Interesting things too

factotum's picture
factotum started the topic in Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:21pm

For when one interesting things thread isn't enough.

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 8:32am

Cancel culture is probably best seen as a reaction to an existing dysfunctional culture that tolerated not only abuse and violence against women but also, racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice. If it has gone to excess that excess has been far less damaging than the behaviour of its targets. #metoo exposed the systematic abuse of women by powerful men. The Epstein/Maxwell case revealed a paedophile ring providing teenage girls to men in powerful positions.
Mainstream video entertainments regularly feature graphic portrayals of extreme violence against women. Mainstream popular music has a back catalogue of thousands of songs based on the cliche “She done me wrong so I shot her down”, a genre to which Nick Cave has contributed numerous examples.
Against that it is hard to find an example of cancel culture doing actual harm. Careers may have been damaged out of proportion to offence, to which “So what?” is the appropriate response. The complaint that it represents a form of repression and a narrowing of the area of public debate miss the point. The area of public debate hasn’t narrowed, it has moved, so it now includes once taboo topics, such as the abuses of the powerful and violence against women.
There is a certain irony when, as with the Harpers letter, a group of powerful and influential writers, critics and academics unite to criticise a mode of free expression used overwhelmingly by ordinary members of the public. Who is cancelling who? It seems a legitimate question.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 8:33am

Yorkes what I'm saying is that it's not just the "conservative warriors" who have an issue with it.
Heaps of respected intellectuals don't dig it.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jul/08/jk-rowling-rushdie-and-atw...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 9:30am

No idea worth debating is simple and cancel culture sits waaaay down the other end, tucked away in complex corner.

The word itself suggests a binary action - on or off - when a lot of the things that get 'cancelled' are not so easy to categorise. Irony in art for instance, where things are very often not what they first seem. A literal read presents one way, when actually the artist is toying with ideas, subverting norms, and saying the opposite.

In 2010, a guy who lives a few doors up from me had his painting exhibition, 'Wild Colonial Boys', shut down because it supposedly mocked Aboriginal Australians when the intention was the other way around; to illustrate the insensitivity of Colonial explorers towards the indigenuous.

Just one of many misreads in cancel culture.

That said, cancel culture is a form of protest which should be allowed. It's just going through a period of overreach - vast overreach at times.

Also, while I agree with much of what Nick Cave says, his notion that people should be allowed to engage with dangerous ideas is troublesome. I imagine he's thinking that, once people engage with vexatious ideas, rational thought will kick in and they'll reject said concept.

In response to that I'll give him two words: Alex Jones.

Time and again he's spewed wholly fabricated stories, they've been proven wrong over and over, and yet his followers aren't rejecting his irrationality. Even being purged from FB and YT didn't really hurt him. Alex Jones, and others like him - there are many and their numbers are growing - illustrate the limits of rational thought.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 9:31am

Anyway, talk of cancelling cancel culture reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg joke.

"I'm against picketing but I don't know how to show it."

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 9:37am

Good link Andy I hadn’t read that. Thanks for posting. I understand where the signatories are coming from. My point was this shit is not all flying one way. And it’s been going on for a long time. That McCarthyism was mentioned was a good example.

But that quote:
“the way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away” is bullshit too. The rightwing culture defenders can’t be persuaded. It’s their way or the highway.

It reminds me of Michelle Obama saying “when they go low, we go high”. It’s all warm and fuzzy feeling but you may as well bang your head against a brick wall for all the good it will do. People are sick of being marginalised and excluded by this culture.

I’m glad people are fighting back in this culture war although I’m not really engaged in it because it doesn’t affect me. I’m a white middle class bloke that’s big enough and mean enough that no one fucks with me. But I’m happy to cheer them on from the sidelines.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 9:50am

"But that quote:
“the way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away” is bullshit too. The rightwing culture defenders can’t be persuaded. It’s their way or the highway."

Too true Yorkes. Head over to Brietbart and see how much argument and persuasion can be had.....actually probs best not.

It reminded me of Alex Jones, the star right whinger driving around standing out of the the top of his militarised vehicle with megaphone outraging at the people in the streets.

"It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with. It doesn't feel pity of remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead."

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 10:03am

For another example of the futility of "defeating bad ideas by exposure to argument" an even better example than Alex Jones is the presence of Neo-Nazis in Germany.

Germany is not Japan, young people are very aware of their past, educated on how their forebears were led down a path that started innocently enough with a populist politician rousing the nationalist spirit, manufacturing a common enemy to unite Germans, and then sleepwalking into humankind's greatest tragedy.

If an argument has ever been "defeated by exposure" then Nazism should be it, and yet it's on the rise in Gemany again.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 11:06am

Ah, THE letter!

