Friday, July 20, 2018

Goodbye to some of that ...


The pond started blogging ten years ago, on 20th July 2008. It was a Sunday, and the pond went into a brooding fit because Michael Duffy had scribbled some nonsense about evangelicals ...ironical really, as the pond woke this morning to Andrew West attempting to get evangelical Xian Mike Pompeo to disavow fundamentalist, human rights abusing Saudi Arabia, and after a brief evasion, copping an interview termination notice …

Stupidity and hypocrisy never ends, but ten years is a long, long time to wallow in it…


… and now the pond is cutting back on its reptile addiction, back to a single post each day in the morning.

Aquarium owners will know the feeling if they've ever woken up one morning to find the tank full of fish floating belly up … do they re-stock, or do they embark on a useful, meaningful life?

When the pond started, it had some regrets about trolling the Duffster, but he went on to a better life out of the spotlight, and in a way, the pond became the victim … as the pond's mind has long been overgrown with useless reptile trivia and arcana …


And for what? Usually lavish doses of hysteria and alarmism about all the wrong and irrelevant things…


Of course there will be losses and regrets, but for those who've wondered how the pond keeps accessing the reptiles, here's a few tricks.

First the old trick of clearing cache, googling up a story and clicking on it still works for some. 

For reasons that puzzle the pond, the reptiles insist on allowing access to prattling Polonius this way, presumably because he's generally a waste of space and with no meaningful value to the brand.

Second with cache cleared, if a tweet is brought up to full page by clicking at the head of it, a further couple of clicks will usually result in a link to the text. Of course this only produces stories the reptiles have tweeted about, and the reptiles are useless at social media.

Third, if a story really appeals, there's always this site, which will deliver a de-cluttered version because the reptile paywall isn't as hard as it pretends to be. All that's needed is the piece's address, from www to end of letters and numbers, cut and pasted and hey presto …

The pond regarded this as unsporting, and had hoped that its campaign, in lieu of bankruptcy, might produce a harder paywall of The Times/WSJ kind, but the hapless locals still want to be part of a conversation …

The pond makes no guarantee how long any of these tricks will last, and doesn't really much care.

Hopefully the SEO mob at the lizard Oz will address the tricks, introduce a really hard paywall, and produce an appropriately apartheid digital experience which will result in the reptiles being isolated from the world.

Cutting back will mean sacrifices, but the pond gave up the Devine and Akker Dakker some time ago, and what a blissful sense of relief that produced … 

The pond realises the gravity of giving up a hobby … there will be some dreadful choices to make …


Today for example, there was the Tudge, determined to return Australia to the days of the language tests and the attitudes of the white Australia policy …



And how sad it is to leave behind Bjorn and the Oz editorialist … not ...


Yes, there's something to be said for selectively culling the stupid …


And so to the pond's one dining experience for the day, and the pond is very pleased that our Henry, 'hole in the bucket' Ergas, is the guest at the pond's birthday party …much better than any kind of celebratory card ...

  

Our Henry showed all the class breeding that qualifies a reptile for the pond's once a day slot …

First he's been blessed by the Lobbecke of the day, an infallible sign of very unique* status (*licensed from ABC24) … and was promoted to top of the rotating digital reptile slot ...


Even better, our Henry has at last gone the full Donald …


Indeed, indeed, so what better solution than to get into bed with Vlad the impaler?


Useless fools need willing tools, and our Henry is very willing ...


And there you go … roll that Henry-ism around on your tongue …

Vladimir Putin's message has the ring of truth … 

Godwin's Law prevented the pond from imagining our Henry celebrating Il Duce for making the trains run on time.

The pond always suspected Fox News and the lizards of Oz aspiring to full Pravda status, and our Henry shows how it might be done ...


The pond always thought our Henry was a little strange, and getting stranger as time passed, but this howl at the moon, this full-blown display of rampant Trumpism was a wonderful birthday gift for the pond, and surely full justification for the pond weeding out the detritus so that only the brightest jewels might glint in the morning light …

Of course there will be other dilemmas in this weeding and culling. 

What do do when the infallible Pope returns, to joust with the infallible Rowe for attention?

Luckily the infallible Pope continues on holiday, so the dilemma can be put off for another day … and luckily the infallible Rowe, as always more here, offers a tidy little thought for our Henry …


And that is that for our Henry and his Tzar wars, and now the pond can go off and do useful things for the day … with best wishes for those who also have useful things to do. Up against reading the reptiles, a snooze is better than as good as it gets ...


Thursday, July 19, 2018

In which the pond switches from Switzer to more Donald ...


The pond had a surreal, almost out-of-body experience at lunch time …

No, not the usual disconnection from the intertubes by Telstra, a regular feature that allows the pond to focus on worldly affairs such as the laundry.

