SUPERIOR COMEDY

The Guardian’s Charlie Brooker, last noticed wishing for the death of George W. Bush, returns to a familiar theme:

I hate kids. Hate them all without exception. Even yours. Especially yours. Especially if it’s a boy and you named it Jake. And if you’ve ever written a chummy diary article about Jake for a Sunday supplement, I wish nothing short of death upon you.

British satire. It’s so subtle.

UPDATE. Take a satire lesson from Pierre Pétain, Charlie:

As I sit here in café Internet de Paris dans 5ème Arrondissements and I read your words, I am nodding my head in sign of agreement. In Europe we have a fondamental importance on the community. Whether it be the humble artisan, the unassuming mime of the street, the café Internet, the cheese farmer or the future Webdiary de la France (much joie!!), our government is giving much finance and moral support to ensure that the séparation and disaffectation caused by the ogre de capitalisme in the US do not arrive in our glorieuse République démocratique.

We in all Europe heard crimes of Australien government against humanités. We heard how the innocent citizens are locked up in the public dumps of radioactive wastes and how protest is crushed by the complex industrialist-militaires Halliburton. The tentacles of warmongers capitaliste, the monks and globalising néo-fasciste totalitarians stretch in the government, mass-média and everywhere in the so-called système capitaliste.

That is why I admire Margo and the courage of the compatriote on Webdiary and your will to be heard in such a répression and frightening climat. I hope the tentacles of the néo-fasciste do not stretch in online democracy which is Webdiary and silent your protest. Bravo!

Alas, Marshall Pétain has lately been rumbled by Webdiary’s mockery sleuths. Seems he failed to answer an email sent to his afterlife address. Also rumbled, though in a different fashion: Al Franken.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/30/2005 at 07:47 AM
    1. I don’t get the Guardian – on one hand they have Polly Toynbee and her ilk bemoaning how progress and human invention are dooming the planet, and that we’d better get “back to the garden” or some such. Then we have Chuckie Hatepants here professing how he hates the small humans who are supposed to populate that imperilled future. An editorial position that positively radiates considered logic…

      Posted by rick mcginnis on 2005 09 30 at 08:54 AM • permalink

 

    1. Who needs to read the Grauniad?

      I go to The Spin Starts Here for all my snarky needs.

      Better written too – it has real journalists.

      Posted by The Mongrel on 2005 09 30 at 09:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. I wish nothing short of death upon you.

      How like the ‘religion of peace’ that the Guardian defends so often.

      Posted by Nic on 2005 09 30 at 09:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. But he’s right!

      Posted by Tony.T.Teacher on 2005 09 30 at 09:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. #4 crappy journalism but yes, he is right – bloody parents are not teaching children self-control & manners from the cradle because they think it’ll cramp their self esteem or creativity or something

      they’re breeding a race of self-obsessed selfish brats, but we should be consoled by the fact that these monsters will stick their over-indulgent olds in a home at the first sign of forgetfulness

      Posted by KK on 2005 09 30 at 09:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. For really superior comedy, you have to look at the zany antics of Margot’s MiniTrue Minions.

      They expunged all the hyperbolic lampooning praise, but they left in a comment which referred to the authors – now UnPersons.

      Trivial though it is, this is the most amateurish piece of attempted history rewriting since Dan Rather fell for the Microsoft Word memo supposedly written in the 70’s. About right for Webdiary.

      But better be quick before they catch on. Too bad about things like screen captures, the wayback machine, google cache etc.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 09 30 at 09:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. ooh la la!  That’s or! Who is the scallywag behind naughty Pierre?

      #6-Webdiary’s pomposity is good for a giggle, but I sense you are taking it all a little too seriously!

      Posted by slammer on 2005 09 30 at 10:16 AM • permalink

 

    1. Msr. Pétain is to be commended for his absolutely correct take on le WebDiary.

      Mr. Brooker can go do the physically impossible for his take on… well… anything.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 09 30 at 10:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. Margo ma cherie, je t’aime, oui je t’aime…

      Posted by crash on 2005 09 30 at 10:35 AM • permalink

 

    1. Cheese farmer?

      Posted by tim maguire on 2005 09 30 at 10:53 AM • permalink

 

    1. I hate kids. Hate them all without exception. Even yours. Especially yours. Especially if it’s a boy and you named it Jake. And if you’ve ever written a chummy diary article about Jake for a Sunday supplement, I wish nothing short of death upon you.

