Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In which the pond enjoys a load of snark with nattering "Ned" ...

The pond has lately been dipping into film writer David Denby's ancient 2008 snarky book about snark, which is full of snarkiness, and always makes the pond feel incredibly snarky that Denby ripped off Lewis Carroll for his structure and yet couldn't find an eighth fit of snark ...

The pond is proudly snarky, it goes with the age and the times, and the pond boasts it has been trained in the skill by the best in the business, the reptiles of Oz ...

How else to respond in these troubled Trumpian times than with a fit of the snarks?

Only 31, and already well on the way in his chosen career path!

Colbert matched that Meyers' effort by inviting "voter fraud" Miller on to his show after Miller said he'd turn up anywhere anytime to support his boss's lies - if he declined, Colbert would call him a liar, and if he accepted, Colbert would call him a liar to his face ...

Cue an hysterical nattering "Ned" Kelly this day ...

Remarkable - the political system Americanised, second from the top on the digital page, and just across from a report on New York fashion ...

On the face of it, there's plenty to suggest "nattering" Ned might be on to something. After all, he works for an American who has had much to do in promoting the age of Trumpism ...

The best the pond could do for a source for that meme was in a footnote in Scott W. Fitzgerald's Corporations and Cultural Industries, with bonus typo:

Specking truth to power, it seems fair to argue that supine "Ned" might well be part of the Americanisation of the Australian political system ...

But then the alternate splash made the snarky pond realise we were in another kind of blame game ...

Oh dear, the pond  immediately felt snarky.

The Senate has always been a difficult beast. When Paul Keating called the dears an unrepresentative swill back in 1989 - YouTube it on ABC news here - it wasn't because the Senate had gone American, it's because the unrepresentative swill has always been an unruly and difficult beast - and yet when the government has controlled the Senate, the heady power has gone to the head and led to a trainwreck ... per John Howard as one example ...

Nattering Ned's piece somehow had Pauline Hanson at its head ... though how Hanson might be interpreted as more American than Rupert Murdoch remains a mystery to the pond ...

Actually it sounds more like senility has finally taken over nattering "Ned" ...

About the only difference of late has been the singular inability of the Abbott and Turnbull governments to negotiate with the cross-bench in the Senate ... sssh, don't mention Julia Gillard's negotiating skills ... but there was another aspect to this story which charmed the pond - its length.

This is the sort of fast food gobbet that the reptiles of Oz are serving up as chunks of heartiness for the screen generation in search of a click?

It reminded the pond yet again of that old Woody Allen joke: "Two elderly women readers of the Oz are standing on the pedestrian crossing outside the 'leet Surry Hills bunker, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the crappy stories they produce at this place are really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and so short and such small portions too." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and reading nattering "Ned" nonsense, and yet the snark is all over much too quickly."

Well the pond, addicted as it is to bloatware, couldn't let the matter rest there, and so moved on to more nattering "Ned" ... and luckily some was to hand, and this time the click bait had weight and heft ...

Of course the order of business was different here.

What was required was some pathetic, feeble attempt to justify the unjustifiable, and the sordid business of the Liberal party enabling and empowering the very beast that nattering "Ned" had just held up as the worst of American politics ...

Suddenly selling your soul for power is merely "transactional" in nattering "Ned's" world?

How the Chairman would be pleased ... and the Donald too ...

Marvellous stuff, especially while holding court in a restaurant and surrounded by people taking selfies of the bag man with the nuclear codes.

Sorry, back to nattering "Ned", who is probably about to pee on the pond's leg and assure the pond it's raining.

Here's how it's done. Want to normalise One Nation and barking mad folk like Malcolm Roberts howling at the moon about climate science?

Want a bizarre suggestion that the GST be scrapped, replacing it with a flat two per cent tax?

Make a false moral equivalence to the greenies.

Now the pond owes allegiance to no party, and has a particular hostility to the Lee Rhiannon arm of the party that dominates in NSW, but what follows is an old trick, whereby One Nation is normalised and rationalised ... because the Greens ...

Back in the old days the Catholic Boys' Daily would have called this supping with the devil and talked darkly of Robert Johnson doing deals with his guitar ...

The Coalition needs to better explain? Suddenly the appalling just needs a better explanation?

And the best that nattering "Ned" can come up with is "transactional relationship", presumably of the kind Catholic monarchist Franz von Papen managed with the Harzburg Front, resulting in 

Oh okay, it's only pond snark, and how the Godwin's Law swear jar bulges from the fines in this age of snark ...

But what else can you say to a a senile nattering old man, so advanced in age that he can so celebrate Hansonism, and inter alia, so traduce matters of science and secularism.

That's what happens when you work for your American master and imbibe the kool aid on a daily basis and you perfect and master the techniques of the survivalist sell-out of soul and principle, and scribble it down for the Catholic Boys' Daily ...

Yet in his own way, nattering "Ned" thereby does his very best to prove his thesis ...that Australian journalism is now in the grip of the American disease, and soon enough thanks to the Liberal party, Hansonism will be rife in Western Australia and across the land ... because putting principle ahead of survival is too much for the gutter rats ...

