Monday, July 23, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

As a taster for those low (or not) on the borrowing list for What’s Left?:

This sounded awfully familiar...

Only the Jehovah’s Witnesses seemed as remote from modern life as the few thousand Leninists still trying to work out why the proletariat hadn’t put them in power.

And so, sadly, did this...

Outsiders don’t understand the enfeebling self-consciousness of political debate on the middle-class liberal-left: they can’t imagine the thoughts strangled and tongues bitten to avoid giving the smallest offence to audiences overanxious to find it. The director of a prison reform charity once told me that he struck all metaphors and similes from his speeches. Even if it was a bland cliché of ‘the government is like a rabbit caught in the headlights’ type, he wouldn’t use it because he knew half of his listeners would stop listening to him for thirty seconds as they double-checked that he had not unintentionally insulted a disadvantaged or ill-favoured group.

3 comments:

N for Nihilism said...

That reminds me of Helen Clark being lambasted in the media be various medical/hospice/leprosy groups for referring to Bainimarama as a leper.

Srsly. My first thought was "Oh my fucking god - get over yourselves. Yes, leprosy is mmmm'bad mmmm'kay, but when does a phrase such as that become a person insult?"

Lepers. Just get used to god hating you like he has the last seven thousand years.

Ms Klake said...

This really is a problem with the left that annoys the crap out of me. That studied restraint and fear of offending. It's the middle class lefties primary weakness against the right. Where the right is generally willing to be aggressive the left errs on the side of passive, or passive-aggressive at best. It's annoying, and I say this as someone who is a pauper class leftie. Maybe that's the problem, class. I'm poor and unrefined and have never learnt the concept of studied restraint.

Span said...

Case in point - I ran a quiz night on Friday evening and one of the questions I penned was about which wedding anniversary was crystal. There was one table of gay activists and one of them called out that this was a heterosexist question. I think he was joking.

But then the table of Greens just seemed to take the quiz so so seriously! They insisted that the Values Party had the first women party president (because god forbid it should actually have been National, which it was - I've been unable to find any evidence on Wikipedia of the Values ever having a woman president), and later we ended up in a stoush about how many Maori women signed Te Tiriti - the answer I had was three (including the names), and they insisted that this wasn't the most up to date information and that more were being uncovered all the time.

It was a quiz night. There weren't even any real prizes. Get over yourselves people! Sheesh. Sometimes we are the worst possible advertisements for joining our own cause.