Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Attack Of The Towering Trot

THE next poor fellow to divorce the former Mrs Bunyip will learn rather quickly that harsh words come in two varieties. The first sort hurt but their effect is muted, as hearing grim truths about one’s poor habits and regrettable activities tends to encourage silence rather than anger, silence with sometimes a dash of shame. The other kind, they’re the barbs that can escalate the simplest spat into what attending police will log as “a serious domestic”.  It is one thing to hear genuine vices proclaimed – screamed, actually – but quite another to be heaped with convictions for offences no more than contemplated, a category that includes all those misconceptions about what went on that night on the mooring with Joan (who was drunk, going through a difficult time and just needed a little help with her self-esteem).  The thing about legal papers and lawyer bills is that, eventually, they turn those bitter moments into memories. Slowly the temper cools, blood pressure medications can be chucked and it becomes possible as anger subsides to fall asleep without balled fists and grinding teeth.

Such has been the happy state at the Billabong for the past few years, but not last night. When the light was dimmed and imagination re-ran the day in its sepia stutter of mise-en-scenes, it was the spectre of a snarling Martin Hirst that rose from the drowsy subconscious. And once again, as he did through most of yesterday afternoon, he was flinging terrible, unjust slurs and charges. Wearing one of Mrs Bunyip’s less-fetching aprons, wielding an ice pick in one hand and a fashionable martini in the other, the phantasm's words were honed by cruelty and cut with a rapier’s slash.

The Billabong  is “a low-rent rightwing blog” and the Professor “a troll” cum “dribblejaw” who feeds faux “facts” to Andrew Bolt. This death-beast percolation fires up the jackboot media, yesterday inspiring a garden-variety reporter to call Deakin University’s Associate Professor of Media Studies (just as he was settling down, no doubt with a chic martini) and grill him in that evil, Murdoch way.

ethicalmartini ethicalmartini 

#mediainquiry I just had a call from #thedAilytelegraph on a witch hunt for reds under the bed. Weds #newslimited papers doing a hatchet job

Vile, foul remarks, but there were more and worse memories to haunt last night’s dark hours. When a tweeting admirer urged Associate Professor Hirst to spurn a “fascist” Bunyip and pay no heed at all to posts about the academic’s proud Trot pedigree, he rejected with a revolutionary’s zeal the very notion of staying schtum. He is out for blood, he explained in his response, replying that “baiting them is fun. They are nasty and don't have a sense of humour or social justice.”

In the case of a mild and inoffensive Bunyip, Hirst might be right about the social justice bit. But nasty? No sense of humour? What a hurtful man he is to say such things, so hateful it requires a real effort to extend good fellowship’s hand and remind him, gently and calmly, why empty vessels will always make the most noise. It is no more than logic, really. If a sense of humour is lacking at the Billabong then something else must be responsible for the chuckles at his expense that he sense, and a process of elimination nominates him as the source of all that mirth.

If Hirst would but spike tweets like this one, that would be a big step toward his goal of being taken seriously – quite a challenge for a fellow who works at Deakin, of which a modest commenter notes: “ATAR entrance cutoff in 2011 to the Deakin faculty of Media and Communications at the Geelong Campus was a stunning 59.05”.
ethicalmartini ethicalmartini 

#mediainquiry #newslimited asks are you now or have you ever been a #Trotskyist nothing about my opinion. As a #socialist I am not allowed

Associate Professor Hirst, it is not that you are a socialist. There are still quite a few of those about, especially in the common rooms of universities until recently devoted to the useful disciplines of wool classing and crutching. The real problem is that you are a Trot, which in this day and age suggests, you know, a self-absorbed preciousness.

Advocating the hopeless cause has always been a fine way to stand out from the pack, to wrap  ego in the pure and burnished glow of inspirational otherworldliness. Mainstream Left and dominant Right? Why, don’t you know that each is wrong, and ’tis only from the throne of theory and Trot abstractions that the shortcomings of all others’ agendas can be divined and, with a contemptuous wave, dismissed. It is the playground of your noxious, know-it-all teenager -- an expanding demographic which has come to include university-supported Peter Pans of the middle-aged variety. And best of all, the Trot creed cannot fail because it will never be put to the test, meaning Associate Professor Hirst can remain the smartest and most interesting guest at any inner city barbecue. He will think so, anyway, which really is the most important thing.

Still, it remains something of a mystery why the Press Inquiry made Associate Professor Hirst its lead witness. Trotsky was, after all, an advocate of doing away with censorship, as he explained in 1938:
“Any workers ‘leader’ who arms the bourgeois state with special means to control public opinion in general, and the press in particular, is a traitor.”
Since the inquiry’s other witnesses have been rather keen to fit free speech with overseers, hobbles and reviewers, not to mention generous, grant-bestowing “parents”, Hirst would seem once again to have been cast as the loneliest voice in the room.

But then, when you recall what else Long Winded Leon had to say about free speech, the genius of kicking off a show trial with a thinker of Associate Professor’s stature becomes crystal clear:
Once victorious, the proletariat may find itself forced, for a period of time, to take special measures against the bourgeoisie, if the bourgeoisie adopts an attitude of open revolt against the workers’ state. In this case, restrictions to the freedom of the press go hand in hand with all other measures used in preparation for a civil war. When forced to use artillery and aviation against the enemy we will obviously not tolerate this same enemy maintaining his own centers of information and propaganda inside the camp of the armed proletariat.
The revolution, Associate Professor Hirst’s revolution, is not yet upon us or ever likely to be, so those restrictions are needed now and, to all intents purposes, forever after.

