Tag Archives: Christopher Pearson

Lover, lover, lover – burying the dead, Scott Morrison, and L. Cohen

16 Feb

Grief. Edgar Bertram Mackennal via Commons Wikimedia

One thing the Shadow Minister for Immigration reminded me of yesterday is that whatever qualities may be required for the practice of politics, the possession of emotional intelligence is not one of them.

Morrison’s race to the bottom whine about misuse of taxpayer dollars to bring bereaved asylums seekers from Christmas Island to Sydney  has brought down buckets of approbation down on his head, and deservedly so.

Jonathan Green’s piece also reveals the morally bereft position of the government on the issue.

Morrison’s complaint was that Australians have to reach into their own pockets to attend the gravesides of loved ones, but asylum seekers don’t.

I did for a moment have a wild fantasy that this was a bit of theatre. Well, it gave Joe Hockey the opportunity to parade his compassion, and he is trying to get somebody from the government to go on Sunrise with him to lift his profile. And if there’s to be a tilt at leadership, given that Abbott’s apparently in roughly the same place as was Rudd when he got the axe, then Hockey’s a likely candidate. What better way to pitch him than as the mature voice of emotional reason, with Morrison’s forces-of-darkness gibberish as the foil?

But as LP’s Mistress Kimbrella (oh, lover,lover,lover, come back to me…) and Ken Parish reminded me, I have the capacity to think like a loony conspiracy theorist if I’m not vigilant.

BTW, friends, I was proved right about the OLO strife being provoked by more than one person, IBM stating it was the article that offended employees in their offices as well as their advertising agency, and it being revealed that Gregory’s call to the ANZ didn’t get a mention anywhere. I guess someone will apologise sometime? Just kidding.

I notice that LP’s supporters are still busily defending over at the Drum, including one commenter who writes, mysteriously,Christopher Pearson has every right to his vile hate-speech.

A generous friend gave me Leonard Cohen’s On the Road DVD and CD for Christmas. Listening to Cohen, and watching him, (not to mention the spectacular Javier Mas) is a great antidote to the inevitable and profound spiritual exhaustion provoked by politicians using the funerals of babies to let everybody know how tough they are.

I thought of politicians when Cohen sang:

I asked my father
I said, “Father change my name”
The one I’m using now it’s covered up
With fear and filth and cowardice and shame

Vale little babies, mothers, wives, husbands, uncles, brothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, sons, cousins, lovers and friends, drowned at Christmas Island. Vale.

Bahnisch and Parish, hello: there is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in

12 Feb

It’s been a while since I’ve read more pompous and self righteous prose than that recently addressed via email by Mark Bahnisch(Lavartus Prodeo) and Ken Parish (Club Troppo) to the embattled Graham Young at On Line Opinion.

by Mademoiselle Lavender lou via flickr


The former can be seen here, the latter at Club Troppo.

I note that one of their major grievances appears to be that this affair has become public. Both blogs have cut Young loose since Christopher Pearson revealed the incipient scandal in the Australian last weekend.

So why do Lavartus Prodeo and Club Troppo object to what is most decidedly a matter of public interest, being put before the public?

Using phrases that are painfully typical of all attempts at middle class repression, they conclude that none of it is in the public interest, even though it raises questions of freedom of speech, religious freedom of speech, moderating across the board, the right to publish opposing opinions, corporate censorship, and much more.

Why on earth would these two blogs seek to keep these matters out of the public domain, and to silence public discussion?

Indeed, so strongly do they or their supporters feel that they have even attacked a comment I left at the Drum, and the Drum itself for publishing my comment.

What? Nobody is allowed to disagree, even on the ABC site, with these self proclaimed authority figures?

Thanks for telling the public it’s none of our concern, chaps. The public really loves people like you telling us what is and isn’t in our interests.

As my headline implies, it is precisely when eruptions such as these occur that an opportunity for public discussion about important matters presents itself.

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in, chaps. That’s how the light gets in.

How sad that Bahnisch and Parish have attempted to smother public debate, and instead avail themselves of the opportunity to strut the high moral ground.

And how moral is it to dump a colleague at the first sign of trouble? Young has never had complaints such as these made against him before in years of publishing a vast array of opinion.

Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in…L Cohen via Emerson


Re the anti discrimination option:

Mikey Bear, who is Greg Storer’s partner, left the following reply on the blog when I asked the anti discrimination question (before I knew the Victorian legislation):

“Why must they go to via an anti-discrimination path? That’s ludicrous. A letter to the advertisers proved far simpler, effective and expedient.”

So I guess that means we had better resign ourselves to global corporations deciding what we’ll read in the blogosphere.

As Andrew Bartlett points out on his blog, two of the most rabid columnists in Australia run blogs with vile commentary in the mainstream media, and no corporations ever pull their advertising because of them.

ANZ, IBM withdraw advertising from e-journal that published opinion piece against gay marriage

5 Feb

I am a strong supporter of the political and social online journal, On Line Opinion, founded and run by Graham Young.

OLO publishes all manner of opinion, no matter how contradictory, as long as it’s well argued and not abusive.  In this, OLO is a rather unique site, and at times its fora are extremely lively.

OLO is a rare gem. It offers voice to many disparate views. Under no circumstances should we have to do without it.

So when I read in today’s Australian that two major sponsers, IBM and the ANZ bank, have withdrawn their advertising from OLO in protest at the publication of an article by Bill Muehlenberg in which he argues against gay marriage, I thought I’d fallen down a rabbit hole.

I remember Bill’s article well. In fact I wrote a contrary opinion that Graham subsequently published.

I totally disagree with almost everything Muehlenberg says in his piece, but by all the gods, I defend his right to say it.

Apparently OLO has come under attack from some gay activists for publishing Bill’s piece. While the arguments in it are not to my liking, I cannot find them hateful, or inciting hatred. They are quite easily addressed and refuted, as others besides myself have done. I cannot see any reason at all to not publish, that is to censor, Muehlenberg’s opinion piece.

Apparently the ANZ Bank and IBM don’t agree.

As Christopher Pearson reports in his article today, the ANZ states that they do not advertise on blogs that “do not align to our organizational values.” That is, Muehlenberg’s anti gay marriage article offends the ANZ’s pro gay marriage values so profoundly that they’ve pulled their advertising.

Oh, that they would only show such integrity about their business relationships with the manufacturers of land mines!

I’m a staunch supporter of gay marriage. But I’m alarmed that some gay activists apparently seek to silence authors and publishers who do not agree with them, and wish to present an opposing view.

This can never be good for society. To fight for a freedom, and then attempt to deny it to those who don’t agree with you is tyranny. There were no grounds for silencing Muehlenberg in that article, unless you just didn’t like it that he said it, and that doesn’t count.

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