Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In which the pond celebrates western civilisation one more time ...

  

The window of opportunity for reptiles to maintain the rage about Australia Day is rapidly closing, so the pond was delighted that the Panahi was on the job, and that the lizards of Oz had specially imported an IPA civilisational specialist for the job ...

Of course the pond views this sort of campaign as being a bit like Xmas ...

Remember, preparations for the next Xmas should always begin on Boxing Day (if nothing else by picking up Xmas tree decorations at the sales), and so an article about the joys and wonders of the western heritage - including, but not limited to, two world wars and the odd Holocaust - should be made ready no later than the 27th January ...

As many are called, but few are chosen, the pond must reluctantly continue to boycott the Panahi, even if this means slighting and outraging Melbourne readers, who love their Rita meter maid as she metes out her meters meet ...


The pond doesn't quite know why it dropped in that Blake poem - perhaps it was the western heritage of building a hell in heaven's despite - but a click will enlarge it for anyone interested, while the pond will go on to attend to the d'Abrera ...



Now sadly the d'Abrera is alarmingly brief when it comes to pointing out all the many joys and virtues of colonialism and imperialism, but on the upside, while hunting up d'Abrera the pond came across this delightful reminder of the 1950s mind set ...




You see, if you'll pardon the pond lapsing into 1950s Tamworth speak, d'Abrera has a slightly woggish ring to it.

Even worse, the use of the nobiliary particle has a certain ponce quality ...a tainted Norman aspect, if you will ...certainly not Anglo-Saxon ...

The pond was vastly reassured by being reminded of d'Abrera's noble work for the IPA as the director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program ..

Curiously she also turned up with a testimonial ...

“Love it or hate it, the internet is a powerful tool which, in the rights hands, can be employed for the glory of God. I cannot but help think that having just launched myself into the blogosphere, the fact that a copy of ‘How to Create a Catholic Blog’ landed in my inbox was nothing but providential...

Dr. Bella D’Abrera, Catholic Author and Historian (here)

Indeed, indeed, praise the long absent lord and pass the blogging ammunition ...

But the name d'Abrera being relatively rare, the pond was, for some peculiar reason, attracted to one Bernard d'Abrera, a fundamentalist Christian creationist, listed at Rational Wiki here, with this introduction ...

He is a signatory of A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism and a vehement opponent of evolution. He is a fellow at the pro-intelligent design organization International Society for Complexity, Information and Design. He owns Hill House Publishers, which is restricted to publishing his own lepidoptera books, Bella Wyborn d'Abrera's revisionist anti-English Reformation books, and facsimile reprint editions of John Gould'sWikipedia's W.svg works. Somewhat ironically, John Gould's island biogeography work was instrumental in the development of evolution and was cited in Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

D'Abrera also has an ordinary wiki here, which cites a certain Arthur Shapiro, who sounded a trifle agitated in the quote ...

Arthur Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist and entomologist at the University of California at Davis, describes d'Abrera's books thus:
Attention should be paid to their stupidities, their errors, their pig-headedness, their bad writing. The thing is, as I say in my reviews, they're absolutely indispensable. There's nothing else like them. If you're trying to identify exotic butterflies outside your geographic area, the primary and secondary literatures are so scattered and relatively inaccessible, you're out of hope. Big coffee table picture books are the only way to go. But if you're going to do that, at least get input from the people in the areas you cover geographically so you don't make an ass of yourself.

Well that satisfies the pond's taste for arcana for the day, but it must confess to having completely lost track of the other d'Abrera's scribbling, so now it's time to return to the task ...



Of course d'Abrera passes herself off as a historian, which means her fatuous guff about the rule of law and the benefits of the British justice system - as dispensed to the hapless convicts who turned up down under, only to be told that Botany Bay was completely useless and they'd better head off to Port Jackson - was clearly designed to give the pond a deep belly laugh of the ironic Sierra Madre kind ...

But to be fair, d'Abrera is just, in her own way, doing an Akker Dakker ... and reminding us that the British were bringing truth, justice and land dispossession to the lawless, anarchistic, primitive, cannibalistic, stone age peoples, mere savages, without a flintlock to their name, who infested this continent like useless cockroaches ...so that they might experience the noble joys of being wiped out by the British by way of direct action and diseases of a European civilisational kind ...

