Saturday, August 10, 2013

The pond takes its Saturday pleasures where it finds them ...

As Wilson Pickett once famously said, or sang, you must take your pleasure where you find it, and even though it's slim pickings in this political season, the pond still enjoys the occasional pleasure.

Like the news of Kim William's departure - one down, thousands to go - which in turn led Crikey's A to begin its story, Kim Williams lobbed out of News Corp clearing path for Murdoch Jnr (may be paywall affected) with this:

The resignation this morning of highbrow opera and Campari fan Kim Williams from the top job at Holt Street has come as relief for some News Corp Australia senior journalists and executives, who say they are finally free to rip off the yoke of spreadsheets and KPIs and get back to reporting.


Get back to reporting?

So that's what they call working for the Rupert Murdoch-owned brothel chain these days ...

Yes, the Murdoch rags are saturated with the usual lick-spittle fawning on Abbott and the nattering negativity about the other side, on their front pages this Saturday, but the pond is done with giving them free shock horror titillation space ...

... and can we at the same time bury the notion that this is reporting, as opposed to preparing progaganda sheets which constantly tempt the pond to break Godwin's Law ...

But at least talk of reporting was good for a laugh.

What's even funnier was the moment when talk in the Crikey piece turned to the reptiles at the lizard Oz copping heavy losses, and the Murdochian newspaper division of News Corp foundering down under, bleeding like a stuck pig in a variation on Lord of the Flies.

It's always struck the pond as slightly odd, a business model which relies on abusing, alienating and insulting some fifty per cent of potential readership.

It works well enough in a big territory like the United States where you can construct a speciality brand like Faux Noise, appealing to rabid fundamentalists and ratbags, because the absent lord knows, the United States is full of them.

But here, what happens when you routinely abuse the latte sippers, the indolent tossers who laze about in the mornings, and actually read an old-fashioned ink in the veins rag over a morning coffee, the dangerous 'leets?

Way to go, Slightly Twisted Refreshments, please reward them, good citizens of Nundah, and more about the story in Brisbane cafe bans Murdoch press.

Now it's true that the pond adopted this policy long ago - here no Murdoch, no Murdoch here - but still you take your pleasures and your coffee where you find them, and in the rare and unlikely event that the pond is in the northern suburb of Nundah, it will demand some slightly twisted refreshments ...

And what do you know, the citizens of Wallabadah, a fine hamlet known only to those who know Tamworth is the centre of the universe, temporarily banned the Daily Terror. It didn't last but at least it sent Tim Bleagh into a momentary frenzy ... you can google it if you like but the pond is wary of providing a link. The sight of a Bleagh in Wallabadah might well finish off some of the pond's distant relatives.

Instead here's a picture of the pub:

Yes you too can ban the Terror and cop a peace-making visit from the Bleagh ... but have you thought instead of just pulping the rag and using the papier mâché in the local primary school? Environmentally and educationally sound ...

What's that you say? The evil spirits lurking in the papier mâché  are likely to produce demonic possessions requiring R-rated exorcisms of the children?

Never mind, remember, you take your pleasures where you find them, and if the Terror takes you into an unholy cinematic nightmare, enjoy it as much as you can manage to enjoy the re-make of the Evil Dead.

But there was other good news, and what splendid news it is, even if in the end it comes to naught, a bit like a Wallabadah ban ...

You can read it here in Sophie Mirabella panics as indie makes race of Indi, though it might be paywall affected, or you can read it in the Guardian down under, in Sophie Mirabella being 'thoroughly outgunned' in election, her aide warns.

Come on good citizens of Indi, do the right thing by the nation. The pond would never tell you how to vote, but are you aware that Mirabella is allegedly the shadow science and innovation minister?

Innovation? Well only if it's innovative to spew right wing prejudices and bile ... but when it comes to the times that count, here's what you cop:

Conservative politicians have held the seat since 1931, with Mirabella the incumbent since 2001. Her primary vote has fallen from 62.6% in 2004 to 52.6% in 2010. 
A spokesman for Mirabella said she was unavailable to comment on her campaign.

And there was the pond thinking that there wasn't a single reason on earth to hum that supermarket song, down, going down, deeper and down, or some such thing ...

No comment.

Now the pond has a deep affection for the area - there are sometimes fierce arguments within the family as to whether it's Tamworth or the mighty Wang that are the centre of the know universe - so spare a moment for the readers of the Wangaratta Chronicle as it fearlessly reports Liberal letters spark storm.

It seems Adam Wyldeck, Mirabella's media advisor, is angling for a job for the Murdoch press, because  he's in the business of explaining to people how they should think, how they should vote, and what sort of letters they should write.

