Sunday, May 27, 2018

In which the pond cops an elbow to the head from Dame Slap ...


Being deeply conservative, the pond always hesitates when anyone talks of revolution. 

There was certainly a case for things to change in France, but what a pity it involved Robespierre. Ditto Russia in 1917. What a pity that the conservatives, monarchists, Tsarists, call them what you will, managed to produce out of their shameless greed as formidable a beast as Stalin …

See also China and Mao, though Dame Slap is a cheerleader for the Donald, who has cranked the swamp up to eleven, so really the pond shouldn't be too surprised …

All the same, the talk of a need for a revolution in Australia is beyond silly, but all part of the way that extreme rightwing fundamentalists want to import the worse from the United States, a country now so deeply divided and fucked up, in mind and body, that it could well become a basket case in the next few decades, and take the world down with it …and then we'll see where all this idle talk of revolution leads us ...



Now there's something particularly weird and wonderful about Dame Slap finding redemption online, when all the rest of the reptiles week in week out rail about social media and the damage it does, but it gets even richer when she puts Joe Rogan up at the top of the page as someone who should be heeded …

Has she ever watched an MMA match? She probably has, and gets an unseemly excitement, perhaps even a state of arousal, from all the blood, and the sight of unconscious bodies and the thought of all the brain damage that can be done in five minutes …

It's a measure of things, the way this gladiatorial combat, with its deliberate, bloodthirsty echoes of Rome - next stop the thrill of the actual kill - should have marched through the United States and now one of its leading voices - the pond hesitates to say intellectuals - has taken up residence in Dame Slap's mind …

The barbarians aren't at the gate, they're inside the cage, though once again the pond shouldn't be surprised, because Dame Slap's love of punishment and of punishing has always had a strident sense of SM attached to it …

Now the pond only does screen caps but it has left in the images for atmosphere …anyone wanting to find out more about Joe Rogan just has to type in "raging ratbag" and hope that Alex Jones doesn't turn up ...


Actually for a measure of these rebels and atmosphere, the pond should probably have dropped in other images …


There's free thinking for you …a fine form of rebellion against anti-intellectualism ...

Now before proceeding, the pond thought it might be fun to re-write Dame Slap's next par to crank things up a bit …

Adolf Schicklgruber, painter, vegetarian and dog lover, brings his special mix of genius, interspersed with talk of Lebensraum, to the Munich Beer Hall. The Adolf Schicklgruber Experience ambles between two and three hours of commentary about everything from the way white men run faster in the 100 meters to what's wrong with expressionism to the way that the Jews, deformed transgender folk, gypsies, and homosexuals are ruining everything … and has stratospheric audience numbers …because never mind the insights, feel the ratings …

Oh okay, Hitler was never really Schiklgruber, but we're a long way from anything but rabid here ...


Calm, measured and decent is a revolution?

Here, cop a whack of this …


And that's what they love to do to transgender folk and homosexuals and all the other wimps who won't go the elbow …

While supposedly following advice and taking it easy and resting, the pond had a re-look at David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, and was astonished at the male fantasies embedded in it … (spoiler alert).

There's the wimpy son, who transforms himself by beating the shit out of the school bully, and there's the sociopathic dad who's settled down in heartland America, but when called on, can fuck over anyone within cooee, while incidentally delivering a first class barbaric fuck on the stairs … which naturally the wife, hungering for pagan passion and bruising, loves … and then when the psycho dad returns from his final killing spree, he returns to be accepted by the family at the dinner table … and all is well in suburban America (even if it was shot in Canada).

But the pond digresses even if it thinks the movie reveals much about Dame Slap and the state of the United States …the fervent edge of fanatical fundamentalism and intolerance ...


Hey ho, on we go ...


Actually, the pond has sat down with the reptiles for a long time, and played with them, despite their tendency to nip and bite and scratch and claw, but here's the thing.