Oh wait, weren't cockies and rabbits and sparrows and such like useless imports?

Never mind, in the d'Abrera spirit, the pond offers a few more examples of western civilisation at its finest ...






In which the pond celebrates penny-a-line Murdochians ...



Now before anyone gets agitated, let the pond remind everyone that Dame Slap works without benefit of contract, and is a proud casual labourer, who scribbles on a "penny-a-line" basis - as do all the reptiles, aware that a penny is probably all their scribbles are worth ...

Of course there are a few ironies in this noble stand, not least the way the AJA was formed way back when ... (union propaganda here) ...

At the time, journalists were often working for "a-penny-a-line". As a reporter on a daily newspaper, you were probably paid in the region of £3 or £4 per week for working something in excess of 60 hours – across at least six days a week. That is, of course, if you were paid a weekly wage at all. One of the journalists working as a "penny-a-liner" was Keith (later Sir Keith) Murdoch, father of Rupert, who was scratching a living from piece work as a federal parliamentary reporter for The Age in Melbourne (the then national capital). 
The meeting was called by Melbourne Herald reporter B.S.B. “Bertie” Cook. He had begun work there, aged 12, as a copy boy. After 10 years he was a reporter earning £3 for a 70-hour week. Concerned by journalists' working conditions, he joined with colleagues in several failed attempts to form an effective industrial association. But in 1910 Cook saw an opportunity under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 for journalists to register as an industrial organisation. The Act provided that “an employer shall not dismiss an employee or injure him in his employment or alter his position to his prejudice by reason of the circumstance that the employee is entitled to the benefit of an industrial agreement or award”.

Indeed, indeed, and these days with the gig economy in full swing, how important it is to maintain every possible way of screwing people that can be found ... and as a noble gigger, who better a guide than Dame Slap, who after scribbling a column, will frequently duck outside to pull coffees as one of the inner city 'leets better known baristas ... before heading off across town to wash hounds for some of the eastern suburbs matrons ...

There's nothing like working for a billionaire for gruel and found to sharpen a revolutionary's sense of injustice, and so it is with the Dame ...


Now it's easy to see why Dame Slap is outraged. Here she is, working for a penny a line, and bringing her wage up to scratch by freelancing as a barista and a dog washer, and dammit, someone wants to shut down her entrepreneurial initiative.

It's outrageous ... so naturally she's calling for the complete casualisation of the entire News Corp workforce, even if at the same time it involves the brutalisation of the English language ... no sacrifice can be spared for this noble endeavour ...


It seems that Dame Slap is hip to the digital economy and simply abhors any sense of stability or a weekly pay cheque, and has her own schemes for a long and healthy retirement ... without any of those useless faddish fringe benefits that gig workers miss out on ...



Now just remember, everything you're read is a penny-a-line, and Dame Slap will work for whatever a generous soul decides to tip into the hat she's conveniently left on the pavement outside the bunker in Holt street, Surry Hills ...

Remember a coin flung in the hat will produce a cheery 'thank'ee guv'nor and a top of the morning to ye', rather than those caricatured impressions of the Dame advising a class of the benefits of a casual relationship with an employer ...


Work hard and certainly with no minimum wage or fringe benefits for you useless lot, and think yourself lucky if you can become a hapless cog in the machine ...


Indeed, indeed, screw the workers, the pond says, and remember, that also means screw the reptiles, and so to a cartoon for the day, with the immortal Rowe going all referential ...and more referring to Rowe here ...




Now it's only a slightly long bow to draw that image back to Dame Slap, thanks to this analysis of the original Fuseli ...

