Sunday, December 21, 2014

Goodbye to all that ... hello to all that ...

Professor Edgeworth, of All Souls', avoided conversational English, persistently using words and phrases that one expects to meet only in books. 
One evening, Lawrence returned from a visit to London, and Edgeworth met him at the gate. "Was it very caliginous in the metropolis?"
"Somewhat caliginous, but not altogether inspissated," Lawrence replied gravely. (Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That)

Speaking of the caliginous and the inspissated, as the pond does all the time, with the pond in meditative retreat, here's an invitation for readers - for the seven days the comments stay open - to nominate their favourite government politician of 2014, celebrate their most fabulous achievements and sayings of the year, and predict where they'll be in 2015.

The pond had thought of a similar competition for reptiles, stewing in their own paranoid hysteria and excess, but as that would result in Murdochians 1, 2 and 3, all the way to 20, with magic water man Sheehan limping along behind, it would be a pretty dull race.

There's no rewards, just the pleasures of an exorcism, or being proven right, and the pond offers a few clues and nominations:

Will he nominate more dames and knights in 2015?

How will the fairness man, and his trusty companion Tonto go?

And how will Tonto's trusty companion, HAL 9000, go?

Will there be any money left in the foreign aid budget?

Phew, survived:

Well is he?

Why a smile in front of empty shelving?

Ah,  filled to the brim, and so cheap too. Now to get on with the intrusions ...

Is there a man who's going to bring the right attitude to social services?

Job done. The pond hears that already they're pouring the concrete for a pensioner, student and unemployed gulag.

So what joy at pissing millions against the wall on nineteenth century copper wire technology?

But at least the Chairman got a plug ...

Who is this pale faced man?

Why he's the front line man for Australia ...

Any resemblance to a rabbit in a headlight?

No, no, sleep soundly at night.

Is this man imitating the Riddler?

Is there some room for bumbling rustic comedy, Ken G. Hall Dad and Dave style?

What about famous deeds, sayings and observations? 

More than you can count:

Oops, sorry, a couple of late scratchings:

But wait, there's some replacements coming up on the rail, running hard.

Does he have the humble attitude needed to serve the country? The humility? The willingness to be shorn like sheep in sympathy with the rest of the country?

Seems like it ...

And remember, keep the water cooler and the bottle full of kool aid. It never goes astray, especially when ushering the brand new musical that hits the road in 2015, the all singing, all dancing Tony Abbott Follies, which did a sneak Canberra run on the Sunday before Christmas, when everyone was snoozing,  but which will soon be hitting Broadway.

A toast:

And so to Xmas and the New Year, and sailing with Team Titanic and the reptiles in 2015 ...

If the pond had its way, every Seth Rogen film would be pulled from the shelves and stored in bunkers ...

That might sound a bit harsh, it'd mean trouble for Kung Fu Panda, and This is the End wasn't that bad, mainly lame, and there must be other ways of keeping Neighbors off suburban streets, but the biggest problem is that it puts the pond in company with the North Koreans ...

Now having fun with Sony executives' emails is one thing, but caving into the sensibilities of North Korea is entirely another ...

It's not as if Rogen is as culpable as Seth MacFarlane. Just sharing that first name "Seth" isn't enough, and it has to be remembered that Seth MacFarlane was responsible for A Million Ways to Die in the West (except by having a decent laugh) and an obnoxious bear, as funny as a fart in a room full of nuns ...

Don't ask the pond what that last line means. Just sing along:

John, Ted: [singing] When you hear the sound of thunder, 
Don't you get too scared. 
Just grab your thunder buddy 
And say these magic words: 
"Fuck you, thunder! 
You can suck my dick! 
You can't get me thunder 
'Cause you're just God's farts!"

And Hollywood wonders why piracy is on the rise. You can type and sing that sort of shit Seth, but do you expect the punters to pay for it?

And Rogen can't really be compared to the diabolical Trey Parker (is there something going on with first names?), another animated sitcom player who stepped up to the mark with Team America, which mocked and made fun of the North Koreans, since let's face it, you either have to laugh or cry when confronted with fascist states ...

And then Tony Abbott decided he'd borrow Trey's Team America and turn it into Team Australia.

So there's your real problem, North Koreans ... Tony Abbott.

Now leave Seth and his film alone, you pathetic people (you can keep giving Sony a hard time if you like - the cowards folded, and then the custards cravenly pretended they hadn't).

Yes, it's been a long year for the pond, and today clearly the incipient hysteria has finally settled in.

And today's the day the pond retreats to contemplate and consider and lick wounds.

After all, if it's good enough for the world's most eminent and scientific climate scientist, the eminent Bolter, to retreat from the world, with an "I'll be baaack", it's good enough for the pond.

Meanwhile, the real comedy, much better than what Hollywood can muster, continues.

