Wednesday, August 19, 2015

He yam what he yam on a daily basis ... and Brendan O'Neill is as silly as ever ...

The pond's had all it can stand, it can't stands no more!

Things are getting exhausting for the pond. And spinach doesn't help:

Keeping up with the despondent reptiles and the crisis du jour requires both aerobic and anaerobic strength and energy.

Look, there's essence of the Devine, and the Terrorists thought so much of it, they gave it two separate splashes:

Bring it on, scribbles the Devine furiously.

Crazy brave? Nope, just crazy barking mad crazy, but the pond commends it as a sterling example of just how desperate it's getting in the bunker.

And the Terrorists weighed in with a weighty editorial:

Because the Terrorists just exude political integrity:

Yes, and let he who is without the first bit of Photoshop stupidity attempt to sound like a tabloid sage.

And just as the stern one calls for restraint out pops an Erica:

No wonder the bouffant one's in a crisis mood today, sounding as gloomy as Dame Slap:

The reality is that it's a long shot for Labor, but the fear and loathing in the reptile bunker is tangible, almost frangible if you accept that the reptiles now seem to be breaking into brittle and fragile fragments.

What we need is a rib-tickler, a mood breaker, a change of pace, a laugh fest, so enough of the hand-wringing and the moping because today the reptiles offered a special treat - if, like a dung beetle, you think a large cow pat is particularly exciting.

But please, first allow the pond to do a little warm up routine.

After all, comedy works best when the crowd have been given a little dust-up in the preliminaries, and the pond would like, as MC, to call on Neil McMahon, available in full here, as he took a look at Q and A, a show which has been banned by the pond as a viewing experience, so second-hand reports must do:

Faust had her only ally in Brendan O'Neill, a British writer whose ability to get on your nerves is so pronounced that mosquitoes must find him annoying. Ricky Gervais would play this bloke in a movie. 
O'Neill is a libertarian, of a stripe sometimes identified by other terms such as "Who invited him?" and "He's not sitting next to me". He wants everyone to get out of everyone else's face. "Leave me alone," is the broad philosophy, but delivered with such insistence it's like being taken hostage by an opinionated dentist. 
O'Neill schtick combines a prancing shock value, an ability to talk under water and a refusal to give a shit what anyone thinks of the results. This means he can dive headlong into debates on anything and come up with gems - such as his rejection of targets for female representation in government. 
"Those women will never know for sure whether they were selected on the basis of merit or on the basis of their biology," mused O'Neill with sorrowful tone. The notion that his biology gives him the confidence never to ask himself the same question hadn't occurred, but never mind - he had a lesson for the ladies. "We need to let women go and let them make it on their own," he advised, a pat on the head only implied. 
On same-sex marriage, he had but one mission: giving voice to the oppressed, the harassed and the marginalised. And he did it very well: the heterosexuals suffering under global gay rule were evocatively described: "The silencing, the sacking of people, the harassment of people, the demonisation of people who have a different view." 
Won't someone think of the bakers? This was O'Neill's startling warning of what he called "the cake shop phenomenon". Listen up: that's the hazing of bakeries by militant homosexuals in countries with legal gay marriage, with innocent pastry chefs menaced: "Hey you stupid Christians, make this cake for me. And if they don't they call the police." 
With contributions like this it was clear why the QandA producers had invited this defender of the heterosexual sponge industry on to share his thoughts. Whether defending the dignity of bakers or women, O'Neill was heroic - but it took his defence of the world's put-upon politicians to really make the night. 
In his aghast description: "Today, if you don't believe in gay marriage you don't have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life." 
You could hear the rest of the panel's heads about to explode at the bravado of this line, and in the far distance a long, long chuckle - Tony Abbott, the remains of marriage equality legislation rotting in the bin, was delighted to see QandA finally getting itself some quality guests.

The pond would also like to acknowledge the work of James Bloodworth in Don't feed the troll: The five stupidest Brendan O'Neill articles.

It's an exceptional achievement to winnow monumental stupidity down to only five really stupid pieces, and philosophers will argue long into the night as to whether Bloodworth has played fair.

Perhaps he should have widened the range to forestall disputes - rather than the five or even the ten stupidest, or the twenty, perhaps he should have allowed for the hundred most stupid Brendan O'Neill articles, on the basis that inclusiveness precludes any sense of unfairness. Achievements of monumental stupidity should be celebrated with generosity.

Bloodworth also trips up with his concluding advice:

The most important thing with any troll is not to feed them. Like a big fat hungry caterpillar chewing on a luscious green slice of lettuce, a troll feeds on the ‘outrage’ generated by their ‘opinions’ and gets hooked on it.
As a rule, you should ignore Mr O’Neill. DO NOT express outrage and DO NOT Tweet or Facebook his articles in order to show your companions how disgusted you are. In other words, do not hand him the big green slice of outrage lettuce he craves. 
I note that in writing this article I’ve sort of fallen foul of my own sage advice, but I thought you knowing how his whole ‘journalism’ thing works would be worth it. I won’t do it again.