Routinely the notion of identity politics is peddled as a way of getting agitated and upset by gays or women or TG folk or other minority groups saying they've had a gut full and they're not going to take it anymore … you know, like having a cop blow you away in a traffic stop, or being told how if you have an abortion you're a killing machine from hell ...

If anyone takes the knee, they're immediately labelled as unpatriotic and told to leave the country - so much for the right to silent respectful protest - and if they object to being bashed, or shot at, or otherwise abused, they're told to harden the fuck up, princess ...

Suddenly, it seems verbal or even physical violence has become a respectable form of intellectual theorising …



The pond doesn't much mind if Dame Slap gets aroused by images of blood and violence, but there's a pretty irony to be found in the way that gladiatorial Rome suddenly becomes the way forward for liberalism ...


And there in those last two lines is the essence of Dame Slap's infinite capacity for stupidity. 

Renewed liberalism isn't simply the right to abuse others, especially minorities, and what she's celebrating isn't liberalism … all too often, it's bigotry and fundamentalism and hostility and anger, of the kind which happens when a president rages around calling people animals …

That might be a form of revolution, but as the pond noted at the start, that sort of fucked-up revolution usually leads to the sort of precarious situation the United States currently finds itself in … and now the reptiles want to import the confusion and the chaos and the conflict to Australia …

Well Canada might be dull and earnest and outrageously decorous, but pardon the pond if it prefers a dull life to someone shoving an AR-15 in its face and calling it liberal civilisation …

For this, the pond has returned to play with the reptiles? More fucking jibber jabber about western civilisation? This is western civilisation at work?



Might as well enlist in Daesh. Or might have been better to follow doctors' orders and take another week of sick leave …

Fortunately while the pond was away, the Pope was on fire, and as well as these two cartoons, more real civilised liberalism can be found here ...




In which the pond refuses to give up its addiction and goes juuling with Polonius ...



The pond's medical advisor had insisted that the pond give away all its reptiles.

Complete rest was required, an absence of distractions, long naps, nothing that might produce agitation or unrest in body or mind …

So much for the understanding of medical advisors. Is there any surer way to relax than to listen to the soothing sounds of a prattling Polonius? 

And here it was, Sunday, a day requiring a Sunday meditation, and with the pond having already missed so much, including the Donald's new plan to arm American teachers with basketballs …and the ups and downs of the Donald's telenovela affair with Kim …and the Irish at last making the pond pleased it could celebrate a win for Irish women (let's not mention Saudi Arabia, its scandalous ongoing treatment of women and the supine behaviour of its American backers).

Truth to tell, the pond had spent its time gorging on American cable news, and in memory of the Donald, watched a couple of documentaries about the long-forgotten Korean war - the Battle of Chosin Reservoir reminded the pond that whatever ailed it, it was nowhere near close to hell on earth…

There'd also been stories about the follies of the young, with the talk of juul and vamping in The New Yorker (currently outside the paywall here) which had made the pond wonder about its curious addiction to reptiles.

In that story Jia Tolentino did it for the story, then at the very end (spoiler alert) tossed aside the cucumber-scented vapour and gave it away …

Dammit, did all addictions have to end like that?

So the pond decided to sneak away from bed to spend a little quality time with Polonius …there was no downside, only the chance of a little sneaky R and R, with possibly a nodding off and a quality nap ...


Leaving aside everything else, it struck the pond that to propose that the reef isn't damaged, or perhaps in more scientific terms, to suggest it might be wise not to question the proposition that the reef is damaged, is a remarkably stupid position to take …

Leaving aside the question of climate science, which always gets the reptiles terribly agitated, there's the ongoing presence of the Crown of Thorns starfish, and the impact of agricultural practices, and the expansion of human activities … all of which guarantees that the reef has changed, and will continue to change, and which will result in what most would consider 'damage', at least as the word is conventionally defined …

It might be argued that none of it matters and that the world is constantly changing and things come and go and that's life and that's also death, in much the same way that the Amazon is at the moment being comprehensively fucked over, and so it goes …

But forget all that because Polonius is no climate scientist, and he really deep down doesn't care too much about environmental matters or the reef or such like … and if he can't get the ABC into the story, then sure as hell he can get the commies into the game, and revive fond memories of ancient culture wars  ...


