Friday, November 30, 2012

More Fun Than Joining Probis

BUSY nights around the kitchen table at the Anne Summers household? You bet! There is Young Chip of The Drum in his high chair, brow furrowed and attempting to write a diplomatic rejection note to the resurgent Margo Kingston, whose return to journalism has not been going well.  She has a scoop to share, a desperation to make voters aware that all this talk about Julia Gillard’s AWU slush fund ignores the bigger issue of Tony Abbott’s long-ago efforts to torpedo Pauline Hanson’s political career.

This view obviously presents a problem. It was only this week in Parliament that Julia Gillard heaped guilt by association on Abbott and Julie Bishop, whose attempts to wring some straight answers were rebuffed with accusations that they are in bed with at least one former Hansonite, whom the prime Minister insisted has been responsible for blackening her good name. Shagging other women’s husbands, being unable to say if stolen money paid for her home renovations and having been fired by a major law firm are, apparently, insufficient shadows to darken the character of a strong Labor woman.

So Margo’s contribution had to go. How could Abbott be both a sworn enemy of Hanson and her minion’s eager tool? Certain manifestations of cognitive dissonance the Left can assimilate – Julia Gillard, honest lawyer, aids and abets a grand fraud but remains entirely blameless and pure --  but other thoughts simply confuse the narrative. Safer, much safer, for Young Chip to stick with the party line and have ex-Drum supremo Jonathan Green channel his old friend Alene Composta, which he does with ardent aplomb. No wonder the pair got on so well. As for Margo, she can go tweet.

And at the table’s head there is Anne Summers, beavering away at her latest journalistic, and modestly christened, tour de force, Anne Summers Reports: Sane, Factual, Relevant.  Summers has been down this road before. Stalwart of the National Times, hood ornament at Fairfax Media, publisher and proprietor of Ms magazine – all went bust or are about to, so it can be said with absolute certainty that spectacular failure is a destination whose path she knows by heart. Her latest project, revealed to the world today, testifies that Summers’ ambitions are more modest this time, which should make the latest road to ruin less taxing.

She is certainly off to a characteristic start. Glance through the offerings – The Stolen Generation Was Sexually Abused Too! Fashionable Architects Confounded by Big Apple Climate Doom! – and eventually you get to a review of what sounds a very annoying post-modernist novel about noted Nazi Reinhard Heydrich. Here is its opening paragraph:

ON A HOT DAY outside Prague in 1942, a Mercedes convert­ible slows to halt before a solitary figure in the middle of the road, a man with a raincoat slung over one arm. Inside the idling car is Obergruppen­führer Reinhard Heydrich, the Protector of Czechoslovakia (the Reich’s wartime industrial powerhouse) and one of the ris­ing stars of Nazi Germany. The figure in the road aims a Sten machinegun at the man who declared all of Europe’s Jews ‘condemned to death’ two years earlier at Wannsee, and …nothing. The trigger sticks. Chaos ensues.

Nothing happened, really? This may come as news to Summers, but a fellow resistance member then tossed a satchel charge at Heydrich’s Mercedes, peppering him with shrapnel and prompting a raging infection that carried him off several days later.

In her statement of goals and principles, Summers has this to say:
This is our pledge. We will be sane. We will be factual. And we will be relevant.
Sanity is, of course, a subjective state, and anything that whines is “relevant” in the circles in which Summers and Young Chip circulate. But the “factual” bit, that must be coming into  effect with the next edition, due in late January. By then, one assumes, the grant application will be in place with Summer's pal, Sophie Cunningham, who oversees the Australia Council's Literature Board.

For those more interested than Summers in Heydrich’s end, this is decent primer:

UPDATE: Scrotum Face is also taking dictation from Alene's ghost.



  1. I don't like Abbott's attempt to route democracy via the courts: give the voters a choice and let them choose, seems that Abbott wanted to restrict our choice.

    But apart from the term "slush fund" appearing we're dealing with a different kettle of fish. Abbott's business was done in private and was what it was; Gillard & friends had incorporated an association described to be something it wasn't. Her affairs overlapped with her work -- and not in a good way -- and funds were misappropriated through the vehicle she helped create.

    Margo herself even admits to being in the dark about the AWU...

    "Like many others, I haven’t followed this story in detail, so I listened hard to their speeches on Thursday."

    Yeah Question Time is a great venue to learn about anything!

