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DePaul University Tour Shut Down by Protestors, Lead by Self-Styled Free Speech Warrior Milo Yiannopoulos
May 27, 2016
At DePaul, the self-styled free speech warrior and his fans once again did not prove to be as robust as their rhetoric. When protesters arrived they begged for the intercession of cops, and cartoonish redpill tough guy Matt Forney complained about being manhandled.
What would you expect any speaker to do if their event was interrupted? Get the audience to beat up the hecklers? You can’t have it both ways when the police are tasked with keeping order and they fail to do this it is reasonable to be less than happy about it.
Nevertheless, the event received the usual hagiographic treatment on Breitbart and the Daily Caller, and once again Yiannopoulos was able to portray himself as the alt-right’s courageous truth-teller.
Which begs the question “is Milo telling the truth here?” Personally I would say that he is but lets see if Wilson even explores that question here
He was fortunate, in a way. On his current US campus tour, alleged threats to his free speech, and the back and forth between Yiannopoulos and his antagonists have been the only thing sustaining interest in the whole enterprise.
Hmm lets see If you hive a hall or lecture space and have your ability to perform is compromised by “activists” then isn’t that by definition his free speech being denied?
I know because I attended a Milo event at which there was no left reception committee. When he appears unchallenged, the Milo show is the dampest of squibs.
At the University of Oregon, where I saw him, it was not clear that he was especially grateful for the platform, or the lack of interruptions.
“Your professors are cunts, on the whole,” he tells the mostly student audience in an almost-full auditorium, “limp-wristed, pacifistic, sandal-wearing weirdos.”
It goes on like this for hours – the epithets are relentless and the provocations artless. Without hostile interruptions, Yiannopoulos’s act, which unfortunately relies entirely on him speaking, is a one-note affair.
So much for Wilson as a reporter! So much for Wilson as the man with a handle on the online traditions of shit posting and mischief making .
The Oregon engagement begins, like the others, with a one on one interview. Tonight his interlocutor is the co-president of the local branch of Young Americans for Liberty, who are sponsoring the evening. Then comes an open question and answer session, and Milo finishes up by giving fans an opportunity to take selfies with one of the right’s rising stars.
Its a tour around many campuses and were it any other type of tour there would not be any complaint about it having a running order or even a script that if followed on any of the legs of the tour.
But right now, that’s a long way off. First, we have to wade through the redpill boilerplate that constitutes Milo’s political views.
“There is an assault in this country”, he informs his interviewer, “on straight white men”, waged by “middle class women and cucks.” In this case the latter is being used to describe male feminists, who “don’t need to be castrated, they’ve done it themselves.”
Moving onto rape culture, which he considers a myth, he asks, with a theatrical moan, “Is there anything worse than consent?”
Wilson makes no secret of his disdain for Milo’s opinions, as is his right, however he undermines his own argument here by not even exploring the possibility that Milo has both the facts and the truth on the side of his talking points here. Wilson simply accepts all of the feminist orthodoxies without a single question
These opinions are odious, of course, but in another way utterly banal. Most adults will find Yiannopoulos’s show exactly as transgressive as a dirty joke told by a racist uncle. He wants desperately to cause deep offence to the left, and with some campus-based comrades, he clearly succeeds. Others will struggle to muster an eye-roll. I’ve heard pithier put-downs of progressives on Australian bar stools.
Why are his opinions “odious” would be an obvious thing to follow the opening claim of this paragraph but instead of that Wilson goes for that old favorite of the progressive the ad hominiem argument. The thing is having watched a lot of Milo’s shtick in his you tube vids he clearly gets a good response to his talk, his interviews and debates all show him to be witty clever and generally amusing. He may not be funny to the cohort of Wilson and his friends but as they are among the targets of Milo’s sarcasm, satire and wit it would be surprising if Wilson and his friends enjoyed being so mercilessly mocked.
So why are all these other people laughing?
After all, even if you agree with this stuff, there’s not much here that’s new. Milo described the alt-right, for which he as a kind of spokesman, as a group which is “young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies”.
But anyone who’s ever listened to Michael Savage or Mark Levin, or even waited around in a small-town barber shop has already encountered all of this guff at punishing length. If there’s a difference, it’s purely a matter of presentation.
Students of the art of humor will tell you that there are only a handful of proto -jokes and all of the huge lexicon of laughs derive from this small seed, so its not always what you say as much as how you tell them Milo’s shtick works because he is a consummate communicator and his audience likes what he says. Wilson is simply unable to do likewise because of his own political baggage and intellectual investment in left wing progressive ideology.
His core politics are similar to those of the mens rights movement – he hates feminists and claims they’re waging a war on the *real* victims, men. But everyone on the American right pretty much agrees with this. He calls lesbians names and questions whether there should be further Muslim immigration. But these are not novel sentiments either.