And why does the pond find all this so comical? Well Knopfelmacher was his own worst enemy and at the time there were conspiracies everywhere …

Knopfelmacher, a high-profile Melbourne University academic and outspokenly anti-Communist public intellectual, was less restrained. His review of Henderson's book for ABC Radio 2 in 1982 reads: 
After reading Henderson, it is no longer possible to sustain the thesis that Evatt was a Communist sympathiser, as I had hitherto sincerely believed. ... The wealth of astounding revelations ... reveal that before and throughout the Split, the principal aim of the Movement was not Australia's security but her conversion to, or political manipulation into, a fundamentalist brand of Catholicism ... Henderson's story convincingly supports the following conclusion: A fundamentalist Catholic outfit, supported by part of the Hierarchy, set up a secret organisational weapon for the purpose of penetrating and dominating the traditional domiciles of Australian Irish Catholicism – the unions and the ALP – and through them, Australia. (here)

Indeed, indeed, the bloody Irish Catholics at it again, and there's more on the Knopfelmacher affair in a google book reference here

But before the pond goes down the road of leftists dominating institutions, please allow the pond to do a Polonius and drift down memory lane.

The pond studied history at UNE under Russell Ward, who had earlier experienced some fleeting fame for his 1958 book The Australian Legend … (a work which conflated history with mythology, a pleasing mateship mythology that didn't find much room for women).

And what do you know, Ward was one of those wretches deplored by Polonius …

In Sydney in the 1940s, he found a radical milieu – the New Theatre, the Journalists’ Club, the Teachers’ Federation and the Communist Party, which he joined in 1941. Reading Ward’s account of his life in Sydney reminded me instantly of Graeme Davison’s depiction of radical Sydney in the 1890s – the Bulletin, the bookstores, the Freethought Hall – the urban environment in which, as Davison insists, the bush legend was born. For Ward, it had to be born again. He was completely typical of his class in being brought up on British history and English literature (which he loved) and learning almost nothing of the history and literature of his native land. As a radical in Sydney, he started to collect Australian folk songs. Until then, he had never heard one. He was introduced to them by a Scottish immigrant couple, neighbours of his in Sydney, who possessed a dog-eared copy of the 1905 edition of Banjo Patterson’s Old Bush Songs. He was invited to their home one night and found the Scottish couple and two visiting British sailors singing ‘Wrap me up with my stockwhip and blanket’. So wayward and attenuated were the conduits for the transmission of the bush ethos. Ward’s autobiography, whose theme is the author’s discovery of an Australian identity, shows how weak a hold the Australian Legend had on the respectable. In The Australian Legend he argues the opposite, against his experience, and uses a poem by John Manifold to clinch the case that the ‘noble bushman’ tradition ‘has captured the imagination of the whole Australian people’, for Manifold belonged to one of the ‘old squatting families in the Victorian Western District, traditionally held to be the most conservative and “aristocratic” social group in Australia.’

And as a result of all this, what happened to him?

The Australian Legend was written in the early 1950s as a PhD thesis at the Australian National University, which provided Ward, then a married man in his late thirties, with a scholarship. The thesis was entitled The Ethos and Influence of the Australian Pastoral Worker. Before it was accepted, Ward became a cause célèbre. An appointments committee at the University of Technology in Sydney unanimously recommended him for a lectureship, but the council overrode its committee on the urging of Vice Chancellor Baxter, who was concerned at Ward’s ‘seditious’ (i.e. communist) connections. The protests of Ward and his supporters were unavailing. The University of New England then offered him a position and he remained there for the rest of his working life, advancing from lecturer to professor. (More on Ward here).

So much for leftists holding sway.

Ward was still embittered at UNE when the pond bumped into him, it hung around him like a pall, the many opportunities he'd been denied as a result of his commie connections. He always had dreams of returning to ANU, but knew he was stuck in the bush for the rest of his academic life (so much for love of bush).

