(Above: Rowe doing way better than Lyons, and more Rowe here).
Life is, as the pond has come to understand over the years, rarely a box of chocolates.
It's more like a box of disappointments, big and small, and in various colours and tastes. Like fairy floss. You think you're getting substance, because it's big and pink and fluffy, but all you're getting is sugar and the fast track to diabetes ...
So it is today. Predictably almost all the rags that unfairly still kill off trees, are full of tabloid terror, sheep falling into line, beating the drum for state action and repression across the board, as they try to guess the words of the gauleiter, boldly and bravely using terror and fear to shore up his regime ...
Ah Godwin's Law, so tempting and yet so far away, and so few voices noting saucy doubts and fears about the way a man who hid in plain sight now being used for all sorts of demonising and all kinds of government interference, from Tsars to metadata. Where are your 18C warriors now? Long gone ...
But there was supposed to be a ray of hope, as this day, the reptiles boldly stepped into the Prime Ministerial bunker.
What a bust.
Oh sure the Indonesians had set the pace, and sure it had shown how the master international statesman's soothing words had achieved a negotiating masterstroke when it came to saving a couple of Australians from state murder:
But in the end, that's just a jumped up bunch of nationalists defending state murder, using Abbott as a distraction for said state murder. Maybe the Brazilians do it with more class, but Indonesians bemoaning Abbott makes the pond wonder what they'd be doing if they actually lived in country and had to endure the fearless leader up close ...
As for the conclusion to the bunker yarn? There it is, lurking at the bottom of the page:
But the end result is that John Lyons went into the lion's den, descended into the bunker, and came away with nothing.
Oh sure, in the digital edition, they put it top of the page, above the news of Tsars and asbestos:
Asbestos? Why surely that's just the price of de-regulation and more efficient trade? Where's the harm if a few die, if the rest can save a penny or two?
But the bottom line for our brave Lyons down in the bunker?
Talk about a story ending not with a bang, but a leak-free whimper.
Lyons spends a lot of time stomping over old ground, with the odd huff or puff, to emerge with the "news" that Credlin isn't proposing to resign any time soon.
There was some familiar stuff about Credlin being responsible for damaging leaks against Ministers and MPs, but no evidence, and endless talk of the bunker, as if most of the offices in the hopeless interior of the underground parliament don't look and feel like bunkers, and somehow it was only Credlin who ended up with an Adolf-like abode.
Even the Marie Claire Credlin IVF story gets a re-tread, to no particular point, and Credlin is given the credit for helping launch the 'ban the burka in parliament' campaign, as if those momumental twits, George Christensen and Bronnie B., needed any help in producing their epic prat fall ...
Then Brian Loughnane is invited to share his wife's shame:
That's just common gossip, and the following line from "one minister" - that Abbott holds on to Credlin for reasons no one understands and that he should get rid of her - immediately dissolves into an extended character reference for Abbott from military transsexual Catherine McGregor.
How pitiful did it get? Well at the end, the glorious rocket that was supposed to be Lyons ended up sputtering these lines in the mud:
That's it? A personal anecdote from a long in the tooth speech given back in August of last year?
There's just as much vapour ware in Lyons' accompanying story, which once again, under the header The lady's not for turning: Peta Credlin vows to stay put, explains that Credlin's not proposing to resign any time soon.
Lyons only seems to have learned the one line ...
Other than that, what's he got?
Diddly squat, except the same old beefs recycled yet again:
On the one hand, on the other ... yadda yadda ...
Talk about a story with all the depth and zing as a sip on sherbet ...
To keep the spirits up, the pond had to resort to an old favourite, Greg "the bromancer" Sheridan, in fine uxorious form this morning, and presented in tandem with Lyons' feeble attempt at bunker busting.
This was a rich, heady, intoxicating brew, demonstrating that the reptiles were back to their kool aid best, the momentary lapse of Lyons forgotten and forgiven, and also, as a bonus, fully explained away:
Intellectually ahead of the game to propose a unilateral military post-colonial adventure in Iraq!!
