Monday, September 12, 2016

In which calm in the bush is shattered by the shrieks and squawks of the major Mitchell in full cry ...

Not just rehabilitation, but star-making in action.

There's Peta up the top at the heart of the nation, alongside the oscillating fan, and then the splash does double duty for the reptiles - restore Peta to her rightful place, and remind everyone, not just readers of the Sunday Terror, but reptile readers everywhere, that Malware has been a bitter disappointment ...

And so a bitter disappointment turns to Murdochian triumph, while the succeeding bitter disappointment tastes ashes and sackcloth ...

Sadly however the pond has had enough of Peta for the moment, bitter disappointment though that might be to her many devoted fans, but never mind, because today is a huuuge day ... when the major Mitchell is let out of his cage and flies about in a frenzy of ideological fear...

And oh praise the lord, can it be, there are two servings of the major Mitchell, famous Order of Lenin hunter ...

First comes an extract from the book, thereby saving anyone remotely interested from expending any actual cash ...

Now the moment the pond spotted that, it was hooked.

The idea that the Order of Lenin hunter - he never did find it, but it was the hunt that was the thing, the pleasure of the hunt - should be lecturing the world about ideology trumping fact-based reporting was so sublimely ironic, it simply had to be read ...

The pond could make several points about rabid ideologues dressing themselves in the plumage of honest fact-based reporting, but when the story starts with the author posed next to a rogue who has operated a company that engaged in serious criminal activities, perhaps the pond just should remark on the incredible incoherence and stupidity of someone urging scepticism of all claims, while somehow remaining in the embrace of the community and its expectations with a clear identification with mainstream values ...

Oh we could also throw in the standard angry old male crap condescending line to the young or anyone inclined to differ from extreme right wing values about how fucked the youff of today is, but the more old bulls try to pull this sort of line, the more young 'uns will want to wander off to their own paddock, and mock their elders ... while the now impotent major Mitchell perches on a fence post and screeches at them ...

It's pathetic really ... and yet sad all the same, because here is an old bull put out to pasture, and now all the bull can do is spread a little bullshit and bellow at the young 'uns out there doing it ...

At the same time, there is a massive delusion at the heart of it ... that somehow, the old bull himself isn't an activist journalist of the most singular and repulsive kind, a man who has pursued hobby horses, and who, when it comes to the conga line of Murdochian shame on sundry matters, will surely have to be one first in line when it comes to judge those who committed crimes against climate science and fact-based reporting ...

The obsession with the young is matched by a most peculiar - the pond is tempted to say anal, in a Freudian way - obsession with the ABC, an obsession, it should be noted, that isn't shared by the wider community, which treats the place as just another source, in the context of many other available sources ... compare the ratings ...

You have to be a rabid ratbag, on the fringe of sanity, to think that somehow it was the ABC and Fairfax that drove Mike Baird to do what he did ... he had many other options, many other ways to dissemble himself through the storm, in approved reptile manner, but in the world of the paranoid Mitchell bird, it's always the fault of the leftists at the ABC ...

And yet the jolly ideologically-driven rogue dared to start it all off by talking about fact-based reporting trumping ideology.

Not by chance, the rest of the bird's plumage on this day continues that anal obsession with the ABC - is there a Freudian in the house?

Indeed, indeed, the noble major Mitchell has trouble admitting that anyone with a view to the left of Genghis Khan should exist ...

Well it's easy enough to understand the obsession with the ABC. Why pay for rabid right-wing ideological ratbaggery - of the kind that in the United States has produced Donald Trump - when you can look elsewhere, and not just the ABC, for free?

In amongst that verbiage and dross comes that famous, if also fatuous, "admittedly" ...

Here's the thing. Once the goose Sam admitted he just didn't want to pay, and everyone knew it was about soft Chinese power of the most naked kind and his goose was cooked, what else was there to discover? Except perhaps the number of other politicians from both sides who had lined up to accept the kind consideration of the same organisation.

The trouble with the major Mitchell's of the world is that they just want to sit down and roast the one goose over and over again, while others sensibly want to move on ...

Perhaps they might even want to think of ways to stop geese from taking the bait and others from offering it ...

Instead the parrot in the major Mitchell recycles Barners of all people, as if the man who famously jetted off to India in company with Gina has anything to tell us about the differences between donations to a political party and to an individual for private purposes ...

What glory days they were ... for cartoonists ...

Well none of them are short of a fake Rolex, or even perhaps a real one, and never mind if it's to an individual for purposes of individual time-keeping, we just had to slip in that Rowe as a break from the mindlessness of the major Mitchell ... because there's more, perhaps way too much more for a Monday ...

