Monday, April 27, 2015

In which film buffs argue about whether Greg Hunt Ascending or Murdoch Reptiles Ascending might be the worst movie of all time ...

Surely future generations of hardened screen veterans will fight for many long hours about Jupiter Ascending. 

The battles will be bitter, vorpal blades will snicker, brave warriors will drop like flies, and yet the question will remain in dispute, an ontological mystery deeper than transubstantiation.

Is this the worst film of all time? What about Showgirls, what about that scientological marvel Battlefield Earth? Is it too easy to lead with an Ed Woods' film like Plan 9 from Outer Space, when surely the capacity to turn $176 million into visual fairy floss should count for something?

Is it wrong to mock Graham Burke and Roadshow? Is this what protecting IP via a TPP will mean?Should the stocks return to the village green for corporate vandals? Should Roadshow be made to reimburse even pirates for their inhuman suffering and possibly permanent eyeball damage? Who can Mila Kounis and Charming Potato sue? How did Kick Gurry score himself a role in the folly?

While others were distracted by mere matters of life and death, peace and war, these were the questions the pond wrestled with on the weekend, and came no nearer to solving, though by the end of it, the pond was leaning towards the notion that Jupiter Ascending was so bad, it really wasn't so bad at all ...

On the other hand, the pond also took in La isla mínima, aka Marshland, a Spanish policier set back in time in the immediate aftermath of Franco's fascist regime, with an amiable Spanish cop who's corrupt and tainted by the past, working with an uptight, cleanskin but grumpy cop to solve sex crimes.

In other words, the story is no big deal, but the stench of the dying hand of fascism was a nice touch. The film also had the virtue of good direction, good performances and excellent visuals, and in these Jupiter descending times that was enough for the pond. Besides, it had some lovingly atmospheric shots of the Guadalquivir Marshes:

But why has the pond reverted to film review mode?

Well, the pond could have kept on brooding about the NBN, and the way the company has decided to spend 700k to get a couple of letters out of its name, and spent further time dwelling on the manifest evidence of the failure of conception and failure of roll out that now bedevils the Co. and should, if there was justice in the world, see Malcolm Turnbull tarnished forever.

How irritating can it get?

On Monday the NBN is launching the new positioning of “NBN: bring it on”, with a new branding which aims to create a sense of optimism and inspiration while it also aims to encourage people to harness their potential. 
“At NBN we have been wrestling with the whole idea of do we need a prominent brand knowing we’re a wholesale organisation, or really can we continue as a project as we are at the moment,” NBN executive general manager of brand and insights Kent Heffernan told Mumbrella. 
“We believe that new brand positioning, visual identity and new brand strategy can really optimise and make all of our communications moving forward more efficient.” (here).

Bring it on? Yes, that's really bloody irritating ...

To cut costs the existing brands and logos will remain on trucks and stationery until they are used or expire, after which they will be replaced with the new branding. NBN Co described its logo scheme, which will largely comprise of multicoloured dots, as being better aligned to the "Australian spirit of optimism." 

Mr Heffernan said the program had taken 6 months of hard work with meetings and interviews with 400 staff, adding that this was the standard timeframe for a rebranding of this size. (here)

Oh FFS, it's a bloody wholesaler selling slow to install dud goods, and it takes six months and 400 staff to change a logo and come up with a new, lying slogan?

At least it explains why the pond will never experience genuine broadband in its lifetime ...

Better for the pond to turn to yet another reliable topic, the many failings of Greg Hunt.

The intrepid fraud has been out and about defending Bjorn Lomborg, and attracting the ire of leftists, as you can read in New Matilda's A Simple Guide to Understanding Greg Hunt's 'Nonsense' Carbon Con:

“The most important thing to get straight in terms of misinformation and misleading comments there yesterday was Minister Hunt’s assertion that the carbon price was $1,300 per tonne,” Professor Frank Jotzo said. 
“That’s about as wrong as you can possibly get it,” he said. 
The real price was in the 20-odd dollar range, and if the carbon tax had been allowed to develop into an emissions trading scheme, which it would’ve by now, the price would be linked to the European system which is trading at around the $10 mark.

But you expect this sort of stuff from your small independent publishers. It's easy enough to discuss the emperor's new clothes when you get a man so devoted to walking about nude of ideas in public.

You might even expect a raised eyebrow in the Fairfax press, as in the AFR publishing Greg Hunt's claims about reducing carbon tax emissions are not credible. 

In that piece, lawyer Marcus Priest gave Hunt a good paddling, and not just for the fraudulence of the $1,300 figure, but for other Hunt remarks that were breathtakingly audacious or bogus, or both.

And in its own way that somehow brings the pond back to the film industry:

It is also important to note that a large number of the successful bidders in the ERF auction were land sector and forestry schemes that were already operating under the existing Carbon Farming Initiative set up by the previous government – ie, they have just been transferred into the ERF. As a result, there is a question about how much of the 47 million tonnes of abatement that will be delivered under the ERF would not have occurred without the scheme's operation.

