(Above: why should the Murdochians be restricted to receiving their own in house awards? Why can't the pond honour them for their work?)
What else to feel on this weekend of bogan flag-wavers, each year ever more eerily reminiscent of wandering through the trailer parks of America and seeing the poor trot out their flags, because that, cable and a pick up are all they've got, while the rich make out like sniggering self-satisfied, gated bandits?
Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom: "The servants relieved their ennui with gambling and gossip about their masters" (John Barth).
Were they alive today, users of Classical Latin might be surprised to find that centuries later a phrase of theirs still survives, although as a single word. The phrase mihi in odiō est (literally translated as "to me in a condition of dislike or hatred is"), meaning "I hate or dislike," gave rise to the Vulgar Latin verb inodiāre, "to make odious," the source of the Old French verb ennuyer or anoier, "to annoy, bore." This was borrowed into English by around 1275 as anoien, our annoy. From the Old French verb a noun meaning "worry, boredom" was derived, which became ennui in modern French. This noun, with the sense "boredom," was borrowed into English in the 18th century, perhaps filling a need in polite, cultivated society. (here)
There you go, that's kicked the noggin into gear and fortified the brain, because each week it gets harder to trot off to The Weekend Hagiographer, and watch in awe and amazement as the prattling hagiographic clowns go about their knob and apple polishing business.
Sorry, the pond can't be bothered linking to them - after all, it's not the pond's business to help the failing business model of the reptiles, but here's what's served up as the top of the digital page:
Uh huh. It's that knob polisher extraordinaire who apparently in recent days has been doing his best to alienate listeners to the ABC (the pond now listens to world radio, and what bliss it is).
You see, apparently Greg Sheridan believes that it's heroic Tony, valiantly pushing ahead, who is rocking the boat, because he's absolutely determined to do the right thing:
The Abbott government is absolutely determined to stop illegal immigrant boats coming to Australia, even if this means enduring significant damage to the relationship with Indonesia. This damage is playing out in a series of bellicose statements by senior Indonesian military sources, although these statements were substantially wound back by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa yesterday, when he said that increased Indonesian navy patrols were "not an unfriendly act towards any nation".
Damn you bellicose Indonesians, the pond is sure there's a suitable paranoid explanation for your bellicose ways.
Just because Tony has given you the odd head butt and knee to the groin, do you have to go into your hurt Asian routines?
And if you note that header just below the chief knob polisher, it seems that Cameron Stewart has also determined it's all the fault of the prickly, pesky, inflammatory Indonesians:
Australia and Indonesia are fast losing patience with each other over asylum-seekers, putting at grave risk Canberra's hopes of repairing the diplomatic damage from the recent spy scandal. Yet it is Indonesia that is setting the tone for this latest slide in the relationship. Indonesia's inflammatory response this week to unproven claims that returned asylum-seekers were abused by the Australian navy says much about Jakarta's prickly mindset in the wake of boat turnbacks and the spying controversy.
Can we wheel out any other knob polisher? Mais naturellement:
Undoubtedly Australians also want a tough regional war with those prickly, difficult, bellicose Indonesians. Teach those bloody gado gado munchers a good lesson.
Let's keep rattling those Murdochian sabres and waving the flag and insisting it's our right to rule the waves and see what we can achieve.
Oh wait, perhaps you were trying to say something a little different?
But in the end, who cares. However you cut it, you're part of the rat pack of hagiographers, and if they do a splash which suggests you're cheering on a tough border policy, and never mind it being conducted in secrecy, why should the pond care?
Is there anybody else waiting in the wings to add to the sense of profound, deep, inertial ennui?
Oh yes, how could we forget the bouffant one?
Ah yes, tough Tony, part three.
Is there anything else?
What's the bet you headed your piece 'Positive' PM cuts impressive figure at Davos?
Never mind, do go on:
Tony Abbott seemed almost out of place at the World Economic Forum in the slick and snowy alpine village of Davos where 2500 delegates, many paying $70,000 to attend the business celebrity (and just plain old celebrity) studded conference, embrace the theme of improving the world. Indeed, the Prime Minister seemed to reinforce the impression at an event for "Australians at Davos" when he used the old joke about the forum being considered as "Woodstock for intellectuals".
