The pond couldn't resist this juxtaposition of stories in The Graudian yesterday.
The pond is sorry for the state of the reef - read Great Barrier Reef 'in worst state since records began' and weep - but isn't so sorry for Campbell Newman, who is sorry for a nakedly and blatantly personal reason:
"We recognise that there are things we have done that have annoyed or upset Queenslanders," the premier said after a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
"I'm sorry today, if I've done things that have upset people."
He said he wanted to repair relations with members of Queensland's legal fraternity. "I want to repair those relationships," he said. "People want those arguments to cease and desist." (here)
Uh huh. The pond was taught that loathing meant you never had to say you're sorry.
Or was that love? Whatever, why is the strutting gauleiter with the recently bloodied nose sorry he's upset people? And why should people cease and desist when Newman ploughed ahead on some kind of personal blitzkrieg?
Griffith University political analyst Paul Williams now predicts a 10 to 12% swing against the LNP at the next election. He believes the LNP will manage to hold onto power, but Newman is almost certain to lose his seat at the next state election and the LNP should already be looking for a new leader. "Given we've seen double-digit swings ... in the greater Brisbane area, the arithmetic just doesn't add up for someone to hold a seat that's on less than six per cent," Dr Williams said on Monday.
"They [the LNP] will have to have a leadership succession plan in place now, and not have a public bloodbath in March or April."
Well there's a simple solution.
Sack Newman now before he lines up to get sacked. He's been an epic fail and it's not just the reef that's suffering. The pond promises to start the bidding on the memorial Campbell Newman feather duster, made up of the bantam's plucked feathers ...
Why is the pond so agitated? Cast your mind back to stories like 'We're in the coal business': Campbell Newman slams UNESCO Great Barrier Reef warning. and remember the bunkum and the lies about spoil and development designed to service the coal business ...
The pond can't wait to get into the used bantam Campbell Newman chook feather business ...
And speaking of past lies, isn't it handy to catch up on Media Watch online, sans antenna, and watch the reptiles get a serve for their naked peddling of big tobacco and IPA distortions and untruths.
You can watch the story here, and you can read the buried Oz story Heavy smokers take a breather here, provided you evade the paywall with a bit of heavy breathing - because buried it was, no front page treatment offered for this alternative view of the world:
Gasp! Credit to plain packaging?
The pond loves it when the reptiles are tanned and dried and displayed, and Mathieson's 264 word explanation as to why the story was buried on page 7 with 167 words was a ripper: a number of more significant stories that demanded our attention (and more prominent placement).
Yes, that'd be the barking mad commentariat, and the lies and distortions of climate science that routinely fill the rag's pages.
You know like the Caterists on promenade today:
Say what? The barking mad Nick Cater wants a carbon tax?
Oh you didn't fall for that classic bit of click-bait trolling did you?
It's been the reptiles' desperate form of late.
Everyone who specialises in the loons that daily promenade on the rotating digital finger of doom in the online lizard Oz edition know Cater - who has even less connection to science and scientists than the pond, and let's not underestimate what that means - is one of the standard, off the peg, ill-fitting denialists that routinely swamp the Oz's pages, and so prevent any space being provided for data that upsets big tobacco.
Once you click on the link, you see the click-bait trolling in action:
Before you rush off to reward the trollers, you should also be made aware that the column itself is also a classic bait and switch piece.
It purports to be about a carbon tax, but soon enough the Caterists are blathering on about compassion and socialism and welfare dependency and the nanny state.
Here's how it's done, and incidentally here's your text for googling if you decide you need to lose a few IQ points just to get the gloomy day off to a better start:
At first glance, a promise to bring back the carbon tax looks like a career-ending move that will condemn Labor to certain defeat in 2016 and consign Shorten to the dustbin of failed Labor leaders. Shorten, however, has been around long enough to appreciate the risks of picking a fight on this divisive political issue. He would understand the gulf between the planet-saving passion of the bien pensant and the indifference bordering on hostility it evokes in the population at large.
His decision to stick with a policy that he could have quietly let slip is confirmation that the educated middle classes now form the nucleus of Labor’s core constituency. Yet the cold, hard numbers mean Shorten must also appeal to a broader, more conservative constituency. Placing a price on carbon, however small that price may be, is not a cause behind which the workers and the intellectuals are likely to unite.
Labor is making ground, however, as the party of compassion, the defenders of those we used to call “the poor” but who we now know as “the vulnerable”, since poverty these days is so much harder to define.
Yes, bien pensant to you too, you useless mauvaise pensée ponce.
Poverty is so much harder to define these days?
Sleeping rough on the streets? Why in the pond's day we slept under cardboard boxes in middle of road and thought nowt of a car giving the box a right old clip. Eating cat food for dinner? Why in the pond's day that was considered sheer luxury. A bowl of Campbell Newman-approved coal was enough for a hearty dinner meal! Reliant on church charity and forced to listen to the bible bashers and god botherers as they dole out the supplies? Why in the pond's day, the sooner you dropped dead, the sooner you'd be eating pie in the sky and not so long in the sweet bye and bye ...
The Caterist doesn't even bother to roll out his denialist credentials and instead relies on some fear, loathing and paranoia:
Pick just about anything from the national reform agenda and the same dynamics apply. Whether it is tax reform, federalism, university deregulation or defence procurement boondoggling, the Coalition risks becoming caught in the uncompassionate trap.