      I dunno. I think that’s pretty damn funny.

      (Just to set the record straight, I don’t hate kids – I hate parents. It’s not the kids’ fault that Mom & Dad take them to nice restaurants instead of Chuck E. Cheese. Grrrrr.)

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 09 30 at 10:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. To find out Pierre’s real name, go to this link:

      Pierre

      Read Monsieur Petain’s first posting (the one that Tim posted is his second) and scroll down to #14. 

      Funny as hell.  Especially the words of welcome from the Webdiarists.  Hey, even I welcomed you Pierre.  In francais!

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 09 30 at 11:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hey Charlie, one of my “kids’’ is a US Marine, and another is an Army sergeant.  Want to go up and tell them how much you hate them, be my guest.

      And KK (reply number 5) has it *almost* right, but not quite.  The disaster generation – here in the US, at least – are the Baby Boomers.  So many of ‘em never grew up themselves, which means they did a crappy job of raising their own kids, and it’s *those* kids (GenX, or whatever you want to call them) who are now bringing the little Madisons and Mackenzies into the world and really aren’t sure how to civilize them.  All things considered – and yes, allowing for the noisy brats you encounter anywhere – I think they’re doing a better job than we have any right to hope for.

      If Charlie doesn’t like articles about cute little Jake, he doesn’t have to read them.  But he might try being nice to Jake anyway.  One day he’ll grow up to be a taxpayer and Charlie’s old-age pension is going to depend upon him. And how Jake votes might make a difference as to whether or not Charlie ends up in a lethal chamber once he’s old and feeble.

      Posted by Sonetka’s Mom on 2005 09 30 at 04:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. unashamedly offtopic:
      An own-goal scored in the Opinion (features) page of The Age today (Sat 1/10/05, p9). Whenever an Age author is by-lined “Research Fellow at XYZ University” you can be sure first that he/she is a Leftie and second, that he/she has not done his /her minimum research for the article. This time it is Cordelia Fine, Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Canberra. The Age adds, “Her book, A Mind of its Own: How your brain distorts and deceives, will be published this month.”The Opinion piece is titled, sarcastically, “If it’s in the news, it must be true! We really shouldn’t believe everything in the papers. But we do.”What follows is a mildly interesting discourse pinned to a US survey showing that many Americans (33%+) continued to believe WMD had been found in Iraq notwithstanding official US statements that none had been found. “Truth – already a casualty of war – received a second, hard blow,” she writes, any subtleties about Iraq passing her by.
      Cordelia then goes on to give other examples of public credulity such as belief in “the ‘boat people’ who threw their own children into the sea”. As anyone who has researched THIS topic knows, the facts include:
      # One child was thrown overboard (Vessel SIEV* 7, 24/10/01), and another asylum seeker made such determined efforts to throw a child overboard that he had to be handcuffed (SIEV 9, 31/10/01).
      # In the case of the notorious SIEV 4, asylum seekers wrecked the steering and engine on 7/10/01 and next day, unsurprisingly, the ship sank. Navy people rescued 76 children from the sea.

      A further minor quibble: Cordelia says re SIEV 4 that the photos of children overboard were ‘faked’. Again, the slightest research would disclose to her that the photos were merely mislabeled, followed by a giant episode of bureaucratic/military muddle plus some political arse-covering, followed by a public correction by Peter Reith a day or two BEFORE the election.
      She concludes, “Our bias towards belief {Lefty belief in her case} makes us particularly susceptible to innuendo.” Well said, Cordelia.

      Posted by percypup on 2005 09 30 at 08:29 PM • permalink

 

    1. Know nothing about satire, but have got agree with Charlie on this one.

      “My little Jake is a genuis, he can speak five languages and can go potty blah blah blah.”

      Almost as annoying as people who pictures of their cats on their blogs.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 09 30 at 09:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. Who put pictures of their cats on their blogs and make endless jokes about pussies.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 09 30 at 09:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. Beats me how somebody who calls himself “Charlie” has the nerve to make fun of people who call their kids “Jake”.  Where I come from (deep in Melbourne middle-class suburbia) the two joke names for boys are “Jack” and “Charlie”.  And you know those poor buggers were actually christened that – not just John and Charles in their familiar forms.

      #14 Amen, Percy: someone should send “Cordelia” (see above) a few links to coverage of the meltdown in the US media about hysterically false Katrina reporting.

