February 21, 2006
Foolish Laws for Foolish People
I assume an important punitive element of David Irving's three year sentence for Holocaust denial will be that every time he complains about being in prison the guards will reply "No, you're not."
Heh. Three years for some cretinous comments this anti-Semitic tosser made fifteen years ago? Very silly, Austria, very silly indeed, and rather poor timing what with Europe's mainstream media at pains to stress the West's principled commitment to freedom of speech, in stark contrast to those excitable Musselmen, enraged to violence by some silly cartoons and nothing else! Be that as it may, there's really no justification for this. I know some claim that Holocaust revisionism amounts to racial vilification, implying as it does a dishonest conspiracy on the part of those who were witnesses to mass murder, but allegations of insinuation should not be sufficient to throw someone in the pokey. Even if I regarded anti-vilification laws as a sensible legal concept - and I don't - I'd still be concerned about allowing states to lock people up for subtext. And one might simply ask, how does Irving's expression of bizarre falsehoods do as much harm to anyone as imprisonment does harm to him?
Such prohibitions on denying the Holocaust also raise the sticky question of why this particular case of genocide should be so privileged, when any number of historians (and sociologists) have built careers on glossing over the atrocities of empires old and new, and the exterminations attendant on them. But, then, perhaps that's a good thing.
February 20, 2006
Kerry Saved Me from Hicksville
From a letter in today's Herald justifying the state service for Australia's richest dead man:
I am in year 12 and thanks to Mr Packer's charity have been privileged to attend Ascham School as a boarder since sixth grade on a full scholarship. Without this gift I would have been relegated to a country high school and would not have experienced or learnt half as much.It's funny coz it's true. A' course, I hope the locals won't be waiting for you, lassie, when you venture home for the hols.
Naysayers might argue that a man who had millions to throw away on the geegees could have tossed a few in the direction of the public education system (perhaps, who knows, by simply paying a fair amount of tax), rather than merely sponsoring a few toff changelings from less fortunate circumstances, but these sort of commos clearly fail to understand that a good education is like the old school tie: it isn't worth much if everybody has one.
February 19, 2006
Here's my tribute to Kerry Packer: he probably wasn't so evil as to deserve being devoured alive by giant aphids. And while this is likely to be true of many other people, very few of them were also rich bastards. So as their legacies won't be celebrated with a publicly funded memorial at the Sydney Opera House, let their tribute be the fact that they weren't devoured alive by giant aphids. As far as we know.
Mr Packer's death also makes it even more unlikely I'll ever get the opportunity to publicly respond to some corporate mouthpiece whining about left-wing bias on the ABC with "Well, yes, you're right, the commercial media shouldn't be held to the same standard of 'balance' you keep throwing at public broadcasting. After all, the public stations are funded by taxpayers, whereas the commercial stations are owned by people who DON'T PAY TAX.
"Has your bitching got you a spot on Radio National yet?"
I mean, I don't suppose Kerry Stokes pays much tax either, but with Bullimore gone it doesn't have the same ring to it.
February 14, 2006
Potential Australians, Actually
I've actually read in The Daily Telegraph where a certain Imam from the Lakemba Mosque actually said that Australia's going to be a Moslem nation in 50 years time.I'm not sure to what idiot constituency* Danna Vale was directing her bizarre remarks, but I like to think she was making an appeal to fans of Spike Milligan.
I didn't believe him at the time, but, you know, when you actually look at the birth rates and you look at the fact that we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence by 100,000 abortions every year, and that's on a guesstimate. You multiply that by 50 years: that's five million potential Australians we won't have here.
"We have to be careful," said the Chief Inspector. "The Chinese are very clever. If we let this Chinaman become a policeman here in Dublin, very soon all of the police in Ireland will be Chinese."(Until such time as I can dig up my copy of Puckoon, that's going to be a paraphrase.)
The Sergeant looked worried. "Including me?"
* You'll notice those Americans are under the impression Ms Vale is a member of the Labour Party. Perhaps the concept of a Pro-Life Liberal was too much for their minds to encompass.
February 10, 2006
I am so freakin' tired of this Cartoon Wars shite. Clearly the people burning down embassies are Islamic right-wing tossers. Now I hate right-wing tossers on principle, but I'm damned if I'm going to hate Islamic right-wing tossers more than I hate non-Islamic right-wing tossers just because some non-Islamic right-wing tosser tells me to and claims that the Islamic right-wing tossers' actions prove their societies can't comprehend Western Enlightenment values. No-one ever points at non-Islamic right-wing tossers and claims that. Name one person who ever pointed at Andrew Bolt and said he showed Melburnians had turned their backs on the Enlightenment, embraced the Romantic era and now spent their time lounging in gothic follies, smoking opium and having free love with tubercular poets. See, you can't. I reserve the right to hate all right-wing tossers equally. Does this make me a cultural relativist?
Anyway, here's a blogosphere round-up, a healthy mix of refusal to take the righties' framing of this issue seriously and impatience with the stupidity of people who can't tell the difference between freedom of speech and bigoted incitement.
lenin with a small l
The Rude Pundit
William Burroughs' Baboon
And, of course, Chris Bertram's gorgeous "I'm Offended" post from Crooked Timber, not so much about this fiasco as about all of them.
And now, let us never speak of it again.
See you in another six months.