Sunday, September 18, 2016

Can the pond ever escape exceptional 'Ned' Kelly and enjoy a Sunday meditation rather than a torture test of mountain climbing?

The pond should probably call it the Sunday challenge.

No, it's not surviving an angry Anglicans sermon, or even 'Ned' Kelly sermonising about Malware, it's way bigger than that.

It requires Herculean mental strength and a wastrel lifestyle which allows plenty of time for doing nothing, with nothing productive in any way whatsoever arising from the activity ...

Oz readers are trained from an early age ... their angry fifties ... for the challenge, so that by the time they hit their late sixties they're ready for anything ...

Actually prospects for surviving the read are seen as bleak, but that's the Sunday challenge ...

Right there, from the get go ... mention Costello's name, and the pond immediately is drawn back into the past ...

That was here, why it even had a graph ...

But back to Ned Kelly, and a warning to the slackers and the wimps, we're only in the foothills ...

Yes, it's laughable, of course it's laughable. Leading off with Vegemite and cockatoos and then wringing hands about threats, and the deplorable media, and there was the front page of the weekend Oz this very weekend ...

And as for Howard and Costello being an aberration ...

And for anyone wanting to follow that link to the 2008 report, it can still be found here at the Wayback Machine, as dry as dust, but it too ends with a graph ...

But at least now we've made it to base camp, and the air is beginning to thin out, and all but the fittest will be gasping a little ...

Now at this point some hardy souls will break into verses of "we'll all be rooned said Kelly," but others are begging for some entertainment in whatever form it might be found ...

But there's no escaping the climb, which is now getting vertiginous ...

A distraction, any kind of distraction, the pond hears some weaklings plead ...

No, no, please, not American exceptionalism, because we have a distinct case of Australian exceptionalism on our hands, if that's the word for a turgidity designed to bore readers rigid and senseless ...

What's that? Even the Kiwis are having a snigger here?

Well dammit, that's not going to stop the pond from completing its assigned reading ...

What's you say? You can sense an impending mention of 'Orwellian' by that prime humbug and fool Costello?

Sorry George, nothing can give the appearance of solidity to the pure wind of Ned and Petey boy ... but thank the long absent lord, the wind-blown peak is in sight ...

Well if you made it this far, you have successfully completed the assigned task of "Only in the Weekend Australian", and the pond has a final graph as the ultimate insight ...

And there's the Sunday challenge done and dusted. May there never be another one ...


  1. Paul Kelly's description of the 1980s as the 'great era of economic reform' has a Maoist ring. If only he had used capital letters, it would have had the propulsion of The Great Leap Forward.

    I think of the 1980s as the period when the rot set in. We started burning all the furniture to keep warm; national pride in public ownership was to be reviled. Inevitably some people benefitted mightily and job disappeared to countries like China with plentiful cheap labour and a paucity of labour laws. We loved the cheap products including building products laced with asbestos.

    But what would I know? I couldn't argue convincingly with a neo-liberal who would bedazzle me with figures and ideological jargon about Moving Forward. Mao was before his time there. All I know is what I see; that our Fair Go society is listing. Some people do not have enough money to have a decent life in this very, very expensive country.

    No wonder people are turning away from the two major parties and turning to politicians who appear to share, or at least give voice to their distress and insecurity.

    Miss pp

  2. I did read it all, DP, as most likely Miss pp did too - however I am an old white man and probably nearly as crazy as Kelly.

    But really, could we try to keep such long, rambling stream of consciousness babble to some kind of reasonable minimum ? Oh how it makes me weep for the good ol' daze of Pellists and Jensenists. At least they were too lazy to write so much.
    I do have a question though: apart from crazies like me and thee (you did read it all yourself, didn't you, DP ?), who would read that maundering rant from beginning to end ? Or is it just the normal way of reading merely the first two and last two paragraphs
    and then calling it quits ?

    1. No, not this AM GB.
      I may have read that column 10 years ago.
      Read one, read them all.
      Goes for most, including self.

      Miss pp

    2. Can't say i blame you, but if you had girded the loins and summoned up the blood, you'd have noticed - as I did with some surprise - that Neddles "took one for the team".

      Up near the top of DP's 4th block (of 7 !) of Kelly's rave, he says:

      "Coleman's thesis, in effect, is a repudiation of an earlier thesis: the arguments in my book 'The End of Certainty (1992)' that the 80s reform age is best seen as an "attempt to remake the Australian political tradition"."

      Now wasn't that just unspeakably noble of Neddles to confess that his great magnum opus should be shredded for inaccuracy and dishonesty ? You gotta hand it to the reptiles, they sure know when their time is up [ha ha].

    3. The pond is ethically obliged to read it all GB, which is not to say that it should be forgiven the crime of recycling it.

