Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The pond dreams of pitching a great front page for the Daily Terror ...

Naturally the pond was wildly excited.

By the pond's reckoning, Xmas comes only ten times a year, and here was a godsend for a struggling rag, and so the pond pitched the idea of Tony Abbott as Larry Hagman and sweet sex appeal Fiona Scott as Barbara Eden.

It ticked all the boxes. 

As arcane as a joke about Hogan's Heroes? Check, you really have to ferret through the bottom of the multichannels to find I Dream of Jeannie

Photoshop potential? Enormous, and you get to highlight Scott's sex appeal.

A man making a Hagman goose of himself? Check, and with endless follow up story potential of the 'Young, feisty and with sex appeal': Abbott talks up candidate (forced video attached) kind.

Possibly even a follow-up yarn about Abbott calling himself over-exuberant and looking in a stupid way at a bottle:

Oh it's a winner.

And what about the collateral damage?

You know, really stupid apologetic remarks, like jolly Joe Hockey saying he's been called a parliamentary George Clooney. 

Joe Hockey channels George Clooney? In your delusional dreams, jolly Joe, in your delusional dreams

Oh it was the winner of the bloody century, but sadly, the Daily Terror failed the challenge and went the easy option:

Ah yes, their master's voice still resonates down the corridors. Clearly they have no interest in selling the rag to half the population, and the best pond ideas lie spurned and wasted ... 

And granny simply doesn't have the tabloid art mastered, or should that be mistressed?

The point is, it was a clear tabloid front page, and the Terror squibbed it ... so we won't get on to all the other mindless 1960s sitcoms which patently helped form Abbott's mindset ... did he like I Love Lucy, or was it too feminist? Perhaps he was more a My Favourite Martian man? Or what about F-Troop, with that charming blonde? Or how about those sexy fillies in The Beverly Hillbillies? Of course, of course, the talking horse ...

Sorry, the pond completely overlooked Gilligan's Island, with Joe Hockey as the Skipper, and Malcolm Turnbull as Thurston Howell ... and sundry women to play Mary Ann and Ginger. But could Tony cope with the nuanced subtlety required to play Gilligan?

Never mind, it's already been a week rich in fun. On Monday night, for example, Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen had her Pauline Hanson "please explain" moment.

By golly did she look scrumptious and sexy, with an elegantly cut grey jacket over a black top, blonde hair flowing and a warm smile glowing for the crowd, and a clanking chain draped around the neck hinting at exotic preferences:

What's that you say? That's the most appalling assessment of a Q and A panellist you've ever read. Women should be assessed on their ideas and their ability to get the job done ...

But Tony Abbott ....

Oh never mind, the pond takes it all back, let's take a look instead at that Hanson moment, which inter alia happened to mention mindlessness and Murdochians:

HYS MULDOON: No, but I mean the unrelenting negativity of Abbott’s campaign, which has been - you know, it’s been slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan. It has. I don't think that's deniable, is it, Christopher? 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It's completely deniable but I will get my chance. I’ll get my chance in a minute.  
RHYS MULDOON: Christopher would like to deny that? 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: You have to go first. It’s your first time on QandA. 
RHYS MULDOON: It is, I know. 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: So you’ve got to be allowed to finish your sentence. 
RHYS MULDOON: Okay. I’ll try and finish a sentence. I mean because it seems to me that the Coalition, to quote the great H.L. Mencken, it’s sort of the Coalition policy seems to be democracy is the theory that the common people, you know, deserve to get what they get good and hard. Is that true? CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Is that the quote? 
JANET ALBRECHTSEN: What does it mean? What’s that mean? 

Oh dear, please explain.

Poor old H. L. Mencken - you can wiki him here if you like.

Luckily Poodle Pyne was determined to outdo Dame Slap:

RHYS MULDOON: That’s the quote. Like that democracy is the theory that the common man knows what he wants and deserves to get it good and hard. 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I’m not aware of that. 
RHYS MULDOON: You've never heard of that quote? 
RHYS MULDOON: Okay. I would argue that the negativity, particularly moving onto that other topic of the Murdoch press... (more, much too much more, here).

Well since the panel did get on to the mindless gibberish of the Murdoch press, and Dame Slap delivered a number of astonishing howlers, here's one H. L. Mencken quote she might understand:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. 

And by golly what a good job the Murdoch press is doing with their endless series of hobgoblins.

And because the pond is feeling cheerful, we'll throw in a bonus Mencken quote which thankfully isn't about politics:

Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

Though it does have some relevance, because clearly Albrechtsen left the fray with the haunting fear that somehow she'd made a fool of herself, and so today's hobgoblin column is dedicated to roasting her fellow panellist on Q and A, Penny Wong, as you can read in Penny Wong the $106bn woman, if you evade the paywall erected by the lizards at reptile fortress Oz ...

You know how it goes. You turn up at a forum, and there's a smug smarty pants in the corner, dressed in stylish gear, with a nicely cut jacket and a striped shirt, but no blue tie, and a nicely cut short hairdo which seems to signify something, though the pond can't quite put a finger on it, and she's smirking in that smug, condescending, really irritating, smarmy, know it all way and ...

