Sunday, August 11, 2019

In which the pond shamelessly uses dashing Donner for a religious war ...

By now in its travels, the pond is somewhere in the wilds of Victoria, trapped in a wilderness without broadband (though of course that could well mean ninety nine per cent of the country, thanks to the NBN - it's a miracle they're only talking a $20 billion write down for a heap of poo you couldn't offload as agricultural fertiliser).

But enough of all that, because the pond decided to call back dashing Donners as a fitting ghost of columns past for a Sunday meditation …

By golly, he hasn't changed a bit, has he, even though it's been yonks since the pond spent a nanosecond thinking about dashing Donners …

To liven things up, the pond thought it might borrow from Guy Rundle at Crikey here (behind the paywall) ...

How’s that Israel Folau religious freedom culture war going? Ha, terribly wonderfully, just terribly wonderfully. The right is in open civil war about the competing claims of the Folau case, and it’s now being fought out in the pages of The Australian. 
In the latest thrilling instalment, Israel’s cousin Josiah, part of the same extreme Pentecostalist sect as Israel, has been sacked from working at a Catholic school apparently because of his beliefs. What, sectarian warfare against a Christian with a different emphasis? Er, no, it’s because Josiah believes that Catholicism is a manifestation of Satan, and Catholicism is “masked devil worship”. Well, yeah, that would make things a little more difficult than a drama teacher with a shelf of Judy Garland albums. 
The Folau case was always difficult for the right, because any victory by Folau over his right to publicly list those going to hell — everyone except members of the specific sub-sub sect centred on the Folau clan — would hugely weaken employment law, establishing employer demands concerning employees free speech activities as unconscionable. 
Conversely, upholding Rugby Australia’s right to sack Folau would give firmer definition of what crossed the line from religious opinion into hate speech. The right seems to have not thought this through at all, when they dived into the Folau-Rugby Australia dispute. There is a “Folau War”, but it’s a civil war on the right, between free marketeers and cultural conservatives.

By golly, that's vastly amusing, and it allowed the pond to get back to dashing Donners in exceptionally good spirits ...

Assessment: student is correct to talk of the long march through the education system, but must be failed. 

Mention of the 'cultural-left' is simply not acceptable, when 'Gramsci' should have been used … and not even a mention of 'groupthink' in the approved reptile style can redeem this student's paper's tendency to use cliches and pretentious, meaningless phrases of the 'long march' kind.

And yet, yippie-ki-yay, moutherfucker, an appreciation of the Western literary canon strikes again! 

Well the pond would be shocked and disturbed if students weren't allowed to appreciate the Die Hard franchise, but dashing Donners reminded the pond it hadn't thought about the Ramsey centre in yonks either, and luckily a story in Crikey surveyed what had been happening. 

Two examples will serve - others will require access behind the Crikey paywall ...

University of Sydney
The experience at USYD followed the established pattern. First there was backlash from academics and students: 12 departments wrote open letters rejecting the proposal for the centre to fund a course in Western tradition. Then there was a comparatively tepid response from pro-Ramsay academics, who gathered 13 signatures (six of which were anonymous) welcoming the “the reading of ‘great books’ in small seminars led by scholars from throughout the university”. In contrast the initial opposition attracted hundreds of signatures.
And then… nothing. As a Honi Soit piece from March 2019, there has been an “eerie silence”on the subject since the turn of the year.
University of Western Australia
At the other end of the continent, the centre is in talks with the UWA to put together a summer school to be jointly run by St George’s College and the Ramsay Centre.
“UWA has been informed that St George’s College and the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation are in very early discussions about the possibility of St George’s hosting a summer school on the influences and impact of Western civilisations, particularly in relation to Western Australia,” a UWA representative told Campus Morning Mail in July. “As this proposal is still in its early stages, there are no details of how such a course might be administered.”
Academic board chair Raymond da Silva Rosa told CMM he was organising a series of “collegial conversations for board members” and other UWA stakeholders — the first of which featured “a lively discussion for two hours” and “vigorous engagement in the debate from the several students who also attended”.
Among those students were writers for uni magazine Pelican, who reported that the UWA experience mirrors one criticism of Ramsay, significant but too mundane and quotidian to have been taken up by the culture war: its content is not actually addressing any kind of gap. Academics gave feedback that they “already teach quite a lot of that” and “a lot of the stuff you’ve talked about is already offered”.
UWA chancellor Robert French, incidentally, authored a recent report on the “free speech crisis” on Australian campuses, concluded that such a crisis did not exist. The Australian reported it as though it had said the opposite.

