Monday, May 26, 2014

Crossing the Rubicon without a working iPad ...

(Above: that's the PR version, here, and here's the pond experience)

Let's first get yet another sorry anecdote about why Qantas is fukt out of the way.

The pond was pleasantly surprised to discover the iPads in the seat pockets of the aged 767. A nice, caring touch. Three iPads later, the pond managed to get a working beast, and not by way of ignorance, as the pond uses a home iPad every day.

Two sets of earphones later the music still couldn't be heard, and a blithe member of the cabin staff advised that she'd heard they were still having trouble getting the old earphones to work with the new iPads.

Maybe it was an impedance mis-match, maybe it was an output issue - the pond's partner swore that there was ghostly, ethereal music to be heard in the dim distance. Happily the pond's partner also had a set of decent earpods to hand, and finally the Shostakovich could be heard.

At first the pond suspected it was a plot to detect Russophiles in these dim, dark 'Putin the fascist' days, but truth to tell, it was just a minor Qantas fukt-up, rolling out a system without any notion of making it work, and using a half-arsed, cheaply modified jack to get the earphones connected and never mind that they didn't match up. At least nobody could be fukt to steal the cheap-arse earphones.

Inspired by the pond, a passenger behind also began to agitate for a new iPad and new earphones, but the roll out seemed to be generally fukt.

The pond immediately began to brood about Alan Joyce and why he still had a job, and the failed Asian initiative, and all the other stupidities and endless follies of his regime.

You see, it's all to do with thwarted expectations. If the iPad hadn't been in the seat pocket, the pond could have just ignored the crappy Hamish and Andy in Asia show on endless rotation in the cabin, and settled down to read the free Murdochian tripe which litters the Qantas lounge (it's more heavily papered than a Peter Garrett revival gig).

Instead the pond spent the rest of the flight wondering about the rest of the airline's operations and was rewarded with a cowboy landing.

It's sort of a metaphor for Tony Abbott's Australia, confirmed by the news that the smirking, winking PM has stacked his literary awards with stooges, the most prominent being Prattling Polonius himself, a man who has spent decades denouncing writers and writers' festivals, but as everyone knows, is a man free of irony, contradictions, humour or self-awareness (Tony Abbott chooses conservatives to judge the Prime Minister's literary awards). It's good to know that a trough is always available for the snouts as a reward for their diligent knob polishing ...

The funniest thing? The pond had the bizarre pleasure of reading Hendo in tree killer mode, but all you need for a laugh is this:

From Trotsky killing Ruski sailors to a bit of minor jostling at Australian universities? Only in Hendo's paranoid la la land ...

On the upside, how good is Melbourne's street café, especially at this time of year and the exceptional weather (sssh, don't mention climate change).

The pond had an early breakfast at a place in a laneway populated by French speaking staff offering French snacks, and realised that while the whole country is in a budget crisis, an emergency of the first water, at least they'll go down eating in Melbourne (meanwhile vulgar Sydney is entranced by a light show).

Never mind, the consensus is that Denis Napthine is a Qantas iPad, which is to say fukt, as he approaches his November day of doom (Prime Minister Tony Abbott morphed into Denis Napthine's worst nightmare).

And the gossip on everyone's tongues involved Kathy Jackson - Shop union slush fund linked to vote _ usually always in the media touting something or other, yet managing to avoid talking to Fairfax Media for some three days ...

The other lark was the joke that's called the deficit levy and this sort of twaddle you can read in the Oz, presented with all due solemnity. This sort of stuff:

At a celebratory luncheon, the pond was offered a re-packing of salary using private school fees, the car lease, and sundry other expenses to get the pond's salary package down from 250k to 180k in a nanosecond.

There was only one thing missing - an actual 250k salary - but please, if you're having trouble, talk to your accountant. There's no reason any entrepreneurial Australian should be as stupid as the people who scribble the headlines for The Australian ...

Meanwhile the futtocks at the paper go about their diligent knob polishing, in a style which shows exactly why the Qantas lounge is so heavily papered by the reptiles - it's the only way they can get respectable circulation figures, and it also helps explain why they're so heavily dependent on Rupert Murdoch's welfare and charity:

Actually the co-payment was ostensibly to fund a twenty billion dollar medical future fund, so the rich who can afford cutting edge research treatment will be able to live longer and healthier lives, thanks to the efforts of the poor.

Who knows why Troy Bramston writes such drivel, but roll on Elysium, the pond says, roll on ...

Meanwhile, the woman who has singlehandedly managed to persuade the pond to turn off Radio National (admittedly helped by the musical selections of Fenella Kernebone) produced a spectacular headline today:

Oh yes, those wicked students, beating up the hapless, smirking, winking Tony Abbott and the poodle Pyne. Oh those naughty thugs and bullies ...

At which point you might rightly ask whether Abbott and the poodle Pyne are the bigger and more empowered bullies ... but first, here, drink this kool-aid from Vanstone la la land, and remember that Joe Hockey was out in the streets, protesting about being made to pay a $250 tertiary student fee, which one wag noted would have bought a box or two of Cuban cigars in the 1980s (Protest vote from a bored student).

But wait, there's even greater delights on offer today:

The poodle has a vision?

But wait, let's be serious for a moment, the Monday hysteria will soon pass.