The painting was first displayed at the annual Royal Academy exhibition in London in 1782, where it shocked, titillated, and frightened exhibition visitors and critics. Unlike many of the paintings that were then popular and successful at the Royal Academy exhibitions, Fuseli’s The Nightmare has no moralizing subject. The scene is an invented one, a product of Fuseli’s imagination. It certainly has a literary character and the various figures demonstrate Fuseli’s broad knowledge of art history, but The Nightmare’s subject is not drawn from history, the Bible, or literature. The painting has yielded many interpretations and is seen as prefiguring late nineteenth-century psychoanalytic theories regarding dreams and the unconscious (Sigmund Freud allegedly kept a reproduction of the painting on the wall of his apartment in Vienna). (here)

Imagine Dame Slap crouched, hunched like a wayward beast, on the corpse of industrial relations, and there you have it ...



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In which the pond toot toots with Dame Groan ...


Anytime the pond wonders if we're still in the silly season, it only has to revert to the tree-killer edition, and its hysteria for the day, and the reptiles' cunningly worded splashes, using devices such as "is believed to ..."

Indeed, indeed, and Santa Claus is believed to play a role in Xmas, and you might believe anything you read in the headlines ...


Those damned Kiwis, ruining everything ... yet again ...and not just the English language with their talk of fush and chups and sux, and the bizarre expectation that a pregnant woman might lead the country while ruining Australia ...

No wonder the reptiles were outraged and alarmed, but truth to tell, the pond had thought of turning to Dame Groan, briefly at the top of the opinionistas with her valuable insights on another matter ...


Indeed, this is a seminal matter of deep concern for the reptiles ...


Ah, so that's where the taxpayers' dollars go, to do valuable work ... though the pond did for a moment wonder how we might balance the books, if there's no tax, and yet there's some outgoings from the exchequer ...




Happily it wasn't the only subsidy of deep concern to the reptiles ...


Damned engineering profs, what would they know and besides, look who'd snuck in at the top of the digital page to address the matter ...


It was a twofer day ... twofer Dame Groan, and twofer reptile outrage, at damned Kiwis and wretched electric cars with their fancy airs and silent surging subsidised ways ...


Yes, if ever there was a country less suited to electric vehicles. 

Frankly Russia, Siberia, the United States, Death Valley, China and the silk road past the Taklamakan desert have got nothing on this gloriously exceptional country ...


The pond was disturbed, not by the knocking about those who find electric cars wonderfully quiet (they are), but by something much more bizarre ... "I always get a good chuckle".

The idea, the thought of Dame Groan chuckling was profoundly disturbing. Did she do it like a crazed cartoon Brain wanting to rule the world?

Would she chuckle like a junior Woodchuck at a First Dog cartoon, who has returned here?



Okay, the pond isn't taking Dame Groan seriously, but in the pond's defence, it's still the silly season, and there might well be sillier sights than Craig Kelly wringing his hands and moaning about carbon emissions ...


Yep, there it is, Dame Groan worrying about carbon emissions, and the way that electric cars will produce peanuts and paltry figures ... and then there are other environmental concerns ...

Damn you greenies and Norwegians, why on earth did the Donald give you pickled sardine eaters a favourable mention?

Sure things might be melting in your neck of the woods, but don't you understand there's no point in worrying about emissions, nothing can be done, nothing should be done, and what we need is more petrol and more coal, oi, oi, oi, because there's nothing Dame Groan loves more than putting the pedal to the metal in her vintage gas-guzzling 8 cylinder Monaro, with bonus useful tacho ...

Or perhaps she prefers to do a Toad, toot toot ...poop-poop ...


Sure, Liberal governments pissed squillions against the wall supporting gas guzzlers, but oh what fun they were when Dame Groan got a dose of white line fever and headed out on to the two lane blacktop, accompanied by a goodly dose of the Boss singing how she was born to run, to hoon, or perhaps even to chuckle ...


Well there's only one ritual left in the Dame Sloan piece.

It's been a short and silly ride, the sort of bottoming out sometimes to be experienced on roads around Tamworth, but Dame Groan has one last master stroke left within her ... a final gazumping, the ultimate argument, from which there is no retreat, as effective as the Donald pressing his nuke button ...


Virtue-signalling!!

The ultimate reptile put down, the ultimate reptile argument, and Dame Groan manages to make it her very last word on the subject!

What a champion she is, how fine it would have been to see her in her glory days at Bathurst, chuckling fiendishly as she roared around the track ...having spent years training up in the Redex trials ...

