Yes the reptiles are wildly excited about the lizard Oz's '50 years' celebration.
The digital edition is even more painful:
Uh huh. the anti-Christ himself, the satanic American, slouching towards Bethlehem.
What to make of this orgy of self-congratulation and self-promotion?
Hang on, what's that in the left hand splashes?
Dammit, are the reptiles employing the same NZ subbies as the Fairfaxians?
I mean, it's grand to be told EXCLUSIVELY that there's no austerity in the Hockey household - who'd have guessed after he was caught smoking that infamous cigar and listening to banal pop music - but do we have to be told EXCLUSIVELY twice in the same space?
As for the actual celebration, the pond had a sneaking suspicion and did a Greg Hunt by heading off to the paranoid castle's wiki, here, and found these opening lines:
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964.
And yet when you read Paul Kelly's uxorious piece of sucking up - how he looks in the mirror each day is a wonder to the pond - it opens:
The creation of a national newspaper had been a long-standing dream of the Murdoch family but it took the frustration and vigour of a young Rupert Murdoch to bring the dream to reality on July 15, 1964.
Oh, wait, it was just the wiki doing a Chris Mitchell, and getting it wrong, because a few pars later the wiki offers up this sentence:
The first edition of The Australian was published by Rupert Murdoch on 15 July 1964, becoming the third national newspaper in Australia following shipping newspaper Daily Commercial News (1891) and Australian Financial Review (1951). Unlike other Murdoch newspapers, it was neither a tabloid nor an acquired publication. From its inception The Australian struggled for financial viability and ran at a loss for several decades.
Well at least the wiki got the bit about an unscrupulous tycoon using money to purchase political power for commercial advantage, but how pleasing to be reminded of why Greg Hunt's notion of a Green Army is so fukt. He must have found it in a Wiki.
Amusingly, if you want to read a review of the first edition of the rag, you can Trove a review of that release here . Poor old Woroni - it dates the start of the rag to the 15th July 1954!
And then it dawned on the pond. Hang, on all this talk of 15th July 1954 or 64, whatever, is just a blind of the kind you find in a duck hunt.
Today by most reckonings, including the world clock, and in many parts of the world, including down under, it's the 17th May 2014. Which had bugger all to do with the 15th July 1954.
What's it mean? Are the reptiles following the Humpty Dumpty line?
'What a beautiful belt you've got on!' Alice suddenly remarked. (They had had quite enough of the subject of age, she thought: and, if they really were to take turns in choosing subjects, it was her turn now.) 'At least,' she corrected herself on second thoughts, 'a beautiful cravat, I should have said — no, a belt, I mean — I beg your pardon!' she added in dismay, for Humpty Dumpty looked thoroughly offended, and she began to wish she hadn't chosen that subject. 'If only I knew,' she thought to herself, 'which was neck and which was waist!'
Evidently Humpty Dumpty was very angry, though he said nothing for a minute or two. When he did speak again, it was in a deep growl.
'It is a — most — provoking — thing,' he said at last, 'when a person doesn't know a cravat from a belt!'
'I know it's very ignorant of me,' Alice said, in so humble a tone that Humpty Dumpty relented. 'It's a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It's a present from the White King and Queen. There now!'
'Is it really?' said Alice, quite pleased to find that she had chosen a good subject after all.
'They gave it me,' Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his hands round it, 'they gave it me — for an un-birthday present.'
'I beg your pardon?' Alice said with a puzzled air. 'I'm not offended,' said Humpty Dumpty.
'I mean, what is an un-birthday present?'
'A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course.'
Alice considered a little. 'I like birthday presents best,' she said at last. 'You don't know what you're talking about!' cried Humpty Dumpty. 'How many days are there in a year?'
'Three hundred and sixty-five,' said Alice. 'And how many birthdays have you?'
'And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five what remains?'
'Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.'
Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. 'I'd rather see that done on paper,' he said. Alice couldn't help smiling as she took out her memorandum book, and worked the sum for him:
Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully. 'That seems to be done right —' he began. 'You're holding it upside down!' Alice interrupted.
'To be sure I was!' Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she turned it round for him. 'I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right — though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents —'
'Certainly,' said Alice.
'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'
'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
So the lizards are having an un-birthday. And no doubt expecting un-birthday presents for the rest of May and all of June and July and perhaps the rest of the bloody year ... now there's glory for you ...
Okay, the pond fesses up.
The only reason we re-printed such a lengthy gobbet of Lewis Carroll was to avoid printing too many gobbets of Paul Kelly.
If you can be bothered getting around the paywall, and come to A dynamic force for change, you can read the most uxorious bit of sucking you'll find in a generation of Murdochian nonsense.
The silliest bit? Well surely it would have to be Murdoch harking back to the days when Adrian Deamer edited the rag. Deamer, long may he be remembered, wrote an editorial which criticised the Springbok tour of Australia, and for his pains, Murdoch sacked him.
