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:
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:
Burning like fire,
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:
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 ...