Of Cockroaches and Their ABC

I saw a cockroach on my carpet the other night. Nasty things which I like to avoid. Though I live in Sydney – ‘cockroach country’, according to Barry Humphries – I seldom see one in my flat. Yet, there again, the evening after, another Periplaneta australasiae in the same exact spot. I forgot to mention, I killed the first one with an abundance of insecticide spray and then flushed it away.

What’s going on, I thought. Coincidences I tend not to believe in when they happen to me and they are unpleasant. Was I targeted for a fate worse than a fate worse than death as Blackadder put it in one of his WWI episodes? No, apparently. Gerard, a friend of mine who worked as an industrial chemist, told me that roaches follow the pheromone of their fellows. Mystery solved. Phew!

The world is full of creepy crawlies, biting, stinging, devouring creatures?  Are they all necessary? Obviously not. Species die out in large numbers over time and still we survive and thrive. When I say we survive and thrive, I mean humans as a species. As individuals, even the longest living among us, spend little time on this mortal coil.

I saw an interesting program the other day about women in WWII in England. A number of women in their early eighties, I would guess, were talking about their experiences as young women in the early 1940s. I realised of course that these interviews must have taken place some two decades ago. The women would be dead now, if they were not over 100 years. As another reminder of death’s march, Julius Caesar and Elvis are dead.

Give or take, around 160,000 Australians die each year – yes, even without COVID. In America it’s hard to see how they handle all the corpses. According to CDC data, 2,839,205 Americans died in 2018. That’s about 7,780 per day. Excluding the hijackers, the death toll from 9/11 is 2,977. What has one got to do with the other? Nothing at all. Unless you’re appearing on the ABC.

How did my mind leap to the ABC? You work it out. Things I like to avoid, I suppose. But I was lulled.

Thought I’d catch the ABC News last Wednesday evening (16 December) to see what the weather was doing. Before I knew it, Leigh Sales was electronically projected into my living space. “More than 300,000 dead in the US from COVID,” was the lead in.

Cut to ABC’s North American Reporter, the doleful Kathryn Diss. Presenting doom-laden commentary is clearly her forte. Her segment lasted only about seven minutes but it was long on despair.

Topping and tailing the segment was epidemiologist Gavin MacGregor-Skinner. “We built a monument for 9/11,” he said. “We would have to build a monument every day for the last two weeks, that’s how colossal the loss of life is.” You just know he’s a jerk. How about a monument for heart disease and cancer? Together, they accounted for an average of 3,440 deaths each and every day in 2018.

An Amber Carter was interviewed. Tragically, she had lost her thirteen-year-old daughter, who tested positive for COVID after she had died. Kathryn suffered from an autoimmune condition which made her vulnerable to infections. Distressingly, children die; and, when the dust has settled, we might well find that no more children died in 2020 than in former years. In 2018, 5,450 children between the ages of 5 and 14 died in America and 3,830 between the ages of 1 and 4.

Did Diss give perspective on the tragedy? Not a bit of it. She quickly moved on. “It’s difficult to comprehend how things could possible get any worse, but they are and very quickly,” she said.

Next Diss managed to find her Doctor Doom. Dr Mel Herbert, an Australian living in California. He is worried that so many people will get sick that they won’t be able to be helped; that in the next week “we’ll pretty much be in crisis mode.” He talked about his hospital being overrun and there being, wait for it, “no ventilators left.” In that situation he suggested providing patients with “medications like morphine or other sedatives so that they can transition from life to death, but without the terrible suffering.”

And how likely (or unlikely) was any of this and how much more crowded are hospitals now than during a normal or bad winter flu season? That you will not discover from the ABC.

Enter Lizanne Jennings, an ICU nurse. Sadly, she had lost her mother and husband. However, we were not told anything about their respective ages or medical conditions. And, predictably, it was bound to come, Diss informed us that the nurse, “blames Donald Trump for failing to take it seriously.”

Finally, ‘to lighten the mood’, MacGregor-Skinner made a second appearance. “It’s going to turn out bad,” he warned.

If you were to take this reportage at face value, you would be forgiven for thinking that death was a stranger before COVID. Alarmist and tendentious talk, with a cast of participants carefully selected to underscore how utterly hopeless is the situation. Abandon hope all ye who enter the portal of the ABC.

No perspective was given, no counter views heard. Nothing to disturb the COVID party line of the ABC staff-collective. It was garbage journalism.

The problem with all of this is that those who rely on the ABC for their news and information must come away severely ill-informed; intellectual cripples, in fact. Such is the debilitating bounty of annually spending close to a billion taxpayer dollars on a rogue broadcaster. Moral: Don’t watch the ABC.

11 thoughts on “Of Cockroaches and Their ABC

  • padmmdpat says:

    Recently some married acquaintances, I think wanting to impress me, said, “We only watch the ABC these days. The rest are garbage.” I said nothing but poured a stiff gin when they left.

  • DG says:

    Clearly the Americans have as much understanding of their system of government as many Australians do of ours. In the main response to disease is a state matter. The Feds deploy for borders, treaties, and when the states run out of puff. Notably, the nurse in question didn’t say ‘I’m glad Trump acted quickly on closing the border to China; it could have been far worse.’ Perhaps she forgot.

