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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Tag Archives: racism

OMG SHOES! Miranda Devine is beside herself, wailing and weeping and gnashing her teeth over the daming and far reaching effects of the intellectual monoculture. No, it’s not about an increased risk of glandular fever amongst uni students, it’s one of her pet soapbox issues: THE LEFTIES ARE BRAINWASHING OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The lefties are apparently totally in control of the content of Australia’s education system, even though the Howard government was in power for the last eleven years and set in place measures to force their own special brand of nationalism and ideology down the necks of schools and universities across the country.

Not content with exerting undue influence over schools the Howard government’s culture wars extended to the sacking of Dawn Casey from her curatorship at the National Museum for telling a version of Australian history factually true, but considered unseemly and unpalateable.The Howard government, far from allowing the diversity of views it purported to allow hunted down dissident voices, new approaches to history in line with museumology and, well, fucking exterminating them. Not before decrying them as traitorous, treachorous and unpatriotic though.

Think it stopped there? What of the closure of the peace institute? The absorption of the Office for the Status of Women into the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs? The ‘special dispensation’ granted to the Catholic church to appeal the rights of single women to access IVF. The government funded “think tanks” that spouted their politically situated, ideologically driven crap presented as neutral ? Yeah, you fucking forgot to mention that shit Miranda, that and the fact that you and your right wing, neo conservative, bigotry apologist twerps have laid claim to NEUTRALITY with all the power that holds.

Political correctness gone mad? Um, excuse me??? Firstly, what exactly does she mean by political correctness? I’m guessing she’s referring to the pesky notion that we should treat women, ‘coloured folk’ and ‘the gays’ with respect? Yeah, that shit’s taken off hasn’t it? We’re all tyrannised, ruled by the Mighty Iron Fist of The All Powerful P.C! That’s why Frank Sartor was able to tell Mick Mundine to get off his arse and get his black arse down to his office? Why the SMH published Rolf Harris’s fucking self indulgent racist vitriol? That’s why the SMH published this cartoon in response to bush rats being released in Mosman to rid the area of the common problem of black rats:

470bushrat0

That’s why Zoo thinks it’s A-O-fucking-K to run wanktastic spreads on Getcha Hawt Murdered Babes Free Here, that’s why commenter APublicBlogging pointed out that really, the nine year old kid who wrote his article on how to score chicks has more discursive power than online feminist bloggers combined, that’s why every mother-fucking day everywhere I go I hear the jokes about women, that’s why the White Ribbon Organisation’s Report on gendered violence gets slammed, ridiculed and reviled as worthless, pointless propaganda.

In schools, Australia day is celebrated uncritically, no one gives any thought to the fact that a gazillion kids come from sole parent families when they have their father’s day barbeques and their mother’s day stalls, single mothers still get letters to Mrs So and So despite repeated corrections, kids who don’t ‘do’ the religion class get lumped with more classwork, that’s why The Day for the Elimination of Racial Discimination got rebranded and repackaged as Harmony Day.

Andrew Fraser got to defend his racism (sorry, growing tired and short of patience hunting this crap down) by recourse to academic freedom, and the Macquarie University Law Society IMMEDIATELY jumped to his defence with some of the lamest analogies in history (sorry, I’ll dig out the pics of the idiot posters in defence as soon as possible). Fuck this shit, I’m tired. Part two to come soon.

With thanks to Dredgirl from Fuckthepostpolitical for ranting with me and sharing her thoughts with me over this.

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So I’m no expert, but I watched Usain Bolt’s 200m race today. Fucking sensational. The man was victorious, yes, there was dancing, revelling, gesturing, “I am number one” into the camera that sort of thing. I read it as utter joy.

Then I look at the SMH and see the IOC Chief Jacques Rogge is telling the media that Bolt is a great athlete, yes, but needs to “learn to show more respect”. I don’t think he was disrespectful at all, victorious, yes, and “Hell YEAH I’m awesome” – but he is. Fuck, did you SEE HIM???

And I don’t like the message it sends when a white dude, the head of the IOC comes out telling the world that Bolt ought not to enjoy his victory quite so much, that he should have performed humility better, that he ought to “show more respect”. I’m just not sure why he felt it necessary to say this at all, or in a public way rather than in person to Bolt if he thought it was that necessary. Have there been similar remarks to the male white swimmers known for their “Grrrrr! Gonna EAT YA in my victory, could smash ya HEAD IN if I wanted to?” poses and posturing? What makes Bolt’s behaviour so different that it warranted a public wrist smack? It just reeks from where I’m sitting of idiotic white paternalism and insensitivity.

I don’t like the message it sends today to tell children of colour – any children – that a black athlete in their moment of glory ought to show the level of humility judged appropriate by old white dudes.