Yep there's a progressive Rupert for you, and yet Kelly, who was honoured by the great man's presence and a fawning interview, serves up this sort of tosh with nary a hint of shame or the belly crawling that's involved:
Rupert, 33 in the year The Australian was born, was driven to act by his frustration with Australia’s Establishment in the Menzian twilight. This was a country clinging to racial discrimination, heavy censorship and cultural introspection and resistant to global trends, from Britain’s turn to Europe to the dynamics of Asian independence.
A nation clinging to racial discrimination, and yet by 1971, Murdoch was sacking Deamer for taking a stand against apartheid?
Fuck the pond dead, is there no end to the hypocrisy or the glossing over of reality?
And yet on and on Kelly goes, pretending that Murdoch was some sort of progressive visionary, as opposed to an Ozymandias currently astride the most reactionary, regressive newspaper on view in any part of Australia ... and with the Daily Terror as competition, that's a remarkable achievement:
The impulse that seeded The Australian was the commitment to change. It originated in Murdoch’s energy, impatience and radical outlook. From the start the paper was an extraordinary force for reform and dynamic change agent. This was its first and most defining trait. It remains the key to its character and the passions it has aroused.
Talking about the 1960s ruling class, Murdoch said: “We believed they belonged to another age. We were young and aggressive. And we like to think we still are. Menzies, you know, a lot of people think he was a great prime minister and he certainly fulfilled a very important period but towards the end he became a bit of a caricature, taking on all these big titles and that was just symptomatic.” It is a somewhat kinder view of Menzies than The Australian offered at the time.
Surveying the long line of editors-in-chief and editors over the past 50 years, their unifying mission has been the quest to confront and improve the nation?
Fuck the pond dead, The Australian campaigned and continues to campaign for a man who's way beyond a bit of a caricature, who has just revived all those big titles, and that was more than just symptomatic.
Does Murdoch have the first clue how stupid he sounds? Did Kelly have the first clue about how he was letting Murdoch sound so stupid? You can't revise history on the fly without someone noticing it.
And then there's this sort of aggrandizing, delusional, posturing tosh:
Surveying the long line of editors-in-chief and editors over the past 50 years, their unifying mission has been the quest to confront and improve the nation.
Well they fucked that, didn't they.
The Murdoch vision as a change agent has endured since the paper’s inception as a pulsating force flowing from the editor’s chair.
Ah the pulsating flow of a forceful hagiographer and knob polisher in full cry.
On and on the tosh flows:
The first issue of The Australian (priced at fourpence in Canberra) radiated a passion for Australia. The page one editorial declared the newspaper’s guiding light would be “faith in Australia and the country’s future”. Asked where this passion originated, Murdoch paused and said: “I think it was a young reaction from being brought up in Melbourne and Adelaide, they were very Anglophile. The idea of Australia being a great independent nation standing on its own feet, we believed that very strongly. And we still do.”
We still do? Standing four square behind a devoted monarchist is standing for a great independent nation?
And this from a man who gave up his birthright to become an American for a mess of commercial pottage?
...Esau came from the field, and he was faint
And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Uncle Sam.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25)
Ah yes, the old testament still covers a lot of the baser actions of humanity.
And then, as if Kelly hadn't already tugged the forelock and the foreskin enough, up rolls the current head paranoid of paranoid castle, the man responsible for some of the most bizarre editorials in modern Australian journalism, sounding as if he'd just swallowed a dose of apple pie:
“I have tried to keep the paper truly national,” current editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said. “To reflect the outback, the north, the smaller states and the big themes of national development and prosperity as well as the immediate political and cultural driving forces of the south east corner of the country.”
The paper, ultimately, is unique because it aspires to represent the nation, not just one segment of the nation. The Australian in recent times has resisted the narrow, development sceptic, pro-state intervention values of the Sydney and Melbourne cultural elites, arguing that they fail to encompass the wider nation in its interests and diversity.
What a pathetic sight. There's that pompous dickhead Kelly, who's long pretended that he's one of Australian journalism's elite members, carrying on in a fawning way about Chris Mitchell's favourite paranoid theme. The 'leets.
And wait, there's more, yet no sight of a free pack of steak knives:
Mitchell said: “I have tried not to be seduced into the concerns of the inner-city left intelligentsia of Sydney and Melbourne. In rural Australia I have tried to resist fashionable environmentalism in favour of a committed and broad reporting of the wider issues in agriculture, irrigation, northern development and management of resources.” Pivotal to the paper’s ethos is its faith in a Big Australia. The Australian has been a resolute champion of a strong, labour market directed, legal, non- discriminatory, national interest immigration program. Anxious to maintain public support for immigration, it has tied this to the enduring philosophy of “unity in diversity”. The expectation is that immigrants will accept prevailing Australian norms and new arrivals will be respected for their diversity.