On the subject of feminism this interview with Dave Rubin explains far better what it is about contemporary feminism that deserves scorn and strong criticism. Wilson’s vilification and character assassination is based on the faulty belief that Milo objects to the now achieved (in western countries) goals of first and second wave feminism.
For sheltered campus conservatives in provincial college towns, though, it all sounds terribly naughty, even revolutionary. Not because of what’s being said, which is “redpill” boilerplate, but because of who is saying it.
Has Wilson not heard of the internet?
In an irony whose full implications escape his audience – who are not, on the whole, well-attuned to such things – his identity is the only real value he adds to an otherwise bog-standard litany of complaints.
Its seems to me that Wilson can not cope with the idea that am man can be both Gay and conservative
The conservative ecosystem is variously populated by talk-radio mastodons; dessicated, reptilian columnists; and near-vegetative think-tankers with about as much charisma as their lanyards. In this Jurassic world, Milo can self-consciously promote himself as something disruptive and new.
For someone who claims to be a “reporter” his political allegiances are doing great deal of harm to his objectivity
If Wilson’s profile picture is anything to go by Wilson would not qualify as any sort of fashionista himself, that said though if one takes the time to review Milo’s various media appearances its clear that the man is actually quite good at dressing for the occasion, most serious events will see Milo wearing a well cut suit but on the current tour he can of course be more frivolous.
Tonight, in pink t-shirt, bling, gaudy trainers and lightly distressed denim, he looks like he’s beamed in from the “boys casual wear” section of a decade-old Macy’s catalogue. Only the buttoned-down Randroids who run YAL could think that his frosted tips and ostentatious indoor sunglasses are anything other than normcore-gone-wrong.
Its called dressing for the occasion Mr Wilson and playing the game of political performance. Frankly I would have thought that asocial media pundit such as your self would understand that all politics is a performance art-form then again I can’t help thinking that Wilson would be lauding any “progressive” using Milo’s tactics here maybe this explains Wilson’s clear rancor because he simply can’t get his head around anyone other than one of his fellow progressives being so able to exploit the social media the way that Milo so clearly does.
The really entrancing thing for America’s reactionary dweebs and young fogeys is hearing this from a gay, British man in his thirties, rather than say, Rush Limbaugh.
It means that for an hour or two, they can put aside their niche anxieties about creeping sharia, or who is using which public restroom, and imagine that they are part of something subversive.
What Wilson fails to understand here is that while his progressive cronies have long held the upper hand in social discourse on the campuses of first world universities to be a conservative and to be openly Gay about it IS a subversive act just as much as being a communist was for my own generation
The bonus is that even in making this pitch, he comforts his audience with the knowledge that they don’t have to take the political demands of other LGBT people seriously. He drops hints that deep down, he hates queers as much as they do.
NO there is simply not any hatred for “LGBT people” in play here Milo does not “Hate Queers” either on the surface or deep down. His take on is is quite sane and very grown up He enjoys being a homosexual is the bottom line
One of his biggest applause lines in Eugene was the moment when he distanced himself from other gay men, averring that “the worst thing about being gays is other gays… They’re just such fucking fags.”
Its called being self deprecating and taking the piss out of your own subculture that Milo both endorses and celebrates
It’s all a bit like music hall for young tories: marginally risque but ultimately reassuring. It’s conservative all right, but not in the edgy way Yiannopoulos imagines it to be.
If only Wilson could understand that Conservatives are allowed to have a place in the polity that is not just to be the butt of progressive ire, and what Milo’s “Dangerous faggot tour” is really about is pointing out that conservatives no longer have to be hiding in the shadows of campus life any more, they don’t have to remain under the dishonest heel of political correctness , kowtowing to the craziness of third wave feminist nonsense
In fact he’s just one of a long line of performers who exist to endorse the whole slate of garden-variety petty bourgeois prejudices. It’s dull work, I imagine, but there’s a steady market for those who can give it fresh nuance.
For now, he appears to be on a roll. From his start as a Breitbart writer and gamergate troll, he’s energetically barged his way into the dress circle of rightwing celebrity.
Those over tight progressive underpants are in evidence again with this claim mainly because I don’t think that an Ideological warrior like Wilson cannot imagine that any legitimate criticism of progressivism is possible. Nor do I think that Wilson has any understanding of Gaming or the Gamergate movement he so casually dismisses. I asked him on twitter if he was a gamer and his response was to try to chnage the subject. so my guess is that his opinions all come from the likes of Anita Sarkesiain and those of her ilk rather than him having any experience of the subculture or the experience of gaming
He now rubs shoulders with the likes of Ann Coulter, with whom he shares a performative, post-Trump antipathy to established movement conservatism. He’s successfully positioned himself as a member of the “alt-right”, a movement for which he drafted a manifesto which also functions as an apologia for the open anti-semitism and racism of that community.
