First a reading to set the mood:
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.'
Every so often the pond thinks it's about time to get rid of the antiquated copper-based landline, which these days is only disturbed by spam calls.
Recently the answering machine took a call from 'Albo' "the minister for useless reports on VFT and second airports" Albanese's office.
It was lucky for the caller that the pond was out and about at Verdi's Requiem (which you can hear live this coming Saturday night on ABC FM, and well worth the listen too), or the poor bugger could have been in for a verbal assault that lasted for hours.
Then there was a call from Citibank about an urgent account matter that had to be resolved that very day. No it wasn't a marketing call, it was an urgent account matter, the accented Indian gravely explained.
It turned out in the usual way that it was Citibank proposing that we could propose that Citibank could propose to raise our credit card limits, and never mind that we had never given the slightest indication that we were in need of raising our credit card limits.
It was of course a way for Citibank to get around recent legislation designed to prevent banks harassing their customers. And to the pond, it felt like a conversation conducted in a fraudulent, misleading and deceptive manner. (No, the credit card limit wasn't raised, yes having any connection whatsoever with Citibank and its cunning, misleading and deceptive lawyers is under active review).
But this is just one example of a spam-rich life.
The post box is routinely filled with spam by Australia Post, as is the home letter box, and as for email ... (no, Parker Orings, your product will never be mentioned on the pond).
The pond deals with the harassment in a cheerful way by singing the Monty Python song about spam ... and yet it seems that the only real distinction between the routine spammer and the reptiles at the lizard Oz is that they yet haven't worked out a way to spam the pond.
Which is why no Murdoch fiefdom will ever get hold of an email account associated with the pond ... and instead the mug punter pond will seek out the Murdochians in much the same way that it called Citibank.
Look at today's lead reports and EXCLUSIVES:
Look beyond the glistening red and you soon discover that the reptiles at the lizard Oz are in fact the Citibank of Australian journalism.
Naturally the most noticeable aspect is the way each story is angled to reinforce the anti-Labor agenda the rag wears so proudly.
But then there's the brazen misrepresentation.
Chris Bowen calls for modernity, or Labor is doomed? This is an exclusive? In what known or even unknown extra dimensional universe?
Bowen's been all over the place like a particularly virulent form of spam promoting his book, written from the backbench, and he even turned up to ruin 7.30 last night, as you can remind yourself by heading off to Treasurer Chris Bowen discusses his book.
Yes now that Tony Abbott has done his tedious oyster and carpenter dance with patsy Chris Uhlmann, Leigh Sales is suddenly and mysteriously back to deal with the Labor dullards.
Interalia, the pond was moved to tears with this epic display of logic:
CHRIS BOWEN: No, not at all and I deal with that head-on in the book and say this is not a criticism of the decision to go into alliance with the Greens, but it is a reflection of my views, having been considered, that the Labor Party when it puts a view to the Australian people and campaigns in an election campaign for office, that we should govern alone and that we should not enter into formal deals with other political parties.
LEIGH SALES: Well, the logical conclusion from what you say is that you think that three years ago an Abbott minority government would've been better for Australia than a Labor government reliant on the Greens.
CHRIS BOWEN: No, I completely reject that conclusion, Leigh. There's nothing in the book which could lead you to that conclusion, with respect.
But with the greatest respect, didn't you just say?
Oh never mind:
LEIGH SALES: No, but you're saying it's better for Labor to govern alone or rather not at all.
CHRIS BOWEN: This is a book, a forward-looking book about the future, saying that we need to be clear about what we deliver, we need to be clear about what we stand for, we need a crisp explanation of Labor's beliefs and we should stand by those beliefs before and after election campaigns. It's a forward-looking book.
Ah, so we're moving forward, in a forward-looking way, with a forward-looking book:
Oops, how backward-looking of the pond, but you have to hand it to Bowen, he knows how to deliver verbal spam that batters the ears and introduces a kind of torpor, a languid desire to go to sleep ...
Meanwhile, Gra Gra, having urged that the party unleash the hound of the baskervilles, has returned from checking on any matters relating to Swiss bank accounts, to develop a case of the Chicken Little cluck clucks:
It is not too difficult to understand why Kevin Rudd wanted to change the rules under which his caucus operates. The opposition's line on the Labor leadership - "In 2007 you voted for Kevin Rudd and you got Julia Gillard. In 2010, you voted for Julia Gillard and you got Kevin Rudd. Who will you get this time?" - was always going to be a problem for him. Unfortunately he came up with the wrong solution.
