Monday, November 13, 2017

In which even Moorice can't staunch a deep existential angst ...

So what happened in reptile la la land on the weekend? What did the pond miss by taking a little R and R?

Thanks to the peculiar business model of the lizard Oz - which consists of throwing the rag around free in airports like a suburban newspaper, or perhaps wedding confetti - the pond encountered the lizard Oz in tree killer form in the airport lounge. And was immediately plunged into an existential crisis.

It was partially the thought of all the dead trees, the sorrow and the sadness of the loss, even of one humble pine, but it was also due to the sudden, sickening realisation that perhaps the reptiles in the herpetarium weren't as attractive as the pond had foolishly imagined.

Perhaps they were simply nasty, bitey, scratchy, creepy, crawling ugly types, replete with an astonishing capacity for delusion.

They were all clustered together in a section called Inquirer, but the only inquiry was how far they could veer to the far, eccentric, barking mad, howling at the moon right. To see them huddled together was a palpable shock to the system.

The oscillating fan set the tone. Usually the fan tries to pretend he's balanced and somewhere in the middle, and then he comes out with Lazarus with a triple bypass could return to save the day.

Sure he presented it as a piece of fantasy football, but that's just another way of saying he's a wanker. It doesn't explain how his copy wasn't spiked. It certainly doesn't excuse onanistic dreaming of the return of 78 year old John Howard as the redeemer of the Liberal party and the saviour of the nation.

Then there was the dog botherer, with Turnbull has lost his way but the Coalition has a fallback option. Guess who?

Better still, guess the weak, lame, mealy mouthed fudge that ended this total waste of space:

As has been the case since 2009, Turnbull and Abbott remain the only Coalition options this side of an election. 
Due to his policies and his cynical approach, we cannot expect a Shorten government to correct the national bearing. Without major adjustment he would most likely ensure this lost period of the post-Howard decade is extended. We need to confront the sobering reality that it might only be the next generation of leadership, on either side of the aisle, that holds our best hopes.

In short, the dog botherer knew Malware was a dropkick, but at the last moment, he lost heart and didn't have the oneiric capacity to call for the return of the onion muncher as the redeemer of the Liberal party and the saviour of the nation.

Along with the usual dog botherer stupidities, the minor war criminal delivered a few beauties - moaning endlessly about Comrade Bill being negative - presumably in contrast to the piously positive onion muncher when the leader of the opposition - and this ripper definition: Much of the mainstream media, from Sydney radio station 2GB’s Alan Jones and Ray Hadley to Sky News hosts Andrew Bolt and Paul Murray...

If that's the mainstream, then the entire river is now bereft of flow, and the remaining pools are full of murk and carp.

It began to dawn on the pond that gazing fondly on the reptiles was likely to produce irreversible brain damage, confirmed when the bromancer scribbled furiously about the Donald, Trump in Asia appears on his best behaviour, and then added in the sub-header Tour has seen the President subject to welcome flattery.

The bromancer then proceeded to ladle out even more flattery, because that apparently is the best way to handle a preening narcissist. Of course it only took a day for the Donald to go off the rails, and for Politico to be running a story like Trump careens off script ...

Apparently the bromancer is so silly he still believes the Donald will deliver some kind of consistency.

But the icing on the cake came from planet Janet soaring off into the world of a man even Breitbart couldn't hack, The importance of being Milo. It seemed the importance was that he could be really offensive and insulting.

No doubt Milo and Dame Slap cheered on the dickheads in Melbourne giving Sam the man a hard time because, after all, they were just being provocateurs and free speech activists.

Oh sure, there was nattering "Ned" wringing his hands, sighing and worrying endlessly, interminably with Dangers Abound as Crisis Plays Out, and Polonis prattled up the same tedium with The High Court is Brutally Literalist, Except When It's Not, which concluded with the astonishing insight that it's all the fault of the High Court that politicians ticked the wrong box. Try telling that to Centrelink ...

But is an infinite capacity for sleep-inducing dullness a redeeming quality?

Even someone presented as ostensibly intelligent, an emeritus prof of the sociological kind from La Trobe, one John Carroll, managed this while scribbling Why We Still Love Getting Married:

While marriage has been understood from time immemorial as occurring between a man and a woman - and it has been inconceivable in any other terms ...

It seems the prof can't conceive of polygamy though if he'd just done the quickest of Greg Hunts, he could have caught this opening ...

Polygamy (from Late Greek πολυγαμία, polygamía, "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, sociologists call this polygyny. When a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage.

From time immemorial? What, like Exodus?

