Barry-gate
October 16, 2014 5:19 AM   Subscribe

Barry Spurr, an expert on T. S. Eliot and the Virgin Mary, is Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics. Appointed as one of two English subject specialists to the new Australian Review of the National Curriculum PDF, his concerns that "the Western literary canon" has been neglected and "the impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on literature in English in Australia" overemphasized in the existing curriculum are quoted liberally in the final report, which recommends that: "There ... needs to be a greater emphasis on dealing with and introducing literature from the Western literary canon, especially poetry," in Australian schools. The report has met with approval in the right-wing Australian press. Now, emails leaked to the New Matilda show that Spurr has spent the past several years sending messages from his University of Sydney email account referring to Native Australians as "Abos" and human "rubbish" and Asians as "chinky poos," calling Nelson Mandela a "darkie," Desmond Tutu a "witch doctor," and his own Vice Chancellor "an appalling minx," comparing Methodists to "serpents," and referring to women generally as "whores." Now, in the wake of the New Matilda exposé, the University of Sydney is investigating the emails and the Australian Education Minister is denying that the Abbott administration had anything to do with Spurr's appointment. Spurr, meanwhile, maintains that the emails were nothing more than "a whimsical linguistic game" and "repartee" shared with friends, which went right over the heads of the New Matilda journalists. There is also a petition to dismiss Spurr from the Review Commission.
posted by Sonny Jim (71 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Fucking great post, well done. How stupid is this bloke? The usual bigot complaint — "You have no sense of humour! It was just for funsies!"

Yeah, hilarious.
/father of chinky poo Australian with PhD in poetics from slimy Frog institution

This is the worst Oz government ever. Like Richard Flanagan, (Man Booker prize winner, 2014), I feel ashamed to be Australian by the policies and the actions of this lot. Sydney University should be similarly so. Toxic bullshit from whoa to go.
posted by Wolof at 5:33 AM on October 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


How far down the racist/xenophobic/sexist rabbit hole does one have to go before arriving at the need for a slur on Methodists, for crying out loud?
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:41 AM on October 16, 2014 [44 favorites]


This is pretty much what you should assume is going on with anybody who worries about things like the Western Canon being Neglected.
posted by edheil at 5:43 AM on October 16, 2014 [20 favorites]


“The comments that you refer to are largely to one recipient with whom I have had a whimsical linguistic game for many years of trying to outdo one another in extreme statements.

“These statements are not reflections of my views or his.


Benefit of the doubt. Now please 'scuse me while I flambibulate my humongous gonkulator.
posted by Tanjit at 5:45 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nobody understands satire any more. Political correctness has eroded their reading skills to this invidious point. Oh, and darkies and ching chongs.
posted by Wolof at 5:45 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thus begat the wasteland of Western literary canon and a jolly poetic license.
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:45 AM on October 16, 2014


If you think just trying to out do each other in the extremeness of your racial slurs is a "whimsical linguistic game," you don't really seem cut out for a career as a professor in poetry anyway.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:47 AM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


Maybe we could stop repeating all of his appalling slurs?
posted by naoko at 5:48 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is how his career ends, not with a bang but with a whimper
posted by Renoroc at 5:48 AM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is pretty much what you should assume is going on with anybody who worries about things like the Western Canon being Neglected.

This is where I disagree. 99% of people who complained about the Western Canon Being Neglected would never write emails like this, and stories like this, in a weird way, gives those people comfort. "My motives are pure, I don't use my university email account to distribute ethnic slurs!"

Meanwhile, the curriculum goes on in its usual, steadfastly canonical way. When I took "The American Novel" in college, it was Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Saul Bellow, Thomas Pynchon, and Toni Morrison, and of course people were like "Toni Morrison? That time could have been spent on OUR TIMELESS WESTERN FOREBEARS!"
posted by escabeche at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Monty Python's Bruces sketch is supposed to be safely in the past, not cutting-edge satire in 2014. The University of Woolloomoolloo is meant to be a joke, not the University of Sydney.

Honi soit qui mal y prat.
posted by rory at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


The credibility of the curriculum review is unaffected by this.

Best of luck in your future endeavours Baz.
posted by hawthorne at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's this weird fragility in the worldview of people like this - they seem to simultaneously think that a) European art, music, literature & culture are clearly and objectively superior to everything else, but that b) if it isn't constantly and exclusively taught and promoted it will all be swept away forthwith. We've had a similar thing with Conservative governments and the teaching of British history.

