Thursday, October 16, 2014

Never mind the media circus, there's always the media circus ...

(Above: and more Moir here)

How's that for a shirtfront?

Yes that story's at the Graudian here.

And elsewhere:

When asked about Prime Minister Tony Abbott's comment earlier this week that "coal is good for humanity" Mr Flanagan said: "To be frank, I'm ashamed to be Australian when you bring this up." (more here, forced video at end of link).

Well he's not a member of Team Australia. Must belong to Team Evil.

But wait, the ayes have it in this closed poll:

So how did the denialist respond to the challenge?

Mr Abbott has written a letter of congratulations to Mr Flanagan. 
A spokesman for the Prime Minister would not be drawn on Mr Flanagan's comments about the government's environmental policies. 

Oh just bugger off.

Arts Minister George Brandis said the recognition of Mr Flanagan's novel meant it would "now assume a place of great significance in the international book industry".

Hmm, better get in another book case ... seeing it's an industrial activity ...

On the upside the current chaos and Abbottian incoherence has been producing some positive results.

The pond wandered into the app room to catch up on the latest John Oliver - the pumpkin spice and Columbus Day riffs weren't top Oliver - and caught Shaun Micallef for the second week in a row.

This week wasn't as good as last, but at last the creative team seem to have learned a few things about pacing from American sketch comedy like Colbert, and have a willingness to exploit, in a good humoured way, the current absurdity of Australian politics. Bob Katter surely is the politician who gives the most to so many ...

A pity the same couldn't be said for the new Chaser format, which really should have been labelled a few Chasers with a lot of new friends doing a wretched quiz show.

The best bits came with montages inserted between the quizzes, and the unhappiest was the joke that the show didn't have enough money - talk about a sackcloth and ashes show. No doubt the Chaser haters are chortling with glee.

As a result, the pond barely lasted the distance - and this from a die-hard Chaser loyalist.

Now it's not the fault of the Chaser team that the pond was long ago turned sociopathic by the ABC's devotion to QI - some of the pond's best friends love the show - but whenever QI turns up now, the pond displays a neuralgic twitch and reaches for the nearest axe, and sadly the Chaser's media circus was more like a tempest in a teapot ...

And what's with the lack of credits? All viewers cop is a company logo.

These days the ABC is as malicious as the commercial channels in ignoring the creative team involved in making their shows, just so they can shove more advertising for their products down the throats of their hapless customers.

That's like saying the Booker was won by Nobody, writing nothing, and that the ABC is run by a clap happy tosser, a man with no name ...

Never mind, it's not the pond's business to be a TV reviewer, so it's back to the real world circus, and so to this:

You can read the story here, but the bottom line's a simple one:

"Mr Putin is unlikely to seek bilateral talks with Mr Abbott. Mr Putin’s office will be waiting for more diplomatic and pleasant occasion to get in touch with Mr Abbott’s office."

Putin's still leaving himself the option of not coming, but if he does decide to come, he's also left himself the option of cutting Abbott dead.

A bit like a Jane Austen heroine:

... as for dancing in Queensland, do not mention it, I beg; that is quite out of the question. Tony Abbott will plague me to death, I dare say; but I shall cut him very short. Ten to one but he guesses the reason, and that is exactly what I want to avoid, so I shall insist on his keeping his conjecture to himself. (and the rest of Northanger Abbey here)

As a result, Abbott's bromance mate is left hoping against hope that Putin won't show up for the dance:

Talk about a rich fantasy life. If Sheridan had any self-respect, he'd stop writing for The Australian, but what's the chance of that happening?

The end result of Abbott's outburst? This nonsense is going to keep on keeping on all the way up to the G20 ...

So what else?

Well the pond has always thought of patriotism as the first refuge of scoundrels ... the sort of stupidity which sees people wrap themselves in flags and chant slogans of the "America, Love it or Leave It" kind, especially popular during the Vietnam war era, when some people were critical of government policy and dared to point out that the war was fucked.

There's a quite handy meditation on ALIOLI and the dog whistling involved here at Huff Post, which makes clear the sort of dog whistling embedded in the phrase:

Before Rick Santorum was introduced at a revivalist-type church service in Baton Rouge last week, Baptist pastor Dennis Terry revived the timeworn trope, "America: Love It or Leave It." He said that those who don't believe that America "was founded as a Christian nation" ought to "get out!" In case it wasn't clear precisely who should be sent packing, he added, "We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah!"

It's code for bigotry and intolerance in the United States of the good old boy kind ...

It has much the same coded meaning in Australia ... trust the pond, there are red-necked truckers in Tamworth.

Until quite recently this sort of ugly flag-waving patriotism was muted in Australia, as opposed to America, where every second car and garden has a flag fluttering in the wind ...

But of late, it's taken on an 'in your face' ratbag quality, which is why you'd expect boofheaded bigots like the Bolter and Ray Hadley to wrap themselves in the flag in the recent fuss around Woolies and its T-shirts ...

