Monday, November 28, 2011

Inky Retch

THE clotted cream of unionised Australian journalism gathered last night for the annual Walkley Awards, which it turns out are something akin to the Academy Awards, just recast with dumpy gals in school-social satin and men who didn't pass the screen test for Brokeback Mountain. Well the guys looked caring and sensitive anyway, and these days that is probably enough to get ahead or, more realistically, to secure regular appearances in Good Weekend, where women outnumber men 15-to-1 on the list of people, published near the front of each edition, who labour weekly to bring out that magazine insert. Everyone had a lovely time, apparently, and if there was any discord when the ladies reclaimed the plates on which they brought their lamingtons and sausage rolls, well it doesn't figure in the official results. They say politics is Hollywood for ugly people, and it seems journalism is something similar: a celebration of bravery and independence for the craven and co-opted.

There were some oddities and oversights about this year's categories and winners, however.

Where was the award for best excoriation of the Zionist Entity by a reporter married to a leading Palestinian activist? If only that category had been included, the annual lauding of Paul McGeough would not have been interrupted.

And where was the award for the media company chieftain who makes more money than his newspapers, which actually aren't making any money at all? Indeed, there might even have been a minor, associated award in that category: The CEO who won't reform his organisation because $50,000 a week is a very nice screw for doing nothing much.

Not that fairfax was the only organisation to be stiffed. You would think departing News Ltd supremo John Hartigan warranted a couple of nods. He would have been a natural to he honoured for the remarkable achievement of standing tall without the benefit of a backbone, and also for the sustained, running-scared dash after a single irate call from our no longer quite-so-young-and-naive PM. Those awards could have been presented by Glenn Milne, who could use the work, and whichever law firm it is that will not be handling the abandoned appeal against Judge Mordy's dutiful denunciation of Andrew Bolt.

And finally, where was the award for bad subbing in support of bug-eyed notions -- a category that has seen Fairfax this very morning leave all potential rivals in its dust, thanks to a multi-part video series purporting to expose the real truth behind the destruction of New York's World Trade Centre. Here is how one of those videos is described, and do please note the professionalism, grammar and compelling logic of the blurb that introduces the 90-minute expose of George W. Bush's covert demolition initiatives:

About this episode

9/11; the actions that took place on this single day in 2001 effected the greatest changes to modern civilization, global politics and human interaction more than any other. However, the media assault and political spin that raged during the aftermath has also given 9/11 the dubious honour of being the most disputed story of the 21st century. This documentary feature film presents a series of arguments which - if true - suggest that the unprecedented events of 9/11 were an orchestrated stepping-stone designed to provide the US government a pretext for their declaration of War on Terror.

 Marvellous, ain't it? The boss pockets $50,000 every week  while his semi-literate minions promote Truther crackpottery.

Well, there will be an award for that achievement soon enough. The receivers will be stopping by to present it in person.


  1. Lovely to see you back here, Prof. Have missed you.

  2. Thank you very much, Gab. After all those computer problems and some unexpected family obligations, the past week saw little time and less inclination to tap away at the keyboard. Plus, there was a lot of golf, a little fishing and a major drive to get the Billabong's garden up to snuff (it now looks lovely, and the new garden furniture looks very nice beside the equally new fish pond).

    While posting has resumed there are, however, a couple of bush trips coming up and, possibly, a bit of a jaunt to Italy. So if there is no activity for a spell, please indulge the silences.

  3. Good to hear all is well, some of us were a tad concerned. A by-your-leave would be appreciated before any future absences. If possible, please. :)

  4. "Truther crackpottery".

    Could these grubs sink any lower?

    The receivers can't arrive soon enough.

    P.S. Welcome back, Bunyip!

  5. Ah, couldn't happen to a better bunch of incompetents and media cellar dwellers.
    When the receiver knocks on the Fairfax doors I trust the editor does not send to ask for whom the bell tolls ha ha ha . . .
    (Yes prof. good to have you back & I think Gab hit the nail re our concerns)

  6. Hey! They used 'effected' correctly, you don't see that every day!

  7. "Palestinian Hack" rhymes with "Freddie Mac". Make of that what you will...

