Sunday, September 20, 2015

When I was a child, I understood as a child and spake as a child. When I became an adult, I put away childish things... and Tony Abbott ...

The pond is, it should go without saying, delighted that a man who refused to abjure creationism, a young earth, and 'theory of evolution' denialism is now wending his way to Canberra to pass judgment on matters of science ...

It reminded the pond of that tweet doing the rounds ...

The candidate, and the by-election, was the final triumph of the Abbott years, and the successful applicant will now find the mood a little changed in Canberra when he arrives.

This was going to lead the pond into its standard Sunday meditation, a pot shot or two at the angry Sydney Anglicans, perhaps a joke about fundamentalist Islamics, a little ritual eating of pork, a mixing of cloth when getting dressed, a few oysters and other shellfish with the champers, and so on and so forth ...

But then a correspondent drew attention to the editorial in yesterday's Saturday Paper and the pond was strangely moved.

You can find the original here here, but it just so happens to summarise in a most succinct way everything the pond might wish to have said, or found the words to say:

It is no exaggeration to say Tony Abbott is the worst prime minister Australia has had. To the extent that his brief and destructive leadership of the country is remembered, it will not be remembered well. 
Abbott is a prime minister without a legacy. In attempting to defend one this week, he came up with not much: some jobs, a few trade agreements, an infrastructure project, a border protection regime founded on human rights abuses, a royal commission so compromised by bias its own commissioner had to consider removing himself. 
Abbott governed for the past and the few conservatives desperate to continue living there. He governed against science and in contempt of the environment. He governed in opposition to social equality, in terror of reform. His was a government of fear and avoidance, a rolling sideshow anxiously avoiding the fact it had nothing to add and no idea what to do. 
Abbott spent his time in opposition degrading the office of the prime minister. His was a campaign of debasement: a coarsening of debate, a running down of the respect once stored in the institution. Those who say he was a fine opposition leader do so in error. There is no victory in destroying what you set out to win. 
On prevailing at the 2013 election, he placed on his head a small and tinny crown. He did nothing to repair it in the years that have passed since. Indeed, he added only to its dents and tarnish. 
He treated law like a plaything. He made policy at odds with the country’s own constitution. He fought consensus and held out against change. He refused humility. He let run the island camps where women and children are raped and men killed. He turned in from the world. He mocked treaties. He failed obligations. He fed prejudice wherever he could. 
He was a coward with reform. He left the tax system lumbering and unfair. He failed to articulate policy. He hectored the ABC, cowing it and becoming ludicrously involved in editorial processes. He shunned innovation. He craved distraction. 
Abbott’s great fear, and the fear of those people left supporting him, is tomorrow. He is fearful of same-sex marriage. Fearful of an economy remade by climate change. Fearful of the fair distribution of taxes. Fearful of power as it ebbs away from the places where it was once concentrated. But tomorrow is always close; his prime ministership was always doomed. 
Abbott is an experiment that failed. He is proof that Australia cannot be governed from the far right, just as it cannot be governed from the far left. He was the last hope and final holdout of a group of people wishing desperately against a modern Australia. 
His time in the office leaves a hole in this country’s agenda. A period of incompetent stasis. Two wasted years we must now hungrily get back. 
He will not be missed. He should not be praised. He was a failure selfishly wishing that the world would fail with him. We can only hope his like will not be seen again.

Well that's more than fair. As Jonathan Shire was to the ABC, Tony Abbott was to federal politics ... and to the ABC and Q and A, and many other matters, policies and issues ...

Of course the pond would have cracked a joke about knights and dames, but apart from that, it's as good a Sunday meditation as the pond ever wished it could have written on a Saturday ...

Sadly it doesn't leave much room for a Sunday meditation, but what can you say about creationists anyway?

Even your average satirical newspaper has trouble ...

And associated images and comedy items have been recycled a thousand times on the full to overflowing intertubes.

The singular failure of the bible to make mention of dinosaurs has never phased the creationists ...

And now a wet behind the ears MP with a creationist father whom he refused to abjure, marches towards Bethlehem ... or Canberra, if you will ... to pass judgment on matters to do with climate science, and copper v. fibre and many other legislative affairs which involve a mindset somewhere further advanced than the medievalist thinking that infected the superstitious transubstantive Tony Abbott ...

Well might that editorialist scribble ...

Abbott governed for the past and the few conservatives desperate to continue living there. He governed against science and in contempt of the environment. 

