Monday, August 08, 2016

In which the Order of Lenin hunter obscures real and perhaps even unreal issues ...

The pond's old English teacher - bless his ancient socks - had a simple test for the use of words in sentences, and that involved the work they were doing.

The wise one had a particular thing about the use of "unique" (the axe would have fallen heavily on News 24) and "real". He proposed that anyone who used "real" as a way of adding emphasis was a  tone-deaf, thick-headed dunderhead, and used a simple test. 

For example, dissect a simple statement such as "Social media obscures real issues."

What work is "real" doing? Is it to clarify, or to put in clear-cut opposition to a statement such as "Social media obscures unreal issues"? Nope, it's just a lazy, sloppy, obtuse of "real", and completely unnecessary, raising as it does philosophical and ontological questions as to perceptions of reality.

If pomposity and emphasis is required in a sentence, "important" would do nicely, especially if scribbled by a writer given to self-importance, and so able to deal with important issues.

When reading the Order of Lenin hunter, the real question (see how catching it is) might be deemed to be geriatric issues, with a tinge of paranoia.

Of course this is one of the reptiles' favourite games. Aged, bewildered oldies looking at the world and not liking what they see, which is their gradual decline into complete irrelevance and a realisation that soon they'll be joining grandpa Simpson in the old folks' home.

It took the pond back to the good old days of John Hartigan, who thought blogs and blogging were a dire threat, so much so that News Corp thought it had to get into the blogging business to beat off the infidels. Ah, The Punch, where are you now, still punching on with Sophie?

It was the usual News Corp subtle blunderbuss approach ...

Almost anyone can start one of these sites, with very little capital, no training or qualifications. Then there are the bloggers. In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we’ve paid for – something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance.

That was way back in 2009, and the pond had enormous fun with it, and this is fun too ... and speaking of massive ignorance, or is that madness or bigotry, it's even richer to contemplate when we remember that The Australian sells Oreo biscuits of a Monday ... while Dame Slap runs her school for unruly Monckton-loving, UN world government children on a Wednesday ...

Never mind, time to turn to Mitchell's lament, and it has to be said he is now warming to his task, his solemn duty, which is join with the elderly Simpson in an assault on the cirrocumulus ...

Oh yes, that's rich, that's exceptionally rich. Berate social media and its traps, and then urge people to google names and search out twitter, check out feeds, and actually look as if you've moved into the new world ...

The pond thought that was more than enough riches for the morning, until it moved on to that general slur on the young who might dare to use twitter or other forms of social media, the one about them being a "largely undereducated minority".

This is especially rich coming from a scribbler who started a master's degree in history and then didn't get around to completing it ... (yes there's that and more, much unfortunate more, at The Monthly here on the matter of rev head cane toad Mitchell back in his glory days before he was reduced to shouting at altostratus and social media).

Never mind, there's still a hefty gobbet of prejudice to get through ... which reminded the pond of another bit in that Monthly profile ...

Mitchell relishes a fight. Journalist Elisabeth Wynhausen, who was sacked by him in 2009, wrote in her book The Short Goodbye: “He was a tireless strategist whose best and worst instincts were filtered through the same tendency to turn almost any subject into an excuse for an argument with a bunch of imagined enemies. He treated the paper like the spoils of war, routinely using its pages to campaign against people who had ever dared to take him on.”

Indeed indeed, and the campaigning and the war-mongering continues, as if somehow Mitchell is going to turn things around and twitter and Facebook and google and suchlike are going to go away in the way that the Murdochians managed to do with MySpace.

Sure, the intertubes will see functionality and brands rise and fall like the seasons, and there will be ceaseless change (thank you Chance the gardener), but railing at the intertubes is as much use as spitting on a griddle ... much like getting agitated about the young, who for good or ill, will surely inherit the earth and do things differently, and considering the way they do things at the lizard Oz, who could argue with that?

Awesome stuff. You could see the leftist altocumulus go pink from the flaming.

And there was the capper. After a goodly dose of emotional bile and irrational prejudice on assorted subjects, to cap it all off with "in politics and media facts still rule" made Mitchell the pond's winner for the week ... very early on a Monday ...

If ever there was a more pathetic and tragic summary of where tree-killer newspapers are heading - off to join the dinosaurs - the pond has yet to find it.

That any blathering, bubbling brook would still be on about "objective truth", while at the same time evoking the "neo-Marxist playbook" as part of the quest for "objective truth" is remarkable stuff ...

But wait there was more, because after that standard pile of News Corp bigotry and prejudice, and an obligator demeaning of Fairfax and The Graudian, to add to the demeaning of the young and anyone who might happen to disagree with Mitchell, came talk of values and standards of the profession shining through to the audience ... while Mitchell's awesome own prejudices shined so brightly ...

And then of all things, to ravage graffiti, when truth to tell graffiti slogans on the dunny door have a much greater chance of surviving than Mitchell's silly ranting at cumulonimbus ... 

Here's one he'd love ...

Actually they found that one in a bakery in Pompeii (more about that graffiti here), but this bout of Mitchell mania left the pond hungering for even more irony.

It came beneath the piece with the reptiles' advertising yet another attempt to diversify their business model and engage with their audience and help them to get WIRED, or even better, REWIRED.

Yes, the reptiles are in the agile and innovative pivot business, except it seems the entire intertubes is full of undereducated young people misusing their wired status and so are in urgent need of a Mitchell rewiring.

Oops, what's that?

Okay, just for a bonus bout of irony and note, below the story, there came the same advertisement ...

For providing the pond with so much fun this Monday, as a way of starting the week, the pond has no alternative but to award the Order of Lenin hunter another medal ...

Now for the real anxiety ... how is he going to be able to wear this fine collection of gongs, accumulating so rapidly it's getting hard to see the uniform ...


  1. A fine start to the week, DP! Mind you, anything's an improvement over the Long March though Ned Kelly's turgid and endless blatherings.....

    "Once a PM would have arranged for Ray Martin to host a debate across all free to air TV networks and the ABC". Yes, and once a PM such as Ming would have arranged for a nice obsequious TV chat with a David McNicol. And once a PM would have made an address on radio. Or debated a crowd at a large public meeting. But here's the thing, Chris - the way things are done tends to change over time.

    Also - Ray Martin? Surely you couldn't trust him, Chris! Why, the fellow's part-Aboriginal - he probably couldn't even tell you the names of his children. Why not see if Alan Reid is available?

    The real issue, Chris, is just how shithouse mainstream journalism is in Australia. You should be grateful for anything social media can do to obscure that fact.

    1. I truly enjoyed Mitch's lament that: "Academic research has shown that in political terms social media skews left." when, in fact, social media is just centrist but looks "left" from the extreme right of the Murdochrat worldview.

      But then "We don’t see reality. We interpret what we see and call it reality." Or in Mitch's words "real reality".

    2. :), thank the long absent lord you read more of it than the pond to make great fun of it ...

  2. Replies
    1. I loved ACMA's pronouncement that: "Andrew Bolt's comments about climate change on his television show were so hyperbolic and subjective that no reasonable person would think he was providing a "concluded scientific position",..."

      Such a pity then that there are so few "reasonable persons" in Bolter's "real" world.

    2. Yes, that's a goodie and a keeper, thanks

  3. Mitchell - "largely undereducted........counterculture principals of...'.

    Made my day.

    1. Mistakes like that don't matter when you are writing for a largely undereducated, very small minority.

  4. And some of his best friends are gay!


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