here, thanks to a correspondent)
The pond was recently deeply moved on discovering that Germans during the first world war had invented over eight hundred different forms of ersatzwurst, or sausage substitute ...
That's one of the details in R.J. Evans review of a number of books about the start of World War I, for the NYRB, cached - outside the paywall - as 'The Greatest Catastrophe the World Has Seen' in case the direct text doesn't load here.
Yet when you think about it, the Murdochians, under far less pressure, in a comfortable domestic clime, routinely manufacture thousands of different forms of ersatzwurst, inserting straw, or newspaper pulp or sawdust ...
Take for example, that bubble headed booby Miranda the Devine, scribbling furiously for the least trusted newspaper in the country:
If you can be bothered to read Gender shouldn't define a career - yes, the eyes glaze, the body slumps, the mind turns feeble - the Devine gets really bizarre, and in the opening pars:
The hypocrisy of Labor dispatching its Emily’s List sweethearts Penny Wong and Catherine King to tear down one of the few women in the Abbott ministry made last week’s Senate Estimates hearings compulsory viewing.
Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, under siege over a Department of Health food rating website she had ordered taken down, got the full treatment from Labor’s feminist punishers.
She was grilled, niggled, berated and rudely interrupted until she finally snapped at Wong: “What would be better would be if you were not asking the same questions 10 times trying to get different answers.”
So much for the sisterhood.
Say what? Did anyone in the rag think about The hypocrisy of the Murdochians despatching a Catholic sweetheart bitch from hell to tear down a few Labor women doing their job as politicians? So much for the sisterhood ...
It's such a stupid opening gambit for what turns out to be a pro forma defence of the inept Fiona Nash that the pond struggled to read on.
But struggle on we did until we came to this:
If the Health Department is hellbent on spending money on nutritional public education, it would be far better to undo the damage done during the mad anti-fat campaign.
Sugar is the real culprit and fat-free food often is packed with sugar to make it taste better.
It seems that the Devine is part of the international sugar conspiracy, or at least a willing lickspittle dupe.
Sugar is the new tobacco, say cloistered activists like Liverpool University's Simon Capewell who fear "sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry"...
The sucrophobes, derided and excluded from health conferences in the 1960s and criticised for their fat scepticism, are now in charge.
Yep, that was Nick 'the Caterist' Cater railing at length against the sucrophobes in Too many hands in the sugar bowl, safely behind the paywall so that the Devine won't be mortified at being associated with cloistered activists and sugar demonisers and the anti-sugar lobby and an international conspiracy that can be traced at least as far as the WHO ...
Just another contradictory day in Murdoch la la land, where the power of the ersatzwurst is strong ...
Never mind, today the pond decided on a thought experiment, a trip into the heart of the belly of the beast - namely the editorials at the Oz ...
The rag has lately taken to flailing about in desperation as it fails in the marketplace, incapable of understanding how in the process it's helping orchestrate its own demise.
The tone of the editorials is invariably hagiographic.
Simpering and mindless adulation spring readily to mind. Take yesterday's editorial about the Oscars, under the header Australian creativity shines.
Scratch simpering, substitute ingratiating fawning and licking of boots. The rag goes on about Catherine Martin and Cate Blanchett (and Michael Wilkinson and David Clayton) and the Australian industry and concludes:
Yet again, those who triumphed at the Dolby Theatre, formerly the Kodak Theatre, have done us proud.
Now the pond didn't think much of Blanchett's winning performance, nor much of the Woody Allen movie, nor much for that matter of 12 Years a Slave, but at the same time, that's not because of some vicious tall poppie streak, it's just a matter of personal taste and preference ...
No, if you want a vicious hypocritical tall poppie streak you just have to saunter through the Murdochian hall of shame, where over the years Blanchett has routinely been assaulted for daring to express a view, or show signs of life and an interest in issues, or boldly refusing to follow the line decreed by the Murdochian thought police.
You don't have to look far. Along with his relentless excoriation of the likes of Adam Goodes - so much fear, so much loathing, so much bile - the Bolter routinely assaulted the woman who made the reptiles at the Oz passing proud.
Here's a perfect example, All hail our superwoman, which seethes with so much resentment, so much anger - along with cheap, bitter sarcasm - that it's truly a wonder to behold:
I know exactly when Queen Elizabeth mysteriously became our new head of state. It was when she left her four-day-old baby to give a florid speech at Kevin Rudd’s summit, praising artists . . . like herself.
How that crowd of our “best and brightest” cheered. And cheered again when she said she heard her baby cry in the corridor. Such hearing!
