There was more than a touch of irony in the Daily Terror's presentation of stories on its digital front page yesterday.
There was Chairman Rupert blathering on about 457 visas, and racism, and right below it, the Daily Terror ran a story about a woman who had abused visas (student in this case).
Click on the story, and you got the full-on Daily Terror classic tabloid story of sordid sex acts performed under duress, arising from visa abuse.
Didn't anybody in the rag think about the need to give Chairman Rupert a little clear air for his blather?
Now the pond has in the past got extremely agitated about the federal Labor government's specious pleading to its union base in the matter of 457s, especially in the area of IT, where the pond has some passing knowledge, and it's provided yet another reason this government won't be getting the nod from the pond (and nor will Tony Abbott, meaning the pond will exist in that peculiar voter underworld known to Catholics as the purgatory of political limbo).
But surely it takes unmitigated hypocritical gall on the part of Chairman Rupert to talk of Labor's language as being disgraceful and racist, when he and his hacks have done astonishing, amazing work to demonise refugees and boat people here, and similar work in the United States, courtesy of Fox News, to demonise Hispanics ...
Here's just one example:
Oh okay, here's a few more:
Racist? The hapless Labor party doesn't even begin to know how to boogie, up against your frothing and foaming racist rags, Chairman Rupert, despite the Labor party's very best attempts to sound and act as if infused with the holy ghost spirit of John Howard.
With some ten million stateless or homeless people roaming around the region (or so the ABC informed the pond), the number of boat people landing in Australia is but a pinprick, yet Murdoch's hacks and Abbott's rhetorical minions have treated them as an invading horde about to undermine Australian civilisation as we know it (and never mind the Chinese princes and princesses buying up property in Sydney, as you would if you lived in uncertain times with a difficult regime).
Each time Murdoch tweets or does a spray, the pond is immediately reminded of the newspaper proprietors and other loafers, spongers, leeches and ne'er do wells on view in the splendid Ian Richardson vehicles, House of Cards and To Play the King, or perhaps the Hearst-like figure in his final wretched years in Citizen Kane.
The man has set so many wrecking balls in motion around the world, and yet he lives in the delusion that he's able to speak of others and the damage they do with their racist chatter, and somehow he's stayed a righteous cleanskin. Will someone please point out that the emperor chairman's new clothes are covered in mud?
It's beyond imagining, which is no doubt why we need the reality to remind us that Ripley-like, we simply have to believe it.
The only upside is that in the United States, as a result of Fox and Rupert-like bigotry and mayhem, the Republican party has found itself on the outer in relation to changing demographics. And soon enough, no doubt, here the Liberal rhetoricians are going to find that they have to an actual dance with genuine refugees, a dance they failed at so dismally last time they were in office ...
But enough of the stench of the rotting corpse of Murdoch hypocrisy, we have the rotting stench of Janet 'Dame Slap' Albrechtsen's stupidity to deal with today, and does she deliver a howler in No short cuts to gay marriage.
You catch a whiff of it in the opening delusional salvo, which issues a warning, as if reading Dame Slap was like taking a draft of arsenic, or a whiff of mercury in the ear:
Warning: reading the pond warning of the warning at the start of Dame Slap is likely to upset readers in search of sensible reading material.
But why the warning? Well it all starts with those daughters designed to humanise Tony Abbott, and show he's not really a robot or a Frankenstein, deep down he cares, and he also has a gay in the family! Naturally Dame Slap is in a state of shock:
Over the weekend two of Tony Abbott's daughters, Frances and Bridget, spoke publicly of their support for gay marriage.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh lordy lordy, what to say, what to do, how to cope with these uppity young folk and their changing demographic ways? Insult and upset everyone, it's the only Dame Slap way forward ...
Well so Dame Slap proposes, but what's amusing is what a feeble squawk the resulting column is, what an easy running up of the white flag, how sterile and simplistic the arguments that are led, how obviously Dame Slap feels that she's out of touch and out of date and there's a demographic change going on but she doesn't know what it is.
Anyhoo, if you can be bothered, the piece presents the fine sight of someone snatching gay marriage from the cold dead hands of Dame Slap, so that all she's left with is resentment. It's a rear guard action, when not so long ago, she was in tune with Muslims on the matter ('Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire).
