Friday, November 14, 2014

In which the pond apologises for the whole sorry, sordid mess known as Chairman Rupert's la la land ...

How weird are things getting at the Currish Snail?

Not just the presumption that the rag speaks for "the people of Australia" - you expect this sort of dim-witted hubris from Murdochian tabloids - but also the quaint notion that saying "sorry" will satisfy everyone, and is the one word "the people of Australia" want to hear ...

Life is some sort of Erich Segal novel? Or even worse an Arthur Hiller film?

How fuck-witted is that? The pond wouldn't mind quite a few things from Vlad the Impaler, like good behaviour in Ukraine and assistance in resolving what actually happened to MH17, and a determination to discover and punish those responsible. Saying Sorry is about the least useful thing imaginable.

In the meantime, the pond is deeply sorry that assorted twits seem to be in charge of the currish snail ...

Meanwhile, the reptiles have been busy today.

After Abbott and his government ran around yesterday looking and sounding like headless chooks, caught on the hop and without a clue (and Malcolm Turnbull, pompous eastern suburbs prat that he is, showed he didn't have a sense of humour), it was time for the lizards to do what they could to help.

Abbott in particular sounded pathetic as he attempted to talk his way out of his self-supplied box, blathering on about how he was taking direct action now, and don't you worry about talking about the future. Never mind that Abbott himself had recently been blathering about the future

"Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world." 
"Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world's principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come."  (here, forced video at end of link) 

Many decades to come! Put it another way:

So it fell again to the reptiles - it's their pathetic lot, but someone's got to do it - to transcribe Abbott's words, polish them up, and cast nasturtiums on the naysayers:

It was a particularly stupid and pathetic response, and well played Sid, for faithfully transcribing it:

Yep, it's decades and decades for coal, but who knows what might happen in 16 years' time.

And there, thanks be unto Sid, is the portrait of a man who doesn't get it, doesn't want to know about it, and thinks somehow that issues in relation to climate science can be fixed right here, right now, in half a mo, rather than via long-term planning ...

And of course being the reptiles, they'd never settle for one folly, not when they can deliver a double bunger of denialism, doubt-mongering and chaos. Yes, it's that old favourite:

Which is immensely stupid, because China can't offer business as usual and knows it, especially as the newly affluent middle class travel and discover what air quality is like in other parts of the world. Forget climate change, just being able to breathe will do ...

Never mind, what's the Lomborgian take home message?

Yes, even before anyone's reached Paris, Lomborg is calling it Copenhagen all over again, because that's what denialists dressed in rational economic sheep's clothing do ...

But since we're talking about the present, right now Abbott - who didn't want climate change mentioned in Brisbane - is busy wiping scrambled egg from his face ... having already created a perfect storm with Putin, and sent the Currish Snail into the valley of the barking mad ...

Even a few of the reptiles - they must have had a smaller than usual shot of the kool aid - seemed to have noticed the bleeding obvious:

As usual, David Rowe (and more Rowe here) put it succinctly, and threw in a couple of bonus buffoons:

So what's the world's greatest climate scientist got to say about all the fuss? Oh why did you ask?

You see, the Bolter is a parrot, and all he knows is to parrot and to link:

So that's what a climate scientist does? Reprint the thoughts of others in between devoting most research time to abusing Islamics and blacks and the ABC and leftists ... who'd have thought climate science was so easy?

Meanwhile, the pond has been catching up on some interesting statistics. First came this bunch in The Graudian:

You can read the accompanying story at the Graudian, SMH maintains top spot ahead of, but what's interesting is News brands are struggling in the new digital days:

The Rupert Murdoch-owned national title the Australian, which is behind a paywall, is in 14th spot with a unique audience of 1.229m, just behind the Huffington Post, which has yet to launch a dedicated Australian site. 
The Daily Telegraph and Courier Mail news sites, which sit behind metered paywalls, are outside the top 10, in 11th and 12th spot respectively.

Oh sheesh, not the Huff ...

But those figures reminded the pond of a story earlier in the week in the reptiles' media section - yes, they're still papering airports with the pathetic intent of keeping up their tree killer editions, and the pond kept the a copy of the rag on the kitchen snake, like a black snake that at some point would have to be ushered outside.

Oh sure, the pond could be featuring Sharri Markson sobbing into a beer with Ray Hadley, in Hadley on his temper and his temptress (no link, it only leads to harassing letters of demand, but you know how to google), but it was this half-baked set of figures and gobbledegook that caught the eye.

Yes, it was an epic effort by one Lara Sinclair, "Online Media Editor, Sydney" under the header Readers desert Fairfax papers, go digital as News Corp has gains.