It was listening to Tom Switzer on RN pandering to the Donald and Vlad the impaler in a conversation with well-known Vlad lover, Putin's Pal if you will, Stephen Cohen, who can't get a gig anywhere much outside The Nation …

For a moment the pond thought it had somehow tuned into RT instead of RN, such was the volley of soft lobs over the net delivered by the forelock-tugging Switzer …

But no, it seems patty cakes is what's played at RN these days. Earlier, the pond was astonished to discover that The Spirit of Things now occupies a noon slot. From The World Today in an hour long format to this pitiful spectacle? No wonder the pond no longer listens to their ABC's RN …

But it reminded the pond that the Donald was still everywhere, and that early in the day David Uren had occupied the top opinion slot, and the pond knew it was important because he'd been blessed by a Lobbecke …


The pond had spent a little time at lunch catching up on other Donald news, including the White House's refusal to rule out turning over an actual US Ambassador to Russia … while a Fox News Host thought the Donald was sounding insane

Then there was the latest news from the nail factory that the Donald's tariffs had helped nail …while cartoonists danced with the excitement of it all …


… or perhaps they bobbled …


… or perhaps they took a knee ...



Nothing to compare to the supine Switzer, who managed to do all three, but enough of the fun, it's time to get down with Lobbecke …


Indeed, indeed, is there a cartoonist in the house?


The pond has always been a fan of those American movies, a genre that's been going on long since Bligh offered a template, whether it's The Caine Mutiny or Crimson Tide.

There's always a "Captain, I cannot concur" moment. Even the Ruskis are a hoot in The Hunt for Red October, if only because Sean Connery offers the worst accent since movies began …

The question is, will there come a time when "Commander in chief, we cannot concur" is finally delivered?


Here's how serious it's become … even Stiglich is making fun of the Donald …



That's a bit like Christ returning to tell the Pope he got it all wrong …

Oh okay, the pond started with gloomy Uren and now should finish with him ...


A reptile quoting Krugman?

Is there any wonder the pond feels out of body experiences every five minutes or so?

Not to worry, here's another cartoon, and the pond can almost hear Switzer fainting into ecstatic orgasm because surely Vlad looks so manly and so in control …swoon, Tom, swoon ...


And here's a few more for the fun of it ...





In which the bromancer meets the moggy ...


Something snapped in the pond this day. It simply couldn't be bothered reading the press release direct from the PM's desk, as channeled by the savvy Savva, and yearned for tales of strife in far-off lands, and luckily the bromancer was in travel mode, and sending missives back home …


… and so the pond felt a nursery rhyme coming on ...



No, that's not quite right, how about this?

Bromancer, bromancer, where have you been?
'I've been to London to see the moggy …'
Bromancer, bromancer, what did you there?
'We frightened the Tories hiding under the chair.'

The bromancer is a devoted Brexiteer, so the current ructions are just a way of ensuring the Poms do a hard exit, and fall into the arms of their very good friend, the Donald. Why, he's got their backs, and if they don't like the result, perhaps they could sue him ...

And there's every chance dinkum Oz lads will be able to score payback for their offensive caricatures of colonials …


The jackals are gathering for the feast, and the bromancer naturally was on hand to reassure the readers of the lizard Oz that all was well …

Well not so well with ™ (hmm, can you ™ her initials?) ...


Ah, Rees the moggy routinely featured in Steve Bell cartoons, and the moggy the bromancer visited in lieu of the Queen ...



Inevitably the bromancer was in awe of the moggy, though those who can remember the bromancer's devotion to the onion muncher might wonder if this is a good sign ...


Indeed, indeed, the prospect of Europe returning to the competing nation states of yore is a prospect to get arms manufacturers salivating. It worked out so well in the twentieth century, and with a bit of luck, Vlad the impaler might be able to nip a little more territory here and there … operating a little bit in the style of the moggy himself ...



Recently the pond read a Graudian interview with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, available here in full, in which inter alia these questions turned up:

Q: Airbus CEO Tom Enders said recently: “Brexit in any form, soft or hard, light or clean, will be damaging”: would you agree with him on that? 

A: Science by its nature has always been an international enterprise and in fact the more prestigious and high performing the lab or institute, the more international it is. It’s very hard for the science community to see any advantages in Brexit. They are pretty blunt about that.

Q: Speaking as someone of Indian origin who was awarded the Nobel prize for work conducted here – and you’ve been knighted – did you find the rhetoric around immigration during and after the vote disheartening? 

A: I was certainly not happy about it. One reason I was happy to be awarded the knighthood was because I thought it sent a good message, a positive message for immigration. 

Q: What does that fact that 19 different European cities bid to replace London as the home of the European Medicines Agency tell you? 

A: It shows how important it was and what a blow it is to lose it. Considering that we have a very large pharmaceutical industry in the UK, the UK was a natural home for the European Medicines Agency, and I think it is a big loss. 

