Friday, February 6, 2009

Frank Devine, Bashing The Age, Christopher Pearson, Richard Williamson and the Dope a Pope Holy Roman Church

You need the gimlet eye of Sherlock Holmes to ferret out Frank the senior Devine's latest column, grandly entitled A sinister hatred kept alive when we turn a blind eye.

In it, Frank the elder Devine has a grand time smoting Maqsood Alsham, a bunch of academics, and English schismatic 'bishop' and holocaust denier Richard Williamson.

Frank treads gingerly where the Pope a Dope and Williamson is concerned, accepting the need to bring everyone back into the Catholic communion (even madmen) and allowing the Pope might have acted "out of compassion for the individuals".

Then Frank works himself up into a fine old bout of indignation at The Age for daring to publish David Backman's column on the Middle East, something of an old news story, but what the heck anything to give the filthy liberal media a hard time.

"At least, living in Sydney, where The Age does not home deliver, I am spared the temptation to provide the hospitality of my doorstep to a newspaper that publishes a column (by one David Backman) ...", he harumphs.

Then it's on to a personal ancedote about a poker game involving a stereotypical Jewish slur, and the watching of a newsreel about Belsen as a traumatic 14 year old experience. Frank explains that being young, he was given to adolescent self-romanticising and wonders whether he would be brave enough to resist officially sanctioned persecution of my neighbours because of their race. 

Well let's overlook the fact that there is no Jewish 'race' - unless you happen to think Mein Kampf is a scientific text, or you go along with the US Supreme Court's decision in the 1980s to define race as a cultural issue rather than a genetic distinction (ah yes so that's how Sammy Davis Jr got to be part of the Jewish race).

Let's wonder instead how Frank might react if he were living in Gaza at the moment, and saw innocents being randomly slaughtered because they happen to be sharing living space with fanatical ratbags.

Well this is all well and good, and only the simple minded turn into holocaust deniers or celebrate the suffering of people trapped in a small ghetto, suffering tremendous indignities and reliant on whatever aid they can find to eke out a living. The Age, for example, realised it had fucked up, apologised and moved on (as well documented by Crikey).

But Devine, in a model display of righteous indignation and humbuggery seethes at the thought of Alsham, Backman and Richard Williamson getting away with their sinister calumnies.

Which brings us right back to The Australian publishing the hapless papal toady Christopher Pearson, and the column in which he spent an inordinately long time explaining how right and fitting and just and proper it was for the pope to invite Williamson back into the church, never no mind some minor matters like holocaust denying - see A broad church after all.

Pearson presumably didn't get the mail from the Vatican before he wrote his wretched piece celebrating how the church would be a much more 'pluralistic institution' with the likes of Williamson back in the fold. 

Since then the Vatican has done a graceful backwards double flip and required Williamson to denounce his views before he's accepted back into its flock of sheep and lambs (which rather makes a nonsense of the other excuse offered by some, that the matter of the SSPX is really all to do with technicalities and not mad delusional thinking of an anti-semitic kind). 

With the Germans upset, the Jews in turmoil, Europe bemused by the papal folly, and excuses and apologies flowing like some fine Sevenhill sherry at a communion service, no wonder the Vatican left the likes of Pearson style ideologues and apologists on the shelf.

Which brings me back to Frank, and the expectation that he will now vigorously demand from the editor of The Australian the same apology for the sinister calumnies of Pearson that The Age delivered to its readers for its assorted Backman mistakes.

In my dreams. So I guess that leaves me to join with Frank in saying that thankfully I live in Sydney where the The Australian does home deliver, and I've never experienced the slightest temptation to provide the hospitality of my doorstep to a newspaper that publishes the likes of Pearson. In fact I wouldn't pick it up out of the gutter for a quick free read, though I'm happy to chortle for free in an intertubes digital content way at the right getting their knickers in a knot and their messages crossed.

You know Frank, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the scribblings of far right columnists don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

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