Sunday, September 22, 2013

The pain of youth

Some people like to be tied up and lashed or have their private parts nailed to the table, neither a hobby that has ever inspired much enthusiasm at the Billabong, where the masochistic urge manifests itself in a perversion even further beyond rationality's pale. In these precincts the twisted delight is visiting the Fairfax websites, where two sharp lessons are administered with very nearly every flick of the mouse. The first is that youth carries more weight than wisdom, a sad realisation for anyone on the wrong side of a middle-aged belly and reinforced by all those mugshots of the newspaper's star writers. Look at Ben Cubby's innocent and ever-trusting face, for instance.
Have you seen such a look of absolute belief since those long ago Christmas Eves, when your little ones' faces were aglow with the faith and conviction that Santa and his presents were on their way. Ben still waits eagerly for the next arrival from the North Pole, his delight at further confirmation that it is melting no less intense than the joy of trying on a New Power Ranger outfit and performing globe-saving feats of imagination before the festive tree for Mum and Dad. These days, going by the selective eye with which he sifts the latest climate news, little Ben capers and poses for the approbation of David Karoly and Tim Flannery, whose kisses and hugs and gratitude for never being seriously quizzed he must find even more congenial than those of doting aunties.l

Baby Ben has plenty of company in the Fairfax romper room, including playmate Bianca Hall, who is the Sunday Age and Sun-Herald political correspondent and today addresses the misogynist impulse that shaped Tony Abbott's all-but-gal-free cabinet. The suspicion that she has moved straight from rattling the plastic pots in Barbie's Kitchen to reheating the accepted wisdom was bolstered by her quoting of retiring Senator Sue Troeth, who she introduces only as a Liberal. If Hall was just a little older, had a few more years of observation behind her, she might have mentioned that Troeth is the sort of Liberal who would say that. Her older readers will have immediately recalled that Troeth crossed the floor to support the Carbon Tax and that she is, as people of Hall's generation like to say, "down with" re-editing the dictionary to make the word marriage applicable to same sex couples. Well it worked for "misogyny".

Bianca and fellow Fairfax reporters chase a story

Curiosity inspired a quick google and, yes, it's true -- Hall is only two years removed from reporting building applications and parking restrictions for the Emerald Hill local rag.

And therein the second lesson, albeit a more subtle one: When a Fairfax woman laments the lack of inexperienced women elevated to high office, what she is really saying is that Abbott should run the country much as Fairfax executives run their company.


  1. Ah youth ! , I am reminded of the 70 odd year old man who said
    "I wish I knew as much today as I thought i did when I was 17years old" ! i can see the jorno students gazing in admiration at thei Perfessers(as distinct from Professors) ,absorbing every drop of soshalist /groin bile that drips from the "gooroos" twisted foul mouth!
    What Joy Free ejookayshun is,
    I have a modern "degree" in English ! That accounts for the spelling!

  2. Fairfax is just a playgroup, full of little kids, as you note, Prof.

    Da Hairy Ape jibes at my online adventures with my 'playgroups' but I advise him that I am there merely learning from my elders and betters, for if otherwise, my circumstances suggest that I would be playing online with the mummy-bloggers while talking nappies and da terrible treatment of Joolia.

    Now, that would be childish. Just like reading The Age or SMH.

  3. Prof, I think you mean Judith Troeth and Sue Boyce. Also, I think they've been verballed. They didn't criticise Abbott at all.

    Boyce: "I would hasten to add I do not see this as Prime Minister-elect Abbott's problem, I think it's a system issue for our party." Troeth was more oblique, sliming men in general.

    You're right about one thing though - the Libs were right to never trust Troeth with any power.

  4. Is it a giggle or a gaggle of gals in the pic? Whatever. Their bland uniformity not only gives them excellent credentials for life at The Age, but suggests they might also qualify for the Emily's List junior league.

  5. Give or take some judicious exceptions, there is not much point listening to the opinions of anyone under 40.

  6. I'm not sure the pain of youth is any worse than the pain of old age, Professor. The Sunday Mail in Adelaide recently got sadistic and inflicted a weekly rant on poor Adelaide from that '70s feminist dinosaur, author Susan Mitchell, ideological playmate to Anne Summers in their heady youth and the only woman known to hate Tony Abbott more than Summers. Today's effort was pure '70s. Abbott's problem is ... he's male. No cure for that. My God, Tory Shepherd during the week and Susan Mitchell on Sundays. I might subscribe to The Age, at least there are no ads in it anymore, I hear.

    Pedro of Adelaide

  7. Chip has his own 70 year old. Well she looks it anyway. OK so I am a misogynist pig.

  8. More importantly Prof will Hall live long enough to ever see a dam on the Mitchell or Macalister feeding hydroelectric power into her neighbourhood.

    Think about it Prof. These fools aren't a joke. They remain a potent destructive force in both Labor and Liberal circles and are seriously costing you money.

    Julius Sumner Millers been dead a while now [1987] but the prophet of educational decline's words ring as true today as forty years ago.

    "We are approaching a darkness in the land. Boys and girls are emerging from every level of school with certificates and degrees, but they can't read, write or calculate. We don't have academic honesty or intellectual rigor. Schools have abandoned integrity and rigor."

    I think he could have been specifically speaking about Hall.

  9. A name like "Bianca" tells you she has been indulged and encouraged by fools her whole life; working for Fairfax is a good fit. Nevermind, there will be more than a few Skye's and Brittany's at Fairfax to deflect any criticism. Girl Power!!

  10. "Can a Parliament filled mainly with men from mostly similar backgrounds really understand the struggles endured by - for example - single mothers being kicked off the parenting payment and onto the lower dole?"
    I agree. All Parties should endorse struggling single mothers for winnable seats. Along with candidates from Asian, African and Middle Eastern backgrounds,with Aboriginal heritage and the out-and-proud gay and lesbian Australians. Or better still it would be more efficient if Parties could find struggling single lesbian mothers of Aboriginal/Asian/African and Middle Eastern background.

  11. I won't comment, perfesser, on account of feeling the need to piss in your pocket if I do. Ta.

  12. You can pretty much take it as read that the only people left at Fauxfacts are either too old (read expensive) to be made redundant, too young to command a decent salary or either unemployable by/refugees from the ALPBC.

    Everyone else left years ago - including John B Fairfax about $900m lighter for the experience.

  13. Playing golf and fishing for trout...I think you definitely have enough masochism in your life prof.