Hmm I simply don’t see the antisemitism that Wilson is claiming, in fact most of the antisemitism in the western polity comes form the left in their apologia for Islam and the Jihadists.something that I have seen Wilson himself flirts with on twitter where despite me giving him ample giving him ample opportunities to denounce the inherent bigotry of Islam he could not bring himself to admit that Islam is hateful to Gays or women.
(During the evening, he retails the anti-establishment sentiments which are themselves now de rigeur on the right, saying that “the Republican Party needs to be torn up, burnt to the ground and rebuilt”.)
The hustle has been competent enough to secure the greatest reward that a bogus generational spokesman can reap: a profile in the New York Times magazine. And now, he’s on a US tour, bringing his fabulous brand of bigotry to America’s universities.
If there is one thing that is fabulous its the way that Wilson portrays anyone who offers a counter to the “progressive narrative” as bigotry, Question the Black lives matter narrative and in Wilson’s view its bigotry, Question the silly claim that one in five students will be raped and its bigotry, In fact its seems clear to me he is just over invested in the “progressive” orthodoxy and he is terrified of having to rethink any of that he just digs his heels in and calls people names because its
In Eugene, around 350 prople show up (at DePaul, Breitbart claimed there were 500, but they have a habit of talking their employee up). A solid three quarters of those in attendance were men. Given Milo’s obsession with detailing what he sees the failings of women – especially feminists, lesbians, and those who aren’t thin – it’s no surprise that his events are such sausage-fests.
Would Wilson care if a Feminist had a predominately female audience or would he disparage a majority female audience as a “vag-fest” or some other derogatory term of a cohort of women ?
Indeed, the passages of the evening in which he talks about the many women that he doesn’t like are one of the few times that a genuine emotion – disgust – rises to the surface of his camp repartee.
When he describes lesbians as “horrendous, quivering masses of horror”, described feminism as “cancer”, he’s practically spitting. It’s the kind of vituperation you don’t usually employ unless you’ve encountered a real threat.
Like so many on the progressive side of politics Wilson has no sense of humor and no understanding that the anti-lesbian shtick is all part of Milo’s performance. As I have found in my own interactions with Wilson to him its inconceivable that any thing that a conservative says or does will not have some malign intention or purpose. Essentially he lacks any generosity towards conservatives and only sees them as a class enemy to be denounced.
I don’t know, or much care, whether Milo Yiannopoulos’s own contempt for women is a mask for fear. But he certainly appears to be answering to the fears of his audience.
This is utter rubbish from Wilson there is simply no reason to think that Milo has contempt for women nor does it follow that the audiences at his Dangerous faggot tour do either.
The sources of this disquiet are evident in the queues for the question and answer session, and later for selfies. It’s very clear in these moments that Milo’s core audience, his most devoted fans, are bewildered, young, reactionary, male nerds.
Once again Wilson shows his contempt for ordinary young men who have not taken up the progressive orthodoxy. That my friends is the core of the contradiction with in progressiveism It claims to be about inclusiveness and diversity unless you are a straight white man then you will be eternally the subject of scorn and derision
You get the vivid impression when you hear them talk that their antipathy to feminism has bloomed out of a much more intimate kind of frustration with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, they’ve come to the world’s worst source of dating advice.
Could anyone be more arrogant or more disparaging at a personal level than this? this is claim is all just an ad hom fallacy writ large
During question time, men ask for and recieve counsel about how to deal with feminists challenging them in their personal lives, and Yiannopoulos commiserated with them about “the oppressive hegemony of social justice”.
Although I have not attended one of these events I have watched several on Milo’s and other you tube channels and this characterization of the Q & A session is simply wrong and the questions and comments are as varied the people who attend
The whole ritual does no more than try to reverse the polarity of identity politics, insisting that actually, it’s white men who are oppressed. And the only way he can really make this case is to talk about class.
Wilson is correct that identity politics is a big issue for those who attend however in typical SJW style Wilson willfully misunderstands the arguments that are in play here. The point is not to try to seize a better place in the oppression hierarchy fro “white men” as he contends, but to dispute the entire social analysis of “oppression” that underpins the SJW notions of identity politics that would demonize every one who is straight, white and male.
Thus, he talks about the “awful, awful, terrible, diseased, and damaged people lecturing and hectoring the working class” who have “rightly had enough of it”, and whose only hope of salvation is “President Donald Trump”.
Here I can to some extend share Wilson’s concerns about the virtues of Donald Trump however I think that Wilson is sadly not detached enough from his left wing obsessions to understand why Trump is popular. What that popularity boils down to is a rather refreshing refusal to kowtow to the conventions of Political correctness and if there is one thing that those on the right appreciate its anyone who will slash through the bindings that have come from identity politics and the deathly fear of giving offense, But to explore this topic in more detail I suggest that you go to this article which also looks at Milo’s Trump shows but it does so with a far more even hand.
