Mansplaining shrink gets the flick, or the death of the author

17 Feb

Of all the things for which one could acquire a tainted reputation, chronic plagiarism must be one of the most ignominious.

Psychiatrist and columnist Dr Tanveer Ahmed, winner of the inaugural No Place for Sheep Order of Arrogant Ignorance for his mansplaining article on domestic violence, has just been “let go” by The Australian for plagiarising great chunks of the ill-informed drivel he claimed to have written for that newspaper in his role as a White Ribbon Ambassador. This here link tells you what that organisation thought about it. I gather they planned to send him to re-education camp.

The very notion of The Oz letting one of its people go for plagiarising had me ROFLMAO. (That’s rolling on the floor laughing my arse off, if you don’t do Twitter). What, they’ve suddenly acquired some integrity over there? They fire people for plagiarism? Lies, distortion and right-wing propaganda are fine, but Rupert won’t have plagiarism at The Oz?

Ahmed was sacked by the Sydney Morning Herald a while back for the same offence.

Obviously he’s a post-structuralist. He believes in the death of the author, that every text is a tissue of all other texts, that there is no single authorial voice, that one does not need to know the author’s identity to distill meaning from the text.  It’s a post-modern pastiche, a bit of cut and paste with intimate violence for its theme.

I once taught with someone who asked me to give a lecture for them when they were ill. I read the lecture the night before I was due to deliver it. Every word lifted. Every single bloody word. What aggravated me most about that, I have to confess, is that my senior colleague thought I’d be too ill-read to recognise the work. That, and having to write another lecture at the eleventh hour.

The fact that Ahmed plagiarised is not as important as the dangerous misinformation he plagiarised and peddled about. Fortunately, there won’t be any mainstream media willing to employ him again, I don’t imagine, so we’ve one less ignorant arrogant mansplaining voice to put up with.

Actually, I think Roland Barthes is nifty. And I don’t know that he ever recommended non-attribution.

Roland Barthes Death of the Author



20 Responses to “Mansplaining shrink gets the flick, or the death of the author”

  1. paul walter February 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    Wasn’t it Barthes who said during the Paris ’68 riots that, “the structures (eg the people, us, bearers of culture) have taken to the streets”?

    Out of my depth but, on face value, the poststructuralist concept outlined, is the next point in a dialectic, but fails when people forget that it, itself will be interrogated rather than being a final signified.

    The criticisms of the position relate to a possible lazy acceptance of stasis, but that wasn’t really what bright people like Barthes,DeBeauvoir and the like were attempting, in trying to open peoples minds to reality.. It is more indicative of the Murdochist outlook, which cynically peddles stuff like Tanveers but for an opposite reason to a valid, liberating one as part of a good faith debate.

    It has indeed killed the author, Tanveer will go bunny, in this variation, but the corrosive reactionary message escapes unobserved, as intended, like Blake’s Worm seeking its Rose, of course remaining unnaccountable.

    Imre Salusinsky, I think, edits this sort of stuff at Murdochs or did last time I heard, and this triumph of form over substance,as to substance, is actually evidence of a probable misanthropic streak that glorifies technique over communication as a form of self abnegation, given the unconscious contempt for humanity and fulfilling living that derive of the denialist, unreflexive mind and soul.


    • paul walter February 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      And yet…I see from White Ribbon that the debate has a history and a history that is part of a yet larger history.

      On the previous thread, I expressed a sense that at least some of Tanveer Ahmed’s article DOES have some valid points, a validity dismissed by others as mere “male activism” or “privileging”, whatever that is.

      I was indeed panned by some, contending that post industrial western society has disempowered men as well as women, although I wouldn’t conflate that to “feminisation”, just good old fashoned “commodification”, as a lefty might say.

      I should say, I havent actual experience of the female mode of disempowerment, but if is as unpleasant an experience for women as men, they have my undivided sympathy.

      It does surprise me though, that so many people who have never BEEN men choose to dismiss the male experience without having actually experienced it.

      I do think that men and women are disempowered sometimes via a mode of directly encouraged adversariality, sometimes not and say that it is stupid for men to be encouraged to think that they are disempowered (solely) for the advantage of women; far more substantial reasons actually exist than that and vice versa.
      Some feminist commentators dismiss male issues, contemt prior to investigation, as solely to do with mansplaining away male privilege: how would they KNOW, anyway, not having LIVED as a male?