What's that you say? The pugilist is an intellectual and he's gone to Woodstock? Oh dear, quickly, quickly:
Abbott is hardly seen as hippie material and has long been disparaged by critics as being old-fashioned, unthinking, "innumerate" and uninterested when it comes to economics.
As for the rest of it, why you could write it yourself with your eyes closed.
If we may be so bold as to reduce the bouffant one to his essence, Tony Abbott left a positive impression because of his clear and positive outlook and he impressed business and economic leaders with his steady and simple approach, and business leaders want one of him in their country because of his clear and positive outlook, and Japan's Prime Minister was also impressed and looking forward to being impressed again, and one of Australia's leading businessmen, who for some reason forget to leave his card or his name with Shanahan was also impressed.
There were more impressions than you could find in a Willy Wonka chocolate factory.
Oh sure Abbott might not be complicated or a celebrity - in fact he might be just a boofhead pugilist - but he has a steady pair of hands with a clear message, and let's face it, he consistently delivered a message throughout the week, without hectoring or condescension, that Rupert Murdoch should take over the ABC at once ...
Yes, we now live in a land where simpletons praise the simple for their ability to be simplistic. Take it away, bouffant one:
Abbott's intention is to introduce some "economics" into the G20 agenda, simplify the number of issues being addressed and produce a readable "three-page" communique after the global summit in Brisbane in November.
Simple, simple, simple, hammer, nail, simple.
Because if it's more than three pages long, you begin to experience ...
Could this get any better? Could the bouffant one single-handedly turn The Weekend Hagiographer into The Weekend Federal Government Gazette? Oh he's up for anything:
Far from being seen as a climate-change sceptic and international pariah, as he was portrayed when he opposed Rudd's emissions trading scheme and Julia Gillard's carbon tax, Abbott's chairmanship of the G20 comes as a global trend is beginning to balance carbon pricing with costs to business and consumers, to remove subsidies from renewable energy and expand coal and shale oil production. On the issue of energy security, one Abbott has nominated as a key for G20 discussion, a "climate change denier", who was a man out of place in the world and at Davos, could become a man of the time.
Yep, Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott is a man of the times ... and naturally Shanahan follows up at tedious length with long and misleading explanations about how nobody anywhere else wants to do anything at all about climate science, because it's too expensive and too tricky and too damn difficult, and if you read between the lines, because we all know it's crap anyway ...
And now, if you want a truly bizarre turn, how about this?
The crux of Abbott's ambitions for global and domestic economic growth is the unleashing of vast private enterprise cash supplies, stockpiled from the savings and lack of spending after the global financial crisis, to invest in infrastructure. A study from advisory firm Deloitte in Europe this week suggested there is $US2.8 trillion in private hands - including an estimated $US150 billion in Apple alone - which could be spent to fuel sustainable global growth.
Let me get this right. So Apple is going to unlock all its corporate wealth, snatch it away from its own business plans and its shareholders, and invest in infrastructure, say by building a VFT from Woop Woop to the Black Stump?
Why, that's fucking visionary, that's fucking awesome. It might also be fucking deluded and fucking stupid, but we've swallowed the kool aid and the dream.
It was about this point that even the bouffant one began to run out of steam (which as a source of power really is too coal based and as Victorian as big Mal's NBN and therefore urgently demands the attention of Apple's corporate wealth).
In the end, the poor possum could only regurgitate the words of Chairman Tony:
As Prime Minister domestically, and G20 chairman globally, Abbott wants to encourage better governance and more stable government to make business less "risk-averse".
At the same time he hopes to convince voters that the Coalition has an economic strategy and message that he can develop over time, based on his election-night mantra that "Australia is under new management and open for business".
A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities. (here)
Uh oh. The next thing you know, The Graudian types will be mocking Tony Abbott in pieces like Does Tony Abbott always make the same speech?
It seems the man has a bee in his bonnet about government:
Never shuts up about it, always blathering on about government, government, government. Can't get enough of it, perhaps because he's in government ...
