Monday, July 31, 2017

In which the pond shares another Oreo, and sees no future or hope in attempting to reform the reptiles ...

Oh please miss, please miss, oh please, puh-lease miss, please pick me, pick me ...

Pick the pond ... you see, not so long ago, the pond discovered people rolling out brand new ancient thirty year old technology of the HFC kind in the neighbourhood, no doubt in due course ready to hook up with Queen Victoria's copper to deliver a splendid new age of intertubes connectivity ... so that all the HFC people can fuck each other up, and the speed slows and the complaints swell to a shrill chorus ...

Ah, it's as if rolling out pay TV was only yesterday ...

And so to an apology and an explanation.

Many years ago, the pond used to argue with the reptiles, copy down their points and rebut them, point out the errors in their ways, and suggest, in a polite way, the many alternative understandings of the world that they might consider adopting ...

It was useless, worse than futile. A bit like expecting the seventy year old Donald to change. He's a deeply corrupt businessman, accustomed to bankruptcy and to stiffing creditors and sundry wives, and he's never going to change.

It's like arguing with fundamentalist religious kooks. No matter what you say, they'll keep believing. If Malcolm Roberts believes he's not British with all his heart, that's his reality. And it works with climate science too ...

So it is with the reptiles. They operate at such a deep paranoid level of conviction that to expect them to engage in sensible discussion involves a level of optimism that's way beyond the pond's experience. 

They're driven by personal demons and mad, compulsive, irrational faith, or, at the basic level of the ordinary reptile grunt, by a pay cheque from the chairman to drink the kool aid and sing the corporate song.

There's nothing in the business model of a Bolter which would recommend moderation and sensible discussion. His entire persona and public presence depends on a rarely repressed, completely irrational hysteria ...and so it is with the other reptiles who grace the pond's pages.

It's a bit like the pet python that used to be in the family. Set it loose from its hot rock and it would blindly blunder over the mantelpiece, knocking things helter skelter, and roam around leaving its waste and its smell everywhere (not the smooth dry sinewy snake skin, lovely to touch, but the vague smell of snake that the waste evoked). 

It was in its nature, and no matter how reproving and reprimanding the snake's owner might be, the reptile never listened ... and if the mantelpiece was cleared of things it might destroy, it would find fresh ingenious ways to wreak havoc and and destruction. Oh look, there's a hi fi system ...

So it is with the reptiles of Oz. Feed them a dead rat of the kind they love, and watch the jaws distend, and gaze in fascinated awe as the reptiles do their thing ... but don't expect them to change their ways.

Speaking of dead rats, this day was typical ... look at the way reptile DD was given a special treat, and away he munched, contented in his work ...

How they yearn, how they hate the ABC, how bizarre that they see this as the only way to fix their business model and keep the dead rats coming.

And did the recent heat produce anything other than a tepid note that it's been pleasantly warm?

Of course not. The reptiles love their hot rock and their merry Xmas in July, so all is well, because isn't winter warmth just as good as a Santa wonderland ... (sssh, that person who mentioned climate change, go to the back of the room and put on the dunce cap).

Now occasionally the senior reptiles do try to look balanced, as a way of seeming to be cute and appealing to those in search of non-alternative facts...

You see, this day, to balance the Oreo, there's a vow to vote on gay vows, and elsewhere in the digital edition, to balance the Oreo on the UN,  there's talk of the criminal Brexit shambles ...

... perhaps in the hope that we'd forget that for months the Oreo raged about the importance of Brexit ...just as we'll no doubt be asked in due course to forget how she loves the Donald so the reptiles begin to run stories along the lines 'Republican White House shambles criminal' ...

But in the end, the reptiles want the Oreo to howl at the moon in the usual barking mad way. It's an essential part of the business model ...

It's the mother of all lies, because of course the reptiles rely heavily on 'facts' that are so alternative, so weird, so out there, that the use of 'fact' is deeply post-modernist and post-ironic ...

And it regularly produces even more irony ...

Okay, the first google listing is for the Oreo seven or so hours ago, and below it is another tirade, a hearty rant about the UN, which first popped up way back in January at the start of the year ...