It reminds me of that variety of homophobe who seems to think that all it takes to 'decide' to be gay is to wear a pink shirt or watch a few too many episodes of Will & Grace. There's a real lack of faith in what they're declaring to be the correct and natural state of things.

And lets not even mention the ubiquity of the Top Gear Apology: oh, no, it's not bigotry - it's banter don't you know!
posted by sobarel at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


How can it be racism when it makes me laugh so? And of course the fact that the dark vein of bitter hatred it superficially resembles happens to correspond exactly with my academic and professional opinions is an obvious coincidence.
posted by nanojath at 5:54 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ob. fatbird
posted by whuppy at 6:08 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Spurr, meanwhile, maintains that the emails were nothing more than "a whimsical linguistic game" and "repartee" shared with friends, which went right over the heads of the New Matilda journalists.

Jay Smooth comes to mind when dealing with behavior of this sort.

'That thing he said' was racist. I don't care if 'he really is' a racist. No judo flips about repartee allowed, dude shouldn't have been calling damn near anyone on the planet that wasn't him funky and foul names. I hope he is stripped of any honors or titles that can possibly be stripped.

... and he's stupid, he has to know he's stupid right?
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:10 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Most of the news I read about Australia these days is stuff involving horrible racism. There's gotta be more to the place than that.
posted by ChuckRamone at 6:10 AM on October 16, 2014


"a whimsical linguistic game" and "repartee"

What an idiot – first for sending blatant racism from his work email, and now for using the lamest excuse ever for it. I had thought people like him had learned decades ago to make those kinds of jokes only in person and with fellow-travelers; sending that shit from work is dumb beyond words.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:25 AM on October 16, 2014


In terms of the "joke" defence, it's worth pointing out that Chris Graham, co-author of the New Matilda piece, has read all of the emails from which these quotes were taken and says that it's clear in context that they were not meant as jokes.

For me, what this suggests, in addition to the racism (and I should note that the comment thread I just linked to is also a total cesspool) is the sheer privilege (gender, racial, generational) Spurr must have taken for granted as his everyday lived experience to even think this sort of thing was appropriate for a work email address. It's sometimes the small details that reveal the bigger picture.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:29 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


*ChuckRamone*, there's a hell of a lot more to the place than that, don't worry.

There's just not much more to the current government.

The fucking Abbott administration: making Australia an international pariah, one policy at a time. Jesus wept.
posted by Salamander at 6:34 AM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


Well, at least for the sake of its reputation and to keep the tourist dollars flowing in, I think Australia should clean up its image as a total racist shithole. I know rationally that's not how all of Australia is, but emotionally I think to myself why would I ever go there, spend money, and possibly have some racist incident. That would be the ultimate slap in the face for someone who spent a lot of money to fly across the world.
posted by ChuckRamone at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a shitlord. I kind of can't think of anything else to say about him.
posted by dismas at 6:40 AM on October 16, 2014


. 99% of people who complained about the Western Canon Being Neglected would never write emails like this, and stories like this, in a weird way, gives those people comfort.

Only because they're smart enough to use the established code words conservatives use. But "Western Canon Being Neglected" itself is code for "There are too many women and non-whites being paid attention to."

He's just really stupid and arrogant enough to believe he would never get caught. I wonder if it was a secretary or an IT person who did the leak.
posted by happyroach at 6:45 AM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


The credibility of the curriculum review is unaffected by this.

Best of luck in your future endeavours Baz.
You'd have to think that's how this is going to play out, politically speaking, wouldn't you? I'm sure someone from the Education Ministry is going to emerge soon with a statement offering Spurr his "complete support." </TheGames>
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hehe, wow, this guy is somethin' else!!
posted by ReeMonster at 7:02 AM on October 16, 2014


I am pretty happy that a racist who thought he was so much smarter than everyone else is caught out so publicly and so obviously.
posted by rtha at 7:08 AM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


ChuckRamone, it's undeniable, there are racists in Australia. There are also a hell of a lot of people in Australia who are nothing like this piece of shit, but unfortunately they don't get the same amount of publicity. Having said that, surely it's better to shine a light on pieces of shit like this and have their shittiness revealed than to have it brushed under the carpet and pretend that it just doesn't happen.
posted by h00py at 7:10 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


*Chuck*- huh? You're no more likely to find yourself embroiled in 'some racist incident' than you would be at home. It's not a hotbed of Klan-like activities and public lynching.

