Saturday, November 19, 2011

Toe The Line!

LEADING journalism academic and trainee court reporter Margaret Simons is auctioning her sandals for charity, a noble gesture and potential boon to poor unfortunates in two different varieties of sheltered workshop. The first, your more conventional kind of lunatic, may soon benefit from additions to their institution’s supplies of basket-weaving materials. And the second, well that would be any Fairfax reporter or editor sufficiently astute to recognise the career-boosting benefits such footwear might bestow.

They could, for example, be worn proudly in either the Silly or Phage newsroom, where open toes would be taken as firm evidence of the new owner’s belief in rising global temperatures. With Fairfax reporters attempting daily to outdo each other in demonstrating their faith in the catastropharian creed, those pre-worn Birkenstocks would leave all but Melissa Fyfe’s jogging shoes in their dust.

Or – and this might be the better career strategy -- they might be used for paddling office heretics. If some undiplomatic soul strays from the groupthink that characterizes all the Fairfax papers, whack!, six of the best, followed by an open invitation for ideologically sound colleagues to examine the welts.  Administer that sort of punishment and the office disciplinarian will be put on the first plane and sent off to cover any number of international events.

And no need, either, to fret over consequences. In the unlikely event of the police being summoned, the office windows at both the Phage and Silly are sealed shut.


  1. "whack!, six of the best"

    Might this not encourage recalcitrant behaviour? Particularly among those who have not exactly been in a rush to condemn...

  2. Is there truth in the rumour that both institutions are setting up Heath Robinson beating machines to bolster staff confidence?

    The welts of batch lots of thrashings will be viewed, slacks down, by staff to give them the chance to "feel the pain of others as acutely as only the highly intelligent do".

    These geniuses will then have the confidence to go abroad with anointed pens, perchance to truly appreciate a trouser loss or two in Memphis or Zimbabwe, sans welts of course.

  3. One could always throw them at Obama for not signing up to Kyoto Part 2.

  4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.November 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    On Ms. Simons track record of creating beat-ups at Quadrant, this 'beat up' at Fairfax would be a most appropriate use of her (ugh) smelly old Birkenstocks. They should be impounded and treated as radioactive waste.

  5. Prof,
    for evidence of the mindset of Fairfax hacks, have a look at this piece about Peter Roebuck from Malcolm Knox:

    "Some loyalties were tested in 2001 when he pleaded guilty to symbolically caning three South African men, through their clothes,"

    Symbolically? I wonder if he was symbolically convicted?

    And this:

    "Roebuck was known as an outspoken critic of the regime of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

    Of speculation that Roebuck had been set up by forces loyal to the Mugabe regime, Mr Chadya said: ''It is a possibility.''

  6. Is there any chance the windows might be loosened a tad to hasten their sudden lemming like rush?

  7. PhillipGeorge(c)2011November 19, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    ar - rush to condemn?
    aberrant is a synonym of heroic now. There is no true antonym of emasculate.

    Traditionally people have been born male or female - how narrow minded the observation of it has become. Passport holders check your new options in liberality.
    But Prof Carthagenate proportions of wastage in preborn humans couldn't have proceeded without the desexing of society. Germaine's eunuchs were really as many the castrated.

    Men without chests and other bits.