Self-mutilation by blogging

What do you do if you’re a university student and you’ve just finished 2 poorly researched, sloppily written undergraduate essays, neither of which contains even a modicum of critical or analytical thought? Go to the pub and drown your sorrows? Hit the books and start studying your subject so you can do better next time?

Don’t be ridiculous. This is the age of Big Brother and webcams, where every embarrassing moment can be lived out in cyberspace for the vicarious pleasure of neo-voyeurs (I’m not sure what the “neo” prefix signifies, but all trendy writing must now contain at least one such neologism, and I’ve just scored two). You publish your masterpieces on your blog!!

Then, when other bloggers justly kick the crap out of your arguments, you label them “rabid” and make inept attempts to defend yourself. Like this one:

Pointing out that they [KAP:the Black Panthers] were corrupt and involved in extortion, prostitution, intimidation, robbery, etc? Show me a political party or movement that hasn’t been involved in such things.

Show me a political party that has, at least in the liberal-democratic west (but that’s neo-racism, according to Rob). Or this one:

The Black Panthers were criminals, yes. But this was an essay about their political impact, not their involvement in extortion, robbery, prostitution and drug dealing.

All I’ve argued is that violent rhetoric and the threat of revolution was required to bring the problems facing Black America (and not the bourgeois blacks represented by MLK and the like) to the attention of white America.

Or this one:

These essays are by no means good. Like every other undergraduate, my main goal was to finish them as quickly as possible and head to the pub.

Then why did you stop to upload them onto your blog, Rob? I usually try not to get into this abusive style of blogging, but these essays display such egregious, tunnel-vision, unexamined neo-leftie (three!) hypocritical nonsense that I couldn’t help myself. I probably should have gone to the pub too. I mean, it’s not as if most of the neo-rightie (four!) bloggers are renowned for subtlety, wit or intelligent analysis either.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Carita
2022 years ago

Jesus Ken, I thought you were above all this crap.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

“Jesus Ken, I thought you were above all this crap.”

Welcome to the vast right-wing neoracist conspiracy Ken!

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

My initial reaction to Rob’s unidimensional, Panthers “exposition” was an acute sense of deja vu: 1970, Tom Wolfe’s essays ‘Radical Chic’ and ‘Mau-Mau’ing the Flak Catchers.’

‘Radical Chic’ was a specific event-based satirical swipe at the uberhip liberal revolutionary fashionistas who came together over cocktails in the elegant Park Avenue duplex of the Leonard Bernsteins, in order to fund-raise for the Black Panthers’ bail appeal.

Wolfe’s forensic dissection of pretension and ideologically-correct posturing remains an essential cautionary tale for all those who would wade in the murky waters of 60’s revisionism.

My second reaction was a blinding burst of clarity as to exactly what Windschuttle, Sandall et al are on about……

Tony.T
2022 years ago

Which (four!)?

Tysen
Tysen
2022 years ago

The criterion frequently used to determine the success of a piece of literature or art is that it ‘provokes thought and elicits a range of emotional responses’. Even though those responses are frequently “what the f*ck is this sh*t”, “hmmmmm I despise that scumbag” or “I think Ill have some more ether”. I’m not surprised that some mistakenly believe that people outside of arts faculties also follow that logic.

Given these essays were done in his own time, I prefer to save my rage for people who produce material of this quality at taxpayers expense. You know… …artists.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

I’ve seen quite a few undergraduates, not to mention the odd postgraduate, who have no problem knowing what to do in this situation. Bleat loud and long in the hope that their tripe will be upgraded to prime lamb staus.
And it all too often works.

mark
2022 years ago

Yobbo, it’s got nothing to do with being part of a “right-wing… conspiracy”. After all, the left are guilty of playing the man not the ball and unfairly resorting to abuse at times, too. Perhaps not as often as the right (show me a left-wing nicedoggie.net, or left-wing commentors as vitriolic as those at LGF), but often enough that we can’t claim the moral high ground here.

I think Carita’s point here (and I know I’m putting words in her mouth, but I’m sure she’ll kick my arse, then maybe forgive me, if I’m wrong) is that Ken is usually above such things. I know I’m not, I know you’re not, but I also know that Ken *is*. He can disagree with you, but he doesn’t turn it on like this.