Rumours swirl about the cabinet reshuffle which will shortly be announced:

Senator Johnston, the man who complained he would not trust the government’s shipbuilder ASC to construct “a canoe’’, was expected to fall on his sword yesterday ahead of the Prime Minister announcing his new team today. 
But there was anger in Abbott Government ranks that Senator Johnston should not be forced to stand aside, most likely for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, on the basis of his canoe remarks. Senior government sources cautioned yesterday that the decision to move Senator Johnston was not a done deal. 
Critics of Treasurer Joe Hockey suggested it was unfair to dump Senator Johnston for defence over some silly “canoe’’ remarks, when Mr Hockey was not being asked to lose his portfolio over suggesting poor people did not drive very far. 
Senator Johnston has been involved in a string of gaffes including revealing he didn’t turn up to national security committee meetings on a day when he didn’t have much to contribute. (no need to read the Sunday Terror now).

Well indeed, and this is why Abbott will catch it coming or going. If Johnston is forced to the back bench for making a silly remark, he will turn into an exceptionally grumpy dissident force for mischief-making that will make Warren Enstch seem like a harmless Queensland eccentric.

And he will have reason, because if making silly remarks was a reason for a dumping, why the entire Cabinet, from Abbott down, would have to be dumped, because this government has spent the entire year establishing a solid reputation as the government for silly sayings ... forsooth ...

It will however be a relief to say farewell to the harbingers of hate, who know no limits or shame in their hatred of Julia Gillard and their persistence in the pursuit.

It turns out that there was no basis for an action against Gillard, but she was verballed by Dyson Heydon, in lieu of any actionable findings, and so the verballing by the rat pack, the Bolters and the Akker Dakkers, has continued apace ...

Akker Dakker, himself with a shady past when it comes to the consumption of drugs and living on the wild side - let he or she who is innocent cast the first stone on that one - is at it again today:

Denied a court action, all that's left to the contemptibly righteous and smug is a kangaroo court, and so the kangaroos are bounding about ...

This will never stop in some quarters. Deprived of the satisfaction of a public hanging by legal means, the Murdochians will conduct their own hanging over and over and over and over ...

That it becomes as tedious as a sex, piss or fart joke in a Seth MacFarlane movie will escape their attention, because for all the tomfoolery with drugs, the commentariat left their sense of humour in the change shed, when they donned the garments of ideological rage and hate ...

Yes, it'll be good to step out of the snake pit and the hissing, slithering reptiles. Every so often, the pond feels like Karen Allen:

But the snakes are part of the fun, and it's a dead cert - oh yes the pond knows the argot - that the fun will continue.

(found amongst fevered Fairfax reshuffle speculation here).

You see, North Koreans? It's such a simple step from Team Australia to Team Titanic ...

And Team Titanic are already at work making feverish promises for the future ...

(and the rest at Fairfax here).

Fairer for all Australians?

An intergenerational report, which if it fails to note the increase in HECS debt and the shifting of the cost of education to future generations, will become a joke?

The pond has long said it wouldn't buy a used car from Jolly Joe, so it's hardly likely to swallow this sort of humbug:

The families package would be "focused on facilitating growth and helping people to cope with the pressures of work whilst at the same time raising a family. More flexible and affordable childcare, a fairer paid parental leave scheme, these things are going to help to drive greater workforce participation, which is absolutely essential given we have such an ageing demographic."

A fairer paid parental leave scheme? It's you, you goose, you and your party and your fearless leader that devised and paraded the current proposed paid parental leave scheme ...

Greater workforce participation, when the young are suffering acutely and being punished for daring to want to afford an education?

Fairness from a flock of self-indulged, self-absorbed representatives of the big end of town>

Never mind, it's going to be a good year, and in the meantime, may the pond, in the spirit of Xmas, wish readers happy holidays, a good New Year, and much fun in 2015 with humbugs and snakes ...

Oh and if you insist, Joyeux Noël,  Frohe Weihnachten, Glædelig Jul, Prettig Kerstfeest, Chag Molad Sameach, and so on and so forth, and gelukkig nieuwjaar, bonne année, Frohes neues Jahr, and  felix sit annus novus ...

And oh no, the dread crime of multi-culturalism ... and we all know where that leads ...

Bitter fruits indeed.

Enjoy the Xmas cake and the fireworks, have a good one, and then buckle up for the ride, because there's more bitter lemons ahead in 2015 ...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cheap Murdoch newspapers? As useful as a Kevin Andrews counselling voucher ...

(Above: hmm, something in the ether? Find more at the Canberra Times here).

The pond almost missed it ...

More than 90 per cent of Kevin Andrews' free relationship vouchers are still in want of a couple and a couch, even though the trial period for the scheme is almost half over. 
The Social Services Minister is urging couples to take advantage of a $200 voucher, especially over the Christmas period, which can be an "emotional and traumatic" time...   

What? Visiting a church sets people off?