In fact, such was her hold on the audience that she looked less like Elizabeth for a moment and more like the magical Galadriel she’d also been, once more entrancing hobbits.
Then she sat with the self-possession she’d shown as Charlotte Grey, another of her heroic incarnations.
What a triumph it all was for the hardly more real character also known as Cate Blanchett, now cast as the country’s most admired woman.
Bizarre, weird, pathetic, with a bunch in the comments below joining in the Lord of the Flies 'kill the pig' routine, the sort of hating you'd expect of a serial killer muttering about women being too successful, too attractive, and needing to be taken down a peg or two:
Observe the miracle: Thirty-nine and not a wrinkle; glittering career, yet a mum; Hollywood celebrity, yet mingling with the crowd; beautiful, yet hailed as a great mind.
And so on. If you drag your way through the envy, you'll emerge at the other end feeling drained, and exhausted, a bit like indulging in the Tough Mudder obstacle racing craze (sadly behind the New Yorker paywall).
But back to the hagiographers. You see, it's not just Blanchett and co who do Australia proud. It's the wonderful Abbott government:
If you can be bothered reading Challenging Putin's aggression, you'll see that Abbott's got it right and Obama got it wrong, and in Boosting competition will see Qantas fly high again, Abbott's got it right, and nearly everyone else in view has got it wrong.
It's important to remember this when reading why Labor is hopeless and confused, a piece without paragraphs, in the manner of Samuel Beckett writing his novel Molloy, in which it's established that Labor is wrong about everything, and Abbott, we may infer - along with that prime doofus Martin Ferguson - is right about everything.
At the end, the pond reeled away from the sickening, sugary, over-sweet hagiographic excess, way worse than a dose of fairy floss at the Tamworth show (stick to toffee apples to really do harm to your teeth).
Perhaps the Devine was right after all.
And yet it was marvellous to see the adept way that the anonymous editorialist had failed to mention - what with the only chant they could manage four legs Abbott good, and two legs Shorten bad - a most marvellous sight.
Yep, even though Qantas was under commercial pressure, and Alan Joyce was doing his level best to save his job by scoring government aid - when he should have been sacked back when he dumped his passengers in terminals all over the place - the airline couldn't manage to jump through the hoops and declare that black was white, and vice versa.
Even the reptiles felt compelled to note it in a cursory way in Qantas contradicts govt: 'carbon tax not to blame':
Qantas has said the removal of the carbon tax is not a priority in fixing its commercial woes, contradicting claims by the government and prime minister that the repeal of the legislation is key to Qantas' success.
According to The Guardian, Prime Minister Tony Abbott in question time yesterday told parliament: “The best thing we can do if we want Qantas to call Australia home now and forever is to remove the shackles that are holding Qantas back … by this very day repealing the carbon tax.”
Eek, they use The Graudian as a news source! They need an English-based newspaper, The Graudian, to find out what happened in question time in parliament?
Oh, but do go on:
But a Qantas spokesperson said that it was "levelling the playing field" against competitors, who also pay the carbon tax, that was key to its turnaround.
“Qantas’s current issues are not related to carbon pricing. We have been clear that levelling the playing field is the most important policy measure that needs to be fixed and with some urgency," they told the newspaper.
Say that again:
“Qantas’s current issues are not related to carbon pricing".
Well it might flash by in the news, but don't expect that sort of talk to turn up in the editorials at the lizard Oz. Not when there's exceptional feats of hagiography to be done ...
So where did that leave the pond?
Well it seems it's okay for a female columnist to berate female politicians for daring to berate another female politician, that sugar is bad except when it's Caterist good, that Cate Blanchett does us all proud except when she routinely irritates the Bolter and all the rest of the Murdochian neocon commentariat, that Tony Abbott is as sharp as a tack, and gets everything right ... except when ...
Sssh, how many times does it need to be said? Don't mention the carbon tax and climate science ...
Talk about ersatzwurst ... probably as insubstantial and unsatisfying as the kind the Germans had to devour in two world wars ...
The pond suddenly felt at Yeatsian desire to construct an elegy for angry old white men, their time up, and yet without the wit to know or understand it:
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect. (the rest here)
And then sheesh, wouldn't you know it, along comes a cartoonist to remind the pond that cartoons are the only thing in the daily newspapers worth reading, and to hell with angry white males of the Bolter kind, especially when they're paltry things, tattered coats covering bitterness and resentment ...
Or perhaps worst of all, unseemly covetous villains, best seen as Bondian cat-carrying, book-buying figures of fun.
And as always more David Pope here: