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November 26, 2012

Comments

Anna

It was the 'Occupy' mask that persuaded me. I want to be as clever as those people.

TDK

Please don't credit Occupy for the mask, it comes from the film V for Vendetta

David

Anna,

Tsk. I don’t think you appreciate what a seismic development the New Inquiry is. As Laurie’s own work demonstrates, the publication has plenty to thrill the pretentious leftwing radical. In that respect, it’s rather like the hilariously awful Mute magazine (mentioned here). You can practically smell the need to appear clever (and, naturally, leftwing). And so one contributor tells us that she went to Casablanca to work on her “dissertation on Moroccan hip hop and neoliberalisation.” Prompting the inevitable question, “Is rap the battleground between Muslims?”

Other contributors ponder musical composition as a “liberation from late industrial capitalism,” and “the hypercommodification of music and our resulting alienation from musical creativity and pleasure.” Yes, we are alienated from musical creativity and pleasure. What, you didn’t know? That’s why we need music as “collective resistance” against, er, capitalism and free markets, which are very, very bad, albeit for reasons never quite made clear.

And there’s an excited endorsement of the fatherless family, or “anti-family,” in which we’re told, based on nothing, “A couple cannot raise a child better than one [person] can.” Apparently, the “diffusion” of the family unit – i.e., absent fathers, instability, hardship and subsequent dependence on the state – “is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

As Laurie says, it’s “fantastically exciting.”

John D

it comes from the film V for Vendetta

They're smashing the corporations by giving thousands of dollars to Time-Warner's merchandising division.

sackcloth and ashes

If I'd never heard of her before, I'd be assuming that this video was part of a student's GCSE Arts project.

Steve

"it comes from the film V for Vendetta"

To be pedantic, it actually comes from the graphic novel V for Vendetta which apparently was "...Written against a background of third-term Thatcherism and tabloid rants against minorities..." and should therefore be right up Laurie's street.

Thornavis.

New Inkery ? What is it a magazine for squid fanciers ?

Rafi

And so one contributor tells us that she went to Casablanca to work on her “dissertation on Moroccan hip hop and neoliberalisation.” Prompting the inevitable question, “Is rap the battleground between Muslims?”

Tuition fees well spent, as our host would say.

Karen M

'OMG. It's, like, totally, totally brilliant.' /paraphrase

David

Rafi,

Tuition fees well spent, as our host would say.

In that respect, the New Inquiry is instructive. Just not in the way its writers intend.

David

Another noted contributor is the anthropology lecturer and Occupy cheerleader David Graeber, mentioned here and here. Graeber has “written widely on the relation (real and potential) of anthropology and anarchism,” and on “magic as a tool of politics,” and lists “smashing capitalism” among his long-term goals.

As grown men do.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

And there's an excited endorsement of the fatherless family, or "anti-family," in which we're told, based on nothing, "A couple cannot raise a child better than one [person] can."

Somebody should start a campaign to promote the motherless family. If only to see the resulting horrified screams.

watcher

"Genuinely, genuinely exciting."

You see, her fan magazine doesn't just pretend to be wonderful, it genuinely is. So genuinely, genuinely exciting you wonder why every other publication in the world doesn't use that phrase as a marketing slogan. It has certainly got me genuinely interested, so I will be sending off my three-and-a-half Won at once.

Spiny Norman

... absent fathers, instability, hardship and subsequent dependence on the state – “is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

As Laurie says, it’s “fantastically exciting.”

Can I assume "fantastically exciting" is the Penny Red Newspeak term for "crushingly hopeless" and "endless, multi-generational cycle of dependency"?

Spiny Norman

John D.,

They're smashing the corporations by giving thousands of dollars to Time-Warner's merchandising division.

Trying to decipher leftist Hipster Logic™ will only give you a headache.

Adam L.

Uh, why does she have papers stuck right next to the gas stove? They're practically in the frying pan!

mojo

Sorry, hon. I never give money to loons.

Jen

and lists “smashing capitalism” among his long-term goals. As grown men do.

Take me. Take me now.

Bart

And so one contributor tells us that she went to Casablanca to work on her “dissertation on Moroccan hip hop and neoliberalisation.” Prompting the inevitable question, “Is rap the battleground between Muslims?”

A thoughtful, profound question that only our intellectual superiors on the left could ever ask (with a straight face).

A normal person would have said the battleground between Muslims would be something like the Taliban's recent wave of bombings of Shia processions during Ashoura. But now you mention it, the thought of Sunni and Shi'a imans settling theological and political wrangles by dissing each other during rap battles seems far more likely.

Deeply, unapologetically intellectual...

Fay

"I watched as her subject, a Casablancan emcee named Soultana"

Soultana...deliciously hilarious.

Reed

I couldn't help noticing that in a few places she's doing a 'Blair' by selectively dropping her T's in an attempt to sound more 'real' to her radical audience - an affectation of downward mobility by those who are a tad self-conscious about their, shall we say, less than impoverished backgrounds.

I also like the disingenuous request for payment of a subscription...so that the venture can remain free. It reminds me of people who defend the NHS on the grounds that it provides free healthcare to all.

It's all free, once you've paid for it.