  8. Professor so glad you are back, have missed you terribly, nice to know you have been gainfully occupied. Vis a vis the garden, I have recommended to me a source of rich manure, far better than horse, bull or cow manure and that is finely shredded Gillard speeches. Apparently my tipster has a thriving crop of zucchini, eggplants and mushrooms.

    Cheers if you're off to Italy good for you are you going to the north or the south. Whatever have a wonderful time you lucky bunyip.

  9. Bunyip,

    If the Walkleys are a celebration of the cream of Australian journalism, it's little wonder jobs are being cut left, right and centre.

    Among the major awards we have:

    Gold Walkley - decent enough story by 4C and it had a major impact, but let's face it, the source material was handed to them on a platter by animal rights activists.

    Best scoop - Channel 10's ADFA skype scandal. As I understand it, the victim (or an associate) also handed their story to Ch10.

    Best interviews - well really, none of those interviews by Tony Jones materially changed the course of Australian public life.

    Various Qld flood stories - journalists just doing their jobs.

    Mark Willacy Japan earthquake / tsunami - ditto.

    Best commentary - a La Tingle end of year hits and memories retrospective is the best of the best?!

    Wikileaks award - they've got to be kidding!

    Truly, these journos are delusional if they think there's much worth celebrating about their "profession".

    PS - good to have you back.

  10. Please maintain the image(stereotype?)of Bunyips as being men of the High Renaissance. Go easy on the chianti and no rumours of bunga bunga orgies finding their way back here.

    Surely, you can spare a moment in the garden of earthly delights, seek out an internet cafe, and beguile us bogans from afar.

    A must see Prof for any true blue: The Birth Of Julia (Botticelli) Ufizzi Gallery. Florence.

  11. Welcome back BUNNO! I thought you had been kidnapped fundaMENTALIST green jihadists ! Holding you prisoner in an old farm cottage in remotest Tasmania. Being interrogated by a tall slim old man wearing a mask !!

  12. p.S. Prof ,your interrogator had a boring droning voice !!

  13. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.November 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Given that 9/11 conspiracy videos now come with the Fairfax Seal of Grammatically Bad Approval, the hunting season for conspiracies is obviously now in full swing. Thus good Professor I express my profound fear: that the random rootkit hit its target! Yes, the Billabong is obviously under threat from malodorous plotters fresh back from Occupy. Your many admirers need to be vigilant or otherwise become sadly deprived of their mostly-daily Bunyipitude bread. You must keep us informed, Sir. If you disappear without warning we will know what to think - a Chinese submarine has secreted you away and transferred you on to a Palestinian peace boat. Should a wheel fall off your golf-buggy then it is another mystery happening: your stirling equipment is being sabotaged and your excellent game-scoring stragies compromised, events demonstrably intended to lead to a subsequent incoherent inability to tap out a missive to us. No inadvertent fixture of the hook and lure into fleshy Bunyip thumb will ever now be just that - it will be Bunyip blood drawn digitally in the valorous sacrifice of the blogging battle. If Fairfax can do it in the name of quality journalism Sir, so can we. We will build up a protective field force around you and your precious bodily fluids (your blood, Sir). Unless you give us the signal (you know what it is, Sir), we will seek the conspiracy whenever you are AWOL, and spend unhappy hours speculating grumpily elsewhere in the bloggosphere about who has got at you and why. Conspiracy rules, OK?

    Except it doesn't, and we're all glad you are back and hope you don't leave us alone too often. EB

  14. That film is unbelievable! A little-knowledge is dangerous and no-knowledge is worse. Sickening.

  15. Did Andrew Bolt win a Walkley? Or for that matter any of the hate media win anything at all? Don't tell me these prizes are just for the usual people who think the same? Geez what a place this country is....

