Thursday, July 04, 2013

For absolutely no reason, the pond seizes on a New Zealand stereotype while frolicking through News Corp, and with only one excuse ... being driven insane by the commentariat ...

(Above: the pond lightens the mood with a dose of fush 'n chups).

It's the second, or is it the third, day of the Fairfax paywall, and the pond is doing it easy.

Well easier than the Somme veteran grandad who locked the entire family out in the street while he chased pink elephants past the aspidistra on the whatnot in the hallway ... Poor bugger ...

You see, it's just requires a measuring out of the dose, no more than a hit a day, supplemented by methadone from other sources ...

Oh sure the Daily Terror slapped a ban on Miranda the Devine's most recent piece, but if you head off to her blog, there it is, as cheap as a New Zealand seagull's chups, under the header Standing up to the paedophiles.

It's not much of a hit, except for the remarkable sight of the Devine acknowledging that the Catholic church and its priests mishandled things, though she then proceeds to provide as many distractions to the proceedings in Newcastle as she can find.

And there's no need to turn to the ABC to get a daily fix of Akker Dakker's bilious bile, because there he is free to all in his blog, and droning on in the usual one-eyed salty dog fush and chup way in Stop trying to bully us, Kevin, just call an election:

The notion of Kevin Rudd as the glasses-wearing, library-locked school nerd is beyond ludicrous.

The great thing about Akker Dakker, apart from the routine frothing and foaming, is the way he's so easily teased, so quick to anger, so outraged about everything. You have to wonder why the vinegar he stores in a cup on the desk for his chups doesn't melt a hole in his keyboard.

And the comments were well up to the usual Akker Dakker standard, with the opening one proposing that Kevin is a bed-wetter.

Oh yes, quality insights, and all for free.

And if you want a short visit to a gadfly, buzzing like an asinine bee in the winter sun, you can always visit Tum Bleagh, though it's advised the visit be kept short if you want to avoid terminal loss of faculties. Take a slice of lemon.

And if you want that master of hate, Andrew Bolt, oh sure, they might want to make you buy your way into the Bolter's Chameleon Kevin Rudd is a master of disguise, but alas and alack, you can get yourself a serve of Bolter magic by googling up the opening line, and going straight through to It's a tale of two Kevins, but which one is real? at the HUN.

But why would you bother? You know what the cheerleader is going to say, in much the same way as you can pretty well guess how a New Zealand seagull will act when confronted with a box of chups ...

Oh sure, he pretends to an even-handed analysis, but if you head off to his blog, the real Bolter, the true cheerleader is on show in Rudd wants debates on policies he does not have ...

But what is Rudd’s policy on asylum seekers? 
What is his policy on the Budget parameters? 
What is his policy on the carbon tax? 
What is to discuss?

Indeed. The pond just loves rhetorical flourishes:

But what is Abbott’s policy on asylum seekers? Turn back the boats and bung on a do with the Indonesians?
What is his policy on the Budget parameters? Follow the gradual path to a surplus currently on the table, while doling out a massive hit of middle class welfare?
What is his policy on the carbon tax? Fight the climate wars with a valiant group of 15,000 direct action souls planting trees and using magic soil to make it all go away?
What is to discuss? Yep, three fifths of fuck all ...

Meanwhile, let's abandon the fush and chups metaphor, because if you want a splendid dose of paranoia, you can always head off to Greg Sheridan in Is Abbott facing ambush by SBY? (behind the lizard Oz paywall but you know what to do).

It's as fine an example of straw man writing as the pond has seen in recent times.

Here's what you do. First devise a very solid looking straw man:

Could Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono do to Tony Abbott what George W. Bush did to Mark Latham? It must surely be Kevin Rudd's fervent wish as he meets the Indonesian President in Bogor tomorrow. 

On June 3, 2004, in the run-up to a federal election, Bush virtually destroyed Latham, without mentioning him by name. Bush, standing next to John Howard, said it would be a disaster for Australia to withdraw from Iraq - Latham's policy. 

Say what? Bush and the CIA destroyed Mark Latham? No, no, relax, it was all for the very best, and right to this day, the pond is assured that Iraq and Iraquis are profoundly grateful for all that the United States did for the country during the decade long war:

Latham is a clever fellow, but he has never had a sophisticated understanding of foreign affairs. Latham's determination to withdraw from Iraq was popular in itself, but Bush's intervention meant Latham's ability to handle the US alliance came into question. Australians were more attached to the US alliance than they were to withdrawing from Iraq. So Latham lost credibility, gravitas, the aura of electability. Some thought it an unwarranted US interference in Australian politics. But Latham had attacked Bush, he had no grounds for complaint...