It all makes perfect sense to the superior mind, especially after a few martinis.  


  1. Hirst reads Bunyip now?

    Then there's hope for him yet.

  2. ar said...

    "but quite another to be heaped with convictions for offences no more than contemplated"

    Sounds familiar. What about offences potentially contemplated? These are offences you hadn't even thought of until being accused. Denial of course just proves you had thought about it.


    Not sure of the need for italics. Schtum is English (slang) - not a foreign language. The German version word is "stumm".

  3. Sensational prof. And good get ar - I support anything that makes the prof perfect.

    On that point, there's a typo 'chuckles at his expense that he sense' - think it should be senses.

    Hirst is a fool. And, like Robert Manne, he is just beginning to realise that many, many, many people consider him a jerk and a joke.

  4. PhillipGeorge(c)2011November 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    trouble is Prof, they aren't just liberating the proletariat - its now liberating, rocks, trees, unusual moths and naked air. Climbing Ayer's Rock, or recycling coal back into the atmosphere are fronts in the information wars.

    /When society got its sermons once a week in a Churched up community, whether the preaching was good, bad or indifferent, everyone could distinguish between the sermonizing and certain outside practical realities. Governments could run railways, postal services, build bridges and wharves, organize a police force.

    With a society agreeing on basics, Government didn't have to "be everything": teacher, parent, preacher, deacon and curator.

    Eric Beecher saying "we need a parent" is too rich an irony to contemplate among sophisticates -

    Jesus no 1 prayer instruction was "Our Father who art in heaven...."

    Once upon a time most Australians would gather weeking for a quick recital

    Mr Beecher's parent-less profession is the metaphor to his generation and a psychology deeply scarred of recent history.

  5. "Teh Billabong is “a low-rent rightwing blog” and the Professor “a troll” cum “dribblejaw” who feeds faux “facts” to Andrew Bolt."

    Cheer up Bunyip - they don't like it up 'em!

  6. Think we would be more entertained with the rest of the story, of the "misconceptions about what went on that night on the mooring with Joan", then reading about that overgrown ageing communist Martin Hirst.

  7. I thought 'shtum' or other variant spellings, was from the Yiddish, given the 'sh' sound. Which will only further fuel Hirst and the Hirstians' belief in the Murdoch-Bunyip-Zionist-RWDB-Bolt-Big Carbon-Big Pharma-Max the Chocolate cabal. Play that tune, you jolly paranoids! It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. Neil In Newcastle

  8. Hirst has been reading through the 100s of comments about him on bolta:

    "Dr Hirst, who still teaches journalists, writes in comments below that he is not a “former” Trot."

    Love the scare quotes around 'former'. Clever touch.

  9. I would like to vouch that the professor has indeed got a fine sense of humour and has kept me giggling many a time reading through this excellent blog. On the other hand, I read through a multitude of live tweets today issued by Mr Hirst and found very little to laugh at but the thought of him hunched over, listening intently to the proceedings beating off with his thumbs had me smiling...

  10. I am still amazed that anyone with an IQ greater than that of a pumpkin is, or was, a Marxist.
    My wife is Chinese. She, and several of her family suffered greatly under stupid Communist ideology. Two died. My brother-in -law was "re-educated" for years.
    I would so love to see wealthy dimwits such as Hirst and Mann get a little "Real World" education.
    Smug prats.

  11. Well said, PhillipGeorge.

  12. Prof, again your Twinter links are returning:
    "Sorry that page does not exist."
    Broken links include:
    ...he was settling down... that evil, Murdoch way...
    ...Tweets like this one...

  13. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.November 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    So - we're in for both 'artillery' AND 'aviation' when it comes to the crunch. Who'da thought! What a brave new world it is. But what's this 'camp of the armed proletariat'? All those bogey people in tents insisting on an internet link to the thoughts of the enemy? Cut the wires and keep them pure Comrade, (or is that Commissar?).

  14. Dear Professor, Assoc Prof Hirst must have taken your advice and spiked those tweets! How droll.

  15. I'm sorry, who is Hirst?

    Has he done anything important?

  16. I have great faith that not even the bewildered illiterate Gen Ys graduating with inferior letters in journalism from the secondrate trade school in Geelong will take to heart a single word the aforementioned figure of fun has said about the noble art of journalism, whose wannabes value only the bylines they know in the Herald Sun or Who Weekly. Since he has never been published as a reporter by a credible news organisation, he is merely a trivia question about how anyone can earn a degree in anything if they stick at it long enough and about how academic "expertise" can be acquired without money-earning value at the commercial coalface.

  17. Just throwing a challenge out to Prof Hirst now on twitter

  18. He says he will come here and defend his comments publically:

    @correllio sure, I'm certain he will defend himself, at length, I am right about his lack of funny bone too

  19. Don't be expecting visitor soon:

    @correllio yep that would be nice, not to night though

    @ethicalmartini So will that be a promise on your part or a ' I will just check my karaoke list and see, I have priorities you know' #auspol

    I am guessing the karaoke will win.

  20. Now the Martini reckons he's commented. Bet he won't hang around for a debate. Oops before I could even send this comment he is excusing himself on twitter by fact Prof baited him. I will leave it now for interested parties to follow it up. I am laughing too much.

  21. For a moment I thought the title was "Attack of the Two Ring Twat"...