Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine, the Obama hound, and barking mad at greenies

(Above: dog legally warming up for Cheech and Chong show).

Oh dear, it's happened. That once in a blue moon thing you fear and dread where you actually agree with Piers Akerman.

I guess all that's left is to explain that a blue moon is these days defined as the second full moon to occur in a single calendar month, which, given the average interval between full moons is 29.5 days and the length of the average month 30.5 days, doesn't happen that often. If you do the maths, I'm told, there will be 41 months in any century which have two full moons, meaning that once in a blue moon actually translates to once every two and a half years (I'm indebted to David Harper's Blue Moon page for this information).

Phew. Well every couple of years or so ain't so bad, is it? Akerman spends his column savaging Commodore Frank Bainimarama and the current events going down in Fiji (When free speech is too costly for honest citizens).

What's to disagree with? What's to add? Bainimarama is the worse kind of loon, which is to say an anti-democratic thug. When you start censoring newspapers and television news, you're well down the slippery slide of repression. Fiji should be kicked out of every respectable organization in the Pacific, and pressure applied in ways that don't make things worse for ordinary citizens, who in the usual way of things will suffer while Bainimarama trots off to a splendid night in government house.

But if we're having a blue moon moment with the fat owl, what to do? What to write about?

Well I suppose I could mention the Bainimarama moment yesterday when eight or nine cops, equipped with a sniffer dog, stalked the entrance to Newtown railway station in search of hippies carrying drugs, at the same time as that solid Murdoch free throwaway rag mx told me that cocaine use in NSW has hit a high, with an increase in possession arrests shooting up by 58.6% in the past year. About the only thing you can guarantee is the cops positioned in the railway station would be doing diddly squat to enhance that arrest rate, while reminding passers by that ineffective policing strategies and police state paraphernalia can take all kinds of forms.

The reason they were on parade? Nothing to do, I hope, with Cheech and Chong playing live at the Enmore you power crazed fuzz against junk bastards. The poor doddering farts attending the CC fest looked like they were in need of a toke as a way of knowing they were still alive, and they mostly had hair dos which would have got them honorary membership in a ZZTop fan club. 

Poor diggers, all they have are memories of when they could get high and stay erect all in one go, and the cops positioning themselves at the head of the stairs to intercept druggies would have been a seriously uncool start to an evening out of the nursing home. Damn you fuzz against junksters. Let those with a toke and a hip replacement run wild, run free.

Well at least there's something to be said for CC lovers when you put them up against Miranda the Devine. In her latest light-hearted outing, To their owners, all pooches are presidential, she uses the Obama dog acquisition to celebrate the pet industry, and lash out at greenies.

Ain't it just wonderful that we all own doggies and pussies while millions in the world, actual humans, starve. That's right, die you bloody starving peasants, see if we give a fuck, we have our doggies and pussies.

Yes Miranda seems to be edging towards dog ownership, perhaps inspired by the example of the Obama family, though why she would adopt this policy and revile all his others is slightly mysterious. You get the sense from the read that she actually doesn't like dogs at all, living in a resolutely dog free home, but under pressure from the kids and from the sheer joy of being terribly un-P.C., she's going to get one, come hell or high water. Oh you poor pooch, what fate awaits you in the hands of the Devine?

Dogs, if you care about such things, have their own carbon footprint, producing an estimated 1.75 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year and half a kilogram of faeces, on average, each day.

They eat food whose production is said to be environmentally taxing, are washed and debugged with chemicals, emit methane gas, cost money that could be spent on carbon credits, and they poop all over the place so that even when responsible owners use eco-bad plastic bags to clean up the muck, they leave little schmears behind on blades of grass and footpaths to festoon the feet of unsuspecting passers-by.

Yes, dog demolition done Devine style almost has a greenie passion to it. I suppose it's meant to be ironic, but I do get a little hint of coprophobia, which is a bit of a worry, because dogs are excrement-producing machines.

Ah, the pet industry, worth $78 billion globally and rising, even in an economic downturn (according to Pet Product That's money that could be spent on windmills or solar farms, or redundancy packages for coal-fired power station workers, or even, if you want to get practical, sanitation for the Third World.

There is a fundamental inconsistency in greenies owning pets, yet so many do - often cats, though few are as smug as Kevin Rudd's Jasper, last seen sitting on the Prime Minister's lap as he posed for a picture "working" in his study late at night.

While we are told to destock our farms and eat kangaroo, to get used to regular power blackouts, and to depopulate the planet, the pet industry booms. There are almost 3 million Australian households with at least one dog, and lately, the number of two-pooch families seem to be growing.

Yet there are so many reasons not to own a dog: extra food to be lugged home, expensive vet bills, backyard excrement, dog hairs all over the house, and what do you do when you want to go on holiday?

Poor tortured Devine. All that dog doo dah and so little joy. And did we mention the excrement? Well at least a dog isn't a cat, since it seems greenies (and of course lesbian feminists) just love their bird-eating cats.

All the same, Devine doesn't seem to have much time for designer dogs, and might even be something of a dedicated dog-refusenik, though I'll bet if she gets a dog, it won't be a furless, head drooping, moth-eaten skeleton on stilts. It'll be a nice dog, reflecting her station as a greenie basher with style:

It is hard not to lampoon such silliness (designer dogs), or frown on the tendency of dog owners to treat their mutts like humans, as Australians spend more on pet care than on foreign aid, according to the Australia Institute.

But then again, since the GFC broke last year, big money no longer seems meaningful, with bank bail-outs, Rudd-mandated shopping sprees, and the G20 talking in terms of trillions, which journalists try to explain by describing one-dollar bills stacked high enough to reach the moon and back 200 times.

So why not spend it on something cute and cuddly that brings you love and happiness? The rational case against dog ownership is watertight, yet the emotional pull is inescapable. That's human nature.

That's right, merchant bankers have ruined the world, so why not become a merchant banker.

Yep, the rational case against world war is watertight, yet the emotional pull is inescapable. That's human nature. 

Yup, the rational case against binge drinking is watertight, yet the emotional pull is inescapable. That's human nature. 

Yes sirree Bob, the rational case against taking drugs and attending Cheech and Chong shows is watertight, especially for a demographic best in bed by nine o'clock, yet the emotional pull is inescapable. That's human nature. 

Oh say it's so lord, the rational case against reading the commentariat relentlessly bash people who decide for one reason or another not to have a dog or cat in their life, while bashing people who do have a cat or dog in their life (like the Ruddster or the Obama family), while celebrating their own double edged decision to get a dog, is decidedly watertight, yet the perverse fascination, the compulsion to look at the scene of the train wreck over and over again, is inescapable. That's human nature.

And the desire to cheer from the sidelines as the world goes to hell in a handbasket, and millions of human beings die while we shove food down the throats of pets? Well that's just circumstances, or unfortunate situations, or a lack of practicality, or whatever, and it's certainly human nature. Smug, smart arse, comfortable, up yours Jack, me and Kev and Obama are alright human nature. Ain't it a wonderful world.

(Below: good dog, now remember there's a greenie down the street as well, and while you're at it dear, spraying out a column or two, don't forget to do it to the starving, dying peasants as well. They so muss up the streetscape and the world view).

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