Another view.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/14/cancel-culture-letter-is-about-s...

And a comment by perhaps the most 'controversial' signatory:

"Well, there's two different things. There's the letter and there's the discussion. The letter is anodyne. It's a simple statement that it's worth being careful to preserve freedom of speech. The main attack on freedom of speech was not discussed there. It's the mainstream establishment, which for years has been engaged in massive cancel culture."

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 11:44am

"By contrast, most of the rest of those who signed – the rightwingers and the centrists – are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them. They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views – something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little."

You know just the other day I was contradicted as being plain wrong and even had it insinuated I was a moron for daring to suggest that social media has enabled those who would otherwise have not been heard, have a way to counteract the proliferation of 'fake' news or take to task those who have previously enjoyed their uncontested monologue. And a quote above from an article heavily skewed in concert with this persons ideology.

I'm not going to claim vindication, but at the time I found it a little annoying to be cancelled for want of a better term. I thought my point was worth exploring a little further.

1173

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 12:47pm

That's a very important point to remember Facto - the political right have held power for decades and have shaped and cancelled discussions by controlling media and developing hegemonies.

I'd still like to think we can walk and chew gum at the same time and also be aware of the sanctimonious lynch-mob mentally of other sectors of society.

Shit is shit across the board.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 12:55pm

Read George Orwells review of Mein Kampf.

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:02pm

"...even had it insinuated I was a moron for daring to suggest that social media has enabled those who would otherwise have not been heard, have a way to counteract the proliferation of 'fake' news or take to task those who have previously enjoyed their uncontested monologue."

So you still don't get in zen? Social media is overwhelmingly the source of the fake news. The disease is not the cure and nothing any individual or group can do will counter the barrage of lies disseminated daily. For your own benefit please read ther link these quotes came from.....and sorry, it's not ideology, it's reality.

".....no fewer than seventy governments have at their disposal dedicated social media misinformation teams, committed to the task of spreading lies or concealing truth. Sometimes these involve human beings, churning out tweets and posts aimed at a mainly domestic audience: China employs some two million people to write 448 million messages a year, while Vietnam has trained 10,000 students to pump out a pro-government line. Sometimes, it is automated accounts—bots—that are corralled into service. The previous Mexican president had 75,000 such accounts providing online applause for him and his policies......"
".....governments or political campaigns that produce the lies alongside the social media platforms, algorithms, and bots that distribute them—matter gravely. They attack not just their specific target, such as Hillary Clinton in 2016, but what Rid calls the “liberal epistemic order, or a political system that places its trust in essential custodians of factual authority,”

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/08/20/fake-news-disinformed-to-death/

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:09pm

Thank you, FR. Somehow I'm sure that I would have read that at school - yet would swear that I could not have forgotten.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:12pm

Re Cancel Culture, here are some words from Nick Cave. The man can write!

https://www.theredhandfiles.com/what-is-mercy-for-you/

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:15pm

Re: George Orwell's review of Mein Kampf -

"He had crushed the ... labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything."

"human beings don’t only want ... common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want ... drums, flags and loyalty-parades. "

Seems like nothing will ever change the human condition.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:18pm

Ever notice how the biggest whingers about "cancel culture" are the misogynist and racist arseholes who are now being called out for their sexism and bigotry?
These people just want to maintain the power structure that works so well for them. It's free speech on their terms, and it doesn't apply to people like Adam Goodes and Yassmin Abdul-Magied.
Well bad luck you lot. You still get to make your racist and sexist comments, but it comes with consequences now. Alan Jones being the prime example. Scumbags might want to call it "cancel culture", the rest of us call it being held to account.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:21pm

I do get it BB and i do understand more than you realise that social media is the source of the majority of this fake news. Read any news article these days, it lacks credibility if it's not interspersed with a tweet from no-names with some tenuous connection to the authors message.

If you also remember what I wrote though I also said by dismissing my point offhand, it does a great disservice to those (like you) who actually have a brain, a questioning mind, a functioning bullshit detector so to speak. Are you saying that smart, reasonable, thinking people are just so overwhelmed by these social media teams that they give in swimming against the tide and just turn around and go with the flow because it's easier? I'm not talking about China or Vietnam, their people are in real danger if they take the opposing tack but in countries such as Australia, the US etc. social media is a platform to voice dissent, to counter arguments, to pick apart the narrative being pushed. This was impossible not even 20 years ago, these days that ability is at a persons fingertips and in real time too. I never said it was balanced but I did say that SM was in some small way a way to counteract some of the bullshit we're spoonfed through more traditional channels.

1173

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:22pm

Yeah I'm so glad Noam Chomsky's been called out - fuck him and his white male privilege, fella's a cunt.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:29pm

.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:39pm

Is that a C Stop?