Of course, of course ...

It's another reminded that the Oreo - as well as being a biscuit of little brain - can only produce so many variants, and frequently returns to the same dead rat to give it a good worrying. It's rather - to mix the metaphors - like the fox terrier that was once in the family that would take the dead rat out the back and bury it in the Tamworth sun, then every so often, return to drag the rat back out and gnaw away at it ...

Come on dead rat UN, it's time for that first gnawing ...

And that's probably been the longest introduction the pond has ever done to the latest Oreo, as she returns once more to savage her favourite dead UN rat ...

Now some will want to argue with the Oreo, but just watching the Oreo gnaw away is enough for the pond.

The sheer delight, the sheer fun of watching the Oreo have at the rat is enough. There's no point in arguing, there's no point in discussing ...

The pond might just add a footnote at the splendid irony in the Oreo fancying that she's remotely liberal ... but that's as far as it goes ...

You note the cleverness of the Oreo? The wicked UN dared to suggest that the Donald might be a worry, but he's determined to build walls and stop travel so that free societies might be free ... to live behind a wall ...

And so on and so forth. It's incredibly cute, a rich mixture of lemon tartiness and creaminess of the kind the pond commends to others every Monday ...

This is what Australian universities have conspired to produce ... the smartest of the smart, the best rat catchers in the world ...

Others might suggest that while the UN is deeply flawed it is perhaps good for countries to get together and have a chin wag, rather than deploy the nukes.

If the UN wasn't around, surely an alternative would have to be invented, and likely enough it would be riven by the same sort of compromises and wobbly structures designed to pander to powerful interests of the nuke-wielding kind ...

The League of Nations went nowhere, and the second world war erupted ... and the pond suspects that a similar result with the UN would deeply please the Oreo...

The Oreo doesn't seem much interested in sane international relations ... She likes to feud and fight and fuss in a deeply illiberal way ...

Like most of the rat-gnawing reptiles, the Oreo has a bee in her bonnet - actually it's more like a beehive and a swarm of bees - and by golly, she's going to buzz at some fair length ...

Actually the pond doesn't need to do anything. 

The pond doesn't need to acknowledge anything, and the pond especially doesn't have to argue with the Oreo, though the pond is freely willing to acknowledge that there's something deeply rotten and weird in the state of the Oreo's brain. 

But that's as far as the pond might go. It happens to have reptile watching as a personal hobby, and the more threatening the reptiles are, the more weird and barking mad, the more poisonous they are, the more the pond thrills to and marvels at the weirdness and the danger ...

D. H. Lawrence caught the ambivalence in his poem to a snake, which can be found in full here ... for in Australia, the reptile of Oz is of the venomous kind ...

And so on and so forth, and so on to comrade Bill up in a tree, as a HFC copper-loving toffy sheriff rides by in an open carriage, with more Robin Rowe of the AFR here ...


  1. Rats on the left, rats on the right, from the grass roots to the UN.
    Same as it ever was. I'm certain the Oreo's sister was in this series.

    My little Foxie prefers to just leave her rats in the kennel, for a good daily chew, until I find it and chuck it out. At least that way she will go find another one......good doggie that she is.
    And our family also got rid of the sister's pet python after it latched onto the old man's Achilles tendon, on his good leg. The other leg was afflicted by Polio. That 4ft.sucker took quite an effort to detach, I can tell you. :)

  2. "Many years ago, the pond used to argue with the reptiles ..."

    It was when I finally twigged that very little of what we think we know comes from our own experience and investigation, that, in fact, most of what we think we know comes from testimony - mostly testimony from others, but also self-testimony - that I realised that we are all disconnected from reality in various ways to various degrees.

    'Testimony', I found, comprised 'the right words and phrases from the right people'.

    It was after this that I finally came to the idea that people - not all of us, thankfully, DP - have some kind of 'mental immune system' which reacts against the 'wrong inputs' to keep them out of the consciousness. Like real viruses need to find the receptors in cells to attach to and enter the bodily biome, those inputs need to find the matching thought receptors in order to enter the 'mentome' (to adapt a word). And of course, that's a matter of those inputs having 'the right words and phrases used by the right people' - in short, they form an acceptable 'testimony'.

