Wednesday, April 08, 2015

In which the reptiles try for the clicks, and offer the likes of Bill Leak and Dame Slap worshipping Marty, and wonder why the clicks are hard to come by ...

What tutu next?

Well the pond always recommends NZ subs or an abandoned ABC style guide, though if you look at the pond's own track record, you might wonder about the usefulness of the recommendation. Or you could just use a VPN ...

Never mind, this morning the pond is in a state of mourning.

You see, the reptiles in lizard Oz la la land are continuing the business of transforming their digital front page in a bid for clicks.

It started when they abandoned the whirling digital finger of flash expert commentariat doom at the right hand top of the page.

The reptiles finally realised that featuring a lot of angry opinionistas, usually of the aged white male school of Melbourne club land - circa the 1950s and Ming the Merciless, though perhaps that's defaming Ming - didn't have much appeal, and so in place of these whirling dervishes, they put up -free of the gold brick bar block - a bunch of freely clickable latest news grabs.

Now you have to look down the page for the shouting and the opinionated rage. Of course there's a token female representation, but only of the angry, shouting Dame Slap kind.

Could it just be noted that the pond is soooh over the rabid right wing taking up the cause of Marty "the coal man" Ferguson.

Just look at this gathering of chicken littles and clucking tut tutters who've been shuffled down the page:

What a predictable, tiresome collection of tedium and ennui.

The pond just didn't have the heart to follow Dame Slap down the "let's all defend Marty" one more time, but it does raise the question of the how and the why ... which sees the commentariat manage to whirl in the sky in unison, like starlings ready to sit on a tree and soil the city street below, singing the same raucous song as the Indian mynahs that gather outside the pond's window ... until a hose sends them on their way ...

Oh there's a little variation, like a proposal that the y'artz pander to the Chinese, but the rest of it is depressingly familiar, like Robert Carling valiantly standing up for the rich, and Jonathan Pincus valiantly insisting that there's no need to spend money on science, because after all, what's science ever done for us?

REG: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers. 
STAN: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers. 
REG: Yeah. 
STAN: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers. 
REG: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?! XERXES: The internal combustion enginet? 
REG: What? 
XERXES: The internal combustion engine.  
REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah. 
ACTIVIST #3: And the Internet.  
STAN: Oh, yeah, the Internet Reg. Remember what reading a liberal newspaper like the Oz used to be like when the pigeon post dropped it off? 
 REG: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the Internet and the internal combustion engine are two things that the scientists have done. 
MATTHIAS: And the jet aeroplanes 
REG: Well, yeah. Obviously the zoom zooms. I mean, the flying apartment blocks go without saying, don't they? But apart from the internal combustion engine, the intertubes, and the zoom zooms ... ACTIVIST: Irrigation. 
XERXES: Medicine. 
ACTIVIST #2: Education. 
REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough. 
ACTIVIST #1: And the wine. Don't forget the science of wine.
OMNES: Oh, yes. Yeah... 
FRANCIS: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the scientists left. Huh. 
ACTIVIST: Non-stick pans. 
STAN And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, and look at the stars, Reg, thanks to Robocop.
FRANCIS: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this. 
REG: All right, but apart from the internal combustion engine, better medicine, improved education, scientifically improved wine, public order, astronomy and a new world of robotics, the intertubes, flying apartment blocks, a chemically enhanced fresh water system, and vastly improved public health, and a new awareness of the world's climate, what have the scientists ever done for us? 
XERXES: The atomic bomb and better munitions all round. 
REG: Right! Let's cut their funding ...

Well that was a tidy distraction. At least the pond didn't have to think about Wally blathering on about football or the "Cut and lay waste" section of the intertubes returning like a dog to its vomit yet again and brooding over Q and A.

It's almost as if, without the ABC, the reptiles would cease to exist, or have a purpose in life, or at least have a satisfying focus for their rage.

They could just be like the pond and never watch the show, but instead, like much of the navel-gazing that passes for journalism these days, there's a reporter reporting on the activities of a TV show freely available on iView for anyone who cares ...

How pathetically irrelevant can you get? The pond should pay for regurgitated "cut and lay waste" trivia?

