Saturday, November 17, 2012

The smell around Pell - the art of upside down reading - and Mayor Mullet wants the company that cocked up the state health payroll disaster to set up shop in Townsville.

IBM doesn't nickname itself 'The Big Blue' for nought ... big blues don't come much bigger than the health payroll circus which has cost the Queensland taxpayers billions. So does The Magpie detect a lingering odour of Labor past in Mayor Mullet's fluttering of eyelashes at Big Blue's boys in the United States? 

Something is definitely on the nose when Australia's leading Catholic goes into callous boy's-clubbery denial, blaming a media beat-up for the rampant and deliberately hidden child abuse within the church and then implying it's not so bad, others are paedophiles, too. 

To lighten things up a bit, there is a round-up of this week's Media Follies, some great headlines (even two (deliberately) good 'uns from The Astonisher in recent weeks) and doodler Bentley has a timely take on that eclipse. 

We have also turned up an hilarious new take of 50 Shades of Grey - it's all about what goes on in the backyard shed, all here in the nest at

Plenty of others have had their say and expressed their disgust with Cardinal George Pell, the malodourous decaying  failed leader of the Catholic Church in Australia. 

He is a disgrace at every level of church and civic responsibility, he reeks of insincerity and self-interested anxiety, and if he had any decency, he would put aside his arrogance and his vaulting ambition (he believes he could be Pope someday) and resign forthwith. 

Nothing much will change until the church realises it must make at least two drastic changes to practices that oppose the law of this country - and of nature.

Remember, we Australians make our laws, and not some mob of ossified old moribund coprolites in Rome.

The first change is that of giving priests the directive not to report crimes told in the confessional. Even murderers have revealed themselves, and have received little more than a directive to recite by rote some insincere words to an imaginary figure, and sometimes make a hefty donation to church coffers.  

Since priests confess priests, more than once there has no doubt been the situation of rather than confession, a comparing of notes. A sort of priestly pimping, even. Deeply disgusting.

The second change is the thousand year old directive from Pope Gregory that priests not marry '... we must get out of the grip of our wives,' he decreed. In those days of rampant clerical rumpy-pumpy, 'celibate' actually meant 'not married' and only later took on the meaning of abstinence from sex. You'd have to believe that an organisation that bases its mission statement on a fairytale designed to intimidate from the earliest years and then orders its officers to live against the basic instincts of humankind while directing the behaviour of the flock is asking for trouble. 

Well, they've got it, and to the church's undying shame, have been allowed to inflict it onto tens of thousands of innocent kids over the years. 

But there is just a single change - make that a realisation - that The Magpie would like the Christian world to embrace - and the equivalent message in the Jewish and Muslim worlds, too.
w.Somerset Maugham: said it all
for The Magpie half a century ago.

In W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, published in 1944, the author had a character suppose that when Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, he was there tempted three times by the devil, whom Jesus rejected each time '...get thee hence, satan' and the more familiar ' ... get thee behind me, Satan'. But then Maugham's character  continues with the following theory that The Magpie only ever read the once (before today) - that was about 50 years ago - but he has never forgotten it.

'That was the end of the story according to the good simple Mathew. But it wasn't.
The devil was sly and he came to Jesus once more (a fourth time) and said: 'If thou will acept shame and disgrace, scourging, a crown of thorns and death on the cross, thou shalt save the human race, for greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus fell. The devil laughed till his sides ached, for he knew the evil men would commit in the name of their redeemer.' 

Christianity generally and the Catholic Church particularly appear to have proved this theory down the centuries to this very day, so if The 'Pie was of a mind to believe in fairytales, (he isn't) this is the one he would wholeheartedly adopt on the empiracal evidence alone.

But many a decent person has found comfort, sometimes strength and solace in those fairytales, so they too are secondary victims of people like Pell, who have allowed their trust and belief to be trampled under in a power-hungry quest for personal glory and callous indifference to others, mainly children. 

So where will all this end for the cardinal? Well, Pell rhymes with ....?

Other matters, and it may be a bit jarring to go from the less-than-sublime to the wholly ridiculous, but that's never stopped The Magpie before. 

First, Bentley's take on when the celestial dimmer switch was flicked last Wednesday.

And now a look at some of the sports matters this week.

