Wednesday, March 12, 2014

So many mad moments, so little time ...

Amidst all the tabloid splashes, that little feature in the bottom right corner of the Daily Terror - Australia's least trusted newspaper - might have gone unnoticed.

The pond would have liked to have dubbed it "The Moment Miranda the Devine Went Mad", but in reality, the Devine has been barking mad for yonks, and this is just the latest manifestation.

The Devine fancies herself as a stylist, and aesthetically aware, so she went after Scott Ludlum in vintage aesthete style, in a bid to show that Oscar Wilde a thing or two:

Scott Ludlum’s “viral” hate speech against Tony Abbott signified the moment the Left finally lost its marbles: 10.08pm, Monday March 3, 2014. We can see them frozen in time, like the Edvard Munch painting The Scream, as the final awful realization hits home of Tony Abbott’s comprehensive victory and his determination to make his prime ministership count. 
They knew before Newspoll confirmed it this week that all their dishonest, sneaky, bigoted, dog-whistling attempts to demonise Abbott and his government are falling on increasingly deaf ears. (here)

Cue an illustration by hapless John Tiedemann:

And there you have in a nutshell the failure of the tabloid imagination, torn between the need for figurative literalism and the actual work by Munch. He did a number of variants:

Moral? The less the Terror has to do with art, the better for all concerned ...

As for the rest of the Devine, it achieves the kind of ecstasy that must have been the lot of nuns when they managed to touch the hem of a passing bishop:

Abbott’s words fell on the room of foresters like a chorus of angels signifying the dawning of the light.

Oh sure, she's trying to troll, she's being a provocative tease, but clearly she doesn't have the first clue how ineffably stupid she sounds in the process ...

Ángele Dei, qui custos es mei, me, tibi commíssum pietáte supérna, illúmina, custódi, rege et gubérna. Amen.

Bizarrely the Devine labels Ludlum as telegenic, which is to say having an appearance or manner that is appealing on television, while labelling him shrill, a plaintive loser, and a deliverer of a diatribe. Was she just being satirical, or did she fail to understand what telegenic actually meant?

As for the meat in the piece, there is of course none, but there is this classic vision of nature:

A well-kept forest is a joy for flora, fauna and human economic interests.

A well-kept forest?

It swept the pond back to Victorian and American days when the taming of the wilderness was all the go.

Nature was bit like an unkempt hippie, it needed a short back and sides, it needed to be put in shape and to be ordered. No nasty messiness, but shaped into a nice English country garden. A little music, please maestro Percy Grainger evoking an English country garden, and if you feel the need to lash anyone, to draw a little blood with the whip, please remember to give the Devine a few good smacks ...

It's all of a piece with recent attempts to cull sharks in Western Australia, and other attempts to transform the world into a well-kept orderly suburban vision, whereby earth will eventually become a very large zoo, with humans rampant in the zoo, and a few other creatures locked in well-kept spaces out the back ...

The Devine is perhaps simply too dumb - she's always ineffably stupid - to realise the deeper significance of what a casual throwaway line about what a "well-kept forest" might mean, or the ongoing debate about how humanity might interact with wilderness ...

In the usual way, like all rabid ideologues, the Devine seized on Media Watch dumping on exaggerated newspaper stories about climate science, as proof that alarmism was now dead, and presumably along with it, climate science, with the world resuming its progress along the path towards it being "well-kept", tidy and orderly

If only it was as simple as the asinine simplicity of a tabloid commentator scribbling away. It reminded the pond of a story a couple of years old now, set in Longyearbyen, Norway:

In winter the sun never rises over the horizon and temperatures drop to -45C. Longyearbyen, its capital, is the most northerly town in the world. 
First discovered in the 12th century, nobody considered colonising it until 700 years later when rich seams of coal were found under its frozen ground. 
Man’s ingenuity has since tamed part of the wilderness and there are now 2000 permanent residents. All the paraphernalia of modern life are now here – a swimming pool, a bank, post office, an airport, hospital, and two schools. 
The main street boasts a Radisson hotel, cafés, bars, and restaurants. 
But as the death of Horatio Chapple shows, no amount of know how can tame a polar bear. 
The summer months which are so popular with visitors are by contrast their toughest months. The lack of sea ice – exacerbated by climate change – makes catching their main prey seals much more difficult and those left stranded are often half starved to death. 
Enter tourists to their lands and the mix, as last week showed, can be deadly. (here)

So it goes - isn't that a jim dandy polar bear warning sign - but the pond has no doubt that the wilderness can be tamed, and the bears can be taught how to be well-kept and never mind all that blather about climate change (which remarkably turned up in the generally denialist UK Terror ...)