      But what of the business model of the reptiles? Is this what passes for what its punters should pay for? Not just shoddy ideologically driven history, but poor analysis and at such length too (would that we could complain with Woody about the food and the smallness of the portions) ...

    4. I got the impression that Ned still considers his 1992 thesis valid; the fact that it didn't come to pass was not due to any failure on his part, but rather to the slackness and lack of vision of successive governments and the Australian people. How dare they undermine his grand vision!

    5. Hmm. You could have a point there, Anony: "See what a team of great geniuses it took to progress beyond my brilliant, if slightly faulty, thesis". Yep, that could be it.

      Otherwise, exactly, DP. I mean that Neddles is so totally inconsequential that not even the Evil Left would read him just to find out what their enemies are thinking. Is this the inheritance that Maj Mitch has left for his successors ? Will this preserve Murdochratia, yea, even unto the 3rd and 4th generation ?

  3. Hi Dorothy,

    By the time I had reached the base camp of Mount Kelly I found that I had the beginning of a headache but decided to push on anyway. As I toiled on, my appetite faltered and I started to feel nauseous. Worse still I had excessive flatulence.

    Still step after step I carried on, the summit always out of sight. By now I had pins and needles, a persistent rapid pulse and both hands and face had become swollen.

    It can't be far now I thought as I forced myself on. My nose was bleeding and I was unable to catch my breath. 'I should have brought oxygen' I thought blankly.

    When the clouds cleared I could see several more gobbets that I still needed to traverse. 'I can still make it' I told myself. My feet were leaden and my vision blurred.

    One word after another, after another. Would it never end! I was coughing uncontrollably and was running a fever. My head was pounding from the sheer monotony and lack of oxygen. I started to fear a cerebral edema as my swollen brain pushed against my skull.

    When I finally staggered on to the summit of Mount Kelly I knew I was done for. My eyes were bleeding and the vomiting was uncontrollable. There was no way I would make it back. As I dropped into unconsciousness I wondered why I had pushed on to my certain doom.

    "Because it was there!" Was my final thought.


    1. Kelly "is a pretty tricky climb you know, most of it's up until you reach the very very top, and then it tends to slope away rather sharply."
      Author: Graham Chapman


    2. "... I had excessive flatulence"

      Oh, so you're on a healthy diet too, DW. That flatulence is just the result of fermenting your intake of dietary fibre.

      All us old white folks get it.

    3. There will be Order of Lenin medals all round DW, come Monday, for the bravest of the brave who made it to the top of the world. Look at me ma, top of the world, shouted Jimmy, before blowing himself up ...

  4. One of the few absolute powers left to mere mortals is pressing the finger on the OFF button.

    I have just dispatched John Howard who is droning on about Menzies the Magnificent to Tom Switzer.

    Is there an end to it?

    I realised though this morning that by lauding Menzies JH has found an acceptable way of praising himself. IMveryHO.

    Miss pp

    1. Proudly, Miss pp, I've made it an 'iron-clad' rule to use the 'off' button whenever I see or hear the Lying Rodent in any form (usually it's electronic). The man is poison, and has been for many years. We are much, much better off ignoring him.

  5. Mrs Aeneas Gunn bless her womanly heart was a leftie apparently way back in 1902 critiquing white man culture and writing as she did in her novel We of the Never Never;

    "until the long arm of law interfered, white men killed the black fellow, because they were hungry for gold, having been trained in a school that for generations has acknowledged "Thou shall not kill" among it's commandments; and yet men speak of the 'superiority' of the white race, and, speaking, forget to ask who of us would go hungry if the situation were reversed, but now condemn the black fellow as a vile thief, piously quoting - now it suits them - from those same commandments, that men "must not steal", in the same breath referring to the "white man's crime" (when it finds them out) as "getting into trouble over some shooting affair with blacks".

    Truly we British-born have reason to brag of our "inborn sense of justice"."

    Mrs Gunn needed a sarcasm font.

    1. White man's burden, Anony, it's just white man's burden.

    2. lol indeed the white woman also was a burden for the white men - or a trophy - but they didn't want us to be active participants in the construction of their white culture.

  6. The Dessicated Coconut's "most brilliant essay ... a luminous contrasting study" - That'll be the usual misconstrued pickings from a pile of undigested apples and oranges scat. Ol' Neddy boy's mountain is a pile of shit.

    1. The only way that anything written by Ergas could be "luminous" is if it was drenched in old-style radium paint - and it would be just as poisonous.

  7. Made it, but I will never do that to myself again. Loon Pond how do you go on enduring him. I have always relied on your summaries of his tedium before. For the life of me I can't remember more than a tenth of what I just read.


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