Yes, there's fraud in operation there at a couple of levels - borrowing old ideas and dressing them up as new, and at the same time, making them the centrepiece of your own initiatives.

Now your genuine film buff will remember the tax-rorting heyday of the Australian film industry, when boondoggles were all the go. The 10BA era was something to see and David Stratton even wrote a book about it called The Avocado Plantation, drawing attention to the way film was being funded in the same way that avocado plantations, olive groves, pine tree stands and assorted other land sector and forestry schemes were put together, courtesy the government offering the private sector wild-eyed tax breaks.

Like the routinely ignored Australian films that were financed this way - take a special bow Tony Ginnane - the press was full of stories of failed olive schemes, pine plantations that had gone to ruin, and other scams and failings that usually arise when you get a government tax rort being looted by entrepreneurs.

Naturally these sorts of managed investment schemes/tax break speculative agribusiness boondoggles made a big come back in the Howard years (Tax breaks for city farmers under fire).

Of course the fall out usually comes years after the schemes were set in motion, and Hunt's assorted borrowed schemes are still in their infancy, but the signs aren't good.

Meanwhile, the emperor's clothes are looking pretty threadbare.

How does the pond know that?

Well you have to look past the indies and ABC and Fairfax, and note the level of discontent at reptile HQ.

Ah the reptiles:

Have a look at this reptile editorial, published this very day.

Note the header - a good start, but direct action is not sustainable! - and note the reference to sleight of hand:

Now you have to read between the lines - this, after all, is the reptilian Oz, and they are routinely as fraudulent as Hunt.

But it's clear enough that the reptiles know that Hunt's scheme is a dud, which will become too expensive over time, and  which rewards the wrong people, the polluters, and when it comes to the crunch will flame out ... which is why there's such fear and loathing about what might happen at the Paris talks.

All that's left for the reptiles is the familiar mantra of blaming Fairfax and the ABC and the greenies.

Yes, you can't make up this sort of reptile clap trap:

Roll that one around on the tongue. No, not the jibber jabber of the radical decoupling of humans from nature, whatever that might mean, though it seems involve dumping huge amounts of nuclear waste into the landscape so it can sit there festering away for thousands of years.

No, not that glib throwaway line about how nuclear fusion will sort everything out, though you might have just been reading Don't get too excited, no one has cracked nuclear fusion yet.

No, roll this one around:

If and when most of the industrialised world moved to carbon pricing, Australia could not remain aloof from the efficiencies of a market-based system indefinitely.

If and when ... can't remain aloof ... Greg Hunt in la la land ...

Oh yes, it's a doozy.

And yet the reptiles, courtesy the likes of Graham Lloyd, and their resolute support for the confusionista Bjorn Lomborg, have done more than most to instil a climate of fear and hysteria about market-based solutions to a genuine problem.

The result is Greg Hunt setting in place a system he has used bodgied statistics and false claims to sustain, yet even the reptiles know, if this editorial is any guide, deep in their hearts, that Hunt in the last week has been producing all kinds of dissembling tosh, misrepresentations and falsehoods, ...

And all they've got left to blame is the ABC, Fairfax and the greenies...

There's been an epic failure, no doubt about it, but it's not of the ABC or Fairfax's doing ...

Stand up, take a bow, reptiles of the Murdoch press ... the confusionistas have won ...

And now, thanks to its weekend viewing, the pond knows where that leads ... and the Charming Potato's nowhere in sight to help ...

Yes,  life with the reptiles and the Greg Hunt is worse than spending time with a contender for the worst movie of all time.

What a gloomy way to start a Monday ...


  1. From ITER "If successful, when would fusion be able to add power to the grid? What steps would be required after ITER?" fusion power may be commercially available (DV) in the 2050s, all going well (which it hasn't so far.) A bit late to help combat climate change.

  2. It's quite correct for the FM to expend all her emotional & diplomatic resources on a situation in Indonesia that is, as has been said often, dead, buried & cremated. That way, she can be forgiven for not being able to turn, apart from the thematic "thoughts & prayers", to the fate of hundreds of thousands more of little brown people in Nepal.
    For heaven's sake, Jules, get ahead of the curve. Authorise, over Abbott's twitching corpse if needed, the evacuation of some of the kids and their mothers to refuge in Australia. Or Nauru, an eminently satisfactory holding bay for distressed families.

  3. Oh well DP, ya can't win every Monday. We are talking reptiles here. I only mention this as I've noted over time that Monday is often your zinger day, but there are occasions when "a man so devoted to walking about nude of ideas in public" happens to do so on a Monday, and that is a very hard act to follow.

    I see the reptiles gate keeper's were quick out of the blocks today,also.
    With handy link to Freedom Tim who at this very minute is on Lateline, mangling language as only he can. But then it is Monday.

  4. While it is still mad Monday,
    could be juxtaposed against this.
    Go figure.For today's amusement


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