Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four Cornered

THERE'S AN OLD joke, funnier, it's true, toward the end of a pleasant evening, about a poor, leprous, reeking wretch who crawls into a magnificent cathedral as a grand wedding is in progress.

"Why, God, why me?" he cries, bringing the ceremony to a halt. "How could you have so wronged me? My wife and family dead, my fortune stripped away, my health ruined. Why, God why?"


So moved is the congregation it takes up the visitor's cry, voices rising as one unto the Great Bunyip, each mouth beneath the stained glass and soaring arches imploring an explanation for such calamity and dread misfortune.  Even the bride and groom fall to their knees to pray for mercy, hearts all but broken by the poor man's sobbing recital of all the many more Divine injustices visited upon him.


As he crawls to the altar rail and suppurating* sores stain the flagstones upon which he comes to rest, the bishop adds his voice to the questioning chorus.


"Why, God, why," is the cry from his and every quivering lip. "Why him, Lord? How could You inflict so much grief on such a pathetic little mouse. How could You, God? How could You?"


There is a rumble in the air and a mighty, swirling cloud of blinding, brilliant light billows beneath the cathedral's dome, whence descends a giant hand with pointing finger that stops but inches from the poor man's tear-stained face.


"Why did I do this?" says The Voice of Ages. The celestial finger points and quivers as the faithful hang upon the answer.


"Why?" booms The Voice as the finger jabs, "because this one just gives Me the absolute shits."
 -----///-----


THERE are few if any moments in life when we can touch, know and quite enjoy the Divine certainty of another's torment, but anyone who watched our PM duck and weave and snap and scold on Four Corners must surely have felt that guilt-free, godlike tingle. Her press gallery congregants can take up Gillard's case, as they do almost every day now, praying for mercy in their columns and pleading for  wisdom's Divine intercession to make voters see, as they all do, the many sterling virtues and wonderful accomplishments of the Labor crew.

Last night as Gillard squirmed and those darting, cornered eyes supplied a candour that her voice dared not, you had to love every miserable second of the creature's unravelling. Finally, the woman who has told so many lies ran out of them. She would not answer because she could not answer. To confirm that she knew her victory speech was drafted two weeks before the knife went into Rudd would have been to validate every suspicion of cynical and predatory ambition she has for so long denied.

It was beautiful to watch her come undone, sweeter than the licorice icecream the Rufous Bird brought with her for dessert.

She's gone, you know, about to be crushed and buried by the mountain of her own deceits. We'll get our chance to play God with the rest of them soon enough, when scandal, happenstance or, if we must wait that long, the passage of  another 18 months brings an election to the nation's rescue. Until then, let us enjoy this moment as a demonstration of that lesson many still teach their kids: a bad end for a bad person.

But most all she's gone because, as she demonstrated so well last night, she shits every adult with an ounce of sense or decency, especially decency.

Enjoy the show. It is going to be fun and very bloody.

*originally mis-spelled, but now correct. It was late. Much licorice icecream had been consumed.

69 comments:

  1. Yet again, Gillard displays the political judgement of a gibbering buffoon. I hope that doesn't sound sexist.

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  2. The word is "supUrating" AND Job you aint!!

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  3. Just great Professor. Yes I watched her cringeful behaviour and she was abolutely shown up as the ultimate liar. When even Four Corners does this to her, how long does she have left? Surely you have to count it in days, not weeks or months.

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  4. Hi Bunyip, please check out Pier Ackerman's blog on the Heiner Affair. It looks like GG Bryce & Rudd will be in a lot of hot water once these documents fall off the back of a truck:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/senators_receive_heiner_allegations/

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  5. “THERE are few if any moments in life when we can touch, know and quite enjoy the Divine certainty of another's torment, but anyone who watched our PM duck and weave and snap and scold on Four Corners must surely have felt that guilt-free, godlike tingle.”

    This sentence is far too long and poorly drafted. It can be improved –

    “THERE are few if any moments in life when we can touch, know and quite enjoy the Divine certainty of another's torment. Anyone who watched our PM duck and weave and snap and scold on Four Corners must surely have felt that guilt-free, godlike tingle.”