The problem – apart from the fact that this is delivered in an upper-middle class British accent, and that his audience are mostly college kids – is that he’s not really offering the working class anything except the permission to dish out racial slurs and minimise rape culture.
To be frank I don’t buy into Wilson’s Marxist assumption that the audience are what would be “working class” or that Milo being English or “upper class” makes a blind bit of difference to cut though to his audience. This is an audience who have grown up with the cultural diversity of YouTube and they simply do not care about Milo’s accent. Now would college students be what we in Australia would call working class because they (or their parents) are all paying to go to the colleges and that takes enough resources to place those audience members well and truly into the middle classes
He boasts about the scholarship scheme he’s set up for underprivileged boys, but he has nothing to say about the economy except hints of support for a Trumpian economic nationalism.
Why on earth does Wilson think that Milo should be any sort of economist?
In another hackneyed move, Yiannopoulos posits the “Working class” not as a product of structural economic inequality but as another kind of political identity, one that expresses itself in salty language and low-level sexual harassment.
Here I can’t honestly do better than recommend the Why people love Trump piece I previously linked to because it looks at the subject free from Wilson’s arrogant disdain for Milo and his audience.
This is the kind of caricature you can only believe in if you don’t actually know that many working-class people. Like every other right wing hack, Milo absolutely depends on the angst of wounded identity, and its quest for an alternative victimhood.
I am rather fond of arguing for a certain generosity when you discuss politics, that sort of generosity would have prevented Wilson’s unshakable urge to demonize anyone who is snot singing from the progressive play book as he does here. The thing that Wilson seems to miss entirely here is that its not about seeking “victimhood” at all its about saying instead that the labels and characterizations of the SJW narrative are nonsense, broken and or wrong.
The working class he spins fantasies about are exclusively white, because like every right wing hack, his principal concern is activating white male resentment. This rhetoric was developed precisely to divide the working class, and to keep them in their place.
The problem for Wilson here is that Milo is not working from the Marxist lens that he himself see’s the world through. No is it about something as negative as activation of anyone’s resentment. Its all about saying that we are all individuals rather than just being elements in one group identity or another, its the classic libertarian positions that Milo is drawing on here, ones that value individual enterprise and self reliance. Sadly for a Marxist like Wilson this is just incomprehensible.
At one point Yiannopoulos offers something of a credo: “The only way to respond to outrage culture is to be outrageous”. It’s handy because it’s a good cover story for pursuing his real goal, which is no more or less than the getting of attention.
Milo makes no secret of his love of social provocation and were he of the left rather than the right I am rather sure that Wilson would find this behavior to be praise worthy because like a lot of lefties he thinks that social transgression belongs to his side of politics
But Milo Yiannopoulos is not outrageous, nor is he of himself especially dangerous. He’s just a wanker. When the Trump wave recedes, he may in time be regarded, along with the rest of the flotsam it deposited, as a curiosity. More likely, he’ll return to the mean and become one more right wing talking head in a perennially shallow talent pool.
Wilson is particularly humorless when it comes to anyone not from his own left wing tribe and here is a perfect example of his lack political generosity that puts him very much into the authoritarian left. Its obvious to anyone else that the title of Milo’s “Dangerous Faggot” tour is meant to be ironic and trangressive to the SJW tropes about the use of language as with the word “queer” Milo seeks to reclaim the word “faggot” here by taking what was a term of derision and making it something positive
The ideas he promotes are damaging, of course. He talks a lot about “the public square”, but the fruit borne of his adolescent attacks on feminism are likely to play out in more private spaces, where the most important negotiations about sex, consent, and equality happen.
But its not all of feminism that Milo rails against its just the man hating third wave feminism that has blossomed in contentment universities over the last couple of decades that actively seeks out offense and it is that brand of feminism that Milo describes as Cancer
God help the woman whose partner is a Milo fan. At the very best, she’ll have to listen to this horseshit on a loop. At worst, she’ll be living with someone who has the tools to rationalise selfishness, abuse, and even sexual assault.
Pardon me? Is Wilson really suggesting that being a Milo fan is tantamount to being a wife beater? a rapist even? How shallow is Wilson?
What’s perhaps not considered often enough how much damage this nonsense does to those men who take it seriously. For one thing, it allows them to put off the day on which they grow up, and realise that the women who won’t sleep with them aren’t persecuting them, but making the kinds of choices characteristic of autonomous human beings.
No Jason that is utter nonsense. Men who “listen” to the argument against the SJW tropes do not become monsters and its not at all about disaffection because these men can’t get laid. In fact there is no evidence at all that those on the right are any less successful at finding sexual partners than Wilson’s fellow lefties. Nor is he correct to assume that those men on the libertarian right don’t see women as anything less that fully autonomous individuals just like themselves That he thinks otherwise is actually a sad artifact of his own collectivist thinking.
