Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Abysmal op-ed standard? Is that any way to talk of reptile visions?


The pond is always terrified when the reptiles catch a glimpse of what some people might think of as reality. The entire point of the herpetarium is to keep the reptiles safe, and warming on a hot rock, and with a very infinite* supply of kool aid for the drinking … (*ABC 24 certified).

Such a moment came with the bromancer this day, when he apparently realised things weren't going that well in the world of the Donald …


Even worse, this totally unwanted reality check seemed to have some implications down under ...


Chaotic and deeply sub-optimal?

But of course reality should only go so far, and the bromancer didn't have the heart to mention the Donald or Trumpists of the DeSantis kind …

Oh wait, the poor thing even had some dire and dreadful thoughts turn up about the Donald, in his fearsome brush with alternative reality …

Apparently he got taken in by the hoax, and didn't understand that it would soon just magically disappear, in a puff of smoke ...


What a gloomy analysis. Clearly alternative reality doesn't sit well with the reptiles. Next thing you know some might even be donning masks ...

But what of the local outbreak? Will the reptiles pile on, and blame Gladys in the way they've mounted a ferocious campaign against comrade Dan, as noted in Media Watch last night?

Never! Not when simplistic Simon is on hand …


Ah yes, a wise and weighted response indeed, unlike those dreadful southern socialists …


The pond was a northerner, north Fitzroy to be precise, which is why it ended up in Sydney, where it knows nothing of viruses or dreadful southern socialists ...

Luckily, the Caterist was also on hand this day to sort things out …and naturally the dreadful southern socialist was a most suitable illustration for his wise, taxpayer-funded words ...


But before we get started with the Caterist, the pond must scold a contributor for labelling a wondrous contribution "off-topic". For shame!

Anything at all to do with the Caterists and the reptiles in general, or for that matter, life, the universe, pain, love and the whole damn thing is never off-topic, and this link was a ripper …


There's more, much more, at the Graudian here, but the pond could only quote so much, laugh with jolly gaiety, and thank the contributor, before getting back to the main game today ...


A study by a team lead by Hole in the Bucket Henry? That famed public health official, and expert epidemiologist? The pond can't wait … we can never have enough failed undergraduate papers.

Meanwhile, the Caterist line seems to be part of a bigger push observed by Crikey yesterday …


The pond would like to link to Crikey, but there's the paywall, and besides it needs to get back to the Caterist today in the lizard Oz, outlining his modest proposal to let 'er rip ...


Oh dear, reality came for the bromancer, albeit briefly, but not for the Caterist, not when he can speak of Checkpoint Charlies and the politics of fear, and peddle his own fear, which is that his rich buddies might suffer a little financial downturn.

What buddies? Oh what the heck, the pond really should follow-up with more from Crikey, in particular to do with that Flight Centre chappie who featured on yesterday's pond …


Abysmal op-ed standard? Oh that's cruel, that's harsh. But surely, we have the Caterist, expert in the movement of flood waters on quarries and equally famed as an epidemiologist and health official, and with our dear hole in the bucket Henry helping him, and who knows, very soon we might have yet another failed undergraduate paper …

Meanwhile, we have the final gobbet of the Caterist ...


Indeed, indeed, the sooner we emulate the United States and get back to business, the better for all …


And so to the bonus of the day, but what a bonus, because it's Dame Groan in full whimsical flight …


Now don't get the pond wrong.

The pond is entirely supportive of Dame Groan. The poor are always with us, and always difficult, real nuisances, and rather than put them in sub-standard accommodation - heaven forfend expending any money on standard accommodation - how much better to kick them out in the street and let them live their lives of sorrow in full public view, as a way of shaming them, and as a way of making the homed feel better about themselves ...


There's no doubt that Dame Slap is a visionary. Some people perhaps unkindly think of her as a selfish, up herself tosser with not a shred of humanity in her dry, bitter bones, but such suggestions are only designed to outrage the pond.