But the take up of the scheme has been sluggish, with just 7785 couples registering as of this week for one of 100,000 vouchers. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, there are 4,684,701 cohabiting couples in Australia, meaning about 0.2 per cent of couples have taken advantage of the scheme so far. 
To promote the vouchers, Mr Andrews' department recently wrote to all marriage celebrants in the country. Seminars with celebrants and family relationship experts have also been organised to stir up interest, and the vouchers are being promoted at bridal expos, GP surgeries and in hospitals. (And more at Fairfax here).

In short, an ideologically and theologically driven bear with little brain, put in a position of power, and able to indulge in his pet hobbies and his foibles, and trying to flog something no one wants ...

In its own microcosmic way - twenty million smackeroos offered up for a year's trial - it says everything you need to know about why the Abbott government has been a boon ... for satirists and ironists ...

Of course if you want a more detailed description of how the Abbott government has fiddled while Rome burned, frittered and futtocked its way through an abject year, you could just head off to Lenore Taylor at the Graudian, here.

Taylor has been getting increasingly grumpy and acerbic as the year progresses, and in this outing, she ravages the shape of the budget, 'the roads are building' (so we can all park at peak hour on a motorway), the emissions of hot air, the collateral human damage and unmentionable cruelty from which eyes avert, the nonsense of red tape rhetoric, and this:

Backed by a merrily twinkling Christmas tree, a sombre prime minister insisted he was listening and conceded things had been a bit “ragged” of late. But he also said he was sticking to his existing policies, with a few minor tweaks. The tone was conciliatory and just a little bit humble, but the substance was, in essence, the same old slogans. 
Yet 2014 has been, above all else, the year the slogans stopped working. It was the year when it became painfully clear actual solutions were much more complicated than election jingles and pamphlets promising a “plan for real action” but containing no such plan. 
It was the year when the Coalition’s broken promises – after all those attacks on Julia Gillard’s “lies” – meant the breach of trust between government and the governed became bipartisan. It was the year when the budget not only broke promises, but also introduced new “reforms” never mentioned before the election: big changes to everyday-life policies on health, education and welfare. It took the electorate’s breath away, and then its faith in the government. 
It was the year when Gough Whitlam’s death juxtaposed his enduring reforms against the current myopic agenda and unleashed a deep yearning for brave politicians who fight and win a public battle of ideas to enact changes that transform.

Uh huh. So could Ms Taylor find anything positive to say?

The government was more sure-footed on the international stage, particularly in its response to the aviation disasters of Malaysia Airlines flights MH17 and MH370.

Say what? A sure footed in response to MH370?

In an address to a lunch in Shanghai on Friday, Mr Abbott said the search area had been narrowed. "We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres," he said.
(and a lot more at Fairfax here, with forced video).

Yes, the dumb cluck had to be hosed down by anyone in the vicinity, and still, many months later the search goes on, and the media has moved on ...

But the pond isn't here to indulge in a review of a forlorn year. Why at an entry a day, we'd have to do 354 blog posts in a day ...

Truth to tell, an ill wind and all that, and the Abbott government has been great for pond business.

Now that's possibly a bit like Rupert Murdoch saying "congrats" about a couple of brutal murders:

Do these increased security measures have anything to do with the boss's most recent Twitter debacle? 
Rupe copped a bollocking on social media after he tickled his iPad and displayed an appalling lack of sensitivity by Tweeting: "AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats". 
Sadly, not many others around Sydney and Australia felt there was much to celebrate and let Rupert know in no uncertain terms, much of which is not fit to publish in a "family" column like PS. 
But it was all smiles around the dinner table at Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch's rented mansion in Vaucluse on Wednesday night when Rupert invited his editors over for a feed. (Fairfax here, with forced advertisement).

Yes, the reptiles at the elite inner city bunker have had to endure enhanced security measures, but the real joy in that story comes with the mention of Lachlan ...

It was only a little over a month ago that the old chairman was hailing the heir in the reptile rag ...

Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, has been tipped by his father as the man to lead the global publisher into a “very prosperous and bright ­future” in the digital age. 
Speaking in Los Angeles at the company’s first AGM since the creation of the “new” News Corp last year, Mr Murdoch said Lachlan had proved himself to be a “talented, successful executive in his own right here and in ­Australia”. 
Nearly a decade after walking away from News, Lachlan returned to his father’s side in March as non-executive co-chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox. 
“I am confident as you get to know him better you will share my and the board’s belief that we could not have found a more passionate and committed chairman,” Mr Murdoch said. (save your dollar and just google away).

Now the pond hasn't got anything against Lachie - the closest the pond ever got was two feet away from him and James Packer at a do to launch yet another folly by the dynamic duo ...

But everything young Lachie has touched has shown signs of the indolent, half-baked silver spoon in mouth at work, from One.Tel through the folly at Fox to the disaster that is the Ten network ...