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So it’s Friday night, my head has been buzzing all week with tangled thoughts and readings on Catholicism and “World Youth Day”, feminism and body image issues, race and white privilege, aging and misogyny, and running through all of these the issues of the personal and the political, and the compulsion to be ‘nice’, to be ‘fair’…and a headcold.

So because it’s cold, because I’m tired, because the cold is making me a little ‘stupid’, because others have written about these things before, and better, because other people are discussing things in really cool ways, tonights post is links to other cooler writers:

In this post, tigtog, of Hoyden About Town blogs way more articulately than I (in fact I cannot even describe what the post is about articulately tonight) issues connected with discussions surrounding plastic surgery and body image: how it gets reduced to *oh, silly woman! doesn’t understand most men don’t want *fake women*’…which, well, what explains the massive commercial success of porn and FHM then? And also maybe we’re not always motivated by what “most men say they want” or what “most men DO want”….AND that (even supposing we’re all hetero) it isn’t just about *you* and *me* or *men* and the individual woman, it’s about real social pressures on women, real issues of visibility, economics, pressures in the workforce, youthfulness as currency etc etc etc…anyway, where this stuff has been a big ole swampy soup in my head of late, causing my every attempt to articulate it to sound like “Grggaaaggrrrlummmphhhtppphhhtriick”, tigtog manages a powerful and incisive post…and the comments are worth following through as people begin to unravel a little more of what’s at work here.

Tigtog comes through again with Drongo Day at HAT: Disengenuous Troll of the Week, and cos I love a good arse kicking of any man who starts with the whole “Oh, PLEASE stop your whining ladies, it’s BIOLOGY!”, I laughed my arse off at the responses from commenters. I don’t in fact know enough about biology to come up with counter examples, but these people rallied beautifully.

Stephanie, a guest poster, has been getting conversation started with her post The Privilege in your pocket: A Manifesto. This is a wonderfully articulate post and rather than butcher it by trying to describe it in this cold-induced-fog, I will just say: PLEASE go read this…aaaand from Stephanie, I borrow the following link:

Check My What? On Privilege and What We Can Do About It – THIS!? It would make me a very very happy person indeed if everyone read this post and tried to learn from it. I think I’m gonna pin it to my wall to read periodically.

Now my head is seriously giving me problems so I’m gonna retire injured….

But…also check out the vids linked on Hoydens of Kristen Schaal on the Daily Show, Nelly McKay singing Mother of Pear (‘Feminists Don’t Have a Sense of Humour’), and watch or read the transcript of the link to Matthew Garrett discussing How Not to be a Dick.

It’s been a happy week of reading for me. Here’s to hoping more people figure out how not to be a dick. Sam in the City obviously has not. If you’re up for some horrendous misogyny may I recommend Sam’s delightful musings on “The Third Date Rule” (???). It’s too disgusting for me to bother using my words on…I dunno. Go. Read. If enough of us despise her maybe her head will explose or something. One can hope.

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So fuckthepostpolitical has again taken the axe to the Gruen Transfer…it’s a great post and well worth reading.

One further point for me though: where dredgirl says that it comes off as simply a chance for bigshot ad execs to tell us what works and what doesn’t, I wholeheartedly agree…except that they don’t even engage in this properly. Their answers as to why a particular ad works/doesn’t work are glib, smug, devoid of much in the way of content and far too short and self congratulatory: “because it does” is delivered with a smug-cocky-aren’t-I-so-very-very-urbane-in-my-lime-green-shirt look (so urbane that I don’t need to answer the question). Well fucking duh dipshit! We know it does work…any punter could have told us that…and if it didn’t we wouldn’t need the show in the first place. But your JOB on the panel is to delve into how or why…

I mean even leaving aside the expectation that it might actually ‘take a scalpel to the advertising industry’, even accepting the limitation that they will not engage in the social implications of their ads and the images they use, the fears, prejudices and desires they play into…just talk to us about responses to colours, surveys that show what people respond to that make you pick particular things ton include in an ad to make sure it works. Even in their evading of any critical engagement with the effects of their craft they come off as condesceding twats too important to discuss anything in any detail.

To discuss semiotics in advertising need not mean dirtying their hands with political discussion or context…they could, if they so chose, discuss but it only got a two second mention! In one single ad in one single episode…

So…if they’re going to *avoid* acknowledging political implications by simply discussing what is at work in advertising…well do that, and do it properly.

It actually feels like what is going on is an attempt to present this panel as ‘objective neutral experts’ with all the heft such a stance grants in this society: I’m the rich white expert, mostly male, token female just to prove to you if you’ve got a problem, it’s all yours and nothing to do with me: “I’m just stating facts honey pie, get in the kitchen and cook me a pie – in your undies in front of my mates…and don’t eat any tub-o-lard” .

Are they ‘experts’ in advertising? Sure. Are they sharing this expertise? Nope. Are they enlightening us? Nope. Are they discussing the tricks of the trade in any meaningful way? Nope.

