Friday, April 05, 2013

The pond in the grip of a serious anxiety attack, or does that mean being in the grip of Rupert's pack of hack commentators?

(Above: no illustration this morning. It was going to be an incredibly witty cartoon from The New Yorker or First Dog on the theme of anxiety, but blogger and google have decided to play funny buggers. Feeling anxious already?)

The pond is at one with the universal Ginsbergian howl of pain, anxiety and anger thoughtfully recorded by the National Australia Bank Consumer Anxiety Index.

Yet another index, yet another thing to be deeply anxious about, so anxious that Australians are thought to be even more anxious than nervous nelly pommie bastards (oops sorry, back in the day, you had to sound like Barry McKenzie to survive in Tamworth).

Australians more 'anxious' than Brits, says NAB wellbeing survey, and the news sent the pond into an anxiety frenzy.

Damn you NAB, damn you to hell, even if such a place is only metaphorical or a figure of speech.

Then it dawned on the pond that the pond was actually a mere tadpole in the pond of anxiety and anger.

After all, if you cared to read the likes of Andrew 'the Bolter' Bolt on a daily basis, you'd be writhing and frothing and foaming with anxiety and anger over anything and everything. It doesn't take much to send the Bolter off into the deep end - climate science, the ABC, his ratings, you name it, the Bolter will rant about it.

Anger is his business, just as it's the business of all the other angry commentators trading in anxiety. The likes of shock jock Alan Jones are just demagogues with a microphone, dictators of the mind blathering away inside a studio, attempting to hide the deeply conflicted personal issues they have which led them to their permanent stage of indignation and anger (let's not go Freudian on Jones, the task is at once too obvious while being pointless).

The Blairites specialise in anger, mixed with sardonic sniping and bitter asides which they imagine to be ironic, when mostly they're petty or silly.

The scribblers for the Murdoch press, most particularly those resident at The Australian, are best thought of as down under members of a new Jonestown, where the kool aid is particularly strong.

Now the pond is prone to outbursts - at one moment it's the stupidity of the government maintaining the rage over 457 visas, at the next it's iiNet taking so long to remind the world of the bleeding obvious, that FTTH is infinitely preferable, on cost and future-proofing grounds, to FTTN.

But Malcolm Turnbull, in the grip of the luddite Abbott, will shortly roll out a proposal featuring FTTN. Talk about reasons for anxiety and anger ...

Then in a casual moment you might hear Julie Bishop - she of the snake-like death stare - sagely advising that the relationship with China is most problematic, and it's all the government's fault, and it has nothing to do with Barnaby Joyce announcing that the Chinese takeover of Cubbie Station was a devious, shady part of an invasion by stealth of the Chinese hordes.

Yes he did and he wanted the federal government to buy it - oh he loves his agrarian socialism does Barners - and turn it into small farms, anything to stop the evil Chinese getting their paws on the place. And his mate, Nationals senator John Williams, assured the world that the place was at risk of becoming "one big vegetable patch for Beijing" (Barnaby Joyce digs in on Cubbie as Coalition fractures over foreign deals - behind the paywall to save you from a dose of xenophobia).

The seething xenophobia, hatred, fear and loathing of the Chinese hordes was up there with Hanson. And yet there's Julie Bishop - she of the dumb as a deaf snake stare - assuring the world that it's the federal government wot done it, and alienated the fragile Chinese.

The fragile Chinese? What a stupid woman, if only in the sense that Barners is a really stupid can-kicking man ...

I mean, who else could contain so many fractured thoughts in one sentence than "second-choice Joyce"?

“Our property has been in the family for 50 years and we’re not about to let go of that. The New England is my home. We’ve lived at a lot of places in Queensland, but every Christmas and Easter is spent here,” he said. (go on, drop in on the Northern Daily Leader, pride of Tamworth before it became a dissolute Fairfax rag, here).

So if New England is his home, he's never been at home in Queensland? No Queensland home has ever really been his home? Spending Xmas and Easter at a place is the way you define home? He only has a home ten days or so a year? What a prime gherkin.

Then came the news today that Tony Abbott stands for roads over rail in the same way as he stands for castrated broadband, as explained in Boost for rail tunnel:

''The Commonwealth government has a long history of funding roads,'' Mr Abbott said. ''We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it's important that we stick to our knitting, and the Common- wealth's knitting when it comes to funding infrastructure is roads.'' 

What a stupid, always natteringly negative man. Stick to our knitting and build more bloody roads, when even the Napthine government is all in favour of the Melbourne tunnel and rail line under discussion, along with Infrastructure Australia, which has been handing out federal funding to all sorts of rail projects, and nothing wrong with that.