And neither have those bloody Iraquis and all their whinging and moaning about car bombs still going off. Sheesh, what do they expect?

But hey, back to the straw man routine

Could something similar happen to Abbott while Rudd is in Indonesia? 
If SBY said at a joint press conference with Rudd that turning around the boats - Abbott's policy - would be a grievous mistake, that Indonesia would regard it as an unfriendly act and that its implementation would hurt Canberra-Jakarta co-operation, that would be a devastating blow to Abbott. It would undermine the central pillar of Abbott's boats policy and call into question his ability to function effectively on the international stage. 
I don't think it will happen, however. 

Say what? We've read this far only to be told it's a complete furphy, and wretched meaningless speculation of an indulgent, insolent kind? What's the bet that in reality it's going to turn into yet another lickspittle cheerleading job for Tony Abbott?

Unlike Latham with Bush, Abbott has been diligent and entirely respectful in his approach to SBY, and to Indonesia more generally. SBY likes Abbott personally and is far too shrewd, I would think, to want to get plonked into the middle of Australian election politics. 

Uh huh. Who'd have guessed it. And yet there's not a mention of Indonesian election politics, with the next, third direct presidential election to be held in mid-2014.

Now you might think that what might happen would be of interest to an alleged foreign affairs editor in an article allegedly discussing Australia's relationship with Indonesia, whether via Abbott or Rudd.

But no, not a chance.

Instead we go straight to the standard song book of abuse, which we'll be seeing much more of in the next few months in News Corp:

Rudd is exceptionally popular with young people. At first blush this is surprising, given that he certainly doesn't look like Hugh Jackman, and tends to speak in bureaucratic circumlocutions peppered with slangy ockerisms - fair shake of the sauce bottle, rough end of the pineapple, gotta zip. But Rudd's triumph with the young is a weird mix of sober, strategic political planning combined with Energizer Bunny relentlessness and almost Confucian discipline. 

Yes, yes, but what about the Indonesian presidential election that's just around the corner in 2014?

For a start, no one in Australian politics works harder to be ubiquitous on social media. Rudd understands the interlocking dynamics of celebrity and political leadership as mediated through social media. There is a banality to many of his tweets. But that is not a criticism of Rudd. It's the nature of Twitter. Rudd has 1.2 million followers and he understands that quotidian banality is the currency of the medium. 

Yes, yes, but what about the Indonesian presidential election that's just around the corner in 2014?

Rudd's appeal to youth, especially youthful idealists, is much more substantial, of course, than just that. No doubt he sincerely believes in the foreign aid budget, which he has relentlessly championed. But it is also the case that the Make Poverty History movement, Live Aid and all the rest, is one of the few political issues that has energised large numbers of young people. The same with climate change. Add to the list, now, gay marriage. 

Fuck the pond dead, what about the Indonesian presidential election that's just around the corner in 2014?

Here is another surprising trend. International relations is a boom field in our universities. Ever fewer youngsters want to study Australian politics, ever more want to study international relations. These courses at universities have an almost built-in bias towards multilateral institutions and the mythology of the UN. Rudd's mind is always preoccupied with great power issues, and his way into those issues is generally through multilateral forums, where he is comfortable and performs best.

Oh okay, the pond gets it, you don't really want to get into an actual study of relationships with Indonesia and how they might be best managed.

Could we close it off with a splendid example of preening pomposity:

As a foreign editor, I am absolutely delighted by a politician who appreciates the centrality of foreign affairs to the common good. 

Yes, but whatever you do, don't actually manage to mention that kinda central presidential election in Indonesia, or how it might play out.

And that sadly is why the Fairfax paywall faces stiff competition if you go out in the world loon-hunting. So many loons, so little time, and so many useless paywalls that don't do their job ... when so many should be sealed off, and the world made sane, lest some start to babble about fush and chups.

Oh sure there's Paul Sheehan and he's writing about Egypt, and amazingly he takes a pot shot at the forces of sexual repression in Islamic societies in general and Egypt in particular, and yet the pond can't recall a single word Sheehan has ever written about the sexual repression inherent in the angry Sydney Calvinist Anglicans, or the sexual repression inherent in the Pellist cult, but the pond seems to remember Sheehan having things to say about gay marriage worthy of a repressive Islamic fundamentalist deeply troubled by sex and sexuality....

Oh dear, sorry Fairfax paywall, this little duckie is way too tired to bite, or to link, so that others might bite ...

1 comment:

  1. Sheridan is a fraud at foreign affairs and he has corrupted Jon Faine with their prattle they produce on every second Tuesday.
    My options for news has become so limited because of these rattle heads i now enjoy replays of music from our local FM stations and reading your comments page Dorothy so life is has its rewards after all


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