Thursday, November 10, 2011

The name is James Paterson, of the IPA, and we're here to fight the culture wars for free ...

(Above: as the IPA is featured below, we thought of putting up an IPA cartoon. But this one seemed to fit just as well).

Truly the fortifications, the bunker mentality and the paranoia within the castle known as News Limited - surrounded by a moat filled with NT crocodiles and with vats of boiling oil ready to pour on unwary intruders - never fails to astonish.

Take this farewell to John Hartigan in the Daily Terror:

Attempts by media outside of News Ltd to analyse the influence of Hartigan within our company have generally missed the mark, not least because the man himself doesn't care to share much of his time with journalists whom he doesn't rate. Inside News Ltd, however, Hartigan is held in affectionate awe.

Blinkered blindness and deafness to the world outside News Ltd is a virtue, it seems, because no journalist outside the fortification rates, and yet:

Media will always remain the province of men and women who have a profound feeling for their communities and a fascination for telling their stories. (here's the link as evidence we're not making it up, not so you can click on the link and waste precious minutes of your life).

It seems that profound feeling only comes if you work for Chairman Rupert. Anyone outside the castle simply doesn't rate.

Okay, Kim Williams, time to get that paywall working, so we never have to read the Daily Terror's smug, self-serving, self-congratulatory, smarmy editorials again. Any resemblance to snooty French warriors cocking a snoot at the world, and farting in its general direction is beyond coincidence, it seems ...

Never mind, it's Friday, and it seems James Murdoch has settled for the notion that he was a totally inept and ignorant supervisor of operations in the matter of News of the World, misled by subordinates, wilfully incompetent and woefully inadequate, in preference to admitting he knew what was doing down.

Well I suppose actually being aware of what was happening in the business he was ostensibly running might provide a few pitfalls, and as always great fun is to be had by reading the live blogging of the British parliamentary inquiry at The Guardian - Phone hacking: James Murdoch questioned by MPs - as it happened.

Meanwhile, the lizard Oz continues down the path of proposing a fee for content freely available elsewhere, with a newly plastered on header the only visible difference (unless you plunge behind the paywall to find out if there are any other changes).

Here's James Paterson being given the gold bar:

Tempted? After all, maintaining the culture wars is a vital part of your daily life isn't it? Like maintaining the rage on the eleventh of the eleventh, or remembering why the fallen fell in the war to end all wars. (Except it didn't ...)

Well if you click away, you get to the teaser:

But hang on a second, if you head off to Quadrant, you can access the very same thoughts of James for free, with bonus original header:

Yep, here he is, and let's hope that Quadrant made out like bandits, sub-leasing this vital contribution to the culture wars, selling off the cream of their intellectual crop to the lizard Oz, as they forlornly propose a $300 premium subscription, a $75 magazine subscription, or a cheap arse thirty bucks for online access to their own minority publication.

Guys, guys, chairman Rupert is using you as tools ... here you have a dazzling column, stunning in its virtuosity, and Rupert's charging for it, and you're giving it away ...

Please explain.

Oh yes, I see now, even for Quadrant, Paterson's effort is remarkably asinine, a throwaway which should be thrown away for free, as it runs through some standard conservative memes, with bonus Institute of Public Affairs twists:

... the Left does not need to stack the board of the ABC in an effort to ensure that coverage is sympathetic to their ideology, because the staff of the ABC are already of the Left. Being drawn from universities taught by progressive academics, residing primarily in the inner cities and choosing to work at a publicly funded broadcaster means that by a simple process of self-selection (rather than sinister design) the ABC is full of people who think in remarkably similar ways.

Let's put that another way:

... the Right does not need to stack the board of News Limited or the Sydney Institute or the IPA in an effort to ensure that coverage is sympathetic to their ideology, because the staff of News Ltd and the Institutes are already of the Right. Being drawn from private north shore and eastern suburbs schools taught by raving ratbag tossers, residing primarily in the inner cities and choosing to work for Chairman Rupert or any of the other chattering private Institutes means that by a simple process of self-selection (rather than sinister design) News Limited and the Institutes are full of people who think in remarkably similar ways.

Well it makes as much sense as any rant based on blind personal prejudice.

The pond is genuinely fond of people who rant about group think, and then spend an entire column explaining how fundamental it is that their group think is the correct group think.

Oh sure there's always blather about liberal philosophies of choice, except there's only one choice to make, and personal freedom, provided it's the freedom to think like Quadrant and James Paterson, and while chattering about the evils of indoctrination, remembering that it's important to praise the joys of indoctrination:

The growth in private schooling was a win for conservatives in the cultural wars because fewer students were being educated in the highly unionised public system, and more were attending private and religious schools where many parents believed that a greater emphasis was placed on values.

