Wednesday, July 17, 2013

(Above: yes, the joke's already been done).

Whenever you let members of the commentariat have their head, they're inclined to run with metaphors, analogies, whatever's to hand - a bit of metaphorical 4 be 2 is also useful - and by golly Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen's effort in the opening two pars of Sex discrimination where there is none (behind the lizard Oz paywall) is a doozy of the first water:

Angry Birds are wingless birds, the stars of the video game sensation where a player uses a slingshot to fling the birds at pigs on a playing field. For those of a certain age, it's apparently fun and addictive. In the same way, if you are a few decades older, there is another version of Angry Birds apparently just as fun and addictive for some. 
Also wingless, these birds are women who fling around emotionally charged arguments about misogyny, sexism and discrimination with scant regard for facts. The latest polls reveal women are returning to Labor under Kevin Rudd. While this puts a large dent in the argument that sexism brought down Julia Gillard, don't expect Angry Birds to acknowledge the truth. When rage underpins your ideology, it's hard to let go of that part of your identity. After all, being a Rational Bird doesn't sound much fun.

Say what?

What on earth did Angry Birds to to end up as the opener for what is clearly going to be an epic rant of fear and loathing about wingless birds, namely certain kinds of women?

Wouldn't it have been easier for Dame Slap simply to rant about headless chooks, namely women?

Never mind, the pond bit - the pond is a hopeless sucker for a rant - and sure enough there was Anne Summers being called the nation's Angriest Bird, outrageous when you think about it because surely Dame Slap must be a contender.

Will Dame Slap ever tire of berating feminism, feminists, academics, discrimination divas, and of course Julia Gillard? Will she ever tire of such bizarre notions that to be a feminist you have to be a collectivist?

The outdated mindset that defines women - their successes and their failures - in collective terms says that if women succeed, it's because they are better than men; if they fail, it's because men are misogynists. This obsession with the collective over the individual has always been feminism's failure. Instead of promoting liberty, it interferes with it, consigning women to collective duties and outcomes.

Of course not, not when you can deploy straw dogs and straw women.

Will Dame Slap ever write a piece that's indignant about the way Tony Abbott and his fellow-travelling senior politicians stood shamelessly under signs saying 'Ditch the witch' and 'Bob Brown's bitch', a lot more practical illustration of bile and prejudice in action than her blather about collectives? Certainly not! How could you work an Angry Birds routine into that yarn?

But it got the pond off to a good start to the day, with a feeling that all is right and predictable in what can sometimes be an uncertain world, what with Dame Slap thinking that abusing other women as Angry Birds was a first class example of being a calm Rational Bird.

As opposed to a shit-stirring abusive metaphor-addicted bird, and as a result, the pond feels much happier continuing to call her after the stern schoolmistress at the top of the magic faraway tree .... oh she might think she's a terribly modern video game player, but Enid Blyton had her pegged many years ago ...

Meanwhile, the lizard Oz once again shows its usual cheek, by seeking to charge for the thoughts of war criminal Tony Blair - but why click on We can't let Egypt collapse (behind the lizard oz paywall) when you can simply revert to the story as it was published in The Observer on the 7th July!, under the header, Democracy doesn't on its own mean effective government.

The Observer! Why that's almost as bad, as horrendous and horrid as taking copy from filthy vile angry bird leftists at The Guardian (settle, that's a joke).

Naturally in its original setting Blair's piece brought the punters out in entertaining droves, especially as Blair's only reference to Iraq was oblique, proposing that failing to settle Syria would further destabilise Iraq, as if the war criminal hadn't done a splendid job of destabilisation in consort with the United States (and please, no mention of Saudi Arabia and the way it continues to assist fundamentalism around the world).

What's remarkable these days is the way Blair simply has to step into a spotlight, any kind of spotlight - and he's oh so tragically desperate to stay in a spotlight, any spotlight - and he'll attract feral wild abuse in a way that would make a light bulb regret it lacked the same power with moths (oh that Dame Slap trick is catching I tells ya).

Perhaps Blair will be more at home with the lizard Oz readership even if his thoughts are already a little stale and smelly.

Meanwhile, the reptiles at the lizard Oz are in a great state of agitation. Dour ponderous Paul Kelly, surely the dullest scribbler doing the rounds, is tortured by the notion that the Ruddster is a politician, and even worse, at this point, with an election just around the corner, he's not actually governing, he's campaigning (yes that's what the header says, Rudd is campaigning, not governing, behind the paywall so you don't have to suffer).

What's interesting - okay it's preposterous to say anything Kelly scribbles is interesting - is the way that the tone of the coverage has changed, with Kelly even canvassing what might happen should Abbott lose the unloseable  election (unlosable if you will):

Labor's ultimate fantasy is that if Abbott loses the election then he will be discredited, the Coalition will publicly recant, ask for forgiveness, declare that Rudd was always right about emissions trading and promptly assist Rudd to terminate early the Gillard fixed price policy. That is a fantasy. 
Any lurch in that direction by the Coalition would shatter its electoral base and re-create the events of late 2009 with a large number of Coalition senators ready to cross the floor in open revolt rather than back a Labor government emissions trading bill. 

Actually the real fantasy is that Abbott would be around to influence the coalition or what it might do, as opposed to disappearing out the door in Hewson style (would he ever be able to construct a career as a go to commentator for the ABC? Oh the horror).