  • Stephen Due says:

    I remember the ABC when it was quite good. That was fifty years ago when the presenters/broadcasters were predominantly male. The ABC Classical FM radio station, during my admittedly infrequent, random visits while driving to get the groceries, invariably features posh-sounding young female presenters promoting unbelievably tedious third-rate works by long-forgotten female composers. Likewise, my ABC Local Radio relentlessly promotes political correctness through its program content. It invariably has something on the environment, women, Aboriginals, climate change, why Christians are stupid, or what is wrong with Trump.
    And it’s not only the ABC. I recently went to the National Gallery of Australia where, surprise, surprise, the big news is female artists. The exhibition is called “Know My Name”. The NGA describes this as a “gender equality initiative”. For years I’ve only visited the NGA to see if the shop has a bargain table, because the NGA management long ago abandoned any commitment to excellence in favor of last year’s SJW fad.
    Unfortunately “gender equality” can only be achieved at the expense of the best quality. This is just a fact of life. In pursuit of feminism, the ABC has become just another up-market version of Women’s Weekly. Hence the choice of the current “chair”, presumably. No reform from within is going to be able to fix this problem. The ABC should be privatised and left to fend for itself in the open market.

  • Bernard says:

    I don’t know what is included under “dead from COVID”, but accepting the figures for the USA as 300 000 dead from COVID for a population of 300 000 000, it means that the number of COVID fatalities would have been 0.09% of America’s population. 0.09%. That, for example, is just about exactly the proportion of deaths in France (also 0.09%!). I don’t hear anyone screaming about France and President Macron.
    Just another primitive stick contrived by the left to attack President Trump, coupled with a general inability to understand some basic mathematical concepts and laced with generous amounts of faux-outrage.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Thanks Peter. Agreed.

    There’s also the tricky territory of “cause of death” and “antecedent cause”. ABS has a paper on it: Cause of Death Certification:

    “If the direct cause of death as described in “Cause of Death” was due to, or arose as a consequence of another disease, injury or condition, report this in “Antecedent causes”.

    Where cause of death can be ambiguous, always provide an antecedent cause. Any kind of haemorrhage or fracture should always have an antecedent cause. An antecedent cause for fracture could be osteoporosis or for an intracerebral haemorrhage it might be hypertension.”

    How, I wonder, does an MD choose between “covid-19” and “old age”?

    The other day I heard a medical chap – on the ABC – arguing for inclusion of “climate change” as a legitimate cause of death.

    Gaming the system, it seems, is not only confined to an election in a swing-state.

  • Simon says:

    Our ABC should get with the program – COVID isn’t an issue since Biden became president-elect, you idiots.

  • PT says:

    They clearly wouldn’t have quoted that nurse unless she blamed Trump. Before the election they ran a “special” on North Carolina (which was likely to switch to Biden apparently). They had a “committed Republican” whose elderly parents had apparently died of COVID-19. He declared that “Trump killed my parents”. Democratic Governors (like Cuomo) have been keen to shift the blame to the Feds for their own failure. Trump also seemed too “upbeat” and “dismissive”, and was accused of not doing enough to secure stockpiles of PPE and ventilation equipment (this criticism is the only valid one). Biden attacked the travel ban with China as “racist”, when this sort of action was the only way the seriously stop the virus from reaching the US in the absence of an effective vaccine. But the ABC nor any other mainstream media outlet mentions this: although to his credit Hartcher has criticised the Chinese regime over its reaction to Australia’s travel ban given their attempt to cover up the developing crisis.

    Regarding the “crisis”, Trump is still President. Doubtless it will be less of an issue once Biden is sworn in. A bigger question is how long the laptop issue can be suppressed. The collusion (especially by Twitter) to suppress this certainty was key to Biden becoming President.

  • Nezysquared says:

    Your ABC. Reality TV programmes. Facebook and Twitter. Aboriginal culture. Gender fluidity. Politics. Other countless factors I cant be bothered to mention. Mix liberally with microwave TV dinners interspersed with the odd dollop of Macca’s and hey presto – a dumbed down population willing to accept the next worst theory of anything. Get used to it. The new reality.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Good piece as usual in my mind Peter, and suffice to say..I agree. When the ABC used to show the test cricket I’d watch it, and of course back in the early days of the 50’s and 60’s it was a decent benchmark , however slowly but surely over the years I started to smell another of those rats with it, it might even have been around the same time I started to have second thoughts about SBS. Anyway, eventually the very well spoken , controlled sort of educated presentation, ceased to have it’s hypnotic effect on me. On second thoughts it might even have been around the time, I started to have the time, to read properly the Greek and Roman classics and rediscovered the meaning of sophistry in the ancient world and suddenly the penny dropped and I knew I was having the wool pulled over my eyes. Reading properly Kenneth Minogue’s book Alien Powers also helped because the leitmotiv running through so much of it is pure, unadulterated left wing ideology, and in my mind there is no such thing as ‘centre’ or ‘centre left’ or right for that matter it’s either centre or right. Those few words of Yeats ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’ seem to capture it nicely for me.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Sorry, I meant ‘left or right’ not centre or right.

  • Phillip says:

    The horror of having Leigh Sales projected into any males life is a fate worse than death by COVID. You have my sympathies.
    But like millions of other people around the globe, I have not seen nor suffered COVID….and thus do not have much believe in the theory…only foresight to say; I do totally concur with your ABC cockroach pheromone analysis and remedy.
    And applying this well structured remedy I promise to stay well away from the Leigh Sales pheromone tail…for I have it on good account that creative story telling is not my bread winner…and by doing so, minimise any contact with COVID talk garbage.

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