Ah yes, the nuns, the nuns. But what if Jesus Christ was a socialist, leftie, pinko, commie, love your neighbours, do unto others, rich men and camels and eyes of needles pervert?

On and on Paterson blathers, as you'd expect from the associate editor of the IPA Review, with the usual chatter about putting advertising on the ABC (starting online so no-one will much notice or complain), trotting out the standard stuff about climate science and gay marriage - got to remember the needs of IPA sponsors - and then explaining how the y'arts and the y'artists are lefties because they've been given government funding:

The generous public funding of the arts in Australia has been a highly successful tool for progressives in advancing their side of the cultural wars. Aside from sustaining the Left’s ideological bedfellows who would otherwise potentially have to seek employment elsewhere in the economy, government support of the arts sector has arguably contributed to its loyalty to the Left of politics. It is no coincidence that so many of Australia’s actors, artists, writers and musicians favour left-wing politics.

It's always astonishing to encounter a right wing ranter who simply has no understanding of the silliness of mounting the formula funding + artist = lefty, and private enterprise + artist = Quadrant and IPA supporter.

It's the same old, same old chip on shoulder, which goes a heck of a long way to explain why artists can't stand for simple minded condescension:

The political preferences of artists are a matter for them, but public money should not go towards projects that are ideological in nature. In an excellent article for the June edition of Quadrant, Michael Connor wrote about the overt politicisation of publicly funded artistic events, including writers’ festivals (which rarely, if ever, invite conservative authors), drama festivals and support for creative works through bodies like the Australia Council and the Arts Industry Council.

As if anyone who's an artist loves arts bureaucrats or dealing with government bodies. And as if any artist exploring the human condition could stand still for a moment to absorb the simple-minded fatuities of the IPA.

Sheer incomprehension is always a charming feature of the IPA, especially when the sub-text is that money should go towards projects that aren't ideological in nature, because then they'll conform to the deeply non-ideological leanings of Quadrant and the IPA.

There's a delusion at work here, a remarkable and profoundly silly one, which is to say that once artists - or anyone else - gets a taste of the free market, they'll automatically turn into raving right wingers. Well cut off my ear and call me Vincent Van Gogh. Or give me a gun and a drop of the good stuff and call me Adam Cullen ...

In the end, we can do no more than urge you to read Mr. Paterson's work at Quadrant for free - and wonder how on earth do they manage to give this valuable stuff away so cheaply?

Oh no, I knew you were going to make a cheap point about the Institute's funding, and the next thing you know you might be reading about The Institute of Public Smokescreens.

Finally speaking about indoctrination, and culture wars and paranoia behind the castle walls, we just have time to give an honourable mention to Miranda the Devine for her effort Foolish frolic worthy of the Marx brothers.

Yes, it's all about the evil greens and the evil leftists and Bob Brown grinning like a Cheshire cat and lining up his ducks, and the outrageous greenies daring to call News Limited hate media. Hang those bloody greenies from the nearest lamp post.

The Devine led with one of our favourite memes of late:

Hello - it's called the internet. It has never been easier for independent journalism to cater for minority audiences. And it's never been harder for newspapers to make a living.

It reminded us of a panel in a recent First Dog cartoon (more First Dog here):

Oh yes, and they thought that putting a paywall around The Australian would rob the pond of seventy per cent of its loons ...

(Below: damned geo-limiting. Here we go again, trying to say farewell to Rick Perry via the most watched video in the United States at the moment. Where's your messiah now Rick, as Billy Crystal or Edward G. might ask, what with the ongoing drought in Texas, despite your prayer day. Get rid of the EPA and government regulation, and see where it gets ya, while the getting is good).


  1. Aw, DP, young James has 'cricket fan' written all over him, and he probably dips into Fairfax for his daily, dirty thrill.
    Tell me, what would you do with a loose $10, buy Quadrant or a couple of bottles of cheap plonk?

  2. For a lazy twenty, I'd buy Quadrant, and three bottles of De Bortoli raspberry cordial, and then get blind drunk at the folly of the purchase. Though maybe I could offload it to the CIA ...

  3. An Irony-blind Intern on his way from or to Coalition staffer central. Finding content clearly is a problem behind the Great Wall of Pay.

  4. It's hilarious when a Quadrant article complains about public funding of the arts

  5. Of course it's not so funny when someone screws up the links. Here it is

  6. What a nong. He speaks of group think and it takes 3 seconds to see the poor bugger has never had an original opinion in his life. "Grinning like a Cheshire Cat". That was sparky.


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