It was running 83% against Abbott in the straw poll, but he just loves the negativity, and its natural accompaniment, anxiety:

Australasian Railway Association chief executive Brian Nye said Mr Abbott's comments indicated he ''simply does not understand public transport''. '
'Comments today that an incoming Abbott government would cut all urban rail funding should send shivers down the spine of commuters everywhere,'' he said. 
Mr Nye said the use of public transport had almost doubled in Australian cities during the past decade. 

Shivers down the spine? Oh no, the pond can feel another anxiety attack coming on ...

Would it be sensible or wise at this point to plunge into yet another tirade by Graham "Gra Gra get me a Swiss bank account" Richardson in The Australian, delivering up Tony Abbott's path to lodge is easy, staying there  is the hard part (behind the paywall, unless you subscribe via your Swiss bank account, or Paypal, whichever is the easier way for a fool to part with their money).

(Right about now the pond was going to insert a cap of the Gra Gra splash at the head of The Australian, but google and blogger have decided to play funny buggers, so you'll just have to imagine it).

Yep, the quisling has already given away the keys to the lodge, and held up his hands in surrender, and decided that since he's been wrong about everything to date, the only path to redemption is to announce an Abbott victory in September, then cast him into government hell.

Here's the keys to the lodge, let that be a lesson to you.

The Coalition will have few good options come September. It may well be a short-lived honeymoon. Government is not easy. For the Opposition Leader getting there will be easy; staying there may prove much more difficult.

Clearly the gormless twit never read about Br'er Rabbit and the briar patch.

Oh please Brer Richardson, please don't throw me into the briar lodge, down me, roast me, hang me, do whatever you please, but please don't throw me the keys to the briar lodge ...

What a spineless gormless Murdoch lackey. Still, he does, or did, have a Swiss bank account, an aspirational aim for all in this anxiety-laden land.

And right about now, the pond was going to list all the stories at the top of the Murdoch digital page designed to give you even more anxiety attacks, with handsome illustrations plucked from the pages, until blogger did its anxiety dummy spit.

Oh there was Kevin Donnelly proposing that the PM's contempt for the privileged was clear during her stint as education minister.

Much like the contempt that Kevin Donnelly displays for the poor and people without privilege in all his scribblings in favour of the privileged and wealthy copping generous taxpayer subsidies for their private education ... so the elites can go on being 'leet.

Then there was Adam Creighton being a bleeding heart at the way the top 1% of tax earners pay about 17% of all income tax, thereby in his bleating completely failing to understand how a progressive tax system is designed to work.

Oh the suffering of poor old Chairman Rupert, almost taxed out of existence.

Then there was Dallas Scott proposing that policies should be based on real disadvantage instead of race, presumably because, you know, the blacks of Australia live high on the hog of welfare ... and sssh, whatever you do, don't mention race. Wouldn't want to play the race card, only angry white males can do that ...

And naturally there was an interview with Rupert Murdoch, announcing how regulations and government interference had killed off a wonderful tabloid newspaper, and journalists going about their business of eaves-dropping and spying and prying with remarkable integrity.

We keed, we keed, it was something about how wonderful free markets are, but the rag wanted the pond to pay to read the thoughts of Chairman Murdoch freely available to any twit that reads tweets, and something stuck in the pond's craw at the thought of googling to get behind the paywall to ready Rupert bloody Murdoch, the anxiety and anger emperor.

And so on and so forth, such that the pond was reminded of that prophetic remark by US Republican senator Lindsey Graham:

"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."

But bless their socks, they're still trying hard at The Australian. At which point the pond suddenly laughs and skips a little, and shouts to the world well lah-de-dah and fiddle-de-dee, you can take your anxiety and anger and shove it up a North Korean dictator.

Begone anxiety and anger.

Let the NBN be fucked, and let the continent be covered in tar and cement and endless freeways, and let Rupert Murdoch continue to make filthy amounts of lucre while dancing on the graves of the poor and the mug punters in his thrall and let Barners stand for New England and keep out the Chinese hordes and let Julie Bishop defend him and let the Bolter rant his climate denialism and marvel at his pathetic ratings...

...because in the end you've got to laugh, so long as you can draw breath, you've got to dance and laugh and eat and drink and live and love (any which way you swing, provided it isn't the repressed inner loathing Alan Jones way), and if you do the anxiety and the fear and the hate and the anger fade just a little ...

(Below: at this point we were going to show a tremendously witty cartoon, perhaps from The New Yorker or First Dog, skewering Chairman Rupert for the evil ratbag he is, but sadly google and blogger are clearly part of a vast international conspiracy to protect the Chairman's reputation. Damn you blogger, damn you to hell. May your anxiety levels increase exponentially).


  1. Forget the cartoon your words paint the picture so well.The characters you have cited are the dark clouds hanging over Australia that will send this country back to the dark ages of Howardism when the things to be recalled is our involvement in an unjust slaughter of human beings and a tax that has rewarded the more affluent classes but to be sure we have no lasting improvement to the benefit of the population.

  2. I'll do it for you.


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