(Above: and more Rowe here).
Truly every day at the pond is a trip into bizarro land, and it doesn't get any more bizarre than this outing, which the reptiles at the lizard Oz bizarrely deemed an EXCLUSIVE:
Shier, Shier, Shier? Mmm, the name rings a bell, from somewhere back in the dim distant past.
Oh that's right, he's the man who did more than any other to single-handedly attempt to wreck the ABC:
There were restructuring and redundancies. Executives came and went and department heads were expected to come up with lists of expendable people. Senior staff threw in the towel when forced to re-apply for their jobs or after rows that left the walls shaking. Shier once called in the federal police over a leaked memo.
Independent producers said the organisation had become impossible to deal with; even if they got an idea up through the labyrinthine commissioning structure, they would face draconian copyright and distribution deals. "Contracts ended up being the size of a phonebook," one recalls.
ABC funding, after more than a decade of cuts, was stretched to breaking point, a situation worsened by the millions spent on redundancies and new hirings. In April 2001, a rally organised by Friends of the ABC and the Community and Public Sector Union drew about 11,000 people.
Things reached a climax on October 31, when board members decided Shier's position was untenable. When the news broke, staff said they could not stop smiling. Some are smiling still.
"Is it only 10 months? It seems longer," says one senior figure when approached for this story. "It's like some distant nightmare."
Those who outlasted Shier feel they qualify for some sort of medal. "We survived a period where, at any point, it would have been so much easier to walk away," says one. "Many good people did walk away." (The pond had good friends who went down in those troubled times, and lest we forget, After the storm).
And now the reptiles have dragged him out of the vault to give him a platform. That's not so much journalism as grave robbing, or perhaps an exercise in Frankenstein science, but credit to reptile Sharri Markson, she knows how to pick total losers and dropkicks for a few thought bubbles about the issues of the day...
Meanwhile, there's been a feast of other bizarro thinking, most ably demonstrated by Eric Abetz, talking of Pandora's box and polygamy and polyamory - and, let's add, people marrying their poodles - and worrying about the Asians and what they might think, and indeed the pond is looking forward to the introduction of a little Korean-style dog-eating - don't forget the BBQ sauce - because it seems we must do what Asians do ...
Speaking of that, they wouldn't eat the poodle, would they?
Oh that'd be too cruel, but what an exemplary example of the banishment mentality that rules the Liberal roost as they go about the business of chanting two gay legs bad, four heterosexual legs only in the club of life.
Now it might be wrong of the pond to enjoy the current fuss - after all, there are real people out there for whom marriage is meaningful and they didn't grow up in the days when feminists warned the world that marriage was an oppressive, repressive trap.
But still it was a wondrous sight to see it suddenly begin to dawn on Tony Abbott's sister that indeed her brother wasn't for changing, and hell would freeze over before he changed his mind or in any way assisted in bringing forward a movement towards gay marriage.
The hapless possum had previously asserted confidently that there'd be a vote in the second half of the year and soon enough gay marriage would follow, but she reckoned without the deep, fixed inflexibility of her brother, representing as he does all that's the best in fundamentalist, homophobic, bigoted and hysterical intransigence.
Abbott's got where he is by never giving an inch, and never giving a fig for anything that once would have passed for liberal, and he's not about to change.
So there she is now, and the tone has changed:
Well you can give Fairfax a click, if you like, to read Abbott's sister Christine Forster challenges him to allow conscience vote (with bonus forced video) but the nub of it was the sister sounding forlorn:
"This is something that as a party we need to define – and hopefully redefine it – our position on, that marriage is an issue on which members can exercise their consciences."
But in the same story there was more talk of banishment for anyone who spoke out of turn - isn't it remarkable how the government has taken on a medieval tone, and isn't it even more remarkable how the conservative fundamentalists sound exactly like fundamentalist Islamics when it comes to the matter of homosexuality?
All the few rational people left in the party could do was froth and foam:
"If he learned anything from February, the party room is not a play thing for the Prime Minister," one Liberal MP said.
"I think he would look like a liar if he didn't [allow a debate to go ahead]" and that the Liberal Party would look "ridiculous" if it did not back a free vote.
Look a liar? That's supposed to give him a chill of fear and hairs standing on his back?
The man is a liar, a copious full-blooded professional liar who told many, many porkies to get into power, and has since expended much energy telling many, many more as a way of staying in power.
It's a measure of how pathetic the wets are that they'd think saying Abbott would look a liar would leave a mark on Abbott's cheek, like a duelling scar.
It's a measure of Abbott's cunning that some thought his moderate tone was more than a disguise for his stern inflexibility, and his hard, hard heart, and his rat cunning.
As always, the pond turns to the reptiles for the surest guide, and luckily the bouffant one was to hand:
Now in that ineffable, inimitable way that the reptiles routinely manage, this sounds like praise for Abbott.
The pond suggests you could construct your own headlines, at risk of a Godwin's Law fine.
You know, like Hitler consistent on Jews, or Stalin consistent on kulaks and Crimean Tatars, or Mao consistent on starving peasants, or Turkey consistent on Armenians.
But do go on bouffant one and rhapsodise about the consistency:
You see how exemplary propaganda is done? Why the man's little short of a great humanitarian statesman, even though it sometimes leads the bouffant one into extraneous, contradictory and confused nonsense.
Here's a man doing his best to pour cold water on a legislative initiative, but who shines and gleams as the bouffant one polishes his status as a parliamentarian who prefers legislators to deal with legislative matters ...
But the bouffant one really won the pond's heart with his final analogy:
Leaders need to know that you go home from the dance “with the one that brung you” no matter how nice you are to the others at the dance.
Which is as tidy a way as any to avoid mentioning that the ones that Abbott dances with are the fundamentalist homophobes out there, standing alongside the Islamic fundamentalist agenda on gay rights ...
Never mind, it's the end of the week, and the pond was entranced by the fuss over lollies. In the old days, it was a tradition to head off to the corner store on a Sunday after mass, and buy an assortment of lollies from the jars, and then fight fiercely for a proper share with siblings, and then store them and ostentatiously bring out a treasured favourite and ostentatiously eat said lolly in front of the greedy guts who'd already scoffed their lot.
The store's long gone in Tamworth - what a heartbreak town it is - and the siblings scattered, but the pond was entranced to learn that this tradition can continue, thanks to First Dog on the Moon.
Already the pond has put aside a few treasured favourites - no doubt they'll come in handy - and you can select your own favourites by heading off to the Graudian here.
The pond always loved milk bottles, but look at the fabulous new range:
And best of all, given the current curmudgeonly news of the day: