Friday, November 20, 2015

In which the pond marvels at the masterminds of Australian media ...

(Above: golly the memesters have been busy. The pond only reports it because it irritates the reptiles so.)

First, forgive the pond, a personal aside to wrap up the week.

The commentariat is constantly moaning about the bias of the ABC; the pond's complain concerns common courtesy. Once you could set the clock by the ABC's scheduling; set the clock to record a documentary about Paul Cox these days and you'll miss the ending ...

Now it's quite likely the pond was the only one to notice or care - it was a repeat in the wee hours of the morning, and it can be had by other means, but it's the principal of the thing, symptomatic of the ABC's indifference to its customers. Fuck up the schedule of news 24 all you like, litter it with mistakes, mis-spellings, mis-pronunciations, dead air and everything else you like, but is there nothing sacred any more?

Like running a TV schedule the way the Japanese run their Shinkansens?

Oh the pond was pretty good at it ...

And then, just as the pond was listening to Richard Aedy interview the deputy head of ACMA humbug away about the new media rules, as you can here, what do you know but the Graudian carries a report that the Media Report will be no more ... as you can read in The Weekly Beast, ABC Radio National dumps Richard Aedy's Media Report ...

Now the pond's connection to RN is already frail and fading, and so the Beast and other sources (mUmBRELLA for example) will serve for media news, and so the pond can be titillated by news of Markson v Sharp feuds, while contemplating the wonder of Terror tabloid hack Paul Whittaker continuing the ruination of the lizard Oz ...

Oh if only the pond could bottle it ... think how essence of bile would move off the supermarket shelves ... we'd like a middle shelf position, thank you Grant O'Brien, before you go ...

Now the pond understands that things must change, but when the changes bring the pond that enormous twit Scott Stephens wittering on with Waleed Aly in a  minefield of ethical blather, the pond understands it must change too ... and do other things ...

The irritation of media 24/7 is always present these days.

Take for example the dubbing of the dead organising terrorist in Paris as a "mastermind".

Now the pond will concede that the Paris job was a step above Pinky and the Brain ... but does 'mastermind' do the job, when describing the organising of a few guns and explosives fanatics to shoot civilian fish in a concert barrel?

1. a person with an outstanding intellect. 
"an eminent musical mastermind" 
2 plan and direct (an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise). 
"he was accused of masterminding a gold-smuggling racket" 

Outstanding intellect? A dumb fuck Islamic fundamentalist?

An ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise? What, shooting helpless unarmed civilians attending a concert?

Yet they were all at it. Per Fairfax:

Remarkably the Terror, the bane of the pond's life, felt the need to use inverted commas on the word, only to undo the effect in the text:

But they didn't bother with subtlety or nuance in the tree killer edition, nor did the Currish Snail:

And the reptiles of Oz were down there in tabloid land too:

Now if you stretch, twist, distort and use the LCD, you can arrive at "a person who originates or is primarily responsible for the execution of a project".

Which allows in project officers, project managers, secretaries, and heck, even the pond for originating and being primarily responsible for a blog ...

But mastermind? Only if you have as much contempt for the English language as fanatics and fundamentalists of all stripes have for civilians ... (yes, that careful phrasing admits for free Tony Blair and George Bush).

There were only a few tabloids to pass the pond test, including, remarkably, the HUNsters:

Ringleader! Now there's a good, old-fashioned term: "a person who initiates or leads an illicit or illegal activity."

Now how hard was that?

The pond would have settled for 'fundamentalist Islamic gangster ratbag is dead' as well ... except that it might be perceived as dishonouring the noble traditions of larrikinism and ratbaggery (though of course in the days when larrikins carried cut throat razors, a few might have disputed the notion of noble larrikins.)

Never mind, times change and the Media Report is no more, as is the ABC's willingness to ensure basic standards of literacy, but let's be fair. They got it right too:

Memo to the rest of the media. He wasn't a mastermind, he wasn't even a naughty boy. You do no service to anyone by elevating the fish barrel slaughter man to 'mastermind', even allowing for the trivialisation of the concept by stupid BBC game shows that litter the unpunctual ABC ...