I’m not going to shake my head and say “tut-tut” because Ken has started insulting other ‘bloggers: it would be hypocritical of me to carry on a “I’m very disappointed in you, young man”-type response. But I am saddened that one of Australia’s most cool-headed and rational ‘bloggers chose to lay into Rob, whether he richly deserves it or not.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Mark,

I certainly don’t intend making a habit of slagging other bloggers, because I don’t think it’s very productive. But there are some things that strain my patience beyond endurance, and Rob’s repugnant apologia for the murderous thugs of the Black Panthers is one of them. To a lesser extent, so was his attempt to redefine racism to mean something other than its generally accepted meaning, so he can label people he doesn’t like with that tag and place beyond the pale topics of discussion that don’t accord with his world view. I’ll always object to attempts to stifle debate in this way.

bargarz
2022 years ago

show me a left-wing nicedoggie.net, or left-wing commentors as vitriolic as those at LGF

mark, you’ve obviously never braved Hesiod’s Counterspin nor the screeching surrealism society that is Indymedia.

bargarz
2022 years ago

Ken or Rob,
Which one was the post defining racism? I missed it and want a peek in order to decide for meself.
cheers

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

The truly scary thing about all of this is how it ended up: Eldridge Cleaver became a born-again Christian Republican with a coke habit before he died from a heart attack a few years back. Huey Newton was shot in Oakland in the late 80’s during a drug deal and Bobby Seale is a tragic old dude with a really bad website flogging mesquite BBQ recipes and crap homespun political philosophy……..hope I die before I get old.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

NeoRacism Esssay Link

mark
2022 years ago

“mark, you’ve obviously never braved Hesiod’s Counterspin nor the screeching surrealism society that is Indymedia.”

I’ve braved Hesiod’s counterspin, and believe it or not, it’s awfully tame compared to my two examples. As for Indymedia: it’s true, I haven’t, though I’ve Heard Tales of its excesses.

Nonetheless, I don’t think even Indymedia is capable of (say) accusing every right-winger on the planet of being a bloodthirsty glory-monger (the first equivalent I can think of), but I’m open to correction here.

mark
2022 years ago

Ken, okay. I guess I’d better go read the neo-racism essay to see what’s so bad about it that even *you* are pissed off :-).

(As for the Black Panthers one, I don’t think I’ll bother. I know little enough of them that it likely won’t either inform or inflame my opinion one way or the other).

(Oh, and the “remember me”. Turns out I was clicking “yes” before I’d entered any data. Shouldn’t have thought it’d make any difference, but meh. Works now.)

Gianna
2022 years ago

Personally I can’t comment on the substance of Rob’s essays as I don’t know enough about the subject, but I hate to say it, Rob–I agree with Ken here. Why post an essay if you yourself admit you only spent a week on it, weren’t able to do adequate research, and really just wanted to get it done so you could go to the pub?
Seems to be a clear case of “blog and be damned”, buddy. Makes me think I’ll be a bit more careful with my blogging as I have a habit of going off half cocked myself.

mark
2022 years ago

I guess, given that he’s posted old essays before, it was just natural for him to do it again. The only difference was the added caveat “I spent a week on ’em”.

Rob Schaap
2022 years ago

I think we westerners/northerners do tend to forget that violence is part of the story that got us our ‘rights’ and our material wealth. The ‘Age of Revolution’ (a concomitant of the ‘Age of Reason’) produced what we call liberal democracy in a welter of blood. The revolutionaries were often initially in the minority (as they were in the ‘American Revolution) and typically needed to resort to theft, vandalism, intimidation and killing (as they did in the ‘American Revolution’). I’m only making a general point – it’s the sort of point the likes of Eric Hobsbawm, EP Thompson and Hal Draper try to drive into our complacent heads – but it’s a point Rob usefully makes, I reckon. The system that held back the nascent bourgeoisie (not to mention the political and material benefits that would ultimately accrue for the nascent proletariat, which had already been robbed blind by the enclosures, but had not yet risen to the level of a rights-endowed estate) needed to be pushed if it was to topple. Lots of bad things happened and some of the excesses were gargantuan (eg esp in revolutionary France), but something we’d all call progress did eventuate as a consequence. I, too, don’t know how much of this applies to the political logic of the Black Panthers (I pretend to no knowledge on the subject), but I don’t doubt their lives were appalling in light of both new expectations and long-established formal guarantees, that peaceful protest must have seemed to them to have hit the wall, that they enjoyed genuine sympathy across big parts of big cities (eg Watts in LA), that the state murdered some of them in their beds, and that the state consequently did play a part in producing a spiralling violent response. So the general point I take from Rob’s essay is that this is all relevant to how we got here (ie to the idea that we may complacently demand all political action take a peacefully constitutional form) and it is perhaps relevant to the bind ‘globalisation’ has got itself into. Push people hard enough and they’ll cut up rough (often, sadly, attaching themselves to all manner of demagoguery). And that, if they succeed, the time will come when the new order forgets the carnage in which it came to be. If they fail, they’re doomed always to be murderers, of course.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

