(Above: for the full First Dog cartoon, go here).
Nightcrawler is a parable, perhaps not as subtle as it could have been, about the media and capitalism.
The hero, Lou, played with cadaverous, socket-eyed intensity by Jake Gyllenhaal, is an urban cockroach, who starts as a petty thief, but after noticing there's money to be made by stringing, begins shooting footage of violent incidents in affluent neighbourhoods. Soon enough, his footage is selling to a gutter crawling television station which specialises in ambulance and police chasing material ...
Lou has read all the right books about the entrepreneurial spirit in America, and does so well peddling his footage that he can afford to screw an assistant.
As he begins to make real money, Lou imitates the airs and graces of the mainstream media that feeds off his gutter crawling ways - he devises a grand company name and moves amongst the chosen ones, the anchors and the executives. Soon enough it's hard enough to pick this cockroach from the others in the nest...
The movie is inclined to over-work the parable - Lou's big feat is to get inside a McMansion in the aftermath of a double killing, and then to contrive a bloody finale, which sees him get rid of his assistant and at the same time produce epic footage of a shoot out with the cops.
But the main point is clear enough. When you get an executive tweeting "Congrats" on the coverage of murder, you know you're in the land of the Nightcrawlers …
Not that the pond is inclined to brood but that "Congrats" still sticks in the craw.
So what have the cockies been up to today?
What do you know? It's all the fault of the ABC:
Now there's a sophisticated response, nuanced, subtle, everything you'd expect really ...
But the real trick is to whip up a story about the story.
The Daily Terror doubles down, thanks to the double 'r'd' Sarrah scribbling silly things.
It's admirable in a way.
The sheer gall, the cheekiness, the audacity, the Jakiness, the willingness to defend the indefensible, the way all hands get on deck and celebrate the rag as a repository - please, no suppository jokes - of accuracy and integrity.
Well it conforms to that other golden rule, most commonly seen in politics. When in trouble, send in a woman to do the dirty work and defend the indefensible.
Oh and bung on a poll:
See?! Wring some juice from the juice!
The pond didn't reward the cockies with a vote or a click, nor even a link, but poor Sarrah does her best with the dirty linen:
Wasn't it chairman Rupert himself up above tweeting about the dangers of a lone wolf?
But actually Sarrah isn't interested in the truth of the matter. Sadly, it's her job to conflate, confuse, muddy the waters, pump up the fog, and defend the indefensible.
And then came this:
Well then the front page was, in the usual Daily Terror way, useless.
The last the pond checked, Broken Hill was on NSW soil:
Indeed, thanks to Trove, the news of that story and the men who did the deed is only a keystroke away here.
The pond doesn't expect historical awareness from Sarrah or the other reptiles, just like it doesn't expect truth or integrity in a tabloid. But there has to be a limit, and that limit comes with the reptiles routinely denying the four killed and seven wounded back at that New Year's picnic in 1915.
But Le Marquand saves her best sick-making scribbling for the final few pars:
The naysayers — the self-appointed media umpires who would never condescend to actually read this paper — would have you believe journalists are there to service their beliefs alone. That pre-empting any criticism from a few stone-throwers on Twitter is the sole basis on which editorial decisions should be made.
They will tell you that a failure to airbrush sometimes harrowing realities from news coverage only incites rage and spreads hatred.
Strange, then, isn’t it, how little rage and hatred we have seen as thousands of people lay flowers at Martin Place in a peaceful and dignified tribute to the siege victims. Don’t look now, but if that’s the public mood then the media must be doing something right.
Oh come on, cloaking yourself in the flowers?
Have you absolutely no sense of shame or decency?
It reminded the pond, as many things do, of Macbeth mired deep in his shame:
...I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I write for a Murdoch tabloid no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
And so the Terror, in its bid to pump up the terrorist angle, trotted out another "expert" to explain how the man was an expert terrorist, though whether he got his knowledge from a jihadist school or the internet was a tad hard to work out:
Well you can only spend so long in the company of nightcrawlers before you hope the movie ends and you can move on to something else.
Is there someone who can turn the conversation to other matters? Perhaps the Terror could wheel in the world's greatest climate scientist?
Oh sheesh, they could, they could.
Whenever the Bolter turns up with his latest tirade, the pond's mind turns to Lord Monckton, and that's fair enough because the IPA book the Bolter's spruiking features a piece by the 'lord'.
The 'lord' was last sighted in the run up to the Victorian election in company with Catch the Fire, espousing barking mad fundamentalist policies. His days as an effective useful fool were by then long gone, but it's always useful to remember the good old days.
You know, when the Bolter joined Monckton in talk of the UN using climate science as a way of introducing world government:
“What he did was confirm, point out, which is black and white in the draft agenda for Copenhagen—it was taken out of the final bit—draft agenda for Copenhagen, a plan to get all countries to send billions—seven billion in our case—to the UN to give them a sort of supranational kind of body that will tell you what to do with your economy.
“Now that is a form of world government, even if you do not like the term,” Bolt said. (here, it's a conservative site, it must be true).
Eek, and now the Abbott government is funding the world government.
The pond looks forward to the Bolter campaigning against this dangerous man.
Meanwhile, is there anyone else so tone deaf that they immediately know how to strike up a tone deaf conversation before the wounds have healed?
Come on down Senator Lyonhjelm:
Yep, that should do it ... that should get the Greens dancing in the tone deaf conversation, when even the PM's confused about whether the killer held a gun licence ...
Truth to tell, it got so problematic that the pond began to look around for a few comedy items.
Oh sure, there was an excellent memory of Miranda the Devine, thanks to Crikey:
Yes, that "parody account" features moderated comments let loose on the Bolter's blog.
You can head off here, but as with inhalation fallout from the Daily Terror in any form, the pond recommends moderation.
As you'd expect, the "parody account" has been busy of late.
Oh okay maybe there's a few parodies in it, as well as real screen grabs, but hey, the first one below accurately sums up Chris Kenny's column, which the Bolter naturally featured and confirmed as unerringly true:
And also thanks to Crikey, there was an even better memory of that prize twit Sharri Markson furiously scribbling, without the slightest awareness of the stupidity inherent in what she scribbled:
She's still young and perhaps not ready to step up to the top league, but surely there's a potent case for a Junior Arsehat award, as an incentive for all the best young kool aid drinkers in Murdoch la la land.
But just as the pond was enjoying these blasts, along came David Pope with a cartoon, and more Pope here.
Grim days. Is there a twittering tweeter ready to tweet "Congrats"?