Nepal

I know this is a very selfish reaction, but I keep thinking of all the beautiful buildings in Nepal that I might not get to see again…

Durbar Square

The mystery of words

Rainbow Sky

Hey, advertising?

What the hell is your problem?

image

It’s too early in the morning and I am too grumpy for this rubbish staring across at me from the side of the train tracks.

What this ad says to me:

“Buy Calvin Klein jeans and be a creepy, exploitative, Justin-Bieber-lookalike!”

But sure. Sure, let’s pin down a half naked chick in order to sell product. Because that seems like a great and not at all screwed up idea.

Goddamnit, capitalism.

‘Emo’

Okay, I recognise that there was a legitimate ’emo’ moment in the first half of the 2000’s, but really, could there be any more of a stupid and inane description of music?

What kind of music isn’t emotional? Music made by ROBOTS?

#FridayNightInsights

#Wine

You Have The Right To Not Read This Blog Post.

You do not have the right to prevent this image from circulating:

FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO-MEDIA-FRONTPAGE
(I debated for a while putting a stronger warning at the top of this post, to avoid hurting religious sensibilities. But you know what, I’m not feeling overly tender towards religious sensibilities right now. They need to grow the hell up and learn how to live in the real world, which does not cater exclusively to their strange whims about ‘prophets’ and magical invisible sky-daddies).

The media reprinting this cover? Naughty naughty, they’re ‘encouraging the circle of violence’.

The Muslim groups protesting the publication of this image? Oh, they’re just exercising their right to free speech! It’s not like anyone’s going to take them seriously and firebomb news outlets or brutally massacre journalists, right? “Muslim leaders lined up to condemn Charle Hebdo for its decision to put a cartoon of the prophet on the cover and warned that it risked fuelling sectarian tensions.” … Yeah, you know what else fuels sectarian tensions? Shooting people for not agreeing with you.

Free speech does give them the right to protest, as it gives media the right to publish the images in the first place. But how can we blame one side for encouraging violence and not the other?

Should those journalists not have been drinking so late at night, wearing such short skirts, drawing so provocatively? Were they, in fact, Asking For It?

This accommodationism is gross. I don’t believe we should hold groups of people to lower humanitarian standards just because of the colour of their skin or because they believe in fairies.

So many people have been murdered for their unwillingness to treat religious beliefs as sacred and unquestionable.

The least we can do is carry on in their footsteps.

Is it just me…

… Or is the phrase ‘God is Great’ starting to sound suspiciously Orwellian?

WAR IS PEACE.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

GOD IS GREAT.

“Abusive” feminists make ironic comments about a guy’s shirt, receive death threats

1. Women on twitter make politely ironic comments regarding a NASA representative’s choice of shirt and how it’s kind of a small example of science/technology’s problem with attracting women to the field.

NASA tweet

2. These women on twitter receive death threats.

3. Mainstream media publish ridiculous articles about those “abusive”, horrible, nasty feminist bitches. Because how DARE they question a man’s fashion sense? They obviously just don’t appreciate science!

… I can’t heave a sigh that is big enough to adequately express my exasperation.

The Hate-Song of Prof. Barry Spurr

I suppose Universities by their nature are almost always both hotbeds of left-wing radicalism and bastions of conservative traditionalism. Unfortunately my Alma Mater, the University of Sydney, seems to be trending more towards the latter.

One of my old English Literature lecturers, Professor Barry Spurr, has placed himself in rather a lot of hot water by using his University email address to send messages which insult practically everyone under the sun, with the possible exception of educated upper-class white gentlemen such as his distinguished self. He almost deserves a round of ironic applause for the sheer breadth of his bigotry. You can read it in all of its linguistic glory on the New Matilda website, which has released transcripts of the emails to show his quotes were not taken out of context.

Have a read, then you might want to take a shower. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Now, from my memories of Prof. Spurr and his English lectures, he did always think he was God’s Gift to Poetry and treat his students with thinly veiled contempt, so this whole kerfuffle does have an element of schadenfreude for me. My strongest recollection is his habit of stopping his own lectures to go on a five-minute rant whenever someone showed up late and snuck in quietly through the back door. Apparently this was ‘rude’ and ‘disrespectful’. It wouldn’t have interrupted anybody’s lecture if it weren’t for the Professor’s fragile ego and his need to impress on us all just how important his analysis of T. S. Eliot was.

(Look, I very much like Eliot’s poetry despite having encountered it through Prof. Spurr’s classes, but… they did use his poetry for the libretto of Cats. I’m just sayin’.)

This probably would have resulted in a somewhat more minor embarrassment for the University of Sydney if it wasn’t for Prof. Spurr’s involvement in the National Curriculum Review. ‘Cause the guy who talks about ‘Abo’s’, ‘chinky-poos’, ‘fatties’, ‘darkies’, ‘harlots’, ‘sluts’ and ‘muzzies’ is DEFINITELY the guy you call on when you want a balanced, non-biased appraisal of Australia’s teaching Curriculum for young and impressionable school students.

… Yeah.

Spurr (and I’m going to drop the ‘Prof’, as it’s a mark of respect that he doesn’t deserve) is now playing the part of a wounded victim, saying that the emails were between himself and a close friend and his privacy’s been invaded – despite the fact that the emails clearly contradict the University’s IT terms of service and despite the fact that many emails were sent to multiple high-ranking Academics and officials of the University. The thing that really makes me mad, though, is that he’s now trying to pass the whole thing off as a ‘whimsical game’ between himself and this friend.

Excuse me, did you just say… whimsical?

Dude, there’s a difference between being ‘whimsical’ and being ‘an enormous horrible douchebag’. I should know; it’s in the title of my blog. ‘Whimsical’ is at least 50% of what I do.

Whimsical would be using Eliot’s famous ‘Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock’ to examine the life and times of Mr. Spurr:

He has measured out his life in coffee spoons – a dollop of superiority, a dollop of narcissim, and copious heaped tablespoons of racism and misogyny.

Does he dare disturb the universe? Nope, it all looks like basic run-of-the-mill ignorance and prejudice to me.

He grows old, he grows old – surely he must have been born in the 1800s to hold these views? – and he shall wear the bottoms of his trousers rolled.

 

Anyway, he’s been suspended from the University, pending ‘investigation’. I can’t really imagine him having much of a professional career after this, no matter what the ‘investigation’ turns up. Who would want to sit in a lecture theatre and look him in the face and wonder what he’s really thinking about them? Even if this was all a linguistical game to him, who’d want to be taught the importance of words by someone who thinks this kind of crap is funny?

I’d like to think that people like Spurr are a dying breed. This is the way the world ends, you see. This is the way the world ends.

This is the way the old world ends; not with a bang, but with the whimpering of washed-up, out-of-touch has-beens.

Time’s up, bigots. Welcome to the twenty-first century.

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