    “Her press gallery congregants can take up Gillard's case, as they do almost every day now, praying for mercy in their columns and pleading for wisdom's Divine intercession to make voters see, as they all do, the many sterling virtues and wonderful accomplishments of the Labor crew.”

    The use of “Congregants” is anachronistic and pretentious, and the linking of this word and references to “mercy” and “Divine intercession” is clumsy and doesn’t work.

    “Last night as Gillard squirmed and those darting, cornered eyes supplied a candour that her voice dared not, you had love (sic) every miserable second of the creature's unravelling. Finally, the woman who has told so many lies ran out of them. She would not answer because she could not answer. To confirm that she knew her victory speech was drafted two weeks before the knife went into Rudd would have been to validate every suspicion of cynical and predatory ambition she has for so long denied.”

    Careless and sloppy, and the use of the word “creature” indicates a vindictive sexism that demeans the author far more than it does the subject.

    “It was beautiful to watch her come undone, sweeter than the licorice (sic) icecream (sic) the Rufous Bird brought with her for dessert.”

    “Licorice” should be “liquorice”. “Icecream” should be “Ice-cream”. Sense and meaning would be improved if the writer avoided infesting his prose with obscure and irritating references that emanate from his bizarre imagination.

    “She's gone, you know, about to be crushed and buried by the mountain of her own deceits. We'll get our chance to play God with the rest of them soon enough, when scandal, happenstance or, if we must wait that long, the passage of another 18 months brings an election to the nation's rescue. Until then, let us enjoy this moment as a demonstration of that lesson many still teach their kids: a bad end for a bad person.”

    Here is another overblown, over-extended, and poorly drafted sentence. Some consistency can be found in the Divine reference, but it doesn’t work. It reads as a poor translation from the Russian. Any meaning that can be extracted from the turgid and tortuous prose is overwhelmed by the stilted language. Any style resembles slowly-hardening treacle.

    “But most all she's gone because, as she demonstrated so well last night, she shits every adult with an ounce of sense or decency, especially decency.”

    The clear self-parody in this extract seems lost on the writer. The juxtaposition of “shit” and “decency” simply fails. Apparently non-adults are exempt. That’s a small blessing.

    “Enjoy the show. It is going to be fun and very bloody.”

    The “show” is Bunyip making a fool of himself every time he addresses the keyboard. It is, indeed, great sport. You’d have to conclude that this creature is a figment of its own imagination.

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    Replies
    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Listen, 1735099, lowly teacher of Journalism and Writing 101 (left version), if you are lucky; teacher of English in some vile high school if you are not. You demonstrate above that you have absolutely no understanding of the cadence and snap of the magnificent language that is English.

      You are the type of fool who would rewrite the King James Version of the Bible into the common language committee-speak found the unrewarding version used today. No doubt you also belong to the 'plain English' brigade. Learn some Latin and begin to appreciate your linguistic heritage.

      Go away, you flea biting an elephant.

      Professor, you have expressed fully the emotions of many. Hearty congratulations.

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    2. Yet again...a tiresome, wrangling pedant. There is not a cogent counter argument to be found in your verbal spewing over the keyboard, but plenty of clear evidence of your inability to think outside the grammar box or your own narrow world view.

      Take Stephen Fry's advice to pedants and "...dive into the open flowing waters and leave the stagnant canals be." You'll be using a whole new part of your brain.

      Delete
    3. ‘This sentence is far too long and poorly drafted’.
      Well, I’d hate to see what you’d do to the last sentence of “The Four Ages of Poetry” by Peacock.

      ‘The use of “Congregants” is anachronistic and pretentious [...]’
      You accidentally neglected to provide your superior, alternative word.

      ‘[T]he linking of this word and references to “mercy” and “Divine intercession” is [sic] clumsy and doesn’t work.’
      Tee hee.

      “Licorice” should be “liquorice”.
      Fair enough; but if you’re going to insist on British spellings—and I, for one, approve—then, surely, “drafted” should be “draughted”.

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    4. Teach, doing what he does best!