But let's not tarry with the Devine, because there are plenty of ineffably silly people out and about today.

Yes, the blithely stupid silly ass Gary Johns has announced in the lizard Oz that the Race-hate war is already won (behind the paywall to avoid upsetting intelligent people) which will no doubt surprise anyone living in the real world, or even those who attend soccer matches.

Clearly Johns doesn't read the rag, which felt the need to cover the story Race row mars 'fair play round' (behind the paywall to avoid upsetting Johns) in which it's noted a visibly upset Ali Abbas alleged he was racially and religiously abused ...

But then Johns himself has in the past sailed close to the wind and is these days much beloved by the Bolter - see Gary Johns: end the New Racism for a love-in.

Perhaps what's most irritating about Johns is the way each statement or public appearance sees him tagged - per the Bolter - as a former Labor Minister. It's true enough as a fact, but in reality Johns long ago drifted into the ratbag right, with a particular axe to grind against Aboriginal people ...

But it helps explain why inter alia Johns can include these lines in his piece:

Had Pat Eatock and her “light-skinned’’ Aboriginal co-complainants sued Bolt for defamation they might have won. Then again, his accusation, that she and others used their Aboriginal heritage to obtain benefits, might have been assessed on the merits and regarded as fair comment. By using the race-hate provisions, fair comment as a defence was bypassed and Bolt foundered on the rock of hurt feelings.

Bolt actually foundered on the rock of fucked-up facts.

Bolt was wrong. Spectacularly wrong. In two famous columns in 2009 he took a swipe at "political" or "professional" or "official" Aborigines who could pass for white but chose to identify as black for personal or political gain, to win prizes and places reserved for real, black Aborigines and to borrow "other people's glories".  
But Bolt's lawyers had to concede even before this case began in the Federal Court that nine of these named "white Aborigines" had identified as black from childhood. All nine came to court to say they didn't choose this down the track but were raised as Aborigines. Their evidence was not contested by Bolt or his paper.

And this:

Brushed aside was Bolt's claim that he was not writing about race at all. The judge found: "Race, colour and ethnicity were vital elements of the message and therefore a motivating reason for conveying the message, even if the message is to be characterised as ultimately about choice of racial identity." (plenty more here, with forced video)

Bizarrely Johns seems to think that intermarriage is the solution that will solve everything, and end all racial and religious divisions.

The rate of intermarriage for Aborigines in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne is more than 80 per cent. Aborigines constitute 1 per cent of the population of these places: a tiny minority. In a sea of whites, Aborigines have high intermarriage rates. 
 The migrant experience has been very positive. European migrants integrate after the second and at least by the third generation. Neither is religion a barrier to intermarriage. Catholics and Protestants now marry. 
Marrying out is low for all the first-generation non-Christian religious groups, including Muslims, Jews and Hindus. Intermarriage is discouraged in almost all these faiths. But intermarriage by religion increases with each successive generation. 
 Marrying out among Jewish men and women has reached 30 per cent. A 30 per cent level of marrying out among third-generation Jews is low given upward mobility and secularisation in Australia, which normally promotes intermarriage.

It reminded the pond of the days of A. O. Neville, and the desire to "breed out the colour":

Are we going to have a population of 1,000,000 blacks in the Common­wealth, or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there were any Aborigines in Australia? (here)

Using the Jews as an example, Johns seems to think you can forget that there were any Aborigines in Australia, though they'll be able to keep a few quaint customs they can deploy when they get together:

The struggle to hold subsequent generations among identifiable groups is ongoing. Jews have maintained identity and made a huge contribution to Australia and integrate in so many ways in addition to marrying out. Therein lies the genius. 
The great achievements of the tolerant society were well and truly won before Soutphommasane’s commission came along. Future threats to it will be defeated by millions of Australians who intermarry, shun bad behaviour, such as that displayed by stupid girls on the local bus, or by encouraging their young to look outward. 