And so we head back yet again to the 1950s and the picket fence, and the joys of doing it the way it's always been done, because who could possibly imagine there was any point to PV panels on the roof, including but not limited to lower power bills and a reduction in the reliance on coal?

Surely the best way forward is to stimulate resentment and rage at scammers and swindlers and mountebanks and snake oil sales people, all in the cause of selling tree killer newspapers, as they've done since good old Queen Vic days.

And now speaking of snake oil hustlers, the cartoonists are still celebrating ...






In which the Caterists propose a relaxed erectness of carriage as a way of dealing with dangerous emissions ...


Before moving on to the Caterist treat of the day, the pond would like to express its deep delight at the recent performances of Craig Kelly.

With furrowed brow and querulous tone and many a heavy sigh, he's exuded grave concerns about carbon emissions, caused by that fiendish device, the electric car.

At last, a reason to watch the ABC. And after the lizards of Oz helped set this hare running, he was in Fairfax too, here:

"I'm sure electric cars are fantastic to drive ... but I can't see any case whatsoever that they should receive special subsidies and special concessions over and above petrol cars because if you look at the numbers, there is no case they will significantly reduce CO2 emissions," he said.

Oh the emissions, the emissions, won't someone think of the emissions. And yet, how strange, only last October, there he was on 7.30, defending the onion muncher's climate speech:

Liberal MP Craig Kelly, who heads the government's Environment and Energy Committee, says the increase in carbon dioxide has been good for agriculture.

Dammit, and the pond had spent months urging an increase in emissions, because never mind fucking the planet, just lie there and think of Craig Kelly and Australian agriculture ...

It seems terribly unfair to leave horses in possession of their arses, when Mr Kelly might well be in urgent need of a horse's arse.

And now, to the Caterist, because there's nothing the pond enjoys more than the sight of Craig Kelly than a Pommie blow-in with a degree in sociology from a Pommie university explaining everything Australian ...


Dear sweet long absent lord, he's not going back to 1958, to explain how we should cringe at the sight of a Pommie blow-in explaining everything there is to know about Australia?



Some days the pond thinks if the Caterist didn't exist, it would have been necessary to invent him. What a pompous ass he is, a character who, while blathering on about John Stuart Mill, might find himself in a minor role in a P. G. Wodehouse novel.

Kanakas? Black-birding? Not in the world of this minor wannabe Jeeves ... apparently any attention to the conditions South Sea islanders faced or the indentured servitude Aboriginal workers suffered under British corporations of the Baron Vestey kind are just a kind of cultural cringe ...

As for the notion that anyone, even the greenies, want to abolish Australia Day, as opposed to moving it to another location, what was that about slippery slopes greased by insolent twits, singing for their supper about the wondrous state of Australian exceptionalism, cheap arse patriotism and absent-minded black shirt nationalism worthy of blow-in of the Frank de Groot kind?


Well it wouldn't be a proper pond Caterist day without the pond extending a bowl and asking for more gruel for the Caterists, more alms for the indigent poor, more Department of Finance of relief for the suffering who visit Australia's shores ... especially as the humble lad will this day rail against cronyism, protectionism and patronage, thereby valiantly matching the emissions of Craig Kelly, eternally worried by emissions ...



And so in that proud tradition, and with the ribbon cut, it's on to the final gobbet of Caterism ...


And so the pond and the Caterists welcome you to an exclusive world. Express regret, perhaps even say you're sorry, attempt a little empathy?

Do a Craig Kelly in the matter of emissions?

Nope, once you've got your slice of the action, anybody else can just bugger off.

None of this Poor Fellow My Country stuff from that dreadful Xavier Herbert, valiantly attempting to win the the prize for the longest, most unread novel in Australian history... and turning up even in the lizard Oz (needs googling) back in 2014 when at last the book was reprinted ...