Young Lachie shows every sign of being the next Warwick Fairfax ... with the same capacity to piss the inheritance against the wall (Fairfax did a catch-up on Warwick in November 2008 here).

Which means it's going to be another great year for the pond ...

Now that sounds a little like Chairman Rupert saying congrats about a couple of murders, but it isn't the pond's business to give two figs about the fate of the tree killers ...

What's routinely astonishing about the paranoid reptiles that now lurk in the fog of war at the heart of the Murdoch print empire is the way the angry old white men feel besieged, surrounded by foes and enemies whom they must smite mightily and righteously ...

It leads to a most peculiar form of schizophrenia, as can be seen in today's editorial.

Here they are, yet again, banging on about the lefties and the ABC and the Fairfaxians and anyone else outside the Holt street gulag:

...As political leaders, security agencies and police focus on improving security, the foolish blame game and Islamist denial rife in the liberal-Left media and twittersphere is irrelevant and counter-productive. Political journalist Mark Kenny wasted space on the front of The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday claiming non-existent divisions between Bill Shorten and Tony Abbott over national security, a sphere in which their bipartisan stance this week was vital. Inside the paper, in a string of non sequiturs, Kenny claimed the Abbott government was “failing’’ on national security, complained stronger counter-terrorism measures had not reduced the terror alert and argued Australia’s air force commitment to fighting Islamic State had worsened the risk. 

Yes, the kool aid and the force stays strong in these angry old men. But here's where it gets richly comical ...

Most Australians are sensible and pragmatic enough to recognise that the terrorist menace must be faced head-on, at local, state and international level. Fortunately, their grasp of reality is better than that of Mike Carlton. The disgraced ex-Fairfax columnist showed he needed basic comprehension lessons when he tweeted, erroneously, that our editorial yesterday “blamed the ABC, Fairfax, Bernard Keane and Mark Latham’’ for the siege. 

Uh huh. So the kool aid drinkers aren't into the blame game, even though they just spent a par blaming mark Kenny.

So what happens if you revert to the actual text of the editorial Liberal-Left still in denial despite terror in Sydney. Here's what you copped:

Sadly, the deaths of two innocent people have not cleared the moral and political confusion of many of our liberal-left elite. Some online, ABC and Fairfax commentators and lawyers are bending over backwards to indulge in denial about the reality of Islamist terror and the threat it poses not only in Africa, the Middle East and Asia but also on our shores... 
The Fairfax Media paper claimed “reprehensible beliefs will not take root in an environment of freedom and tolerance’’, implying it was somehow due to Australians’ intolerance that the siege occurred... 
Not to be outdone in woolly thinking, Crikey’s Bernard Keane tweeted: “The fury of the Right that their terror toy has been taken away from them by #illridewithyou is palpable, isn’t it?’’ What rot...
Mark Latham also joined the dots in The Australian Financial Review yesterday. Erroneously, he claimed our engagement in the Middle East was “futile’’ and Tony Abbott had “exaggerated the direct threat to Australia’’. Hardly. The Left cannot play down the role of Islamism in the Sydney siege, on one hand, but argue, on the other, that the siege was a result of Australia bombing Islamic State.

If that's not the blame game, then pass the kool aid please.

It was, in its own way, in its ideological frenzy of abuse, as offensive as the Chairman's 'congrats', and as short on logic, sensitivity and awareness as the tone deaf Chairman himself ...

And so back to today's outburst:

Carlton was evidently unable to grasp the simple point that even illogical members of the Left cannot have it both ways. It is nonsense to argue, as some have tried, that our military role in the Middle East has made us more vulnerable to attacks, then pretend in the next breath that the Sydney siege was not a terror attack by an Islamist waging jihad.

Which is so richly ironic and stupid that the pond can't imagine the breath-taking hubris of the fool that scribbled it ...

Since if the Martin place matter was indeed a terror attack by an Islamist waging jihad, then even the fools in News Corp can't pretend in the next breath that the jihad has nothing to do with Australia's military role in the middle East ...

That's the trouble with stupid binary logic. It might work for computers, but in the hands of a mind addled by kool aid, you end up with Sharri Markson scribbling:

...the indoctrination appeared to be strongest at The University of Sydney where the entire first major lecture focused on News Corp’s power and its impact on journalism, irrespective of the fact it is one of the largest employers of journalists in Australia.

Please, there must be a junior Arshat of the year award for aspirational kool aid drinkers ...

You see, when you're as heavily into the kool aid as Markson and the editorialist, that's what you think everyone else is drinking.

You know, when you see enemies everywhere, and you think that they're the victims of indoctrination, you realise you've stepped out of elite Surry Hills and into the elite bunker...

That's why you'll find this very day the usual suspects out doing the usual dance, which would in any sensible part of the world, turn into a bonfire of the vanities, but instead turns into a bonfire of sparrows wheeling as one, in unison  and in cry, through the turbulent air.

