Saturday, December 9, 2017

No rush to judge Geoffrey from the luvvie Left. Different standard applies!

Will be really interesting to see how the Geoffrey Rush vs Daily Telegraph grudge match plays out, of course. Some thoughts about the context:

Firstly, the fact that a massive cultural icon has fallen foul of PC codes of behaviour says heaps. And it brings back memories of when I was a denizen of Artsville myself ...

See, I was a sometime actor and standup comic in Melbourne over two decades ago now. Joint was ultra right-on even back then. Lotsa bolshie babes arcing up about feeling "violated by the patriarchy" ... And there was heaps of haughty huffing about Helen Garner's excellent tome The First Stone.

Garner took issue with the punitive nature of academic feminism and how it was poisoning the waters between the sexes. I recall discussions I had about it with my arty frightbat pals. Their prevailing view was that shafting some fusty ol' dude was a small price to pay for women's empowerment. They also seemed to think it was perfectly acceptable that the accusers not be identified while their so-called abuser was left to twist in the wind.

Even back then this desire for retribution struck me as sinister and toxic. Fast forward to 2017 and sadly things are clearly a whole lot worse. This man hating feminism is absolutely everywhere!

It's all so hysterically OTT that one of the nation's most famous figures has fallen foul of it. 


I do have sympathy for the guy. The accuser's identity is being withheld. And the nature of the allegation is just so vague. (Whenever I hear that word "inappropriate" alarm bells go off. So subjective. Could be anything.)

From what I can glean from reports it seems that Rush has been accused of transgressing personal boundaries in a performance, or something. Now, being (thankfully) well out of the luvvie loop I don't know any other details of this particular incident, or any related goss about the A-list actor and his alleged behaviour.

Maybe the guy's a big time lech who has abused co-workers, I don't know. If he is, of course that's wrong. He shouldn't be doing it and should be held to account and made to stop. It goes without saying that men -- particularly those in positions of power and influence -- should treat women with respect and keep their hands to themselves.

But so often the way that these issues are dealt with in the workplace is utterly absurd. Thanks to the toxic influence of victim feminism, many young women believe that almost anything a bloke does or says in their presence can constitute sexual harassment. And rather than learning to stand up for themselves against treatment they find demeaning or offensive, they are encouraged to tell their employers, who are then duty bound to punish the alleged perp (without telling him who complained!).

Not just Orwellian; fricken Kafkaesque as well!

So, obviously the politically correct culture that dominates the arts world (and many other workplaces, for that matter) has had much to do with precipitating this very scandal, along with many others.

Speaking of which: If Rush deserves the benefit of the doubt, then so does everyone else who's been similarly accused. And that has definitely not been the case.

What's fascinating is how selectively punitive PC standards are applied -- particularly by the most zealous feminist crusaders. 

They say all women's accusations should be believed. But they'll happily reverse that view if the accused is on their side -- regardless of the evidence. Amazing to see so many of Twitter's frightbats, who regularly assume the worst about sexual assault and harassment accusations levelled at their enemies, are either just not tweeting about Rush, or even actively defending him. (Of course he may well be innocent of all charges. It's the inconsistency that's so notable.)

Clearly, they don't wanna be seen as attacking this fellow travelling cultural icon. Cushy gigs, along with invites to glamorous film star-filled events and soirees might dry up. No way will they risk that happening!

The fact that Rush is now suing the Daily Telegraph makes the issue far easier to deal with for these selectively outraged socialist sisters (blushing violents, I call 'em). They can arc up about eeevil Rupert's right-wing henchpeople and their brutal, defamatory culture.

But really, that's just shooting the messenger. IMHO the culture that's more deserving of condemnation is the one that dominates Artsville generally, and Sydney Theatre Company in particular.

Questions that really need to be answered, among others: Did this guy really do something wrong? If so, exactly what was it and who was the victim? If the claims actually turn out to be bogus, why were they made in the first place? And in that case, shouldn't the original accuser be named, and punished for her lies?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Peter Waples-Crowe exhibition illustrates power of PC as well as dingo's

If you say to leftie arty types that the arts are dominated by political correctness and that merit hardly gets a look-in they'll deny it, then usually change the subject. If you keep pressing the point they often roll their eyes and sneer at you. Push it further and they might even get a bit upset and claim that meritocracy is a "white male concept" (no kidding).