  2. Sane, factual and relevant are not words one would associate with Ms Summers. Her lack of historical knowledge is no surprise. I have always thought it ironic that Heydrich died from an infection seeing he was part of one of the greatest infections Europe has seen.

  3. That Australians for Honest Politics gets left under the rock but wall punching gets dragged out holds no surprises. It still leaves me ambiguous about Abbot whilst finding it impossible to support Labour. I certainly never supported Hanson but found the "Enemy of my enemy" alliance between the Left and the badly split Liberals very tacky. I am hoping that in the intemperance of the screaming match currently going on in paliament the AHP issue gets dragged out. I have been predicting it as the Save the best for last embarrassment for this sorry administration.

  4. The Old and Unimproved DaveNovember 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    The novel wouldn't happen to be the alternate-history one called 'The Man With The Iron Heart', by any chance?

    "The Man with the Iron Heart is an alternate history novel by Harry Turtledove. Published in 2008, it takes as its premise the survival by Reinhard Heydrich of his 1942 assassination in Czechoslovakia and his subsequent leadership of the postwar Werwolf insurgency in occupied Germany, which Turtledove depicts as growing into a far more formidable force than was the case historically."

  5. Looks like the aim of her publication is to undercut 'The Big Issue".

  6. At that time we had the NaziDisease ,which killed millions,next door was the RedDisease ,which killed millions in Europe ,then in Asia ,Africa and South in Australia we have a new Pandemic ."The World Guvmint Groin Pretend Soshalist Syndrome" which to my knowlege has not killed millions"not yet anyway" but By Golly can they Lie ,Cheat ,Steal and WASTE TAXPAYERS MONEY!
    And the useless Buggers get big salaries And HUGE PENSIONS,that waste of space Thug leatham gets 78,000a year indexed ! What the Hell for?

    1. To pay his psychotherapist of course

    2. Boris,
      You are forgetting the concept of opportunity cost.

      Any dollar spent trying to stop climatic fluctuations or halt the tides is a dollar that cannot be spent on other purposes — like medicine to save lives. That's why we say it was wasted.

  7. Regarding the differences or similarities between Julia Gillard and Bill Clinton mentioned in the attached Barrie Cassidy item, one striking difference that comes to mind is the fact that Clinton was able to name ONE person in his National Capital with whom he had allegedly NOT had sex.

    Surely THAT establishes a point of difference with Gillard?

  8. Probus, Perfesser, that doesn't seem to be any fun at all, the types that seem to be members. None of them would ever have gutted or scaled a fish, unlike this little waterworld princess.

  9. "What a small first-world luxury is this sort of absorption in nothingness. How snug we must be to accommodate this indulgence in time, effort and inquiry. Is there nothing else of consequence that might occupy us? No true crisis in our democracy? Our economy? Institutions? No failures of policy? Apparently not. It's an indulgence made possible by our affluent certainty."

    Hey, look over here it's a unicorn!


  10. 1. The attack on Heydrich was made in Prague, not outside it. Saying the Libeň district is "outside Prague" is like saying "Bondi, outside Sydney".

    2. Heydrich was the 'Protector' of Bohemia and Moravia, not of Czechoslovakia. The Nazis had carved up Czechoslovakia and regarded the country as a thing of the past.

    3. The Wannsee Conference was held on 20 January 1942, in the same year as Heydrich's death - not two years earlier.

    4. The Sten was not a machinegun, but a rather rudimentary sub-machinegun, best known for jamming (or sticking, as the par quaintly puts it) at vital moments.

    These trifles aside, a reasonably accurate account!

    (And Professor, it is thought that Heydrich died not so much from shrapnel as from horsehair that was blasted from the seat of the Merc into his wounds, causing a fatal infection).

  11. When the Australian left of the 21st century talks of condemning Jews to death, I can't work out if they think it is commendable or deplorable. I mention this at the end of a week when Labor decided to abandon Israel and The Age said the alleged victims of a paedophile were a Jewish community "embroiled" in a child sex scandal.

  12. Is that really a paragraph of her work?

    I have seen 2am drunken blog posts that read better.

  13. A real shame Margo's writings were overlooked like that. If only she had some alternate means of publication, like a blog or something....
    That might be a real winner for her. She should give it a crack.

  14. Hey you go take a shit and the hogs ate you

    hole up with one of the hotties from golf course

    your killing me here, can't fish every day

  15. I want you to know that the above post was in jest and if your absence is of a family matter, which it may be - please nevermind, I understand