Angry old white man:

 Bouffant angry old white man:

Adelaide based balding angry white man:

Desiccated coconut and proud prattling Polonius white man:

Hyphenated deliverer of hyperbole ...

Nazi evil?

You see, it's not just the pond that should throw squillions into the Godwin's Law swear jar ...

But while we're at the Nazi evil, the pond was pleased to read this entire commentariat, lifting their voices, and demanding in unison that young Lachie should tell Prince Alwaleed should take a hike ...

Didn't happen? Well that's how you get the humour and the irony:

..In an awkward moment on Fox News this week, a pundit suggested that a member of the Saudi royal family who has supported the bridge-building work of the imam behind a planned Muslim community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan “funds radical madrasas all over the world.” The awkwardness came from the fact — unmentioned by anyone on the Fox set — that the same Saudi, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, also happens to be the second-largest shareholder in News Corp., the parent company of the Fox News Channel...

...taking the Fox pundits at their word, Jon Stewart suggested on The Daily Show this week that the best way to keep the Saudi prince from making money and then possibly using it to back the mosque project, is to boycott Fox News: This is the proposed ‘terror mosque.’ We know that it’s a ‘terror mosque’ because the money may be coming from a bad guy, who definitely owns part of Fox News. Now, we know that he’s a bad guy because we just heard it on Fox News. And by hearing it on Fox News, watching Fox News, I’m increasing their viewership. And their advertising rates go up. Now, part of that money goes to the bad guy we learned about on Fox because he’s their part owner — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — allowing him then to make it rain, so to speak, on the ‘terror mosque.’ My point is this: If we want to cut off funding to the ‘terror mosque,’ we must, together as a nation, stop watching Fox. (and more comedy at the NYTimes here).

Or together as a nation stop buying Murdoch newspapers full of rabbits rabbiting on about Islamic evil.

Whatever. In the end, these ranting members of the commentariat are as useful as a Kevin Andrews' gift voucher for counselling ...

You see, it's one thing to talk about Nazi evil, and then quite another to do business with a man who has helped fund temples to Wahhabist thinking around the world ...

But now you should be able to pick the real terrorist in this photo:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tolerance? Bah humbug, it's a fundamentalist Rupert Christmas ...

(Above: that headline found here, but only if you want to visit the Daily Fail, also lovingly known as the Daily Flail).

That's it, that's more than enough. It has to stop and it has to stop now. The pond is sick of it. The pond won't stand for anymore.

Ray Hadley handing out a D- to Tony Abbott, which in most academic circles would count as a fail, just a minor step up from an epic F?

Where's that leave the pond? What's left but sackcloth and ashes?

The pond is fully aware of what's going down. The conservative commentariat are berating Abbott as a way of demonstrating to the public that he's not a fiendish ideologue, he's just a soft-hearted pussy, a wet-lettuce Liberal everyone should love - except feral right-wing ratbags of the ranting, raving, Ray Hadley kind ...

It's a clever ploy. How on earth can the pond hand out Abbott a D- now? Join Ray Hadley? Or Dame Slap? Or the Bolter? Or the reptiles, or any of the others of the ranting, raving right wing kind who've been tearing strips off Abbott these past few months?

Why sooner should the earth open and the pond be transported to the fiery pits of hell ... (hey, religion is handy for metaphors if not much else).

Even worse, reports are now emerging that Abbott is preparing to do exactly what the media has demanded of him, which is to say a cabinet re-shuffle, as if re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic will help change the direction of the ship.

Who knows if James Massola's Prime Minister Tony Abbott to spend weekend pondering frontbench reshuffle is a genuine EXCLUSIVE - sheesh, have they stopped leaking to the reptiles at the lizard Oz? - but the coy Abbott seems determined to give the reptiles even more fodder to get excited about.

Abbott government insiders insist that no final decision has been made on whether to implement a reshuffle this weekend. 
 Conversations about the reshuffle have been pushed back by the Sydney siege this week, which have taken the Prime Minister's full attention and could delay the end-of-year reshuffle, which is considered the "orthodox" approach. 
Discussions are said to be tightly held, with Mr Abbott, chief of staff Peta Credlin, Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane and deputy chief of staff Andrew Hirst part of the discussions.

Eek, it's that Credlin woman again. And her partner! Shades of dynastic excess.

Massola claims Abbott wants to save his big re-shuffle until the end of next year, which shows that the captain of the good ship Titanic remains sanguine. Well, that's what you'd expect of a D- student, if only he could be called that ...

Meanwhile, the epic stupidity of George Christensen won't be denied. Yes, the sweet lad is making a determined late push for Crikey's Areshat of the Year award with a series of tweets (some of which can be found at New Matilda here).

The man has an enormous capacity for self-promotion, and an equally enormous capacity to not contribute a single distinct thought when it comes to actual policy, surely an enormous achievement even when surrounded by top notch contenders like the poodle ...

