May 26, 2004

SOMETHING BORROWED

Via a reader, Professor Bunyip once again catches Phillip Adams stealthily exposing his audience to insidious American culture. Compare Philís lines with a piece from The New Yorker published a month prior:

New Yorker: "The favoured epithet among interns and residents is GOMER, which stands for Get Out of My Emergency Room"
Philip Adams: "Interns and residents in the US brand them with the epithet GOMER, which stands for Get Out of My Emergency Room"

New Yorker: "Conventional medical wisdom holds that hypochondria is a hopeless condition and should be treated by ignoring it"
Philip Adams: "The general medical attitude is that hypochondria is time-wasting nonsense and should be treated by ignoring it"

New Yorker: "women['s] nervous behaviour was typically interpreted as hysteria"
Philip Adams: "women's medical fantasies were, even then, deemed hysterical"

New Yorker: "For some, fear of illness is so great that they avoid all doctors"
Philip Adams: "Some are so terrified of illness that they shun the medical profession"

The Bunyipís laser-eyed correspondent writes:

I contacted Crikey.com, which seemed in disarray. Mediawatch's exec producer had the gall to tell me that what Adams had done was "not plagiarism". Then I contacted The Australian itself, and despite repeated correspondence from me over a period of several months, no acknowledgement or slap on Adams's pudgy wrist.

What, do you suppose, is going on? Why is this so complicated?

It isnít complicated. It's pathetic.

(The Bunyip has been in ripping form lately, so go visit.)

UPDATE. Gomer's support of our intervention in the Solomons has upset someone:

Phillip Adams does not understand that our involvement in the Solomon Islands is linked to our invasion of Iraq. Both are examples of Australian imperialism at work. The Solomon Islands is our Iraq. Not the same outcome, of course, but the same drivers.

John Passant, Kambah, ACT

Posted by Tim Blair at May 26, 2004 05:39 AM
Comments

Don't you have to rip off *multiple* sources for it to be considered 'research'?

Posted by: rosignol at May 26, 2004 at 06:06 AM

I just love the Bunyip's faux Edwardian writing voice. Wish I could do that.

Posted by: R C Dean at May 26, 2004 at 06:21 AM

Another example of proving descent through shared error. I think the vaunted New Yorker fact-checking department has gotten this wrong as well, and Mr. Adams has stolen the error from them. "Gomer" comes from the tv character Gomer Pyle. It's a bit of medical student slang that goes back at least to the 1970's (you can see the book M.D., by Neil Raven for proof that it was in existence then). At least originally, "Gomer" didn't refer to a hypochondriac but instead to someone who was mentally out of it.
Also, those little blue plastic, individually sealed emesis basins were called "Gomer bowls." Docs and med students used to use them to share Chinese take-out.

Posted by: Mike Drout at May 26, 2004 at 06:26 AM

Sure, take a bag of quotes from a convenient source, shuffle a few words around and they magically become original thoughts. A favorite technique of last-minute book reports and term papers everywhere. So after years of work and study Phil's finally managed to reach the level of writing competence typically displayed by a lazy sixth grader. Never stop trying, big fella.

Posted by: Bryan C at May 26, 2004 at 07:29 AM

For sure, gather up a box of quotes from a readily availible source, move a few words around and they mysteriously become original thoughts. A favorite method of last-minute book reports and term papers everywhere. So after years of slaving away and studying Phil's finally managed to reach the level of writing proficiency commonly displayed by a lackadaisical sixth grader. Never cease trying, big fella.

Posted by: Mike W. at May 26, 2004 at 08:50 AM

Gawwwww-leeee!

Posted by: mojo at May 26, 2004 at 09:05 AM

A stealthily written post, implying but never outright branding Adams a plagiarist. Still the imputation is clearly there and Adams should sue if he has a brain and a decent lawyer.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at May 26, 2004 at 09:27 AM

He wouldn't dare, Miranda.

Phatty knows just how damning a column-by-column search of his writings, for plagiarism, would be.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at May 26, 2004 at 09:36 AM

Instead of taking the (ahem) remarkably coincidentally similar quotes to Adams' newspaper or "media watch" organs, your correspondent might get more satisfaction by sending his research to the New Yorker. The editorial tribe may scoff at its readership with impunity, but it respects and fears retribution from other, more powerful publishing clans. :)

Posted by: M. B. at May 26, 2004 at 09:36 AM
Philip Adams: "Some are so terrified of illness that they shun the medical profession"

What, so they become lawyers? (ba-da-bump-tsch)

Posted by: Seppo at May 26, 2004 at 09:45 AM

Yeah, but The Bunyip is obsessively anti-Adams. Case in point: Adams writes a column making fun of those scholars who think that Shakespeare didn't write his own plays. The Bunyip writes a post making fun of Adams for believing that Shakespeare was an author.
Now am I missing some subtle irony in that post, is The Bunyip really one of those anti-Shakespeare crackpots, or is he just simply taking a contrary position to Adams because he hates him so much?
One other thing: Phil's latest column contains fulsome praise of John Howard and the Coalition Government, albeit hedged around with the usual anti-right-wing rhetoric.

Posted by: TimT at May 26, 2004 at 10:38 AM

Hey Tim - today's bulletin is up on the web, but no continuing crisis - whats going on?

Posted by: attila at May 26, 2004 at 11:35 AM

In Miranda's world people sue for being caught breaking the law.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 26, 2004 at 01:18 PM

Why the hell would Australia try out its imperialist ambitions on the Solomon Islands of all places? I mean, what possible reason could we have for annexing it? Cheaper holidays? More thugs?