      I still blame Murdoch and co looking for a cheap silly season diversion, I think, of all culprits.

      It’s also because the desperate slant spun of Tanveer Ahmeds naive article, the way it is presented and where, that has me suggest another reason, a fascist one to do with sewing seeds of further discord and anger in society, posed as an informed contribution to a debate- the preconditions for the debate were never themselves explained for

      I now go, to prepare for many “Slings and arrows of Fate”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 6:55 am #

        I have thought that also, PW, an orchestrated effort to undermine, so typical of conservatives, neo cons, why, look at Abbott, it is his daily bread.

        There is an excellent book called Masculinities, by Raewyn Connell, that you might or might not have read. Explores what you are talking about in your post, the hierarchies of masculinity.


        • paul walter February 18, 2015 at 7:12 am #

          By golly, I’ll tell you one thing. I caught an interview with the US House Speaker Boehner on FB..the guy was aggressive and sounded drunk, but the style and the crap were virtually identical to the Monk, monotonous repetition of magic thinking and illogic.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 7:15 am #

            Gawd, it’s global then. Maybe a virus?

            Liked by 1 person

            • paul walter February 18, 2015 at 7:20 am #

              Netanyahu is in the picture also, off stirring up trouble for Obama with Boehner over Iran, similar to Abbott attempting last year also with the Tea Party types.

              If asshats were heroes, these would be the Three Musketeers.

              Three’Stooges probably a better fit, but what you do if someone is a legend in their own mind.

              Isn’t this why Obama was able to roll Abbott so successfully at the G20?


        • paul walter February 18, 2015 at 7:14 am #

          Thx for reference. All the help I can get.


  2. doug quixote February 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

    And good riddance to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

      Me or Tanveer? (both!!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 6:56 am #

        That sore tooth has made you vulnerable, PW. Get it out, losing one tooth doesn’t make you old, but enduring constant toothache will. 🙂


        • paul walter February 18, 2015 at 7:08 am #

          Hi. Yes, another sleepness night, getting old by the micro second. just might hangabout and see if they have a spare spot at the surgery..probaby more than one tooth, but one in particular but you said right, am fuzzed and jaded..

          Mind you, caught some brilliant teev an hour ago, Brian Schmidt, the Nobel Laureate adressing a gathering concerning global warming, science politicians and lawyers.

          Be nice to me, though, even though I know I don’t deserve it.

          I did try to be constructive in those comments and am not unhappy at Michaela’s considerate response.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 7:14 am #

            I am sending you lots of good thoughts, and am very glad to hear you’ve seen sense about this tooth thing and are going to get it fixed.

            I thought you rallied remarkably with the comments. Painkillers make my brain go to porridge and any depth of thought is a struggle.

            Good luck today and take care of yourself. 🙂 xx


  3. Michaela Tschudi February 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    I like Barthes’ whimsy, especially in his autobiography, and his work on photography – essential reading for my fine arts studies. The reader becomes creator. I wonder then if plagiarism could exist if we took Barthes’ view on the author? For what it’s worth, I also like Baudrillard’s post modern vision in which origin is lost among sign systems that constantly reproduce. I bet plagiarism couldn’t exist under Baudrillard’s “simulation”. As for the so-called journalist mentioned here, good riddance. Imagine if he was your shrink? Omg.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 6:58 am #

      I somehow suspect both of them would be aggravated if anyone took chunks of their work and denied them attribution.

      Who was it said bad poets borrow, good poets steal?

      Have you read Barthes A Lover’s Discourse? One of my faves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaela Tschudi February 18, 2015 at 7:27 am #

        Yes I have, long time ago 😊


  4. thevenerable1 February 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    You Kanucks are well-read ! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. paul walter February 17, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    You’ve just won the argument Michaela, if it’s about the burnt out desolation of a Greg Sheridan, or even a Tanveer Ahmed…too naive meself.

    Where’s the profit there, way too Marlovian, the money won’t help when it comes to peace of mind.

    I think I’d rather be even me than someone even more completely in harness to self image. You warn of denial..don’t even no I am lying.

    Your message presents just a glimpse of a vision of hope, what a contrast to Murdochism, let me not be a persecutor either.

    Liked by 2 people

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