here, and just for today, in the rotating cartoon hall of fame, it features Tony Abbott channeling Cher. Who could ask for anything more).
So there the pond was this Saturday, struggling to wake, and helped along by the ABC's country breakfast - because cows and crops and the city never sleep, not even on a Saturday ...
The pond was almost on the movie, when up popped a story on the NBN, and like the cockies out there thirsting for extra speed, reliability, love and pain and the whole damn thing, the pond paused to listen ...
The cost of the NBN is $100 billion dollars, the reporter baldly advised at the start of his spot.
Hang on, hang on, wind that back. Here's how it should have run:
The cost of the NBN is contested and controversial. The opposition has produced figures suggesting it might reach $100 billion, the NBN and the government continue to insist that it's in the territory of $40 billion. Whatever the final cost, let's look at the pros and cons to the rural user ...
You see, the pond didn't even go into its personal opinion that the higher costs were a bunch of baloney of the big Mal kind, produced to please his master, and with as much connection to reality as most of Tony "invisible substance" "national emergency" Abbott's policy statements ... and no, we haven't even mentioned how big Mal invented the intertubes in Australia ...
So why did a toadie on the ABC trot out the opposition figure without a murmur, a caveat, a five second indication of the first clue of the politics surrounding broadband?
Stone the flaming crows, the pond muttered under its breath in true Tamworth style, heading to the shower in a rage of seething discontent.
What's worse, coming up was Geraldine Doogue promising to hector and lecture the world about a need for a gentler polity and a kinder debate and a way back to civility in our political discourse and all the other stuff you expect of the cardigan-wearers ... and no doubt social media and bloggers and all the rest of the useless stuff clogging the full to overflowing intertubes would line up to take a disproportionate share of the blame.
Well here's a simpler solution Ms Doogue. Don't have the ABC's rural reporters send bloggers into a fucking frenzy by saying really offensively stupid and dumb, unqualified things.
Oh sure, it's just a grain in the sand, just a minor example of all the tawdry bullshit and misinformation and distortions that turn up on the Australian media on a daily basis, but by golly, it's amazing how those grains of sand get in the most uncomfortable places and really irritate the skin ...
It reminded the pond of a piece yesterday by Bernard Keane in Crikey - yes for some mysterious reason the pond is still on the mailing list - taking down the media, and most particularly the reptiles at the lizard Oz for misreporting about the NBN, in Keane: it's been a bad week for the anti-NBN brigade (inside the paywall, but hey if you're on the list, you stay on the list)
Now in recent times the pond has suffered from NBN fatigue, especially fatigue at the thought of all the continuing wretched coverage - it comes from reading too much of the lizard Oz, and has the same impact as a tick or a tsetse fly bite - and all the more so because of the way Mike Quigley had mucked up both the politics and the delivery ... which somehow turned into an epiphany, an understanding that until the day the final trumpet sounded, the pond would be destined to look at the whirling spinning pinwheel of doom ...
So stories that floated out from one Annabel Hepworth - the unfortunate hatchling spawned by the lizard Oz's campaign of hate - were ignored, no matter that they were as shameful and as nakedly biased and skewed as a rural reporter on the early Saturday morning shift on the ABC.
So what fun to see Keane nail yet another shock horror panic budget blowout in the order of squillions story by Hepworth:
... aghast at the looming blowout in the NBN’s cost, I checked with the company. According to NBN Co, the total cost of the rollout of the fibre will be around $11.3 billion, a third of which is equipment costs that NBN Co directly controls. The remainder, the construction costs themselves, are worth around $7.5 billion over a decade. So Hepworth’s 40% increase in cost would add $3 billion — not $30-40 billion — to the NBN cost of the build. Moreover, NBN Co has a 10% contingency in place that would cover the $3 billion.
“There’s also the slight matter that none of our contractors have come to us cap in hand demanding a 40% premium. Not one,” NBN Co’s spokesman told Crikey.
So apart from the cost increase that isn’t happening and the maths that was out by a factor of 10, Hepworth nailed it.
And then Keane demolished another Hepworth story, about delays due to asbestos in the pits, in which she conspired with a union official to produce another bit of hysteria about delays in the roll-out:
Who demanded work stop until the pits were safe? Why… the CEPU itself. So in June the CEPU was demanding a halt to work until everything was OK, and even threatening industrial action unless this was done. Eight weeks later, Telstra’s doing too thorough a job for the liking of the CEPU. Presumably the CEPU wants subcontractors to now go back into unsafe pits.
So much stupidity, so little time, though Keane does take the time to knock over shock-jock Paul Murray for bagging the NBN on the basis a caller rang in to complain about the time Telstra had taken to fix his wi-fi.
So much ignorance, and so little time.
Speaking of which, the pond just has to acknowledge another story in Crikey, featuring Pauline Hanson's understanding of climate change on her Facebook page:
Ah you can't take down anything once it's been up in the ether.
It sent the pond into such a laughing, cackling witch frenzy that the parrots didn't come back to the cherry blossoms for a good couple of hours ...
But then it become clear Hanson wasn't angling for a seat in the forthcoming election:
Global warming is all about a power grab by a wealthy elite and their collectivist sycophants - using the U. N. as a cover and a tool.
She was angling for a job as climate science reporter at the lizard Oz, sharing the job with Maurice Newman ... or perhaps she was wanting to replace the Bolter at the HUN, because he only rants this way once a day, and she could serve it up, with bonus fish and chips, on the hour, like a well-regulated Mao clock ...