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    5. Relax Poindexter,

      It is a blog post, not a submission for an arts grant.

      Sheesh....

      from Real Deal

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    6. Is there any blog you won't troll?

      I suppose you come across as an absolute whale of erudition to your mates in the Queensland ALP.

      Delete
    7. Doesn't it just shit you to tears when some boring pissant shows up at the party with two stubbies of XXXX Gold and drinks everyone else's Heineken? Take your worthless fucking arts degree back to your ghetto and mourn your looming removal from the temporary ruling class, you zombie cockhead.

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    8. You vote Labor. Not your fault you know no better.

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    9. 1735099, I would think that for a former conscript army cook you could better spend your time on weather alarmism in your Toowoomba home. Get those Toowoomba bridges and overpasses with better drainage tunnels. Don't you think?
      M Ryutin Sydney

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    10. Teach, that this is the best you can come up with is a stark testament to the extent of your self-delusion.

      You aren't as clever as you very clearly think you are.

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    11. PhillipGeorge(c)2012February 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      ".......bizarre imagination"

      I only got that far Prof. Every fingerprint is bizarre to every other - no two the same - no painfully boring repetition.

      I actually enjoy hyperfine pedantry when on topic. Words have a certain plasticity - like fluids have morphic form - the limits of which are perfected, but perhaps unknowable.
      Why do I like interchanging some homonyms in practical application is something other than a random act of obfuscation or churillish self indulgent secrecy.

      Nominative determinism meets meta narrative. What is a Watt? - and would Mr Watt be pleased with Fuzzy Logic's interface with Quantum Physical reality.
      Why have Ascetics made grand aesthetic choices?
      Where does one find wares to convert to wearer's wares.
      Homonym etymology and evolution involves not only neuroplasticity but cognitive associational skills.

      The fool and Ms Gillard have missed a basic truth - a fundamental sort of thing. There is joy in language - the lexicon and truth are not complete without it.

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    12. Kevin is that you???

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    13. PhillipGeorge(c)2012February 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      churlish - time taps at a keyboard - has a mental cigarette and corrects an actual error.

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    14. Obviously not a fan of purple prose...

      Study some classic beat generation style literature then come back and bitch.

      Or do something constructive, go watch the pneumatic beauties wander by the pub, too nice a day to be a pedant...

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    15. To PhillipGeorge (c)2012...

      Absolute Gold! :)

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    16. My first post here (having been a keen reader for a little while now) and I apologise for it being less than polite. I must be stupid, I never realised the word 'creature' is sexist. As to the rest of your turgid, pompous and overblown rant, words simply fail me.

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    17. Tom.... four stars..... just champagne. I wish I had written that.

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  6. beautiful work prof

    I perch like a carrion as the death throes twitch

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    Replies
    1. Some Tabasco sauce will improve the taste.

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  7. Prof, you've got a case of wishful thinking when you say that Gillard is "about to be crushed and buried" as a result of last night's Four Corners. The program broke no new ground. Or do you seriously think that a newspaper somewhere will lead with the headline "Gillard deceptive"? Would they place it above or below the headlines saying "sky blue" and "grass green"?

    Four Corners occasionally breaks a big story, and even topples a government (eg "Moonlight State"). But they can't do it every week, and this just isn't one of those weeks.

    In the cold light of dawn, I'm depressed to be facing another 18 months of that horrible Gillard voice, like fingernails on a blackboard. It's not just the voice itself, it's what she says, and the way she treats us all like idiots. When she stops saying "new economy", she will replace it with something even worse ... oh, the humanity.

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  8. This is the woman who chanted the 'phony Tony' mantra not so long ago.

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  9. Numbers' attack on Professor Bunyip was a shining example of praising with faint damn. The nearest he/she came to laying a glove on him was pointing out that 'icecream' is sometimes hyphenated.
    The 'turgid prose' sounded like an embittered school teacher resentful of someone who is really making a mark on the Australian commentariat.

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  10. She certainly shits me.