And so for the moment, the country is stuck with copper, and Greg Hunt, and all the other walri follies of the Abbott years ...

Which means for this Sunday meditation the best the pond could come up with was a few memes ...

And what fun they are ...

This ploy and play about Christians and Judas ...

... led to this most excellent photobomb ...

But already the pond is suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Soon memes like this will seem as ancient as the already largely forgotten Abbott ...

Here's the Holy Ghost, mysteriously moving amongst mere mortals, and shaping their hand play:

And after this afternoon, who will be able to explain to their children this divine joke about political immortality and an all-seeing god being everywhere and seeing and doing everything?

Ah well, never mind. This day the pond has installed a Shield, hung off a Mac mini with an 8TB disc for storage, and the very first movie that the pond ran was that old favourite Elmer Gantry (followed by a sampling of Wag the Dog).

For those old enough to remember, or young enough to forget, Elmer, played by the tooth-laden Burt Lancaster, sounded just like a columnist for News Corp or Tony Abbott on a bad hair day:

"Sin, sin, sin! You're all sinners! You're all doomed to perdition!" 
"I have here in my pocket - and thank heaven you can't see them - lewd, dirty, obscene, and I'm ashamed to say this: French postcards. They were sold to me in front of your own innocent high school by a man with a black beard...a foreigner."  
"I was accosted by three painted women. Your streets are made unsafe by shameless, diseased hussies, rapacious pick-pockets, and insidious opium-smokers." 
"I admit I'm not smart like some of them -- some of them smartalecky professors, wiseguy writers and agitators. I don't know the first thing about philosophy, psychology, ideology or any other ology. But I know this. With Christ you're saved. And without him you're lost." 
"And how do I know there's a merciful god? Because I've seen the devil plenty of times."

There are jokes:

"Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps!"

And there was, in the old days, a warning at the start of the show:

"We believe that certain aspects of Revivalism can bear examination - that the conduct of some revivalists makes a mockery of the traditional beliefs and practices of organized Christianity! We believe that everyone has a right to worship according to his conscience, but - Freedom of Religion is not license to abuse the faith of the people! However, due to the highly controversial nature of this film, we strongly urge you to prevent impressionable children from seeing it!"

Uh huh, well now, if there's any meditative message this Sunday, it's time to move along, as Elmer himself did ...

"When I was a child, I understood as a child and spake as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things..."

And so the pond must now put away Tony Abbott ...

And yet a man who refused to deny creationism, not once, but many times, now marches towards Canberra ... to pass judgment on matters of science ...

Uh huh ... speaking of lewdness ...

Amen, brother ... and so to a tagline for those fateful years, two years of loss and folly ...

... the first thing we knew he rammed the fear of God into the country so fast we never heard the future's footsteps!"


  1. DP - your reference to the Scopes trial deserves this link to Spencer's closing speech for the defence in Inherit the Wind.

  2. On... irrational articles of faith stalking Canberra.

    "He is proof that Australia cannot be governed from the far right, just as it cannot be governed from the far left."


    The Saturday Paper editorial states that the corollary of fukt Abbott rightard government is that the country can't be governed by the far left.

    Nope. It isn't.

    Proposition B is a corollary of proposition A if B can readily be deduced from A or is self-evident from its proof,



  3. "... standard Sunday meditation, a pot shot or two at the angry Sydney Anglicans."

    Oh DP, it just isn't the same since the departure of Pell mell to hell. We lost not only a world famous climate scientist (far more world famous than that popish guy), but also a leading exponent of Roman Catholic morality - especially as applied by assorted Roman Catholics on behalf of children.

    But the thing that's really important, I maintain, is that all this talk about "backstabbing" and "treachery" and "disloyalty" and "Game of Thrones plotting" (did Peta really expect the great Australian hoi polloi to get that ?) tells us that Peta and Tones really do believe in 'the Divine Right of Prime Ministers'. I mean, once installed a PM (and all his staff) are appointees of God and may not be disobeyed in any way at all (on pain of excommunication, BOC).

    I eagerly await the ritual sanctification of Malcolm.

    1. Yes GB, with the departure of the Pellists, and the new Pope, and the eclipse of the Jensenists, things have taken a turn for the worse, and it's a sign of desperate times that the pond must now turn to evangelical creationists for a little Sunday faith-healing. Why even the clap happy speaking in tongues Scott Morrison is now proving it's right for true believers to forsake the bible and gazump the Catholics in a purely secular way ...


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