It got so bad that even poor old Ewen Jones had to pretend he didn't know who the screaming, ranting gent on the bus was ...

(that juxtaposition found at Fairfax here, with forced video).

Yes, Ewen you intolerant lefty twitter warrior you ...

Actually if you head off to Ewen's website, here, damned if you can find much about the LNP, but the logo's there if you scroll down to the bottom of the page ... though perhaps he should think of changing the text to read Despair. Punishment. Failure. Let's keep Australia on the rack ...

Meanwhile, the reptiles are in top notch form, recycling the recent tragic event into yet another part of their ideological wars ...

This takes exceptional skill,  up there with Senator Leyonhjelm, since everyone knows that the only appropriate response to death by shooting is to demand that the marketplace be flooded with guns, and Australia turned into a rough approximation of the old West, and Sydney a most excellent imitation of Dodge City in its hey day ...

In one editorial, the reptiles made it clear that they were at one with gorgeous George:

Not to be outdone in woolly thinking, Crikey’s Bernard Keane tweeted: “The fury of the Right that their terror toy has been taken away from them by #illridewithyou is palpable, isn’t it?’’ What rot. On Twitter, Deakin University academic Scott Burchill condemned associate editor Chris Kenny for writing two columns about the Sydney siege and the threat of Islamist extremism without mentioning Australia’s bombing campaign in Iraq.

Yes, when you're a ranting ratbag right wing ideological hammer, everything's a lefty nail.

Of course if you paint the killer as a classic member of a fanatical terrorist group, part of a well organised evil empire, you might pause at some point and wonder why the security services failed to take note of a man who left so many conspicuous examples of his ratbaggery on the record. It was hardly necessary to ferret through oodles of metadata to discover the man's behaviour and views ...

But on and on the reptiles ranted, pumping up the Islamic terrorist hysteria to eleven. The funniest thing? 

Well the pond means funny only in the 'peculiar' way because events in Pakistan are profoundly disturbing, but here's the line on this:

The murder of 141 children and teachers in Pakistan is beyond comprehension.

Why not try out this line instead?

The murder of 141 Islamic children and Islamic teachers in Islamic Pakistan by alleged Islamics is beyond comprehension.

But that would undermine the monolithic simple-minded black and white narrative which pits Islamic fundamentalism against Western civilisation, with no subtlety, nuance or further insight allowed or required.

Strange. There's Chairman Rupert, good mates with a major Saudi Arabian shareholder, and there's Saudi Arabia on hand as the chief exporter of virulent, violent, fundamentalist Wahhabism to the world ...

Yes, when conducting a war of civilisations, make sure you know how to sweep inconvenient truths under the carpet.

It has to be said that the reptiles are now employing exactly the same rhetoric that Hitler and his henchmen deployed in Nazi Germany to justify domestic paranoia and a lavish security apparatus, and foreign adventurism.

The pond will cheerfully kick a dollar or two into the Godwin's Law swear jar, but the reptiles should consider doing the same for this sort of rhetorical flourish:

Such utterly different views on the sanctity of life are why we sometimes struggle to take heed of the severity of the existential threat posed by Islamist extremists. There is no room in this battle, perhaps decades-long, for naive Islamist denialism. 

Except if one of your major shareholders is a big cheese in fundamentalist Saudi Arabia ...

If we are to confront the enemy, and avoid terrorist attacks, we must not be blind to the pernicious nature of extremism; it will never be defeated by smothering it in misguided affection, faux understanding and dangerous notions of tolerance.

Seig heil. War without end, tolerance dangerous, understanding faux, affection misguided. And armchair warriors on the march ...

After such apocalyptic visions of the world in never-ending war - since the reptiles assert the right to keep bombing the shit out of countries far away - it seems almost comical, but inevitable, to note that the reptiles are also maintaining the rage, and their war,  with Julian Disney.

Disney was so outrageously intemperate and ill-advised as to urge that the media treat the Martin Place matter with caution and discretion, as opposed to the astonishing gutter vulgarity displayed by the Daily Terror, as it went about the business of supporting and sustaining terrorism (who could argue with Joshua Dabelstein's effort at New Matilda, The Only Terrorist Organisation Involved in The Sydney Seige Is The Murdoch Press Empire).

The reptiles were ropeable and in their opening salvo, did their very best to sound like George Chistensen at his Twittering best, though strangely they hid their dementia and their ranting behind a paywall gold brick bar:

The terrorist who killed two people in Sydney this week has created a dreadful quandary for the hand-wringing, morally superior Left. The reality of lethal Islamic terror has clashed head on with a view of the world that has much in common with the Stockholm syndrome. Terror might have erupted in Martin Place but instead of dealing with the consequences, the posturing Left would prefer to avert its eyes.

Yep, you really couldn't get a better example of a kool aid drinking ideological zealot determinedly looking through the wrong end of the telescope at everything, always dividing the world into left and right, and always determined to explain how anything left of Genghis Khan was contemptible hand-wringing of a morally inferior kind.