      Posted by cuckoo on 2005 09 30 at 09:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. I wonder what the average age of respondents to Margo’s webdiary is??? The whole thing reeks of the cliched babble of adolescent activism!

      #14 Good one Percy!

      Posted by Brian on 2005 09 30 at 11:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. I recommend that Charlie do himself a favor by promptly killing himself so he won’t have to be exposed to any more children.

      Just kidding. That’s subtle parody, Charlie.

      Posted by Lou Minatti on 2005 10 01 at 12:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. Brian, I suspect the distribution of Webdiary contributors ages has two pronounced spikes, much like most left-wing causes…one around 20-25 years (wide-eyed, ignorant college students) and around 45-60 years (leftover Boomers and other professional protester types).

      Posted by PW on 2005 10 01 at 12:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. But if an Iraqi kid gets killed, Brooker goes all gushie about how evil the war is. 

      As far as I’m concerned, the left can hate kids and have all the abortions they want. Fewer replacement lefties.  But they shouldn’t lecture me about family values.

      Posted by AST on 2005 10 01 at 01:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. I never quite understood who Margo Kingston is, not knowing the Australian poltical scene that well, but now I do. 

      She’s Australia’s version of Ariana Huffington, but ugly as well as ignorant.

      Posted by AST on 2005 10 01 at 01:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. I believe Imre has expressed similar sentiments about Batboy.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2005 10 01 at 01:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. AST – if Pierre keeps it up, he’ll be like Greg Gutfeld on the HuffPo… the one funny person to keep an eye out for in a sea of fatuous self-congratulating crap.

      Posted by Sortelli on 2005 10 01 at 02:43 AM • permalink

 

    1. #12 Many thanks wronwright, and I definitely noticed and appreciated your French welcome on webdiary!

      I think there were too many ‘tentacle’ references for Pierre to be a realistic Frenchman 😉 And, unlike a real Frenchman, I really felt the need to take a bath after swimming in the swamp of webdiary.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2005 10 01 at 03:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. oh, and thanks heaps for the plug Tim!

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2005 10 01 at 03:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. #17 Cuckoo

      Beats me how somebody who calls himself “Charlie” has the nerve to make fun of people who call their kids “Jake”.  Where I come from (deep in Melbourne middle-class suburbia) the two joke names for boys are “Jack” and “Charlie”.  And you know those poor buggers were actually christened that – not just John and Charles in their familiar forms.

      Agreed Cuckoo, I’ve always found that weird when people get christened with nicknames.

      Some little-known, trivial facts:

      -PM John Howard is called “Jack” by family and friends.  Hmmm, “Jack Howard”.  Armed with a rustic, rough-n-ready name like that and an akubra hat, he could make a hostile takeover of the Nationals! :-p

      -Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans was named after the Hollywood actor Gary Cooper, who his Mum apparently had quite a crush on.  However, the doctor advised “Perhaps you should christen him Gareth instead of Gary.  It will look more respectable on paper.  After all, what if he becomes a politican?”

      Posted by ekb87 on 2005 10 01 at 04:22 AM • permalink

 

    1. Art, you probably should have given Pierre a bit more haughty contempt and a good measure of phlegm.  Sort of like the French holed up in the castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

      From memory:  “I spit on you you silly Englishman.  I fart in your general direction.  Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberry wine”.

      Saying something like that to Margo might have convinced the denizens there of your French authenticity and probably elicited praise and requests for more enlightened abuse.  “Oh yes, slap me, spank me again you non-Anglo radical anti-globalist”.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 10 01 at 04:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Great idea wronwright! The left don’t need much of an excuse to engage in some self-loathing.

      I was thinking about lecturing them on the mighty French economic miracle (or how their high rate of unemployment was a secret plan to end up with everyone on the government payroll and thus enact communism by stealth) but I got sidetracked. To tell you the truth, I was happy Pierre got busted in the end, writing like a moonbat is bloody hard.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2005 10 01 at 05:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. #20. Having attended the Uni of WA lecture which preceded the WA launch of Webdiary, I can tell you your surmise about the age spikes appears to be nearly right, except that the senior spike may be over 65 – a good part of the audience were fussy, nittering geriatrics whose politics, I guess, were formed by reading pamphlets during the Spanish Civil War.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2005 10 01 at 09:23 AM • permalink

 