David

Spiny & Ted,

Can I assume “fantastically exciting” is the Penny Red Newspeak term for “crushingly hopeless” and “endless, multi-generational cycle of dependency”?

Well, if, like the author of the article, you avoid actual data and striking correlations – say, between absent fathers and children’s educational failure, poverty, dependency and criminality – then I suppose the breakdown of the family unit can sound quite thrilling, as a woolly abstraction. Note the tone of the article; a recipe for failure and hardship is presented as being very radical and subversive, almost titillating. Note too the claim that ‘nuclear’ family structures (regardless of gender) “isolate” people, rather than, say, introducing them to a potential support network of aunts, grandparents, sisters-in-law, etc. And the claim that raising a child without a partner (and therefore without at least half of that familial support structure) isn’t isolating at all. Because, hey, the “community” will fill in the gaps. Or more typically, the state and its bureaucracy. And gosh, how wonderful is that?

Readers in search of logic and informational content - rather than tendentious whimsy and bald assertion - would be better served by the essays of Heather Mac Donald. Needless to say, the statistics on the subject are eye-watering, and hardly a basis for glee. As Mac Donald points out, “The sky-high illegitimacy rate meant that black boys were growing up in a world in which it was normal to impregnate a girl and then take off. When a boy is raised without any social expectation that he will support his children and marry his children’s mother, he fails to learn the most fundamental lesson of personal responsibility.”

Which doesn’t sound at all like “one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

Stuck-Record

I'm second to no one in my contempt for Ms Penny and her radical posturing, however, I do think this is an exciting new venture.

It marks the first dawning realisation that to be funded in an enterprise requires you to appeal directly to your customer. This is a radical new departure for Penny's crowd. These are subsidy folk. They exist by infiltrating organisations and diverting funds to their own friends and causes. Their entire intellectual and economic view of the world is based on taking money from people who would not choose to give it to them, on the justification that ‘they know better’.

The public is increasingly on to them. And as the Guardian circles the toilet bowl, the independent recoils from the damage done by another fantasist, and the BBC stabs itself repeatedly in the foot, it looks like funds might be drying up a bit.

If Penny and friends are going to try directly appealing to their customers and providing selection (cough, cough – a product) then all power to them.

Welcome to an economic model they have spent their lives denying.

Their customers give them money to be provided with a warm and cosy reinforcing view of the world. Fine. Let them do it. If they can find enough people to pay them their two dollars a month.

Maybe the harsh reality of providing a service to a client will make the penny finally drop.

sackcloth and ashes

@ Stuck-Record

It's a nice idea, but turkeys don't vote for Christmas, and parasites who rely on the Scott Trust and the licence fee are not going to ask Joe Public if they mind keeping them in a state of idleness masquerading as intellectual activity.

Penny may be stupid, but unfortunately she and her peers are not completely stupid.

Stuck-Record

Sackcloth, I agree. But the very fact that Penny and her kind are even attempting to do this shows that there may be some kind of problem with the unquestioning funding they come to depend on. That, in itself, is a cheery thought.

Plus, as usual, it will be fantastic to watch them fail.

the wolf

They're asking for money? How bourgeois.

Black-Hearted Scoundrel

As an arts graduate it's depressing how many of these fools are arts graduates.

The Penny Is Mightier Than The Sword

The background is telling. See, there's a mask (we hide our real intentions, but it is an acceptable mask to all you left-wing troublemakers), a stove and a pan (this is working-class friendly, so you plebs will be on our side even if you haven't a clue what we are talking about) and the scribbled 'picture' on the wall is perfect. Yes, it's all chaotic and meaningless, but it has energy. Even better, if it was done by a child it is okay, because that's how we think, too.

Makara

Note Laurie's deliberate mispronunciation of "excited"... in order to sound 'common' and therefore, by default, oppressed of course.

Like most folk I was first treated to Laurie's comical 'mockneyisms' via her now infamous appearence on Newsnight a year or so ago and even then could not believe she had the balls, THE BALLS to affect such an unconvincing accent in a feeble attempt at convincing us ordinaries of her fictional working-class credentials!

She is truly a self-parody.... and evidently has a job for life within the Leftist media.

Jeff Guinn

From the Anti-Family, without a hint of irony:

Teen parents cannot receive financial assistance unless they live with their parents or marry. They cannot get welfare if they are not enrolled in an educational program. In some cases, the state can deny all benefits to babies born to unmarried teenage parents.

State as daddy.

WTP

I hate to admit it, but I'm captivated by this video. I think it's the pixie look combined with such precocious earnestness. BTW, what's with the wedding ring? Looks kinda goofy on someone who tries so hard to look like a 12 year old boy playing revolutionary.

AC1

She's a feminist. So of course she tries to look EXACTLY like she imagines men to look.

Andrew Duffin

Is that Laurie Penny?

Really?

She looks like she just left school.

Explains a few things.

Yoshi

I would do an adverb count, but I'm too lazy. The sheer number of "-ly"s is too much for any one man.

David B. Wildgoose

She's a terrible joke being perpetrated on us all, the comedy car crash that never stops giving.

However, I have to take exception to conflating an air-head like Laurie Penny with David Graeber. Even if you don't agree with his conclusions, his book "Debt: The First 5,000 years" is still a scholarly work and well worth reading.

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