    And like any immune system, when it thinks it's under attack, it reacts by powering up its defenses - hence the 'backfire effect' so called.

    There's no way, or so I've found, that providing any alternate testimony can get through the mental immune system - at least, like you and FrankD, DP, I've never been particularly successful.

    The only strategy I've found that has any chance is 'questioning' - in a calm and friendly way - just keep asking those people to expand on and explain what they think they believe. Sometimes, their failure to be able to provide a convincing 'self testimony' can open them up to doubts and even rethinking and re-evaluating.

    It's kinda like that psychological research on people's answers to poll questions: when people are interviewed about the responses they've given to poll questions and asked to explain their response, they frequently, in trying to explain, come to realise that they don't actually believe what they've stated, and can even end up changing their minds.

    Not that I'm trying to push any of this on you and loonpond, DP, I just enjoy the way you caustically and sensibly demolish them (and I really appreciate your capacity to find suitable illustrative graphics and cartoons). So, kinda, "stay as mean as you are", I, for one, love it.

    1. Yes - a very good post & comment. The Oreo's arguments are so full of false assumptions, logical fallacies & downright lies that you feel the urge to point these out, but the intended audience could probably work these out by themselves, they simply choose not to. It is a more interesting question to ask why they prefer to believe the things they do.

    2. "to ask why they prefer to believe the things they do"

      Ever since I encountered the Jesuit proposition "give me the child until seven and I will give you the man (the misogynist so-and-sos)" I've never really had a problem with that, Be.

      Or to employ my scenario, children get their biome immune system from their parents (mother mainly) and they also get their mentome immune system from their parents (often their father, mainly). In short, most parents have possession of their kids for way more than seven years, and usually for several years before any other systematic mental influence comes into their lives (eg school) so, as the saying goes: "If you want to know why you believe something or other, or behave in certain ways, just ask what your father believes and does".

      Not completely nor infallibly, of course, nothing ever is, and sometimes kids' hostility to their parents can result in significant reversal of what "dad - and maybe mum - believes and does".

      But if you want to muse on how this parental stuff works, just ask yourself a couple of questions:

      1. How big is your native language vocabulary ? If you've had a reasonable education, read a fair bit etc. then it may be 35,000 (English) words or more.

      2. Now ask yourself how many of those words you've actually looked up in a dictionary ? (and we won't divert into the nature of extension versus intension here :-) ). Now if you get that even a six year old may have a vocabulary of 6,000 words or more (again, largely parent dependent), ask how that vocabulary is acquired.

    3. "ask how that vocabulary is acquired.".... probably why both daughters can swear like troopers.:)
      More seriously GB, two girls, now 30 and 33, one a voracious reader(I still have boxes of books in shed)who has read more books than I've had hot dinners. Now a brilliant Primary School teacher.

      The younger, without a lie, and I am serious, has never read a book in her life. Nothing, zip, nada! Drove her parents spare trying to get her interested, to no avail. This kid literally hated reading, until year 9 when given the lecture on enduring a life in a koala suit on the side of the h'way or some other menial low paying job. The daughter immediately started reading huge accounting/economics text books that would make an onion cry, and is now a gun Accountant.
      Wife and I were very conscious about doing the best regards education(state/public), and gave both girls equal attention right from very beginning, yet got completely conflicting feed-backs up until the ages of 15. Who said parenting was easy? Medals gratefully accepted.

      I was a high school drop-out/labourer, but a voracious reader until about 25 and took the reversal route regards my father. He was basically a Commie who jumped to full blown hard right once he started making big money. I went left and drove him spare.:) Who said parenting was easy?

      My vocabulary was reasonable, but memory is the issue after nearly seven decades....sigh.
      Your point on the nature of extension v intention is a most valid one. Better to be in command of language and benefit, than to stand about in a koala suit or just do what your Dad did I guess. It's a tricky choice, but that little bit of love helps above all. Cheers.