What with all this fuss, the pond had barely time to note the usual delusional level of nonsense in reptile la la land, but surely the hagiographic bromancer took the cake with his celebration of the soft fascism of the Singapore government:

Now anybody and his dog will be aware that through principles of censorship, intimidation, patronage, corruption and fear the People's Action Party - currently with 83 or so seats of 89 - has been in power in Singapore since 1959.

There is no accident in this, because no viable alternative has been allowed, via a form of overt and covert repression. Now it's easy enough to google up unhappy dissidents running unhappy blogs, but for all the talk that the last elections would change things, PAP strolled back in and so can keep on with the business of keeping "an iron-clad grip on dissent among the local, mainstream news outlets in Singapore ..."

Anyone who has done a shred of business in Singapore will know the fix is in, and that knowing who are the fixers and getting on side with them is the way to get business done. If you stay outside, good luck with your business model.

Now you might read How Singapore married dictatorship with a market economy:

...The model crafted by Singapore is now widely seen as offering inspiration for China’s Market-Leninism – a mixture of a market economy with state intervention alongside a political dictatorship. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the ideals of state planning and socialism were discredited, even among Western Europe’s democratic socialist parties. Now, with the world – for the most part – accepting capitalism, some see the major global political rivalry of the 21st century being over how best to manage capitalism, with the contenders on one side following Singapore’s authoritarian political model pitted against liberal democracies.

But here's how the hagiographic bromancer presents the authoritarian political model and Singaporean situation so that readers of the lizard Oz might choke on their weeties:

When you want incisive, insightful, fearless reporting, no need to send a mastermind. Just a futtock of the first water flying in comfort courtesy of the subject of your reporting ...

The pond made the mistake of thinking this was a good artistic impression of Dame Slap ...

Turns out it fits the bromancer much better ...

And now as the pond prepares to swelter - please no mention of climate science this day - there's just time for a Pope cartoon, and more Pope here ...


  1. Meanwhile Bambi has just flogged off Vales Point - one of NSW biggest power stations - for a paltry $1 mill.

  2. In principle, DP, I am not against the protocol being proposed by the mastermind of the Republican renaissance, Mr Trump. Firstly, the brilliant idea that Muslims should be marked with their religious identity is eminently pragmatic and will quickly filter down to the scribing tablets of this nation's thought-leaders. Though, maybe Ms Markson will pull up just shy of the star. Secondly, the suffering public would appreciate knowing which of the bearded tools on the loose are, in fact, paid shills. So, what do you think of a patch in the outline of a spanner for the likes of Greg?

  3. Singapore. That's the place we send most of our coal.

  4. A marvelous juxtaposition - Mal Brough and 'Rot in Hell.'

  5. Libertarian "Freedom" cheerleader Tim Wilson is another big fan of the late LKY - tells you everything you need to know about his perverted idea of "Liberty"


  6. I wonder if the Singaporean government will see value in flying Greg over? I mean, they asked for journalism, and they sure got it with both barrels.

    And now there's our Stenographer in Israel - gonna be some Senior writing to reckon with shortly.

    1. They would,VC. They keep a fairly firm grip on information there. The upside is that Murdoch's demagogue misrepresentation is virtually banned, even in its obsequious forms.

      In my recent travels I spent a day there and was actually fairly impressed. I'm under no illusions that it's a democracy as we understand it. Yet it has delivered within those restrictions. I've written a piece on it which may be run soon. I'll send a link if/when appears. What a pity I didn't know about the government seeking positive reporting. Mine is not along the lines of the Bromancer but it is essentially positive, contrasted with our debauched democracies in UK, Australia and the US.

    2. Delivered economically, perhaps. Now welfare, education and human rights - that might be a different story.

  7. Futtock. Love it, thank you.

  8. Of course Singapore is great. But it's slipping It used to have the second highest execution rate in the world, but is now falling behind. Clean streets and no drug dealers - great if you just knock off the culprits. C'mon Greg - keep up. Singapore is falling behind in the hanging stakes.

  9. Surely you haven't forget the Young Ones on Mastermind?

  10. Even Greg Sheridan could have led a city state with the biggest port in South East Asia to success. LKY never let up pretending it was hard.


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