October 15, 2004


First Miranda Devine identified the hipsters for Howard, and now Dawn Eden notes her personal fusion of conservatism and cool. Itís one hell of a piece, citing Ella Fitzgerald, the Zombies, the Kinks, Tex Avery, Michael Palin, Joey Ramone, They Might Be Giants, Nina Simone ...

Meanwhile, Eric Clapton obsessive Chris Sheil stands up for the dorky Left:

The point to appreciate, I think, is that the elite/ordinary dichotomy is a neoconservative class structure which aims to mobilise popular resentment against liberalism and undercut mass support for parties of the left. It's liberal-democracy, without the liberal. This is why tim blair et al never tire of imagining they have found even the slightest downward pejorative on the part of someone who they classify as 'left'. To some extent at least the neo-cons have succeeded. This is where the contest is.

Sheil is a snerd.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 15, 2004 04:21 PM

Ok, so THAT shit hurt my head, but Steyn didn't:

"Just because he (Kerry) canít choose his water doesnít mean he canít walk on it."

the rest -- http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php?table=old§ion=current&issue=2004-10-16&id=5114

Posted by: geezer at October 15, 2004 at 04:39 PM

'This is why tim blair et al never tire of imagining they have found even the slightest downward pejorative on the part of someone who they classify as 'left'.'

Is it just me, or does this not make sense?

Interesting (even if wrong) point about the new class structure. The left never tired of using class as the motor of the dialectic (when it suited the left elites to be the vanguard of the proletariat), but now the class dialetic has turned on them and they are left harking back to that old reactionary Plato (although I doubt Margot has ever realised this) ...delicious!

Posted by: Toby at October 15, 2004 at 04:40 PM

Its an arse of a piece. She does not cite the Kinks, she mentions them. Ray Davies would turn in his grave (if he was dead). I'll cite The Kinks for you so you know the difference:

Some mother's son lies in a field
Someone has killed some mother's son today
Head blown up by some soldier's gun
While all the mothers stand and wait
Some mother's son ain't coming home today
Some mothers son ain't got no grave

Davies, R. (1969)

Posted by: Flute at October 15, 2004 at 04:44 PM

Members of the wankerstocracy like Sheils and their faux rationalisation of the bleeding obvious only serve to show them as being ever more out of touch.

Sheil would be well advised to read this comment from Greg Sherridan in the Oz this week.

'This partly reflects the rise of the McMansions and the fact that Australia is now overwhelmingly a middle-class society. Even people who have ordinary jobs and ordinary incomes are frequently in two-income households, dispose of a lot of money and own very valuable property. They may be working class in occupation or background but they are middle class in consumption pattern and social and economic values. Like the bourgeois everywhere, they value stability, predictability, steadiness. They have a lot to lose.'

Posted by: nic at October 15, 2004 at 05:07 PM

I'm finding it difficult to keep up with Chris Sheilds arguments - I should have stayed on at school - and the other posters also have me similarly stumped.

Buried deep down is an ability to create abstract elitist societies based on trees and art, a contempt for non followers of same and the certainty that the US (and those pesky Jews) wreck everything.

Posted by: rog at October 15, 2004 at 05:15 PM

I hadn't read McFadyen's "Snerds" before. It's spot-on. The dailies and lefty-blogs have been sodden with sneering all this week.

On a local note, I taped 3RRR's Biggsy's "On The Blower" this morning just so that when I get home, I can hear him rant about the election. His foaming diatribes over the last eight years only make this week even sweeter. Thankfully his taste in music is as good as his politics are bad. God please let him be out of hospital and back at the mike!

Posted by: Craig Mc at October 15, 2004 at 05:18 PM

"She does not cite the Kinks, she mentions them."

Thank you for disproving the myth of the dorky Left.

So, Tim, why haven't you et al found any upward pejoratives? Such a thing must exist.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 15, 2004 at 05:18 PM


Just because Davies wouldn't necessarily agree with Eden does not make her piece an arse. One of my guilty pleasures is listening to the Manic Street Preachers, even though they know not of what they sing.

Rock musicians rarely demonstrate a sound grasp of economics, international politics or fashion sense, but I, and many other supporters of the liberation of Iraq, still enjoy their art.

