Saturday, November 22, 2008

Duffy, Policy Free Zones, Subsidy, Scoring, Breeding, Roasting and the Banning of Beetroot

A friend reading a recent outburst about the infidel Duffy and his evasive third column activities in The Sydney Morning Herald had the temerity to suggest that the scoring of Duffy's work lacked objectivity and credibility.

He noted that the criteria against which Duffy was marked seemed to be arbitrary, and the scoring, if not whimsical, tended to be fey, hovering either in the vicinity of 0 to 3 or tipping over ten into the 11 category, as required by legendary mockumentary standards. Duffy never seemed to be able to occupy the mediocre range of an average student, somewhere between five and seven, and rarely scored in the high distinction range.

Well it's true that perhaps mediocre markings would be a sound indication of a mediocre mind at work. But that would totally fail to capture the charm of the Duffster's eccentricities, contradictions, and waywardness. As a result, the Duffster's scoring is erratic, but frankly both the categories - inspired by his work - and the marks - inspired by his work - are designed to be extremely responsive to Duffy's inevitable failings.

Inevitable because Duffy would like to treat politics as a football match, except that he never gives much of a sign that he understands any form of football. But as a contrarian he does like to pick up the ball and run the wrong way, which might be a good way to invent rugby, but is an extremely foolish way to achieve consistent scoring if the rules of the game say 'use feet only, or maybe the head, if the head is solid enough to use'.

He also likes to cheer the wrong team, the wrong idea, and the wrong moment as a way of demonstrating that he's an independent thinker, which inevitably means he either scores highly for being totally in the wrong, or leaves the score board attendant untroubled for being perversely silly.

This week's column provides a good example of why scoring Duffy is a bit like trying to catch an eel and stuff it into a pork pie. Just when you think the Duffster couldn't be more perverse he comes up with "Memo, Liberals: Labor's incompetence alone won't carry Barry".

But wait this is the man who only the day before on radio joined in a rich and compelling discussion on how Obama would ruin the American economy, without managing to notice that the American economy was already ruined. It was a surreal discussion, melting clocks cranked up to eleven. Perhaps it's time to campaign against Radio National's ongoing waste of money on this eccentric extravagance, an hour of Duffydom.

In his Herald column, the Duffster is often concerned with more parish pump matters of a NSW kind, and really only of interest to eleven readers in Macquarie street, and maybe that's an exaggeration too, more like three or four. As usual, his perversity consists in praising the wretched Labor government and berating the wretched Liberals. It's even handed perversity without a point.

If anything, there's something Jesuitical about it, since the Duffy seems to like economic pain, the more suffering the better, and the hapless Labor government offers pain all the time. They did right, according to the Duffster, cutting the free travel to school subsidy, because it favored the rich and was, well, a subsidy.

As an anti-breeder, I'm with the Duffster on this. It's probably best if we all adopted the advice of Dean Swift, who always had excellent if modest proposals, and solved the problem of feeding an aging population by arranging for the roasting of all school age children (salad minus beetroot in preferred Obama style an optional extra). 

The Duffster is outraged at the whining of the well off minority of parents, who we know cluster with him in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Personally, I'm reminded of my niece and nephew who bussed themselves in to and from school every day on a 60 kilometre, hour each way, trip. The whingers never thought of shifting from their remote village into town to live in a humpy, and that's what's wrong with this country today. All rural folk should be bussed into town camps so they can learn to live like the blacks in the Alice.

The Duffster rightly chides the Liberals for mounting a feeble website dedicated to the issue - a more wretched website you couldn't imagine - and berates the opposition leader for being a policy free zone. This at once establishes the Duffster's socialist credentials - slamming a subsidy for the rich and for minority breeders - and his radicalism - always finding something righteous in State Labor - and his liberalism, warning the wretches that they still might manage to do a Debnam, who notoriously lost an unlosable election by budgie smuggling in his Speedos. (Yes, that's how we judge policy in this state). 

You see, it seems Barry O'Farrell has swallowed a thesrauras, and the one thing NSW doesn't need is a smarty pants, smart alec politician who wants to speak intelligent English using a wide range of adjectives. Worse still, he lost a lot of weight, demonstrating a resolve few fatties can muster. You can't trust a thin man, or a fat man whose gone thinnish.