    1. off topic (again)
      The Sunday Age today cites “an unconfirmed report in London’s Observor newspaper” suggesting that 36 armed and dangerous dolphins may be on the loose somewhere in the world’s oceans. They are US-Navy dolphins trained to kill and were washed to open seas from the Navy’s dolphin-as-weapon training program based near New Orleans.
      The Sunday Age continues: “Those in the know (hey that’s a new variant on ‘sources say’!) claim that the dolphins are wearing harnesses fitted with toxic darts, which they are trained to shoot at suspected terrorists.”
      Well the Bush-led US Navy is of course capable of any evil scheme such as killer dolphins. But since it took me about 20seconds to discredit this item – see http://www.snopes.com/katrina/rumor/dolphins.asp
      what the hell does the Sunday Age employ sub-editors for? Why does the Sunday Age have such a cultural cringe to the UK (leftoid) media that it will reprint any rubbish it finds there?

      Posted by percypup on 2005 10 01 at 06:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. Actually, percypup, snopes got it wrong.  The dolphins really *are* there, but they’re supposed to take out the sharks that were swimming in New Orleans after the levees broke. Of course, if any terrorists happened to be swimming around in shark suits, the dolphins would undoubtedly take them out just to be sure.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2005 10 02 at 02:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. Why does the Sunday Age have such a cultural cringe to the UK (leftoid) media that it will reprint any rubbish it finds there?

      Because they’re just as stupid as the Grauniad, but even lazier.  Blanket reprints of Guardian articles are the norm (I doubt the Guardian reprints anything from The Age).  Now days we even get opinion columns about Scotland’s trees as part of the Fairfax’s pointless copy repatratian plan.  At least they said “unconfirmed” this time.  I wonder if that was in the original, or they came up with that themselves.

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2005 10 02 at 05:28 AM • permalink

 

    1. Off topic as usual:
      Age columnist Catharine Lumby opens her column today (3/10 p4 Creative (!) & Media Section:
      Robert Manne is consistently hailed as one of Australia’s most important commentators. (Well that grabs my attention. Her point is that even Manne is subject to rude comments by bloggers. She continues…)
      A pressing question is how to maintain a level of civility in debate without crushing it or imposing ideological barriers.
      Margo Kingston is one of the few Australian editors of an online media site who has given serious and sustained thought to this issue. Webdiary abides by a detailed set of ethical house rules. A senior media professional with almost two decades of experience under her belt, Kingston works in an interactive way with her contributors to both re-examine conventional journalistic ethics and to educate them (sic) about why there is a need to think carefully about the ethics of engagement with others.
      Not that Webdiary’s house rules stopped a regular flaming for my first contribution recently in the following terms: ‘Can anyone explain to me what Catherine (sic) Lumby actually stands for? How on Earth is she a ‘Professor’ for goodness sakes.”Kingston put a rider on this comment asking the contributor to refrain from personal insult and to go and read other stuff I’d written…”
      Catharine Lumby is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Sydney and the author of Bad Girls and Gotcha: Life in a Tabloid World. She writes regularly for The Age.  Lumby worked continuously as a journalist in Australia and the US between 1986 and 2004. In addition to her opinion writing she has worked extensively in news and feature writing across a wide range of areas. She has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Age, The Australian, The Independent Monthly and The Bulletin.

      The point of all this is – Tim Blair contributors often write that Margo is not worth satirising, let’s move on etc. While Margo continues to get exposure in MSM such as this fawning and ridiculous testimonial by an influential media professor, OUR JOB IS NOT DONE!

      Posted by percypup on 2005 10 02 at 06:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. more off topic:
      Michael Gawenda in his opinion piece in today’s Age (3/10 p11)writes that the Bush presidency is doomed (i’m summarising). He can believe what he likes, but what’s his evidence?
      He says among other things that reporters are now not afraid to ask Bush nasty questions, whereas a year ago “Karl Rove and his underlings would have made sure life was hell for them (the reporters) ever more.
      A story that has done the rounds of foreign correspondents’ circles in Washington for some time involves (a Brit journalist whom
      Bush allegedly personally black-banned from all further Bush and Bush/Blair media briefings for asking a nasty question). The story goes that…a furious Bush told his aides…
      The point of this story is …the Bush Administration has been ruthless in its dealings with the media.”

      Well Gawenda, let ME ask one question: “Who is the reporter you refer to?”
      How low can The Age standards go when its US correspondent and ex-editor can brazenly cite gossip/rumor as evidence? Is this policy at The Age—gossip is as good as fact?

      Posted by percypup on 2005 10 02 at 07:39 PM • permalink

 

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