Last and best of all on the Crikey list? The return of Col Allan to advise Kim Williams, as noted in Hold the sink: Col Allan returns to Oz to advise Kim Williams.
Allan is a thug who established his reputation by pissing in a sink during a news conference, and currently he's responsible for the New York Post, one of the most useless ways to waste a buck imaginable, a rag whose front pages make the NT News seem modest and decorous.
Williams is a pompous classical music loving git, of the kind that Nick Cater would routinely describe as Satanic, or at least some kind of elite - amazing how these fat cat elites seem to run News Corp, encouraging other fat cat elites to rail against your average humble elites forced to drink de Bartoli chardonnay - more oak chips than grapes - and make DIY coffee like a faux barista. (Do these naked ponce elites think they're wearing a Potter-patented invisible cloak? You can bet your top notch News Corp exec pisses out only the very best remains of the very best plonk).
Sorry, where were we?
How much would the pond love to be a fly on the wall, as Allan, Williams and Chris Mitchell go mano-a-mano, with Williams given the job of containing costs and Mitchell only interested in maintaining a crusade of rage and misinformation and distortion in the interests of the coalition ...
You see, and the pond didn't once mention any personal detestation of Williams, just the desire to be a fly on the wall, if only to see Allan piss all over the joint ...
By golly, look at the time.
The pond has been having such fun, there's barely time to look at the Saturday work of the reptiles at the lizard rag, still maintaining their tedious rage and hysteria about refugees and boat people, so can we just pause to acknowledge the sterling comedy effort by Angela Shanahan, in To have and to hold: what makes royal bub king of the kids (behind the paywall because you're so over conservatives using the royals for one campaign or another).
I know, I know, it has all the fascination and horror of a train wreck, especially when the opening gambit starts this way:
Thank goodness that royal baby has been born. I couldn't take another minute of the speculation and the cheek-slapping drivel of the "whether Catherine's dress was a homage to Princess Diana" variety.
Unfortunately, the young family at the centre of all this fuss, who we are always told are "modern and down-to-earth", will, despite their modernity and proximity to earth, never again be able to yawn, cough, grumble, or their child fart, put on weight or have the odd tantrum without being subject to armchair psychoanalysis and criticism.
Naturally this is a cue for Shanahan's epic fart of armchair psychoanalysis and criticism, though it's directed at others, you know, the fornicators and the disrespecters of Catholics and "natural" things and a "natural" way of life ... the usual sort of irritating condescending paternalistic blather.
Can a woman be paternalistic, you ask? Clearly you've never read Shanahan ...
In the past these girls would have married early and made excellent mothers who generally stayed at home and looked after their children. Now, because of a combination of economic factors - particularly insecure full-time work for unskilled men and the pernicious social effects of the sexual revolution - women cannot find suitable stable male partners.
Ah yes, the pernicious sexual revolution, and the shocking notion that women should be able to work if they chose, when really they're just dumb bunnies who should stay at home and breed.
Could it get more offensive? Of course it could, it's Shanahan, even if she has to quote someone else to show there is more than one bird-brain sitting in the one tree:
As English social commentator Joanna Bogle has said: "Marriage - that is, true marriage, a man and a woman united for a lifetime - is becoming a minority lifestyle in today's Britain, and the consequences of this are miserable for the many children who are forced to grow up amid a confusing set of adults all busy with their own desires and relationships. A typical childhood in modern Britain involves being born to unmarried parents, then one of the parents marrying, then that marriage breaking up, then a new relationship being formed ... " No wonder kids are confused.
True marriage? Well you know where this is heading, and the sting in the tale turns up at the end:
Yet even though there is much about the royal birth that is not at all typical of modern Britain, it shows people are naturally drawn to the less modern and much more traditional natural family. After all, it is really the natural family that is timeless and absolutely down to earth. Perhaps the response is rather jingoistic; the English do jingoism well.
But it is also an emotional response: partly nostalgia, but I think an instinctive feeling about the worth of the bonds of the natural family that most people share, even in a country with a terrifyingly high out-of-wedlock birthrate.
The traditional natural family? The one where the man beat the shit out of the woman and she copped it sweet while he went off to the pub and drank the weekly wage and pissed it into the gutter, and they were hitched for life and if she wanted to leave, she had no support mechanisms, no fall back, and so they stayed together, chained together, with divorce frowned upon and made onerous and burdensome for women? And private eyes with cameras snuck around seeking to establish guilt, and deeply unhappy people stayed together to ensure that their children were also deeply unhappy, attempting to lead deluded, constrained, cribbed and confined lives.
That traditional natural family, the alternate side to the picket fence fantasy?
And you see, the pond didn't once mention the other target for Shanahan's wretched nostalgia - people who seek to allow loving gays to share a life together, respected by community ...
Ah yes, the pond would love to be a fly on the wall when Williams, Mitchell and Allan meet.
Here's hoping they tear each other apart, or at the very least tear down the loss-making podium from which wretches like Shanahan indulge their fetish for armchair psychoanalysis and disapproving criticism of other people leading lives which they disapprove of ... clucking and tutting and blaming and hating ... small people demanding others conform and lead small lives like their own ...
And all this because an ABC rural reporter made the pond get out on the wrong side of the bed, a most untraditional and unnatural thing to do.
Shame on you ABC, shame on you ...
(Below: traditional men for a traditional natural marriage. Found here at the AWM)