David Thompson


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June 01, 2008



What's scary is the broad agreement in the comments. What debate there is is mostly about which victim group is more victimised than the other.


There is a readiness to accept the premise, despite the omissions and general incoherence. At no point are the people concerned regarded as even partial authors of their own destiny, or as in any way complicit in this “pose of powerlessness.”

Still, it was the “get real” that persuaded me.

John D

Her best line from the comments: "Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all."


"Although women incontestably have it harder"

Given the absurd levels of crime perpetrated against men (compared to women) incontestable isn't the first word that comes to mind.


As one commenter points out, the ratios of, for instance, male homelessness and suicide suggest otherwise. But evidence doesn’t seem to figure at all in Penny’s rhetorical drama. Nor does logic. Familial values as a factor in poverty and violence are emphatically denied, yet “mums and dads of the baby boom generation” are told, again emphatically, “you made us.” (Note the “us” and the author’s apparent self-identification with “violent, hypermasculine” boys.)

I suppose the article is best understood as a kind of theatre, or possibly psychodrama. Hence the competitive victimhood, which is always a lovely thing to behold.



"I suppose the article is best understood as a kind of theatre, or possibly psychodrama."

With just a bit of sado-porn:

"Manhood. Sounds tough and meaty in the mouth, a word torn off with the teeth and lips."


Eep. I somehow missed that. Maybe I blocked it out, manfully.

What’s also funny – well, sort of funny – is the mismatch between the author’s “edgy” self-description - “deviant, reprobate, queer, addict” - and what seems to be an uncritical regurgitation of someone else’s assumptions.


The appeal to "Mums and dads" in the final line is suggestive, though it is in fact "Mum and dad" - the article, indeed her entire world view, is one enormous, adolescent sulk against her parents. Most people grow out of this pathological deformity of the mind; those who don't remain as socialists.


"an uncritical regurgitation of someone else's assumptions."




The adolescent tone is hard to miss and it wouldn’t be entirely glib to see the above as little more than role-play and an expression of the author’s own personal issues. Certainly, we’re led to believe Ms Penny feels some deep, high-minded affinity with anti-social poseurs and low-level thugs. There’s also a strange, implied pseudo-morality, in which aggression and intimidation become badges of victimhood and, by implication, entitlement. This is, we’re told, “social rebellion” – a protest of sorts. By much the same logic, perhaps we should suppose that stealing mobile phones and breaking into cars is actually “redistribution,” and thus justifiable. I wonder how many nasty little pricks have absorbed this kind of rationale, albeit dimly, and used it as validation.


"I think it’s interesting to consider climate change denialism as a gendered phenomenon."


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