Friday, October 17, 2014

In which the pond is entranced by whimsical word games sure to make it to someone's Xmas list ...

The pond is shattered.

Apparently "gutted" is the boofhead word of the day. Gutted a man would prefer to get concussion in America when there's plenty of concussion on hand in Australia ...

But forget the sporting cliches that give spiritual life and dimension to this country.

You see, every day without fail the Abbott government via its ministers has contributed a word of the day, whether bigot, walrus or shirtfront, but today we seem to be in something of a word shortage, a word crisis.

The head boofhead has been a real team leader, an inspiration to Team Australia, showing how to stick foot in mouth and produce a disease your average sheep would envy ... (Go on, Greg Hunt it, you know you're tempted ...)

But today? Silence ...

This is disturbing because soon enough we'll be seeing people compile their '20 most silliest things the Abbott government said or did in the year', and what's more, without any regard for the English language.

Now luckily the '20 most silly Murdoch journalists, headlines and stories' is well in hand, with the likes of Sharri Markson capable of filling the list on their investigative own, and the '20 dumbest members of the commentariat' is a no brainer. The only argument is how many Murdochians to exclude to keep the list down to a reasonable size ...

As for the word shortage, it turns out that Barry Spurr has raced to help out the Abbott government. And what do you know, it's New Matilda that discovered the cache:

Now you can read that story here, but the interesting thing to note is that it was written by Chris Graham and Wendy Bacon.

Oh lordy lordy, not Wendy 'bringing home the bacon and the scoop' Bacon.

Whatever will Sharri, who performed such an amazing piece of undercover investigation, say?

Oh miaow ...

You see at the bottom of the story comes this little payback:

A source within the University of Sydney, connected to the School of Letters, Art and Media (SLAM) - which includes the English Department - has confirmed that the emails were sent from Professor Spurr’s official university email address. 
Ironically, SLAM has been the subject of an ongoing attack in The Australian newspaper this week, with Media Editor Sharri Markson alleging the journalism department at the University of Sydney has been “brain-washing” students with biased, left-wing course material which attacks conservatism and rubbishes her employer, News Corporation.

Oh dear, payback's a bitch and karma's even worse.

But back to the good Prof, and the fact that the Fairfaxians didn't even have the decency to provide a working link to New Matilda in their rip off of the story, here, and the actual contents of the emails, which the pond has to say conform to all the requirements for a good "shirtfront, walrus bigoted" day ...

A University of Sydney Professor – employed by the federal government as a specialist consultant to review the national English curriculum – has described the Prime Minister as an “Abo lover” while at the same time advising the government to focus less on teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature in our nation’s schools, and place greater emphasis on western Judeo-Christian culture. 
In email correspondence that spans more than two years, Barry Spurr, the nation’s leading Professor of Poetry, describes Aboriginal people as ‘human rubbish tips’ and “Abos”, and rails against the prevalence of Aboriginal culture in school curriculums, and within politics. But the exchanges are not just limited to First Nations people. 
Professor Spurr also takes aim at “bogans” “fatsoes”, “Mussies” and “Chinky-Poos”, and laments the reality that Australia is less white than it was in the 1950s. 
He calls Nelson Mandela a “darkie” and Desmond Tutu a “witch doctor”; describes his University of Sydney chancellor Belinda Hutchinson as “an appalling minx”; likens Methodists to “serpents”; refers to women as “whores”; and in response to a comment about a female victim of a serious sexual assault being a “worthless slut”, he suggests that she needs more than just ‘penis’ put in her mouth, before it’s “stitched up”. 
In one email, Professor Spurr tells university colleagues and friends that 95 per cent of the students at Australian universities – including, presumably his own – should not be studying at tertiary institutions, and remarks that a colleague who publicly advanced that argument will be “derided as elitist, fascist, misogynist – the usual litany”. 
“[But] he’s completely right. One day the Western world will wake up, when the Mussies and the chinky-poos have taken over,” he adds. 
Even the “modern Brit” comes in for a serve, described by Professor Spurr as “the scum of the earth”.

Wow, and Sharri with nose out of joint and egg on her face, could it get any better?

Well yes, it could, because the good prof's explanations and excuses are way better than the language deployed:

Professor Spurr has this morning defended his email exchanges, telling New Matilda they were clearly intended to mock the “very extreme language” used. 
 “The comments that you refer to are largely to one recipient with whom I have had a whimsical linguistic game for many years of trying to outdo one another in extreme statements".

Sounding like a bogan in Tamworth in the 1950s is a whimsical linguistic game?


Like Lewis Carroll?

Well stone the fucking crows, the pond can get on board with that one. Many a gay hour was spent laughing at the Chinks for offering us luck soup because they couldn't say their 'd's' and never mind that they were handing it out to the white trash for free ...