It also reminded the pond of that fatuous song by Blue Mink, called Melting Pot:

Take a pinch of white man 

Wrap him up in black skin 
Add a touch of blue blood 
And a little bitty bit of Red Indian boy 
 Curly Latin kinkies 
Mixed with yellow Chinkees 
If you lump it all together 
Well, you got a recipe for a get along scene 
Oh, what a beautiful dream 
If it could only come true, you know, you know 
 What we need is a great big melting pot 
Big enough to take the world and all it's got 
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more 
And turn out coffee colored people by the score

Meanwhile, back in the real world ... does Johns have any idea of what he reveals about himself by blathering on about intermarriage as the solution already to hand, and the war on racism already won?

Probably not, he's probably as deluded as the Devine ...

Enough already, you say, but wait, the pond has one last flourish. Did Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen really write "for feminists"?

Not "for some feminists" or perhaps "for some types of feminists", but rather a blanket, stereotypical labelling of "for feminists", which is to say "for all feminists", without exception ...
Yes indeed she did. And is there any more irony in Sticklers for labels tagged as groupthink suckers? (behind the paywall because feminists should pay to cop a bucketload of abuse).

Well of course, Dame Slap is the queen of the groupthink hive mind at work in the lizard Oz. For Albrechtsen to write about group think is to take parody to a level Gilbert and Sullivan could only dream about ...

Readers will particularly relish the well-off Dame Slap, routinely swanning around in the fast lane, getting agitated about flashy feminists:

Too often those who call themselves feminists fail to acknow­ledge, let alone celebrate, the full gamut of women’s ­choices. To them it can only mean equality of men and women in parliament, in the CEO’s chair, on the bench, in boardrooms.

Or writing blather for the reptiles at the lizard Oz ...

Yes, it's the usual mendacious ideological tripe, in which feminism and femocrats and all the rest are caricatured and dismissed as a clique. Here's how it's done:

...there is something deeply unsettling when a clique of well-to-do women spends more time lamenting its own petty grievances and ignores the real human rights abuses that plague women in the not-so-rich world. 
 The silence translates into a form of Western self-loathing where the alleged stifling role of Christianity is attacked but there is only silence about the cultural problems facing Muslim women. And when, for example, brave women such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali expose the inequality and mistreatment of women in the Muslim world, instead of cheers from the sisterhood, Hirsi Ali is often met with suspicion for being associated with conservative think tanks.

There's something deeply, profoundly offensive in that nonsense, though whether it's wise to get upset about a comedian doing bad comedy is for others to judge.

But whenever the pond comes across this sort of libel, it likes to flip the sentiments:

...there is something deeply unsettling when a clique of well-to-do women in conservative newspapers spends more time lamenting petty grievances and abusing feminists, while ignoring the real human rights abuses that plague women in the not-so-rich western world of Christian fundamentalism. 
The silence translates into a form of self-loathing where the alleged stifling role of Muslims is attacked time and again, over and over, but there is only silence about the cultural problems facing Christian women. And when, for example, brave women such as Sandra Fluke expose the inequality and mistreatment of women in the Christian world, instead of cheers from the sisterhood, Fluke is often met with suspicion for being associated with progressive politics ...

Indeed. And so on and on.

The pond is an equal opportunity proponent, ready to attack all religions at any time for their abuse of the right of women to control their bodies, or for that matter, for gays to live in peace. It just so happens that the Pellists and the angry Anglicans and the Exclusive Brethren and the clap happy crowd live in Sydney, where Islamic fundamentalism is happily a very small tribe ...

The next time you see Dame Slap launch a full-blooded assault on Christian fundamentalism, and Pellists and angry Anglicans - along with her usual tirades about the Islamics and their fundamentalism - do let the pond know, and we'll pop a champagne cork.