This is what happens when you're a fundamentalist and an ideologue on the wrong side of history and ideas. Changing your mind, admitting your wrong, is such a hard job, such a miserable penitence, the penance so insufferable, and so there's a refusal to acknowledge change.
Instead there's a surly reluctance, a dragging of heels, along with a dragging in of specious, irrelevant issues, like activist judges and abortion:
The wrong way is to do what Americans call an end run around democracy. If nine unelected judges of the nation's highest court impose dramatic social change when the US constitution is far from clear, they will be snubbing their judicial noses at the people's right to decide the big social issues.
This will not settle the issue. When judges decide political, not legal, questions, they inflame tensions. The Supreme Court's still controversial 1972 decision in Roe v Wade did not settle abortion. Instead of leaving abortion to state legislatures, the court socially engineered nationwide change. That's why abortion in the US remains highly contentious.
Astonishing stuff. As if abortion remains highly contentious in the US because of the judges, rather than fundamentalist Christians, bible-bashers, and Republican politicians who saw it as an easy moral wave to ride ...
What's more, Dame Slap seems to be saying is that California's Proposition 8 should be allowed to stand, as should the 1996 federal Defence of Marriage Act, because these are political, not legal questions, no matter that the way they came into being involved a number of legal issues.
It's the usual Dame Slap way ... roll out a concern for activist judges when they might go activist the wrong way, roll it back up when the activist judges do the right thing. Now how long before the elites are trotted out, to follow the activist judges?
The right way to redefine marriage is to allow the democratic process to unfold in sync with changing attitudes. But even here, there is a right and a wrong way.
The wrong way is for elites to hijack the agenda for their own dishonest reasons. For example, in Britain and the US, groups ranging from political parties to investment banks use support for gay marriage to establish their hip credentials.
Astonishing really, that an elite member of The Australian's elite commentary team - they're here to help you think again - would resort to such childish sophistry, and idle chatter about hipsters, elitists and hijackings.
It has become a form of public absolution for sins, ranging from bankers' greed to a politician's fuddy-duddiness.
Supporting gay marriage is going to get bankers off the hook. Only in the world of the truly delusional, perhaps someone married to a banker.
As Brendan O'Neill said, the British PM is using gay marriage to rebrand the Tories from the "old fart party" to cool conservatives. His Same Sex Couples Bill passed the House of Commons this year with a large majority but the issue is far from settled.
Recent polls suggest a majority (55 per cent) of Brits support gay marriage but most people (78 per cent) do not regard gay marriage as a parliamentary priority.
Yes, but the polls were in a majority, and the parliamentary vote is in, so why the rearguard action?
More a case of a yawn than a yes.
And there you have it. More a yawn than a yes, more a fuck you, why should I care, I'm Dame Slap, and slap whom I like I shall ...
And if that means resorting to the unrepresentative swill and old fartery of the House of Lords, why so I shall ...
Last week, Geoffrey Dear, an independent in the House of Lords, sent a letter to more than 400 peers attacking the "very one-sided" Commons committee process and the "wholly inadequate" scrutiny given to the bill. A former chief constable of the West Midlands, he wrote that after taking soundings, the concern among peers was that there was "a lot of arm-twisting going on".
Arm-twisting takes many forms. It sees gay marriage activists misrepresent their cause as the civil rights crusade of the 21st century when the reality is there is no grassroots groundswell.
By contrast, the biggest protests in Paris have been against redefining marriage.
This is how it goes. Grudging resentment, sour-faced reluctance, a digging in of heels, for no particular reason other than perversity, and deep down a refusal to accept that when Albrechtsen announced that she was okay with the notion of gay marriage, she was, deep in her bigoted, bilious heart, not okay at all. Not even near okay ... because the arguments, the fear and the loathing, just keep pounding off the poisoned keyboard ...
Gay marriage is not akin to securing the vote for women or ending apartheid. After all, civil unions are commonplace. Gay couples enjoy the same substantive rights as heterosexual couples. If they don't they should. But the political battle to claim the word "marriage" for homosexuals is an elite agenda of the political classes for reasons not always honest.
Once more the notion that it's an elite agenda, as if somehow gays are uniformly activist Justice Kirbys dishonestly changing things:
Take the disingenuous claim that traditional marriage is an evil form of discrimination against gays. As Chief Justice John Roberts said in Hollingsworth last week, "when the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn't get around and say let's have this institution, but let's keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn't include homosexual couples."