Sad joke doing tthe rounds this week about the Townsville Crocs on this matter, The 'Pie notes that the American fans of football team the Jacksonville Jaguars, an outfit which has a similiar win-loss record to the Crocs, have started wearing paper bags on their heads at games. Maybe the Townsville team could strike a blow for truth in advertising and re-name themselves The Crocks, and fans could turn up with ceramic potty crocks to wear over their heads during matches. Helpful note to those loyal enough to still be fans - empty them first, or you'll be getting a double dose. 

That plan mightn't be a bad idea for some of the cricket commentators this week. Here's a couple of samples, first from Ian Healey:  

'He's seeing (the ball) as clearly as a bell'. That batsman was presumably also hearing it as big as a beach ball.

And Michael Slater, commenting on a Michael Hussey cover drive: 'And that's his autograph shot.' Umm, maybe 'signature shot', Mike, but we know what you meant.

And Berrwick Barnes came up with a way for the Wallabies to make a mess of their next game plan, when he said after the Aussies plastering in Paris: 'We've just got to go back to the drawing board and lick our wounds.' Sounds damp and messy - which was apparently their last game plan.

And Irony Corner this week features the journalist who did the slipshod Newsnight report that falsely  accused Lord McAlpine of being a paedophile - the reporter was one Angus Stickler. Which he wasn't. 

While we're on that, the rib tickling Hugo's Weekly keeps finding old pix of the reviled paedophile Jimmy Saville - as Hugo says of the latest one, you just couldn't make it up.

Jimmy Saville with one letter too many.

But what you could make up - and no doubt that's what well-oiled subs over on the West Australian did - was when they gave a back page splash to trainer Gai Waterhouse choosing a difficult gate for More Joyeous in the Cox Plate.
Reads like a Bangkok come-on.
Just what most blokes don't want.

Clever chuckly stuff from Rupert's Daily News in New York with the breathless revealtions that cost General Petraeus his job.

And The 'Pie reckons fair's fair, so he must include a couple of top notch headers from our own Daily Astonisher. A yarn about jurors admonished for seeming to nod off during a recent trial was headlined 'Court Napping'. And even better, when a somewhat discombobulated paramedic took police on a chase before crashing out near Ayr, the yarn grabbed attention with the great splash: 'R-AMBO. 

But the Astonisher continues to bemuse us for other less admirable reasons. First, there is their unfathomable and immature boast of 'Exclusive' on the most mundane of stories that are usually beat-ups. A bit hollow when you're the only print game in town, so what is the point, apart from some juvenile attempt to look big-city and Hollywood? If the definition of exclusive is 'no one else has it' - or probably wants it - why not plaster it above the crossword and puzzle page, or the race results?

The latest in this 'exclusive' category, though, has a very  real dimension of irresponsiblity to it. 

Our old tweety-pie mate Kate Higgins has reinforced The 'Pie's theory that most stories in The Astonisher should be read upside down - or more correctly, from the bottom up.

Ms Higgins dashed off a little yarn about 'tempers flaring on Palm Island' which had the police station and a police car pelted with with rocks. According to Kate, this was all happening 'amid alegations of cultural insensitivity'. That is apparently different to 'legal insensitivity'.

A former deputy mayor of the island was quoted, saying 'There's a lot of anger out there'.  

But it turns out that the 'cultural insensitivity' and anger stems from police searching ferry passengers and checking local residents for illegal booze, as required by community vote under the Alcohol Management Laws.

Even the mayor said he hadn't heard of any rock throwing incident. - and if the mayor ain't heard of it on Palm, it is hardly the social protest Ms Higgin's hinted at. 

AND 'social protest had nothing to do with a mob of kids chucking stones at the cops, and later we learn much further down, at a service station.

Were these socially militant and disaffected 'youf' protesting not only the presence and insensitivity of the constabulary but also the oil prices foisted on us by the Tapis Crude cartel in Indonesia operated by running dog capitalist lackeys? 

So right at the bottom of this breathless tale, we have coppers' union spokesman Ian Leavers, who would be quick to say otherwise given half a chance, suggesting there were 'rocking' targets other than wallopers, and that the episode ' appears to be the act of kids or another group with a lot of time on their hands'. Read that first - from the bottom up - and you don't have to waste your time looking at the rest.

Except, written the way it was, with spurious links between nebulous ideas, those 'with too much time on their hands' now see the opportunity to have their mischief exposed in the press as protesting against 'cultural insensitivity' and so be encouraged to reach for the rocks again for a bit more media exposure.