There's a phrase in there that is emblematic of the major Mitchell's mind set.

It bespeaks of children's games popular in the 1950s, of cowboys and indians, of a mindset tightly locked behind a picket fence ... "News got both their scalps."

It's beyond the valley of the childish.

There's more to life than scalps, and to paraphrase the major Mitchell, herein lies the reason that so many sensible people are suspicious of the major Mitchell and his reptile reporters.

On a raft of issues, too much framing of the debate takes place from the perspective of a 1950s children's game, or even worse, from a perspective far to the right of Genghis Khan, such that civilising tendencies such as same sex marriage or being able to attend school safely are treated with bullying disdain, while serious issues such as climate science are mugged and scalped in the corridor, and then left to wander bleeding and dazed out into the dazzling sun ...

The problem of course is the number of angry old farts that still litter News Corp, in much the same spirit and style as their doddery master.

This should be easy enough to handle and to fix ... put them out to pasture. After all, if the angry old bulls don't want young readers, then surely the organisations do ... unless they think it's a really good business plan to send off angry missives to angry old readers that it's all the fault of the youff of today ... or JJJ or the ABC or Fairfax or some other ancient culture war still festering in the brain of a foolish Queenslander who never did find that Order of Lenin medal ...

Hasn't anyone explained this reality to the major Mitchell?

In the end, we're all going to die, but some - the bulk of lizard Oz readers - are likely to do it a lot earlier than others, and to cope, you need a transitional business plan ... and papering airport lounges isn't one of them ...

Not a clue, not a clue, no matter how much the pond tries to help them ...

And if anyone made it this far, the pond had the pleasure of relaxing over the weekend, and there's no reason that can't also be done on a Monday ...

Who knows how long this will stay up, but how pleasant it sounds, especially up against the squawking of the major Mitchell ...


  1. What's that white thing with the coloured letters in Uncle Rupe's hands? Some ancient cryptal parchment? It seems to be the centre of attention for all in that old coloured photograph.

  2. Heh. Back in the moderately long ago, my mates and I would identify people we thought were Single Issue Fanatics (SIF). And it turns out there's lots of them. So when the mighty Mitchell says: "... a profession allowing single-issue activists to take control ...", all I can say is that Mitch himself is, without doubt, one of our nation's foremost SIFalytics.

    Of whom you got it absolutely correct, DP, when you pronounced "You have to be a rabid ratbag, on the fringe of sanity..." And the Murdochratians surely are.

    But then, just to top it all off, Maj Mitch comes out with: "Brandis tried valiantly ... to make Brissenden understand what Dastyari had actually done ...". But way too little, too late; the subject matter switch was in. And don't the Right Wingnuts just freak out when their own favourite tactic is used against them.

  3. No matter that source material may have been obtained illegaly, DP, all that does matter is whether they can get away with publishing on the strength of it. Think about that, as The Guru would say.

  4. "Cowboys and Indians" sounds apt; certainly, my natural reaction on reading Mitchell is *uggh*.

  5. Hi Dorothy,

    I'm afraid that in the sort of historical revisionism that Mitchell would abhor, Genghis Khan has lately been reinterpreted as a much more enlightened and tolerant ruler who practised meritocracy in promoting the men under him.

    Although an animist he was religiously tolerant, with Christian, Muslim and Jewish practitioners amongst his followers. Whilst he would brutally crush any dissent against his rule more often than not only the ruling elites who opposed him would be executed.

    He also soon realised the importance of strengthening trade links between the Europe, Persia and China via the Silk Road. Under his rule technological advances found in one part of his empire would be disseminated across all of his lands. Therefore the production and use of paper, gunpowder, paper money and even the compass were spread both east and west.

    I would suggest the bloodthirsty and intolerant Tamerlane as a much more suitable ideological neighbour for Chris Mitchell.


    1. Right on, DW, right on. My old mate Temujin was amongst the more enlightened of bloodthirsty autocrats - but he was only bloodthirsty with enemies, and very consultative amongst his own.

      Indeed, there is a story that, in Temujin's Empire. a naked woman could carry a basket of gold across Mongolia and never be even slightly molested. Prolly a really good bit of propaganda, but at least the thought, and even the intent, was there.

      However, Temujin was the "source" of one of the better anti-Muslim jests. After having conquered a Muslim town, Temujin rode in, climbed up on a pile of rocks, and addressed the assembled couple of hundred survivors as they huddled in front of a mountain of dead Muslim bodies.

      "You must really have insulted your god," said Temujin, "for him to have sent me upon you."

      Meanwhile, that evil Turko-Mongol, Timur The Lame was indeed an evil man - that is, if such a thing as evil exists, which, of course, we all doubt. And even if it does, it is surely banal.

