I have a confession to make. I used to read The Australian. A lot. But I don't do that anymore. I done been cured of my wicked ways. If I had to put a definitive terminator on the day I stopped reading The Oz, I guess I'd go for the moment they powered up the pay wall. Previous to that I'd drop in for research purposes, mostly for Blunty, a couple of times a week. But like an alcoholic, shuffling past the entrance to a bar, just to prove that he can, just to prove that he's a better man now, I sometimes… I sometimes… I... Oh God, Iread it because… because I wanted to.
Don't you judge me!
I only read it for the good articles, damn you, the ones by mega-George and Matt Price, may he rest in peace, and a couple of the cricket writers, and Amanda Meade's media column. But nothing else, that was it, honest. If I read a Greg Sheridan op-ed I only did so to critique it to within an inch of its life. Oh, and they had Doonesbury too. Matt died young, and mega-George left, Amanda left, so many of the best voices left that the screeching of the trolls seemed to be all that remained.
If I'm honest, I stopped reading for anything other than work purposes long before the pay wall. The vicious derp was too great. The inability of the paper's editors to separate reporting from opinion, indeed their daily efforts to frame their deranged opinions as though it was reporting, became too much. It's not just a question of bias. All media is biased. It was the way that the naturally conservative bias of The Australian sickened and twisted into a stunted, toxic homunculus of reportage and rage. It didnt matter in the end how much quality copy they might source from their overseas partners. The septic mess they served up domestically was just too rank and odourous to be borne.
That's why I enjoyed this blog by Ben Jenkins so much. It is every bit a vicious and unfair as any of the shrieking, crack-fueled machete attacks for which the paper has become known. Perhaps even more so. But it's also funnier, much funnier.
It's funnier because it's truthier.
I would run the whole thing here if I could, but that would be wrong. Hit up the link and read it in its full glory. But allow me to steal just a couple of my favorite pars. That's what we do now in journalism. We're all about the stealing:
Today, The Australian published the journalistic equivalent of a clenched fist being shaken at skateboard. You can read it here. It’s got no byline, which is fitting because you get the sense that this article was brought into being not by a single author but by several, who all stood in a circle and wanked into a fax machine. The editorial reads like something drunkenly written on a napkin up the back of the Walkleys while glaring across the room at Latika Bourke.
It’s petty, it’s indignant, it’s self-righteous and it’s angry. It’s also got a kind of haunting and beautiful fragility to it. Like an old man with his bathrobe tangled in a bush.
22 Responses to ‘Wanking into the fax machine’
Unutterable because Alexander Downer and George Brandis have no understanding of the word. Downer, who used ASIS against the infant democracy of East Timor in a grotesque and unnecessary abuse of state power. Brandis who how's deploys the power of the state to cover it up.
Sometimes the Golden Age of Satire is merely dark and ugly and deeply depressing.
18 Responses to ‘Shame, unutterable shame’
7 Responses to ‘At last, that difficult Secret Santa present for Orin is available’
I must confess to never having read Neville Shute's famous end of the world novel, or having seen the movie or the TV mini series. And yet it looms large in my pop cultural imagination all the same. Now, thanks to a link I saw the other day (and a source I promptly forgot, sorry) I need feel the shame no longer.
13 Responses to ‘On The Beach comic panels’
I'm seeing more and more of these listicle piss takes around teh intewebz. It's like people finally caught on to the Buzzfeeding of every title ever. I'll admit I'm as much of a sucker for this style of formatting as anyone, although I'm starting to resent the Pavlovian implications, the idea that we can be so easily programmed to hit up a link.
I found myself refusing to follow one this morning just because of the Buzzfeedly format. Something about 23 Something or Others that I Totally Needed To See Right Now. Turns out I didn't.
Anyways, having enjoyed 'The Novels of John Updikeworthy' at Lincoln Michel's blog ("Wow! These Witches of Eastwick Summon Everything Women Have Been Thinking About the “Ideal” Man in 300 Pages!") I decided we might have a lazy summer project here to listicle the Second World War.
Here's a few starters.
Ten Things That Could Totally Go Wrong With Peace In Our Time.
Oh no Adolph Hitler, you did NOT just say that about Poland!
27 Vines of the Hot New Blitzkrieg That You Will NOT Be Able to Stop Watching.
Pepsi Challenge. Can You Look At All 44 Instagrams of these Totes Adorbs Jewish Refugees Without Getting Something in Your Eye?
Whoa! Winston Churchill Ripped Adolph Hitler a New One on the Radiola Last Night and We've Got the SoundCloud Right Here.
Did You Know Jean Paul Sarte and Simone de Beavoir were an item? And that they totally did it under the noses of the Gestapo? Cos we've got the exquisitely crafted love leters to prove it!
31 Delicious noms you can make right in your foxhole!
Finally! A Fashion Photography Guide for Butch Dykes in the WAAF!
Eew! Gross. See if you can look at every gaping woud in this 68 snap collection without flinching.
27 Responses to ‘You won't believe what Hitler just did!’
3 Responses to ‘Stupid electorate, stupid journalists, mistaking stupid lies for stupid broken promises’