So as derivative as this whole enterprise is, it may cause problems. What’s to be done?
DePaul’s progressives had one strategy – protest – which I do not plan to gainsay. That’s a decision for local activists to make based on what’s happening on their campus.
So left wing “protest goo”d in Wilson’s mind
There’s been more than enough hippie-punching in recent months directed at those who protest at public events that attract the far right, and I don’t propose to add to it. Protesting serves many purposes: publicly articulating common positions, building comradeship, and making claims or counter-claims on public space. There should be more of it.
Unless of course its anti SJW protest, then its bad and should be confronted.. Hmm OK
It’s true, though, that on those occasions like the night in Eugene, where he is not met by protesters, Milo seems forlorn. His schtick goes limp; he’s revealed as a one-trick pony.
When a young man, identifying himself as a feminist, spoke up against him, Milo whisked him onto the stage for an extended chat. Briefly, the evening was enlivened, though no one was enlightened, because Milo doesn’t argue in good faith. But he knows that the audience comes for the fireworks.
This bit of Wilson’s piece shows just how little this left wing warrior respects the core value of democracy which revolves around a robust exchange of ideas. That Milo is willing to engage with and debate his opponents is not just “schtick ” its an example of his confidence in his argument. Nor is it ever the case that democratic discussions ore as one dimensional as Wilson implies here. There is simply nothing wrong or awry for a polemicist to make their events entertaining with a little bit of drama. Wilson needs to lighten up a great deal.
Absent opposition, it’s harder to convince supporters that he’s bravely overturning PC shibboleths and taking it to the SJWs.
Not in the age of social media it isn’t even if the event at Portland was lacking in “fireworks” ( it has been the exception rather than the rule for the “Dangerous faggot tour”) all that it shows is that the SJWs there are rather less bolshie than at other universities on the itinerary
Perhaps the decision by students at the University of California, Irvine, to offer a counter-event to Milo’s visit offers a promising way to deal with this nuisance.
When it comes to the right, “ignore them and they’ll go away” is generally bad advice, but skipping the Milo show, and using it as to build something positive sounds like something that could also build the left ahead of the Summer of Trump.
Thus Wilson ends with whimper here rather than a roar but that is hardly surprising given that Wilson has done nothing but give us an an extended ad hominiem attack on both Milo Yiannopoulos and the young Trump supporters who have been finding the Gay man so engaging. To Wilson they are just the class enemy rather than men and women who have as much right as his fellow lefties to be involved with the issues and debates about their society. In fact Wilson’s piece is an almost perfect example of why Donald Trump is more than likely to be elected President. What we are seeing here is a whole movement of young people who are refusing to see that the SJW emperor is wearing a fine well tailored set of threads. They are trusting their senses and they are daring to speak the truth about the regressive left’s saggy arse that is in the breeze on so many issues, Things like the Myth of “rape culture” and other third wave feminist tropes are being seen clearly and actively denounced, Likewise the willful blindness about the ideology of Islam that I have found Wilson himself guilty of is something that more and more people are no long willing to accept, especially after the horrendous slaughter at the Pulse night club. Finally though I just want to say that this essay is not intended to be any sort of personal attack on Wilson himself I have brought this humble blog out of its hiatus in part because I want to demonstrate to Jason Wilson that I have read and understood his piece but mainly I wanted to substantiate my suggestion to him on twitter that the “Why people love Trump” is a far better piece of journalism than the missive I have been considering here.
When I was at university the students were revolting they celebrated and delighted in being transgressive Sadly that is no longer the case.
Can naked bottoms really be that socio-politically significant? Oh very much so, I’d say. Especially to anyone who has just read the quite monumentally depressing cover story from this week’s Spectator by Brendan O’Neill. His argument is that political correctness has become so heavily entrenched in academe that our seats of learning are in serious danger of abandoning perhaps their most important function: opening up developing minds to new ideas and experiences.
If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation
A worthy and witty post that I commend to readers of the Sandpit
There really is nothing more bizarre than a minion of the left who has willful blindness about the nature of Islam and the way it considers homosexuality. So often I have seen then full of righteous indignation when someone like myself dares to point out the problems with Islam for someone of their political persuasion. They are horrified that someone should point out that most followers of Islam would happily send every Gay person to a grisly end.
I think here in particular about “useful idiots” like “Paul wello* ” and Richard Ryan and more intelligent lefties, like our learned friend and “Reb” from Gutter trash who seem to be able to achieve an otherwise impossible reconciliation between Islam’s attitude to homosexuality and their own advocacy for Gay marriage. How they do it totally eludes me but then I have moved on from the hypocrisy of political correctness and the madness of trying to pretend that Islam is not totally at odds with secular western democracy.