Well follow the logic. If the left is morally superior, but the reptiles at the Oz are so morally superior that they can point out that the left, which thinks that it's morally superior, is actually morally inferior, then it goes without saying that the reptiles are supremely morally superior, albeit in an alarmist chicken little way ...

Or some such thing.

You see, here's how it's done. Disney, too mild-mannered for his own good, and too constrained by his position and his circumstances, to say anything about the outrageous behaviour of the Daily Terror - busy doing the work of terrorists - could only make some mealy-mouthed clucking noises and expressions of piety, while making a few general observations about media mis-deeds.

That's the sort of pigeon guaranteed to send the reptiles into a frenzy:

Because Professor Disney’s critique amounts to a fact-free zone it does not deserve to be taken seriously. He refused this newspaper’s request to name the publications that were guilty of wrongdoing and to cite examples of their “errors” “exaggerations” and “dangerous misinformation”. 

Indeed. Let's not mention the hysterical Daily Terror busy doing the work of terrorists.

His refusal to back up his public statement with facts raises the risk that his critique of the coverage of the Sydney siege will be applied to all media outlets. 

Yes, we all know who he's talking about, but he can't say it can he, nah nah, because there's already been complaints about the rag some mistake for exceptionally rough toilet paper ...

In other words, the chairman of the Press Council has smeared the industry that pays his bills. 

And never mind the blot that the Terror is on the industry ... though soon enough perhaps 'cottage industry' will be a better turn of phrase ...

Professor Disney, who leaves the chairmanship early next year, has also destroyed the council’s ability to be seen as an unbiased arbiter of any complaints about the coverage of the siege. The right thing for him to do is to own up to a gross error of judgment and apologise for such unseemly behaviour.

You can see how this works, and it's there in that key line buried at the end of the rant:

Professor Disney, who leaves the chairmanship early next year, has also destroyed the council’s ability to be seen as an unbiased arbiter of any complaints about the coverage of the siege.

It's a pre-emptive strike, and so the shameless and outrageous behaviour of the Daily Terror has given way to yet another attack on Disney.

The Murdoch press is now so wild and out of control, it's doing genuine harm, and the fact that the editorialist of the alleged upmarket broadsheet version of the ideologues can sound like George Christensen says more than the pond knows ...

Did the reptiles ever think of writing this?

The right thing for the editor of the Daily Terror to do is to own up to a gross error of judgment and apologise for such unseemly behaviour.

Probably not.

Ah well, it will soon be all over for the year. In a couple of days, the pond will be downing tools and joining the great Australian slumber until the new year ...

But that just leaves time to slip in a cartoon from David Pope, and more Pope here, as at last the NRA can join the killer tobacco industry in having a representative down under.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And so the "congrats" and the "self-congrats" continue, with Sarrah Le Marquand showing how it's done ...

(Above: for the full First Dog cartoon, go here).

Nightcrawler is a parable, perhaps not as subtle as it could have been, about the media and capitalism.

The hero, Lou, played with cadaverous, socket-eyed intensity by Jake Gyllenhaal, is an urban cockroach, who starts as a petty thief, but after noticing there's money to be made by stringing, begins shooting footage of violent incidents in affluent neighbourhoods. Soon enough, his footage is selling to a gutter crawling television station which specialises in ambulance and police chasing material ...

Lou has read all the right books about the entrepreneurial spirit in America, and does so well peddling his footage that he can afford to screw an assistant.

As he begins to make real money, Lou imitates the airs and graces of the mainstream media that feeds off his gutter crawling ways - he devises a grand company name and moves amongst the chosen ones, the anchors and the executives. Soon enough it's hard enough to pick this cockroach from the others in the nest...

The movie is inclined to over-work the parable - Lou's big feat is to get inside a McMansion in the aftermath of a double killing, and then to contrive a bloody finale, which sees him get rid of his assistant and at the same time produce epic footage of a shoot out with the cops.

But the main point is clear enough. When you get an executive tweeting "Congrats" on the coverage of murder, you know you're in the land of the Nightcrawlers …

Not that the pond is inclined to brood but that "Congrats" still sticks in the craw.

So what have the cockies been up to today?

What do you know? It's all the fault of the ABC:

Now there's a sophisticated response, nuanced, subtle, everything you'd expect really ...

But the real trick is to whip up a story about the story.

Uh huh.

The Daily Terror doubles down, thanks to the double 'r'd' Sarrah scribbling silly things.

It's admirable in a way.

The sheer gall, the cheekiness, the audacity, the Jakiness, the  willingness to defend the indefensible, the way all hands get on deck and celebrate the rag as a repository - please, no suppository jokes - of accuracy and integrity.

Well it conforms to that other golden rule, most commonly seen in politics. When in trouble, send in a woman to do the dirty work and defend the indefensible.

Oh and bung on a poll:

See?! Wring some juice from the juice!