Well you'll have to head off to the original to attempt to make sense of the wordies, but a word of warning, there's absolutely no way to make sense of it.
Meanwhile, the bouffant one wraps it up:
In his speech, Abbott said the Coalition was cutting red tape and reducing the tax burden by scrapping the carbon tax and the mining tax, holding a Commission of Audit, working on trade agreements with Japan, China, India and Indonesia, and developing policies to address the ageing population, including a paid parental leave scheme.
Say what? A paid parental leave scheme will address the ageing population? By fornicating like Catholic rabbits, we'll put more than ten billion people on the planet, in the most gigantic Ponzi pyramid scheme of all time?
An economic miracle, no doubt, no doubt. Or ...
As for the rest of it, clearly Abbott does make the same speech, and how the hagiographers love it, no doubt in much the same way as the faithful at Jonestown loved to listen to Jim Jones.
What really disturbs the pond is the idea that the reptiles felt the need to send Shanahan off to Davos just so he could set down this gushing guff. For this they fork out an airfare and expenses? Is this a sustainable business model?
Shanahan could have done his profoundly shallow coverage just as easily by watching Abbott on Skype and transcribing various press releases and the speech itself. And he could have dug the Woodstock joke out of the moth-eaten tie died T shirt he wore when he mocked the hippies in the 1960s ...
Oh and picked up the phone and talked to himself or an anonymous leading businessmen to discover how easily impressed the impressionable are, and who can therefore be relied on to assert how wonderful and astute our simple PM is ...
So there you go. Astute, insightful coverage of Abbott and his speeches and his posturing, and a holding to account and a considered view?
In your dreams.
The pond hasn't got a hagiographer of the week award, but surely this effort puts Sheridan under dire threat.
After all, Sheridan could only manage to invoke the standard line about treacherous, treasonous traitors in our midst, asps clasped to the breast with their poisonous fangs and flickering tongues?
One dynamic that the Abbott government has no control over is the role of the Australian media and the former Labor government.
Although Indonesia is a much bigger country than Australia, it is one of the few nations where the Australian media casts a shadow. Those elements of the Australian media that hysterically demonised the Abbott policies, in combination with Kevin Rudd's pronouncements that Mr Abbott's policies would lead to naval confrontation with Jakarta, played significantly into Indonesian reactions.
They substantially raised the bar of what a politically respectable nationalist reaction to Australian policies would be in Indonesia.
Which is, when you think about it, a wondrous example of the paranoid conspiratorial mind at work. Indonesian politicians and the Indonesian public have been lathered up about Tony Abbott by the pinkos in the Australian media ...
But at least you now know why the pesky Indonesians are being so irritatingly bellicose. Why they're just pawns of the ABC and Fairfax ...
Could it get any weirder? Of course it could, at least if you head off to the least trusted newspaper in Australia, the Daily Terror:
Akker Dakker posed like a rugger bugger boofhead in a team photo? Like rugger bugger Tony in his glory days? Delusional, or what?
Sorry the pond can't go there. Not today, not when suffering from ...
On the bright side, there is a cure for Greg Sheridan. Take two aspirins, and read once again How I Learnt to Love Tony Abbott, a bromance for the ages. Repeat as needed until the paranoid conspiratorial inflammation has receded ...
But sorry there's no known cure for the bouffant one. Even Brylcreem won't work:
So all the pond can do is award the bouffant one the title of hagiographer of the week, and The Weekend Hagiographer the title of hagiographic newspaper site of the year ...
Splendid work, chaps, keep it up and whatever you do, don't let a woman into your angry middle aged white ranting about the world ... who knows where that might lead ...
Now back to the ennui ...
(Below: but not before David Rowe, here, takes away a little of the ennui with a smile)
And now this from another side of the planet, thanks to a pond correspondent, HB, here and here:
A relatively humdrum Commons exchange on inflation descended into chaos as deputy Labour leader Denis Healey advises Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to "cut and run". The intervention, made from a sedentary position ... prompted a rare loss of composure from Mrs Thatcher, who accused Mr Healey of being "frightened!" and, more colloquially, "frit!" of the prospect of an election. (here)