Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Verdict is in ... please, pass the black cap ...

The pond has long suspected that Peter Craven is a deeply stupid man ...

But, but, you say, isn't he the man who markets himself as the sort of fellow Michael Ondaatje and Robert Hughes quote on their book covers, while trying to kill off the works of writers far better than himself?

Doesn't he have his own wiki? Well yes, but careful you don't stub your Greg Hunt toe on your way out ...

All that, and no doubt a lot more, but where's the evidence you ask, how has the pond reached this unnatural and unjust, this cruel verdict?

Well, all the pond can do is take a look at the Craven's most recent effort for the reptiles of Oz, and consider its verdict ...

First can we indulge in a little mood setting, thanks to The Verdict is in: Karl Stefanovic's controversial new show tanks in the ratings ... (with forced video).

Despite much hype, a controversial line-up of panelists and a charismatic host, Nine's new talk show The Verdict has pulled only 9000 more viewers than an afternoon screening of The Bold and the Beautiful in its second outing. 
This represents a significant drop in audience numbers from last week, when 522,000 people tuned in to the premiere. Verdict panel and host Karl Stefanovic.  
The weekly program, modelled on a mixture of The Project and QandA, promised fiery debate and a "bumpy ride" but in its second week was watched by fewer people than an episode of Grant Denyer's Family Feud. 
In the capital cities, 369,000 Australians tuned in to watch The Verdict, narrowly beating Ten's soap The Bold and the Beautiful, which snagged 360,000 viewers.

And so on. You might have read much the same thing at the Graudian in The Verdict rates alongside Bold and Beautiful as real Mark Latham emerges ...

There's nothing like a classic TV turkey to bring out the contrarians and the foolish fops, and the defenders of, not so much the indefensible, as the risible, and to dress their defence up in bizarre and imaginative ways which draw attention to their own perspicacity, rather than the matter actually at hand.

Take it away, Mr Craven, show us how it is done:

Indeed, indeed, and so, with Craven's approval, the pond might well ask him what sort of fuckwitted critic is he?

The pond is, of course, merely being truculent, in the spirit of amiable and intelligent debate, delicately insinuating its point, and now please go on Mr Craven:

The most compelling thing here, in his study of riveting television of a visceral tabloid kind, is the way Craven - despite his stunning ability to summarise the goings on in a blow by blow way that makes Norman Mailer's evocation of a boxing match seem errant - actually fails to mention the entire point of the show.

Yes, at the very end of The Verdict, the verdict, albeit by a narrow 51-49 split, by whomever it was who decided to waste their time not just watching the show but voting on it, was that Australia was indeed a racist country.

For a column which claims that Karl speaks with the voice of the people, you might think that how the people voted was worth reporting by our fearless cultural contrarian.

Let us see how he compounds his people crime, though first the Craven had other Fox fish to fry, in the manner of a small boy sneezing with the pepper because he knows how it teases:

Yes, there it is: "In the end only Sandy Read, one of the regulars and a psychologist of liberal opinion, was willing to say Australians were racist ..."

So much for the mug punters who wasted their time voting, though it's at the heart of the format for the show, and in the title, and the intended structure of this classic TV turkey ...

But then it's also a sign that the patrician Craven is purporting to be a plebeian for the day so he might celebrate in his contrarian way the inadmissable, the found object, the shocking and the jocking, the radiant sun of Karl, the antithesis of impressive palaver, and the high bunkum voice of the people ... which Craven throughout his piece, resolutely avoids ...

Well just for the record, here's the invitation to vote by the gormless, out of his depth one... to deliver the verdict which ostensibly is what the show is all about ...

And here's the actual inconvenient people's vote, though as everybody knows it's just a MacGuffin of the Hitchcock kind, designed to fill in the last couple of minutes of the show with a gimmick which justifies the show, and extends the social media engagement beyond the twittering that turns up throughout:

And here's the vote of the panellists, a motley crew of malcontents who are there to display their own very loud and preening voices, which have nothing to do with the voice of the people ...

Et tu Aly, despite your anecdotes of personal experiences of racism?

Never mind, the pond only embarked on this entire exercise to prove its point.

Now we might do it by way of a faux engagement with others, asking them to consider their own verdict, and fill the in box with all sorts of considered comments...

But the pond isn't interested in tired TV formats and is prepared to be judge, jury and executioner - orderly please pass the black cap - and answer in the affirmative that yes, Peter Craven is surely a deeply stupid man ...

And how sad it is that the reptiles of Oz feel the need to reward this sort of simpering nonsense by throwing it around the stable on a meditative weekend ...

And now, because the pond loves to recycle the twitterati - it annoys the reptiles so - it would be remiss not to conclude with this excellent tweet from a twittering twit ...

So quickly and easily they change their tune, and dance in a servile way to their new master ... and how kindly the master looks on at his brand new pet poodle ...


  1. From Twitter, of course,

    PYNE "Really? Really? This is called a train? What & people sit in them & they move? G'wan!! Ya kiddin' me!"

  2. (That's Pyne schooling Mal in Arabic, so he can read the graffiti that's popping up on walls around Point Piper.)
    But, charismatic? Karl?? "They aint seen nothin yet", Mal mused as he sniffed the gentle on-shore breeze.
    What a week, though! The cries of "Turnbull, Turnbull" as the Party chaired him from the House, having demolished the Oppo.
    Charisma!? " ... I had a Dream ..."

  3. You will have noticed the art, and the artfulness, on display at today's The Age, DP, I'm sure, and it sure did bring joy to this shrivelling soul.
    First, the Spooner not only taps into a rich vein of exquisite satire, it puts certain others well in the shade. Poor ol' Bleak, for instance, hardly had to glance up from picking at the scabs to riff off another "holding the Govt to account" at the faint whistle from Ol' Rupe and rip out another cheap 'n easy go at Shorten. Rupe, of course, is well into the weeds as noted by Matt Taiibi's rapier wit.
    What about Michael Gordon's The return of the big picture? with PJK posed in front of a ... big picture! Wonderful stuff! The unspoken words on Keating's lips, "This silver-tongued fraud, I'm going to enjoy doing him ... slowly".
    What did you make of Turnbull's reprise of the mythical cabbie, in "Of course, hard work is important, but there are taxi drivers who work harder than I ever have and they do not have much money"? The cabbie is a frequent motif for Turnbull, but, this time he, sensibly, refrained from linking him to Goldman Sachs. The Turnbulls may have a quid or two parked with Uber.
    But, lucky? How fortune has blest the Turnbulls! Indeed, Mal could take admission fees from a roomful of Shanghai tycoons, stick a pin in a map of Oz, and proclaim "Dig there!". Want a lucky number for the Lotto? Ask Mal! Need to back a winner in the Cup? Mal's your man!
    Mal has a Dream, it's in glorious technicolour and he is stepping off the Mountain, scrolls in hand, warbling "Let My people go". Only trouble is, he's not wearing a sheepskin but a toga, and it's undergoing a "wardrobe malfunction".

    1. Thanks UC, but I really wish that Matt Taibbi was a little less genteel. Calling Chairman Rupert deviant scum is almost a polite form of praise.


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