there are three aspects of Rob’s essay which concern me.
1] It represents the sort of unquestioning approach which has become increasingly popular in what passes for academic circles. If it’s advancing a ‘thesis’ which attributes positive features to ANY group which falls into a ‘deserving’ category, the standards and rigour normally associated with analysis may ‘justifiably’ be suspended.
2] The relaxed manner [once again all too common now] in which people who clearly have the ability to analyse material, see it as acceptable, almost obligatory, that they adopt a conclusion, then fit whatever ‘evidence’ they can find, into ‘supporting’ that conclusion.
3] The belief that a claim you haven’t done it as well as you ‘could have’, is somehow relevant to something.

As many of the barriers which once prevented members of disadvantaged groups began to be overcome, the soft headed sectors of the soft hearted brigades, began to develop newer, more subtle, [admittedly unintended] ways of making it less likely the disadvantaged would make full use of these changes. The do-gooders became responsible for the apotheosis of elements in the struggle who had actually helped hold back advances. But then, the bleeding hearts rarely see the bleeding obvious. It’s easier that way to do harm, and still feel pretty good about yourself. You can even praise the Black Panthers.

bargarz
2022 years ago

Thanks for the link Yobbo.

And it was right in front of me the whole time.

In my defense, I only read the Black Panthers essay and forgot entirely about the other one. next time I’ll have a Mother’s look before i open my fat yap.

Peter
2022 years ago

“These essays are by no means good. Like every other undergraduate, my main goal was to finish them as quickly as possible and head to the pub.”

Rob should be less worried about bloggers slagging him off and more worried about how his lecturers are going to react when they see that.

Robert
2022 years ago

Peter, I’d rather take a bad grade for a bad essay than pretend it was a good one.

bargarz
2022 years ago

mark,
You’d be surprised. Indymedia is capable of posting conspiratorial bile of incredible logical ineptitude and volume.

Let’s set aside the conspiracies that lay the blame for Bali and September 11 squarely at the feet of Mossad or the Bush “junta” – they’re now so common as to be passe.

Instead, let’s look at the most recent bus bombing in Israel- despite Hamas’ claim of responsibility, Indymedia hosts this bonobo who wants us to believe that the bombing was the work of… you guessed it… perfidious Jews.

mark
2022 years ago

$deity… that puts them in the “worse than nicedoggie.net, about the same as LGF comments” category. That’s a fucking scary category, folks.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Yobbo, how do you put a hyperlink in a comment? I can do it in an email, but not in a blog comment.

bailz
bailz
2022 years ago

Hyperlinking:
<a href="http://www.whatever.com">TEXT</a&gt;

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

“$deity… that puts them in the “worse than nicedoggie.net, about the same as LGF comments” category.”

By far the worst comments on LGF are the ones posted by the very same Indymedia retards. Take a look through a full block of them sometime, it’s incredible.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Thanks bailz, as well as Ken and Chris (emails) for contributing to my computer literacy. At my age all this stuff seems like magic.

trackback
2022 years ago

(The New) War on Corr

Saddam is gone. We are still working out a way to deal with the ridiculously evil regime in North Korea. What to do, what to do? It’s been noted by many nutball conspiracy theory freaks that Republican US presidents frequently

trackback
2022 years ago

Unleash The Dogs Of War

The War on Corr is escalating. The Battlefields… Here: White Australian middle-class university student Robert Corr says ?Yay!? for the Black Panthers, who were killing people before Rob was born: Here: I usually try not to get into this abusive