(Above: images of evil grasping Brutonians, who according to Clive Hamilton's scientific research make up ninety five point one per cent of the denizens of chat rooms, blogs, communities and anonymous commentators on the intertubes. Thanks to the immortal Carl Barks for this insight into pure evil).
Greetings fellow citizens of Brutopia, we are extremely concerned. It seems that internationally famous troll and flamer Clive Hamilton (or some anonymous soul who's taken his identity) has been spammed, flamed, trolled, egged, potatoed and baconed by anonymous shreks with wax in their ears in the very "Your Comments" section below his own trolling assault on the intertubes.
Is this poetic justice or what? Some of these anonymous catcallers cry out that his column is a parody. One even wants free speech tamed like a branded sex slave and signs himself as fake Stephen Conroy. Another calls Clive long winded, while one hapless wretch wants us all to think of the children, when Helen Lovejoy's already doing just that (along with Clive of course).
The cheeky chappie who used the term long winded seems to think all Clive is saying is that some people are rude, and accuses him of logical fallacies and unsubstantiated generalities and corrupt techniques.
Brutonians, if we are to aspire to being houyhnhms like Clive, rather than yahoos or morlocks, we must pull up our socks. We must shrug off our obsession with Scrooge McDuck's money, come out of the closet, and be very, very polite.
There seems to be very little Socratic thinking going on, in the manner demanded by Clive. As a result, we've decided the time might be right for Clive to offer free assisted suicides in the Socratic manner, by distributing cups of hemlock to the needy, though perhaps we should allow the needful sacrifice of a cock or two before shuffling off this mortal coil. (Clive was a big fan of Socrates, who no doubt you will remember had the choice of exile or death, instead asked for a modest fine, and copped the death sentence from the jury. Good one Socrates).
I did think of ending my own anonymity - you know admitting I was actually Yffud Leachim in a parallel universe - but my partner said this was childish humor, when actually all I wanted was to be able to leave Clive and his silly childish trolling for comments, and throw to Michael Duffy, esteemed columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, after whom this column is named, and who has contributed yet more musings for us to think about.
Groan. What is it this week Duffster? You'll have to try really hard to defeat Hamilton's Brutopians, he's surely our loon of the week.
Euthanasia doesn't open floodgates? A well reasoned, non-hysterical approach to euthanasia? Oh no, it's too much to bear. There's nothing to say, no flank to encircle, no ankle to nip. Nada. The Duffster takes a detailed look at the way voluntary euthanasia in Oregon has been working and finds that there hasn't been any evidence of abuses, no horror stories, no nightmarish scenarios coming to pass. "The system seems to be working pretty well", says Courtney Campbell, who provides a lot of the background to the Duffster.
Well there goes the Duffster's fundie Christian readership. There goes the hits writing about a loon like Hamilton can produce.
There's just one catch in the Duffster's scribbling. Given the system's working so well in Oregan, why not in Australia? Thank the lord for the Duffster that Campbell says there's still a lot of work to be done, a lot more research until the practice is extended in the United States or around the world.
Oh dear, the fudge meter just hit eleven. All that insightful, Socratic stuff, and then a failure of nerve at the last hurdle. Well never mind maybe next year ...
In the meantime, it makes scoring the Duffster really tough ...
Failing to meet Clive Hamilton's exacting standards of loonacy: 11
Proposing an unhysterical, unloonlike, ethical debate on voluntary euthanasia: 1
Falling at the last hurdle when actual sensible new policies for Australia were within reach: 1
Providing an interesting insightful report on voluntary euthanasia in Oregon worth reading: 1
Failure to mention Socrates when discussing voluntary euthanasia: 1
That's the lowest score I think the Duffster has ever managed. Even the loon meter (a rigorous scientific instrument unable to be displayed on the web) stayed deep in the green, only once hitting amber and never ever reaching red.
If the Duffster keeps going like this, we'll have to take him off loon watch. But wait. These files are named in honor of the noble Duffy! What'll we do? The sky is falling in. Yes, that's it, good thinking. Can it be long before somebody brings into the world The Clive Hamilton Files, complete with details of the long, sometimes mythical history of trolls interacting with humanity. Yep, and the man calls himself an academic concerned with ethical behaviour. Does that include flailing around, jumping up and down, running and standing still like you're in your very own Richard Lester film Clive?
(Below: another image of grasping Brutonians. But calling netizen denizens Brutonians is a badge we can all wear with pride. Filthy commie perverts. Now if only we could work out how to get hold of Scrooge McDuck's money and find funnier ways to ridicule the ridiculous scribblings of Clive).