And by presenting themselves and their opinions as neutral and objective (when in actual fact their viewpoints are vested, political and context specific in the extreme) by noting and glossing over the sexism in ads, and then cracking funnies about it…it’s reinforcing that this shit is funny, is not to be taken seriously, has no ‘real’ political implications, is not to be engaged with and critiqued, it’s entertainment, it’s fodder for money making, and now it’s apparently smart and anyone who takes offence is a whiney snivelling little pussy who needs to harden the fuck up. If you’re offended, that’s your personal psychological affliction, cos we are not here to discuss that pansy left wing crap…this is the real world…of advertising, cocaine and designer clothing. Fuck off with that crap.

On the one hand they’re not going into the social implications of what they make a packet doing…cos OHNOES that would be a political act/boring/not funny…but they are erasing the politics of making ads that sell us images of what femininity is, what sexuality should be, who is allowed to have it and how, ads with no racial diversity, ads which sell certain attitudes and make disrespect ‘funny’…erasing the politics of the act of them making sexist, homophobic, racist jokes and expecting that we’ll sit here and take it since our opinion doesn’t fucking count anyway. Gaarghh!

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So. After getting riled about Sam in the City’s Oh-So-Insightful addition to the new, refreshing and utterly astonishing topic of Sluts v Studs, Is there a Double Standard in the House (forget the real title), I read Sam de Brito’s article on racial slurs.
So – if you wanna see it, you’ll have to check it out at:

*It’s VERY bad, and very offensive, so don’t say I didn’t warn you*

http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/allmenareliars/archives/2007/10/where_do_we_stand_with_racial.html

And then – at work, trying to keep on top of the things I was being paid to do, so I sit with pen and paper and write an alphabetical list of resonses to each of his ‘points’. Still riding high on the wave of my indignation, I hop online, type furiously, realise a few points are repetitive and (*oh no*, I hear you say…*oh yes!!!*) I delete some friggin points. And hit send. So. I reread it and my heart sinks. I’ve missed letters C, F, and L. Shit. Way to look like a fool. Anyway, we can always hope they don’t notice right:

So, here’s my response, and Sams little addendum:
Oh God. How boring!
Let’s see:
A/Why do you say Simmonds and the Indian crowd are of ‘similar race’ – what do you mean here? “Non white”??
B/ with what authority to you proclaim it’s a It’s a Hollywood cliche that it’s fine for a black man to call another man “nigger” but a cause for physical violence if a white guy does the same? How would you know the thoughts and experiences of people who face discrimination, police harrasment etc and who know people have been hanged for being a ‘nigger’?
D/You say it’s ok to call someone a ‘wog’ – ok for whom? It’s still rude and racsist. With any words, if you are friends, and have an understanding about the use of certain words, that is one thing, but if not, just don’t
E/Why is the “question” of ppl of “similar” racial backgrounds “far worse” than the blatent racism described in your expample??
G/You pity the taunters and that’s your choice. It doesn’t excuse racism, doesn’t remove the harm done historically (think of lynchings, stolen generations etc – remember your experience is not that of everyones, and certain discriminations have been more violent than others)
H/Language is always being altered and redeployed but it doesn’t mean that words with a history of violence and bigotry get to ok for general use. Those oppressed by the words have the choice of how to respond to or redeploy those words, and what’s more, they don’t have to agree with each other just because they are of a “similar” race, and more than you and i have the same opinions
I/”Blackfella” is ok, according to you. According to who else? While Indigenous Australians have often redeployed terms used to oppress and wound as a source of defiance, humour and pride, that doesn’t mean it is ok for us, living off the profits of stolen land and wages to use that term.
J/Who exactly considers “Leb” and “Lebo” to be ‘neutral’ terms? Perhaps the thug chasing a guy screaming “Kill the lebs” in one of the attempted attacks at Cronulla agrees with you
K/Exactly why would any white person, knowing the use and context of the word ‘boy’ as used by whites against African Americans, say “my boy” to a person with dark skin ever?
M/The Irish do not currently face beatings/lynchings/systematic discrimination in Australia in the same way that other groups do. That’s the difference

Please never let me sit next to you at dinner. – Sam

I think about letting this slide…and come down in favour of letting fly – with

Oh Sam, I would never make the mistake of sitting next to you at a dinner table. You may think you are witty and funny, but you’re terribly, horribly boring.

To which HE then replies with

Sssssssssss. It’s like listening to a blank tape. – Sam

So. That’s enough, right? Wrong.

I get called boring in response by a dude who picks up the missing letter issue. Fine, fair call (on the latter). Then another dude calls me ‘too stupid for words’. I think on this, decide I don’t care…except…he didn’t bother to engage with the argument, just pointed out two, and two only of the missing letters as follows

Just for future reference, “c” comes between b and d, and “f” comes between e and g.