Ironically I cannot abide the music of the performer for whom I have the greatest respect, Alice Cooper. That doesn't make him wrong.

Posted by: fidens at October 15, 2004 at 05:22 PM

Maybe this could be the first in an occasional series: When Cool Chicks Turn Fundie.

Posted by: akman at October 15, 2004 at 05:27 PM

Dawn Fraser, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll, The Hiltons, The Wiggles....blah blah blah crapola conservatism is cool. Banal shite.

Posted by: Flute at October 15, 2004 at 05:31 PM

You reckon saying "et al" is not a tad dorky?

Posted by: Flute at October 15, 2004 at 05:33 PM

et al and perjorative. I may not be a smart man, Jenny, but I knows condescension whens I reads it.
How indignant would Sheil be if you just went and popped the poncy prat on his proboscis? Potenially perturbed? Perhaps pissed off? Possibly.....ah forget it.

Posted by: CB at October 15, 2004 at 05:45 PM

I told you I wasn't smart. That should be spelt 'pejorative'. Perhaps I should just stick to cutting and pasting.

Posted by: CB at October 15, 2004 at 05:46 PM

Oh, it was humour. Silly me.

Posted by: Flute at October 15, 2004 at 05:56 PM

"You reckon saying 'et al' is not a tad dorky?"

I reckon that goes to Tim's point, considering that part came from Sheil.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 15, 2004 at 05:59 PM

'Hipsters for Howard'? Sounds like the title for the zine I made recently - Green Haired Hippies for Howard. (I still staunchly maintain that claims made on this site recently about people with green hair being congenitally unable to vote Liberal was an outrageous stereotype needing to be challenged.)

Posted by: TimT at October 15, 2004 at 07:00 PM

As you know, I'm very fond of you too tim. Now, I must try to be as clever.

Posted by: cs at October 15, 2004 at 07:07 PM

Hey cs

You're a bit of a fascist, aren't you? Isn't deleting posts an unwarranted crushing of dissent?

Posted by: Cyril Suk at October 15, 2004 at 07:33 PM

Is Blair an ex-Trotskyite? Or is this just more bandying around the neo-con pejorative.

Posted by: drscroogemcduck at October 15, 2004 at 07:42 PM

No Cyril, for the obvious reason that you can post your dissent on millions of sites or start your own blog - dissent immediately uncrushed - witness Spleenville.

The only comments that get deleted at Back Pages are abusive or vexatious comments. No comments are deleted on political grounds.

BTW tim, read that screed. Sorry, don't own a Citreon - and am quite an admirer of Hawkie. In fact, couldn't find much at all that I agreed with there, except that I think Judy Davis is a very good actor (albeit, she does have her limitations, so I miss again, blast). Does this miscategorisation mean you are a nerd?

Posted by: cs at October 15, 2004 at 07:50 PM

frisson et al stakeholder outcome consultation equitable signify bully imagery behavioural workplace nurturing our-stories manifest shockjock forum empower private sector greed lies recent-study research-shows implement-strategies programs funding foster challenge concept rights-watch eminent former diplomats leading clergy incredibly really really

caffe latte

Posted by: ilibcc at October 15, 2004 at 08:04 PM

Hey, leave Shiel alone. I think its important to be able to exercise a little fascist control on your own blog.

I find banning people is what gets my little black heart pumping.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 15, 2004 at 09:40 PM

Citroen, Saab ... what's the difference, Chris? It's all just a bunch of front-drive Eurojunk!

Posted by: tim at October 15, 2004 at 10:01 PM

But seriously though,

it could be argued that banning posters from your own blog is the action of a deconstructive class structure which aims to demobilise popular resentment against elitism and dissemble mass support for parties of the right. It's conservation, without the conserve. Or jam without the Ďamí. Tea without the 't'.....This is why chris shields et al get tired of imagining they have found even the slightest inkling of an upward pejorative thingy on the part of a someperson whom they classify as 'maybe all right'. To some extent at least the greens have succeeded, they have put the colour back into jam. This is where the contest is. Let the games begin.
You can be mother, you pour.