Actually, I can't think of any neighbour which would be beneficial for Australia to annex...and that's counting New Zealand. :)

Posted by: Quentin George at May 26, 2004 at 05:41 PM

Here's a neighbour worthwhile taking. It's close and the bonus is it's currently held by France.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 26, 2004 at 06:04 PM

Quentin, re: our imperialist ambitions on the Solomon islands:

"Australian authorities, in the pocket of coconut barons, made no comment." Tim Blair, the Continuing Crisis

ilibcc's suggestion is good, though, and perhaps we should press the tyrant-in-chief, John Howard, about it.
By the way, I should probably add to my last post: the fact that Shakespeare did write his own plays certainly doesn't excuse the fact that Phil doesn't always write his own columns.

Posted by: TimT at May 26, 2004 at 08:04 PM

It's all about the Coconut Oil!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 26, 2004 at 08:36 PM

Then we'll need to put together a Cocoalition of the W-Willing.

Posted by: CCurrencyLad at May 26, 2004 at 09:54 PM

'the fact that Shakespeare did write his own plays'

Fact? or fiction?

Who knows?

It's one of those totally irrelevant tilts at arcane historic knowledge that enthralls completely. Why? Who knows.

And Professor Bunyip - Stanley Gudgeon - is not so obsessively anti-Adams as Adams is obsessively anti- ... well so many things right which one pro-Government yet Adams-centric item cannot deny.

Posted by: ilibcc at May 26, 2004 at 11:56 PM

"...in the Solomon Islands is linked to our invasion of Iraq. Both are examples of Australian imperialism at work."

Imperialism must be one of the 'talking points' pushed by certain groups. The US and Australia get blamed for Imperialism and countries like France don't. Israel gets tagged with Imperialism (by some) also. Not quite as common as the Hitler or Nazi tag, though.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at May 27, 2004 at 01:07 AM

Shazz-amm!

Posted by: Don at May 27, 2004 at 01:48 AM

I see my edited disagreeement with Phillip Adams over the Solomon Islands has been reporduced on your site.

Set out below is the whole letter I sent to the Australian. Imperialism is not just about invading countries to control their resources - it is about the clash of competing concentrations of capital (eg the US, China and Europe). So, to explain to one of your correspondents, of course French/European imperialism is dangerous. It is European imperial ambitons (France and germany) that explain why they did not support the US in Iraq. Nothing particularly uplifting there.

Anyway I look forward to more abuse on this site.

regards

John Passant

Unedited letter to the Australian

Phillip Adams does not understand that our invasion of the Solomon Islands is linked to our invasion of Iraq. Both are examples of Australian imperialism at work. (Phillip Adams, "An intervention we can be proud of", The Australian May 25.)

In terms of imperialism the Solomon Islands is our Iraq. Not the same outcome, of course, but the same drivers.

Howard intervened in Iraq for reasons which have nothing to do with liberating the Iraqi people. They were more about supporting US imperialism and dragging the US's attention back to our region if needed.

Howard intervened in the Solomon Islands not for the humanitarian reasons stated - reasons Phillip surprisingly unquestioningly repeats - but because our armed invasion sends a message to the region we are the military top dog and will use our forces as needed to impose our will on the region.

We are the post-colonialist colonialists in the region.


Posted by: John Passant at May 27, 2004 at 01:11 PM

gwo?Vwt;nc 'IIU

Oops -- sorry, I got so bored reading Passant's pissantry that I conked out and my forehead hit the keyboard. By the way, Mr. Passant -- it's okay to use quotation marks (these: "") to quote yourself. It helps make your message clearer -- well, moves it closer to clarity anyway. Also, there is no need to sign your name to what you are writing here. As you can see, your name appears at the bottom of all comments.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 27, 2004 at 01:41 PM

Old Johnny Passant is a staple of the Fyshwick Pravda (aka, the Canberra Times) here in the bleak heart of the Commonwealth. I think he was a big wheel in the local Socialist Alliance, or something like that. Good for him.

His opinion pieces are relegated to the online version of the CT's 'Your Say' column, which competes on the same field as Democratic Underground and Indymedia.

John's brand of unreconstructed leftism borrows heavily from Cold War era hyperbole, and is generally considered a bit of light relief by the more serious conspirazoid loopies amongst whose dreary anti-US contributions his works exhibit no particular prominence.

John, I take it you were against intervention in East Timor and Bougainville as well? Tell me, though, when the last of the Australian troops and police pull out of the Solomons, what is your line going to be? That the incumbent government is a puppet of hegemonistic Canberra? That the locals were better off to find freedom through tribal warfare at the point of a machete?

Your point of view is interesting, if for no other reason that it is so foreign to my way of thinking.

Posted by: Al Bundy at May 27, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Its pleasing when you have the capital-L Left come directly to you to elucidate their ravings.

Though I'm not sure how he was so succintly able to deconstruct Howard's "reasonings" for going into the war in Iraq as imperialist....

Must be that brain-scanner.

Posted by: Quentin George at May 27, 2004 at 05:44 PM

Miranda Divide wrote: "Still the imputation is clearly there and Adams should sue if he has a brain AND a decent lawyer." (emphasis added)

Tim is clearly in no danger of being sued, then.

Posted by: timks at May 28, 2004 at 08:22 AM

SO what law did he break? If he's a plagiarist, say so loudly. Why skirt the issue, dancing round it with carefully chosen words. If it's the truth, come out and say it. Stop your mealy-mouthed, innuendo-riddled pussyfooting.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at May 29, 2004 at 10:24 AM

Yeah, Tim, quit dancing and pussyfooting and stuff. "Compare Philís lines with a piece from The New Yorker published a month prior" isn't clear enough for our tiny-brained blog-parrot. You need to say things like "ADAMS BAD MAN. AWWKKKK! COPY OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK, SAY IS OWN. KKKAAAKKK! ARREST MAN! RRRAWWWKK!"

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 30, 2004 at 03:42 AM