There were alternative ways to proceed ...

But thanks to the Americanisation of the Catholic Boys' Daily, this is where we're headed ...

Only one thing's certain. The Donald has got AJ Joshi very agitated and snarky ...


  1. I love this juxtaposition of Nedisms: '(One Nation) is going to shake the norms of our system (assuming it doesn't fall apart)' Can't wait!

  2. ...yet when the government has controlled the Senate, the heady power has gone to the head and led to a trainwreck ... per John Howard as one example ...

    And wasn't it that very Americanised Senate back in the 1970s which refused Supply to poor old Goofy Whittl'em ? And made him call a double dissolution. in 1974, and then got him sacked in 1975.

    That's what you'd call a very specked history. And "Our ned" declares that "...the Senate now purports to shape and determine the macro-policy decisions for our economic and social future." But really, the Senate is only acting in its well settled, historical fashion as established by the Liberal party.

    1. Those damned Americans (Red Ted himself?) were at it in 1901 GB!

      ...This issue was at the heart of an early test of the Senate’s legislative strength, which took place barely a year after the Commonwealth Parliament was inaugurated in May 1901. In April of the following year, the House sent the Senate the Customs Tariff Bill, certainly the most contentious measure the Parliament had tackled to date (Souter 1988: 69–72). The Senate was constitutionally barred from amending the bill but not from recommending amendments and requesting that the House concur in them. After debating the bill for more than a month, the Senate requested 93 amendments. The House responded by accepting 33 of them, amending 11 others, and rejecting the remaining 49 Senate amendments.[14] The Senate then ‘pressed’ its request that the House concur in 26 of the 49 amendments that the House had rejected.

      There was some uncertainty and disagreement about whether the Senate had exceeded its constitutional rights in pressing some of its amendments once the House had rejected them. The issue never has been resolved in principle. In 1902, Senator Symon argued for the Senate’s right to press a request:

      Surely, when a person is given the power to make a request—unless the contrary is expressly stated—he is not debarred from civilly and courteously repeating it a second time. Power to request means to request as often as necessary till the request is granted ... (Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, 9 September 1902: 15824)

      A lot more here

    2. Ah well, DP, there had been quite a few Americans traipsing through Australia over the years - especially during the Victorian Gold Rush (a few even got caught up in Eureka), but, according to the 1901 Census statistics on place of birth, most of 'em were well and truly elsewhere by 1901.

      Though I have thought for a long time that it is obvious that the USA is just a slightly 'democratised' version of the Court of George III but with an elected King (aka President) and an elected House of Lords (aka Senate). And that Australia went half-way there, and stopped.

      Your pointer is interesting, it gives a couple of restrictions for the Aussie Senate, viz:

      The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or money for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

      The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.

      I would have thought that some of the recent Senate determinations sail very close to one or the other of those limitations.

      And yes, 'Red Ted' - now there's a blast from the past: we hardly ever hear about him nowadays. Nor 'King' O'Malley either - the man who took the 'u' out of Australian Labor. Those were the days (and long before I was born).

    3. Those those dirty Yank-type Senators have been at it all those years, DP? Time to drain the .....errrr.... sheep-paddock!

  3. O'Malley still has some profile in Canberra, GB. There's a very popular pub that's rather cheekily (because he was a dedicated teetotaller and prohibitionist) named after him!

    1. And a suburb in the Woden Valley named after him too, I do believe. He was obviously a colourful sorta bloke.

    2. O'Malley has a much more consequential legacy that removing a "u" and having a busy but indifferent franchise pub named after him in Civic. He was the decisive influence in almost everything wrong with Canberra today as a functioning city (yes, yes, snark away...).

      The panel for the Canberra design competition was split between the entries of Griffin and Eilel Saarinen (father of famous designer Eero). Saarinen's design, informed by several major town planning commissions in Europe, envisaged a compact European-style city, with integration between elements (cultural, commercial, government etc) and a transport net that would be functional and scaleable (he envisaged the city might one day grow to a half-million (which it is getting towards), ten times anything Griffin imagined. But O'Malley wanted Griffin, because...America! And that was that.

      A long list of problems with Canberra (insert more snark), from virtually irredeemable infrastructure problems to the notorious lack of nightlife stem from O'Malley's parochial preference for Griffin's ideal of a pissant US state capital.

    3. Having lived around (Queanbeyan for nearly two years) and in Canberra (for two and a half years) back in those dreadful 1970s (yes, I was there the day Whitlam was sacked), I can happily confirm your analysis, FD.

      I even worked in one of Griffin's theme creations: Woden. The idea was houses, workplaces (for pubserves, anyway), shopping and entertainment all in one small "self contained" cluster. Therefore, since everything is within walking distance, no public transport required, even though few had cars.

      It probably more or less worked too, for maybe the first 10 or 20 years, then it slowly became more and more dysfunctional, especially as the Canberra population increased way beyond Griffin's expectations, as you say.


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