Posted by: rog at October 15, 2004 at 10:12 PM

I got booted from Sheil's site, I was fantasising about shooting him, so I guess that's fair.

Posted by: Amos at October 15, 2004 at 10:44 PM

"downward pejorative"!!!!

That's exactly the sort of crap that JI (Janjaweed International) is determined to stamp out.

Before long, We will control the direction, slope and elevation of pejorative.

Posted by: jlchydro at October 15, 2004 at 11:07 PM

From the arch snerd himself;

"The preferred neo-liberal policy, which is close to kind of de facto operating already under the coaliton, is a voucher system - everyone gets a voucher, which they can top-up to the school of their choice, which must compete for students: a policy almost certain to impoverish the public system"

Gee Chris, fancy that, people being able to, gasp, make a choice? Funny how its the leftists chanting about the lack of democracy in Australia that want to deny others freedom of choice.

Posted by: nic at October 15, 2004 at 11:50 PM

Miranda Devine is crap, really - very crap.

Posted by: steve clark at October 16, 2004 at 12:30 AM

If by "downward pejoratives" CS means people tear apart his bad logic, challenge his silly premises, expose his hypocrisy, and in general don't fall in a swoon at his feet for his impeccable visions, well, yeah, that would be true.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 16, 2004 at 12:44 AM

You keep using that word, neoconservative. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: tachyonshuggy at October 16, 2004 at 01:16 AM

It's also possible to believe the Iraq operation was the right thing to do and to reject socialistic collectivism and yet hate conservative social engineering and the legislation of morality at the same time. It's called being an independent.

Though try holding the first two views and expressing them to so-called progressives. They'll have "NEOCON DEATH BEAST" stamped on your forehead before you can say "Power to the people!"

Anyway, I'm not hip since I listen to classical music.

Posted by: goldsmith at October 16, 2004 at 01:38 AM

"certain to impoverish the public system", oh god this fucking idiot is beyond parody.

It IS the public system, you disgraceful pinko fuck. It's public money being invested directly under the control of the parents themselves who will, finally, be able to hold the apathetic, unionised scum we call public school teachers to account. Of course they're terrified, they're facing annialation. I grew up in the Australian public school system, I know how utterly fucked it is and what worthless human beings most of our public school teachers are.

Impoverish it? I'd like to fucking nuke it.

Posted by: Amos at October 16, 2004 at 01:39 AM

Got to call a halt to the bagging of public school teachers. I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of my local public school and the staff. At least those that teach my daughter. I have no doubt they are all misguided pinkos but I can't doubt their dedication. I mean who would do that job? For that money?

Posted by: Dean McAskil at October 16, 2004 at 02:29 AM

As in Maine, so in Australia apparently, except that here these people hold state power (oh, yes, and one of them is running for president). Delighted to know I'm a ratbag, though. I couldn't be more proud.

Posted by: michael kaplan at October 16, 2004 at 02:33 AM

Tim, I didn't know you were Jewish.

After all, that's what a neo-con is, right?

Maybe if Sheil actually started living in the 21st century instead of the 20th?

Posted by: Sandy P at October 16, 2004 at 02:52 AM

--yet hate conservative social engineering and the legislation of morality--

Millions of laws written to say what the Ten Commandments say.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 16, 2004 at 02:55 AM

Absolutely brilliant.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 16, 2004 at 03:07 AM

I live in Austin, Texas, or Berkeley on the Colorado, if you prefer, and this 'Revenge of the Snerds' piece goes farther in explaining the latte-sipping greaseballs I live with than anything else I've read lately.

Posted by: Bruce at October 16, 2004 at 03:46 AM

"Mortimer Snerd" was one of the ventriloquist dummies of Charlie McCarthy. I had heard "Mortimer Snerds" or "Snerds" used in the 1970's as a pejorative term for someone who parrots the thinking of others, regardless of the connection of those thoughts and actions to reality. Snerds were those who did not think for themselves, but followed others blindly.

Using the term now for those who rigidly follow an elitist leftwing view is about right, especially considering that if you asked any Snerds about themselves, they'd insist they were "nonconformists."

Posted by: Kimberly at October 16, 2004 at 04:09 AM