The routine with this sort of horseshit, is to invoke a caliphate and raging Lebanese threatening white women, and when you're a paranoid like the Bolter, you can scribble this sort of crap in your sleep and he really cranks it up in Proud Australian patriotism not a cause for shame.

Of course back in the day, a little longer ago than the last decade, the pond can remember the "love it or leave it" mob telling the likes of the Dutch and the Italians and the Greeks to fuck off back to Europe because we didn't need wogs in Australia ...

But never mind the bigotry of the flag wavers or the fellow travelling fear mongers.

There is at the heart of it, a curious contradiction. The reason we're supposed to love Australia is the freedom it offers; when you run up against the fascist mind set embedded in Hadley and the Bolter, the only freedom on offer is the freedom to be a sheep. Any hint of difference or other is to be repressed - the sheep must fall into line and conform and salute the flag and love Team Australia and if anyone dares to differ, why they can just fuck off ...

Now steady on, it's a bit rich to invoke the fascist mind set, you might say, but you see that's what the Bolter does with his hysteria and fear-mongering:

It may be crude and even provocative, but “if you don’t love it leave” begins to sound like Socrates against this exhausted toying with totalitarianism. 

But that's the whole point. It is crude and it is provocative, and only fuckwits deploy it and it doesn't even begin to sound like Socrates.

Instead it sounds like the Bolter and shock jock Hadley spewing their usual hate.

These are the sort of ratbags that somehow imagine that sharia law is just around the corner, with the caliphate ready to be implemented down under in the next decade:

Powerful forces today threaten to tear Australians apart, with calls for jihad, sharia law, treaties with the “First Australians”, new racist divisions in the constitution and more mass immigration of the kind that now looks like colonisation. 
No society can survive such threats without prizing its past and its symbols and without insisting what members have in common is far greater than what divides them. 
Sure, we must stay open to criticism, to make a great country greater. 
But don’t love it? Then, please, feel free to leave.

Getting on with the blacks is a threat?

Actually the pond doesn't love Tony Abbott, or the Bolter or Peter Costello, or the whole Murdoch gang of kool aid drinkers, but please, let them feel free to leave any time they like. Abbott can head off to London or Rome, the Bolter has a sneaking love of Europe, and Peter Costello can just fuck off ...

And while we're at it, can we just get rid of all those foreign symbols in the flag ... you know, the ones that remind us we're still a colonial outpost ...

Meanwhile, it's true to form that Ray Hadley would immediately want to go the biff, as covered by an excited Terror Sydney Confidential here.

Is there a more pathetic sight than a middle aged bully offering to go the biff as a form of public discourse?

Especially one that has form as a bully  ...

Yes it's all happening at Mike Carlton's twitter feed here, and the Fairfaxians have just discovered the fuss here (forced video at end of link), and the Daily Mail piled on here ...

And so we have the peculiar sight of an opera loving red wine snob aligning himself with a thugby league shock jock boofhead ...

Ah well, Tony Abbott did offer to shirtfront Putin, so there's the level of public discourse in this 'love it or leave it' country right there ...

Finally while on the subject of the Bolter, and to complete the circle, the Bolter also took a shot at Richard Flanagan and declared "Coal, love it or leave it", in There is plenty here to make us wince ...

Flanagan won the Man Booker Prize this week and was asked — apparently being an expert — what he thought of Tony Abbott’s claim that “coal is good for humanity”. Groaned the guru: “To be frank, I’m ashamed to be Australian.” 
Me, too. I am ashamed the PM needed to insist on something so obvious — that this cheap and reliable source of power literally brings light to the poor, plus jobs and freedom from backbreaking toil. 
 I’m ashamed we have so many “experts” who mock that truth.

What's wondrous about this is the way the Bolter chivvies Flanagan for having an opinion. You know because Flanagan's not an expert, but the Bolter is one of the world's greatest climate scientists and a stunning expert and wondrous guru ...

What a pontificating ponce ...

He's ashamed to be Australian? Is there a chance then that he's going to leave?

So, yes, Richard, I’m embarrassed to be Australian.

Well there you go. One minute he's berating people for being unAustralian and lacking in patriotism and the next minute he's embarrassed to be Australian because someone dares to disagree with him. The shepherd unhappy with the way the sheep are behaving ...

Well, he can always fuck off, and the sooner the better for social harmony ...

Inter alia, the Bolter referred to NASA and climate science and in the usual way completely distorted the implications of recent research.

You can read what was actually said by heading off to NASA here.

It's a remarkable skill to be able to read a text, and derive a conclusion precisely opposite to what is being said.

It's almost enough to make the pond embarrassed to be Australian ...

Waiter, quick, a dinkum flag, but please, take out that Union Jack ...

So how is Australia performing on the international stage?

Oops, thanks to David Pope, the pond might just wave the Eureka Stockade flag instead and sing of blood on the wattle and declare Waltzing Matilda the national anthem ...