And there were others in the same Wardian boat, because there was a real commie witch hunt conducted by the likes of Santa and his acolytes, and the Catholic church, and sundry other conservatives, not least our man Polonius. 

Cecil Holmes was another example …

The chilling effect of cultural anti-communism induced forms of self-censorship. For example, when film maker Cecil Holmes tried to get a job at the Commonwealth Film Unit, he privately approached the unit's chief producer, Stanley Hawes who was 'polite and agreeable', according to Holmes, but who made it clear he 'would not have his particular government boat rocked by the presence of some trouble-making Red.' (Holmes, 1986: 38) . Holmes was an unashamed member of the Communist Party and had left New Zealand after being sacked and blacklisted. However he had made one of the few Australian feature films in the 1950s, Captain Thunderbolt (1953). This had the rare distinction that it was denied normal exhibition in its own country for four years and it is likely that Captain Thunderbolt was blacklisted by the major exhibitors, perhaps prompted by ASIO. But policing of communism extended to voluntary bodies such as the Sydney Film Festival. In 1956 he approached the Sydney Festival to screen Three in One (1956). Three in One was a 'portmanteau' film comprised of three smaller and independent stories, linked by a theme of mateship. These elements were Henry Lawson's short story, Joe Wilson's Mates , Frank Hardy's story The Load of Wood, and The City, a story by contemporary writer Ralph Peterson. (Shirley and Adams, 1983 : 189-90) (much more on this culture wars here).

Funny how it goes, all this talk of Catholics, mateship and commies, but what's the upshot of all this?

Well it's possible to say with some certainty that when it comes to talk of intellectual fashions, Polonius represents the sort of strand Ireland just voted against … and thank the long absent lord for that …

And now since the pond has been much deprived and on a Rowe-free diet, to hell with it.

Waiter, a lashing of salt, and a tablespoon of sugar, and a little more telenovela romance and a Rowe cartoon please … with more Rowe to be feasted on here




Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The pond is taking a break ...

The last the pond heard, Jeffrey Bernard, James Bolam, Peter O'Toole and sundry others, including no doubt the original Dorothy Parker, have been unwell, and so too is the pond, and it's time for another break, with business to be resumed when some form of wellness returns.

There's always a danger in reptile handling and the pond has succumbed yet again … but for those up to the task, no doubt the reptiles will keep on giving ...


Monday, May 21, 2018

In which the dinosaurs return ...


Say what?

We're back to the future already? How did the oscillating fan end up there?

Well a stark natural tragedy unfolded this day, and the pond felt it needed to be covered in the late arvo slot where no one much cares or pays any attention ...


Indeed, indeed, the taxpayers want to invest in a coal fired power station under the new five year plan …or perhaps just do a Joe Stalin. 

Let the onion muncher explain the pleasure of forcible government acquisitions ...


Socialise energy! The pond has said it all along. All this nonsensical talk of free markets is just an irritating distraction.

The only way to good dinkum clean coal is via socialistic practices ...

And that's how the oscillating fan came to his logical conclusion …


There is of course just one unfortunate downside to this scenario …

The Coalition would need to be out of government for barnstorming Barners and the onion muncher make a come back.

Naturally Josh was disappointed ...


Even worse those bloody deviant Labor types were gloating, as if they didn't want to nationalise or socialise everything …and how cruel their taunt, with talk of a dinosaur faction ...


The upside?

Well the pond can see a resurgence of natural Pope deposits, with more papal deposits to be found here … though the Pope urgently needs to return so that the dinosaurs can be recorded in their natural habitats … who knows how long they might still have foraging wild and free?






In which the pond finds the Major in a state of uncertainty ...


The reptiles are in a state of high anxiety this day, and the Major was surprisingly gloomy when let out of his cage … the old bellicosity wasn't in high gear, the age of uncertainty seemed to have arrived.

