Saturday, September 06, 2014

The year one anniversary continues, the grammar Nazis escape Seinfeld, and the IPA is revealed as a deeply leftist organisation thanks to Gerard "Prufrock" Henderson ...

(Above: just as the style guide thickens)

It doesn't take much to tickle the pond's funny bone.

Michael Safi managed the trick nicely in Icac: an update on characters, plot twists and faltering memories.

First came the naked absurdity of the Graudian opening:

Four weeks into the latest public hearings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac) ...

Yes, because Independent Commission Against Corruption should always result in an aside like (Icac) ... 

What you say, the very same story refers to MPs and NSW and SC and MS, and the SMH, so why no ICAC?

What are you, a grammar Nazi?

And then came this doozy:

In the course of a morning spent denying any knowledge of the alleged scheming, Gallacher was shown an email sent to him by a young Liberal party operative named Hugh Thomson, described as being “at the centre of the illegalities” that allegedly took place. 
The email featured a list of wealthy Hunter Valley identities who might be “willing to invest / support Tim [Owen, a Liberal candidate] in his endeavours to successfully wrest the seat of Newcastle”. Problematically, a number of those listed were property developers. And Gallacher was marked down to approach two of them. At face value, it was an incriminating missive. 
But Gallacher shrugged it off. “I don’t recall receiving that email,” he said, adding later: “I didn’t, as a general rule, open my emails.” 

It immediately made the pond think of a general rule: why would anyone run around suggesting that a return to being a Minister of the Crown wasn't out of the question, yet the best they could do was an excuse down there with the dog eating the homework?

If Gallacher can't manage to open his email, why does he have an email account? Why not use a quill and pigeon post, or perhaps a thumbnail dipped in tar?

Is he saying that someone who deliberately chooses to be uninformed and unengaged is perfectly qualified to be a Minister of the Crown?

Well it's probably not a bad argument, at least for New South Wales (NSW).

Safi has fun with various others in the parade of clowns, and then caps it off with the proposal that alleged corruption is not as big a deal as the choice of fonts, a controversy the pond has deliberately avoided because it only encourages Fairfax to become even more tabloid than it is now. The sight of granny going Murdoch is too much to bear ...

Indeed, indeed, just like the refusal to capitalise acronyms in the usual way.

Where's Icac when it's really needed?

Oh there it is, here, blathering on endlessly about ICAC did this and ICAC did that, but thanks to the Graudian, the pond kept on looking for Icac for a helping hand.

What else? Well the Fairfaxians have started off the weekend with doom and gloom and an interactive chart suggesting that things have got much rougher since the reign of terror began: Wellbeing on the slide since Abbott was elected.

Things might be tough, but having to click on the chart to get a result was right down there with being forced to watch Alan Kohler do his "ten graphs a night" routine on ABC news.

More poignant was Peter Hartcher's Abbott unmasked: ideological warrior marches to the right (forced video at end of link).

In the usual Hartcher way, the piece purports to warn of the dangers of Abbott, but ends up comparing him to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in what's almost a celebratory way. Oh sure he might be a zealot and an ideologue, but at least he knows what he wants:

...Abbott has marked clearly that path he wants to take. The government is working on landmark new proposals for tax, for Australia's federal structure, and for workplace relations. Each presents enormous opportunities for the Abbott revolution to the move Australia to the right. 
To date, he has failed to take the country with him. But he has only just begun.

And so Abbott is blessed by Hartcher as an ideological warrior with a clear, coherent agenda, up there with the raygun and the iron lady, as opposed to an incoherent populist who has lurched from one policy position to another as exigencies required, and from one crisis to another, and now has started sordid deals with the Pupsters, with consequent impact on the country's wellbeing ...

And this is the top of the page analysis being used to sell the tree killer edition?

Yes it is ...

And they sacked Mike Carlton for daring to be different?

No wonder Fairfax is on the slide and on the nose. Sorry John Birmingham, another day and another dollar for you, but the pond, trained by Abbott, has learned how to maintain the rage ...

Meanwhile, over at reptile central, things were proceeding as usual, with the knob polishers out in force:

How admirable, how indefatigable the bouffant one is ... how diligent, how inexhaustible, how persevering ... why if he keeps going this way, the well being index is guaranteed to hit zero by year's end ...

How completely tedious it would be to get around the paywall to read him. Did someone give him a lifetime supply?

Never mind, this Saturday the pond decided on a special treat.

You see not since June 25th have the reptiles provided an opportunity for the pond to visit Planet Janet. It seems Dame Slap is too busy lining up ABC appointments to keep warning the world of the dangers of climate science being linked to world government by a deviant, devious UN.

So the pond wondered what had happened to another old favourite, prattling Polonius, otherwise known as Gerard Henderson.

There's a mystery here.

Having snatched Hendo away from the Fairfaxians, the reptiles seem to have tucked him away in the back pages. He never scores a mention in the rotating splash of doom on the front page page, and he rarely turns up on the front page.

In short, since he headed off to the reptiles, he's been reduced to virtual invisibility. You have to hunt him out.

But it turns out that he's still scribbling away, sounding just like the rat behind the arras the pond used to routinely celebrate:

Yes, there's that funny peculiar bipolar business where he imagines he's a dog, and sets about gnawing on people's ankles and pissing on the pot plants.

And there's his summary of the year's splendid victories, with its simplistic, gibbering header, which in long form turns into It's the lefties and their love-ins - not Abbott - who oppose freedom (behind the paywall because you have to pay to discover true irrelevance).

What's funny is that the reptiles have made prattling Polonius's diatribe about lefties premium content.

Do they really think he's a valuable asset, or have they locked him in the attic, as you do with mad uncles, following the rule that you should only let them out while under supervision and heavily sedated?