By not worrying about sordid actual circulation figures, or the nasty business of papering the house, but instead assembling readers into "Newspapers total audience", the reptiles managed to conclude that Fairfax was in terminal decline, but by contrast the Murdochians were bright as buttons, as pert and as growing as daisies in the field ...

Yes, all was well in tree killer land:

Digital readership of newspaper content continues to rise, up 17 per cent over the year, but there is no corresponding swing away from print, according to industry body the Newspaper Works, which said more than half the audience for newspaper publishers (53 per cent) now read their content online. “The digital trend is not new and becoming more pronounced,” chief executive Mark Hollands said. “What we are not seeing, however, is a swing in the other direction against print readership.”

Uh huh, but what's that  disturbing -3.5% against the reptiles?

Readership of The Australian was up 0.8 per cent on weekdays, although weekend readership was down 7.3 per cent to 677,000. 
 “We are very pleased The Australian’s weekday readership grew again,” chief executive Nicholas Gray said. “We have never had more people paying for The Australian across print and digital and we expect, following the launch of The Australian Business Review, that trend to continue.” 

It is of course meaningless gibberish, with numbers flung together to dress up and parade an audience in the squillions, and aggregated over a month. Like this, for Fairfax:

Total newspaper audience, including print, online and mobile readership, grew for most major metropolitan mastheads, led by Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald, whose cross-platform readership was up 13.7 per cent to 5.47 million.

Yes, but how's the circulation of the tree killers going?

Well that's the whole point of the new EMMA system of reporting. It's not to reveal, but to conceal and to obfuscate, and to distort, and to pretend that reality is what you make of it - a bit like Tony Abbott on climate science if you like ...

You see, now the rags can blather about total audiences, and forget about what's happening to the tree killer editions:

Both Fairfax and News Corp were reluctant to comment on the falls with both publishers instead wishing to promote Monday’s launch of the new readership metric emma. 
In a statement, a News Corp spokesman said: “We are looking forward to Monday’s launch of new readership measurement emma. It will deliver a much more accurate measurement of what Australians are actually consuming across all platforms. emma provides the accuracy and detail that advertisers want, and that will help ensure their campaigns are effective.”(mUmBRELLA back in 2013 in Newspapers continue print decline).

But okay, if we're going to throw in online data, the reptiles at the Oz can't even out-huff and puff the Huff, which hasn't even bothered with a down under edition....

When will the reptiles stop worrying about charting the decline and fall of Fairfax, and begin to worry about their own fate?

Yep, you've guessed it, no point in looking at what might happen in sixteen years time, and bugger all point in looking at what's happening now when the figures are as confused and conflated as a scientist on a grant intent on world government...

Just time for an old Pope, and new Pope here:


  1. Here you go.

    "Philae comet lander alien ‘cover-up’ conspiracy theories emerge"

    "...the signals being emitted from the comet were a “greeting” to humans. “If it was a warning, they would not allow the ESA craft to have landed” he wrote. “I believe the landing of the ESA craft was the equivalent of a first handshake. They will make another move soon probably. Alien structures are on the comet. I don’t believe it’s natural. "

    1. Ha, "they"re sayin that that "lander" has landed in shadow at the base of a cliff. That soon it will conveniently shut down dead as the solar panels are unable to charge the batteries. If it actually went, it should'a took some coal along don't youse think now?

    2. C'rect. Humankind's predestiny is to sell Earthian fossil fuels to galaxies far, far away. That is, 'look down, not out' is the future of spacefaring economies, the Kardashev Scale safely may be ignored, and the search for sales of combustible, carbonbased liferesidues must become a singular priority. Or, so the dancing benzene rings and the whiff of an oily rag told me they read at the Beeb: Are we sending aliens the right messages?

    3. Is there a scientologist and a volcano in the house? A prestigious section of the pond has been reserved for these devoted true believers ...

  2. Now we know what a shirt-eating grin looks like.

  3. "And there, thanks be unto Sid, is the portrait of a man who doesn't get it, doesn't want to know about it, and thinks somehow that issues in relation to climate science can be fixed right here, right now, in half a mo, rather than via long-term planning ..."

    I beg to differ DP. Maher gets it, knows all about it, hasn't got a clue how to fix issues relating to climate science but has a clue that others in fact do, is only interested in his job (well, for the mo) and is beholden to fossil fuel producers.

    I guess what I'm saying is that these guys know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to delay any action because it will line the pockets of Murdoch and his friends. for the mo, ensuring their continued employment, at least. And when you're 84, life is really just for the mo, isn't it? I mean, he'll be a hundred in 16 years' time. He's realistic enough to know his ability to influence things won't be as strong then (heaven help us if it is) so he's having one last try to make the world his own.

    Let's hope he is unsuccessful. Things are certainly starting to look that way.