*Paul is banned here but I will recover any comment he makes from the trash if it is on topic and not too silly, hang on it might be very entertaining if it is as silly as his usual efforts.
- Islam, Homosexuality, & Same-Sex Marriage (bloggingtheology.wordpress.com)
- ‘In an ideal society we would punish homosexuals’, says Islamic cleric in BBC interview (pinknews.co.uk)
- Islamic cleric who describes gays as ‘filthy’ cancels UK tour (pinknews.co.uk)
- Islam and the Death Penalty (religiousgroupsdp.wordpress.com)
- Why you will love Islam (whatyouwannado.wordpress.com)
- Why the West Fears Islam?! (yerelce.wordpress.com)
- Is Islam Oppressed? (ireport.cnn.com)
Ah well I’m glad that’s over, the long time sitting respectfully and the dull propaganda speeches delivered by those for whom public speaking does not come naturally. was about as exiting as watching paint dry.
The shallow acknowledgement of the “original owners” begun the proceedings. to be expected I suppose, and the intention is clearly good, to mark the end of the academic year at a high school but do they have to spend so much time bowing and genuflecting to all and sundry? Heaven in a hand-basket why couldn’t they have thanked the “honoured guests” just once instead of droning through the litany several times? The format of the show was dullness incarnate and even the able bodied were sitting in their chairs with a sort of stoic endurance.
Our endurance was tested further still by the fact that there seemed to be a certain Wonderland quality to the desire to find as many reasons as possible to bestow prizes on as many students as possible. While I appreciate that this may be encouraging to those of lesser ability the mere fact that so many received “merit awards” surely devalues the citation of those students who have actually excelled at their studies, frankly if there was not the insistence that everyone should have a prize the evening would have been more enjoyable. But no, the doctrines of political correctness requires that all must have prizes and it is we poor suffering parents who end up with the prize of a sore arse and aching teeth.
There seemed to be a total lack of imagination in the choreography of the event, and I gather that is the tradition at speech nights in general and I just can’t help thinking that it does not have to be like this. Why on earth can’t the lesser prizes be awarded at a school assembly for the sake of brevity at the speech night? Then the awards for excellent academic achievement would be more meaningful, and they would not be lost in the sea of mediocrity and we, the poor suffering parents, could look forward to this event with joy rather than dread.
In the Wonderland story Lewis Carroll was trying to point out the absurdity of everyone getting a prize no matter where they come in the race. The point of that tale seems to be as relevant now as it was when Alice emerged from the sea of tears. Sadly it is a lesson that remains incomprehensible to the educators of today.
Oh and in case you were wondering, my daughter received a medal for academic excellence.
Ricky Pannowitz writes a lefty blog called Political Jelly and after one of its posts was approvingly cited over at Cafe Whispers I left a one line comment pointing out that I did not rate the piece very highly the author then gave me a dismissive retort in return, Fair enough I suppose that is to be expected so I now find myself looking more closely at the piece in question and it really cries out to me for the Fiskorama treatment
The cost of free speech, It ain’t cheap mate!!
Tony Abbott is warning the creation of a “media watchdog” as being a “political correctness police”. This is indeed interesting rhetoric from a man who calls himself a former journalist.
Abbott’s misinformation, character assassination, obstructionist political divide and concur(sic) strategy defines his leadership.
The opposition is the beneficiary of a tide of lies and propaganda never seen before in Australian politics in what can only be described as unchecked commentary masquerading as journalism.
Everything from the economy to social reform, infrastructure to the NDIS is blatantly misrepresented in an orchestrated assault on anything that differs from neo-conservatism.
Its a non stop political opportunistic football match that forgets the rules and fair play. Its win at any cost playing the man not the game.
This mis-information war, fuelling every conceivable prejudice furthers his political agenda by the consistent use of one word “NO”.
All the hallmarks of Edward Bernays 1928 book “Propaganda” are at play here. Spruik the lie enough times so as to create doubt and even the smallest amount of traction sets the wheels spinning and mud flying. . Insecurity, doubt fear, hatred and mis-information all followed to the letter, but how much sticks?
In a progressive multicultural society, social dialogue has plummeted to the lowest ebb in Australian political history. Fuelled by Abbott’s election promise to repeal legal recourse under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits statements that offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people on grounds of race or ethnicity you have effectively eroded the last line of defence.