The reason the claim makes them so uncomfortable is because they know it's true. They've totally buckled under this creepy, toxic and divisive ideology. The more ambitious among them have decided to go hard with it, using it to further their own careers.

But it clearly bugs a lot of them deep down, because it's so ... dispiriting. Why even try to be good at something when you know it doesn't matter? These days, as a criteria for "success", merit is nothing next to the identity of the artist.

But success still implies merit, right. How could it not? So to "succeed" in the arts you've got to pretend that your main aim is excellence (i.e. great skill), and avoid admitting that being politically correct is what you're mainly focused on. 

To give you an idea of just how significant identity politics is in the arts (and coverage of it), have a look at this article about Indigenous artist Peter Waples-Crowe. The whole piece is about his sense of marginalisation as a queer Aboriginal man, which is clearly the main theme of his exhibition. I suspect it's also why it was chosen for funding. (That's not to say that I think he's insincere about it -- just that identity politics is a huge factor in decision making in arts bureaucracies.)

The article, which is like so many on exhibitions and performances, includes next to nothing about whether it's any good, or even tries to be. It's all about identity politics. And it has this vivid illustration of intersectionality:

"I'm an Aboriginal man, but I'm a gay man. That puts me on the outside," he says.

"I'm inside the culture because I'm Aboriginal; I'm outside because I'm gay.”

I'm inside gay culture because I'm gay, I'm outside because I'm Aboriginal.”


Alienation of this kind and intensity is nectar to a cultural Marxist with nice big pot of your money to throw around …

He adds:

"In some of the Aboriginal stories across the country the dingo is seen as a shapeshifter. In the day, we see it as a dingo, but at night it can become whatever it wants to be. I've often seen myself as a shapeshifter."

I don't think he's the only one. I suspect that many of his fellow artists are “shapeshifters”, too. Deep down they know the PC way of doing things is a load of bollocks, but they pretend otherwise so they can get grant money, win awards and gain kudos. They do not express what they truly think and feel through their art because they know doing so would be a bad career move at the very least.

And they don't focus on honing their skills because they know this won't help them either. That's a sad state of affairs and one of the reasons why there's so much garbage held up as greatness these days.

Call me old fashioned, but I thought art was about transcending differences and speaking to deep human experiences with skill and courage -- not reconfirming them by obeying politically correct dogmas.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Suspension of Cassandra Liebeknecht is a festival of PC absurdity

As we all know the politically correct narrative has gays and lesbians routinely discriminated against, abused, bullied and all the rest of it. This kind of stuff still happens, of course. There are still a few arseholes out there who openly treat LGBTQI people with contempt. But it's certainly not an institutional thing any more.

The present reality is much more complicated. Gays and lesbians aren't just victims of "straight hate". Many are into hating straights. You can call me old fashioned for saying this, but two wrongs do not make a right. 

Take this recent ruckus in the Adelaide arts scene. Cassandra Liebeknecht, who was director of the Feast Festival, has been suspended for being a breeder, it seems. Looks very much like a decision based on heterophobia to me.

And it involves other right-on absurdities. For example, racism is invoked by at least one of those supporting the decision against Ms Leibeknecht. Festival co-founder Helen Bock argues that having a straight person heading a queer festival is like having a white person at the helm of an indigenous body. 

Well, that term "white" does seem to be a tad, er, problematic given the precedent set by the Andrew Bolt trial. (I won't even elaborate on exactly why lest I inadvertently commit a hate crime myself and end up prosecuted under 18C. But I think you get my drift.) 

Invoking racism is just so naff, innit? It's like when the Kumbaya crowd try to shut down any criticism of Islam by saying it's racist. FFS, when are these people gonna realize, Islam is not a race! 

