Saturday, July 30, 2011

Revealed: the secret affliction of our misunderstood politicians, and a couple of cartoons you won't be seeing in the Daily Astonisher. any time soon.

Like so many others in this neck of the woods, The Magpie is mightily glad that warmer weather is on the way. The best summation of the more than a bit nippy temperatures of recent times was Deirdre McFondle's lament that 'it's been so cold that my headlights have been on high beam for three months'. And when Deidre's lights are on high beam, it is a spectcular vista which is illuminated but it does make jogging painful. That's OK, we can always turn the air conditioning on full blast when our gal pops around to Poseurs" Bar in the warmer months for a dainty glass or two of chardy.
Back in the real(ish) world, the spritely nature of language was on display this week on several fronts, topped by two great headlines from local media.

Also this week we campaign for the return of a long-neglected word that so aptly fits modern politics and the media; we show you a couple of cartoons that you won't see in The Townsville Bulletin; and The 'Pie explains the medical reasons why we should be utterly ashamed of how we treat our politicians. It's all here at
 First, the 'Crikey Ya Reckon? Award' goes to the lawyer acting for that right-wing fruitcake bastard who killed all those people in Norway. Our legal genius - and remember he's getting paid a motza for his uncanny insights and deeply thought-out strategy - says that he thinks it is possible that his client is insane.
Possible? Now how did he spot that? And here we all were, subscribing to the 'boys will be boys' theory. What a fatuous fathead.
Now to a couple fo far more clever things those local headlines this week.This may be old to some but WIN News' background headline for Matty Bowen's accurate kicking and straight-ahead running in last weekend's game was new to The 'Pie, and gets the TV prize :'BOWEN ARROW'.
And one of The Astonisher's recent best came this week in the yarn about a almost toothless, arthritic, half-blind 12-year-old chihuahua declared a dangerous dog after a neighbour's complaint about nearly tripping over it, prompting the Townsville City Council greybeards to hit the pensioner/owner with fines and licence fees she couldn't afford: 'RUFF JUSTICE'.
A bewdy-bottla, as they say.
But that spritely flexibility of language is best described in the old saying 'something old, something new'. First the new(ish).

There's a new word in the United States that will, The `Pie will bet, take hold and become a benchmark word: 'Foxifying'. A NY Times article talked about the 'Foxification' of the august Wall Street Journal, Rupert's latest playtoy. The word has actually been been around for a few months but now seems to be - in that ugly twisted modernism - `gaining traction'. It, and its variants, have also been used in connection with politics particularly Tthe Senate - not that that area needed much dumbing down or introduction to naked greed.
Based on the far right wing editorial policy of the deeply appalling Fox network in the US, it means (as if you need to be told) the dumbing down of serious issues and appealing to the lowest common denominator with populist, jingoistic rants. It also means no matter what, you don't go against your boss's point of view, a sort of 'my mother drunk or sober' policy.That seems to be the Murdoch Method of journalism nowadays - we're getting a daily taste of that doctrine in this neck of the woods, you will be ...well ... astonished to learn.
And, alerted by fellow commentator bloggingtownsville here are a couple of US editorial cartoons that sum of the mood of many powerful Americans who are lining up with baseball bats for their turn at the beleaguered media mogul.

That seems a neat enough segue into our look at a long neglected word whose time has come in this modern era.
The word is 'tergiversate', and has two princple meanings in the dictionary:  (1) to make conflicting or evasive statements; equivocate (2) change one's loyalties; be apostate.

Crikey, where would you start? No Carbon Tax under my government - ditto GST all those years ago. Kurnow when Cheryl went feral. Chances are you'd wear the tread off this word in jig time if it comes back into popularity (it's from the Latin 'to turn one's back on'.) Feel free to apply it liberally ( or laborly , greenly or independently) as you wish.

And we're in for an avalanche of  obscure combinations of words if the new carbon thievery becomes law. John Roskam of  the Institute of Public Affairs made this clear in his unmissable weekly missive.

JR writes:
'What does it take for a government to create a 'green industrial revolution'? 718 pages of legislation and 454 pages of explanation, apparently (with many more pages to come, no doubt).
That's what's in the carbon tax legislation released this afternoon in Canberra.
We'll all have to get used to things like 'the benchmark average auction charge' (in the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment Bill 2011), and the 'international unit surrender charge' (in the Clean Energy (International Unit Surrender Charge) Bill 2011).

And yet, as Rosko points out, we are one of the few countries, perhaps the only one, to have a Minister for Deregulation. He declined, presumably because he is the gentleman that The Magpie is not, that that minister is - gawd help us - Penny Wong. Her green/socialist agendas will ensure that there will be an extra couple of battalions of shiny bums to administer all her malodorous social engineering. She'll no doubt make sure that there is at least a platoon to look after same sex marriage matters.