Dale Russakoff wrote for The New Yorker a marvellous, if lengthy, insight into the attempts to privatise the American school system in Newark NJ, and since it's outside the paywall at the moment, you can read it by clicking on Schooled. The pitch alone should hook you:

Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a plan to reform Newark’s schools. They got an education.

There's much comedy in the piece, and then there's stark tragedy:

Teachers worked closely with children who couldn’t keep up, and many of them saw improvement, but the effects of children’s traumas outside school posed bigger problems. The father of a student in Shakel Nelson’s fifth-grade math class had been murdered early in the school year. When Nelson sat beside his desk and encouraged him, he sometimes solved problems, but as she moved on he put his head down and dropped his pencil. A girl who was excelling early in the year stopped trying when her estranged, emotionally disturbed parents resumed contact and began fighting.

Sadly the chances of Poodle Pyne getting an education is nil.

Roll on Elysium ...

But wait, there's no need to spend time discussing a poodle having a vision, not when there's the magic water man out there spinning and weaving, ducking and dodging, in Change is coming - you can be sure of that.

Change is coming? We can be sure of it? Like Same Cooke?

I was born by the river in a little tent 
Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since 
It's been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will 
 It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die 
'Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky 
It's been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will ...

It turns out that it was Sheehan is just trolling in his usual way.

Oh he starts off with a tease:

It’s a long game, and it has just started. I am not assuming Tony Abbott will lead the government to the next election. I am not assuming Bill Shorten will lead Labor to the next election. I am not assuming Clive Palmer will be in Parliament in 2½ years.

Leadership changes, Clive in the clink?

Turns out it's all verbiage, verbal dross, full of hints, and doubts, and saucy fears, and diddly squat of anything solid.

Computer modelling is led to explain how social inequity isn't a flyer, but what's the bet Sheehan knows how to organise a tidy salary package?

And then there's talk of how the entirety of state premiers seem to have missed the point:

Speaking of con jobs, at some point Labor is going to have to account for its claim that the government is strip-mining $80 billion from health and education spending when in fact federal spending on public health and government schools is not just going up, but going up significantly.

So the entire bunch of Liberal state premiers have been taken in by a Labor con job? At some point the Liberal state governments are going to have to account for their bleats and moans? Tell that to Denis Napthine ...

And the Federal government has no interest in stimulating a discussion of an expansion of goods and services, or an increase in the rate of the GST? Tell that to an all-day sucker ...

Sheehan is such an idle futtock, such a lazy journalist, he can't be bothered these days mounting a decent defence of the Abbott government, because it requires a bit of work ... and all he's got is dissembling and deviance ...

His conclusion?

Assume flux. It is the only safe assumption.

No, you can always assume that magic water man Sheehan will mount a flimsy defence of the Abbott government, using distraction and innuendo, surface gloss to disguise the rock-solid bias.

It's a safe, reliable assumption. There's always plenty of waxing, and never much by way of waning ...

Meanwhile, if the chattering of the water cooler class in Melbourne is any guide, the budget was a Rubicon for Abbott and his government ...

The trouble, it was agreed, was that, whatever Barners might say, when Abbott shouted ālea iacta est, he wasn't being Julius Caesar, nor even JFK, nor Winston Churchill, but perhaps more like Napoleon setting off for Russia ... or just a naughty boy ...

Which might help explain David Rowe's cartoon today (more Rowe here), and the way poor old head of treasury Martin Parkinson has been kept around, while the Visigoths conduct a love-in ....


  1. Best rendition of the Sam Cooke? Since you ask, DP, it has to be James Taylor on West Wing, with Aaron Neville a close second. Best James Taylor song? Sweet Baby James. Best picture of the lure of heroin? Tim Buckley's Song To The Siren, or Sarah McLachlan's Angel? "Vultures & thieves ..." seems apt for the moment. I've enjoyed reading about a slush fund swelled with cash from a tobacco merchant. Napthine is toast, but Daniel Andrews will be a hero if he can cut Labor loose from those ties. Otherwise, Greens and Indies will pick up in VIC.
    Time for a toasted cheese.

  2. Chris Mitchell's at it again. Sharri Markson is the new Albrechtson. She twits 'Murdoch is the greatest visionary newspaper proprietor.' Farfax is confused and hopeless, using so called journalists to print click-bait.

    'Hywood is simply plunging to the bottom of the toilet.' says Mitchell.

  3. Sshhh, don't mention the invisible unweighable unaccountable substance of climate wars

  4. Ho, hum, and it's Monday night not on auntie again

  5. Here's the Cornall report into the Manus riots.

    Morrison in his press conference basically laid the blame on everyone else except himself. PNG didn't coordinate agencies, PNG Police responded with disproportionate violence to quell the riot, the detainees taunted local staff with racist insults, and the previous ALP Government didn't do anything to adequately resource the centre, and anyway Australia doesn't run the Centre, the PNG Government does.

  6. Sorry - here's the link -

  7. Hi Dorothy,

    for a second there I thought the Murdocian press were starting to observe that something was amiss with the climate;



  8. And how much of her fair share did Mandy "Auntie Jack" Vanstone pay for her degree? (Law wasn't it?)

  9. What? The Vanstone woman says not to be selfish? But that is the underpinning of our society surely and that old invisible hand won't work if people are not selfish and out to make a profit. Amanda needs to brush up on her Ayn Rand.


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