Saturday, August 29, 2015

In which the imperial stormtroopers clod hop their way to galactic glory ... or at least a job as extras in a Riefensthal movie ...

(Above: a lovely post-ironic snap noted by a pond reader).

It's not often the pond regrets not being a 24/7 blog (how's that for a double negative?), but yesterday, as the Border farce unravelled before disbelieving eyes, was one of them.

The astonishing folly, the immediate and gratifying response, and the memes, oh so many memes ... though some of them were useful.

It's not often that Tony Abbott can bring together David Leyonhjelm, Andrew Wilkie and the pond on the same page, but yesterday managed the feat, and all Godwin's Law swear jar fines for the Stasi, the Soviet Union, Hitler, McCarthy and etc had to be waived. The little known "valid comparison" exemption clause kicked in:

In fact, watching the footage of the launch of the Border farce on view in The Drum last night, the pond was struck by the Leni Riefenstahl nature of the imagery. The multiple flags, the uniforms, the signing, the oath-taking, it was all very Triumph of the Will, as you can see here if you can stand the presence of Brendan O'Neill for longer than a nanosecond. Of course it was done on a small scale, but the triumphalism was very Munich beer hall putsch, with Nuremberg a growing hope and dream for the future:

There's never been much crypto in Abbott's inclination to crypto-fascism, and at such moments, the pond always recalls the anecdote Abbott loved to tell about Santamaria:

...there's the bond of trust that comes from sharing an intellectual trench on a hostile battlefield. 
In the famous Melbourne University debate about the Spanish Civil War, he declared: "When the bullets of the atheists struck the statue of Christ outside the cathedral in Madrid, for some that was just steel striking brass. But for me, those bullets were piecing the heart of Christ the King." 
He could engender a thrill in the heart that was part patriotism, part Christian idealism and part "fighting the good fight". 
I was lucky to know B.A. Santamaria for the last 22 years of his life, to have attended diligently to his writing and speaking over that time and to have been the beneficiary of the occasional private lunch and long phone call. (here)

That puts Santamaria and his ideological ally, once a DLP thug, always a DLP thug, right alongside the German air force's Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria in the bombing of Guernica. Naturally that exercise had a code name: Operation RĂ¼gen (Reprimand).

And naturally yesterday's exercise in proto-fascism had an equally high sounding, quasi-militarist name, Operation Fortitude.

Of course, there's always an upside, and just as Guernica led to Picasso's great painting, so the pond managed to share a moment of humanity with Mark Di Stefano.

Faced with the unendurable humbug of the notorious contrarian O'Neill, Di Stefano couldn't resist taking a look direct to camera as if to say who is this alien landed from Mars and jibber jabbering about the twitterati, who is this strange creature the cat dragged in?

Indeed, indeed.

O'Neill was at his thickest and his finest, moaning about how political correctness had taken over and then doing his very best to show political correctness in the matter of the intertubes. The problem of course is that the internet manages, at best, its own rough form of self-government, and that's a constant irritant to the fascist mindset - and here we must include the peculiar form of alleged Marxism that O'Neill still claims as his own. People keep twittering things O'Neill doesn't like, and so he's outraged, and wants to lash out at them with childish labels, and wonders why Di Stefano looks as if he's stumbled across a man deeply and heavily into the kool-aid.

Meanwhile, what's astonishing this morning is how yesterday's exercise now seems like a chimera, a passing gossamer fantasy, an excerpt from a Midsummer Night's Dream.

Where in the old days the photoshop would have been dragged from the closet and given a heavy workout, today the Murdochians are off on other things. The farce has vanished, been disappeared, has gone away, is no more ...

Of course the Fairfaxians are on hand:

But this day the reptiles of Oz have decided that the top of the digital page should be filled with a story about peddling patent medicines and half-baked herbal cures:

Never mind if the snake oil performs a medicinal and useful function - beyond the placebo effect - just lie back and think of the sales ...

In fact the coverage even on the day was inclined to be cursory. The HUN at least allowed itself the use of "farce":

But the reptiles ran with the feeble excuse that was trotted out later in the day:

Yes, it's all the fault of the press release.

And today the Oz editorialist was off on a hand-wringing, tub-thumping, self-congratulatory exercise of the usual kind. Okay, it's the weekend, the pond will bite:

That calamity would be as opposed to the current government's vigorous economic strategy:

But do go on:

Don't you just love it? Labor will be caught short if it thinks hyper-charged negativity will bring it to office ....

Yes, it's like a gossamer-thin dream, a fantasy, a distant memory, the reptiles baying like hounds on the moors, hyping up the hyper-charged negativity with their Photoshop follies, so that the master of nattering negativity, completely clueless about anything else, could have his time at the helm.

And yesterday in the streets of Melbourne, we saw the result of their work in action, a form of bumbling ineptitude that really should have been left to a Carry On Constable or a Police Academy VII movie, or better still, a David Pope cartoon (and more Pope here):

And this is the director who's going to make the great Australian economy movie, Deep Chinese Economy Impact ...?

Just a gossamer-thin dream made out of finest snake oil ...


  1. The Border Force Commissioner, like the Minister for Immigration, is a former member of the Queensland Police Force. The involvement of 'Queensland cops' in authoritarian and illegal acts, accompanied by sanctimonious justifications, should come as no surprise to people of a certain age.

    1. Member for Pine Rivers- ancestral home of the Angry White peoples

  2. Gossamer thin?...corporate memory?...The Reptiles?..Kind of reminds one of that moment passed when in complete, deep regret of the night's alcohol intake and gazing in dumb-founded disbelief at the damaging residue "staring -you-in-the-face" while "driving the big-white-bus"...the one urgent consideration in what's left of your tiny brain is to quickly flush it all away and go back to dreamland!

  3. The Border Force business can't have happened. There was nothing in the Australian today.

    How Wizard-of-Oz was it to put ordinary men and women in storm trooper black and call them Border Enforcers. Seen up close like the wee-wizard-behind-the-curtain they did not inspire confidence. I read somewhere that a gaggle of enforcers had to be led out of a building by police and that some were crying.

    Makes me want to weep. When I am not laughing. Hysterically.

    Miss pp

  4. After yesterday's omnishambles-clusterfuck, should we declare - for about the 1,000th time - that Satire Is Dead?

    BTW, the excuse that the initial offending Media Release was approved at a "low level" simply doesn't cut it. Even if a Release from a government agency stated that the sun would rise in the east tomorrow, it would still be checked, massaged, rechecked.

    1. As it should be- specifically to avoid this sort of clusterfuck.
      If this is the sort of stunts the federal government will be pulling in the lead up to the election, well, all I can say is we are living in the golden age of comedy!

  5. Humph! Live by the press release, die by the press release, I say.

    And as for Shorten, how dare he behave like that as he leads the country forward.

    Oh wait...

  6. Everything he touches turns to ____. Pity those Indigenous folks looking hopeful.

  7. They only stopped this farce when they realised that all the Collingwood supporters would be going past on their way to the MCG. This really scared them shitless!!!

  8. Asked if he or his office was aware of the nature of the operation and of ABF's involvement, Mr Abbott shook his head.
    "Nothing happened here except the issue of a poorly worded press release," he said later.

    Nothing to see here, move along!
    As if PMO wouldn't have been primed for ABF's first public outing.

  9. Enter Freedom Boy.

    And when you've rankled him so much he's making tons of sense, you know you've stuffed it right up;

    "Regardless of Border Force's intentions, it raises serious questions about the culture of an agency where anyone thought such statements could be publicly released."

    Read more:
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