So, maybe if your so bored you could use the time learning the alphabet.

Today’s lesson was brought to you by the letter w for wanker and the number 2 for “you are just 2 stupid for words”.

(NOICE, huh?)
So I said
Hey ‘****’ [not sure about rules in naming names] – I know exactly where c and f are in the alphabet. I kept them aside to use on you.

You wanna call me stupid? How about addressing my arguments rather than critiquing my deployment of the alphabet? And if I’m too stupid for words, try looking up your/you’re and using the correct version next time. Also re-read it. I also missed l – you know, for loser??

Posted by: had enough on October 18, 2007 9:24 A

Sigh. So you know. After that all day yesterday and last night and this morning…my head HURTS!!!

A little disclaimer here – don’t give a shit about spelling when it comes to blogs. I type fast, I make typos, everyone does, arseface included…I wouldn’t have picked a fight over his grammatical error had he not been such a prick over the missing letters, and had he stuck to the issues at hand.

Gotta dash. This blogging thing is addictive, and I’m molding to the computer chair.

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So. Having ‘popped a spaz’ over the shithouse content of mainstream news service blogs I typed the following last night (or maybe the night before…since the following shit attack over “Sam in the City” (LAME) on the SMH website, I got myself involved in an online sledge-off with Sam de Brito of “All Men Are Liars” fame (ahem) on the SMH site. Check the fucker out and bombard him with counterarguments). Figured I’d get me a blog and whack it on…but my head hurts, I can’t find my glasses, and I have NO idea what all these buttons are for. I’ll get better. Here goes:

Allright (cheers *Author Boy*, I know it’s not ‘a word’ but, you know, it’s common parlance).
I have officially had enough – here it comes. I am, I freely admit, a lazy bastard! I’m an ‘ideas man’, I get all excited over a new idea for a movie, a comedy skit, some new political agitation…and then time passes and nothing happens.

But today, the thing that’s really on my tits is that every time I look at a newspaper/magazine I am astonished by the fuckwits who get given the privilege of being published, and get PAID for their shithouse writing. This in itself hasn’t been enough motivation to do what I’ve been talking about for years and actually start my own blog, but today I had a little ‘snap’.

NOW – a little disclaimer. I am not a professional writer. I like to write, I get fired up and I think that I have some things to say (occasionally) worth saying…it is this I believe that will distinguish me from Sam de Brito, ‘Ask Sam’ and Miranda Devine (that’s right, hate em, if you don’t like it, feel free to stop reading here and I won’t give a shit). I am fiercely political and I will not sit down and shut up. According to my boss I have a pathological avoidance of using proper paragraphs, and as will become apparent, I have very little grasp of the rules of grammar. So if you’re tempted to write in and criticise me for this, don’t waste your time. These things are unlikely to ever change. You like right-wing bullshit? Go buy a newspaper.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let me tell you what FINALLY prompted me to do this (at the cost of cooking a proper dinner for my son, who is now enjoying a tuna, cheese and mayo melt instead of the planned meal).

An article on the stud/slut hypocrisy. Are your eyes rolling back into your head yet? (Take that, *Fabric Boy*, a masterfully spaced paragraph, no?)

Right, well, if you rolled your eyes cos you’re sick of ‘feminist ranting’ then, save your time and energy and fuck off now. There’s a billion ways to get your misogynist kicks out there, so you know, go away. As you may have been alerted to by the website title, I am not interested in politeness.

You wanna know why? I have to live in a world where rape is used as a tool of war. Where even in countries where civil unrest is not an issue, one in four women will report being raped, one in four women will be beaten by their partner. I have to live in a county in which we have systematically tried to extinguish the rightful owners, through genocide, incarceration, forced use of English, dispossession, slave labour, withheld wages and stolen children. Where laws which step up the attacks against Indigenous communities passed with barely a word of opposition. A world in which people can be beaten and killed for their sexuality, where the rule of law can be tossed out the window for ‘special cases’, where left-wing is equated with ‘radical lunacy’. So I am saying “Fuck Politeness” – I have to live in this world, in this country, in this society. But I don’t have to use ‘manners’ when I talk about it. It shits me off and right here I’m gonna say so as loud, as often, and with as many expletives as I please.

Now I’m tired and hungry so I’ll see you all later. (By the way – all for politeness in everyday life, I’m polite to everyone. What I’m talking about is refusing to be polite in the face of pressure to shut up, to swallow the lies I’m being fed, to not be angry, to ‘play nice’ – I’m pissed that when Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle stood up and asked Bush to answer questions about David Hicks, they were called ‘impolite’ – when people’s lives are at stake, the only acceptable response is “FUCK POLITENESS” (or “I believe I will bypass politeness in favour of speaking my mind” if you are really against swearing).

Sleep well!

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