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  11. I took an absolute rubbishing when KRudd was put in as leader with La Gillard as deputy, for stating that he would not last as leader. Her naked ambition had been obvious for a very long time, and her personal behaviour on that climb towards the top made it clear she would not be willing to play second banana for long.

    Once he became PM, I didn't think she would be stupid enough to challenge in his first term. A good strategist would have waited till he was re-elected. She panicked when the polls went south and, as we now know, strategy is not her strong suit. Or honesty, integrity, competence, the list goes on.

    Patience is not my strong suit and seems an interminable wait for the electorate to have its say. What really sticks in my throat is the fact that my hard earned money will go to support her and her henchman in luxurious style long after she's been booted from the Lodge.

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  12. And I'd like to know more about the licorice/liquorice ice-cream...was it the Trampoline version?

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    Replies
    1. Or the one Luke Mangan does at Salt (and on their cruise ship outlets).

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  13. One positive having her as our leader is I've saved heaps not having to buy All-Bran.

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  14. Heap shit on Gillard all you want but remember, the moment Rudd returns as PM, Tony Abbott will be finished. No matter how many triumphant blog posts, comments etc you and the other pig-ignorant conservatives make the reality is Rudd will mop the floor with Tony, win the next election and then you guys will spend another three years saying 'we waz robbed'....

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    1. Gillard has done the damage she was brought in to do. Rudd has no baggage from that. Bring him back to win the next election. Whatever it takes, eh?

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    2. Uh, Abbott saw Rudd off once. It won't take long before we're reminded of why he got the chop.

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    3. IF what you say is true, then why would you bother posting here ?
      And it seems like only yesterday that the commentariat were saying that liberals were fools to replace Turnbull with Abbott. Yeah, Abbott is just such an under-performer, taking the opposition from dreadful polling to almost bumping off a first term government, oh, and seeing off a Prime Minister, whose name was Rudd.
      Let me get this right - this is the same Rudd that will now "wipe the floor with Tony". We are talking about the same chap are we ?

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    4. Why take the precaution of not including a name with your comment?

      mr.simmon

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    5. Dream on craphead.Why not elaborate and spell out for us pig-ignorant cons. how?when:
      1)krudd will be re-instated ?
      2)when will this election be called?

      Another masterful presentation prof.- you are indeed "the man".
      Long may you reign.

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    6. Another member of the collective who believes ordinary people are stupid and will enjoy being crapped on from a great height by a respun ALP government. Are you new to politics or just an idiot with learning deficit disorder?

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    7. You might recall that Rudd got the death wobbles from the minute he faced a real Opposition Leader (Tony Abbott).

      Mop the floor, perhaps in your own personal alternate reality.

      Did you happen to notice how woefully disatrous Rudd was as PM that his own party dumped him only 2.5 years into his first term?

      I suggest that you gaze into your own pig-ignorant mirror, Anonymous.

      For everyone else, this is the intellect of a ALP supporter.

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    8. There are Gillard supporters within the ALP that have openly said they will walk if KRudd gets given the gig. This would lead to an election. Therefore KRudd would have about a month to 'win us over' in an election campaign. Not Likely.

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    9. You must have taken idiot pills this morning. The Labor cesspool will be cleaned out, flowers will bloom again and there will be banana custard for tea.

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    10. You must have taken idiot pills this morning. The Labor cesspool will be cleaned out, flowers will bloom again and there will be banana custard for tea.

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    11. The manners of visting aliens have deteriorated badly.
      O for the good old days when they announced themselves with 'Take me to your leader'!

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  15. The sad thing is that Rudd's machinations contributing to Gillard's demise are as devious and cynical as hers. Yet, when she is finally knocked off her perch people will, in their relief, overlook Rudd's entirely self-serving scheming as well as his documented history as a defective PM and...welcome him.

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  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Anonymous, should we be sadly forced to spend another three years saying 'we waz robbed' at least we'll have the small cold comfort of knowing that by that time, like the rest of us, you'll be broke.

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  17. "Heap shit on Gillard all you want but remember, the moment Rudd returns as PM, Tony Abbott will be finished. "

    Ok...apparently you weren't alive in 2009 / 2010.