Oh sure the old enemies were still all around, and required a smiting and a smoting, but saving Malware and returning him to office seemed like it was going to be a big job for the reptiles. The size of the task seemed to daunt the Major …

Naturally this is all the fault of the wicked, dastardly ABC, and so the Major just had to pick up the gauntlet ...


Indeed, indeed, the suffering of the rich invariably moves the pond to tears, as the reptiles patiently explain their endless tales of woe …

What a just and caring man is ScoMo, how he earns the right to appear in a snap, as the Major berates all the usual for failing to see the world through his one good right eye ...


Oh the shameless lickspittle forelock-tugging fellow travellers, this is a job for the Major. 

Only he is able to point out the problems with comrade Bill, only he can do the sales job right …

Damn you progressive media, damn you all that it should be the Major who scores the short straw ...


A lot like 2001? So there's still hope, and perhaps victory can be snatched if the reptiles fall to their task with vigour. 

But there's that conundrum, what with the government offering big spending, how to run a negative campaign against big spending? How to valiantly fight for the banks and the rich?

Talk about doom and gloom, talk about open questions! Must it always fall to the reptiles to put together a decent negative campaign?

You know, in the interests of fair and balanced reporting (the pond hesitates to use the word 'journalism' in this context), it seems like the Major will have to rally the troops, and the smears will begin to flow.

No doubt the Terror will recycle some of its used Nazi photoshop front pages ...

But will it be enough. This day there were a couple of news stories that added to the reptile sense of gloom. 

First the tykes are still restless, and everybody knows how that sets the reptiles off …


Yes, there's nothing like a report commissioned by the archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn to send the reptiles into a deep funk … and don't anyone dare ask what report would fly in the face of its clients, and suggest they were just a bunch of whiners and whingers?


So there's the suffering of the rich, and the suffering of the Catholics and then that dreadful Queensland woman made it even worse by talking of the preferential suffering of the candidates ...


Sweet mother of treachery, not this …anything but this …no wonder the Major was agitated and uncertain, even though the sweet local lad was made of the right stuff, a ridgy-didge dinkum coal lover, oi, oi, oi ...


The news sent the base into a twittering frenzy ...


There's a lot more, but the reptiles, recognising that they were on a social media winner, kept pumping up the frenzy with a couple of splashes ...



 

Oh come on Jeff, enough of the paywall trolling. 

Isn't it enough that the reptiles are jittery, and in a deep state of anxiety and dread … and the pond grief-stricken at being unable to offer them a smidgin of comfort …

The situation's so desperate the reptiles are giving away Kudelka cartoons explaining why Malware's just the sort of friendly benign presence everyone should want in their lives …



In which the Oreo gets religious freedom week off with a bang ...


It was Crikey that drew the pond's attention to this potent patch of purple prose by Patrick, and the pond felt the need to spread its pulchritudinous perfection as far and as wide as possible …

And then came this, with its cheeky hieroglyph ...


Meanwhile, the rolled gold delusion rolled on …this time on The Insiders ...


Translation: "I've got a ticket made of metal, such as brass, coated with a thin layer of gold, used to make inexpensive jewellery, and any rolled gold promise or reference I make should be taken as a cheap trinket of the Tarjay kind …"

But the pond has given up on rolled gold, and today is triumphant.

On the weekend, it predicted that religious freedom would turn into a reptile crusade this week, and sure enough, the reptiles let loose the Oreo … and not just your ordinary average Oreo … it's your ...


There was just one mystery.

Why hadn't she been blessed with the Lobbecke of the day, and instead had to settle for a glum stock image?


Please ignore that untimely bit of trolling from places distant, the Oreo is on fire this day … and it requires no comment from the pond, just the warmest of recommendations …



You see, a line like "Christian religious freedom empowers the secular state" is a form of popping Oreo perfection …


Next week we can look forward to a column from the Oreo on the wickedness of Israel as a theocratic state …

And no doubt the Oreo will be able to gloss the megalomania of  Philippians 2;10-11:

... so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Or perhaps Isaiah 2:2:

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it ...