Yes, once again we have the bizarre and unpleasant spectacle of a former politician, much disliked when he was an actual player, now with nothing much to do except spam the eyeballs of innocent stray readers, as you will discover if you evade the paywall to read Labor reform? Tell him he's dreaming.
Richardson spends his entire time explaining how the Ruddster's proposed reform will be a disaster for Labor, digging up examples such as Mark Latham, Bob Hawke v Bill Hayden, and Keating v Hawke (points previously noted by the pond).
At the same time, he downplays the role of factions, which presumably includes his own fiddling and interference, and then having righteously denounced the Ruddster's entire plan, comes up with this:
Meanwhile the Rudd juggernaut marches on relentlessly. I don't know how many times over the last 18 months I have written in this column that people had stopped listening to Julia Gillard. If there is one big change that Rudd has brought with him it is an end to all that. Now everyone, friend and foe alike, is listening to every word he says. As MPs and candidates hand out flyers at railway stations they all report a dramatic change in the reception they are getting. The abuse has stopped and once again people are engaging with the Labor party.
Yes, for the last 18 months Gra Gra wrote relentlessly braying columns about how everyone had stopped listening to Julia Gillard, because listening to brave, witty incisive Swiss bank counting Gra Gra was so much more sensible, and now the Rudd juggernaut rolls on, delivering policies that Gra Gra contends will be a disaster for the Labor party, but happily everyone is listening and everyone is engaging with the Labor party ... and never mind actually engaging with Tony Abbott ...
Well let Gra Gra inherit the wind, and as they sowed so shall they reap and so on and so biblically forth ...
And if that wasn't enough, that eternal git, Alexander Downer, the former minister for foreign affairs and stockings, turns up with Rudd sold out our national interests and lost respect in Jakarta.
Let the pond save you the trouble of reading it, by sampling the highlights:
I'll never forget President Yudhoyono taking my hand in both of his and, with tears in his eyes, saying he would never forget Australia's generosity and help. It was a moving moment. He made me shed a tear as well.
Yes it left the pond brushing a tear aside, and the laughter also stopped in due course:
It's heartbreaking for me to watch all this. Rudd has undone all the good work we did and the best he has come up with is a new regional conference. We already have a regional process in place, the Bali process.
And a last thought: how come our Foreign Minister isn't trying to fix this up? He spends his time on Twitter and Facebook. He's the Foreign Minister: his job is to solve problems, not play with his iPad. It's as sad as it is pathetic.
Actually it's heartbreaking for the pond to read Downer, and there is something just as sad and pathetic, and that's the sight of former politicians scribbling furiously in tree-killing newspapers, explaining how all was for the best in their day, and curiously overlooking the way and the reasons they got kicked out of office ...
Meanwhile, it being Friday, it wouldn't be the lizard oz, if we didn't have a Bjorn Lomborg piece, for which the rag wants to charge money to access, by calling it Pessimists' fears proved wrong ....
...when it had been published long ago here under the header The Limits to Panic on June 17th, 2013... and is available free at this site ...
...which is about as much as the pond is prepared to pay for Lomborg's childish positivism ...
Now charging money for something that's freely available, and already has a dated, moth-eared air about it, a smell of silverfish and naphthalene, is right up there with the cheekiness of Citibank.
Lomborg is of the tiresome cheer-leading school that growth is good, and we just need more, more, more of everything, and never mind futile gestures like recycling and forget about worries about pesticides and merely turn to economic growth, grow, grow, grow, and all will be well:
The four decades since The Limits of Growth have shown that we need more of it, not less. An expansion of trade, with estimated benefits exceeding $100 trillion annually toward the end of the century, would do thousands of times more good than timid feel-good policies that result from fear-mongering. But that requires abandoning an anti-growth mentality and using our enormous potential to create a brighter future.
And is there any limit to this growth cornucopia? Might ten billion people put a little strain on things? Are the world's resources in any way finite? Are we currently fucking it over in any way at all?
Apparently not ... just wander down to the two dollar store and pick up another useless gizmo and all will be well ...
And bizarrely the rag claims this channeling of Tony Abbott is an exclusive:
What to do, where to start? Well not paying for the lizard Oz or the Terror is one step, and another is to throw away the copper connection? Spend up big on fibre. It's the Lomborg way forward.
Will you join the pond in this big Mal? Oh will you, will you ...
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear. (the rest here)