Q: At the moment we’re a net gainer from EU science funding. Presumably this will end. Are you confident the UK government will make up the shortfall? 

A: The onus is on the government to make sure science doesn’t have a net loss of funding. My understanding is that if there is a good agreement on science between the EU and the UK, we would continue to participate as an associate member – on a pay-as-you-go basis. But it’s not just the funding. In the aftermath of two world wars, there was a decline of European science compared to the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, the US was the natural destination for young scientists, but in the last 40 years, Europe has come together in a concerted way and made Europe a global powerhouse. So I think it’s important for us to preserve that cohesion.

Good luck with cohesion, because in the world of the moggy and the bromancer, it's all just a parade down Piccadilly Circus …


If the moggy is the solution, it must be a dummy like the bromancer that asked the wrong question ...

Never mind, there's more Bell here of course, and full of insights too. The pond had never understood before this day that the Donald didn't just have tiny hands ...




In which reptiles return to their vomit, as a fool repeats his folly ...


It was the reptiles' favourite nightmare - white feminists on the march. 

Luckily it wasn't their extra special deluxe weekend edition nightmare featuring white crippled lesbian hairy armpit whale-loving feminists …

But enough of nightmares. The pond came to a sudden realisation overnight. 

If Vlad the impaler's agents used Novichok to take out Craig Kelly, there might well be good reasons for overlooking the crime …

Ah yes, the lesser onion muncher, the narcissist attention seeker from Hughes has struck again, and garnered the headlines he so loves …


Well all these are easily googled. A more interesting question is where it all comes from, and here the pond is a little tongue-tied.

What's the best word for the mindset? The pond thought of despotist, but was assured that this word didn't exist, and couldn't be used to describe lovers of despots and despotism. It did turn up in Merriam Webster but the pond refuses to speak American …

Authoritarian might be technically correct, but is a little diffuse … after all, the pond showed authoritarian tendencies in the classroom. That showed a lack of ambition when it came to running a country the same way ...

Other words could be twisted to the cause - autocratic, totalitarian, draconian, absolutist, repressive, illiberal - but none of them were suitably evocative.

And of course Godwin's Law imperilled the use of 'fascist' - and yet, the dictionary did allow here as its third option, "a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views."

So it is permissible to talk of the Bolter as fascist … because you see that was the source of the lesser Kelly's folly.

The lesser Kelly was trying to speak in support of the Donald when he had a stumblebum verbal slip of the Donald kind … and while love of the authoritarian despot has been sorely tested in recent days, there are still some died in the wool true believers.

Thus the Bolter has maintained his love of the authoritarian despot with the feet of clay in recent days, because, like the Donald, the Bolter hates to admit he was wrong, or that he might have bought some dodgy medicine from the snake oil salesman.

First the Bolter asked a rhetorical question …


Well no, luckily the pond never has to watch the Bolter reporting on his fascist love of despots, because the next few postings indicated where he stood ...


And it wasn't just the barking mad Bolter …

The reptiles let little Johnny out for a saunter yesterday, a thought bubble of the finest distilled Johnny kind, though it was quickly swept from view …


And so bears of lesser brain, of the Kelly kind, drink the kool-aid and step out of the tent and get a little lost in the subsequent blizzard …

But what of the lizards of Oz? Well there are the occasional hints that the kool-aid has lost a little of its power …


… and this day the reptiles featured a follow-up to the recent follies …


Only the completely clueless would have bought what the Donald had to say, wouldn't they? 

Could it not be said that it is not obvious that the Donald is not a fearless opponent of Vlad, and that it is not clear that Vlad has nothing on him? And do those double negatives mean what the pond might not have meant them to say?


And yet over at the Terror, the authoritarian fascist lovers of despots - the pond uses the words with authoritative dictionary approval - maintained their uxorious devotion to the Donald …



Back at the lizard Oz, the uncertainty continued ...


As for slightly looking over the slightly apologetic lesser member of the Kelly gang, the lizard editorialist had this to say ...


Of course it was scribbled yesterday, before Kelly stuck his foot in his gob, and it should properly have been splashed "Craig Kelly should never forget Vladimir Putin's victims" ...


Ah the onion muncher somehow gets into it again, and yet the Terror, with their love of right-wing authoritarian figures was in yet another lather this day…


They had to plot the humiliation of the onion muncher? But hasn't the onion muncher done an exceptional job of humiliating himself?

Shouldn't the headline have read "Explosive onion muncher plot to humiliate himself by relentless wrecking, sniping, undermining and sledging"?

Okay, the pond finally can confess. 

It only rambled through all this reptile silliness to get to the treat of the day, and what a treat it is, as Rowe joined the pond's love of the bible with a love for the rich comedy the Donald offers on a daily basis, and with more richly comic Rowe as always here