Lordy, you can see where this is heading - the Duffy manages to quote the Treasurer Eric Roozendaal as making sense by calling O'Farrell a policy free zone - which is a bit like the blackened pot calling the charcoal pan a carbon free zone.

The Duffster concludes by calling on the public to send policy donations to the Leader of the Opposition, and asks for people to give generously (this  passes for whimsy in the world of the Duffster and Gerard Henderson).

So let's send in some Duffster ideas - like no more building on the upper north shore to house people (let them live in cardboard boxes in the parks); no more public transport but lots more motorways, preferably run by Macquarie Bank (the trains never work anyway); no more immigration (it's ruining the country) and for those who have managed to get in somehow, let them be given a healthy dose of Christianity; abandon right now any expenditure on global warming, since it's probably a furphy, and if it isn't we'll just have some new beach side suburbs; and let's revive the North West metro, since it's not so much a functional policy idea as a dream for Kellyville, heartland of Duffydom. 

In fact let's revive all the ramshackle policy ideas the Labor government has introduced over the last farcical year, then abandoned within the month as they realised they'd run out of money. The real trouble is, we've run out of panem et circe, no more Olympics - oh for the good old days of Bob Carr, run down the infrastructure to ruin, while talking of the Civil War and the ten best books the world has produced, while offering the natives athletics and fireworks. What a huckster, what a spruiker, what a snake oil salesman, what a natural for Macquarie.

What's that you say? The Labor government is pissing away a fortune on a motor race out at the Olympics precinct, money which could have been spent on putting computers in schools or fixing public transport. Clearly you haven't been listening to the Duffster - computers are in fact profoundly anti-educational and the Intertubes are just a way to waste time.

Here's an alternative idea - instead of brand new spanking policies and philosophies, let's hand the state over to the receivers, and get in a decent bunch of managers. All they have to do is make clean trains run on time, cull lunatic bus drivers from the fleet, make the ferries seem like a form of transport, provide decent educational facilities for students and staff, develop a functional strategy for roads which avoids everyone driving into the city at 8 am and out again at 6 while attending to urgent rural needs for road maintenance, plan a little for the future (a little will be a lot more than what's happening now), and so on and on. But whatever we do, let's not send in the Duffster's policy ideas. 'Nuff is 'nuff, and sometimes too much already. 

Here's another idea - send letters to the editor of Sydney Morning Herald and to the head honcho at Radio National (she who slashed at the Religion Report in preference to hacking the Duffster) explaining why reading/listening to the Duffster has induced premature baldness, deafness in the left ear, blindness in the right eye, a tendency to stuttering and bed wetting, and an inability to think logical, coherent thoughts. As a result, we all intend to sue the socks off them, and allocate the proceeds to the destruction of federalism and the institution of a republican government of Australia.

With the Duffster gone, and the beetroot-hating Obama as president, we can concentrate on real policy matters - first of which has to be the banning of canned beetroot and canned pineapple from the land. And yes, let's save the children from tedious free bus travel, let's save them from school, and let's give them a new, happier role in helping out the baby boomers as they totter towards the grave (I prefer a nicely oiled and salted crackling if you're doing the roasting, Mr Duffy).

And so it's on to the score:

For the Duffster's unrepentant willingness to support and quote state Labor politicians approvingly: 11
For the Duffster's willingness to slash and hack at the hapless state Liberals: 11
For the Duffster's socialistic attacks on the rich, privileged and subsidised: 11
For the Duffster's free market willingness to attack any kind of subsidy for the poor: 11
For the Duffster's consistent maintenance of a policy free zone on his own turf: 11
For the Duffster's willingness to attack children - let them eat cake and walk he cried: 11
For the Duffster's beatific vision of NSW still run by the Labor party in 2020: 11

Can it be? A perfect eleven. The Duffster will shortly be inducted into the Spinal Tap Hall of Fame, a perfect rebuttal for those who believe scoring in this blog is arbitrary and comical.

Thanks to the Duffster and the Labor party, City Rail will be free of meddlesome, obnoxious, noisy, energetic - let's face it, young - school children, and the Scrooges can travel in peace. No joy here for Japanese salarymen.

Let's join the Duffster in boycotting City Rail - so, at last, the vision can be realised. No subsidy, no young 'un fuss, no passengers, no trains, no public transport, everybody walking and O'Farrell thin. Phew, what did the Duffster bake in those cookies?

No comments: