Another Case of Willed Amnesia: Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue

Another Case of Willed Amnesia: Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue – Sound the Sirens

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story is a masterly addition to both Scorsese’s and Dylan’s steady work.

Read this review at Sound the Sirens

Advertisements

Ramsay and the Rabble: Miseducation at the University of Queensland

Ramsay and the Rabble: Miseducation at the University of Queensland – Sound The Sirens

For good reason, controversies in higher education are usually of short-term and limited interest to the Australian public, which is undoubtedly much more intelligent than anyone at a typical humanities faculty meeting. Examples abound, but for a measure of proof, look to Dr. Dean Aszkielowicz of Murdoch University, who recently expressed a chirpy contempt for ANZAC soldiers, or, as he called them, murderers unworthy of commemoration.

Fashionable whinging about a pervasive university rape crisis also comes to mind. The idea that Australian campuses are somehow comparable to the Congo or downtown Mogadishu cannot be believed by a thinking person, which is probably why it’s so popular among feminists of the young and mulish variety.

Such examples of academic mischief dominate the headlines and then disappear. The ongoing debate over the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, however, has proven to be an interesting exception.

Read this essay at Sound the Sirens

Three Cheers for Nick Riemer, a Most Useful Idiot

Three Cheers for Nick Riemer, a Most Useful Idiot – Quadrant

In the debate over the establishment of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, no one has sniped and sneered from the opposing camp with anything quite like the ferocious energy of Dr. Nick Riemer, senior lecturer in English and Linguistics at the University of Sydney. No doubt, his noisy interventions must leave many longing for the days when the musings of academics were only available in the mercifully unreadable journals of the academic Left. Riemer, with his endless tweets, op-eds, essays, and campus protests, has been very difficult to avoid.

Not that I really mind, I have to confess. Surprisingly, whenever I come across Riemer’s latest hissy-fit in the Sydney Morning Herald, I react with wry appreciation rather than annoyance. You see, those of us who support the goals of Ramsay couldn’t have asked for a better enemy. His arguments — I’m being charitable when I use such a word — are so risible that I’m doubtful that he has persuaded anyone at all. If anything, he has powerfully made the case for the Ramsay Centre in a useful albeit unwitting manner.

Read this essay at Quadrant

Misandrist Windbaggery as Journalism

Misandrist Windbaggery as Journalism – Quadrant

Saul Bellow memorably described his experience of reading the literary magazines of the Sixties, after their takeover by the universities. He recorded feeling “first uncomfortable, then queasy, then indignant, contemptuous and finally bleak, flattened out by the bad writing.” Such a remark is depressingly relevant: it could easily apply to some of our shabbier newspapers, not to mention the national broadcaster. Bellow’s emotional response, especially the queasiness part, ought to be immediately familiar to any reader dipping into Fairfax’s Daily Life, for example, where the misandrist windbaggery of Clementine Ford continues to fill pages and pages.

Bellow noted the harmful influence of the academy, and this has echoes now, too. After all, students who imbibe the compulsory left-wing politics of the campus have to go somewhere after   graduation, and newsrooms seem happy to put out the welcome mats for Gender Studies majors and the votaries of the cult of identity politics.

The results are grim: in some quarters, the goal of objective news reporting seems to have been replaced by a kind of advocacy journalism, where the social justice issues du jour receive uncritical reverence. Take, for example, last week’s report in the Sydney Morning Herald by Jenny Noyes. She drew attention to the upcoming #FEMINIST speaking tour, where feminist heavyweight Roxane Gay will debate the decidedly more moderate Christina Hoff Sommers.

Read this essay at Quadrant

A Good Word for the Contemptible Straight White Male

A Good Word for the Contemptible Straight White Male – Quillette

I’m always on the lookout for new writing opportunities, especially with publications funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, as one can usually expect modest remuneration. I was initially pleased, then, to discover the literary magazine called, quite appropriately as you’ll see, SCUM. Its About section notes that it “has filthy feminist leanings and a disregard for propriety.”

Terrific, I thought. Perhaps I could pitch an essay or two. I have often detailed the squalid nature of contemporary feminism à la Clementine Ford and the rest of the gang. While I haven’t dipped into her new book, Fight Like A Girl, I’m keeping an open mind, should the opportunity to read it ever come up. To update the old joke, I imagine that Ford’s oeuvre, along with every copy of Fairfax’s Daily Life, will be the only reading material available for borrowing at the single library in hell.

There, how’s that for propriety?

Read this essay at Quillette

Are the Gender Wars Just Getting Started?

Are the Gender Wars Just Getting Started? – Quillette

The Victorian government has delivered an unexpected Christmas present to Australian conservatives: a parting of the ways with Roz Ward, the co-founder of the controversial Safe Schools program. Score one for the cisheteropatriarchy, as the kids call it.

It may not be in the spirit of Tiny Tim to gloat over someone’s misfortune and dismissal at this time of year, and many people would resist the impulse. But I am not among such people. Since her emergence in the public spotlight, the problem with the criticism directed against Roz Ward is that it has not been relentless enough.

Read this essay at Quillette

Assad’s Aussie Cheerleader

Assad’s Aussie Cheerleader – The Spectator Australia

On more than one occasion, I have put forward the thesis that some of the most deeply stupid and sinister people in this country hold PhDs in the Social Sciences. As additional proof, I would like to introduce Tim Anderson, a lecturer at Sydney University, an anti-war activist, and an apologist for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

Read this essay at The Spectator Australia

Fight Like A Termagant

Fight Like A Termagant – The Spectator Australia

From time to time, I open the pages of Fairfax’s Daily Life, just to check that Clementine Ford still isn’t interesting or insightful. Once assured, I resume my dislike of the feminist firebrand.

In her most recent column, her outlook, as ever, is rather cheerless. That’s understandable, I suppose: despite her best efforts, the patriarchy remains unsmashed and all those pesky males have somehow avoided extirpation. On this occasion, there is an additional weight upon her spirits. Allow me to explain.

Read this essay at The Spectator Australia