And neither is sexual identity. Yet this false equivalence is applied repeatedly (and effectively) as a way of silencing any criticism of the more extreme aspects of the gay rights agenda. Take "marriage equality" for example. Supporters of this cause will often say that denying SSM is akin to outlawing interracial marriage. They do so because it sounds kinda plausible at first, and absolutely no one with any decency and compassion would be against members of different racial groups marrying each other. 

But the comparison is false. The interracial marriages they invoke involve men and women. Same sex marriage, by definition, does not!

Surely these people are aware that "oranges" are not the only fruit. So it's odd that they insist on confusing 'em with "apples", right?

As well as the incoherence inherent in the decision regarding Ms Liebeknecht, there's the sheer ugliness of the campaign against her:

'I've been spat on, I've had people scare me, I've had people contact me at work anonymously, saying 'I know where your children go to school',' she said.

'There was also a gentleman who continues to this day to slander me for my sexuality. It just gets vicious.'

I'll say.

About the only way this could get more like an episode of South Park would be if Cassandra's hunky beau (pictured in the above-linked article) gets attacked for cultural appropriation on account of his impressive dreads! 

Well, whatever happens, one thing's beyond doubt: The self-satire of this PC power-play is waaay more entertaining than any of the shows in the actual festival program. Really, they should just whop a box office outside the management offices. Could prolly recoup all their losses if they did ...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jimmy Fallon joking with Donald Trump seen as betrayal by liberals

It's pretty well established that comedians across the Western world tend to lean left politically. I've long found this quite odd because it's a highly individualistic performance mode. You get up there on your own and poke fun at human behaviour and the narratives we live by. You have to be a bit of a loner and an outsider to do that.

Much of leftism, on the other hand, is about being part of a collective, and conforming to narratives (e.g. class warfare) rather than questioning them.

Not saying that all comics should be conservatives, of course. Just that you'd expect to see a higher proportion of them who are ... So the question is, why so few? I think a major reason is the fact that the comedy scene (much like the rest of the entertainment industry) has been almost completely captured by the cultural Left. And they are extremely hostile to any deviation from politically correct "goodthink".

The recent segment in which the affable Jimmy Fallon yucked it up with Donald Trump is a case in point. Fallon treated him in much the same way he would any other politician. He made fun of him in a light-hearted, playful way. Trump happily played along with this and came across as a likeable guy who wasn't full of himself.

This ran counter to the image of Trump as an angry, racist, misogynist fascist that the liberal MSM has been at pains to construct and perpetuate. Not surprisingly they went ballistic on Twitter and Facebook.


There were lots of columns and blog posts as well about how Fallon failed in his duty to gut the presidential aspirant. Take this one in Esquire:

Jimmy Fallon is not a journalist, but Jimmy Fallon is a taxpaying American citizen with a minimal obligation to help keep a tyrant from reaching the most powerful position in the world. He failed that obligation last night. When you go to The Tonight Show's YouTube channel this morning, you'll find five truncated clips of Donald Trump in a red power tie sitting across from a giggling, jovial Fallon.

Eh? He had an obligation? And he failed in that? So, the implication is he's some kind of traitor to the cause.

That's not just unreasonable. It borders on creepy. And it is reminiscent of another media event related to the upcoming election. In this one celebrity shrink Dr Drew Pinsky expressed concern about Hillary's health and healthcare, and promptly lost his gig with CNN. Very alarming.

Somehow I can't see this happening to Fallon. Still, I'm sure there are many liberals who would like to mete out similar punishment.

Really, they should acquire a sense of humour. It was just entertainment, after all.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ted Nugent and other artists refuse to toe PC line on Trump and Hillary

It's well established that arty types tend to dress left, so to speak. There are many reasons for this. One of the main ones is that artists are dreamers, driven by emotion. They create fictional, parallel worlds on stage, screen, canvas and other media. So it stands to, er, reason that they would identify with socialists, who also value their own feelings above all things and dedicate their lives to making society perfect, in the way they have imagined it.

