Monday, March 10, 2014
The neocons make being a neocon seem hip and hilarious ...
Miranda the Devine came up with an epic opener the other day:
Leo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill make drug use seem hip and hilarious in The Wolf of Wall Street. (here)
Yes, of course it's just coat tailing gibberish with a trendy reference to the latest flick doing the rounds, and completely unrelated to the actual content of the film, its intent or its realisation, unless you happen to be so barking mad as to think a tale of a man reduced to hustling in New Zealand is a hip and hilarious outcome.
But it does say something about the lure of materialism to the Devine's mindset. Apparently she thinks a failed marriage, failure as a parent, failed friendships and a failed business career are easily offset by the dedicated consumption of drugs, and all the hysteria - ranging from car crashes to lost helicopters and ships - arising therefrom.
Naturally the pond found the Devine's infatuated love of the hip hilarious drugs lifestyle - perhaps lured in by the use of a first personal narration, and the charms of DiCaprio and Jonah Hill - to be an inspirational guide to decoding films:
Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci make working for the Mafia seem hip and hilarious in Goodfellas. Talk about spaghetti.
Bruno Ganz makes being Adolf Hitler seem hip and hilarious in Downfall. Just look at all the jokes on YouTube.
Nikolay Cherkasov makes being Ivan Vasilyevich seem hip and hilarious in Ivan the Terrible. Who could have imagined poisonings and assassination being more fun than Monopoly?
And so on. Anyone can play this game, and the more fatuous the misrepresentation of the film, the bigger the prize.
The winner today?
Surely it's Paul Sheehan.
Paul Sheehan makes being Paul Sheehan seem hip and hilarious in The Sydney Morning Herald. Just read Cashed-up Chinese are pricing the young out of the property market.
Yep, only back from taking a break after a bout of Chinese bashing, and it's back to the business of bashing the Chinese.
Now as anyone but a dodo already knows, the pricing of real estate in Sydney and Melbourne long ago priced the young out of the property market.
If you happened to be young, and with an eye on inner city living, you needed an eastern suburbs family connection, or you needed to have done well on a starter property that put you within cooee of the mortgage you needed for prime city real estate.
But neocons only seem to see colour when they're out and about. Here's how it's done:
We need the Chinese. But the growth of the Chinese middle class has been so explosive, and on such a scale, that it has the capacity to affect Australia in ways that will need to be controlled if some trends continue to accelerate. Notably home buying.
There has never been a lower percentage of first-home buyers in the Australian market. They have never had to pay and borrow more to enter the market. Especially in Sydney and Melbourne, where first-home buyers now represent a tiny segment of the market, where traditionally they had been about 20 per cent. This is not culturally healthy.
Cultural health? It's not even in code, is it?
Is it wise or proper to break Godwin's Law so early in the week?
What the heck, it turns out if you read Mein Kampf, that Adolf Hitler was obsessed with health.
Physical and cultural. He was always banging on about an "healthy outlook" and preserving a healthy peasant class and getting agitated about an unhealthy balance between town and country populations and a terrible poisoning of the health of the national body, and the health of street-walkers, and healthy minds dwelling in healthy bodies, and a healthier attitude towards life, and this sort of blather:
...only that relationship can ever be regarded as healthy which assures the nourishment of a people from its own soil and territory. Every other situation, though it may last centuries and even millennia, is nevertheless unhealthy, and will sooner or later lead to the injuring if not the destruction of the people concerned.
In fact if you head of to the internet archive to browse the book here, you'll discover there are some 90 references to health in the annotated text, including a couple of headings, The Energy for the Fight for Health, and Healthy Body Healthy Spirit.
In the usual way, Sheehan mistakes the inner city markets of Sydney and Melbourne for Australia, though it has to be said that the pond, as one of the inner city 'leets that routinely sends the commentariat into a frenzy, understands this myopic, miserably stupid mistake.
Now here's how it's done even better.
Having bunged on a do about the voracious Chinese stiffing native born currency lads and lasses, Sheehan does a neat shift in wording:
While there is a recognition of the growing displacement effect caused by Australians buying investment properties for their superannuation portfolio, there is no such official concession of a displacement effect caused by blocks of units being built specifically for Asian investors, or suburban clusters favoured by Chinese buyers.
Not yet. Given the size of the Asian middle class, given its continued rapid growth, the indicators in Hong Kong and Vancouver are that curbs on foreign ownership will become an inevitable public debate if a critical mass of locals believe they are being priced out of home ownership in their own cities.
You see? It's no longer just the voracious Chinese buyers.
It's the Asians.
The invading Asians ...
And nary a mention of how the young were priced out of home ownership in the inner areas of the big cities long ago ...
You have to wonder why the Fairfaxians keep running this sort of stereotypical racist stirring, laced with paranoia and a general fear of invading Asians. In the old days of the rivers of gold, real estate was how they made a healthy buck - oh yes they were into cultural health in a big way - and every so often they still run stories about big city real estate in memory of the way things were.
Perhaps they could run a carefully researched story, backed by detailed data, instead of the half-baked aggregate collection of paranoid assertions that characterise the usual Paul Sheehan story.