Now that's cooking with CSG, and what's even more remarkable is that apparently, chairman Rudd has been so forgiven his many follies, he can now be trotted out as a figure worthy of emulation by chairman Abbott ...
And really sending in the troops, possibly with a gunboat and a big stick, is nothing more than chairman Bob having a chat about having a chat with Saddam.
Then it's on to the tabloid hysteria which will keep welling up for the rest of the day:
Why yes, Daesh controls an area, largely sand and desert, and heavily depopulated, about the godforsaken size of Tasmania by two.
Can anybody remember the days of the axis of weevils, and the existential threat that North Korea and Iran posed?
But there you go, what was presented as a foolish bit of quixotic dreaming, a Churchill down under with delusions of grandeur, is now re-made and dressed up as a thoughtful Churchill busy planning his Gallipoli campaign ... grappling with all the possibilities and as full as a goog with his nation's strategic interests ...
Most normal people couldn't make this sort of stuff up, which is why the pond is eternally grateful that "the bromancer" is there to do it for us ...
What else? Well good old desiccated coconut is on hand to demonise Muslim communities:
And the pond commends Stephanie Forrest for boldly pointing out how outrageous it is that students' attention should be drawn to Amnesty International, a television commercial for Jeeps, and Paul Keating's Redfern address.
Shocking, outrageous stuff.
The pond has only a couple of quibbles. In her quest for good English, Forrest resorts to this sort of stuff:
And so, there we have it.
This is the sort of literary crutch routinely wheeled out by desperate bloggers seeking to fill up space at a penny a word. You know, "lordy lordy, lah di dah, and so, there we have it."
The pond, for its sins, does it most days, but then these are desperate times.
Cheap, wretched scribbling, not worth a ha'penny when you think for a nanosecond about it.
And the same applies to:
Let's hope not, anyway.
As the pond's old English teacher used to say, what's the work "anyway" is doing in that sentence? That's sloppy, lazy scribbling, he'd say, noting that the sentence did exactly the same work if it stopped at Let's hope not.
The anyway is just another variation on the "like" that "you know, like bedevils, like young folk".
Forrest has foolishly paid a word to do overtime, and she's done a Humpty Dumpty.
Anyhoo, the pond prefers anyhoo because that really irritates ponces ... so anyhoo, let's move along, with hope in our hearts.
As for Ms Forrest's final up itself sentence?
The fewer kids there are studying "trash" in their English classes, the better.
She then grandly signs herself off as a research scholar in the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program, as grand a bit of self-aggrandising gibberish as you could find at the IPA.
It's always been thus, the campaign against trash.
The pond remembers the campaign against Edith Blyton as trash (yet still retains affection for the books, racist and sexist and all, that gave Dame Slap her name), and the campaign against Agatha Christie and all the other mystery writers as trash beyond the pale, along with trashy Raymond Chandler and all the other trashy hard-boiled detective writers like Horace McCoy, and the campaign against all the trashy writers dreaming in science fiction of impossible futures and alternate 'what if' worlds.
The pond can still recall being sneered at for reading Asimov, and since then has had to endure fifty years of pulp robot movies ripping off his three laws ...
And let's not get into Fleetway magazines like Jack and Jill, and goody goody gumdrops Harold Hare:
What a surreal, anarchist, epistemological hare he was ...
The pond has always had a soft spot for trash.
How could it be otherwise, if you treasured movie matinees, and then moved on to bad movies and bad television?
No doubt Ms Forrest thinks she's helping make the world a better place, and maybe she is, at least for people with cucumbers stuck up their bums ...
Oh and speaking of people with cucumbers stuck up their bums, there's a special treat for anyone who reads Paul 'the magic water man' Sheehan this morning.
He's waxing lyrical about chocolate ... here ... so the next time you read him rabbiting on about dangerous elites and his solidarity with common folk, you can recall that he did the same about ten buck a loaf sourdough bread, and remember him as the eternal eastern suburbs wanker he is ...
Sheesh, by now it's way beyond time for a cartoon ... and it seems that Cathy Wilcox has been channeling John Lyons (and more Wilcox here):