Wonderful stuff, and again the pond owed it all to dashing Donners, coming along nicely with his final gobbet …

Ah, more blather about Judeo-Christianithy and epochal events and such like, and and immoral, uncivilised and indefensible practices, and Catholic education, but dammit all, those bloody Catholics are in the synagogue with Satan and are destined for hellfire, and here the pond must revert again to Guy Rundle for a final set of jollies …

...Alan Jones says that the Folau crisis has “deepened”. Not for us, Parrot. Just for you. Especially so since Josiah Folau is reported to have called the Catholic church a “synagogue of Satan”. This makes clear something that’s always been a hidden feature of the issue: that many Pentecostal Christians believe Jewish people to be damned to hell unless they repent. The more extreme the Pentecostalism, the more inflexible the view on Jewish people is. At its outer edge — and the Folau church seems to be there — such sects regard Jews as predestined; in the apocalypse half will convert and be saved, half damned to hell. The expression “synagogue of Satan”, demonstrates the odium in which such strands of Pentecostalism hold Judaism; it’s a term of abuse.
Israel Folau didn’t use any such language in his own proselytising it should be noted; the mention of “idolators” going to hell covers not only non-Christians, not even only non-Protestants, but also those Protestants who vary from Folau’s specific beliefs. The “synagogue of Satan” reference is so sizzling that it was left out of Brad Norington’s coverage in The Australian — either by Norington himself, or excised by subs conscious of the pro- and anti-Folau factions in the Oz.
Mind you, the “pro-” faction was really a pro-“religious freedom law” push, with the notion of a religious cultural crisis being driven in the Oz, by Paul and Joe Kelly, father and son (with Alan Jones as holy ghost). Alas! They’re cultural Catholics who don’t seem to have imagined they would be cast into the same pit with the fornicators, sodomites and “idolators”.
What would be really great is to see the religious freedom bill get up, and for a Catholic school to have to defend its right not to employ a Christian who thinks its students are the spawn of Satan. But I suspect that that bill just got consigned to the pit too. Along with the right’s hopes for a neat little religious culture war.

The pond always preferred "whore of Babylon", but dragging the Jews into hell with "synagogue of Satan" is really top-notch stuff …

And so to the bonus for the day, mainly notable for a sublime conflict of interest.

Who better than Dame Slap to show off a reptile conflict of interest?

And who better a victim than Noel Pearson? Once upon a time he was a darling of the reptiles …google his name and his work stood proud …

Now Dame Slap has deemed him unworthy?

It seems that the reptile civil wars are sweeping through the bunker at a most unseemly rate… and so to Pearson's thought crimes, as explained by Dame Slap ...

Now there's the first clue to the conflict of interest, right there, with all the talk of "we". Is it true that the lizard Oz is now just an outpost for the IPA, posting self-serving stories for that secretive, furtive, deceptive and misleading organisation?

Apparently it is, and woe to those who stand in the way ...

By golly, could Pearson even have turned and become a part of that conspiracy by the United Nations to use climate science to establish world government by Xmas?

But as this is a bonus offering, the pond will hurry on through the culture wars ...

Well the pond refuses to have any sympathy for Pearson - if you travel with reptiles, you must expect the odd snake bite - but now we come to the crunch, at the very bottom of the last gobbet ...