It might be good for the cultural health of the city ...
Well today the Daily Terror - well known as the least trusted newspaper in Australia - features a blowhard parrot who has been trained to recite and repeat endlessly the thoughts of Gina Rinehart.
Yep Jason Morrison is one of those useless insects who linga longa on the edges of shock jock radio, spouting opinions because they're not much good at anything else.
Do a Greg Hunt and take a gander at Morrison's wiki here, and you will see what the pond means.
The pond would like to think it's an original thought, but actually talk of empty vessels started long ago:
The quotation, "As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers," is from the early English author William Baldwin.
Shakespeare referred to this proverb in Henry V (IV.4.64), "I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true, the empty vessel makes the greatest sound".
The Mars Volta included a song with the title "Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound" on their 2012 album Noctourniquet. (here for the footnotes and more)
Now you can head off and read the empty braying and posturing in Get ya money for nothin' in today's handout society if you like.
Or you could just read the back of your cornflakes packet, and find it more informative and nutritiously filling.
How do you know you're in the presence of a knee-jerk rabble rousing twit?
This sort of line:
Seen the “Sponsored by Centrelink” bumper stickers on the back of hotted-up cars? You can buy them in car shops!
A friend who works for Centrelink often speaks of her personal distaste at having to call welfare recipients ‘‘clients’’. She believes it has changed the whole dynamic in the office from people needing help to many demanding it.
Indeed. The damned wretches should be called parasites, leeches, vultures, rip off merchants, bludgers, ne'er do wells, useless blood suckers, spongers, layabouts, cadgers, and Centrelink should routinely greet anyone who comes through the door with "what the fuck are you doing in here, you useless fucking waste of space, you fucking parasitical leech".
There are of course genuine leeches and wastes of space at work in Australia, and they're wannabe shock jocks who get to trumpet their stupid paranoid right wing views.
But it's interesting to see the company that Paul Sheehan keeps. Yep, at the same time as he's denouncing Australians for being welfare bludgers who couldn't rub together two shekels, Morrison's complaining about how the local currency lads and lasses are being dudded by ...
... those filthy voracious Chinese, industriously at work again doing their best to rouse fear and paranoia:
A generation of local home buyers are being priced out of the Sydney market right now and no one will do anything about it because the money coming in is just too good.”
That’s actually the assessment of a prominent real estate agent and anyone house hunting right now knows how true it is. Chinese foreign money is flooding in and they are dominating Sydney prices. It’s ‘‘good times’’ in real estate but the good times are leaving the locals on the bench.
The only difference to Sheehan? Well Morrison doesn't bother to dress it up with any fancy faux statistics. All he needs is the word of a prominent real estate agent and house hunters ...
However, it's happy days, because Morrison has a solution:
If all the industry says is true, let’s get clever and hit foreign buyers with higher stamp duty.
Two benefits: It might make the purchase a little less attractive to the foreign buyer and, if it doesn’t, it’s a tax bonanza for NSW to improve much needed infrastructure.
The real estate industry will hate this concept and some sellers too, but the poor bugger trying to buy into an impossible market won’t have any objections. It’s about time someone stood up for the people who live here.
But, but, but, billy goat, the people who live here are useless welfare bludgers, and parasites and cheats and frauds. Who could possibly be bothered standing up for this bunch of ne'er do wells?
Cue Morrison blathering on about fare evaders:
Another outcome of the “rights, rights, rights” era where a willingness to challenge authority was considered a sign of strength. Society is headed downhill fast if we think this is progress.
Oh is it right, is it proper? Should the pond do another breach of Godwin's Law so early in the week?
Sheesh, the cost of attempting to pay the swear jar fine might be pretty high.
What the heck. It turns out that Adolf Hitler had a bee in his bonnet about authority. You can find it in Mein Kampf in headings like The Three Pillars of Authority, and this sort of analysis, which it has to be said is right down Morrison's alley:
The three-year-old child has now become a youth of fifteen who despises all authority. Familiar with nothing other than dirt and filth, the young fellow knows nothing that could rouse his enthusiasm for higher things.
Yep, what's needed is authority!
But if you find authority in the empty mouthings of an incoherent populist shock jock hustler and ranter, what hope for authority?
Still the pond learned a couple of things this morning, and one of them is this.
If you read Paul Sheehan rabble rousing about the invading Asians, you quickly come to understand that it's just a very small step over a very small trickling stream from the Fairfaxians to the Murdochians when it comes to filling their papers with populist smears of the lowest kind ...
Which leads to an inevitable question?
Who on earth still pays for these bloodsucking leeches, these no good parasites?
They'd be better off in a dole queue, and so would the country.
Putting them on welfare would be the cheapest option, a tidy price to pay for a little peace and quiet ...
But right now, if you pay for their work, you might think it a harmless act of benevolence. Helping out the parrots with a little bird seed. Just remember some goose somewhere might label you as one of their clients ...
(Below: a couple of shock jock cartoons)
Posted by dorothy parker at 3/10/2014 08:33:00 AM