That makes about as much sense as me not wanting to spend a lot of money to fly across the world to the US in case I get caught up in some kind of public shooting.
posted by Salamander at 7:11 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And honestly, when it comes to racism, as a white Australian I feel most deeply concerned about the plight of a) indigenous Australians and b) asylum seekers. The foreign tourist dollar is way down the list.
posted by Salamander at 7:15 AM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


Jesus Christ. Does he hate puppies and advocate for NAMBLA too? I mean this is so over the top I'd almost believe him if he said someone forged the emails to demonize him. But apparently, no, he claims them.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Does he at least not have some ridiculous slur for somebody? How about the Inuit? Do they come off unscathed? The Hmong? The Faroe Islanders? Hockey fans? Volvo drivers? Mrs. Trinko, my fifth grade English teacher? (I have to admit she did have this weird smell...)
posted by Naberius at 7:29 AM on October 16, 2014


Well that is one racist motherfucker.

I have an image of Western Poetry, maybe in a toga holding a lyre, being like "I don't even KNOW this guy. Dude just came over to me at a party and was all 'You're so preeeeety.' and I was like 'Gross.'"
posted by gwint at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2014 [21 favorites]


Perhaps an allegorical painting: Calliope Presents The Figure of Tenure With a Made-Up Phone Number.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:42 AM on October 16, 2014 [24 favorites]


Racism. By Oodgeroo Noonuccal. From the Australian Poetry Library. Sponsored by the University of Sydney.
posted by Ahab at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wendy Bacon, co-author of the New Matilda article, discusses Spurr's contribution to the National Curriculum Review report at some length on her blog. An extract:
"The final report refers to the need to depoliticise the curriculum. It quotes Spurr’s dislike of three themes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture, Asian connections and Sustainability that run through the national curriculum. In normal educational circumstances, the effectiveness of these themes would be evaluated as the curriculum is tested in practice. Spurr’s political aim is to replace the current ‘socio political concerns’ with the ‘moral and spiritual dimensions’ of a Western literary tradition."
And also: "Spurr is not an experienced school teacher although he had written cribs and textbooks for the old curricula."

Read and weep. Seriously depressing reading, especially if you have kids that will have this bigoted, blinkered, bullshit worldview thrust upon them. Or if you're a teacher required to deliver it.

I did get one laugh out of it though. He wants English teachers to correct “Tics of contemporary Australian speech” such as the rising inflection at the end of sentences. Gee Barry, we're just being whimsical.
posted by valetta at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


"the Western literary canon" has been neglected

Finally, an Aussie who loves Pommies! (/looking for the good in this situation... finds one bit that only applies if your a pom.)
posted by marienbad at 8:17 AM on October 16, 2014


Finally, an Aussie who loves Pommies!

Ahh, but not just any Pommie. From the New Matilda article:

Even the “modern Brit” comes in for a serve, described by Professor Spurr as “the scum of the earth”.
posted by rory at 8:26 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]



That makes about as much sense as me not wanting to spend a lot of money to fly across the world to the US in case I get caught up in some kind of public shooting


Right, that would be unreasonable, but I would absolutely not fault an Australian for saying, satirically or not, "why should I waste a huge ton of money to fly 23h around the world to america when we have the very same tired old institutionalized racism right here at home for free?"
posted by poffin boffin at 8:30 AM on October 16, 2014


Guy needs a good shirtfront and I know just the person to deliver it. Maybe they'll wipe eachother out.
posted by firstdrop at 8:48 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Nice The Game reference, Sonny Jim. Know that there is at least one American on the Eastern Seabord evangelizing John Clarke. I start them with "The Front Fell Off" and they're putty in my hands.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:02 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks, benito.strauss! I was hoping someone would get that reference. I looked for a clip on Youtube, but there's a shocking paucity of Games material available there.

Being a New Zealander from a left-wing family, I was started off on John Clarke very young. I remember my grandmother having tape recordings of him she'd made off the TV in the early '70s, before he moved to Aus.

posted by Sonny Jim at 9:12 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Calliope Presents The Figure of Tenure With a Made-Up Phone Number.