But here's the thing. The pond isn't disgusted by O'Neill, the pond feels no outrage. A hint of pity perhaps - someone so confused and so in need of public attention is a bit like Marilyn Monroe, or other confused actors.

But no, that comparison's not quite right. The pond looks on O'Neill as a comedy spectacle, like a silent comedian doing a pratfall with a banana skin. Not, it has to be said, at the level of a Chaplin, or a Keaton, but at the level of a Mack Sennett extra playing one of the firemen or police who routinely fell over themselves like an inept pack of stumble bums. Besides, if Bloodworth can ignore his own advice, so can the pond.

And so, mood set, stage emptied, the pond is proud to present ... please, sound trumpets and alarums ...

Note well the hysterical, grotesque exaggeration in that header. Is he talking of Daesh and Syria and other war-torn lands? Is he talking of refugees, brutalised and beaten?

Nope, the new dark ages is Brendan O'Neill turning up on QandA to talk about SSM!

And what a classic rant, a first class example of navel watching and fluff gathering results. Let's get the header out of the way first:

Terrifying? You'd have to be a gormless twit of the first water to be terrified at a discussion of SSM in the west.

Terrifying is a crazy fundamentalist with an AK-47 or a bit of plastique in hand, but do go on, and on and on, in the patented, bore them shitless Brendan way:

Oh pity the moral lepers, pity the scum.

But this is the way the contrarian troll works. It's easy.

Mildred: Hey Brennie baby, what are you rebelling against? 

Brendan (laconic, leathery, out of the side of the mouth with a quizzical air): Whadda you got?

That smoking is a nice touch. Really shoves it up the PC crowd, and never mind if you get cancer or emphysema, it's worth it to teach 'em a lesson. Of course you could always drink yourself into the gutter instead - that'll learn 'em.

Feel like you've wasted valuable minutes of your life? Think of it as like watching a one-reeler. It's over quickly enough, and there's a few chuckles to be had along the way ... not many, it's true ... but a nice distraction from a government that daily offers its own comedy stylings ...

Good old Marie Dressler, though the resemblance to O'Neill is unnerving ...

And now here's a lovely one from the archive ...


  1. DP - you missed one celluloid portrayal of the reptiles. Erik the Viking!

    Especially the bit where no one wants to sit next to Snorri.

  2. Oh dear. Abbott's 'heroic' Kathy Jackson ordered to repay $1.4 mill stolen from the HSU And what was it she dobbed in Craig Thomson for? (and for most of which he was acquitted).

    Seems Tony's got some 'splaining to do.

    1. It's not just KJ. The vigilante thing is disappearing up his fundament as we speak ...

    2. Did the vigilante thing ever have a snowflake's chance in hell anyway?

      These death throes are more unbecoming by the day. Look! over there - another punch in the nose.

  3. And I thought O'Niel was kept chained up in Vanstone's cellar there in dear old Adelaide to be used for her sexual enjoyment on the Sabbath, and only released to appear on her radio quiz show?...Oh, what's that?..It's NOT a quiz show?...well, I'll be like a pastry chef and be buggered!

    1. Oh you delightfully kinky thing, you ...

  4. Miranda's still punch-drunk after her lunch with Rupert (duly stenographed by Sharri Markson in The Oz).

    What you do when you approval ratings are screaming South, when you haven't won a Newspoll in 28 consecutive results, when a tidal wave of frustration and impatience is bearing down on you like a tsunami, what you don't do Miranda, with all due respect, is call a fvcking election.

    Or maybe you do? These are very strange days.

    Sticking around against all logic and good advice has worked out pretty well for James Hird.

    Pardon? What did you say?


    1. Strange days indeed, VC, everyone's running and no one makes a move, nobody told us there'd be days like these.

  5. Miranda Devine November 20, 2011

    "WHAT is it about women that makes them such prodigious whistleblowers?
    Last week we saw Kathy Jackson, national secretary of the Health Services Union, refusing to back down to the jeering mob at the scandal-racked organisation's annual conference.
    She is fighting to clean up the HSU, and no amount of name-calling, shovels at her front door, intimidation and votes of no confidence will stop her. "I'm going nowhere," she said last week. "They're not used to people telling them they're doing the wrong thing (and) they're trying to shoot the messenger."
    She is not afraid to take on the union movement's entrenched male power elites - and the membership is quietly behind her."

    So many faces today and not enough eggs to go round.

  6. Four Rhodes Scholarship Applicants for 1981.

    Three are honours students - all unsuccessful. One average 3rd year law student is successful. Go figure!


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