Asked how he felt about the paper half a century later, Murdoch said: “We haven’t followed an absolutely straight path, we’ve made mistakes, we’ve done our best to correct them. But I think overall we’ve come out pretty well.” It is a realistic appraisal, devoid of hubris.
Ah so the elitists have handled their job of dissing the elitists pretty well have they, in a realistic way and devoid of hubris?
By this point, the pond was rolling Jaffas down the aisles.
Gem after gem of undiluted comedy ran off Kelly's keyboard like pompous, pontificating, sanctimonious, righteous gold:
The headline on the inside editorial on day one was: “Facing the challenge of Adulthood.” The piece argued that Australia had “made a lot of money” and put distance between itself and Britain but on the test of adulthood it had not yet grown up. “In a number of ways we are still not quite prepared to face life,” the editorial said. The Vietnam War had just begun, Britain was joining the European Common Market, China was a brooding presence and Indonesia was unstable yet a nation with which Australia had to work and live. The paper warned that Australia had no option but to recognise “that now, as never before in our short history, we stand alone”. That required fresh reserves of sacrifice, self-control and maturity.
This is the third element of the paper’s enduring mission: the quest for adulthood. Indeed, a direct line can be drawn from this inaugural 1964 leader to paper’s editorial response 50 years later to the first Abbott-Hockey 2014 budget. The Australian thinks adulthood dictates a viable trajectory to a balanced budget. Adulthood requires living within one’s means. This is the paper’s benchmark for judging the budget. In a wider sense the adulthood test – language adopted by Tony Abbott as PM – means the maturity to accept responsibility for national survival and advancement.
This philosophy has underpinned The Australian’s approach to politics for half a century. The paper does not exist to serve either the Labor or Liberal parties. Murdoch emphasised this guiding principle, yet again, in our interview. The paper’s first edition declared on page one: “The paper is tied to no party, to no state and has no chains of any kind.” The Australian assesses both sides of politics according to its own vision and aspirations for the nation.
But didn't you just say that the paper is firmly chained to the Murdoch vision? And so its vision and aspirations is pitifully chained to the Murdoch empire? Faux noise in printed form down under ...
Adulthood involves not lying to or about yourself, and yet here's a paper that somehow imagines its still connected to its short, long gone glory days of the 1960s.
Long gone like Murdoch's capacity for self-awareness, or Chris Mitchell's capacity to understand that in reality his sales in rural areas amount to sfa and without the inner city 'leets - for god knows what reason - still stumping up for the rag, even Murdoch would have been forced to pull the plug, no matter the blow to pride and prestige ...
How can you hate your key demographic and yammer on about a demographic that doesn't give a stuff about you? It's easy in Murdoch la la land ....
Well all the pond can do is commend the read, and note it ends with this bit of pompous humbug:
The Australian has been a unique project in collaboration: a visionary proprietor who launched the paper and its mission, Australian-based chief executives dedicated to the cause, aggressive editors who felt sufficiently confident to reinvigorate the mission and dedicated journalists, artists and photographers.
How long will it last? As a brand it will last forever, or at least as long as Australia lasts. That’s official.
And yet over in the editorials, the real snakes in the grass continue to attempt to harm the fabric of Australia, mounting yet another assault on the ABC in Mark Scott's ABC or yours?
Throughout this period Mr Scott has continually failed to address bias issues at the national broadcaster, lift standards or impose accountability. The ABC has an endless list of progressive journalists and hosts sharing their perspectives and an absence of hosts or programmers who are mainstream or, heaven forbid, conservative. Few people would be surprised that a public broadcaster would always drift to the green Left but under the current leadership — despite undertakings — it has failed to make even a superficial attempt to engender balance and plurality. As Mr Scott digs in, the ABC’s woes deepen.
This from a rag now full of vile ratbaggery and extremist reactionary zealotry and right wing ideology of the most harmful kind ... and that's before we get on to the obfuscation and denial of climate science and its implications...
As Chris Mitchell digs in, and imagines that somehow he's addressing the nation, rather than a coterie of forelock tuggers, The Australian's woes deepen ...
Yes, they try to keep it off the front pages - their box office peril, and the publication's inability to turn an honest profit - and they do a better job of concealing that state of affairs than the Fairfaxians ... but heaven help them when Rupert shuffles on. Then we'll see how long Australia lasts, or perhaps just The Australian. And that's official ...
Which just leaves time for a Pope, which summarises the exploding cigar that The Australian helped foist on the nation in the name of getting rid of the 'leets ...
And if you believe that we have an Opera House going cheap in Sydney, as the weather continues sunny and Antarctica continues to fall apart ...
Just don't blame the pond. At least we offered the realism of Lewis Carroll and a hearty dose of surrealism from Paul Kelly, Rupert Murdoch and Chris Mitchell ...
(Below: more Pope here)