But there's an even surer sign that the reptiles are hurting, and that, ever so slowly, they're trying to open up so that they can get a few more clicks. Like they've just realised the intertubes is here to stay, and even if it's fraudband, that's enough to do in their current business plan ...

For as long as the pond can remember, the reptiles locked up their cartoons, but now down at the bottom of the page, there's a little rotating platform that shows off "Images". These are now large and easily accessible, without a click producing a begging letter and a demand for payment, if a mug punter wanted to go further.

The trouble of course is that it turns out that what they're giving away, the pond wouldn't take for free.

You know, it's like the books that some kind soul has left out in the streets ... tempting you with their generosity. But you just have to leave them there, knowing they'll be ruined by the impending rain, because who'd let another Jeffrey Archer into the house?

So we cop a Löbbecke and what do you know it's about Marty.

WTF? The gulag?

That's not a cartoon, this is a cartoon, and a damn sight closer to the reality ...

Even if it's the third time the pond's had to feature it because the rabid Murdoch reptiles keep rambling on about poor Marty and the working class.

And then there's the sad case of Bill Leak.

Something happened to Bill. It happens to a lot of cartoonists. Look at Patrick Cook, look at Larry Pickering, though perhaps it's best not to look at John Spooner at all ...

Here's the Leak freebie on view in the Oz today:

Simply put, it's tragic.

It's true that in recent years cartoonists have had difficulties, but there are some that have managed to be bold. They might miss the target but they don't labour in quite the way that Leak effort does:

Of course it's hard to do a cartoon up against naked intent:

But Leak's cartoon arrives on the scene some nine years after the Danish cartoon controversy, and not so long after French cartoonists being killed for daring to cartoon, and if that's the best he can manage, he should give the game away... because you see, funny Easter cartoons are one of the virtues of the season, like chocolate, but the notion that angry Sydney Anglicans or Catholics cacked themselves over the funny cartoons is just silly.

It's well known that Christian protestors will bung on a do, attack some images with a hammer or otherwise vandalise said images beyond repair, all the more ironically during Je crois aux miracles.

It reminded the pond of some quotes in a NYRB recently about Polish activist Adam Michnik, sadly behind the paywall here.

The pond never thought much of G. M. Trevelyan as an historian, but in citing him and writing about the English revolution of 1688 and the Toleration Act, Michnik drew attention to the essence of the problem:

The men of 1689 (Trevelyan wrote) were not heroes. Few of them were even honest men. But they were very clever men, and, taught by bitter experience, they behaved at this supreme crisis as very clever men do not always behave, with sense and moderation.
Michnik knows that the Toleration Act was not perfect. Some saw it as giving them the right to live according to their conscience. Others, he says, quoting Trevelyan, saw it as "a necessary compromise with error." But it was a compromise that brought an end to "mass sufferings, hatreds and wrongs."
Trevelyan's conclusion, quoted by Michnik, has a particular poignancy these days:
After a thousand years, religion was at length released from the obligation to practice cruelty on principle, by the admission that it is the incorrigible nature of man to hold different opinions on speculative subjects.

Which is why, with the greatest respect, Bill Leak's cartoon entirely misses the point, and why the reptiles have been reduced to a desperate, irrelevant gulag, daily going over and over on their pet 'get off my angry lawn' peeves ... while desperately seeking clicks when few - apart from weirdos like the pond interested in anthropological and sociological studies of the reptile mind - are interested in paying for the mugwump swamp of right wing repetitive wingnuttery ...

Speaking of which, it is after all Dame Slap day, and the pond should honour the Dame and do its duty, but at the same time, it's hard to muster up any interest or enthusiasm for the task, because we heard it all yesterday from the Caterists.

Yes at a time when Santos is sponsoring the Queensland police - give them a fracking hard time toad coppers - and Nauru is turning out to be the major scandal and disgrace many predicted but none in power will admit, and climate science continues apace with bad news, and David Cameron eats a hot dog with a knife and fork, and Rand Paul and associated other nuts and weirdos are running for president, this is the best that the finest minds of the reptile commentariat can produce.

Muted drum roll, please maestro, as we join Dame Slap in the dark ages, wherein we will have to pretend she gives a flying fuck for working stiffs:

Yes, of course it's comical, this union demonisation, which spurts out like hoppy toads day after day, the Caterists yesteday, Dame Slap today, and some other Oz reptile tomorrow. All saying the same thing, all maintaining the rage and the indignation.