(Below: and more Pope here)


  1. I wonder if Bolt remembers Richard Flanagan's last reference to him during a Q and A show?

    Flanagan said (and it was when the court had found against Bolt for racial incitement) "In a satellite in space, you can observe the Great Wall of Chine. You will also hear Bolt's cry of self-pity."

    Worthy of a Booker just for that.

    1. Gorgeous D - it is a wonder anyone could see the Wall of Chine from space without being blinded by the laser light of his self-importance which must dazzle over Venus.

  2. Hi Dorothy,

    As Bolt appears to have taken to misrepresenting findings from NASA, I wonder if he will be magnanimous to include their latest announcement? That the last six month stretch has seen the highest global temperatures ever recorded.

    For more see here:


  3. I reckon Abbott and Costello were rank amateurs compared to Laurel and Hardy. Any new school curriculum should include compulsory watching.

  4. Oh these shrills for free speech! How they hector and lambast. Bolt, Deevine, Hadley, Jones, little slap and the gang could have been created as grotesques by Dickins.

    They remind me of church-going Beadles, ever so-'umble in the company of their betters and cruel disciplinarians and tormentors of the powerless.

    They are the sort of evangelical Christians who thumped bibles and put Pacific Islanders in scratchy serge suits and hooped skirts.

    They pontificate their position on free speech over and over and over again. At the same time they want to deny that right to others whose opinions they do not share.

    Ah but is it only an act. Is it their Schtick to rave and rant and pull in big bucks?

    I sometimes wonder. One cannot be so a-brim with outrage all the time without have a blood pressure reading in the stratosphere.

  5. Correction to above
    I am of course referring to Charles Duckens not Dickins

  6. WTF's a 'book industry'? Is Brandis talking about the world of literature? If so, why doesn't he say that?

    1. Well Ian we have a health industry and an education industry too, literature may as well join the line up. I think books are part of the arts industry. We live in an economy after all. We are proud and sometimes anxious consumers. Consumer sentiment >|}?££<,>}}^ is constantly being measured as an indicator of well-being. I fully expect that one day newborns will be implanted with a micro chip like the family tabby is now. THEY will be able to pump subliminal and direct ads straight into our brain boxes.

    2. Industry is making things that people so not need so shelves can be stocked with foolish items like pasta makers, plastic salad bowls, novelty teaspoons, Christmas tinsel, pretend diamente collars for coats and so forth. My drawers overflow with bibs and bobs produced by industry. Muffins and cupcakes are produced on an industrial scale. I always laugh when muffins appear at meetings on Utopia.

    3. Correction - collars for cats, not coats. Grrr

    4. Oh you industrious industrial scribblers, thanks for helping out the blogging industry as it strives to build the book industry as a humble part of the arts industry. Since an Anon mentioned Duckens remember this is how great art is born:
      For twelve hours a day, six days a week, Charles Dickens pasted labels to bottles of shoe polish at the rat-infested, dilapidated Warren's Blacking factory. He was ridiculed and harassed by the older, bigger workers and shamed by the stigma of working in such filthy, low-class surroundings.
      And none the worse for that!

  7. I noticed on Q&A that Greg Sheridan is quite short. Not that I've got anything against short people, of course, but that song keeps going around in my head:

    Short people got no reason
    Short people got no reason
    Short people got no reason
    To live

    They got little hands
    Little eyes
    They walk around
    Tellin' great big lies

    Says it all really.

    1. Cute little rhyme in a malicious way. The Don't Look Now manikin comes to mind.
      I thought Greg would be a big man. His head looks as if it belongs on a hefty pair of shoulders.

    2. Luckily for you Anon, the pond is tall and Randy Newman is a favourite

      Otherwise we'd be shocked by this outrageous heightest outburst. Have you thought of getting a job with Christopher 'tall man' Pyne?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. i've just heard that putin has challenged abbott to a bare knuckle pugilistic contest of the old style meaning seconds are required. putin has named his prime minister and the rules state that abbott must select his deputy, that honour going to deputy prime minister truss.
    as all the betting agencies have abbott at odds of a million to one on to catch a bad case of the flu the day before the bout, it looks like warren will have to step into the ring in his stead.
    our national honour is at stake and i am sure trussy will step up to the mark and get flogged to near death.
    trussy must be shitting razor blades.

  10. So Ten Network posted a $138 million loss today. Bolter just doesn't seem to be bringing in the bacon. I wonder why?

    1. Cruel but fair GlenH

      Last Sunday:

      Insiders (ABC 185,000, 93,000 News 24) — 278,000
      The Bolt Report (Ten) — 115,000
      The Bolt Report repeat (Ten) — 81,000

      Losers, drop kicks, no hopers, but hey, let them blight their Sunday for ideological reasons rather than deliver entertainment people want to watch ... someday it'll dawn on them they're splashing their cash on a ratbag who makes the ABC on politics look good ...

      It's likely that it's only pride and face and the board that's stopping management from canning the show, but any way you cut it those are good figures. Ten down the tube and the Bolter largely ignored ...


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