Then there's the fact that many artistic forms are quite expensive to produce while having small, niche audiences. As a result they need some government funding to survive. Those who dole out this money will naturally be more left-leaning. And they tend to reward those who echo their politically correct beliefs loudest in their work, thereby making socialism the "norm" in these artistic fields.

That said, there are exceptions to the rule, particularly in the USA. I think this has much to do with that nation's history and enduring love of individualism. It's also got a big population. So if you can find your audience you can often survive and even thrive without state assistance, thereby avoiding the trap cited above. 

So, you do see well known American actors, musos and the like supporting politically incorrect candidates and causes from time to time. Ted Nugent is one of these rugged individualists. An avid hunter and outdoorsman, he posted this take on Trump a few months ago. I think he summed the situation up pretty well.


Then there's actor James Woods, who's very active on Twitter, and definitely no fan of Hillary Clinton!
Would be so great if there were some fearless, rebellious actors, rock stars and the like here in Australia! Aside from Angry Anderson -- who has pretty much retired from performing anyway -- no one else comes to mind ... 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gay Sulu ticks off Takei like Ghostbusters galls fans

Clearly, movie-goers aplenty have had a gutful of all this politically correct retconning that's been going on lately. But now it's even pissing off industry professionals themselves.

Take the rewriting of the iconic Star Trek character Sulu as gay. An epic case of cinematic virtue signalling, it was also meant as an affectionate nod to the openly gay actor who played the role in the original TV series, George Takei.

But Takei himself is not happy with the decision. And with good reason. He says that the writer Gene Rodenberry had a very clear vision for the character, and we should honour that. Good point.

Also, it diminishes the craft of acting itself, in a way similar to the furore over casting in that Nina Simone biopic. The rewrite implies that because an actor is gay, characters he plays must have the same sexual identity. Carts and horses come to mind here ...

The politically correct alteration puts the screenwriter Simon Pegg in an invidious position, too. Given the sensitivity around the whole issue of gay rights, even defending his decision against George Takei could be seen as homophobia. No wonder he's been so careful about it.

It could bite Pegg on the bum in another way, too. If this kind of right-on retconning becomes standard, a remake of his own movie Shaun of the Dead will suffer. That's because the character of Shaun himself will have to be rewritten as a social justice warrior.

At least the publicity surrounding Star Trek has not been as bad as it has been for that other sci-fi remake, Ghostbusters. The antipathy towards this new "feminist" version has been off the scales

The SJWs who support such a lame, right-on "re-imagining" of the 1980s classic see this resistance as more evidence of the ingrained sexism it's trying to combat. But it's a lot more complicated than that. Much of it is just die-hard fans saying: "Look if you wanna create something excruciatingly PC, fine. Just come up with something new and original. Don't cynically rehash a classic, thereby destroying our memory of it!"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Peter FitzSimons and luvvie mates want us to keep the home fires burning

Whenever there's some potential change to current trade policies that means Australian arty types will have to compete on a more equal footing with their counterparts overseas, local lefties suddenly do a massive U-turn and get all patriotic on our arses. They say we Aussies need to protect "our culture" from being flooded by imports. We need to hear "our stories" told in "our voices".

This gargle from Pirate Pete Fitzsimons is an example of this emotive, disingenuous and self-serving line of argument. He and his earnest comrades in, er, arts are spooked by the latest proposal to change territorial copyright laws

It is, I grant you, a complex issue but the bottom line is this. It is our united view that, beyond all matters of commerce, it is the  duty of the federal government – be it the Turnbull or Shorten government – to support the Australian campfire where Australian stories are told, to Australians.

Jeez. Ya couldn't get more dinky-di Strayan than that now, could ya cobber? Fair dinkum, 'ken oath!

I always find this amusing because much of the rest of the time they're zealously advocating multi-culturalism, viciously and often falsely accusing non-lefties of racist thought-crime for not kowtowing to their politically correct demands.

If they sincerely believe the pronouncements they make when in peak luvvie virtue-signalling mode then surely they would welcome all stories, from all cultures, told in all accents, wouldn't they? 

Nope. Not when their massively inflated incomes are at risk of being lowered a tad by genuine competition, they won't.