It doesn't really matter, because if you want to, you can head off to the Sydney Institute, to read the schizo doing his mad dog routine here, getting outraged at the Fairfaxians for daring to publish letters from their readers, because you know, right wing ratbags routinely oppose the freedom of readers to say what they think ...

It's hard not to think of the original Polonius - or maybe Timon of Athens - when you see a man ranting and railing at the letters in a the letters page, while at the same time furiously scribbling "It's the lefties who oppose freedom".

The hapless fuddy duddy is so out of touch apparently he's never heard of the golden rule, Don't read comments:

Yes, there's a whole meme out there, and the pond knows that there's an even earlier rule, which is to say no dolphin has ever bothered to read a blog, especially one named after a pond, Dolphins 1, humanity 0.

But how desperate does it get, how clearly are there signs of an ignoble mind o'erthrown?

So, there you have it. The SMH’s Letters Page is not only a total rant against Tony Abbott. Moreover, the powers-that-be at the Herald thought it appropriate to bag Mrs Abbott as well. By the way, the Letters Editor did not insert a question mark at the end of Mr Walsh’s query. 
How did this come about? Two possibilities suggest themselves. Coalition supporters no longer buy or read the SMH. Or Coalition supporters feel it’s a waste of time writing to the Herald’s Letters Page since they know they will not be published. You be the judge.

So there you have it. Hendo has gone so barking mad he gets agitated about a question mark at the end of a reader's letter.

More than two possibilities suggest themselves. Hendo hasn't got the first concept of freedom, which is to write something other than what he believes in; Hendo doesn't know how silly he sounds; or Hendo is dumber than a dolphin ...

Never mind the question mark, if Hendo spent a nano second contemplating grammar and spelling on the full to overflowing intertubes, they'd be locking him away in the Asylum of Charenton, ready to play a role in the persecution and assassination of the English language ... where's Icac when it's needed.

Oops, did that need a question mark ...

As for the other piece by Hendo, readers have two choices. The first is to note what a cracked record Hendo is, how he's just serving up the same sort of reheated hash the Devine was producing back in November last year here:

Yes, yes, sneering, sandals, love-ins, chardonnay, latte, yadda yadda ...

The second is to note that Hendo seems to think that, as its the lefties that oppose freedom, and not Tony Abbott, the IPA perforce and by definition now consists of a bunch of rabid lefties:

A significant threat to freedom of speech? (here).

Damn you leftist, possibly Trotskyite, undoubtedly Stalinist IPA.

Tony Abbott loves freedom, Hendo says so, except the freedom to write a letter to Fairfax saying what you think ...

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a Sydney Institute or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be, to trucking companies, of use, 
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence and proper use of question marks, 
But a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool raging at Fairfax letters ...    
I grow old … I grow old … 
I shall wear the bottoms of my Murdoch approved trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids and Chris Mitchell singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 
Till human voices wake us, and we drown. (apologies and the original here)

Say no more. You can see why the pond's funny bone is in a permanent state of siege ...

(Below: as usual Pope pulls it all together, and more Pope here)


  1. Dolphin is as dolphin does¿

    @AvoidComments, Aug 28: "Did you know? T.S. Eliot visited the future, watched you read YouTube comments, then went back to 1922 and wrote "The Waste Land." "

    A splendid serving again Dorothy. And so well presented. Thanks so much for loonmongering these otherwise so unpalatable chuckle fish.

  2. On ICAC, I was fascinated by Gallacher's explanation to being caught out, that he never reads his emails. It seems to a strategy developed by Howard and known as 'plausible deniability'.

    The first practical example I can remember came from Maria Tehan, Health Minister in the Kennett government (bear in mind that she was one of his better ministers, unlike her son, who is now federal member for Wannon). Some particularly damaging fax had been traced directly to her office to a machine just a pace or two from her desk. Even with that revelation she claimed not to have seen it, nor been informed of it.

    The rest of your post, especially linking TS Eliot and Prufrock to Polonius, who hence will have a new name, was a delight. And I always enjoy a diss of The Oz.

    I pictured a situation where the Minister was only allowed to enter her office after first being blindfolded and issued with earmuffs. Peter Reith and John Howard were to refine and perfect the technique. It was regarded as very useful during the Children Overboard affair, that they had not personally seen a correcting document - so they were free to go on lying.

  3. Why has no one in the MSM taken Morrison to task for his belief in glossolalia? And why did Abbott appoint an idiot like him? Check the Shirelive site - Tongues central.

    "Glossolalia is fabricated, meaningless speech.

    According to Dr. William T. Samarin, professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Toronto,

    "glossolalia consists of strings of meaningless syllables made up of sounds taken from those familiar to the speaker and put together more or less haphazardly .... Glossolalia is language-like because the speaker unconsciously wants it to be language-like. Yet in spite of superficial similarities, glossolalia fundamentally is not language (Nickell)

    1. Ah Anon, it is one thing to have a belief but I find the practiising of that belief more of a concern. Every time he opens his mouth SM speaks in tongues. Your description of glossalalia is apt.

  4. Oh my God - Zeffirelli's Taming of the Shrew just on ABC.1.

    Not exactly politically correct, but Taylor and Burton are magnificent (even though she struggles with an English accent).

    But the production - magnificent!

    And the naughtiest quote from old Bill.

    “What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again,
    Good Kate; I am a gentleman.”

  5. Gaia bless you dear Dot, for you are the saviour of my sanity.

  6. I am surprised that in all the mentions of people not reading their correspondence, no-one has thought of that master of plausible deniability, Lord Downer, who -especially in relation to the AWB - seems never to have even approached his in-tray, much less his Inbox.

  7. Maybe it is time to start using iCAC. Seems quite edgy and modern.


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