Additional regulation is one current threat to free speech in Australia. Another is the operation of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits statements that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” another person or a group of people on grounds of race or ethnicity.At the time of its introduction, oblivious to its Orwellian overtones, the then-minister, Nick Bolkus, said that it was designed to prohibit “speechcrime” over and above the traditional tort of defamation. Making the likelihood of causing offence to a group the test of acceptable behaviour goes way beyond the time-honoured remedy when a particular victim has been brought into hatred, ridicule or contempt.Let’s be clear: insulting, humiliating or intimidating others on any grounds, racial or otherwise, is deplorable. It should be everyone’s goal to elevate the standards of public debate, not lower them, and to demonstrate respect rather than disdain for the various components of our community. Still, a “hurt feelings” test is impossible to comply with while maintaining the fearless pursuit of truth which should be the hallmark of a society such as ours.
Abbott is far from sorry and so obviously out of touch with the people such legislation is designed to protect. This is a dangerously regressive act that is more at home in a totalitarian power rather than in Australia’s multicultural egalitarian society.
As we have seen dating back to the 1800’s the media has become a law unto itself, incapable of and uninterested in self-regulation.
I am not in favour of more regulation of anything, however as with guns there needs to be rules, responsibility and accountability for ones actions.
The requirement for news outlets to embrace technological change has seen democratisation of media with archaic legislation out of step with the new models of media consumption.
Currently media is cheap so agenda based political, social and commercial campaigns have blurred the line between opinion and fact, opinion and reporting and my favourite, journalism and entertainment.
The standard modus operandi in media outlets is to weigh up commercial gain over litigation.
That is, how much advertising revenue do they make over how much they may or may not have to pay if they are sued or fined.
This gamble has proved lucrative and commercially successful for Australian media generally as the current systems of complaint recourse is virtually non-responsive to any concerns “average” people have.
In short, self-regulation provides a firewall between the media organisation and the regulator as the complaint has to go through the organisation first. “We believe we are compliant with the act” responses are the norm and 90% of frustrated people take the matter no further. So if you get no joy, then you complain to the toothless tiger ACMA who “may” rarely impose an infringement that is a ridiculously disproportionate monetary fine compared to the advertising revenue earned. Subsequently, why wouldn’t media outlets take this gamble? They have a better than 90% chance of getting away with it outright and if they do get fined, the talent is still making a fortune with little or no consequence other than a by-line or retraction.
So how does this work you may well ask? Good examples are carefully constructed inflammatory comments to create a “rise” amongst less informed audiences, cash for comment and stating erroneous facts to push an agenda. The term “Shock Jock” defines a very murky area of media debate around the world. Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Ray Hadley and Steve Price have all predicated a format based upon their outspoken views on a range of topics designed to fuel outrage in public opinion.
This strategy is lucrative in selling advertising as former advertising executive and owner of Radio station 2GB John Singleton can attest. Jones has constantly come under criticism for his defamatory, inflammatory and inaccurate comments on a range of issues and has maintained when the subject of legal action, he is an “entertainer” not a reporter or commentator. “I’m not a journalist” people listen to me for entertainment he proclaims.
This illusion of a “Man for the people” providing a “spleen vent” for the less educated and uninformed is a format formulated to maximise income not social discourse. Jones breaking “Stories” that were no more than press releases for advertising clients erased the line between advertising and reporting until it was indistinguishable, forcing ACMA to make disclosure mandatory law.
Jones and Bolt are the Australian poster boys for the marketing arm of the neo-con movement “The Tea Party”.
Jones has unsuccessfully tried to get up a Bill ORiley type program till he was unmercifully dumped for bad ratings. Bolt has succeeded with the help of Mining Magnate Gina Reinhardt thanks to her financial interest in network 10. Bolt does not need to rate, just parrot the message and collect the cash.
Gina is on a media buying mission and has very deep pockets convinced that its her say on the information super highway.
Interestingly after her foray to own Fairfax without agreeing to sign up for editorial independence, she has since suggested that Fairfax sell its radio assets and the most likely bidder is Singleton.
Well surprise, surprise what a coincidence. What a sweet deal, she still gets the net result as Singleton will run the same Shock Jock formula for success and Singleton (that great Aussie bloke so in touch with the common man) makes more money.
Abbott and traditional media vendors have much to lose from reform. The main stakes are money, power and influence. Disproportionate representation of the perception of fact in social debate is a dangerous situation.
Lies; masquerading as qualified fact to further political traction and generate revenue is immoral and at odds with Australian ethos of “Fair Dinkum”. When discredited, scientifically unqualified, self-promoting charlatans like Christopher Monkton are paraded on equal footing in the media as Professors of Science; public debate is well and truly broken.
At what point did people just give up in ambivalent acceptance that an auctioneer turned entertainer like Hadley (He is by far the worst sports commentator in Australia) had any credibility to inform political debate in Australia? When did the “opposing everything to get a rise” opinion of Bolt (a base level educated, company indoctrinated journalist) hold weight over a Professor of physics, climatology or the head of the CSIRO?
These people are the good guys who have dedicated there life to furthering scientific advancement of the human race. So when did society stoop so low as to attack them because it’s inconvenient?