She is a visionary, and her modest proposal to stop wasting money on the poor will bring to mind other visionaries in the field, none better than Dean Swift with his own modest proposal …


The pond regrets the smallness of the type, and suggests those unfamiliar with the modest proposal, click on to enlarge the gobbet, or better still, head off to Project Gutenberg, for a reminder of this most excellent idea on how to deal with the poor and their wretched spawn …

Frankly there's nothing to see here, except more Dame Groan, and sadly, because duty must be done, the pond perforce must proceed on with Dame Groan's own worthy scheme to deal with the wretched indolent poor, by tossing them into the streets …


What a visionary she is. Stop wasting public money, and the problem of the homeless will surely go away. Why, the very same logic is at work with the Caterists. Ignore the virus, and things will work out splendidly …


Sadly there's only one gobbet of Dame Groan left, but at least it's short. 

When he came up with his modest proposal, the venerable Dean had to go on at great length to sell his idea …


But now she's a penny a word, the canny Dame Groan knows it's pointless to waste pennies on words, or alms or public housing on the poor, so better to keep her modest proposal short and to the point ...


But what to do with the poor? 

The immortal Rowe had a most excellent idea. Send them to the casino to gamble, and they might strike it rich, or they might catch a cold and die (why, it's not even as bad as the flu), or they might simply lurch about the street looking for shelter, but the government-subsidised reptiles can sleep cosy and comfortable in their beds knowing that this day has seen duty done, and more splendid visions delivered to their ever-smaller reading public …

Abysmal op-ed standard? No, no, good and proper filler between the cartoons, with more Rowe as always to hand here



Monday, July 13, 2020

In which the pond starts off a gloomy Monday with the dog botherer's thinking pump ...


The pond has to admit, a little shame-faced, that these days it can only take a little of the dog botherer and his denialism.

The doggie fucker was out and about on the weekend, but the pond took a pass, knowing that there would be an abundance of doggie drivel on the Monday. And lo, so it came to be ...


For a nanosecond, the pond had thought of doing a late breaking weekend edition to celebrate the ongoing moral vanity of the doggie dribbler confusing science with free expression. There would have been a chance to put up some links as a useful counterbalance.

For example, back in May the NYRB published a useful summary, via a book review, of the current state of play regarding a world without ice, but alas and alack, it's inside the paywall. 

And Jessica Riskin in the same publication did an amusing review of a book on the scientific method, Just Use Your Thinking Pump!, but alas and alack, it too is inside the paywall. Please allow the pond to put this anecdote outside the wall …  that reference to a thinking pump came in a discussion of Edward Youmans and The Popular Science Monthly

As a young man, Youmans had discovered the writings of Herbert Spencer, then at the height of his powers. Spencer was churning out best sellers of social theory and popular science that Darwin described as "detestable", obscure, unedited, clever but empty, a lot of "dreadful hypothetical rubbish," and a disappointing tissue of "words and generalities," and inspiring Darwin's friend the botanist Hooker to characterise Spencer as "all oil and no bone … a thinking pump." (If you're finding that image obscure, so did Hooker. "I can attach no meaning to the simile," he confessed, but "it ought to have one." Darwin was so pleased with it that he read it aloud to his family, by whom "it was unanimously voted first-rate and not a bit the worse for being unintelligible.")

The pond realises it's defaming Spencer to put the doggie botherer's moronic scribbling the category of a thinking pump, but at least the pond can note the tendency to greasy, slimy oil, and lack of bone ...


The arrogance and stupidity here is the implication in that line "anyone with an understanding of climate and/or science." It implies that the dog botherer has an understanding of climate and/or science, when the pond has already scientifically established that the dog botherer is all greasy oil and no bone, by the simple expedient of referring people to an article which has a first clue by people who use ice cores, go out into the field, observe, devise theories and models.

The pond might have been crueller and noted the absolute lack of credentials or peer-reviewed publications or field work or whatever, but why try to establish that a thinking pump might at some point in the future have some credibility or usefulness?

