Sunday, May 13, 2007

ellie learns about music

I have been going to a fair few gigs lately. I also watched the Eurovision semi-finals last night. I have learnt things about music that I wish to share with you:

  • If you are a guitarist in a band, you HAVE to jump around like you have caterpillars in your pants and hump the amp wildly. If not, you suck.
  • Being Trent Reznor also helps.
  • All men in Europe are hot. However, they are also all raging homosexuals. No straight man can wear a silk, open shirt with gold chains. And leather pants. So many leather pants.
  • You are not allowed to be a Polish "rapper" in golf pants.
  • No matter how tight your pants are and how much camel toe you have if you can't hit the high notes then you can't hit the high notes.
  • Emo kids are allright when they sing cute pop-punk songs and are from Andorra.
  • It turns out that the portly, butch woman of questionable sexual orientation who was in my way the whole time at the Nine Inch Nails concert was the Serbian entrant in Eurovision! How about that.
  • You have to PUSH THE BUTTON.
  • Danish drag queens sing better than most girls.
  • You know you're at a quality gig when the band finishes with, "Add us to myspace!"
  • Vampires are, indeed, alive.

That is all.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

the by product of liberalism

I do a subject at university called "Narrative in the Creative Industries." It's about looking at how stories are told in literature, film and art. Basically, it's a load of wankery. However, the main lecturer is a man named Gary MacLennan. A crazy, gay Irishman with a passion to teach would always make the lectures somewhat interesting. Sure, I didn't agree with his political views most of the time, but because he offered debatable views on things, I found myself thinking about the contents of the lecture and paying attention to what he was saying more than I would normally.

I, along with other students in the course, received a shocking e-mail the other day.

A few weeks ago, Gary wrote a newspaper article in The Australian (as well as appearing on Triple J's "Hack" program) protesting against a controversial PhD undertaken by a QUT student. You can read it here:

He sent the e-mail telling us that the university has placed a misconduct charge upon him and that he may face possible suspension from teaching.

It made me incredibly angry. Not only will I be losing one of my favourite lecturers (who may very well be replaced by the other lecturer, who is verbally incontinent and ends up ranting about feminism) but there is a serious flaw in QUT's logic here.

Universities are supposed to stand for freedom of speech, ideas and learning - the very ideals of liberalism itself. This is why a PhD student is allowed to make a reality TV show about disabled people.

But if a PhD student can do that, why can't a university lecture write a very eloquent newspaper rticle articulating his opinion on the matter? Why does this PhD student get praised for doing something that, outside of a university setting, would not normally be acceptable and a man gets his career threatened because he does not agree with it?

It's a classic example of liberalism, or modernism, or post-modernism or Generation Y or whatever the hell times we live in now, gone completely mad. Now personally, I agree with many liberal ideals and I wouldn't call myself conservative. But some people just take it too far. I've met people like this. The ones who declare they are open minded because they accept all religions and sexualities, but beat down the opinions of a Christian or a homophobe, for example. That's not open-mindedness at all. Feminists who hate men, even though they're meant to stand for gender equality.

Fighting for peace and fucking for virginity.

They undertake this mass hypocrisy because, like their conservative forefathers, they think they're right. But they think they're the worst kind of right - they use the worst of the other side to justify up their arguments and claim to fight in the name of freedom.

What a beautiful world it would be if everyone just agreed to disagree? Hell, we're not perfect. We're not going to join hands and hug each other and completely accept our fellow man.

Before I heard Gary protesting against the PhD, I had never heard about it. And because this PhD is something that will affect others and a wider community, I think it's good that we're now aware of what's going on. But the university doesn't want Gary to talk, doesn't want the students to know because they know a lot of people disagree with what's happening and agree with Gary. And now he's getting punished for a major ethical blunder on the university's part.

We live in unfair times.

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