Thursday, August 11, 2016

In which the pond abandons the reptiles for a rare singing of Kumbaya at The Spectator ...

Every so often, the pond threatens to leave the reptiles for the wilder shores of colonial imports where genuine loonery flourishes unchecked and generally, except by devotees, completely unnoticed ...

Usually the pond doesn't bother. Sure there's easy picking from the lower branches, but where's the fun, where's the sport?

It would be easy enough to head off to any number of extreme left or right political sites or blogs, and if in need of specialist climate science advice, there's always the Galileo Movement ...

And then there's the creationists and fundamentalists of all stripes.

Usually the pond stays loyal to the reptiles. It's the signs of normalcy cloaking the deep down barking mad that's much more intriguing than the simple barking mad.

The barking mad arouse awkward questions about fundamentalism. Is there a gene which predisposes people to a certain kind if mental rigidity? Why do wild creatures howl at the moon and strange men gather together to shout at clouds? What drives them on? How much is nature, how much nurture?

Well the reptiles have failed to deliver a sufficient diversity of loonery this day, so the pond dipped into its archives with a visit to the colonialist The Spectator ...

Here at any time of the week can be spotted all the conditions and complaints that surface in the News Corp commentariat, distilled into some sort of essential cordial which could be used to produce enough soft drinks to warp minds for a week ...

It's easy enough to tell when you're in the company of such fine-feathered loons. To maintain a tough guy posture, inevitably cynical sneers of the cheap jibe kind will float to the surface to show how mentally tough the scribbler is ... Kumbaya is a particular favourite. Whatever happened to Pollyanna?

You know, if you're posturing like this, that your natural turf is Raymond Chandler ...

I smelled of gin. Not just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nosedived off the boat deck. The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.

After that sort of snort, you can easily get into the mind set of lock all the bastards up, throw away the keys, and let god sort them out ...

Now the pond could go on endlessly quoting Chandler but then in the full to overflowing intertubes way, there's plenty of quotes here,  and it's time to get on with the luncheon duty of the day ...

Thank the long absent lord that Kumbaya got a mention. The pond wouldn't want to be convicted of false advertising.

But look at the rest. Why, there's old favourites like academia, inner-city elites, the twitterati, the ABC, and above all, the very concept of the slippery slope - though no doubt there are just as many who will treasure that "whilst".

There's something splendidly Tory about "whilst", wot wot, something intrinsically British, kept a working word from medieval times, and as the dictionary advises, with adverbial genitive "s" and excrescent "t".

It helps understand how a simplistic mind scribbling for simpletons could arrive at an idle rhetorical choice, between padded confinement and listening to Joan Baez.

Yes it's mindless stupidity, but strangely the pond always finds an ability to provide such simple alternatives compelling ...

That's the reductionist spirit, but if you thought it stopped there, you'd be very wrong ... on and on went the lament, as long and as tedious in ambition as one of Tennyson's more epic efforts ...

Pauline Hanson springs to mind.

Weird slope indeed.

And then there's the talk of hideous brain-washing ...

And then there were all the other fears and phobias, such that surely the writer must live in a noir Chandler-esque world of fear ...

“The streets were dark with something more then night.”

The funniest thing?

Well each will have their own, but the pond particularly enjoyed the concept of a "tolerant culture" when the piece itself expressed such a rich fear, loathing and disgust at the assorted cockroaches that roam the land and ruin the views for British visitors ...

There's about as much tolerance in the piece as letting off a 'roach bomb.

Never mind, the pond would usually run a cartoon to wrap up proceedings, but in keeping with the spirit of the piece, we'd like to acknowledge the prescience of John O'Brien ... aka Catholic priest Patrick Joseph Hartigan, who no doubt in his day was surrounded by Spectator types within and without the church.

The poem is best read accompanied, as with the Spectator piece, by a feverish wringing of hands, and a mopping of sweat-stained brow ...

Punters might also like to substitute wording ...

"We'll all be rooned," said the Spectator,  in accents most forlorn, 
Outside the church, ere Mass began, one frosty Sunday morn. 
The congregation stood about, coat-collars to the ears, 
And talked of inner city elites, and twitterati, and the ABC, 
As it had done for years. "It's lookin' crook," said Daniel Croke; "Bedad, it's cruke, me lad, 
For never since the superannuation was stolen has them lefties been so bad."

And so on ...


  1. Indeed, we've all got our favourites, DP, and I grant, as expounded by you, that our "tolerant culture" is a fine example. My own preference though, is for "...our forefather's unbelievable sacrifices in two world wars." Yep, the WWs (I and II) just sorta dropped outa the skies and happened to us, all of their own accord, and our forefathers just responded with "unbelievable sacrifices". Yep, not our fault, nothing to do with us, only "unbelievable sacrifices" here.

    And absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with "wars" in Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Belgian Congo, Indonesia, Indochina, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq ... Yep, they too just dropped outa the sky and all we could do was "unbelievable sacrifices" once, or indeed many times, again.

    I think that somebody should be talking to some bodies about "taking responsibility", don't you ?

    But just a little belated harking back to the Caterer whilst I'm here (yep, lovely word !): I'm not quite convinced that Nugget Combs was a believer in 'The noble savage". He was a romantic and some kind of idealist, that's for sure, but I think he was basically trying to allow the aboriginals to continue to live, after some kind of fashion anyhow, their "traditional lives". That already by Nugget's time, this was simply no longer even remotely possible seems to have escaped him utterly. But then, he was just an overpaid, underworked Civil Servant, wasn't he (though most of his aboriginal efforts were after his formal retirement in 1968).

  2. I know it's completely futile - like looking at one little crack when the entire dam is collapsing - but I was particularly taken by the Spectator proposal for dealing with the NT - "a crack team of inspectors dispatched from other states and territories to implement best practice". Of course! So simple. So obvious. So completely impossible.

    What would be the background of these "experts"? Who would appoint them - the Territory itself (hah!)? The other States (they couldn't)? The Federal Government? They'd be rising roughshod over the NT government, and would have to negotiate with the providers of these "Experts" (the States /Territories). What would be their actual task? Oh, of course, implement "best practice" - one of those wonderfully blithe terms that could mean absolutely anything. Best practice torture methods, perhaps? I'd imagine that trying to implement such a proposal would be a perfect means of ensuring that it just got bogged down in endless squabbles and process and never actually got going.

    Oh, and "the unfortunately named Justice White". Haw, haw, how they must have chortled at that line over the post-lunch Port in the Spectator offices?

    Fuck my old boots, I read better journalism than this in the old "Australasian Post".

    1. Aw yeah, Anony, I used to be a dedicated reader of the old Australia Post too (mostly in hairdresser shops whilst waiting for my short back and sides).

      Otherwise, yes, agreed, that Spectator drivel is just so full of brain death it's hard to know where to begin a critique, and once begun, hard to be able to stop.

    2. :)³, and thanks to both of you for lifting the gloom at the pond ...


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