Today I essay and opinionate another ‘fair review & criticism’ of nearly mainstream online new media and bring you a piece of truly amazing wrongheadedness from the so-called keepers of intellectual honesty.
This post from Pure Petulance has to go down as the most petulant post of the year if not of all time.
Well maybe petulant isn’t the right word to describe the way Jeremy Sear has turned a rather innocuous comment made by a fellow Crikey author – that would otherwise have hardly made a ripple on cyberspace – into a tsunami of insult and humiliation of some young kid who works at McDonald’s in Geelong. But the words pedantic, stupid & nasty sure come to mind.
The story: Obscure Crikey author Leigh Josey writes a brief and obscure post about the closure of KFC in Geelong. He posts a cutout from the Geelong Advertiser featuring photos of some kids and the comments they have made and then makes a not-funny and not-really-hurtful (and certainly indirect) comment about one of them as follows:
And what do the people think? By people, we mean 12 year old McDonald’s employees…
And that’s all he said about it. But Jeremy thinks Josey has been “cruel” by wrongly estimating the kid’s age and is so worried that the kid might get depressed (or even suicide) he bursts into print to bizarrely attack one of his own writers … while being oblivious to the fact he’s doing a lot more damage to the kid himself:
This might just be an ex-young-looking-teenager speaking, but it seems to me that Daniel Gooley, the McDonald’s employee (who is therefore at least 14), might already be struggling with issues relating to his not particularly mature physical appearance. (Also his surname.) Having a prominent thing on the internet like Crikey mocking him around the nation on the basis of something over which he has no control and over which he is possibly quite sensitive, seems to me to be unnecessarily cruel – and, given the current discussion of teen depression and suicide, it might be something that adult writers should consider when the butt of their joke is just a kid. Even if he wasn’t the intended target, and even if it was funny.
If the kid wasn’t already embarrassed by this (and I seriously doubt he would have been) he would be now after Sear’s further posting and identification of him. Worse still, the totally unnecessary references to Daniel’s appearance and surname add injury to what was hardly even an insult in the first place.
And it keeps going in the comments. While some of the commenters are clearly miffed by this bizarre post (and good on them for realising its out of line), some have taken Sear’s lead to heap more insults on not just Daniel but other kids in the photo too. Well done Jeremy.
Josey’s piece was hardly “mocking (Daniel) around the nation” but that didn’t stop Sear from jumping in to correct him and speak up on the kid’s behalf … without being invited. Who needs that kind of advocacy or defence?
It’s just like when Jeremy goes in to bat for gays and lesbians over gay marriage without being invited – he does more harm than good.
Some times you just need to let something speak for itself.
As they say “stupidity is its own parody”.
I bring you Jeremys take on “how to vote” :
How voting ALP could help Abbott
You may have heard me say that it’s impossible for your progressive vote to end up helping the conservatives. Turns out I was wrong. There is a scenario in which your voting ALP or Green could inadvertently end up helping the Liberals.
I know you’ll be expecting this to be long and complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to explain.
How it “could” happen
In amongst both the Green and ALP first preference votes, are some people who preference the Liberals ahead of the alternative progressive party. ALP voters who put the Liberals above the Greens; Greens voters who put the Liberals above the ALP.
As long as that party is not eliminated, those Coalition votes stay locked in for the “left” side of politics (for the sake of this discussion, I’m going to pretend that the ALP counts as “left”).
But, when that party is eliminated, that subset of their votes would flow straight back to the Coalition and, in a very unlikely set of circumstances, could conceivably see the conservative candidate elected over the remaining “left” one.
How to avoid it happening
So – if you want to keep the Coalition out, and are worried about this tiny possibility of inadvertently helping them, then how should you vote? Well, you should vote to keep in for as long as possible the “left” party with the higher proportion of conservative votes hidden within it.
As it happens, the vast majority of ALP voters simply follow the ALP ticket, which – like the Greens one – usually puts the Coalition down the bottom. In contrast, Greens voters are much more independent-minded and less likely to follow such cards or tickets and – even according to the recent ALP campaign against them – that includes some 20% of so who have come from the Coalition wanting change. I’m not sure what those probably small l liberal Coalition voters expect from the Greens – other than opposition to the unworkable internet filter, government out of people’s bedrooms and a realistic approach to climate change – but the fact is, there are probably more, in proportion, Coalition votes locked up in the Greens’ vote than the ALP’s.
Which means that if you vote ALP instead of Greens, and the Greens are eliminated, and some of those votes flow back to the Coalition, you could find that your ALP vote in fact inadvertently helps elect a Liberal. That’s more likely than the “a vote for the Greens helps the Liberals scenario”, in which your Green vote gets the ALP eliminated first and frees the proportionally fewer* ALP/Coalition votes to go to the Liberals.
A silly thing to worry about
Of course, in reality the likelihood of the small number of Coalition preferences hidden in Greens and ALP votes actually electing a Liberal is tiny – particularly given that far more of those votes will flow straight to the other “left” party. To allow it to influence your vote is taking tactical voting to a ludicrous and unnecessary extreme, particularly when your first preference has a much, much bigger influence on what happens than where its preferences go. (If you vote ALP, you vote for nothing to change; if you vote Green, you pull the ALP and the parliament back to the left. Also, voting Green gives them the funding for your vote instead of the thoroughly undeserving ALP, helping them grow and become an even better alternative.)