If it is, thank you.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:42pm

.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:47pm

Now I'm confused.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 1:59pm

Haha, that was supposed to be a shorthand yep.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 2:00pm

.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 2:12pm

I see you've played this game before...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 2:13pm

Ha ha ha

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 2:21pm

"Are you saying that smart, reasonable, thinking people are just so overwhelmed by these social media teams that they give in swimming against the tide and just turn around and go with the flow because it's easier?"

No I am saying no-one can swim against a tidal wave. The contributions of reasonable people make no impact on the locust swarm of hate and therefore we would be much better off if social media, in its present form, disappeared.

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 4:54pm

Let's hope you take your own advice, blowie, but given your track record, I very much doubt it.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 5:37pm

How would you suggest people counter the one way flow of spurious information?

I'm with you on the whole social media disappearing thing- I certainly don't think we're any richer for it.

1173

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Friday, 14 Aug 2020 at 6:26pm

Third that, Zen. Very grateful that I'm not a Digital Native.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020 at 5:00pm

An interesting character as remembered by another interesting character.

https://www.tracksmag.com.au/news/the-first-indigenous-surfer-in-oz-5517...

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 8:03am

In this time of crisis it is worth remembering that Scomo is not the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is Scott Morrison and any resemblance to Scomo is, if not entirely coincidental, almost certainly accidental. Scomo is the breezy, upbeat, daggy, sitcom, suburban dad who appears at press conferences. The real Scott Morrison is the much darker character lurking behind that mask.

Very few political leaders have been capable of such on going deceit. If we look at the most recent Prime Ministers all were of the what-you-see-is-what-you-get variety. The bloke striding around Queenscliff beach in his speedos was pretty obviously Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister. The wealthy socialite sipping his fine wine was equally obviously Malcolm Turnbull.

Similarly, no-one could have thought for a moment that Julia Gillard was acting and if Kevin Rudd was never much more than Turnbull in a minor key, he was that consistently. Even the professional actor Ronald Reagan, as President stuck to the only role he ever mastered, himself. In a related vein, Margaret Thatcher’s highly polished stainless steel ego created such overwhelming self-confidence, it would simply never have occurred to her to be anything other than her, rather brittle, self. No comment on Donald Trump is necessary

The only real comparison to Scott Morrison then is the entirely regrettable Boris Johnson. Both wear a mask, the only difference, if there is one, rests in the distinct possibility that Boris is stuck permanently behind his and continues his ludicrous performances behind the scenes. We have no such illusions about Scott Morrison. No daggy suburban Dad ever schemed the way he did to achieve to achieve the Prime Ministry.

So we have as our Prime Minister a man whose basic character is so unpleasant he refuses to even reveal it in public. Instead we have a sitcom character mouthing anodyne platitudes and dismissing all reponsibility with trite, formulaic bullshit interspersed with irrational blame mongering against his political rivals. And so it goes…….

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 8:17am

a good little rundown from blindboy (in a surprised tone)

but unfortunstely I dont really see a better alternative across the chamber

what a shitty shitty state of affairs

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 9:37am

Ha ha now Scomo has a split personality?

Scomo and Scott Morrison are one and the same it's just basic clever marketing to highlight an aspect of their personality's so people can see them as real people and relate to them in some way.

Im not old enough to know of PM's earlier but we have seen this since at least Bob hawk who was a likeable larrikin who loved a beer, but we also knew he had a serious side.

Howard played on the dorky nerd thing who was still fit & healthy going out on runs every morning.

Abbot had the down the beach speedo thing and firefighter thing.

Julia played on things like being a big fan of AFL Bulldogs & Barry hall etc and although not a mother still played on a bit of a homebody aspect (knitting from memory too)

Rudd played on the confident nerd thing, but with a little edge (remember his strip club thing)

Scomo has the daggy dad thing and things like Rugby and caps etc.

Shorten well this was part of his downfall if he was a colour he would be grey just no interest to anyone.

Albanese, im not sure obviously gone for more of a blokes bloke image but they still havent marketed him properly we really don't get an insight into any personality.

Someone said somewhere (maybe here) how he looks like the taxi driver for the labor party leader rather than the labor party leader, which kind of thought nailed it.

Dont know what his music taste is now, but when younger at least he had great taste in music from what I've seen (saw a pic of him in a Celibate riffles t-shirt when younger)

The keys are you need to make them likeable but not threatening, a little nerd and dork aspect helps as we then feel they are kind of smart but non threatening, and a fit and healthy aspect helps even just following a sport, but you can't be too good at any of your interest otherwise we will cut you down to size with the good old Aussie tall poppy thing.

