The Art of the Australian Insult

A city filled with singing Eastern European virgins
July 28, 2008, 2:58 am
Filed under: Religion, Sex | Tags: ,

Aaron Timms shares his observations of World Youth Day and agrees it was a Good Thing:


“No doubt I am not alone in expressing this wish: we totally should have the Catholic youth of the world around to Sydney again. If there’s one thing this city needs, it’s more happy, unsexed Slovakians. I mean that seriously: a city filled with singing Eastern European virgins is a city at peace with itself.”

“Good ideas to come out of World Youth Day included Pope Benedict XVI (has there been a more loveable octogenarian German theologian?), non-dogmatic  Pope impersonations )”Do not liff your life in see pursuit of material possssseshonsss) and the use of backpacks as a marker of religious affiliation. The bad things included the secularists who took no part in it, secularism, secularist filth and secularizing, valueless scum.”


As two young train travellers at Town Hall noted:


“There are no hot pilgrims.”

“Those rucksacks don’t help.”

Parsley on the fishes and loaves
July 22, 2008, 8:29 am
Filed under: Religion | Tags: ,

And yet more World Youth Day commentary, this time from the august pages of The Australian:

“The only infallible Pope I know is my old washing machine. Hasn’t missed a beat in 20 years amd has no dirty washing to apologise for.” Peter West, WA.

“I enjoy bread and circuses. Now the Pope has gone, can we have throwing Labor to the lions to maximise the use of our former Olympic facilities?” Michael Stanbridge, NSW.

“Can we have our secular Oz back please?”

pleads John Wilson of Tasmania. Lyall Chittleborough gets all philosophical:

“If faith is a further step beyond the possibilities of reason, it commands respect, and offers some sound basis for life choices, but clap-happy, gingered up gala events do little to foster the intelligent approach required for life in the modern world – and even less for the credibility of the institution which claims to have answers to life’s great questions.”

“Why am I reminded of parsley on fish?”

Ken Craig, SA, is not impressed by the Pope’s apology to victims of sexual abuse.  And some, like Warwick Hempel, writing to the avcowecdly pro-WYD Daily Telegraph, just can’t be convinced to part with their cynicism:

“Catholic World Youth Day is finally over, thank Christ. What a big pity he could not pick up the bill.”

Will the extra trains be here to stay?
July 22, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Transport | Tags:

“I presume from today thatr all of these extra trains and buses that mysteriously appeared will now be available in peak hours to take us from the Third World country standard that was here before WYD. Would this be correct, Minister?”

Doug Bathersby, writing to the Daily Telegraph, is amazed at the success of WYD transport.

Round 2 to the SMH

It’s so good to see those paragons of journalist integrity, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald indulging in a bit of mutual bitch-slapping. The Australian has been given to editorialising about the disgracefully biased editorial stance of the SMH, especially in relation to its coverage of World Youth Day. Here Mike Carlton ponders the implications of the latest attack by The Australian:

“Writing for the Herald, you become accustomed to the Oz offering helpful advice on how we could do it so much better. Barely a day goes by without an improving homily from Holt Street. As everyone knows, at News Ltd they are the custodians of all that is pure and good in journalism, and those of us who have so fallen from grace that we can grub a living only at Fairfax or the ABC acknowledge this with humble respect.

Last Saturday The Australian surpassed itself. An editorial reproving us for our coverage of World Youth Day scaled Old Testament heights of fury. The gist of it seemed to be that if a priesr shoves a hand down your Speedos you only have yourself to blame for going swimming with him in the first place. It was quite a puzzle. And it went on like that all week. I can only think that Rupert Murdoch must be making a takeover bid for the Vatican.”


 The SMH offered the sort of bitchy riposte not typically encountered in editorials:


“An indulgence, dear reader. We note that The Australian newspaper – self-proclaimed heart of the nation”  – has taken to purloining large slabs of commentary from your Herald.