Ever wondered when you'll see a piece from Dame Slap denouncing the behaviour of developers? 

Sydney's full of unscrupulous, shoddy, cut throat developers putting up the slums of tomorrow today...

Yet these are the people that Dame Slap doesn't say a word about.

Ever wonder when you might see the reptiles raging at the likes of Meriton, which turned the World Tower development into either a tragedy or a farce, depending on whether you bought into the building (Fairfax Meriton's war of World Tower, ... defects at World Square).

As for the strange attraction that the reptiles have for the destroyers ... like Chairman Rudd, who out of vengeful pride, indulged in sociopathic behaviour of the most unseemly kind ... it surpasses the pond's understanding ...

Second thoughts it's obvious enough. They want the wreckers to keep on wrecking because that'll keep the current incompetents in power. Of course they want full democratisation, but you'll never hear a whimper about democratising the Liberal party ...

As for Marty being a union busting hero who tried like the little engine ...

Well at least it means the pond can have a really good belly laugh and roll the Jaffas down the aisles ... That's as much as can be hoped for in Chairman Rupert's Australia ...

But at the end of it all, the pond is always left feeling the need for a cartoon, a cleansing sorbet that washes away the nonsense. Thanks Mr Moir and more Moir here.


  1. I read that piece from Dame slap, and I think ; I'll take the piss..but then you look at her pic and only toilet humour comes to I'll give it best, I think...after all, it "reflects" bad on a chap to gaze too long into the toilet bowl before urinating.

  2. That cartoon tells all about Bill Leak. Most likely, he has a private folio of outrageous 'toons of Mo, some of them including genitalia. But, his employer his intimate business dealings in and about the Arabian Peninsula. So, he hides behind his contractual obligations, that is, providing illustrations to go with Tea Party pap.
    Look, though! Abbott has a new mission, the War on Ice. Come on, Bill, let's see you draw up that one without the convenience of biker gangs, their Chinese overlords and welfare-dependent blacks. Whatever, Bill, please do not offend the civility of your close peers who binge on cocaine & booze. With a bit of twist, you may be able to draw on your hatred of Nicola Roxon.

  3. A daily scroll through the hysteria in the Murdochs is not a burden I could bear. I do wonder whether you suffer from PTSD -- this way lies madness -- debrief often I say.

  4. Albrechsten: “Where was the swift moral indignation when Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson was fleecing low-paid workers by using members’ fees to pay for his extravagant lifestyle?”

    Today the SMH reports:

    “Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said in a letter to the Senate committee into corporate tax avoidance that Mr Hockey endorsed his decision not to release the names of 10 resources companies that transferred a combined $31.4 billion to Singapore in the financial year 2011-2012.”

    Where is Albrechsten’s swift moral indignation for this?

    Chris Jordan went on to say: “Disclosure of the information to the Committee by the Commissioner of Taxation will harm the public interest by undermining public confidence in taxation laws and taxation administration.”

    Public confidence in the “taxation laws and taxation administration” is more than undermined. It’s way down in the negative.

    1. Would this be the same commissioner Mr Hockit endorsed last year for not appealing Rupe's outlandish $1billion taxpayer gouge?

  5. How tolerated? The enemy of an enemy is a friend? "It purposely did not apply to Catholics, nontrinitarians and atheists" Muslims, hindus, Jews, buddhists, and...? (Of course, invited in under the radar the Jews were already back enjoying the tolerably good graces of power bought with bankers money for commonwealth and restoration designs both, soon also to be tolerated City wide.) Also forty years earlier came the Maryland Toleration Act. "The Act allowed freedom of worship for all Trinitarian Christians in Maryland, but sentenced to death anyone who denied the divinity of Jesus." Surely a tolerable death to anyone.

  6. I find myself wondering if Janet Albrectsen really exists. I mean those columns could be written by a moderately sophisticated intern after all.
    My theory is that she is an elaborate satire of a certain type of conservative, who was cut from the roster of minor characters on "Kath And Kim". Has anyone ever seen Janet A and Jane Turner in the same room? I think not!

    1. The puzzle solved and the pond is grateful GlenH!


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