Yes, that entire rant was written by the IPA chairman, while posing as an ordinary columnist for the lizard Oz, writing her usual Wednesday rant, but in reality hectoring and lecturing under the lizard Oz banner, while actually writing a defence of an extremist, ratbag organisation best remembered for its defence of big tobacco …of which she is now the chairman, because being a chairwoman or a chairperson would strip her of the balls to which she is entitled ...

There's no blurring of the lines these days, there are simply no lines left to blur …

Yes, there's cheek, and then there's history …

And then there's the matter of that other conspiracy …Graudian here

And so on and so forth … and Dame Slap now in the thick of it … and using her lizard Oz column as a cudgel for IPA ratbaggery and denialism ...


  1. "... the pond is somewhere in the wilds of Victoria"

    Oh I do hope you stayed at The Icon when you were in Melbourne, DP. So imaginative, so Lego

    "Mention of the 'cultural-left' is simply not acceptable, when 'Gramsci' should have been used "

    Psst. It's Dutschke, not Gramsci.

    "Donners reminded the pond it hadn't thought about the Ramsey centre in yonks..."

    Is there still a 'Ramsay Centre' to talk about ? Isn't the Ramsay Foundation going to disown it and reclaim its impugned name ?

    Ah but then Donners gets right into it: "...our institutions and way of life are underpinned by Judeo-Christianity and epochal events such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and modernity."

    And need we mention that Donner's happy little band of cannibal Catholics fought - and are still fighting - every one of those "epochals" hand and fist and sword and burning stakes every inch of the way. Except for the Renaissance when a bunch of them were enjoying the worldly benefits of being the "popes of unhappy memory" (eg the Borgias and many others as well) thus showing the true benefits of Judeo-Christianity. Well, at least they supported art and music and literature and science and mathematics (especially mathematics !), I suppose - most of it with only peripheral connection with Judeo-Christianity

    Well done, Donners, nobody else could have so damned their own in such a vapid, unthinking manner.

  2. Ah, "not only ... but also":

    And so to the main event: the 'Non-Virgin Queen of the IPA' in full preach mode: "Why is Pearson splitting hairs to assert a distinction between race and indigeneity without explainung the difference."

    Well possibly, Slappy old Dame, because the difference is bleedin' bloody obvious to anybody not deafened and blinded by IPA lies and propaganda. So anyway, she does raise the real issue: that indigeneity is different from 'race' but that in the case of Australia, the two were combined.

    And that's the point, isn't it: if you admit to the primacy of indigeneity, then you have to admit to the responsibilty of our wondrous "Judeo-Christianity" and the glorious British Empire for a disgusting and long running set of actions of dispossession, murder, exploitation and slavery etc etc. All the disgusting things that have been done to "the indigenes" - and not only in Australia - in building that now fast and finally collapsing "empire".

    And we can't do that, can we; some might think that if we did, it could mean that those "indigenes" might be entitled to just and decent compensation. Like maybe having a constitutionally established non-compelling "voice".

    So, we get to "a separate voice for one class of Australians", according to the Dame. Class ? There we go again, using any words other than 'original occupants dispossessed by any and all means'. How our Federal Parliament can "remain sovereign if parliament is not empowered to abolish a separate voice" ? Why, by just ignoring that voice as it does with all the other separate voices it just doesn't want to hear.

    But unlike the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, if it's in the conscttution, the various governments and parliaments of the day might just feel obliged to try to make it work in a worthwhile manner instead of just being able to jettison it at any sign of difficulty.

  3. Replies
    1. That certainly gets the message across. Though any enthusiasm might be tempered by noting how (un)successful Waitangi has been - which shows how easily 'voices' can be ignored - except for those few voices coming from the reserved parliamentary seats of course.

      Thanks for the 'Loci' reference - I knew of that years ago as the '100 room palace' method adopted in Greece (ir's remarkable what an absence of biros and notepads can inspire), but wasn't aware it had been modernised and formalised.


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