Barely a day goes by without extracts from our commentators, editorial or letters page getting the cut and paste treatment. This, we assue is for two reasons: first, a shame;less attempt to enliven and diversify its monochromatic opnion pages; second, the Oz has a lot of columns to fill, being largely unencumbered by what it might consider the intrusion of advertising.

We are flattered and enthused. So in this new found spirit of plagirasim, er co-operation, we scanned the Oz for anything of interest to discerning Herald readers. Sadly, we drew a blank, But always happy to help, we offer this editorial for Monday’s cut and paste.”


I can’t wait to see how The Australian responds. My money’s on a sniffy comment about how they won’t stoop to the SMH’s level etc etc.


Age of miracles

A huge range of comments relating to World Youth Day have appeared in local newspapers over the past week. Here is a selection, some positive, some negative, some critical of said negativity:

“The Pope’s warning about false idols should ensure bona fide pilgrims shop only at the official World Youth Day souvenir shops.” Adriana Maxwell.


“More public transport, pedestrians wandering safely down a quiet George Street with cars and buses diverted, proposed draconian police powers put firmly in their place and (here’s the real miracle) smiling, polite teenagers. I lapsed long ago, but …hallelujah!”

Robert Verhey.


“This sneering, intolerant criticism of everything smacking of World Youth Day brands us as rednecks and is a downright embarrassment.” James Burfitt.


“if they’re so keen to stop dwelling on old wounds, why do Catholic Church leaders still re-enact and carry on about the crucifixion?” Wendy Varney.


“The Chaser disguises are much better now. They fooled me.” Doug McLaughlin.


“And we thought Cate Blanchett was overexposed during the 2020 Summit pilgrimage.” Peter Sesterka.


“The real crime against humanity perpetuated by World Youth Day is what Mercedes-Benz has done to its lovely ML 430 vehicle to facilitate the vehicular perambulations of the Pope.” William Simon.


“How delightful (and fitting) to see a gumnut on the papal pate. May Gibbs would be chuffed.” Margaret Pritchard.


George Street with no cars. Now that is a miracle.” Gemma Purcell.


“Can I sue for annoyance at seriously out-of-tune Catholics randomly singing in my presence? Shouldn’t they have been subjected to an Idol-style elimination before being allowed into the country?” David Breeze.


“There is no relief. First the Barmy Army and now the Psalmy Army.” Frederick Hewison.


“It is indeed a disappointing day when one of Sydney’s leading newspapers becomes nothing more than a blinkered, sycophantic pamphlet for World Youth Day. Reportage is one thing, but touting the WYD logo on the front of the newspaper, and headlines such as “On the Hungry Mile, a feast of goodwill”, amid a host of mind-numbingly similar stories about paradise, hope and joy is quite another thing.” Diana Louis Shahinyan.


“I’m getting a little queasy at the quasi-worship of the Pope. He is only a man, for goodness sake. As for his infallibility, he has obviously never argued with a woman.” John Christie


“There’s something Animal Farm-ish about the Pope’s warning to youth not to be seduced by television images that depict violence as entertainment. The World Youth Day organizers have ensured one and all can watch the whole production of The Stations of the Cross on screens at Circular Quay, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Crescent Precinct in the Domain. Perhaps a case of your violence bad, our violence good.” Joan Kunze.

July 18, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: International relations | Tags: , ,

The Daily Telegraph yesterday published a map featuring 50 world flags denoting different communities’ involvement in World Youth Day. Due to a design error, the graphic included a flag of North Korea, when the South Korean flag should have appeared. The Telegraph apologises for the error.”

Page 11 of today’s Daily Telegraph.

Stop being so cranky
July 16, 2008, 4:40 am
Filed under: Religion | Tags: ,

“I think most of Australia was enjoying, delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people … rather than dwelling crankily as a few people are doing on old wounds.”

World Youth Day coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher responds to questions about a pair of Melbourne sisters who were repeatedly raped by a priest when in primary school. One committed suicide at the age of 26 earlier this year, while the other drank heavily and is disabled after being hit by a drunk driver nine years ago. Their father is seeking an audience with the Pope and wants an assurance that the church will change the way it deals with sex abuse claims.