The pond didn't reward the cockies with a vote or a click, nor even a link, but poor Sarrah does her best with the dirty linen:

Hang on, hang on, the pond's head is hurting.

Mixed messages.

Wasn't it chairman Rupert himself up above tweeting about the dangers of a lone wolf?

But actually Sarrah isn't interested in the truth of the matter. Sadly, it's her job to conflate, confuse, muddy the waters, pump up the fog, and defend the indefensible.

And then came this:

Well then the front page was, in the usual Daily Terror way, useless.

The last the pond checked, Broken Hill was on NSW soil:

Indeed, thanks to Trove, the news of that story and the men who did the deed is only a keystroke away here.

The pond doesn't expect historical awareness from Sarrah or the other reptiles, just like it doesn't expect truth or integrity in a tabloid. But there has to be a limit, and that limit comes with the reptiles routinely denying the four killed and seven wounded back at that New Year's picnic in 1915.

But Le Marquand saves her best sick-making scribbling for the final few pars:

The naysayers — the self-­appointed media umpires who would never condescend to ­actually read this paper — would have you believe journalists are there to service their beliefs alone. That pre-empting any criticism from a few stone-throwers on Twitter is the sole basis on which editorial decisions should be made. 
They will tell you that a failure to airbrush sometimes harrowing realities from news coverage only incites rage and spreads hatred. 
Strange, then, isn’t it, how little rage and hatred we have seen as thousands of people lay flowers at Martin Place in a peaceful and dignified tribute to the siege victims. Don’t look now, but if that’s the public mood then the media must be doing something right.

Oh come on, cloaking yourself in the flowers?

Have you absolutely no sense of shame or decency?

It reminded the pond, as many things do, of Macbeth mired deep in his shame:

...I am in blood 
Stepped in so far that, should I write for a Murdoch tabloid no more, 
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

And so the Terror, in its bid to pump up the terrorist angle, trotted out another "expert" to explain how the man was an expert terrorist, though whether he got his knowledge from a jihadist school or the internet was a tad hard to work out:

Well you can only spend so long in the company of nightcrawlers before you hope the movie ends and you can move on to something else.

Is there someone who can turn the conversation to other matters? Perhaps the Terror could wheel in the world's greatest climate scientist?

Oh sheesh, they could, they could.

Whenever the Bolter turns up with his latest tirade, the pond's mind turns to Lord Monckton, and that's fair enough because the IPA book the Bolter's spruiking features a piece by the 'lord'.

The 'lord' was last sighted in the run up to the Victorian election in company with Catch the Fire, espousing barking mad fundamentalist policies. His days as an effective useful fool were by then long gone, but it's always useful to remember the good old days.

You know, when the Bolter joined Monckton in talk of the UN using climate science as a way of introducing world government:

“What he did was confirm, point out, which is black and white in the draft agenda for Copenhagen—it was taken out of the final bit—draft agenda for Copenhagen, a plan to get all countries to send billions—seven billion in our case—to the UN to give them a sort of supranational kind of body that will tell you what to do with your economy. 
“Now that is a form of world government, even if you do not like the term,” Bolt said. (here, it's a conservative site, it must be true).

Eek, and now the Abbott government is funding the world government.

The pond looks forward to the Bolter campaigning against this dangerous man.

Meanwhile, is there anyone else so tone deaf that they immediately know how to strike up a tone deaf conversation before the wounds have healed?

 Come on down Senator Lyonhjelm:

Yep, that should do it ... that should get the Greens dancing in the tone deaf conversation, when even the PM's confused about whether the killer held a gun licence ...

Truth to tell, it got so problematic that the pond began to look around for a few comedy items.

Oh sure, there was an excellent memory of Miranda the Devine, thanks to Crikey:

Yes, that "parody account" features moderated comments let loose on the Bolter's blog.

You can head off here, but as with inhalation fallout from  the Daily Terror in any form, the pond recommends moderation.

As you'd expect, the "parody account" has been busy of late. 

Oh okay maybe there's a few parodies in it, as well as real screen grabs, but hey, the first one below accurately sums up Chris Kenny's column, which the Bolter naturally featured and confirmed as unerringly true:

And also thanks to Crikey, there was an even better memory of that prize twit Sharri Markson furiously scribbling, without the slightest awareness of the stupidity inherent in what she scribbled:

“But the indoctrination appeared to be strongest at The University of Sydney where the entire first major lecture focused on News Corp’s power and its impact on journalism, irrespective of the fact it is one of the largest employers of journalists in Australia.”

She's still young and perhaps not ready to step up to the top league, but surely there's a potent case for a Junior Arsehat award, as an incentive for all the best young kool aid drinkers in Murdoch la la land.

But just as the pond was enjoying these blasts, along came David Pope with a cartoon, and more Pope here.

Grim days. Is there a twittering tweeter ready to tweet "Congrats"?