What's that you say? The pond has done it again? Presenting QandA and Dame Slap's follow-up petulant column as some kind of cat fight ...

But Tony Abbott ...

Oh never mind, the pond takes it all back ... but really we were only taking our cue from Dame Slap herself, still seething with resentment at her Pauline Hanson moment, and the hammering dished out to the lickspittle Murdoch press, now infamous for their cowardly custard crawling ways:

Penny Wong seems to float above the fray, attracting accolades from those not paying much attention to detail. Don't get me wrong. Wong is a charming, articulate, ambitious, thoroughly decent woman. Media savvy, she has a wonderfully easy manner, she's calm, unflappable, funny and has a smile that's a winner on camera. QandA audiences love her and her politics. 

Sob, how they love her, and how they laughed at my H. L. Mencken Pauline Hanson moment.

So let's do it Tony Abbott style:

However, genuine political leadership is not about being liked. It's about earning respect for a job well done. On that score, the Finance Minister has been a disaster. How extraordinary, then, that her senior role of almost three years has escaped serious examination.

No, not that, let's not pretend to dress up personal prejudices and bias as a serious examination. Let's keep doing it Tony Abbott style.

You see,  Dame Slap is just the sort of person to do a vengeful hatchet job, and what's even more comical is the way she joined in with Poodle Pyne to decry the Ruddster for staging a relentlessly negative campaign while presenting Tony Abbott as Mr. Positive - and the cock crowed three times, and the poodle denied knowing anything about H. L. Mencken. 

Speaking as we were about smug smirks and implausible deniability:

Now I know what you're saying, the pond is playing the man rather than the ball (or as it turns out, as played in the Daily Terror's thugby game of choice, the man's balls).

But Tony Abbott ...

Never mind, Dame Slap is in fine form, and the payback is really fine and fierce, including inter alia, such fine words as mind-boggling incompetence, record incompetence, budget debacle, Bruce Springsteen, Spenders Anonymous, profligate and clueless, free of shame and full of chutzpah, clueless, mess on her watch, fairytales, and culminating with "this nation's most incompetent Finance Minister".

Yes, it's another of those apocalypse, end of the world, right wing hysteria, the Bolter's paranoia cranked up to eleven routines for which the Murdoch press is now notorious.

Yet on Monday night Dame Slap had sat with Poodle Pyne and said not a word about his Conski backflip, his flip-flop way with policy, and in her column, she says not a word about Tony Abbott's lavish, extravagant paid parental leave scheme, which if all the talk is of hobgoblins, should be the very first policy stricken from the record.

As for Wong being the worst finance minister, what about Phillip Lynch? Or if you have only one eye, how about John Dawkins? Or the rest of the shameless parade you can see in the wiki of finance ministers here.

But then Albrechsten is pitching her "worst ever" to readers who apparently know nothing of Australian political history, or H. L. Mencken.

But why the hysteria? Why the shameless and it has to be said, completely meaningless conjuring up of $106 billion as a phantom figure? Why the nattering negativity and the appalling exaggerations, and the deployment of adjectives like Akker Dakker in one of his more ferocious assaults on reality and the pinko commie bastards ...

Well that's because the Murdoch press and its commentariat is on a roll, and it doesn't intend any actual policy consideration or Abbott faux pas to get in the road of its ceaseless cheer-leading on the one hand, and its nattering negativity on the other.

And they want the pond and others to swallow it whole, without a decent dose of H. L. Mencken cynicism...

What to do?

Well we could trot out some more Mencken quotes:

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. 

A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in. 

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. 

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. 

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. 

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable. 

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong, and Tony Abbott is the man to give you that answer. 

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican, or a Liberal lackey or a scribbler for Murdoch. 

Hmm, not sure what happened to those last few quotes.

Never mind, would any site be brave enough to use lolcats to make political commentary and still retain their self respect in these tortured, long suffering weeks of political ping pong?

Say hello to the pond, which will stoop to any depths ... but please note that the pond accepts no responsibility for brain damage, trances, or somnambulism arising from watching same ...

And now on with the ping pong:


  1. Poor Janet, she really is the poor mans Ann Coulter ( or is she the stupid mans Judith Sloan?). GlenH

  2. DP - this resonates with the Libs experience -

  3. I felt sorry for Rhys Muldoon sitting in between those two ... things from Murdoch Pty Ltd. I tried to offer my civilised opinion on the opinion pages of murdock rags, and surprise, did not get published. The hacks are scared of the boss.
    Maybe that's what Albo meant when he suggested murdockians are embarrassed?

  4. I raise your Twilight Zone and give you Right Says Fred - which combines sexy with cats.

    (DP - now stay calm!)

  5. Can someone do a mashup with Abbott's head on Fairbrass' body in 'I'm too sexy?'?

    It would be a viral sensation I'm sure.

  6. Anon the first, Judith Sloan is the stupid man's Judith Sloan. I'm not sure about Planet. She's certainly unhinged.


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