      I also believe that one of the great 'bad examples' of history: Attila The Hun, was actually fairly civilised, and a very capable ruler along Temujinian lines. And the Huns didn't sack Rome: that was the Celts (Brennus in 387 BCE) and the Visigoth/Vandals (Alaric in 410 CE)

    2. "After having conquered a Muslim town..." Fundamentally imprecise. That'd be a Shiah town.

    3. "Genghis Khan has lately been reinterpreted..." More so the Huns! From being all but written out of history to writing it large. Europe, China.. Eurasian empire and trade.. the Huns it seems wrote the book on it all. Did those who followed know?

      The Huns by Hyun Jin Kim

      The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe - Hyun Jin Kim
      The introduction there available to read provides an interesting overview of the Mongol and earlier astonishingly reinterpreted Hun history.

      The usual: Vandals and Huns – the Empire from 410 to 450 CE

    4. "That'd be a Shiah town."

      Aah, you know which one, then, Anony ?

      But never mind, Temujin wouldn't have known the difference either. Unless maybe it was Otrar, of the Sunni Khwarezmid Empire.

    5. "you know which one, then, ?"

      Knowing is not so certain.

      Throughout history, Zarqawi argues, the Shi’a have stabbed the Muslims in the back. As the medieval scholar Ibn Taymiyyah understood, they served the Mongols when they subjugated Islam. When Islam stood at the gates of Vienna, Shi’a treachery at home forced the Muslim armies to retreat. Now they have allied with the Americans in their grasp for power. Their ultimate ambition is to create a great Shi’a state that includes Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. They cunningly hide their true nature with “honeyed” words, “exploiting the naiveté and goodness of many Sunnis”. Their religion “has nothing in common with Islam”. Perhaps worst of all, throughout history they have served the interests of the Jews.

    6. GB, minor quibble on the sack of Rome thing. Yes, Brennus, and yes, Alaric in 410 with his Visigoths. But the Vandali came later, in 455, under their king Gaiseric (also known as Genseric).

      Both Alaric and Gaiseric were somewhat Romanised, as their tribes had been in close contact with the Romans for over a century. Alaric, having campaigned alongside the Roman armies for several years, went rogue when he the Romans failed to respect the Visigoth efforts. He went on a tear and spent years ripping up Greece (most of those ruins were ruined then) but forming a kind of best-of-enemies vibe with his opposite number, the half-Vandal Roman general Stilicho. But his activities in Rome itself were more of the nature of demanding money with menaces - "Ooooh, that's a nice statue there, guv, wot a terrible shame if it came to grief, if you know wot I mean...". Brennus had done much the same 800 years earlier.

      Gaiseric, who was half-Roman, did to Italy what Alaric had done to Greece. Raised hell out of his North African base of operations for 30 years, and he did a job on Rome in 455 - they don't call it vandalism for nothing. But again, this was less rape and more plunder. Both Alaric and Gaiseric were trying to get loot to install their own candidates for Emperor, and trashing the place completely would be a no-no.

      Rather, it was the fourth sack that really merited the title. That was by the Ostrogoth Totila about a century after Gaiseric. After being besieged, captured, sacked, lost, besieged again and recaptured, Rome was pretty much a wasteland. The Ostrogoths eventually lost that war, but by the end of it the Eternal City's population had fallen from the half-million residents when Alaric pillaged it, to 35,000 beggars...

      BTW, Mitchell bitches about history. The worst thing about it is these days most of it seems to be written by barely-competent journos reaching outside their area of expertise. But you know, they "remain in touch with the community and their expectations", which is all that counts for the boss cocky.

    7. Ah, FD, in my befuddled old memory I had thought there were Vandals involved in 410 CE - kinda one in, all in thing. But a perusal of the Google World Encyclopedia says that you are right and it was just Visigoths.

      So it goes.

    8. Thanks for that link to Robert Manne's The Monthly article, Anony. A most interesting (if somewhat long) read in a publication I usually pay absolutely no attention to (vita brevis).

      I guess the question is "where to from here" ? But then I guess it always is.

  6. How lucky are we?

    No really, how incredibly lucky are we that in the year 2016, a broadsheet journal can party like it's 2003 again with great swathes of tosh from ex-editor Mitchell, spankings from failed PM's office managers, and perhaps a large side-serve of old-and-out-of-the-way ex-PM Mr Howard.

    We may be poorer in natural resources, by by god we are rich in powerfully irrelevant opinions. Looking forward to the next circulation figures. Will be interesting to see if we can tickle 100,000 readers again. Or not.


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