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  18. Julia is great, she is fantastic, she must stay on as Prime Minister until the next election, then I can vote her out.

    Julia is vice president of Emily's list, the leading feminist organisation. The first Emily’s lister to go was Kristina Keneally, next in line is Anna Bligh, then Julia followed by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce.

    I congratulate those who advocated giving the Emily listers as much rope as they wanted as they would only hang themselves.

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    Replies
    1. Kristina Keneally, I'd slap my nuts on her chin.

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    2. Emily's List Australia was started by Joan Kirner, which says a lot. The fact that they've already gotten this far surely points to a serious flaw in our political system. I don't think we'll be rid of them all that easily. Mediocrities know when to burrow down and bide their time, and eventually they come back just as strong as ever.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMILY's_List_Australia

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    3. no Joan Kirner was a founder and also first to go I think.

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    4. Don't forget Joan Kirner.
      No matter how much you may want to.

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    5. Kristina Keneally was the thinking mans pin up (naked of course).

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  19. Clinton smoked but did not inhale and now it seems Gillard listened but did not hear.

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  20. Replies
    1. He loves the word. He's even used it here at the Billabong. Wrongly, of course...

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    2. Well spotted, spot the dog.

      17 bobby red-herring is a lefty fool who just keeps giving. He claims great academic accomplishment, but when he's called out as an ‘inventor of truths’ and asked to support his history and fact challenged drivel he fails at every turn.

      That he didn’t attempt to address a single point raised in the Bunyip’s erudite post might give readers a clue to the origin of 17 bobby red-herring’s nick name amongst those who enjoy poking holes in his absurd utterings on other blogs.

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    3. 'Patio'...

      Sorry I missed that.

      It looked like fun.

      Teach is the consummate prig.

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  21. My apologies 1735099 You are not a snot-nosed kid, more likely a snot-nosed teacher.

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  22. In question time today they should ask Rudd if his office is working on an acceptance speech. Then ask Crean, then ask Combet, then ask Shorten, then ask Swan a totally unrelated question.

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    Replies
    1. There was a great piece in the local paper this morning..it said that if little Billy Shorten won the ballot for leader he had better have his ma in law's resignation letter in his pocket.

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  23. EMILY's Listing,exposing her rolling bottom to the vulgar gaze, but soon to be sunk entirely. And she is taking the whole crew down with her. Too utterly Biblical.

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  24. ...and the reply from The Digital Dude was just a dollop of cream on top of the icecream...

    Digits, won't you ever grow up?

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  25. A lovely piece, Professor. If you live by the sword, I guess you die by the sword. Too bad that we mere voting mortals will be denied the opportunity of ending her political career ourselves.

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  26. Numbers is right ! The Professor's postings - wonderful as they are - sometimes move toward the purple end of the spectrum.
    Digger

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  27. No, 1735099 is merely ill-educated and pathetically ignorant.

    The Bunyip's prose is enjoyable for the reason it is old-fashioned, redolent of the nineteenth century when prose perhaps considered verbose or even prolix in these days was the mark of an educated man and an educated reader, implying an intimate and relaxed familiarity between the two.

    I read a lot of nineteenth and eighteenth century material and the key is to slow you reading down and savour the nuances, for these people knew their language intimately and used it in a manner fulsome and mellifluous.

    And as for the raddled termagent that is our crimson-hued barren spinster of a marxian persuasion, my advice is to sit back with your finest tipple, be it a snifter of brandy of your favoured ale, or indeed both, and enjoy the spectacle of hubris meeting nemesis.

    And ignore the ill-educated prattlings of such as 1735099.

    Mk50 of Brisbane

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  28. Just wondrin':

    If "Numbers" is a real school teacher; allegedly with an Army background (1MD block number?), then what was he doing at work, posting at 1:18pm on a Monday? (Or, if one allows for "daylight saving", 12:18 local)?

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    Replies
    1. Compare the time (AEDT) I post, Feb 16, 12:39 AM with the time stamp, and you’ll work it out.

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  29. I'm as confident about Gillard's "New Economy" as Tim Mathieson must be when "he's on a promise".

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