Dearie me, it's hard to see how.
Poverty is so much harder to define these days, except, as the judge said about pornography, you know it when you see it, unless of course you can't see it, because it's just a lot of welfare bludgers living like millionaires on Mayfair or perhaps Woollahra or Toorak in nanny state bliss ...
Oh wait, the PPL scheme will take care of them ...
About the only thing that can be said about Cater these days is that his mindless tosh always reminds the pond of Guy Rundle's priceless smack down for Crikey back in May 2013, here, may be paywall affected.
A couple of samples:
Over in Anti-News Unlimited land, the vaguely North Korean festival of journalist Nick Cater continues. His book The Lucky Culture is being variously launched and spruiked by former PM John Howard and, of course, academic Geoffrey Blainey in various places round the joint. This paean to a meritocratic non-nepotistic culture has been praised to the skies by anti-News columnist Miranda Devine, the daughter of the late Frank Devine, an anti-News lifer. She’s the girl who went to Take Your Daughter To Work Day and stayed. She thinks Cater’s paean to individualism should be “taught in every school”. She would not actually see any contradiction in this...
... When you see Cater, Devine and Albrechtsen in action, you get an insight into the totalitarian mindset in all its glory. There are journalists there is no need to bribe, Dostoyevsky noted in The Gambler, because they are sycophantic by nature. Anti-News Limited isn’t killing people in large numbers — except when they’re spruiking foreign wars — but the enthusiasm to be salespeople of an agreed-upon line is the essence of the totalitarian style. They’d all feel as at home in Ceausescu’s publicity department as they do in Surry Hills.
Indeed. A poverty of imagination, minds, data and science isn't so hard to define these days, not when the reptiles at the lizard Oz daily show it's done.
But here's a tip for them. Please stop doing the click baiting trolling routine that suggests Nick Cater or Albrechtsen or any of the other toilers in Ceausescu's publicity department have seen the light about climate science, or compassion or any other issue that might come to mind.
They haven't and anyone with half a clue knows that the group think, the collective bee hive mind set is strong at News Corp and everything from cigarette data to climate science will be routinely ground to a pulp by the individualists, who think just saying "nanny state" solves everything ...
So putting up a splash that posits that Cater has 'turned' isn't clever click bait trolling. It's stupid and irritating and will only amaze and astonish those not in the know.
Finally, some time ago the pond made clear its complete disdain for Jonah from Tonga.
Now the show is about to get a release on HBO - on August 8th - in the United States and already the flak is heavy.
Now the pond doesn't mind that it's racist brownface, so much as that this lowest and vilest form of comedy isn't especially funny. After all, the pond will watch Leni Reifenstahl's Triumph of the Will for the skill of the film-making.
But what's the point of watching an offensive comedy which incidentally contains no laughs? Can someone at the ABC please explain?
Chris Lilley and his team are about to cop a pasting, at least if you read Cleo Paskal in Huffington Post, with Will HBO Give Platform to Racist Australian Brownface 'Mockumentary'?
Or the gentler questioning by Soraya Nadia McDonald in The Washington Post with Is brownface acceptable in new HBO show 'Jonah from Tonga'?
Even Salt Lake magazine in Utah territory - let's face it Utah wasn't the best place to visit in the days of the Mountain Meadows massacre - weren't amused, as you can discover in HBO makes a bad choice:
There's only two reasons a show like Jonah from Tonga could show up on HBO. 1. We have entered a very unfunny post-Borat entertainment landscape, and 2. HBO execs have never met a Tongan and possibly think they are a fictional people, like Swift's Yahoos.
Indeed. And so the momentum continues to gather. Even The Graudian joined in, though the show had previously aired in the UK without too much fuss, with the header purporting an even-handed discussion, Jonah from Tonga faces more 'brownface' criticism - is it fair?
Lilley, who has also played black and Japanese characters such as S.mouse, Ricky Wong and Jen Okazaki, told Esquire that he didn't think there "should be any rules" and that his humour is designed to be "confronting" and "challenging". But Jonah from Tonga feels less like a witty satire confronting racist stereotypes, and more like a coded way of reinforcing them.
You can get away with transgressive or abusive humour, if it's funny or witty. Lenny Bruce was a pace setter in the art form, but setting up Tongans is about as clever as making a sheep joke about New Zealanders ...
And now back to the gloom ...
(Below: the cartoonists have been giving Vlad 'the impaler' Putin a pounding. Here's Rowe today, and more Rowe here, and Pope and more Pope here)
The Rowe features a wrinkle deployed by others, links to the sources of the cartoons here.
The pond has been startled to discover how many old fashioned Stalinists out there who think Russia Today actually offers truth in reporting, as if somehow they were different to chairman Rupert's minions while working for Vlad the impaler.
The Graudian's comments section in its coverage turned into a cesspit of rabid, heavily politicised comments, and already the most bizarre conspiracy theories were gaining an airing - though credit where credit's due, with RT setting the pace by suggesting the plane was shot down because Ukraine had confused the airliner with Putin's plane.
It's remarkable how the death of innocents and the death of innocence can turn into a rabid political argument. Which is why the pond sometimes prefers the obvious truths of cartoonists like Steve Bell, as alternative plane loads of the dead mount up on other killing fields. More Bell here, and below that, more First Dog here.