Or perhaps Romans 13:4 explaining how the one in authority is god's servant:

...for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

The pond could go on and on with biblical exegesis, but alas, the pond fears that the Oreo is lax in her bible studies, and doesn't understand the plain meaning of Ephesians 1:22: And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church 

It's taken centuries to claw things away from the control of the church, and blather about paying Caesar taxes doesn't cut it up against the comprehensive attempts by believers to direct the behaviour of non-believers (not to mention carving out a tidy tax-exempt situation for themselves …)

But the pond promised not to comment, and should revert immediately to the Oreo ...



The pond must fail the Oreo in her bible studies class.

The old testament in particular is littered with talk of warfare, and god defeating and punishing unbelievers and getting down with it - She loved a good punch-up in Her name - but perhaps the pond's favourite is personal and can be found in 2 Kings 2:23-24 …

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 
He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. (more smitings here for those who love their smitings).

Sweet long absent Jesus, give the pond militant atheism any day of the week up against angry Xian bears doing the will of the lord …

And so to a matter where, for the sake of crass commerce, the Oreo's brethren bow to the rules of Islam, with more Wilcox to be found here ...



Sunday, May 20, 2018

In which the reptiles do the Donald ...


The pond rarely looks to the local reptiles for updates on the Donald …and the same goes for the ABC.

The pond happened to catch a recent ABC report on the Donald, still available online here, with transcript, and was struck by its paucity, and by the way it ended on an upbeat note, with Hank Sheinkopf plaintively pleading "What's the crime? I haven't figured out what the crime is yet."

In short, ending with dummkopf Sheinkopf tempted the pond to do a Polonius and give the ABC yet another bagging …

Last impressions are important. The report could have ended on a neutral note, but instead it ended on a whine, and the pond filed a note to avoid walking into a room where their ABC was playing ...

The pond usually relegates the Donald to the cartoon section, but even if YouTube is awash with clips of cable news brooding over the Donald, ignoring the reptiles doing the Donald seems to be unfair, especially when every so often Cameron Stewart reports in …

The reptiles, of course, have the difficult task of pretending that the Donald has the first clue about what he's doing …and so Stewart's opening gambit, that "Trump works to keep Kim on track," was a delight, with the assumption that anyone as erratic as Trump knew there was a track and, if he did, could stay on it …

The pond once went there as a child with that notion …


And so to the Tootle of American politics ...



His country would be very rich, his country would be very industrious? Once a snake oil salesman, always a snake oil salesman, though the way America's going, there's a new sort of oil in the shop …


There probably wasn't the time or the inclination to go into the Trump Indonesia, Chinese government "investment", ZTE, twitter affair,  the whole damn thing …but that's the way it goes with Tootle. Speak firmly about China, and then tweet about saving Chinese jobs and nobody will notice the switching of the tracks …

But if corruption isn's a reptile thing, just look at that line "I think Kim Jong-un is going to be very happy."

Is it possible to imagine what the Republicans would have said about a forelock-tugging, quisling Obama if he'd promised to make a homicidal, sociopathic dictator "very happy"?


Like as not there would have been all sorts of unflattering comparisons, though the Donald is so resolutely ignorant of history, they'd be water off a duck's back to him …

It seems only a moment ago that we were on our way to the Donald collecting a Nobel … and then …


Now it's the business of the reptiles to find a coherent strategy and a plan … beginning with Tootle finding tremendous potential for Kim Jong-un ...


That mention of the Nobel Peace Prize is typical of the Donald. He yearns to knock down every skerrick of Obama's legacy, and to beat Obama at everything. And so as Obama earned an undeserved Nobel, and never made the state of chaos and disarray in the Nobel Foundation the Donald must have one too …

It was like when the three US hostages returned and top of the Donald's minds was the rating ...

“I want to thank you all, it’s early in the morning. I think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3 o’clock the morning!”

And so the reptiles must diligently press on, putting lipstick on a television and tweet addict …with the compulsions so easily near the surface that they're so very easily played …