Mr Wyldeck expressed concerns that only three pro-Liberal letters had been published in the lead up to the election, but the Chronicle has now received seven letters in support of Mrs Mirabella since the plea was sent to supporters. 
Some were from regular letter writers to the paper. 
Mr Wyldeck suggested to supporters that letters focus on Mrs Mirabella as strong and experienced, refer to Ms McGowan’s previous statement of having no policies, and focus on problems of independents having little influence outside a hung parliament.

Wouldn't it have been simpler just to devise a pro forma?

Dear Editor, by golly that Mrs Mirabella is strong and experienced, and by golly that McGown woman has absolutely no policies, and by golly independents are evil, and by golly, what wonderful work Mrs Mirabella has done for climate science ... yours in lickspittle delusion ...

Truth to tell, Mirabella is disliked on both sides of the aisle, and a conservative independent wouldn't phase an Abbott government at all. And think of all the side benefits, mighty Wangers, of the kind that Tony Windsor delivered to Tamworth and district ...

Meanwhile, it seems that the reptiles at the lizard Oz are downplaying some of their more eccentric columnists in the run-up to the election.

You won't, for example, find Angela Shanahan on the rotating digital carousel of doom, though she's on hand berating Tony Abbott and his paid parental scheme in One-trick Tony needs to offer families choice (behind the paywall so you can chose to pay for fundie propaganda)

One-trick Tony?

She doesn't mean it of course, but the pond is always astonished when the rag finds space for Shanahan rambling on about abortion, women in the workforce, the Scandinavian countries, Japan, the importance of breeding, fertility and such like, right out of the Roman Catholic playbook circa 1955, but what's the bet the one-trick Tony reference in the header has seen her relegated to the back benches today?

In Murdoch la la land, he's always multi-trick Tony.

And Chris Kenny, surprisingly, has also been excluded from the digital carousel of doom, and you have to dig to find Promises, promises ... but mind the gap between words and deeds (behind the paywall because the reptiles expect you to pay for one-eyed twaddle).

Now you might think, if you see the splash, that it's an even-handed dissection of the political process and political issues:

Which would only show that you have remained blissfully unaware of the new Christopher Pearson.

His piece is of course an endless rant about the Labor government and its deficiencies, and not a word about Abbott's ability to turn on a pin when it comes to destroying or supposedly now building a better cheaper NBN, and so on and so forth, along with standard hubris that the media had failed to note what only the inimitable Kenny could deduce, being a better Sherlockian scribbler than Holmes himself ...

Oh there's a couple of words at the end about how both parties are the same, but you could only be fooled if you started reading without at least three cups of coffee ...

As for those who make it into the actual digital carousel of doom, you get the usual regulars, Dennis 'the tie' Shanahan being bold using the word "footling",  the pompously dull, famously leaden Paul Kelly talking of Vegemite and brave Abbott policies for 2016, Greg Sheridan doing his rabid routine about defence (stand clear, we need to build more first class Collins turkeys this week), and Judith Sloan urging fact-finding and testing of options (about what? who cares ...),  and the amazing Henry Ergas making desiccated coconut look way too liquid (courtesy the ABC, this week the pond actually had the bizarre experience of listening to Ergas, well at least for a nano second, until a blissful micro sleep suddenly snatched the pond into a deep oblivion).

Which brings us back to where we started.

The Australian making major losses and people wondering why ...

Why you'd need ten cups of coffee to get through that mob of pedants and curiosities and poseurs and ponces, all of the one-eyed kind ...

So take your pleasures where you find them, and instead of paying for a Murdoch rag, buy yourself a hit of coffee ...

(Below: a report from a News Corp reader)


  1. Dorothy another good week of reading for me thank you for your satirical summary of the clowns who pretend to be journalists for our nation.

  2. Dorothy, it's "faze", not "phase".

  3. Joe, it's not "Goozeff" it's "Gooseeffoff".

  4. Chris Kenny must be worried by the Opposition Leader's claim that he and the Prime Minister are on a unity ticket on education, which leaves one wondering why one would vote for the Coalition as against Labor.

    But Chris can take heart in the Coalition's ability to transform Labor's real policy into their own counterfeit policy and the Coalition's 5 pillars of negativity: no boats, no taxes, no public services, no union rights, no legislative safeguards against corruption, abuse and rorts (aka “bureaucratic tape”), which basically leaves us with only state and local governments or what Abbott cutely calls “small” government.

  5. Hawk was speaking in support of the ALP candidate at Maroubra this morning (Matt Thistlethwaite). OK he have might have stumbled on the odd word, but the old boy still has the spark of greatness when he delivers a speech. Knocks the socks off the current lot. "Tony the boxer and slimming-down jolly Joe Hockey" was one line I think.

  6. Thanks for another great post. I wish I could write as well as you.


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