“What I say about the place of the study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language and literature in the curriculum is my considered professional view and not in any way influenced by these email exchanges which are linguistic play, and the numerous students of different races and of colour with whom I have worked for many years will testify that I have treated them with the same equity and dignity that I treat all my students. 
“I find it astonishing that you would think that I would seriously hold those views and not realise, as a journalist, that these are emails of mock-shockng (sic) repartee, mocking, in fact, that very kind of extreme language.”

Oh dear, poor old prof. Is that all you've got? Linguistic play? Repartee? Mock-shocking?

Satirical fun?

The pond finds it astonishing you think that's going to get you out of jail ...

Could it have come at any worse time for the poodle?

In an email written in April 19 this year, sent to two friends outside the University of Sydney, Professor Spurr reveals that Education Minister Christopher Pyne – the man who appointed him to the review – wants him to compare Australian school curriculums with curriculums from other countries. 
“The Californian high school English curriculum has arrived (as Pyne wants me to compare ours with other countries). Another 300 pages of reading! 
 “And whereas the local curriculum has the phrase ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ on virtually every one of its 300 pages, the Californian curriculum does not ONCE mention native Americans and has only a very slight representation of African-American literature (which, unlike Abo literature, actually exists and has some distinguished productions).” 
 In response to that specific discrepancy, Professor Spurr explained this morning: “My considered view is that it is very small, perhaps not zero precisely, so I used the term 'slight' to be as positive as I could be.”

Oh dear, that's not just linguistic word games, that's aimed right at the heart of the Poodle's dearest wishes and desires.

Well about this time in proceedings, there's always a call for a bowl of water, and a ritual washing of paws, and if possible, it's always handy to have a cock standing by ready to crow three times ...

Come on down poodle, do your poodle thing:

No, not that one, the pond can find that sort of press release puffery any day of the week at the poodle's kennel here.

No, what we expected was this one:

"The minister utterly rejects and finds repugnant the denigration of any minority on the basis of their sex, race, sexual orientation or beliefs," a spokesman said. 
"The appointment was not made by the government. The minister and his office had no input into the selection of any subject expert. Professor Spurr's alleged private emails are a matter for him."

Actually poodle there's a fair bet that the alleged private emails will become a matter for you, especially if you read Wendy Bacon's background blog on the whole story under the header More bible study, less dreaming stories, less enjoyment, more memorising ...

It turns out tht the poodle has been spending a lot of time with the IPA indulging in warm ups and knees up for the culture wars, though a lot of it slipped under the radar, unless you happened to visit the poodle's kennel to read items like the poodle launching a monograph on western civilisation.

And he was maintaining the culture wars rage, as only a poodle can, a few days ago on Lateline here:

EMMA ALBERICI: You talk about an absence of ideology. The report says the curriculum lacks focus on our Judeo-Christian heritage. Should that really be a priority? 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Sure. That's not ideological. That's simply a statement of fact about what kind of country we are and where we've come from. So, before 1788, our history was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history almost exclusively. Since that time, obviously since colonisation, Western civilisation, our Judeo-Christian heritage has been the basis of our development as a nation. So therefore, learning about where we've come from is not ideological, it's simply learning about where we've come from. 
 EMMA ALBERICI: So does the Government specifically want to see more Christian teaching in schools? 
 CHRISTOPHER PYNE: No. And that's not what that recommendation says. It's not about teaching more Christianity, it's teaching our heritage. The fact that we are basically European since 1788 and that we've struggled in the last couple of hundred years to reconcile colonisation with our Indigenous heritage, and more recently we've been getting better at that and we want to get even better at that into the future. But knowing about our Western heritage is not repudiating our Indigenous heritage and it's not Christianity, it's just history.

Of course you won't find Alberici shouting at and talking over a poodle - she only does that when she has an Islamic fundie on hand to whip up a tabloid storm - so there was no way she was going to challenge that sort of fatuous tripe about western civilisation ...

Or that line "teaching the heritage" which is right up there with "teaching the controversy" ...

Let's face it, if the pond may borrow from Spurr, when the wogs came here to help build the Snowy Mountains scheme, you wouldn't find too many dancing in the streets and talking of western civilisation at the sight of all the wogs invading the country ...

What's that? Can't you spot a little whimsical word play when you see it?

Oh okay, it just slipped out, like a Tamworth hoppy toad, but never mind, we're just teaching the heritage ...

In short, what a relief, what salvation is at hand in our Judeo-Christian hour of need ...

And so the pond can go out into the world today reassured that the Abbott government linguistic follies will continue, and there's absolutely no need today to read the reptiles at the lizard Oz, though it's looking like a mighty fine, classy, feisty filly broadsheet:

The horse's mouth! Gulley Jimson lives ...

