardian down under.

Oh dear, will we never get to the Sydney Anglicans? Are we there yet?

Well as you know with shaggy dog stories, the punchline is always the weakest, always the most pathetic part of proceedings, and sure enough the Sydney Anglicans play that part to perfection.

Oh okay, the front page has moved on since the pond took the screen cap above - no hot links of course - but surely we can still celebrate the front page that announced Moore students were mounting missions and broadening their horizons by heading out to .... Parramatta ...

What next? Brave missionaries bound out to Dubbo? With the greatest respect, if Parramatta is a way to broaden horizons, how on earth did they get so narrow?

Don't ask, you know the answer ... Sydney Anglicans, living in a weird Speilbergian cocoon.

But wait there's more, because you can also find Phillip Jensen lamenting the modern world and its worship of mammon in Give working families a rest (hold on fast to all that rent-seeking property Sydney Anglicans and make sure you screw your bone-idle tenants into the ground, and if you drop a few squillion on the stock market, hey, life's a gamble and there's nothing really wrong with capitalism or hanging out with brokers and merchant bankers).

Inter alia, Jensen gets on to the matter of women working:

... Mr Tim Toohey the chief economist of Goldman Sachs, lamented the low female participation rate in the workplace – not because of the lack of opportunity for women to fulfil their desire to work but because of the negative effect it has on the GDP of one of the wealthiest nations on earth! Nowhere in the article was there appreciation of work done in the home as an important part of social wellbeing, or a choice that some people may want to make.

Indeed, shame Mr Toohey, shame.

It's well known Anglican women aren't allowed to raise their voices in church, and the last place they're needed is raising their voices at work, when they could be at home doing needful and proper work like knitting and house-making and macrame and soothing hard-working Anglicans mens' brows and doing the washing and the cooking and the ironing, and tending the dog's and cat's shaggy hair and such like very useful things.

It immediately reminded the pond of one of its favourite all time classic Anglican website front pages:

Oh yes, talk about a shaggy dog story ...


  1. Did you see the ABC’s Scott Stephens’ latest bit of hubris on Rudd’s reasons for not challenging?

    Here’s the nub of its stupidity:

    “The media over the last 24 hours have been full of recriminations for Kevin Rudd's cowardice and bastardry, but I am compelled to regard his decision to honour his promise, and to refuse to be complicit in the disruption of a national apology, as a deeply moral one. Indeed, possibly even a self-sacrificial one.”

    Any sort of bullshit to show a fellow Christian in a good light, I suppose.

    That Religion and Ethics site is unabashed Christian apologetics. Comes from having a Sydney Anglican as Managing Director, I suppose – Scott was once described by a Baptist functionary as: "Yet another of God's secret agents trying to bring the life and light of Jesus into one of the most hostile parts of our society, the media."

    On the Angries’ website Philip Jensen has rehashed a story he trots out from time-to-time about the evils of weekend work. What a fucking hypocrite! Jensen is the Dean of St Andrew’s cathedral which employs at least six people to work on a Sunday. Where do these people get off?

  2. It's a different world Brian when you have some of the best real estate system in town, tithing, wills and such like for cash flow, and a chance to play with the cash on the stock market. And all you have to is administer the old rules or make new rules up.

    See Bill Maher on the pope's cushy job, though I reckon he doesn't play fair by excluding the emotional energy required to deal with all the intrigues, corruption and scandals ...

    Sure enough Fairfax ran a story this morning about the way the pope rang up a newsagent to cancel his newspaper delivery. They seemed to think it gave him the common touch ... the common touch of an out of touch luddite with a quirky need for fish and chip wrapping and bird cage liner ...

  3. That's a good clip Dorothy, thanks.
    But as Sarah Silverman says, they won’t get all the pussy until they sell the Vatican.

    No word from Pell this week Dorothy? Sulking, you think?

  4. His week old thoughts in the Sunday Terror turned up in the usual place Brian.

    The piece included this tasty morsel

    The Jesuits led the fight to contain Protestantism and re-evangelize Europe in the Counter Reformation.

    But that would have led to a rant about the Jesuits and the Inquisition and the crimes of the Catholic church which would have taken a week to read. The pond never knows when to shut up, but sometimes it's wise just to shrug the shoulders and move on. Nothing new in the Pellist tripe last week ... bring on this week.

  5. Speaking of the property etc that the "catholic" church its political power, and more importantly the way in which it puts itself beyond any kind of legal and democratic accountability the information provided by this site is very interesting
    Thus more stuff on papal (pay the pal) crimes

    Brian, the ABC religion & ethics site does not just promote christian apologetics, it is now effectively a franchise of the right-wing "catholic" propaganda machine - most of its featured writers are right-wing and/or so called conservative "catholics". The worst of them being the benighted ghoul George Weigel.

    Since Scott has been running it the site has only ever featured one item about Buddhism and none on Hinduism.


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