*You might say aha, but the ALP votes are more than the Greens, so the raw number of Coalition preferences is higher. But the only scenario in which this matters is where the number of ALP and Greens votes are similar, so the proportion equates to more of those locked-away votes.
But if this issue bothers you – the answer is clear anyway. The best way of defeating the Liberals is, again, to vote Green and preference the ALP.
Review: Thanks for clearing that up Jeremy. I like a drink too (and so does Laura) and I reckon there’s nothing wrong with a night on the tiles. But one thing I have learnt from my time on the blog is NOT to write a post when I am still pissed or hung over. At least wait until the Nurofen kicks in. And the same goes for commenters whose comment consists of nothing more than this: Tl:dr
(PS for Craygees benefit: this is what is called ‘fair review & criticism’)
It’s been a busy week over at the Crikey blog dedicated to proving the ‘intellectual dishonesty’ of Andrew Bolt. Lets have a look at the last 5 posts:
1. Tubbys post on 13 July “Andrew Bolt and the great gerrymander conspiracy” attracted a total of just 22 comments including 2 from Iain with the rest mainly responding to him. Not a good start.
2. Daves post on 14 July “A little bit of inaccuracy” at least diverts away from the usual topic of ‘Mr Bolt is wrong’ by focusing on some minor errors of fact in the Sydney tabloid the Daily Telegraph. The DTs editor is no doubt whipping himself to death following the stunning response of 16 comments agreeing with Dave that yes indeed the paper got a couple of things wrong.
3. In fairness to Dave the commenters were all over at Tubbys little pearler of a post also written on 14 July titled “Pulling apart Andrew Bolt’s anti-Islam crusade”. This cutting piece of writing attracted a whopping 74 comments to take out the Pure Pwned gold star for post of the week. I hear Bolt is still licking his wounds.
4. Things then went pretty quiet at Pure Pwned for the next 48 hours (ie status quo) until Dave realised if you cant beat em join em and struck back with yet another anti-Bolt post on 16 July “Operation Torture”. Alas this post took out the wooden spoon for the week with only 12 comments proving conclusively that Daves trainer wheels are permanently welded on.
5. It was then left to Tubby to salvage something from another slow news week to inspiringly come up with yet another “Weekend Talk Thread” on 16 July that as of right now two days later has attracted just 26 comments. Despite yesterdays big news (something about an election) there is a lot more about you-guessed-it (Andrew Bolt) in the comments than about Julia & Tony.
So there you have it. Five posts for a total of 150 mainly sycophantic comments. And four of the five posts focusing mainly on you-know-who. Crikey must be rapt with the performance of the Three Musketeers. I dont know how they keep up the pace.
(PS: Missing in action this week was Boltwatcher extraordinaire Jeremy whose last missive on 7 July lecturing The Age on their failure to recognise the importance of his beloved Greens Party really brained them with a whole 42 comments. Come back Jeremy, Pure Pwned needs its Three Musketeers working as one throughout the election campaign.)
Since the arrival of “Greens Watch” on the scene it has been far from edifying to see the way that a couple of that sites targets have been loudly denouncing them.
PS Before anyone has a go at me for once being anonymous, there’s a critical difference between offering political commentary and making defamatory claims as to fact from behind anonymity.
But the thing that is so very sad is that in all of these posts Jeremy has consistently claimed , as he does in the comment I quote above, that Greens Watch exists only to smear and defame but I have yet to see even one aspect of Greens Watch given any substantial scrutiny or any particular claim made on the site any satisfactory rebuttal.
So we have 1500 words, 167 lines that really amount to nowt. We can be certain that he is rather upset and when people are upset they do some strange things. I recommend that readers check out any of the blog posts that Greens Watch has cited in their expose on my learned friend and you will see that he has added a little footnote to each trying to explain away all of the sins that have been exposed to wider scrutiny.
Subsequent to my first piece on Greens Watch I had a rather interesting email correspondence with my learned friend, and on at two occasions I opined that if what they were claiming was so false then Jeremy should write a detailed rebuttal. Sadly he has not taken up my suggestion and he should know by now that just making assertion that the site is all about hate and going the smear do not make it so.
* We know that they are all bonkers.
I have let the month of July commence with out announcing who will be my blog of the month; well after previously choosing political blogs I decided that this month I will feature one that provides some more aesthetic nourishment.
So the winner this month is “Gecko with a Cannon“, a site devoted to photography by Pam, a registered nurse, over in New Zealand. Pam demonstrates in her blog that one does not have to be controversial or even vaguely political to make an interesting blog.
So pay her a visit and enjoy those little, and large, things from life that please the eye and raise the spirits.
More bloggy goodness from my blog of the month blogger Adrien Stewart;
Man this bloke is thorough when it comes to moral questions.
It is nearly June and I want to find a blog that is worthy of being my blog of the month so I thought that I would ask you, my dear readers, for nominations. The blog can have any topic or focus as long as it is interesting and well written. I will even consider blogs with leftist political leanings if they are good enough.
Failing any ideas for blog of the month please feel free to comment on any topic that takes your fancy, except Moi.
I have a very busy day ahead what with Gym classes for daughter number one, a visit to the library, a session on the bench grinder to make some suspension components for my sports car and playing genial host for a musical afternoon; it is going to be all go here today.