Instead the pond is left with the dog botherer doing the usual jibber jibber about the Donald and his fourth of July speech, apparently unaware that months too late the Donald decided to wear a mask to distract from another of his initiatives …



Why does the pond bother? Well it's the doggie's arrogant assumption that everybody else is wrong that still gets to the pond ...


They ignored a self-seeking, self-promoting narcissist selling the brand of snake oil the reptiles love? Shame on them …



Well it wouldn't be a doggie piece if the ABC didn't turn up with a thought crime, and here's a thought. Which politician did Speersie name as a favourite before scoring the job at the ABC, and suddenly overnight becoming a cardigan-wearing mindless zombie, a figure of fear, loathing and treachery amongst the loyal kool-aid imbibing reptile ranks still yearning for their Jonestown?


Indeed, indeed, all that and more venerable thinking pump, but the pond would rather put an immortal Rowe into action, with more Rowe here


And so to the next hurdle the pond must jump before it reaches a tranquil Monday state of mind ...


That Major headline made the pond wonder when in the last month, year, decade or perhaps eternity, it had read, in the opinion section of the lizard Oz, a solid piece by a climatologist, or just a scientist … almost anyone would do, but instead we routinely get the likes of the dog botherer and the Major, cluttering up the thinking pump with fatuous thoughts ...


The Major, being part of the hive mind, is actually preparing the way for other reptiles to do the dance of living with the virus - see below - when in reality, what you do, if you're of a certain age, is die …


Why should the pond pay attention to the Major's thinking pump, since he doesn't have the first clue about medicine, public health, the virus or anything much else? Lordy, lordy, he couldn't even find a humble Order of Lenin medal when it mattered ...


Actually it doesn't much matter about parties or ideology when it comes to the virus, which really doesn't pay much attention to that sort of nonsense - as shown by the recent outbreak in NSW surrounding the Crossroads Hotel in Casula …

If anything, all that blather does is remind the pond why it has an affection for Melbourne and Melburnians …



Yes, there's a refugee Victorian in the house at the moment, but relax, you can get Melburnian approved coffee by attending Euroespresso on Parramatta road in Campberdown ...

Fortunately, the good thing about the Major is that by trimming off his failure to mention the Order of Lenin fiasco in his CV, and the rest of his CV, the pond can get him out of the way in just one more large chunk ...


We will need to take on board? What, in the way that the Donald took to wearing a mask?

And so to the 'learn to live with it' routine which unfortunately means the pond has only time to note that things at the 'leet reptile HQ in Surry Hills seems be be falling apart ...


Well, time to span and transform this, and let the pond say it in lower case, the pond has never used Flight Centre, and certainly never will, even as the reptiles sublet their opinion pages to the Flight Centre ...


The pond was immediately reminded of that callow youth in the United States who attended a Covid party … a lot of people have marvelled at the folly ...


Dr. Appleby said the man had told his nurse that he attended a Covid party. Just before he died, she said the patient told his nurse: “I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.”

The pond thinks it made a mistake. It started reading Graham Turner, and his naked commercial concerns seem to have affected his thinking pump …


Please allow the pond to assure anyone in the vicinity that the pond has never used Flight Centre, and should air travel become a possibility in the future, the pond will certainly not be availing itself of Flight Centre's services …

If the pond wants to fly to the US to get infected, it would rather fly by way of cartoon …


But do go on ...


The obvious question is why anyone should be paying attention to this brand of thinking pump? And that question gets more pointed when it comes to the next par, which starts off with "I believe."

When it comes to questions of science, the pond believes that for every drop of rain a flower grows, somewhere in the darkest night a candle blows, for someone who goes astray someone will come to show the way, the pond believes, the pond believes, but it actually has fuck all to do with how to handle a pandemic. Is there a public health expert or epidemiologist in the reptile house? Apparently not ...


You don't learn to live with the coronavirus, you learn to die with the virus … but one thing's certain, the pond can certainly live and die without benefit of employing the services of the Flight Centre Travel Group …

And so to a bonus, because what do you know, the lizard Oz editorialist knows how to sound like a Little Sir Turner echo ...