His novel deplores the intermittent alliance between church and state that was such a feature of the 50 years after Federation. And it decries the forelock-tugging tendencies of Australian politicians in relation to imperial powers, whether their impositions are military or mercantile. Herbert’s valorisation of indigenous Australians, most visible in the frightening figure of Bobwirridirridi, makes the failures of white Australia only more stark. Poor Fellow never lets us forget that our material wealth has come at the cost of Aboriginal Australia’s dispossession. 
So while the 60s and 70s provided the underlying spirit of the work, and the 30s and 40s its narrative framework, the issues raised by Herbert retain their urgency and bite. For all his didacticism, Delacy makes one point that carries the full weight of truth: 
"We stole this land with murder and mayhem … and we have to reconcile the matter someday, either by acknowledging the fact that we’re bloody handed thieves and being proud of it, or giving back what we stole, and not as an act of charity, but of downright humility."

Shocking outrageous stuff. The pond abhors and abjures it.

It's much better to dance on graves, Caterist style, preferably with government cheque in hand, and learn what really happens, thanks to the Caterist's seminal insights, when pathetic weaklings talk of empathy and humility.

There's an erosion of shared values, there's a weakening of the social fabric ...why, it might even be part of an international conspiracy to sap and impurify all our precious bodily fluids ...when it's essential we maintain true health through the purity and essence of our seminal natural fluids ...

We need a relaxed erectness of carriage, a priapic pose, if you will, or perhaps a Rowe cartoon celebrating a man who thought a return to knighthoods was the way to emphasise Australia's glorious cultural development, aided by other simpering simpletons from the Old Country ...


And as always, there is more Rowe here ... because after the Kelly and Caterist emissions, the pond is always in urgent need of relief ...


Monday, January 22, 2018

In which the onion muncher is on a final warning ...

  

As the pond's favourites return from their holydays, the pond is beginning to feel the heat.

Where only a few days ago the pond had to scrabble around for essence of loonery, this week looks like producing a superabundance, a glut the pond is incapable of handling...

Who could imagine that the Terrorists would head into a frenzy about the latest threat to schools, while over at the lizard Oz, the reptiles were in a state of electric shock at those newfangled monstrosities sending the Tories into a spiral of despair and doubt ...

Having fucked up the NBN, what else was there for them to do? The reptiles even stuck it at the top of the digital page, just to emphasise the irony ...





Sparks showdown? Oh the firing on one cylinder wit of it all ...

Meanwhile, in another world, global sales of EVs soared 63% compared to the same period last year and looking ahead to 2040, China is forecast to capture more than 40% of the EV market ...(Business Insider, December 2017, with graphs too!)

With the move on, what better way for the luddites to waste their time and stick their collective fingers in the dyke, or failing that, up their bums?

It's all to hand with a quick google, China and the EV, and yet the pond had to let it go, just like it had to let old favourite Major Mitchell go ...


The Major is back and squawking up a fine song, apparently not realising the talk wasn't of the victims of crime, the talk was of the racist, race-baiting, fear-mongering, xenophobic, quite shameless behaviour of the reptilian Murdochians ...

The Major's return is a bit like the way the ABC goes on a couple of months break. Once you stop banging yourself on the head with a hammer, there's a powerful temptation not to resume the chore in the new year.

But in any case the pond can't spare the time, because for some time it has been worried about the onion muncher and whether he has a secure space in the pond's banner ... and he too has staked his claim by making a return to the lizard Oz ...



It sounded grim, a tad tired and pathetic ...

Really, the old black armband routine? It all felt so long ago, so distant, like ancient jokes of yore ...


John Howard long gone, and yet still the talk is of black armbands? So it seems ...

Oh sure, the onion muncher did his best to sound offensive and insulting, as if all those Aboriginal deaths were just an irrelevance ...


Now by any objective standards, that's beyond the valley of the weird ... only someone deeply, intrinsically Pom could pull it off ...

As for quoting Life of Brian, how cheeky can you get?

The film, originally released in 1979, is a classic example of anti-Catholicism.

Who can forget that immortal 1979 debate featuring Malcolm Muggeridge, though you have to wait a little while before the doddering Muggers turns up to mug the Pythons?