But it should be noted that Kenneth Wiltshire has today contributed a very learned, very solemn, very serious piece for the reptiles with National curriculum review has come up with evidence-based advice (warning, you'll cop a begging letter from the paupers of the press)

You can use this text to google if you like:

The concept of values in a curriculum has generated much interest and once again it is significant that all the top performing countries have a curriculum founded on civic as well as personal values. The common expressions include being a good global citizen, respecting the environment, tolerance and consideration for others, learning to share, distinguishing right from wrong, taking pride in your work, and often a strong dash of patriotism, as in Singapore. Many of these values can be taught in the home but there is a definite place for them in schools as well. 
Many people seem to have been surprised at the mention of spirituality in the review report. Some people seem to think that the reviewers have made this up. However, spirituality appears in some form in the curriculum of many countries. In England the wording is that every state-funded school must offer a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based and that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school, and of society. The concept also has long been part of the values base in many Australian states and territories. 
However, the most important factor is that the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, which is the foundation for the current Australian curriculum, says quite explicitly that schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development of young Australians. It states: “The curriculum will enable students to understand the spiritual, moral and aesthetic dimensions of life.”

Indeed, indeed, indeed, provided we can keep the abos and the wogs and the chinky poos in their place ...

Oh and there's a caveat:

And for the record, contrary to some assertions, there was no attempt by politicians to interfere with the review process.

Oh indeed, and who'd need a poodle when you could get a classy prof adept at linguistic word games ...

And now to further shattering news:

Damned furriners with their damned funny ways ... 

Sheesh, what's wrong with head butting Islamics in burqas, shirtfronting Vlad the impaler, and running the country like it's 1984?

It's the heritage you bloody furriners ...

Never mind, their loss is Australia's gain ...

(Below: and the original First Dog here).


  1. The quality of 7's news continues to astound!

    Model Sara X Mills twerks breasts to Mozart

  2. Like you Dot I was confounded that poetry Prof Spurrt proferred that he was only playing a word game of whimsy.

    How clever of him. Chinky-Poo wasn't it. What a good one! Almost as whimsical as 'Abo'.

    Only in Australia would a poetry prof model himself on Sir Les.

  3. What is it about this country which produces endless examples grotesques?
    Let us see ...
    The Unsilent Lambie, Cliev, Eddie Haskell Pine, the Dire Leader, prof Spurrt, b Beehive (capitalized because the size of the hair dwarfs the tiny b). Only some of a long parade stretching way back. They are people in lurid technicolour who would not look out of place in Strictly Ballroom or Muriel's Wedding.

    Oh where is the charm, the grace, the understatement, the alluring modesty, the good looks, the excellent tailoring?

    Why are so many drawn to a leader who expresses a desire to 'shirt-front' one of the world's most powerful leaders?

    By the way this disturbed Anon is now to be known as Miss Pitty Pat.

  4. Surely Morrison can't last? Now he's blaming Labor for 'risking Australia's health' by calling for a united front against Ebola.

    Can you find ANYTHING in Morrison's recent statements that actually make logical sense? The man is a moron.

  5. 'Tis true. Whereas the world's biggest book is retained because Western-heritaged, Judeo-Christian colonialists only valued stealing gold on the road to Mandalay, no amount of autopoietic data-mining in the present Australian historiographical context can reveal any evaluable pre- or post-1788 literary worthies whatsoever.

  6. Matilda is proving an unpleasant thorn in the foot of the Abbott government. They had a lot of fun with the Frances Abbott scholarship. It raised some important questions about propriety by both the college and Abbott. It is a long bow to call it corruption on the limited amount known, but it is certainly serious enough to require some investigative reporting on just who is compromised by all this.

    There has been none, other than that of Matilda, the MSM taking its its own decisions on what is news, just as it has for the last 4 or 5 years of parliament. The public apparently prefers gossip, rumors, and journalists talking to each other to real news - at least commercial TV and radio gets away with that line and the ABC tags along.

    Now we have Spurrgate, which is juicy enough to make the news for a day or so. A series of emails containing racism, xenophobia, class snobbery and sexism coming from a professor of poetry does tend to grab attention. His excuse that they were really just a parody of public attitudes sounds about as credible as the excuses offered for that Gillard menu item at Mal Brough's fundraiser. Just a bit of fun between the boys, don't ya know?

    You've exposed the real concern with Kenneth Wiltshire's piece in the Reptile. Pyne's committee were supposed to be offering some alternative to Gonski, which Pyne had rejected without bothering to study. How could it possibly be a serious report when the commtee is made up of reactionary tossers like Spurr and Donnelly? How could it have scholarly merit compared with the time and study put into the Gonski report?

    On the question of reading private emails, it comes back to context I guess. In this case in gives some insight into the mind of one of Pyne's appointees. It didn't seem to bother the Liberals when the sexist emails of Slipper and Ashby were exposed. So it's a bit late to raise that concern.

    A nice finish on Bronnie's woes, which delivered a much-needed karma to it all.

  7. Gotta give the NT News its due. This is better than breast-jumps to Mozart.

    "A local Yowie expert, who preferred to remain anonymous, has examined the photos and recognised the distinctive marking on the trees.

    “It could be a Yowie, there’s certainly some strange things that live in this area,” he said

    “We don’t know a lot about them but they certainly like to mark their territory in a way very similar to what has happened here. “Yowies are not really know for climbing but they do have a powerful leap.”"


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