    4. Heh. There's just no accounting for human 'temperamental' differences, Anony. I compare myself with my own father - a bricklayer for most of his working life who only got to 'Form 2' (as Year 8 used to be called then) at a Victorian Central School (which ended at Form 2 with the 'Proficiency Certificate' IIRC) .

      By his own unforced confessions, he was known to vote Communist in the Union, Labor in the State and Labor, Liberal or occasionally even DLP in the Federal (he wasn't Catholic). Personally, I've only ever voted Labor, or occasionally informal, or for a while Democrats (back in the good old days of Janine Haines).

      So indeed traits and temperaments have their effect but the concern for me is how people acquire their stock of ideas, concepts and mental constructs. My father wasn't much of a reader - other than the daily Sun newspaper (when there was still a morning Sun and an evening Herald in Victoria) whereas I was an avid reader from about the age of 9 when I discovered that libraries lent out books even to schoolkids !

      So my father's 'intellectual repertoire' was somewhat less than mine became (eg I do have some basic 'knowledge' of quantum physics while Dad never knew such a thing even existed).

      So I reckon the 'mentome immune system' isn't total, many influences go into forming and modifying it - parents and relatives, personal contemporaies and peer groups, inspirational teachers and leaders (eg Santamaria for the Onion Muncher and Polonius). But it does somewhat harden up over time and it can become a whole world to some - eg those sucked into the very limited and constrained Fox News world. Or, indeed, those taken into the 'reptile union'.

      What I still have no satisfactory grasp on, is the great difference between those of us (I still include myself) for whom 'everything is always on the table' for dialog and possible mind changing, and those who's 'idea bank' is a closed shop. It's partly sources (eg my father's limited information sources), partly intelligence (even that old reified thing, IQ) and partly traits and temperament.

      So on the one hand we have the closed world of the herpetarium, and on the other DP and us. Such is life.

    5. Completely agree with you GB. The inspirational teacher and the good external mentor/s are invaluable. I wrote a long reply(twice) but they vanished and I have cracked the shits...will save the story for another day, save to say that my mentome and biome IS was greatly assisted by external mentors, to whom I am eternally grateful.

      Some kids are just lucky I guess...such is life. Cheers.

      "I was an avid reader from about the age of 9 when I discovered that libraries lent out books even to schoolkids!"... very good! Cheers.

    6. I forgot to mention: I did enjoy John Hiatt & The Goners (so much music I haven't heard and so much I will never hear).

      Re your vanishing posts, this happens when the loonpond page is in 'draft' status - it happened to me a few times until I noticed that hovering the cursor over the Email post pic (the small thing that looks vaguely like a postal letter envelope) and then looking at the status line (bottom left on my laptop) will show 'draft.' as part of the loonpond address.

      When it's not in 'draft' status, it just shows

      And that's why I always draft my replies in Notepad (Windows utility) and then copy them into the reply space.

    7. Thanks very much for the tip GB, much appreciated. I am the butt of many a joke when it comes to tech. Apparently I am the only person who can initiate the 'fatal error' warning just by looking at a computer.

      Saw JH with the Fugitive Popes when they came to Oz about 20 years ago. One of the best concerts I have ever attended, .........I've seen a few. As a song writer he is a cut above the many...IMO. Cheers. Thanks again.

  3. Good post GB. Sometimes life seems like the never ending question, and the Pond is a nice little harbour to prick the bubbles and strengthen the immune system.
    A bit of wit, a bit of mirth, a bit of comedy,a bit of caustic, a bit of art, culture...and all the rest.
    Me, I find music my alternate boost to the immune system, to at least to help me think that maybe I appear to be grounded.:) Asking questions these days seems to throw up so many terrible answers unfortunately. What the fuck happened to the little village? :)

    "So, kinda, "stay as mean as you are", I, for one, love it."

    I'll testify to that DP.

    P.S. Ronnie wields a decent brush too. Cheers.

    1. "A bit of wit, a bit of mirth, a bit of comedy,a bit of caustic, a bit of art, culture...and all the rest."

      And I too will testify to that, Anony.


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