  16. They will be screaming about "the truth" being suppressed by the agents of Capitalism even as they are dragged out the door.

  17. PhillipGeorge(c)2011November 29, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Haven't been able to watch it micdub as I'm in an extreme remote satellite bearly connects sort of place?
    but what was the 'unbelievable' part micdub. Please don't leave anyone guessing about core science. We all just love knowledge and the bits of it that explain things.

  18. As long as they wash their hands afterwards, I don't care what the wankers do.

  19. Phillip,

    The laughs never ceased! The internal contradictions were obvious and the obvious ignored. A few chestnuts:

    - "Never before in the history of the world has a steel structure collapsed due to fire."

    - "I'm a conservative republican"

    - 'How did all this paper get blown all over the city? Shouldn't have been trapped between the pancaking floors?'

    - I think I also heard a suggestion that part of the 'demolition' work was rushed and performed post plane-crash.

    Anyway, it turns out the Jews did it (with incendiaries in the basement)! And did you know that leading up to the terror attacks, tons of treasure was removed from secret floors in the towers by heavy machinery - just like "rats leaving a sinking ship(buh?)"

  20. I'm trying not to get distracted by the content of the film, as I wonder WHY it would be published by the Silly, and why now? Is it another attempt at Bush-bashing? A blindside at Republican folly? A talking point to stop us talking about Carbon taxes? Or has market research revealed that this is the sort of thing people really want to watch?

  21. Mark: I suspect it is nothing quite so complicated. An American friend who lives here in Oz reports being regularly waylaid by people at social functions, where he learns that they have grave doubts about the "official 9/11 story". Quite likely one of those sorts works at Fairfax.

    If you accept that Fairfax is a cocktail of anarchy, incoherence and inertia -- ratbag twentysomethings pursuing their passions while indolent, overpaid bosses let them have their head -- then the truther video would have been published because, well, adult supervision has gone walkabout.

    We're probably quite lucky that no youngster has yet sat bare-bummed on the copying machine and posted the image on the Silly site.

    But give it time. The way the company is falling to pieces, we'll see it any day now.

  22. The ULTIMATE conspiracy theory:

    aka: that hundreds of Americans secretly plotted to hari kari in aeroplanes , and took out many more innocents,also Americans, in the Twin Towers,and even a sortie on the White House ( for show?).......and all for the President and his men to AID their war on terror..????????

    WTF kinda lack of sense is that??????

  23. Prof, every eyeball God ever put in a human skull has a blind spot - I suspect you are writing with your blind spot fixating your attention.
    I did a quick check with a piece of paper, ruler and trig tables - I determined my blind spot to be about 15.4 degrees plus or minus 2 degrees. I double checked my maths with a google search which concurs with me.

    Prof, "there are clear limits to what you can fill in" comes from half way down the page. This page:
    The dick head tries to out guess Sir Brewster about the unknowable but that is another topic.

    The analogy is this: You don't know what happened at 911! The people who do know vertically compartmentalized pieces to the jig-saw won't be giving interviews in this lifetime. Obviously David Kelly knew something.

    ps. I hope you rediscover yourself in Tuscany. You know, rediscover the romantic, epicurean delights, green sustainable futures etc. The sort of dribble that could make up the front of a weekend magazine. But please don't tell us about being "grown ups". Grown ups are what happens the bit before eternal decomposition processes.

  24. Vlad the Impala, of 3rd Conspiracy Theory from the SunNovember 30, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Dear FillipGorge

    Search yourself carefully, you are already decomposing.

    What happened on 9/11 is that 19 Islamic terrorists hijacked 4 planes, intending to cause severe injury to the Great Satan. (Remember that phrase? It's still in common use.)

    As for the war on terror, we didn't even manage to steal a single drop of Iraq's oil. Epic Fail.

  25. "we"

    who is "we"?

    and thanks for your collective interest, but do you "know" who you serve?