Sadly her usual form is to continually assault feminism and feminists, while enjoying the perks of reform in the workplace that gave her a place in the sun, the work of many women labouring long and hard over many decades to achieve ...

If only those feminists knew the monsters they were creating the space for ...

And finally the pond has stayed silent while the Minister for Eastern Suburbs humbuggery and puffery has huffed and puffed all over the place about the way artists should kow tow, and not attempt to pretend their work has anything meaningful or useful to say about the world.

These wretches are mere ideologues and pedants, and they should acknowledge their real job is to decorate the homes of well-informed eastern suburbs ponce homes, and add class and investment value to the walls of ponce board rooms, and perhaps design a nice statue that can sit on a plinth in a decorative way outside a terrific ponce skyscraper.

Or perhaps produce a little street art to encourage tourism, but nothing confronting mind. A nice yellow duck, say, or a puppy exuding flowers ...

Let's not take Picasso and that Guernica nonsense too far ... besides, how could you fit that in even a large dining room and how would the dismal tones go with the blue fleur de lis chairs?

What a pompous pretentious prat, what a humbug, Turnbull is ...

Take it away First Dog, and remember, more First Dog here (paywall affected) ...

Oh yes, and fuck you Malcolm Turnbull, seriously fuck you, and your preening pompous posing, seemingly designed to make us feel grateful that Tony Abbott won, and while we're at it, fuck your half-baked, half-assed copper-laden crock of crap, quaintly known as a national broadband network ...


  1. DP - you're a bit hard on Blue Mink. Melting Pot was meant to be satirical.

    1. True Anon, but at the time any passing hippie could tell you the sentiments within it were life sustaining and a message of hope. It once led the pond into an all night argument, and ever since the pond has been extremely sensitive about Blue Mink. And as evidence we cite The Graudian's 1000 protest songs everyone must hear:

      This debut single by the veteran Brit sessioneers fronted by Madeline Bell had long since jumped the shark when Alan Partridge jumped around his Travelodge room singing it, stopping only to question whether “Chinky” was still an acceptable term. It’s dated, then, but winningly guileless, with – as the sight of a pub full of old socialists singing along to it on the jukebox will attest – a wonderfully uplifting chorus. MH

  2. You must realise, DP, that in the eyes of M the D, Ludlam being 'telegenic' is code for 'he's a bit of a spunk'. Nothing whatsoever to do with what issues from his mouth.

    The Devine is obsessed with male looks; just hear the way she used to blather on about Abbott in his budgie-smuggling glory.

  3. these 2 comments from the divine's blog say it all about her followers intelligence and ability to think for themselves.

    2 hours ago

    Well done Miranda! Not that I took in anything you've written. But geez, your a good sort! Keep up the good work sweetheart ;)



    1 hour ago

    @Jim I agree. I never read what she writes or listen to what she says, but I totally agree with everything she says.

  4. Tony Abbott: "I want the ABC to be a straight news-gathering and news-reporting organisation, and a lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everybody's side but Australia's,'' Mr Abbott said.

    “ABC largely meets its professional standards, auditors find Independent reviewers say 95% of public broadcaster’s news, current affairs and political interviews attracted no criticism”

    Abbott will certainly apologise - in the month of then in the year of never.

  5. "the full gamut of women’s ­choices.." begins with a Strayan education revolution

  6. The IPA's resident eugenicist Johns conflates "marrying out" with certain "rubbing out". So what do his 30% Jewish cohort think of this view? And what do they actually do reproductively when passing on the genes that in Johns' dark dreams prevents passing on the memes?

  7. "Oh yes, and fuck you Malcolm Turnbull, seriously fuck you"

    Now theres something I think we can all agree on...

  8. Bolt - They're all against me! I just have to stay in bed all day. Damn Q&A and the ABC!

    "STRANGE, after all I’ve been through, but Monday on the ABC may have been finally too much for me...
    My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I’m listening.

    This time I was so bruised by Q&A that I didn’t go into work on Tuesday. I couldn’t stand any sympathy - which you get only when you’re meant to feel hurt."


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