    1. It's a vexed question Ian, but as someone who has seen up close the potent power of kool aid, there comes a point where you lose all grasp of reality, and what happens in the echo chamber stays in the echo chamber. Remember, Abbott is a man who his entire life has believed in transubstantiation. If you can swallow that particular wafer, you can swallow anything ...

    2. I suppose so DP. The message becomes 'the word' and then somehow gets confused with the light. Now once you start messing around with light, all sorts of distortions occur.


  4. Guess what? The free speech was at it again today on Counterpoint. It's hard to listen but I heard a mention of Spinoza - but not much information about how this philosopher could possibly be used as a support for allowing hate speech.

    Spinoza did say that “it had always been his intention to do the best for the well being of the state in order to derive for himself the maximum of happiness and safety from it”. He said “personal safety depends on the stability of the state but a sound state is impossible when freedom of thought speech and publication is not allowed.

    But hate speech is *not* speech, hate speech is a pathological behaviour that is often part of a personality disorder. However it is defined, hatred from one human being toward another human being creates pain and damages the brain of the hated person and the brain of the person doing the hating.

    Mental and emotional illnesses are a significant cost to society and the economy. So this damage to human capital that is created by hate speech is very expensive and we all pay for it. So why do some people seem to want it? What do they get out of it? There must be something in it for Brendan O’Neill, because it is all about the individual and self-interest - improperly understood of course - for the free speech fetishists.

    It is all very confusing if one thinks rationally about it. But then those with a free speech fetish never do think rationally. The way they ‘think’ is explained by the psychological term Motivated Cognition or what used to be called believing what you want to believe. There are other folk terms for this type of thinking that is invisible to those who are using it, eg people who can't see the wood for the trees.

    Spinoza also said things about the type of human behaviour that is and has been a feature of Counterpoint since it began, like:

    “laughing to myself, I pondered how precisely the ignorant are the first with their pen and most audacious in their writing”.

    And he seems to have understood the basis of objectivity when he said, "If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything."

    Anyway, from the bits I managed to listen to, the 'argument' is pretty much the same as last week with a bit more whinging and whining about poor Andy Blots suffering when he was dragged off to court. But hopefully we will hear some more about how Spinoza is the dude for neo-liberals.

    1. Careful - Spinoza was a lapsed jew (the Talmud Torah congregation of Amsterdam issued a writ of cherem against him) and an exceptional lens-grinder to boot..And he was one of the greats. He preached a philosophy of tolerance and benevolence.

      He was accused of pantheism, because he argues quite logically that there can only be one God, and she must be everywhere ( a bit like your mother)

      He wore a signet ring which he used to mark his letters and which was engraved with a rose and the word "caute" (cautious).

      He is great but complicated and rewards further study.

    2. Hi Another Anon, He wasn't really a 'lapsed' Jew? As you say it is more complex than that and his leaving of the Jewish faith if I understand it right from the accounts I have read, is another of his acts of integrity that mark him as a 'different' philosopher; one who lived his philosophy. That is simply awesome and a very rare thing for humans to be able to do.

      His pantheism is to me :) anyway, another way of explaining the Buddhist enlightenment when he says - of course according the translators interpretation but there are many things he said that are much the same in their intent - that there "is unity of the mind with the whole of nature".

      I totally agree that he rewards further study. I really do not understand why he is so unfashionable and seemingly neglected. Oh... and being a lens grinder is another point in his favour; actually working with his hands and making useful things for other people. He does not sound like a neo-liberal to me or a conservative, more like a western Buddah.

    3. Anon - totally agree (the original anon). My first point was that the orthodox jews ostracised him because of his radical views,.

      He is is great liberal thinker,(in the broad sense) and should not be hijacked by the arseholes of the 'right'.

    4. Eek, the pond gets sophisticated. And all thanks to the remarkably stupid Brendan O'Neill. And they say you can't produce a silk purse from a sow's ear?

  5. We are in furious agreement then! This link is to one interesting account of how Spinoza's heresy came about - just in case anyone is interested and Alan Saunders was such good value on the Philosophers Zone on RN, and there is a transcript' That was back in the day when they could afford services to the public that wanted to self-educate and take part in the national conversation.

    According to this story, the elders were absolutely furious! Phew "The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law."

    Perhaps the Lord will smoke or is it smite Mr O'Neil if he uses the name of Spinoza inappropriately?

    Sorry for the Spinoza spamming. :(

    1. And "The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free."

      Something the Murdochians don't seem to get.

  6. This is interesting...

    "Conservative thinktankers get misty-eyed when they hear speeches like these, which downplay the way in which these English traditions were imposed by settler colonists on countries stolen from their indigenous inhabitants."

    1. Oh dear, Bill and his zingers ... but a tidy link, thanks


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