Then we have yet another fanciful contribution from Anthony Simpleton about councillors use of mobile phones. In a shock/horror Goodness Mavis, would you believe it? , Simpo claims in a headline 'Mobile charges soar', but fails to give us a comparision of previous figures against which to judge any rise. (He might well get a surprise if he did some comparisons with His Radiance's time at the helm).

The thrust of this stellar yarn is that in the past six months, our ten councillors and the mayor have spent a bit over $10,000 on mobile phone calls. There was a good guffaw in there about councillors having yet to declare if any of the calls were personal, requiring reimbursement to the council - Messagebank Walker has not made any declaration yet, and given his track record of not returning or making calls, he won't have to.

But the wash-up to this whole council-knocking exercise is given the lie in terms of simple maths. It works out that collectively on average, councillors and the mayor have spent $59 a day on the mobile calls which means these disgraceful wastrels (most of whom have been returning residents calls) have spent $5.41 a day - some of which is yet to be reimbursed. Crikey, Mr Simpleton, thanks for keeping our community safe from this massive rip-offs you discover under - hur hur hur - Right To Information - ahem - Laws.

And we see that Mayor Mullet is on a soujourn to the United States courtesy of computer giant IBM, whom she is trying to woo to our fair city to set up shop. IBM named Townsville as one of the Australian cities it was eyeing off for expansion, an announcement that came just after Anna Bligh had decided not to sue IBM to recover any of the taxpayer billions lost to the completely cocked-up IBM computerised Health Department pay programme. Perhaps part of a pay-back arrangement for not going to court was a sort of promise to maybe come to the 'Ville? Throw a few bones to the yokels up north? If that was part of a deal to lay off the legals, what happens now if the Brisbane Bantam decides to re-open hostilities over what is still an on going issue? 

Perhaps Mayor Mullet is seeking to get BIG BLUE  to make another big blue by running her rates freeze and water rebate through a program to show just how possible they are. If IBM start handling rates for the council with their Health Department programme, get ready in Condon for rates of $19,000 p.a and $7.58 in Yarrawonga.

Finally, as promised, yet another version of 50 Shades of Grey. This time it's 50 Sheds of Grey, by pom Colin Grey, about what he gets up to in his garden shed (this courtesy of Hugo's Weekly).

Fifty Sheds Of Grey

She knelt before me on the shed floor and tugged gently at first, then harder until finally it came. I moaned with pleasure.
“Now for the other boot.”

"Put on this rubber suit and mask," I instructed, calmly.
"Mmmm, kinky!" she purred.
"Yes," I said, "You can't be too careful with all that asbestos in the shed roof. Up you go..."

"I'm a very naughty girl," she said, biting her lip. "I need to be punished."
So I invited my mum to stay for the weekend.

"Harder!" she cried, gripping the workbench tightly. "Harder!"
"Okay," I said. "What's the gross national product of Nicaragua ?"

"Are you sure you can take the pain?" she demanded, brandishing stilettos.
"I think so," I gulped. "Here we go, then," she said, and showed me the receipt.

"Hurt me!" she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over my workbench.
"Very well," I replied. "You've got fat ankles and no dress sense."
"Punish me!" she cried. "Make me suffer like only a real man can!"
"Very well," I replied, leaving the loo seat up.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where Mongrel the Barrister intends to regale a captive audience with his latest sporting joke viz: 
What's the difference between the Townsville Crocs and a possum? 
Nothing - they both play dead at home and get killed on the road. 
(With apologies to Magpie mate George McAllbran).



  1. On a lighter side Just watched race 2 at Ascot tda Race 2 #4 a 3 yr old gelding named LOST EAST ESTEES. It did'nt run a place '''

    1. Always good, always entertaining Pie.

  2. Conan the GrammarianNovember 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    What a feast this week, Magpie; something for pretty much every taste. Religion, sex, politics and sport! Loved the "Gai's Cox Shock" banner - reminds me of the Chastity Belt marketing campaign "Box Lox Blox Cox!". The same agency should go in to bat for our beloved Chokerdiles. Speaking of the Devil, Q. What do Smurfs and Crocodiles have in common? A. Neither changes colour when they choke.

  3. Not your best effort, Magpie. Bit vitriolic for my liking. Just because you believe (or don't believe) something doesn't make it right!!

