(Above: it's a time of war, a time of crisis, a time of dire emergency, quick wheel out the Islamic fundies and terrorists for a good beating, and head off for more David Rowe here).
There are many, many definitions of futility, but surely reading the reptiles in search of enlightenment in these troubled economic times is the most definitive definition to hand, as the Abbott government valiantly battles the fiscal apocalypse.
Oh okay, on every page and in every way, reading the reptiles at the lizard Oz must make anyone contemplate in a morbid way the meaning of life and the point of it all.
Every day the pond contemplates the reptiles and wonders if anything is worth the energy of getting around the paywall.
Should one lift a finger to read the latest outing of the bouffant one as he goes about his hagiographic knob polishing?
No, not really. Already the pond can feel the vital bodily fluids seeping into the ether. Perhaps only another viewing of Dr. Strangelove, or the news that Israel takes the same view of fluoride will restore the sacred fluids and essences.
And then there's Dame Groan carrying on in the usual way.
The Groaner is still banging on about fixing the economy?
It's at this point that the pond remembers that last night Media Watch here offered a few simple economics-orientated graphs
Oh dear. Wouldn't Dame Groan be better off scribbling "why am I part of such a loss-making, proven market failure product" and "how can we simplify the dross and produce a saleable rag'?
Well the pond is pleased Dame Groan asked the question because surely the first to go would be the Caterists.
There are many, many definitions of futility, but surely reading the Caterists in search of enlightenment on climate science is the most definitive definition to hand in these troubled times.
There's not even the frisson to be gained as in days of yore when confronted with the babbling of a bubble headed booby.
There's absolutely nothing new in Blaming coal is reefer madness (behind the paywall in a bid not to save the planet but to save the Murdochians) that hasn't already done to death doing the denialist rounds for years ... as foreshadowed when the opening line is actually about the weather:
On Sunday, as NSW residents took stock of a week of torrential rain ...
You might as well start off a piece saying As Porterville California residents took stock of the deep and dire California drought ...
PORTERVILLE (AP) - Government officials and community groups say hundreds of rural San Joaquin Valley residents no longer can get drinking water from their home faucets because California's extreme drought has dried up their individual wells.
The Porterville Recorder says the situation has become so dire that the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services had 12-gallon-per person rations of bottled water delivered on Friday in the community of East Porterville, where at least 182 of the 1,400 households reported having no or not enough water.
The office's manager, Andrew Lockman, says the supplies cost the county $30,000 and were designed to last about three weeks, but are only a temporary fix.
To get future deliveries, officials are asking low-income residents to apply for aid and for bottled water donations like the one a local casino made a few weeks ago.
Yes, yes, but where does discussing the weather actually get anyone?
Not very far, though it has to be said the current drought has produced some curious headlines, not least The Drought Is So Bad California's Mountains Grew Half An Inch, and California drought: Water witches in demand as wells run dry.
Oops, there you go, stark evidence that googling and cruising the full to overflowing intertubes is vastly more entertaining than spending time with the Caterists ... though it's not just California and California's vanishing lakes: Before-and-after photos reveal the shocking shriveling effect of state's most devastating drought in decades.
Sure you can read The Elevation of Western US Is Rising Due to Drought, but then you might miss out on the news from China to be found in Liaoning sweats in most severe drought in decades.
Northeast China's Liaoning Province is in the midst of the most severe drought since 1951, suffering huge damage to crops and threatening the local people's livelihood.
The province received only 102mm of rain from July 1 to Aug. 17, 60 percent less than normal. It's the smallest amount of precipitation in the region for the past 63 years, making Liaoning the worst hit by drought this summer. The weather is expected to continue through August.
Uh huh. Which brings the pond back to the sheer stupidity of the Caterists scribbling about the current NSW weather, as that means anything in the ultimate scheme of things, and their consequent failure to open their piece, On Sunday as Californian and Liaoning residents took stock of culminating August days of an excruciating drought ...
See? The pond hasn't got past the first line and already thinks Nick Cater writes with all the insight and sense of a cretin, and then the pond, being ever so PC, has to apologise to cretins.
As for the rest, it's the usual nonsense, that coal is good, no scrub that, coal is great, and evil greenies and their propaganda arm at the ABC pose a dire threat to the coal industry, and the Great Barrier Reef is doing stunningly well, and only last week it was announced that the reef had been saved, and then you get this sort of drivel:
The reef’s recent deterioration is almost entirely due to the crown of thorns starfish and to storms, but Greenpeace is intent on convincing us that coal is to blame.
It is trying its level best to turn the expansion of the port facilities at Abbot Point to export coal from the Galilee Basin into the next Franklin Dam, despite the paucity of evidence it has to work with.
Dredging three million tonnes of clean sand and depositing it on more sand does not really cut it, particularly since the dumping site is farther from the coral reef than Calais is from Dover.
Yes, because sea-born rubbish can't travel more than a mile, which makes the Great Pacific garbage patch, or trash vortex a complete mystery to the pond ... and as for the North Atlantic garbage patch, that forces the pond to confront an even greater mystery.
How is it that English crap routinely washes up on Australian shores?
As for the rest?
This is, however, a purely symbolic campaign. The battle for the reef, as the ABC’s Four Corners pitched it last week, is a battle of good and evil between coral and coal.
The recent breakthrough in the eradication of the coral-eating starfish barely rated a mention.
Teams of divers funded by the government have administered needles to hundreds of thousands of these noxious invertebrates. Farmers are being paid to keep rivers free of nutrients in which the starfish blossom.
Rays of hope such as this, however, cannot be allowed to dilute the apocalyptic narrative that is mandatory in ABC documentaries on the environment.
“How much do we really care about our most iconic national treasure?” Kerry O’Brien asked rhetorically. On reflection, that’s not a bad question.
Caterists don't reflect, they just astro-turf for the coal lobby, with the reptiles complaisant, acquiescent, amenable, accommodating facilitators ...
Luckily, for anyone interested in the issues confronting the reef, there are some decent sources available on the intertubes.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority put together a 311 page outlook report for 2014, here in useless reader format, and then provided a little summary for bears and Caterists of limited understanding:
Yep there's a range of threats, and you'd have to think that the Caterists are up there with the crown of thorns starfish.
But that's the way of anyone inclined to the simplistic and the simple-minded, and simple rabid ideological responses of the "four legged coal industry is wonderful, two legged greenies and ABC cardigan-wearers is bad" kind to be found in the lizard Oz ...
So remind the pond yet again how this simplistic reductionist approach to news and information is playing out in the market place?
Of all the details in Crikey's release of News Corp Australia's 2013 internal operating accounts last week, the revelation that the average salary at The Australian clocked in at $174,000 was the most juicy. Who knew climate denialists were so expensive?
Who knew indeed, with Nathan Bell being waggish for the Fairfaxians in News Corp investors readilng between the headlines ... though perhaps in this case the real cost is hiring the team that packages the drivel into something designed to look attractive enough to lure denialist readers behind the paywall ...
There might be only one solution, as a kindly reader suggested.
If witches are afoot in California battling the drought, can witches be made to work locally?
Cue little Timmeh ... (and The Roast, made on a dime, is here)