For newcomers, four more items from the archives.
Leotard, heels and coloured puke. It’s a vision of loveliness.
In this 34-minute milestone of cultural enrichment, Ms Brown “explores the relationship between music and performance art via self-induced vomiting.” The word explores is of course obligatory and, given the context, entirely devoid of meaning. Unless we’re to believe that the fruits of this alleged mental activity will redefine human knowledge and shake the world when finally, dramatically revealed to the public.
The Observer’s Barbara Ellen oozes socialist benevolence.
While any use of the term chav is denounced by Ms Ellen as bullying, “posh-bashing” is considered protest and an artform. This is the logic of identity politics, according to which, you must always treat people as social categories, as examples of some put-upon victim group, or conversely, some notional oppressor group. To which, various contradictory and patronising assumptions must be applied regardless of the particulars in any given instance. By this reckoning, when opportunist oiks at my old comprehensive school picked on a new arrival who was well-spoken, polite and somewhat studious, the people doing the bullying were righteous, entitled and “responding to oppression.” Their shoving and sneering was apparently “an instinctive protest against inequality.” But my calling them oiks for doing so is practically a hate-crime. You see how it works?
“Shut up,” they explained.
Actually, some of our budding intellectuals do declare their censorious urges out loud and in public, as if such urges confirmed their own unassailable righteousness: “We no longer need to listen,” say these mighty radical thinkers. Nor will they permit others to listen to ideas and arguments they, our betters, deem improper - on our behalf, of course. Let’s not forget the equally progressive efforts to shape young minds at Queen’s University, which decided that students’ private lunchtime discussions were in need of monitoring by hired eavesdroppers called “dialogue facilitators.” Eavesdroppers whose uninvited “interventions” would “encourage discussion of social justice issues” and “issues of social identity, power and privilege,” as defined by them and whether welcome or not. “Positive spaces and mindsets” would of course be created.
Bongos, bombs and ersatz farming.
Here we have a movement whose “non-hierarchical” founder says Occupy is “about antagonising people and slapping them around a little bit.” A movement whose favoured “non-violent” tactics rely on mobs and coercion - and the moral anonymity that mobs make possible. A movement that’s explicitly premised on the seizure and violation of other people’s property, and which measures its impact by the disruption and distress it inflicts on others. And oh yes. A movement whose cheerleaders tell us that mobbing random retailers and intimidating their customers is “a perfectly justifiable form of protest.” And whose apologists and hagiographers have told us, repeatedly, that they “have no problem with principled, thought-through political violence,” that property damage is “not the same thing as violence,” and that setting fire to occupied buildings isn’t “real” violence. For members of this movement to then affect “shock” when that same thinking is taken one notch further requires colossal dishonesty. But hey, that’s who these people are.
There’s more to be had in the greatest hits.