    1. Well, Rusty, that all round spray is a bit fuzzy around the edges. You failed to enlighten us as to what part of the post was a 'bit vitriolic' for your apparently delicate sensitivities. You should also advise The 'Pie just what level of vitriol you feel is appropriate to be directed at a person and an organisation that allowed a culture of paedophilia - operated through power and fear on young impressionable minds unable to defend or protect themselves - to flourish and ruin thousands of young Australians lives?

      Or are you wringing your hanky over a free expression of opinion about what The 'Pie sees as the shortcomings and brutally stupid rules of a church which - around the world - puts itself above the law of the land?

      You instruct us (well, duh!) that 'just because you believe (or don't believe) something doesn't make it right'. You might refer that staement to Cardinal Pell. But that doesn't mean - in this country at least - that people aren't free to express an opinion.

      But your comment was pretty non-specific about a post that contained many subjects. So perhaps the old bird is on the wrong track here.

      Rusty, was it vitriol you perceived in the observations about The Daily Astonisher's unique employment of quasi-facts to risk stirring up civil unrest and feelings of victimisation (real or imagined) amongst the indigenous population on Palm Island? Or was the vitriol contained in the swipe at Anthony Simpleton's piss-poor maths and childish revelation about councillor's mobile phone bills?

      No, no, no, The 'Pie gets it now ... you feel the vitriol was for tre violation of the sanctity of the backyard shed in 50 Sheds of Grey, where it was suggested that not all the screwing, drilling and hammering involved (man-made) tools. Perhaps you should trot off down to your own shed and tinker with your vitriol meter - it's obviously on the blink.

    2. You've done it again, Magpie, in your first and second paragraphs above.

      You could have made the same point without the obvious hatred in your words.

      Cardinal Pell is just doing his job - one to which you seem to think he has no right. Lots of people disgree with you and think he does have that right.


    3. All your own words Rusty.

      And the truly startling thing is that those words, by any reading of them, can only mean that you tacitly approve of what has been going on, one trusts for reasons of blind faith rather than personal predilection.

      What's wrong with hating paedophiles, anyway? All this barbaric superstition and malarkey about 'hate the sin but love the sinner' is shown for what it is with the reports of abuse now flooding in. Or are all the victims of twisted religious creeps all just liars and publicity seekers, Rusty?

      'Cardinal Pell is just doing his job'. THAT is exactly what he HAS NOT been doing.

      And you don't seem to think The Magpie or anyone else has the right to point this out.

      In the spirit of sweet debate and calm reason, have a read of Mike Carlton's take on this issue here at He makes The 'Pie look like a wimp.

  4. Re. "their unfathomable and immature boast of 'Exclusive' on the most mundane of stories that are usually beat-ups"... do you think the newshounds and their COS could be having a laugh in there?

    No,nor do I.

    1. Vicki, the reason why their exclusives are such is because they are unable to report or uncover the truth.

  5. I worked for both the Catholics and the Astonisher. I will never work for them again. I hope that says it all.

  6. Gee, you're a bit tough on IBM.

    A computer programme is only as good as the information provided by the customer - in this case a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats from the Health Dept.

    We can also thank the incompetent minister who knocked back a back-up system which would have eliminated the problems they encountered.

    By the same token, who would provide the data for a TCC computer?

  7. "A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain - then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system?" of my favourite quotes

    Pell is a consumate Goose. His cringe-worthy performance on Q&A when attempting to justify the "submit to your husband" nonsense just showed how out of touch they really are.

    And yes, 'Pie, I occasionally watch that Q&A drivel. Why should the bloody monks have all the fun of flagellation?

    1. Let's have all the new illegal 'refugees' live in townsville. There's plenty of room

  8. The catholic church may need to let priests get married, this may help stop this filthy crime that has troubled the church for so long.
    But as times change religion stays the same, and if it doesnt keep up it will continue to have trouble.
    Sadly the dinosours that run this religion will stick there heads in the sand and blame everything else but themselves for the mess.

    1. Of course priest should get married...

      but only if they truly love each other.

  9. keep up the good work Pie

  10. In line with the Booty? Mickey Mouse next.

  11. Some "unlimited" phone plans costs $40 per month....

    ... so how can 10 Councillors rack up more than $400 per month in mobile calls?

    1. They are full of themselves and like to listen to their voices.

  12. fyi, Pell has a calm stream and an undercurrent.