Saturday, May 19, 2018

In which the pond stays loyal to prattling Polonius ...

The reptiles did their very best to draw attention to another bout of ABC bashing, this time by their notorious resident humbug, but alas, the leftist twitterati decided to do a little trolling …

How anyone could ROFL about prattling Polonius must remain a mystery, because, yes, it was our man Polonius having his usual weekly go at the ABC.

Apparently Polonius hadn't read our Henry explaining the tremendous solace the wedding of the century would bring to Australia, and so thought it wrong that the ABC should act like a televisual network and send its tizziest to London to send the ditzy soma home …

The leftie twitterati thought otherwise …

What a dullard killjoy putz our Polonius is, such a remarkable pedant, but as the pond doesn't want to go there again, it's time to turn to Polonius's serious column this day …

Yes, the pond is loyal through thick and thin.

Why the pond stays loyal can only be explained as an excruciating form of masochism …

Yet, look, this day, even in the sight of a pedant pondering history, there are some splendid moments.

See how Polonius moves from refusing to apologise for anything to theological exegesis and Christian mortification to his usual rage about some trivial matter requiring pedantic exposition …

It's so typically anal retentive and polonially perverse that the pond remains compelled, as if watching a traffic accident unfold in exceptionally slow motion …

Now from the get go, the pond should say that it doesn't much care about the particulars of Bean, nor does it much mind that Polonius is about to follow up with a billy goat "but" routine, what it actually cherishes is the way the dodderer, clearly approaching a form of deep senility, introduces a chunk of Catholic theology into his text.

Of course Polonius is going to be sensitive about anti-Semitism. The Catholic church has been full of it for a couple of thousand years, and every so often it still bobs up …

But enough of Catholic sins, it's on to the matter of redemption ...

Now it's true that Bean changed, and both his attitudes to Monash and Asians did change, as noted in the ADB here, in what for it is a relatively lengthy biography …

And like as not, he would have had little time for polonial theological prattle …

He was cremated after a memorial service in St Andrew's Cathedral. He had not been a regular churchgoer, believing (he said in 1948) that 'the question whether God existed or not could make no difference to conduct'.

But what most moved the pond was Polonial praise for a man who in later times turned incipient greenie and socialist ...

In Sydney he founded the Parks and Playgrounds Movement of New South Wales, which tried to make the city a little more like the country, and was involved in the Town Planning Association. These activities gave him his first experience of local politics, and led him to dismay at corruption. The Depression shook him: his own salary, fixed by contract, was unaffected by the reduction imposed on public servants, including his associates on the History; but he insisted that his pay be cut too. Until he saw the mass unemployment of the 1930s he was a virtual stranger to the socialist tradition. Now he became interested in planning to reduce inequalities, and grew curious about the Soviet Union.

Oh dear, that's almost as bad as the ABC going all monarchist and ditzy over a royal wedding …quick, get out the search parties and see if there's an Order of Lenin medal to be found ...

And so to the Rowe for the day, which thankfully has nothing to do with Bean or weddings …and as always, with more Rowe here


  1. My admittedly under-informed understanding was that Bean had 'manipulated' history, particularly his account of Gallipoli, to somewhat sanitise the war.

    Sara Midford had a few comments to make:

    "Bean had a tendency to omit anything that had exaggerated sentiment, or anything that dealt with the harsh realities of war without humour. He specifically rejected items that included anything grotesque, discussed the crippling fear of war, deserting soldiers, or included descriptions of extended tedium."


    "Bean’s vision of the Anzac soldier has dominated historical memory for nearly 100 years. For that reason, The Anzac Book is crucial to understanding how Australians conceptualise their ideal national character.

    As we pause to reflect on the Gallipoli landings, we might think about Bean’s omissions and the reasons behind his editorial decisions to eliminate the bloody realities of war in favour of a specially crafted and idealised construction of the Anzacs and the Gallipoli campaign

    [ See: ]

    Does any of that matter now ? Given the experience of Aussie soldiers in recent times in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rate of post-homecoming suicides and other serious personal and social problems, maybe it has.

    [ ]

    1. GB. Australia should hold the lying rodent to account for the war crimes that were committed under the Australian flag.
      Also the Murdoch's have a history of war mongering and telling lies to cover up the conservatives criminality.

    2. You might just have a point, there ww.

      And maybe next year we could make a serious effort to revive Alan Seymour's 'One Day Of The Year' about which this comment has been made:

      "Seeing drunken former soldiers brawling and vomiting outside pubs in Summer Hill on Anzac Day was a pivotal moment in Alan Seymour's life. It was 1955 and the writer was on his way home to the Sydney suburb after watching the annual city march.

      What struck him was not the alcohol abuse, because Seymour was no wowser, but the hollowness of the Anzac Day celebrations

      [See: ]

  2. Does being Xian mean never having to say you're sorry? For anything?

    1. I think Polonius would like to climb onto some sort of moral high ground but he is rather stuck in the historical morass. For the conservative mind, history is a propaganda mechanism intended to prop up the current orthodoxy, if you look to carefully at the real people, their motives and the consequences of their actions you tend to question the orthodoxy instead. They think it best if history consists of bronze statues, lists of dates and hagiographies.

    2. Neatly stated, Bef.

      But for Merc, I thought we might contemplate an Emo Philips joke:

      "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."

      Emo Philips, in case like me you've never heard of him before, is described by Wikipedia as:

      " American comedian. Much of his stand-up comedy makes use of paraprosdokians spoken in a wandering falsetto tone of voice. The confused, childlike delivery of his material produces the intended comic timing in a manner invoking the "wisdom of children" or the idiot savant."

      Oh, Loonpond is just so very educative. :-)

  3. “The move to apologise for the past reflects (...) the decline of Christianity in the West.”

    Even for Polonius, that’s a doozy. You have to be a special kind of dickhead to think that, write it down, then not reflect and delete with a shudder, concluding, my god, what if people knew I actually thought such shit?

  4. Having an interest in the ACT redistribution (in both senses of that clause), to the point of kludging up a proposal of my own which I didn't get around to submitting in time ("not getting around to doing in time" is about my peak level of enthusiasm for almost everything), I'm happy to be able to set Polonius straight on why the new seat should not be named after Bean, and it has nothing to do with Bean's personal merits or rather iffy (in hindsight) views.

    The AEC have clear conventions on naming of new seats, and the name Bean failed on three counts:
    1. His significance - his volumes of the Official History are excellently done, but who has read them, apart from weirdos like me? Not Polonius, I'll wager. An asshat like the late John Laffin has been more influential in shaping Australia's view of the First World War.
    2. His relevance - in a city heavily engaged with its past (suburb and street names here are like ransom notes, cut from the ADB instead of a waiting room magazine), Bean's brief residence here is utterly invisible. As a national figure he might charitably be seen as middle ranking, but of no local consequence at all.
    3. Their own voting rules - the AEC votes on proposed names and any securing a majority is selected. While it had the most votes of any proposal, "Bean" failed to secure a majority, and should not have been selected.

    Despite that, the AEC have clearly been given their marching orders, and announced the new seat would be the Division of Bean. If the window for lodging objections is still open, I might not get around to (see above) pointing out that the AEC broke their own rules to jump on board the ten-times-overpriced commemoration train. All aboard!


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