Because the reality is decent chunk of swinging voters,(the important vote) vote on if they like the leader or not, once you know someone and they have personality and interest etc it's harder not to like them in some way, which means you have rose glasses on the person if they do look any policy.

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 9:38am

"Scomo and Scott Morrison are one and the same it's just basic clever marketing to highlight an aspect of their personality's so people can see them as real people and relate to them in some way."

No doubt about it Indo, you were part of the target audience. A sound bite from Scomo and straight back to your fave sitcom.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 9:54am

Hahaha. Marketing media obviously works!
(See above from our resident 'test idiot')
The simpler and wider dispersed the tale, the better it works.

See Mrs Marsh...it does sink in!

As has been said, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the general public

And now we've got THE Prime Marketer* at the helm.

How to get battery chickens to vote for KFC?

"Shut up and take my money!"

"I don't care! I love it!"

*Scotty was sacked from both his previous PR gigs, but... 'cos he was shit. 3rd times a charm?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 10:20am
factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 10:45am

"The love rub!"

(Shiver)

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 1:32pm
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 7:20am

Time to be honest with ourselves . After all we’ve done to the Big Blue which gives the Blue Marble it’s name - the overfishing, the pollution, the dredging and trawling- the ocean is reciprocating and has declared war on humanity.

White death stalking every beach , coastal homes being swallowed by voracious swells and now this : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-15/nt-fish-launches-into-boat-off-da...

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 11:38am

Wages-Growth

"Orange being the period of the COALition government. So after shafting workers for the last seven years what's their plan?
Last month the prime minister told reporters: “As we come out of the Covid-19 crisis, what is important is that employers continue to have that flexibility. That’s the real issue ... We will need to continue to have flexibility to keep people in jobs.”

Flexibility is always code for the ability to reduce employees’ hours. And with that comes lower wages growth because workers constantly feel pressure of a trade-off between better wages for fewer hours."

https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/aug/16/the-morriso...

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 5:20pm

Blowfly, what to do an Alan Kohler and link that graph of yours above to the levels of all immigration inc: temp work visas for the same period?

My thinking is it would be highly illuminating.

You have got to hand it to the LNP and how they learnt their Workchoices electoral lesson. Go hard go downlow.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 5:20pm

Oops...better hold out on the sainthood for Shorten. Seems like he’s doubling down on the gas shortage strawman used by his gas industry donors https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/shorten-backs-gas-in-widening-la...

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 5:27pm

I will leave that research to you Guy, but there is probably a correlation. Causation might be harder to demonstrate.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 6:17pm

The effects of immigration on the suppression of wages vs the effects of Russian influence on the outcome of the US election.

Which do you think would be more demonstrable in terms of causation ?

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 7:11pm

In an interview with Sky News on March 8, finance minister Matthias Cormann said
“The whole reason why it is important to have flexibility in the labour market … is … to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions, is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment … That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture.”

"Flexibility" is always going to skewed in favour of capital as opposed to labour.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 8:20pm

I think you’ll find that wages growth was in negative territory even whilst the ALP was in power ( 2011-2014 ) due to the ALP’s immigration policies. The graph above says as much.

blowfly's picture
blowfly's picture
blowfly commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 8:48pm

"I think you’ll find that wages growth was in negative territory even whilst the ALP was in power ( 2011-2014 ) due to the ALP’s immigration policies. The graph above says as much."

No, the graph shows that in the period it represents wage growth was never negative. What it does show quite clearly is that under this government we have had a sustained period of low wage growth unlike anything that had occurred over the previous governments. You can argue history if you like but what is critically important now is to boost recovery and prevent an increase in poverty, by restoring wages growth to previous levels. Recent statements by government members about wage "flexibility" suggest that their policies will achieve the exact opposite.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 9:41pm

I agree with you on the fact that wages won’t grow under duress of the LNP’s industrial relations manipulation but I find your opposition to recognising the impact of immigration confusing. Is it ideological ?

Obviously the wages growth wasn’t in negative territory during the labour years . Wages growth did go backwards during those years at a faster rate than at any time in recent history and in real terms this translated to a negative impact on living standards . Not what you’d expect or prefer from a political party which holds itself as representing the labour against capital. Particularly during a period when the productivity of labour should have been reflected in wages growth if it had the political support expected.

Can you suggest any likely reason that the ALP would pursue policies which detrimentally affected their claimed demographic so obviously ?

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 10:21pm

Didn’t the “wages accord” during the Hawke/Keating years offset part of any wage rise into workers compulsory superannuation accounts? Hawke and Bill Kelty (ACTU boss) nutted it out. That might explain lower than expected wage growth (for a Labor govt) during that time. The neo-cons hated that wages accord because it disproved their ideological religious belief that at all times unions are bad.