Monday, March 18, 2013

Or how Fairfax heads into the toilet and switches off the lights ...

The pond was going through a lot of junk the other day, and came across this.

More junk.

Notice how fuzzy the graphic for 2020 is?

About as fuzzy as the comedian who confuses and conflates the Ides of March  (15th March) with St Patrick's Day (17th March), and jokes and dances on the grave of a political party he's done more to singlehandedly destroy - him and his delusional ego - than anyone since Arthur Calwell, and as that includes the Mark Latham era, that's a considerable achievement.

You can see it unfold yet again, in Rudd jokes about challenge on St Patrick's Day, if you can stand to sit through the accompanying forced video, thereby justifying Fairfax's forced video theories.

Raw vision indeed.

Allegedly the NSW Right is now behind Rudd. Suddenly Genghis Khan is on the left ...

Now if you're interested in the actual family tree of the Ruddster, you can thank the Latter-Day Saints for telling all (Urchins, convicts at root of Kevin Rudd's family tree), but the pond is more inclined to look to the fuzzy future, and the hapless people milling around to make up the numbers, and the free kicks the Ruddster hands to Tony Abbott day after day. Because he can't help himself, and because - as the 2020 conference proved conclusively - he'd rather wank on for his own pleasure than do anything remotely useful ...

Anyhow, feel free to print off some copies. It might impress the cocky, or be useful in the cat litter tray ... and they might need a reminder of what will happen if the Labor party goes back to Kevin Rudd. More useless stationary ...

Frankly it's a toss up as to whether the pond wants to leave Australia if either Tony Abbott or the Ruddster get their hands on the wheel, and it's only the chance to send up the commentariat that keeps the pond going with an equable spirit.

Happily Paul Sheehan turned up in the nick of time:

What a tawdry, pathetic spectacle Media call just a piddling distraction makes.

Amazingly the generally grumpy Sheehan spends the first half of his column ... quoting himself  ... and a column he wrote back in 2004 trashing Stephen Conroy.

Plagiarism of the self, a standard Sheehan crime, who shows an ego as big as a Rudd.

It's always handy to have a reminder why the pond will never give a cent to Fairfax and will happily wander off to The Guardian when it lands down under.

Sheehan has now perfected the art of what might be dubbed the "Alan Ramsey principle", which saw Ramsey in his dotage copy large chunks from others as a way of filling up his columns.

Here the senility sees Sheehan copy large chunks of himself, and what an unsavoury chunk it is, though Sheehan in his blithe self-regard doesn't get this ... even though the piece features an encounter between Conroy and Sheehan in the toilet, resulting in a column "which enraged him (Conroy), as intended."

Well it wasn't just Conroy just pissing up against the wall, because Sheehan opens with this:

Conroy is intensely irritating, with a cockiness untempered by charisma and exacerbated by a grating accent he brought from England when his family emigrated.

You know whenever you read about someone being exacerbated by a grating accent that you're dealing with the lowest of the low. It was typical at one time of the way Gillard was dismissed as a bogan, until of course she tried to go out to the wild west, and it became necessary to explain that she wasn't remotely like a bogan.

It's the classic "eastern suburbs" tone, about people not being one of us, mentally ticking off their clothing, their accent, and above all their footwear (oh yes, the footwear is almost as sure a guide as the accent to people who are "not one of us").

Sheehan has always been a classic snob, but luckily he doesn't need a grating accent to grate, he's a grating git in prose alone.

How's this, reprinted, it seems with some kind of pride, or suggestion of insight, as in the process of regurgitating his vomit, or perhaps bile, Sheehan broods about internal feuding involving postal union officials:

''Conroy does not have clean hands in these matters. This is not new. When I first encountered him on May 20, 1997, he was occupied at a urinal in a men's toilet. As I walked in, he finished his business and walked out. He did not pause. He did not wash his hands. He went straight back to the committee room. You do not forget such images.''  

You certainly don't forget how loathsome and low some journalists can go ...

It is of course a wind-up, a dalliance in the lav, a flapping of the Sheehan dunny door, so that Sheehan can join in the great moral indignation about Conroy's media regulations with News Ltd and other self-interested squawkers ...

And at the very end, brand new and actually scribbled today for today's piece (perhaps the header should have been Paul Sheehan has a new thought outside the toilet door) there is a dark muttering about the federal Labor caucus, which "burned its bridges when it rejected Kevin Rudd twice":

The three most strident supporters of Gillard, and critics of the former leader Kevin Rudd, a stridency that seemed to preclude a return by Rudd, are Treasurer Wayne Swan, former attorney-general Nicola Roxon, and Senate leader Conroy. 
All are now damaged goods. Roxon is already on her way. Which means the prospect of a packaged change, removing Gillard, Swan and Conroy, has clarified as more possible by the majority of the federal Labor MPs who are calculating their own survival options this year. 

