Sunday, November 15, 2015

Speaking of the work of the devil ...

The pond isn't up to being whimsical or jocular about fundamentalists this meditative Sunday - the pond has always been a secularist Francophile, thanks in part in the early days to Chabrol, Truffaut and Godard - but we can at least pause to note the singular inappropriateness of Malcolm Turnbull's response.

The Paris assault wasn't the work of the devil. 

The devil is a mythological construct. 

The work was done by deluded religious fundamentalists and fanatics who think that this day they will have awoken in paradise. Another mythological construct.

Many share this sort of fundamentalist mythology. Anybody who talks of an afterlife prepares warriors to go off to their death. 

In that sense, every religion can take its share of the blame. If there were sensible mystical types going around pointing out the warriors' reward would be to turn to dust in the cold, hard ground, and that's all there is my friends, finis she wrote, perhaps there might be a bit more sense in the world.

Now the pond understands why. Death is a terrifying, mysterious and unnervingly real event, and like taxes, it turns up to take us all. Assorted cultures with all kinds of demented gods have invented various forms of sugar-coating for the pill, though the Egyptian corpses being held in museums around the world seem to be the only visible kind of survival that's been achieved.

To embrace the fundamentalist discourse - to argue about devils and angels on a pin - is to let off all those devout true believers who preach hate, death and destruction, underpinned by a life assurance guarantee of a stint in paradise.

The west has its own share of such rogues and charlatans, such as Tony Blair, who eventually got around recently to admitting in a qualified way that he and his fellow crusaders might just have helped produce the current foment tormenting the world.

Now the pond is aware that these attitudes would guarantee that the pond would be hacked to death, like other bloggers, in certain Islamic territories, and the pond also couldn't expect a positive response from southern Baptists and angry Anglicans ... especially when it notes moderates share the very same delusions as fundamentalists.

Which is why the times are fraught, and already we've had contemptible responses flying about, as people dug back into the Trump archives and discovered Artaud's appropriate response to Trump (Mediaite here), but if the Donald has held his tweets this time, though not his tongue, do we have a contemptible local politician who will sink below the valley of contempt in his bid to exploit the issue?

Yes we do:

 And while the devil-fearing king rat is away, will the mouse continue to play? Damn right he will:

Thank the long absent lord the ratings will likely be as terrible as they usually are.

And is there a member of the commentariat so low, appalling and contemptible as to begin yet again railing about the left, perhaps a fundamentalist Catholic, remembering that fundamentalists of various schools of religious delusion are at the heart of the problem? You bet there is ...

Well the Murdochians can't sugarcoat the bitter pill of the loathsome Devine, so the pond felt the need to move on to other matters, and what luck that Samantha Maiden was to hand:

Ah, so the man who strutted and posed in macho style - and is still doing it - was in reality a hen-pecked Dagwood Bumstead  (readers too young to know or old enough to forget will probably be unaware that Chic Young died in 1973).

There's plenty more in Maiden - this season there will be a bumper crop of books analysing Abbott's failed premiership - and comprehensive failure he was - but the pond particularly loved all the coming and going at the end of her piece, as talk turned to the ministerial hit list that turned up in the Terror and helped produce the hit on Abbott:

This fuss - yes, Abbott really is chairman Rudd in disguise - will keep bubbling along until Xmas. The man is in a state of denial, and the troubles will continue, and soon enough we will be forced to choose between Malware and Dagwood, and so the pond will have to swallow Malware ...

No doubt it's all the work of the devil ...

Moving right along, there would have been many who were pleased to get their climate science yesterday from the reptiles of Oz in the usual way:

And so on and so forth. Anyone wanting the full tome just google a bit of that text.

It goes without saying that the pond was terribly distressed at that line "we know climate change is a problem", though the writer did his very best to explain at great and tedious length - far too exhausting and demented to detail here - that nothing meaningful could be done about it, and certainly not by green energy.

Being of a more refined taste, the pond prefers its climate denialism in the flat earth style of a fundamentalist creationist, and so what luck Akker Dakker, the fat owl of the remove, should be on hand this day to provide a convenient distraction:

There's something so monstrously hyperbolic and stupid about that talk of the Dark Ages and green energy, that the pond was beguiled enough to read on, and what a satisfying outing, and fierce display of scientific expertise and prowess it turned out to be ...

Why, it's as if the lad had gone off to the tuckshop and come back with a year's supply of humbugs, so minty were his words ...

Indeed, the pond was mute in awe and anticipation, slavering at the thought that thousands of scientists had worked in vain, while the fat owl was in possession of a singular insight:

You see how the work of thousands of scientists can be summarily dismissed and despatched to the boundary - as if they were Kiwi bowlers - this apparently is the metaphor of the day - while the experienced Hanoi Piers wipes a suspicious bit of white powder from his nose - too many cream buns Bunter - and blames wicked, evil millionaires ... sssh, please, no mention of the Koch brothers:

And where would we be, since we've already had touchy feely group hug kumbaya kool aid, without a reference to bleeding hearts?

And so in an awe-inspiring display, Akker Dakker shows an astonishing capacity to refute thousands of scientists with a stunning understanding of the behaviour of sand on beaches ... along with many other keen surfers, who no doubt have a keen explanation of why sharks should suddenly have gone on the prowl this year ...

And then there's the aesthetic argument ...

 And the economic one too ...

And who do we have to thank for all these bounteous insights as we dwell in a scientific paradise?

Oh perhaps it is the work of the devil after all ...


  1. Would you be so kind, DP, as *not* to replicate the image of The Owl at that magnification ever again?
    I am sorry to observe that the Devine is wasting words. She has "murderous totalitarian ideology", if your screen-cap is accurate. Those two words preceding 'ideology' make a tautology, I believe. Either she does not understand 'ideology' or she is flinging words about like a hippo scatters its dung. You decide.
    Finally, on spotting Turnbull's invocation of The Devil - well done you. Being MT, that could have been just another rhetorical flourish, but, if he is a True Believer of the ilk of the Tonies, he has crossed the Rubicon. He has set himself a line in the sand. If he stays true to his beliefs (if he, indeed, has beliefs, at all) he has only one direction ahead of him. Whether his constituents have the stomach for it is all that will matter. Forget the JBish, she has no reason nor inkling to soil her swanky shoes, there are numerous cultivated enclaves into which to retire when the going gets tough, or she runs out of stern stares.

  2. I just wonder if all those wretched Indians who currently have no electricity will be able to get it at the same price as they currently can pick up cow shit. Otherwise, why change? Or is the Adani mine meant to be a philanthropic venture?

    1. Philanthropy? From the Neolibs?
      Ayn Rand will be spinning in her crypt


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.