Old, tired, historically wilful arguments, dragged in like red herrings. Marriage happens to serve purposes, by their nature, that serve childless couples and that serve old couples long past child-bearing age. And certain people did get around to saying let's have this institution, and let's write our prejudices down in a book, and let us say that none can change those prejudices, even if they include a preference for slavery or a disdain for seafood and mixed fabrics ...
Yet, those who oppose gay marriage for legitimate reasons are too often treated as morally inferior, out-of-date, and worse, bigoted.
But how should you be treated Dame Slap?
Have you ever looked a gay friend in the eye and said, straight out, "well you should be content with your inferior status because I have a black ball and you're not getting into this club", in much the same way as blacks and whites were told to accept that miscegenation was wicked and morally wrong by a bunch of bible-wielding bigots?
Do you have any gay friends? Do you have anyone willing to explain why you are out of date, morally inferior and worse of all bigoted? What harm does someone else's marriage, gay or straight, do you? Why do you grumble and fester and stew? Why the hate, the fear and the loathing?
Oh sure, they might end up like the pond, loving marriage so much they try it several times. They might make terrible jokes about how being offered a chance to get married is like being offered a chance to read a Janet Albrechtsen column (or similar jokes as delivered by that most congenial gay bishop Gene Robinson having a chat with Phillip Adams about same-sex marriage).
But at least they sound happy and cheerful, not snippy and snappy and sniping:
Whether it's a snooty editorial from The New York Times ridiculing the "incoherence" of opposing gay marriage in Hollingsworth or mocking grumbles from the audience on ABC1's QandA, too many gay marriage advocates have chosen the wrong way to advance their cause.
Oh dear, did that reference to redneck bigoted incoherence touch a raw nerve?
Redefining marriage in a way that promotes social cohesion means winning people over with reasoned arguments rather than trying to guilt them into agreeing.
But here's the thing. There's no point attempting reasoned arguments with churlish, curmudgeonish, grudging, carping, harping denialist people who chatter on about elites from an elite eerie.
Anyway, gay marriage isn't about reason, it's about people loving one another and wanting, usually irrationally, to testify to that love, and to enter into a state of union. It isn't so hard to understand, and it isn't so hard to accept if you have an accepting bone in your body, rather than a grudging, hurtful hateful capacity to deny people their right to be human ...
Take it away Bob:
You see somebody naked and you say 'Who is that man?'
You try so hard but you don't understand
just what you will say when you get home
because something is happening here
but you don't know what it is
do you, Dame Slap?
You raise up your head and you ask 'Is this where it is?'
and somebody points to you and says 'It's his'
and you say 'what's mine?' and somebody else says 'well what is?'
and you say 'Oh my god am I here all alone?'
but something is happening and you don't know what it is
do you, Janet Albrechtsen?
You hand in your ticket and you go watch the geek
who immediatly walks up to you when he hears you speak
and says 'How does it feel to be such a freak?'
and you say 'impossible' as he hands you a bone
and something is happening here but you don't know what it is
do you, Dame Slap?
You have many contacts among the lumberjacks
to get you facts when someone attacks your imagination
but nobody has any respect, anyway they already expect
you to all give a check to tax-deductible charity organizations
Ah you've been with the professors and they've all liked your looks
With great lawyers you have discussed lepers and crooks
You've been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well read, it's well known
But something is happening here and you don't know what it is
do you, Janet Albrechtsen?
Well the sword-swallower he comes up to you and then he kneels
He crosses himself and then he clicks his high heels
and without further notice he asks you how it feels
and he says 'Here is your throat back, thanks for the loan'
And you know something is happening but you don't know what it is
do you, Dame Slap?
Now you see this one-eyed midget shouting the word 'now'
and you say 'for what reason?' and he says 'how'
And you say 'what does this mean?' and he screams back 'You're a cow'
'Give me some milk or else go home'
And you know something's happening but you don't know what it is
do you, Dame Slap?
Well you walk into the room like a gay marriage denialist camel and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket and your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law against you coming around
You should be made to wear earphones
Cause something is happening and you don't know what it is
do you, Dame Slap?
(Below: terrible sound, but he makes a better noise than Dame Slap).