Showing posts from January, 2017

Protest has become little more than a lifestyle choice

Only days after thousands of Australian’s gathered in solidarity with their female comrades in the US to protest the inauguration of Trump, throngs of people have returned to key city centers throughout the Australia to protest the celebration of nationhood on the anniversary of colonial conquest. 

While the rest of the nation fire’s up the bbq in their backyards, local parks, or at the beach, in honour of Australia Day, protesters stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Indigenous country men and women, to remember the 26th of January as a day of invasion, as a day of loss, and a day of mourning. While this particular protest has become a decades old tradition, this year it comes after a string of protests that have led me to understand protest as a lifestyle choice more so than a meaningful strategy for political change.

There are three key factors that lead me to this conclusion (in addition to my discovery of the poster above). The first is the fact that the desired effect of prote…

What's so bad about Nazism?

What is it about Nazism that people find so abhorrent? What are those elements of Nazism that we recognize in the words and actions of the politically empowered that make us rise up and say “no more”?
Is it the harsh lesson of how quickly the forked tongue of a charismatic leader can whip up support to condemn a whole race of people to extermination? Is it the uncanny ability to identify the next despot, paving his or her road to political victory by spinning tales of unearned wealth and privilege accruing to an elite minority?

Both sides of the contemporary political spectrum increasingly invoke Hitler to raise the alarm about the imminent danger of the next fascistic regime. It is however, towards the left that I pitch this question, because the Hitler-Nazi-Fascist triad has largely been invoked by the left to foreground the re-emergent politicization of race, and valorization of racism. And while I certainly do not condone racism I believe that this focus is detrimental insofar as…

Personal reflections on the eve of the US Presidential Inauguration, an open letter to a lost friend

Dear Carolyn,
As Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th US president tomorrow I am reminded of what I have lost in the build up to the 2016 election. 
It is odd that we are no longer friends given that as an Australian I have no direct stake in the US politics. But you, as a recently naturalized citizen and ten-year resident of California, are directly affected.
I knew when you sent me that message that you were trying to find out if I needed to be cut like a cancer from your life. You asked for photos of family, for updates on work, on life more generally, and what I thought about the upcoming US election. My response to this last question was deliberately vague.
But in the end I didn’t keep secret my political leanings. As I daily witnessed a Facebook feed awash with pro-Hillary, pro-socialist propaganda, posted by you, posted by just about everyone one else I knew and worked with, it felt necessary to also start sharing the bits of news and information that I had come across, and…

Debunking the Hollywood Gender Pay Gap

A few days ago Ashton Kutcher tweeted his support of fellow actor Natalie Portman, and her challenge to negotiate employment contracts of equal worth to her male colleagues.

‘News’ regarding the Hollywood gender pay gap have also recently also resurfaced in the form of Meryl Streep’s enthusiastic reaction to Patricia Arquette’s 2015 Oscar speech calling out the gender pay gap in Hollywood. (This was on the back of Streep’s recent Golden Globes 2017 acceptance speech, which similarly characterized the Hollywood elite as one of the most victimized demographics within the US). 

Kutcher, and Bradley Cooper before him, has expressed their support after learning that their Portman and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively, were paid a smaller fee for starring in the same film. In these two examples, the fees earned by the male and female costars is comparable (as elaborated in the infographic below). However, more generalized  discussions regarding the Hollywood pay gap are largely supp…

Fake News, Democracy and Donald Trump's Press Conference

The chastisement of CNN’s senior Whitehouse correspondent Jim Acosta as a propagator of ‘fake news’ by Trump during his press conference on Wednesday has caught the attention of commentators across the political spectrum. 

Many like Sargon of Akkad have adeptly illustrated how the mainstream media has earned the ire of Trump, as well as their viewers, insofar as contemporary mainstream journalists consistently and demonstrably lie by omission. The indignation with which said journalists have responded to the ‘fake news’ moniker being flipped on them only amplifies the degree to which they live in a delusional bubble wherein they believe their own spin. 
Others, like The Young Turks, Salon and MSNBC in their interview with Michael Moore, regard Trump’s refusal to talk to CNN as portending the end of first amendment rights, and the diminished ability of the media to preserve the democratic rights of citizens by holding power to account. 
Insofar as the mainstream media do demonstrably …

Award Ceremonies and Virtue Signalling, or Meryl Streep goes to the Globes

I love awards seasons, or at least I used to. In recent years I just can’t seem to get past the self-congratulatory wank-fest that is A-list celebrities telling me how much their work makes the world a better place. 
According to Meryl Streep Hollywood actors are not only the wellspring of inter-human empathy and harmonious racial diversity, but it is the frontier, wherein directors, actors, scriptwriters, etc, wage war against the elitist injustice that ravages the USA. 
The video of Streep’s speech is below if you wish to see extreme psychological delusion first hand…

I’ll leave aside the fact that Streep deliver’s her injunction against elitism wearing a custom-made Givenchy gown, and instead draw attention to the economics of Hollywood, which funds its selfless representation of empathy and diversity with the taxes of those deplorables she implicitly attacks.
You may not be aware of the fact that a significant number of states in the US offer tax breaks, credits and subsidies to …

"Only whites can be racist": debunking a very dangerous lie

Yesterday, by way of anecdote, I proposed that academia is at least in part, responsible for the mainstream media acceptance and rationalisation of violent anti-white racism. See here if you missed it.
Admittedly the points made were largely anecdotal and provided little in the way of evidence. What I offer today is more substantial in terms of evidence, and is provided in the form of a critique of what is a largely unchallenged field of study within the humanities, known as critical race and whiteness theory (CRW). My knowledge of CRW stems from my PhD research where I leaned the claims of the theory to discuss the representation of national identity in Australian film and television. If you are interested my dissertation is linked here.
I am no longer a proponent of CRW theory and here’s why… 

Critical race and whiteness (CRW) really began to coalesce as a theory within the humanities from the late 1990s. The interdisciplinary field CRW has deep roots within postcolonial studies and…

Anti-white racism: a product of academic negligence

The media and police response to the recent abduction and torture of a white mentally disabled man by four black men and women in Chicago exposes a sickness within Western culture, and as humanities scholars we are all absolutely responsible for the spawning of this sickness.

Despite the fact that the perpetrators live streamed the torture on Facebook, clearly articulating their racial and political motivation (the assailants can clearly be heard chanting Fuck Trump! and Fuck white people!, as well as forcing their victim to proclaim is love of black people), some mainstream media in the US refused to label this attack as racist or racially motivated.
As many astute critics have asked, would journalists be so generous if the scenario were reversed with whites torturing a black victim, disabled or otherwise? 
What this question foregrounds is a recent revision of the term racism such that it has come to be re-defined as a product of prejudice plus power. In other words, if you are not…