Pardon the pond, but that blather about the widespread, deadly consequences of Swedish-style "herd immunity" is a nonsense. The reptiles, for a time, just like Boris and the Poms, were all the go when it came to following Sweden …

They kept on publishing rapturous stories, frequently bludged from The Times



There was the WSJ too …


The pond could go on and on and on, like the reptiles do, but will suffice to say that it has no use for the services offered by a newspaper peddling the services of the Flight Centre, or acting as a Little Sir Echo for the words of the Flight Centre, with naked self-interest to the fore ...


Business leaders aren't experts on public health, but they want to keep on making a shitload of money to keep themselves in the style they're accustomed to?

Amen to that.

The pond understands only too well the objectives and strategies of the reptiles and the sayings of Mr Turner and his thinking pump. They want to kill the pond … but luckily the pond has attended a better class of school in the United States, and learned a few lessons from the Donald …




Sunday, July 12, 2020

In which the pond embarks on a Sunday meditation with Polonius ...

 

They don't really get cancelled - they're narcissists full of self-regard speaking out about 'Orwellian' attacks, and drawing attention to themselves, and the reptiles assiduously track them down, and on a daily basis, make sure that they still have their moment in the sun, like a Confederate flag practising freedom of speech.

But what do you know? Only a few days after the reptiles celebrated the dubious Dow, he was cancelled ...


Dearie me, and the pond wasted valuable space in the hope that he might get fucked …and there he was, cancelled, accompanied by the usual bit of window-dressing for cancelled pride. So much cancelling, so little time ...

But some things never get cancelled, like prattling Polonius, always on about the ABC.


Could we have some truth in labelling. Surely it should be called "Paranoid obsessive compulsive ABC  Media Watch Dog"?

Never mind, the pond had held back prattling Polonius for a meditative Sunday, and as usual, Polonius delivered the goods …


The Royals? For a minute there, the pond thought it had stumbled on the Royals-obsessed Daily Beast, which regularly uses them as click-bait fodder. 

But that note "Donald Trump's position is to focus on the positive" reassured the pond it had landed in the world of Polonial delusion and high comedy. A reference to Xianity in the opening line would be the hundreds and thousands on the icing on the cake ...


Dear sweet long absent lord, it's Sunday, but suddenly the pond was back yesterday, just a world away, with the bromancer rabbiting on in the same way about the wonders and glories of the Donald and the malaise afflicting the western world …

And now, like a rampant time machine out of control, the pond was back with Polonius, and discovering the dear old thing was a jingoistic militarist, with a deep love of military parades and flyovers …

Substitute which ever figure you like watching Foxtel's Fox News (remember, always plug the Chairman's products) …

Watching Adolf/Benito/Kim/Vlad the impaler's event live on state propaganda television, it was difficult not to be impressed by the occasion, with the songs, music, military parade and flyovers …

Oh it was a grand affair, and the pond did so love the uniforms, and the film that covered the event ...

  

And not content with his proto-fascist leanings, Polonius then went on to quote Orwell, just as the pond had done the day before … not this one exactly

“Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.”

And not given the makeover that the pond had helpfully suggested…

“Donaldism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.”

But yes, Orwell would turn up in the next gobbet, just below the Donald, because the reptiles love their ironies cranked up to eleven.

And so, like the bromancer, Polonius prattled in praise of the Donald, apparently not realising how the country was deeply, comprehensively fucked, and getting all the more so on a daily basis, thanks to the Donald's attitude to science and virus …


Every time the pond reads the reptiles it wonders how they all manage to get to drink the same kool aid. 

Do they ship it from 'leet Surry Hills to the Sydney Institute's leet HQ bunker in the heart of the CBD? How else to explain Polonius sounding just like the bromancer, though admittedly he lacks a little of the ranting steroid-fueled power?