Reading between those murky, opaque lines, you'd almost think that "prospect of a packaged change" might actually involve the return of Kevin Rudd, and a silencing of strident supporters of Gillard ... unless Sheehan is Shortening the odds.

Anyhow, the pond knows why Sheehan would drift this way in the wind.

If you ever wanted to find a strident critic of former Chairman Rudd, you couldn't find anyone more strident than the toilet-lingering Sheehan, who always refuses to wash out his mouth, and never mind his hands.

If Rudd returns, it means that Sheehan will have years of columns he can recycle, such as his infamously slack use of alphabet soup in How Rudd the dud dropped Australia in the alphabet soup.

It'll be the end of his problems as a writer. Just keep quoting himself from way back when ...

Back then, Sheehan posed the question "Worse than Whitlam", when perhaps he should have asked the question "Fairfax opinion pages, worse than News Ltd?"

Speaking of encounters, this column reminds the pond of Anne Henderson meeting Sheehan:

My first remembered encounter with Paul Sheehan was at a function in Sydney. Without introduction he approached and criticised my short haircut. The longer version was more flattering. His comments were dogmatic and overly familiar, but when I observed that my hair was my business and his taste somewhat old fashioned, Sheehan seemed affronted. Understanding the prickly Sheehan helps when reading Among The Barbarians. (found here)

She's lucky she didn't meet him in the toilet!

Happily the pond has no need or desire to understand the prickly Sheehan and has spent enough time in the toilet with the generally grumpy sod, and now, hands unwashed, must flounce out into the clean air ...

The clean dark air, it should be noted, thanks to Fairfax's support for the faux symbolism of Earth Hour ... as reported in One-night stand: more than a billion switch off, which treated last year's event as a  grand photo opportunity rather than a meaningful or useful gesture.

Which results in the pond agreeing with the generally disagreeable Bjorn Lomborg scribbling Lights out isn't a bright idea (inside the paywall, but you know what to do to evade that if you can be bothered). As usual, Lomborg is dumbly literal, but that doesn't stop him from being right ...

Yes, roll on The Guardian down under, anything to avoid Fairfax in the toilet with Sheehan, or doing for climate science what former chairman Rudd did for 2020 ...

Remember David Salter's An hour to ponder why Fairfax bothers turning off the lights back in 2012?

What tends to be forgotten — or deftly sidestepped — is that Earth Hour began in 2007 as a promotional campaign for Fairfax dreamed up by an advertising agency, Leo Burnett (the Earth Hour website now describes this genesis as a “partnership with brand co-owners, Fairfax Media”). The basic idea pitched by the advertising “creatives” five years ago was to cloak the Fairfax broadsheet mastheads with the feel-good moral superiority of joining the Good Fight against global warming while adding to paid sales and making an extra little pot of cash from spin-off custom display advertising. To clinch the warm-inner-glow value of their pitch, the World Wildlife Fund was enlisted as a partner, complete with their heart-tugging little Panda Bear logo. 
 This was the cynical commodification of concern — flattering readers with a false sense of empowerment while hoping to make a fast buck behind their backs. And it worked. Pledges to participate in the empty gesture of turning off the lights for one hour boomed and Fairfax pocketed a tidy profit from a 56-page colour liftout crammed with conscience advertising largely gouged from energy companies greenmailed into buying space. (There’s been no sign of a similar supplement this year, a measure of how much the corporate world has lost interest in buying environmental brownie points).

The next Earth Hour rolls out this coming Saturday 23rd March. No doubt the next Paul Sheehan column will roll out on Thursday ...

Roll on The Guardian ...


  1. The tale of the unwashed hands! Eeeeeyewww! That anecdote is enough to have me brand Conroy with a brown star. Filthy beast! Vermin!
    If we must reward only those who are "decent, hard-working Australians", DP, may I be on the panel that decides each of those definitions? I know you, and me, understand full well that Conroy is, per any working description, indecent, but others may need help with the other two. "Australian"? Seems straight-forward, but when we get into the nitty-gritty, it's not all that plain, is it?

  2. I think you may find, Trevor3130, that Conroy, showing the true value of a knowledge of hygiene, washed his hands before he sullied his 'member' at the urinal. Don't you ?


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