In-fucking-conceivable in any other terms for a silly old prof...

And then they dragged John Anderson out of the dust-bin of complete irrelevance, and dusted the moths out of his rustic brain, so that he might deliver a mental fart humorously entitled Survey sees  freedom for all lost in the post ... Conscience is the first casualty in the race to adopt the ideology of diversity ...

Any of them could have been a pond posting in the past; all of them made the pond realise the absolute fatuousness of the lizard Oz, and why it was tossed away for free in airports, but even worse, the pond suddenly had the veil torn from its eyes, and saw that trees had died so that this copious mendacity could be delivered unto the world ...

It was like looking at a model train set or a stamp collection and wondering if it would be enough to offset the encroaching dementia. A reptile herpetarium as a hobby? Perhaps it might be better to count the number of angels on a pin.

It was thus with a gloomy and heavy heart that the pond turned to the Oreo this day ...and suddenly clapped hands and danced with joy.

No Oreo! No sugar laden treat of heart attack inducing nonsense.

It was thus with a gloomy and heavy heart that the pond turned to a substitute.

Oh fuck, talk of existential angst, and along comes the Moorice ...

What a tragedy. The world's greatest climate scientist reduced to rabbiting on about public servants ... the pond found the mere thought of it almost unendurable ...

The pond knew the cunningness of the ploy, with Moorice sensing that the pond might be forced into defending the public service. What a pity then that he opened with a comparison to the United States, where the absolute disintegration of government functionality, and infrastructure, and government services, and consequent social disharmony, is a marvel to behold ...

It's surely another thing to spend most of the time ripping off Eric Beecher's article, all the more poignant at a time when Beecher's private sector Crikey has all the appeal and commercial viability of a dodo disappearing into the distance, its war on the reptiles now a fading memory ...

Still, a crucial question remained. Would climate science get a mention?

Presumably Moorice is so befuddled by his valiant work on climate change that tackling areas not covered by Beecher proved a little difficult.

The pond, noting his remarks about Singaporean students, was reminded of the data, to be Greg Hunted here, that saw Australia spend 5.10% of GDP on education, putting it at 56th in ranking of government expenditure on education worldwide.

Sure that's untrustworthy CIA data, and there's data at The Conversation putting it at 3.2% of GDP here ...

But if you Greg Hunt the Singapore education system, you might find the immortal line Education spending usually makes up about 20 percent of the annual national budget, which subsidises state education and government-assisted private education for Singaporean citizens and funds the Edusave programme, the costs for which are significantly higher for non-citizens 

Somewhere in that gap between 3 and 20 percent, there might be an explanation.

As for the NBN, it's astonishing how many people have forgotten the onion muncher's cry to destroy it ... as in Abbott orders Turnbull to demolish NBN ... about the only order that Malware was ever able effectively and capably to carry out ...

The pond could keep on going on and on, much like Moorice, but such was the fog of existential despair the pond couldn't do it ...

No doubt Moorice will soon be calling for everyone to forget about democracy and urging on the need for a strong leader and no doubt in all modesty he'll suggest himself ... but the pond was so deep in a depressive funk, it might almost have believed him ...

So this is how it ends, so that's all there is?

Is that all there is 
Is that all there is 
If that's all there is, my friends 
Then let's keep dancing 
Let's break out the booze and have a ball 
If that's all there is

At least the pond can break out the Rowes it missed - well it didn't really, it also picked up a copy of the AFR, but the minute it was drawn into reading a story from the New York Review of Books, the pond remembered that it already paid for that form of story-telling ...

Never mind, there is one reason to pay attention, and that's Rowe, with more Rowe here ...


  1. Oh so glad you're back, DP, my existential angst is all but assuaged. And especially so by fond memories of that great Peggy Lee hit of 1969.

    One very interesting point from the Converstaion analysis is how low the education spending of Germany is - the lowest, at a mere 2.7% of GDP, by quite a margin. This may be because of Germany's "aging population" and the percentage under 15 years old is low and falling.

    But the variation between Korea (143 15 or younger per 1000) at 3.1% of GDP and Australia (188 15 or younger per 1000) at 3.2% of GDP is an interesting comparison. Though maybe its just a result of the higher level of private school patronage in Australia (ie private school fees are not counted as 'government spending')

  2. I found this entertaining:

    Or if you'tr pf a more nothern disposition, you might prefer this:

    Peculiarly, the dead tree edition of The Age didn't actually include its rendition of the article - dated Fri 10th Nov online - until Mon 13th Nov (ie today). Is Fairfax trying to turn people off the print newspapers, I naively ask ?


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