Damn it, did the pond score, or what? Talk of the fall and Adam and Eve and Polonius taking on the tone of an Elmer Gantry and at the same time, with a cleansing of Holy Water, wiping clean the British Empire of all its sins, so it might spend only a short time in purgatory, otherwise known as the Commonwealth, and the Donald praised, and with only a few minor flaws, and …

… yes, despite the bromancer's best efforts, Polonius hands down wins the Lowe cartoon of the week award …


And so to a dubious pleasure the pond had promised never to do again ...


Promises, promises, but you see the pond had been trolled, baited, and perhaps switched, punked and puked by the splash …


Come on, who could resist? Mr Potato Head on the scrap heap, into the graveyard, with the peelings?

The mutton Dutton thrown into a  stale stew, the old bèn dàn (Dumb Egg), potato brother, and super spud bro on the way out?

Why that's like waving one of those old-fashioned Aldi lollies, the cone with the sherbet and the marshmallow, in front of the pond's nose, and fragrant reminders of the Dungowan general store flooding back into memory.

Yes, the pond knew it was just another click bait victim, but what the hell, toujours gai Archie, click away ...


Oh no, not pure Angus 'beef' Taylor, but was that talk about the mutton Dutton? Where did that go? The reptiles knew the pond was getting impatient, so they flung in a cult master offering which the pond valued so highly it made it a standalone ...


By golly, there's hours contemplating that, and what treasured memories and comparisons it brings back …


But enough of the fun and the memories, what about Mr Potato Head?


Oh to dream the impossible dream … but what of the cartoonists? Well at least we'll have the memories …

   

 

And to suggest that the wretched mutton Dutton be replaced by the singularly incompetent, inept and foolish Robert is a whimsy that almost justified the oscillating fan trolling the pond ...


Well it's all idle speculation and jolly good fun, and then the pond decided it must end with a bonus, Dame Slap in serious mood ...


One thing you have to say about the reptiles, they never give up, and they love defending the indefensible ...


Now this will be familiar to readers of Dame Slap, and devotees of the IPA mentality. The wringing of paws, and the yearning for older, better days, when it was a jungle, and the fittest survived, and the rest provided a feast of road kill, but the entire point is to build a case where the indefensible can be defended ...


See how Dame Slap built her case, see how she carefully put inverted commas around "believed", in much the same way that duplicitous lawyers double deal with the English language …

Quotation marks can also highlight that a word is being used somehow peculiarly – a writer may wish to indicate irony, inaccuracy, or scepticism, for example; used this way, they’re called scare quotes. In the line: At the party I met a teacher, a journalist, and an ‘artist’, the scare quotes around artist act as a distancing device, probably signalling doubt about the person’s credentials as an artist. The effect is similar to the Irish phrase mar dhea.

The Oxford Manual of Style says scare quotes may serve ‘to hold up a word for inspection, as if by tongs, providing a cordon sanitaire between the word and the writer’s finer sensibilities’. It’s a technique that quickly wears thin, so style guides sometimes caution against its excessive use. And there’s a related problem: non-standard emphasis. (here).

But Dame Slap loves the smell of excess and napalm in the morning.

She also loves a smear,  a way that Dame Slap can hint she doesn't believe the women without having the guts to come out and say it directly, but that's the way the sisterhood goes down in the lizard Oz … "scare" being the "modus operandi" of the "IPA" "mob" ...


Unfair rules and mob rule? Again smears, hints and innuendoes … and it wasn't so long ago that the pond published a piece by our Gracie which tackled this sort of claptrap. It might be tedious to repeat it in full, but here's a last gobbet, as a reminder that what's being taught in Dame Slap's school above the faraway tree is a dodgy curriculum…


Well yes, there are procedures and processes in place, and in larger institutions, HR folk who don't know about them, or who think Dame Slap has sensible things to say, will soon end up mired in scandal.

So what was the real reason for Dame Slap attempting to defend the indefensible? 

Well the man in question was one of the IPA pillars, a union basher of renown, and a member of the club, and so worth preserving, even if given to flatulence


So what better way to celebrate and wrap things up than with a flurry of Wilcox?