Friday, May 15, 2009

Michael Costa, Kevin Rudd, karma chameleons, The Monthly (again) and a bass neo trombone

(Above: Chairman Rudd, in his new role as chimerical chameleon. After ruining Australia, he now intends to ruin the United Nations and the world. I believe it, because The Australian tells me so).

Friday is always the best day, with an evening ahead with the Sydney Symphony doing a little Shostakovich, and of course early in the morning, the joy of watching the sun rise to the carol of the birds, and listening to the sounds of seventy six trombones, with a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.

Which is to say the sounds of neo columnist Michael Costa, the very model of a major reinvention, transforming himself from one time treasurer of NSW to a neo con raven stationed above the study door croaking nevermore.

Coincidentally this might explain why his latest column is entitled Model of reinvention, and naturally in a post budget climate, involves spending hundreds of words explaining why we're all doomed, and how one befuddled man is the cause of it all (and no, New South Welshpersons, we don't mean Michael Costa).

You have to hand it to The Australian (and its editor Chris Mitchell), it's a regular statue of liberty for the commentariat, and somewhere in its offices, it should have an engraved plaque urging the world to send in their tired, their poor, their huddled masses of words, yearning to breathe free and run wild in the digital domain, this wretched refuse from a teeming shore of filthy leftie perverted pinko words.

And in particular, send any homeless and tempest-tossed soul from the right of state Labor to their printing presses and their natural home in the right wing commentariat , so they can light the lamp beside the golden door.

Yep, one day we have Greg Sheridan suggesting Chairman Rudd is shortly off to run the United Nations, and the next day day we have Michael Costa suggesting he's a chimerical chameleon who couldn't organize a lettuce salad, let alone a country.

Unlike Michael Costa himself, who couldn't organize a state, let alone a country.

But enough of that, what's the word from Costa regarding the culture and theoretical and ideological and historical wars?

Well it's more of the same really, mainly based around a further attack on Rudd's essay for that evil rich man's toy and plaything, the perverted, socialistic, editor-sacking, Peter Costello denying The Monthly (let's call Rudd's scribbles for what they are, a diatribe involving straw men and a song and a dance about the evils of orthodox economics, shall we?) 

Dear lord, how the commentariat hold a grudge. That was months ago, and we know you all worship at the feet of Friedrich Hayek, seer of all things true and just, but get a grip, get a life.

Not Michael Costa, he's outraged that Rudd is a politician, a leopard who changes his spots. How outrageous, how unlike the NSW state labor party, which hasn't even yet managed to organize the spots, since they were to be shipped by ferry for co-ordinated on shipping via train, only someone got the timetables wrong and nobody could work out how to arrange the ticketing system.

Anyhoo, here's a taster:

Kevin Rudd was a fiscal conservative, then a neo-interventionist, now he's an instrumental rationalist, but for how long? Many commentators have remarked on the confusing and conflicting themes within the federal budget. This confusion is making it difficult for the Government to convincingly sell its budget message.

It would be easy to accuse the Prime Minister of falling victim to the dangerous strategy of trying to be too clever by half, attempting to cover every base and appease every potential critic. If this is the case, he has ended up achieving nothing more than general dissatisfaction.

A simpler, and possibly more generous, explanation is that Rudd is incapable of fundamental logical consistency. The heart of Rudd's problem seems to be that he does not have a consistent framework to analyse and construct solutions for the country's economic problems.

Don't you just love it, the richness of the suet pudding, coming as it does from a man who helped run a government that drove the premier state of the Commonwealth into the ground, like a jockey whipping a horse into the glue factory.

Yep, there's rich talk of fundamental logical consistency, rather than managing to make the trains in NSW run on time. Or the ferries to run at all.

Typically, since Costa is now in the maw of ideology, he blames the problems on ideology.

Having gone to the previous federal election as a fiscal conservative and then transforming himself in his The Monthly essay into a neo-interventionist Keynesian, Rudd has become a narrow instrumental rationalist, believing that answers and evidence are the product of the economic modelling black box. How else can one explain his bizarre attempts to use orthodox economic modelling to justify his fiscal stimulus?

Neo-interventionist Keynesian? Ah yes, it wouldn't be a neo Costa column if we didn't have at least one neo logical use of the neo necromancy beloved of Matrix neophytes.

Dearie me, can we just cut it short, can we just cut to the chase. How about this?

Dear diary, I so hate Kevin Rudd. He's such a twit and a nerd and a two faced lying devious bastard. He couldn't lie straight in bed with all his lies. I don't know why I wasn't elected class president, I'm sooh much more sound and logical thinking than he, and he gets everything sooh wrong, and the class of '09 is sooh doomed. Memo to self: must watch Election again, and see how Reece Witherspoon not only got to fuck the teacher, but made it to the top.

Sorry, little acid flash there, confronted by the epic tedium of having to actually read Costa and pretend there's more to the words than bilious discontent. Not convinced its blather with a personal spin and tweak worthy of Shane Warne? How's this wrap-up?

Given Rudd's rapid philosophical reinventions, it is difficult to have confidence that he accepts this challenge and has the intellectual commitment to see it through. Faced with the required hard decisions, based on his track record, we are likely to see Rudd quickly question this orthodoxy as being based on some irrational ideological fashion from which only he can save the nation.

Oh right, he's not got the intellectual commitment to see it through. Right, right, that means Greg Sheridan is sooh totally correct, he's definitely going off to run the UN and leave us all to stew in our own juices. Well at least that's better than stewing in Michael Costa's juices.

Anyhoo, if you want to read Michael Costa as an example of rhetoric as opposed to clear-thinking, he provides a sterling example of commentariat monomania, where everything is gloomy and doomy and it's all the fault of one man, and it makes you think Costa is even more deluded than Rudd, at least when it comes to an irrational ideological fashion which sees a nation ruined by that one man.

So in honor of Michael Costa, let's all sing along to Meredith Wilson's The Music Man, which provides a fantastic vision of the venerable Costa as the solitary bass, oompahing up and down the square. Is anyone listening?

(Below: Michael Costa)

Seventy six trombones led the big parade,
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.
They were followed by rows and rows,
Of the finest virtuosos,
The cream of every famous band.

Seventy six trombones caught the morning sun,
With a hundred and ten cornets right behind.
There were over a thousand reeds,
Springing up like weeds,
There were horns of every shape and size.

There were copper bottom timpani in horse platoons,
Thundering, thundering, all along the way.
Double bell euphoniums and big bassoons,
Each bassoon having its big fat say.

There were fifty mounted canons in the battery,
Thundering, thundering, louder than before.
Clarinets of every size,
And trumpets who'd improvise
A full octave higher than the score!

Seventy six trombones hit the counterpoint,
While a hundred and ten cornets blazed away.
To the rhythm of Harch! Harch! Harch!
All the kids began to march,
And they're marching still right today!

Seventy six trombones led the big parade,
when the order to march rang out loud and clear.
Starting off with a big bang bong on a Chinese gong,
by a big bang bonger at the rear.

Seventy six trombones hit the counter point,
while a hundred and ten cornets played the air.
Then I modestly took my place as the one and only bass,
and I oompahed up and down the square.

(Below: a neo trombone).

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