I’ll tell you when, when despite being presented with factual truth that the Australian economy is one of the best in the world, people believe lying talking heads we are broke. I’ll tell you when, when money and the egocentric lust for power in a cult of personality within an attention deficit news cycle holds greater currency than the factual truth itself.
What is offensive and ridiculous is the assertion that when people like Bolt and Jones are subject to account under the due process of law they assert that their “Free Speech” is being stifled. Stifled they proclaim; whilst being syndicated nationally in print, radio and television.
Their speech is far from free; it’s big business generating millions of advertising dollars. Is that the same “Free speech” a disenfranchised public would enjoy if they ever rang up these authoritarian egomaniacs to debate or question todays “designed topic” and are don’t get past the switchboard? I think not.
I once met Stan Zemanic. He was a surprisingly gentle, attentive intelligent man. I asked him “do you believe half of that stuff you say because you sound like the world’s greatest stirrer to me”. Stan looked me in the eye with a cheeky grin and said, “it’s all show business”. Unfortunately, show business is affecting the real business of social debate, freedom and equality in Australia.
Here in his conclusion Ricky clearly demonstrates his profound misunderstanding of the Media. while his anecdote contains an essential truth that its all about entertainment being a member of the “chattering classes” he projects upon the entire country his belief that the media should be focused upon “social debate” which he considers the “real business” he clearly believes that everyone else should be as interested in politics as he is. A realist would accept that most people are simply not engaged to that extent in the business of politics. Certainly most people will have an opinion but mostly its a second order issue behind making a living and raising their families.
As I have pointed out the body of this critique Ricky makes repeated assertions about the motives and reasons that various media players say and do various things. He provides no convincing reasoning for these assertions, clearly expecting his readers to just accept them because he himself believes these things to be true. But if you put all of his unfounded assertions together and consider them as a whole what you are considering is indistinguishable from your standard or garden variety leftist conspiracy theory about the way that “the evil right” uses the mass media as their propaganda instrument to further their business interests and social agenda.
Personally I don’t buy such an argument at all and I think that much of the angst felt by minions of the left like Ricky Pannowitz at the nature of the media is all about the fact that our current government is copping a great deal of flack over its poor performance and down right maladministration. Instead of looking to the mistakes of the governemnt Ricky Pannowitz seeks to blame the messengers who point out its nakedness. Add this this his clear lack of proof reading or editing skills and what you get is a rather sloppy argument that fails utterly to make its case.
Our great Aussie icon Mel ‘Mad Max’ Gibson is under fire again for a vile, racial tirade at his former Russian girlfriend, Okskanka Grigorieva:
In the recordings, first reported by TMZ.com, the Australian-raised Oscar winner allegedly uses a highly offensive term levelled against African Americans.
“You look like a f…ing pig in heat and if you get raped by a pack of niggers it will be your fault,” Gibson allegedly screams at Grigorieva, according to TMZ.
TMZ says it has confirmed it is Gibson on the tape, which Grigorieva secretly recorded.
The former couple is in the midst of a bitter custody battle for their baby daughter, Lucia, and the secret recordings have been submitted to the Los Angeles judge overseeing their case.
In 2006 Gibson’s image and career took a major hit when he was arrested at Malibu for drink driving and went on an anti-Semitic rant, saying, “F…ing Jews…. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Now I ask you: Name the top 10 movies of all time and try to deny that they would start like this:
- Mad Max 1
- Mad Max 2
- Mad Max 3 ( They might have other names but that’s what I call them)
- Lethal Weapon 1
- Lethal Weapon 2
- Lethal Weapon 3 (were there any more?)
See what I mean? Our Aussie Mel (well he was born in the USA but thats a minor technicality) is without doubt the greatest actor since Jesus Bloody Christ hisself said to Punchus Pilot “Turn the other cheek, wog boy”.
And just like happened in Piss Christ he is being crucified by the bloody Yanks.
Lets just take a look at what Mels “crimes” are:
“You look like a f…ing pig in heat and if you get raped by a pack of niggers it will be your fault,”
Well hes right isn’t he? Have a look at the photo of Okskanka and then have a look at her name. You have to admire his restraint in not adding “you f*cking Rusky whore”. As for “niggers” well it was said in the privacy of his own home and the skank recorded it unbeknowns to him. I dunno about all of you but I know lots of people who go around their home shouting “look at those abos” and “if I had a gun Id shoot those black c _ _ _ s off my tv screen.” Thats the Aussie way.
“F…ing Jews…. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Of course they are. If there were no Jews the Arabs would be a peaceful people and Osama Bin Liner would be made head of the United Nations and we would be in the Age of Aquarius handing out flowers to “rag heads” and embracing Somalian “niggers” like they is our own.
Mel is truly enlightened.
Lay off our Mel.