And if Malcolm Turnbull got the nod, who knows what might happen (and just why did big Mal duck away from a public gathering last night for an urgent meeting of his faction, even if they don't have factions in the Liberal party? Could the faceless men be up to something?)

And as for what might happen if jolly Joe Hockey took the helm ...

The point of course is that until the election and the actual result, all bets are off, and all Kelly is doing is indulging in a little Abbott-influenced rhetoric

There is no prospect of a post-election Coalition volte face, just as there is no prospect of a defeated Labor party suddenly deciding post-election that it will buckle before Abbott, ditch its carbon pricing faith and vote with Abbott to repeal the Gillard model. What is the political reality? The answer is that all roads lead back to Gillard's laws. They were an immense achievement based upon a complex compromise and will be very hard to unscramble. 
The further reality is that only Abbott will have the potential to change these laws because, as PM, he may have the chance to construct a Senate majority on this issue from independents and crossbenchers effective from July 2014. Maybe.

You see? Everything is ruined and we face a Gillard world for ever, and it will be terribly hard to unscramble them, unless Abbott makes it back in and somehow wangles a majority in the Senate ...

It's desperate stuff, because Dame Slap's Angry Birds make it seem very likely that if he wins in the lower house, Abbott will no longer be able to construct a Senate majority.

But why has Kelly indulged in this sort of idle speculation?

Well you see it's part of a phenomenon which the pond thinks of as the conversion of the reptiles of the lizard Oz into a kind of Faux Noise, where opinion masquerades as reporting, and opinion reinforces the opinions which are passed off as a form of reporting.

You see, here's the top of the digital page this hour (click to enlarge to read the hive mind at work collectively on the carbon tax in a way that makes a feminist collective look like a group of raging anarchist libertarians):

And here's the tree killer front page:

Because you see, the reptiles at the lizard Oz aren't reporting, they're campaigning, and they sense that one area of major weakness for Tony "invisible substance" Abbott is his position on climate science, and mechanisms for tackling issues arising from same.

But they got themselves into this mess by routinely offering up climate denialism and scepticism, and now by acknowledging that they think they and Abbott still need the great big carbon tax as a political club.

But now the real problem they face is that Tony Abbott himself is deeply unpopular, and he has to come up with something to respond to the Ruddster, and never mind all the legislative hurdles the Ruddster might face down the track, because these are exactly the same hurdles Abbott will  himself face, and quite soon there will be only one hurdler standing ...

It's desperate stuff - no, not the politics, that's just politicians being politicians, but rather the sight of a once proud rag turned into a propaganda arm for regressive responses to an issue the rag's senior staff believe is crap ... just like Abbott ...

And sad as well, though perhaps not as sad as the possibility that Abbott might get to implement his socialist big government solutions in response to his problems with an invisible substance ...

But what fun to see an invisible substance bite so hard on the bum of the reptiles at the lizard Oz and on Tony Abbott as well ...

(Below: as usual you're better off with a Pope cartoon for political analysis than any blather by Paul Kelly, more Pope here, which for the moment will take you to a jolly one about the Ruddster).

Yes, yes, for all the recent pond ructions with Crikey, the pond hasn't given up on First Dog either. More First Dog here, and still the only reason to subscribe.


  1. Dorothy
    My pet dislike is Kelly and his over blown ego, but he is not on his own at Murdochracy.

  2. For reasons I don't really want to get into, like you do regularly DP, I am subjecting myself to some unpleasantness in the form of reading Nick Cater's The Lucky Culture.
    It's an obvious and predictable polemic with a couple of key themes. Just because you are well educated, it doesn't make you better than anyone (however it is ok to recognise wealth) and the world is over run by "experts". Therefore a cleaners opinion is just as important as some tertiary educated public servant. Apparently, the media especially is skewed towards the tertiary elite.

    So this begs the question, under his stewardship as Opinion Editor of the Weekend Australian, why does he persist with the usual suspects of Kelly, Kenny, van Onselen etc. Why isn't his hair dresser giving his opinion on the Gillard/Rudd struggle, or his mechanic hers on the new ETS and how this stacks up against Direct Action?

    Surely they don't just talk the talk at News do they?

  3. Crikey sold its soul to big media when it axed Pure Poison.

    Ask Jeremy and Dave to tell the truth.

  4. By golly Trippi Takka, that's so far above and beyond the call of duty you must be dizzy from the lack of oxygen in the stratosphere.

    But then you compound your crime by asking for consistency, rationality and logic, and raise matters like van Onselen holding a BA 1st class hons in political science, and a Masters in Policy Studies with distinction and a PhD from WA in political science, while wondering how Cater can be in the same room without holding his nose, or at least holding academic elitist van Onselen responsible for all that's wrong in the world ...

    This is simply too deep for the pond. Or at least Cater should be thrown in the shallow water before he gets too deep. But the pond loves your notion of handing over the editorial and comment pages to vox pops from people in the streets. No degrees or ponces or gets allowed, ie, no Kelly, Kenny , VO, no Cater, or other elitist detritus ...

    As for Pure Poison, we'd love to hear the truth from Jeremy and Dave, but surely they could do that on Something Wonky:


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