Talk about tergiversating.

But all that said, it is with contrite heart that The 'Pie must inform you of his latest ephinany about politicians; IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT - WE CALLOUS BUGGERS HAVE BEEN MOCKING THE AFFLICTED.

Get ready to writhe in an agony of remorse, you ungrateful clots. Through painful reseach it can be revealed that our selfless representatives have been soldiering ahead, putting on a brave face to hide a collective medical secret.

The veil was lifted from The Magpie's eyes as he revisited a fascinating little tome by science writer Marc McCutcheon called 'The Compass In Your Nose And Other Astonishing Facts About Humans'.

One at one stage,The 'Pie was reaching the conclusion that there were quite a few things about the human body that he really didn't want to know. The All Bran went down the sink when he learned that Asians have dry, crumbly earwax, while blacks and Caucasians have a moist and adhesive variety.

It was no doubt this line of inquiry that KRudd was exploring when caught in the background of House of Reps TV digging out a chunk from his left lug, critically appraising it and then - cover the childrens' ears as you read this - then eating it.

But then, The 'Pie happened upon the part dealing with the two hemispheres of the brain, the right and the left, and the results when various parts were damaged. With growing astonishment, the old bird read on as Mr McCutcheon detailed symptoms when particular areas of the old noodle are negated. But the real giveaway that he had stumbled on this nation's major malady . It was in his description of what hapens when a particular part of the brain, known as Wernicke's Area, is damaged.

The sufferer speaks an odd gibberish. Although inflection, rhythm and grammatical pauses are correct, the words themselves are meaningless.

A typical victim of Wernicke's Aphasia may say something like, '
Yes, the fribble nosis on wubbles but I menciz grobble of the frizzes table'.

Meaningless gibberish (unless you're a motor mechanic, TV repairman or at Poseurs" Bar just before closing) but it does sound like it means something.

And that's it!!!
We've all heard examples of Wernicke's Aphasia . We just haven't recognised it.

What about 'We have worked hard at flood-proofing the Bruce Highway and as Main Roads Minister, I have made every effort to ensure it is the safest road in Australia'.
Poor Cuddlepie, brave big galoot that he is  ... sounds like English but as the average Queenslander knows, pure gibberish.

Or how about: ' This council is terrible, it can't do anything right unless the idea came from me, none of the current problems happened because of the previous council, and I am just a humble servant of the people with no thought for myself or my income'.

Jenny, Jenny, you poor misunderstood mullet, we all thought you'd been on the whacky weed to be mouthing such gibberish - how could The Magpie have been so cruel, heartless and blind to the truth. It's Wernicke's Aphasia at its worst.

Mr McCutcheon tells us that Wernicke's also leads to word deafness. Victims can read, write and speak normally, but are unable to comprehend the spoken word.

So when the media confronts a pollie with' You said nothing about selling off state assets in the last election campaign, but within months of being returned to office, you announced a fire sale of state corporations belonging to the people. Why did you do that?'. nstead of the simple correct reply  - 'Because I'm a self-seeking fiscal incompetent who knew I wouldn't be re-elected if I'd gone anywhere near that idea' - the word deafness politician flickers a nervous megawatt smile then will hazard something like ' Yes, our streamlining of the fiscal and manpower requirements of this great state's future does indeed show forward looking and responsible management from my government'. Such a brave little coot, our Anna, battling on in the face of this medical dilemma for her.

On reading this, The 'Pie just hopes if she wants to get medical help quickly that she's smart enough to fly interstate, she'll be waiting a bloody long time around here. Then there's name amnesia, another left brain problem. Suffers cannot recall the names of the most familiar faces, because while the right brain has the chore of recognising that the face is familiar, it's the left side that stores the name. For instance, on several occasions, Julia Gillard has been asked how KRudd is getting on nowadays, but she just frowns, squints in an effort of memory and just shrugs.And when you leave politics, this particular problem remains.

The Magpie knows this because he bumped into Tony Mooney in the supermarket recently, but The 'Pie's cheery greeting was met with a blank look as His Radiance turned away and wandered off without a word down the frozen food aisle. He did start muttering as he moved on, but The 'Pie couldn't make sense of the few words he caught. What could be the relevance of illegitimacy or various impossible anatomical contortions?

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where he will suggest to a suitable companion that she and he  fribble nosis on wubbles but I menciz grobble of the frizzes table ... table? ...errr, make that 'bed''.

1 comment:

  1. Conan the GrammarianJuly 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Aha! so it was Wernicke's Aphasia to blame for those gems of KRuddish...I'd be really grateful if someone could translate, in fewer than a dozen words of two syllables or less "Detailed Programmatic Specificity"?