And now the wretched onion muncher turns up to hail it as a "classic", water under the bridge, so he can steal lines and ideas from it, talk of its hell-bound heresy forgotten, now just a suitable subject for appropriation so he can talk of black armbands, as a way of avoiding what actually happened in the early days of the British invasion, not limited to, but including land dispossession and massacres, and in Tasmania, a goodly shot at a holocaust?

It's really just another way of talking about difficult, pesky, stone age blacks, though the onion muncher doesn't have what it takes to go the full Akker Dakker ...

It's very tired, something akin to other tirednesses seen in the land ...


Tra la, not that the pond minds, the onion muncher having lost his puff and appearing to have lost his way ...

It's as if he can now sense it's his destiny to be a tired gnat on the rump of history, chirping away, with nobody paying much attention ... and with all the heat shifting to the likes of Cory ...


Facts aren't facts? Oh the post-Trumpian cheek of the fact-avoiding fucker ...

And the simple-minded, simplistic repetitions lead the pond into repetitions too ... you see, whenever the routine about Mytall Creek gets raised, the pond reverts to Bill Bryson ...


And then there were other matters, mentioned in the pond's comments ... like the Tasmanian business ... and good old George Arthur ...


When he arrived in Hobart the settlers' relations with the Aboriginals were as bad as they could be. There were probably only about 1000 of them, but, understanding nothing of white man's law, seeing their hunting grounds occupied, their women ravished and their men maltreated whether by bushrangers, convict servants or others, they naturally retaliated, spearing livestock and attacking the whites. Both Sorell and the British government deplored these developments, but Arthur was able to do little to modify them. He tried to explain the colonists' law to the native people, and to punish impartially the guilty on both sides; but the Aboriginals could not understand. On 29 November 1826 he ordered the capture of their leaders; hostile natives were to be treated as 'open enemies' and those guilty of felony to be arrested and punished. Exactly a year later he reminded the settlers of these instructions and ordered out the military to help to enforce them. On 15 April 1828 by an absurd demarcation proclamation he forbade all natives to enter the settled districts, and followed this on 1 November by a declaration of martial law. Taken together these orders appear as 'plans of military operation', and they mark Arthur's adoption of a policy of removal, or extermination, and his surrender to the demands of the settlers. 'The aboriginal natives of this colony are and ever have been a most treacherous race', he wrote on 15 April 1830, though he still welcomed attempts at friendly parley; but, though he forbade the capture of 'inoffensive' natives, a notice of 27 August 1830 reiterated his determination not to 'relax in the most strenuous exertions' to drive all others from the settled country. In October 1830 he decided to try, by a comprehensive operation, to drive them into Tasman Peninsula, for he told Murray on 20 November, 'the hope of conciliation cannot be reasonably entertained'.


Sure in the first pass they only caught two in the Black Line, but the spirit was right, and in the end the job was pretty well done, as it was in other parts of the country ...

The pond has no idea why anyone insists on a sentimental, dewy-eyed view of the past, when an unvarnished look might eradicate glib talk without requiring anyone to don a black armband ...


Well it's true that we no longer have knighthoods, but did the onion muncher have the first clue how he sounded in that final par?

We'll hear a lot more from him? He'll have a lot more to say? He'll treat us to more examples of him rabbiting on about things that need criticising and correction?

Me I  ... and 'you', the hapless victim ...

He makes it sound like a threat, as if we don't have enough already while getting through the day.

And that was the upside to this Monday.

The onion muncher is on a final warning. If all he's got is simple-minded repetitions, and the fucking over of history, the pond has been there and done that, and will head off to modern thinkers... you know, the ones worried about them new fangled gadgets, those damned electrified things ...

As demand for the technology grew, many resisted electricity’s brilliant new glow. It was just too bright. It lent a “corpse-like quality” to those subjected to its glare, one Londoner argued, and it could make a crowd look “almost dangerous and garish.” Robert Louis Stevenson penned “A Plea for Gas Lamps” in 1878, hoping to dissuade London’s authorities from installing obnoxious electric streetlamps like those in Paris. “A new sort of urban star now shines at nightly,” he wrote, “horrible, unearthly, obnoxious to the human eye; a lamp for a nightmare!” (here).

And so to a cartoon about the Donald which might also carry a message for the onion muncher ...