We can even take this one step further in specificity: Calliope Presents the Figure of Tenure With the bell hooks hotline.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And honestly, when it comes to racism, as a white Australian I feel most deeply concerned about the plight of a) indigenous Australians and b) asylum seekers. The foreign tourist dollar is way down the list.

That's why I said at the least they should do it for that reason. If nothing else will motivate people, maybe money will.
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2014


Only because they're smart enough to use the established code words conservatives use. But "Western Canon Being Neglected" itself is code for "There are too many women and non-whites being paid attention to."

Which is is a crying shame. The Western Canon is neglected and works by women and POC even more so.
posted by ersatz at 10:32 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


This fucker's ugly racist attitudes disprove his assertion that one's exposure to the esteemed Western canon instills high moral virtue.

Again.
posted by spitbull at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh dear.

I too have the *impression* that I'd be likely to encounter racism in Australia, but I also know that impressions are usually one thing, while the reality is something else.

Worst case scenario, I guess there's always New Zealand; Australia's Canada. Is this sort of thing less common there?
posted by gohabsgo at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2014


*Chuck*- huh? You're no more likely to find yourself embroiled in 'some racist incident' than you would be at home. It's not a hotbed of Klan-like activities and public lynching.

America's got its problems but our government is not releasing posters like this "NO WAY" boat people poster.
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:46 AM on October 16, 2014


The guy is a contemptible POS. An obvious and clear-cut case. But:

Well, at least for the sake of its reputation and to keep the tourist dollars flowing in, I think Australia should clean up its image as a total racist shithole. I know rationally that's not how all of Australia is, but emotionally I think to myself why would I ever go there, spend money, and possibly have some racist incident. That would be the ultimate slap in the face for someone who spent a lot of money to fly across the world.

and

Most of the news I read about Australia these days is stuff involving horrible racism. There's gotta be more to the place than that.

I actually see this as good news. The guy was exposed, after all. The reason you "read about Australia these days" mostly "is stuff involving horrible racism" is a manifestation of good, because it means racism is being exposed and discussed. That's why there seems to be a lot of it - because there is... all over the world. The difference being, that you don't hear much about it, so you assume it doesn't exist as much elsewhere. Reminds me of the former USSR - they officially portrayed themselves as a society free of racism, but the reality was that racism was simply not exposed and openly discussed; meanwhile, as many students of other races who came from Africa and the rest of the world to study there, knew, reality was quite different. It's like the loud focus on police brutality here in the U.S. - it's not as some seem to believe - that there is suddenly a lot more police brutality, but that police brutality which has always existed - and was perhaps even worse in the past - is being exposed and discussed thanks to the new media.

And so, this POS is being exposed - note, he was exactly the same racist in decades past, yet he was not exposed back then - does it mean that his racism was less back then? Of course not, it's just that today we can confront him. Ergo - good news!

Australia - as many parts of the world - have always had their race problems, but today they are confronting them, which is good. I am somewhat dismayed by the political drift to the right over these past fifteen years or so, but I figure, it's like the Repubs here, who are responding to the general liberalizing trend with an extreme lurch to the right - it's desperation, and it won't last.

The refugee and asylum policies are deplorable, but even there, I think you'll see proof that people are far more savvy and understanding of reality: what about the refugees? They give us a clue about how that reality is perceived. Even with the conservative despicable policies in that regard, note, that refugees are beating a path to the door of Australia, taking enormous risks despite desperate odds (which don't improve much once they reach land). Most importantly, and decisively, great numbers of these refugees have other developed countries as refugee and asylum options - such as Japan - which can even be somewhat closer culturally (for the Chinese), and yet, those refugees take the much longer, much riskier and much more expensive journey to Australia. Why is that?

It is because they understand that ultimately, Australia, like many countries in the cultural anglo-sphere are inherently more open to multi-culturalism. Ask yourself - in which country is the mix of cultures and the free expression of your unique culture more likely to be welcome - Japan, or Australia? There's your answer. Australia is the future, not Japan. And people act accordingly. All hail Australia! (j/k)

Now I don't want this to sound like a love paean to Australia. Obviously, they've got problems, including awful racism. But this particular episode is cause for optimism, not despair.
posted by VikingSword at 11:21 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


The whole "honest guv, this was all a linguistic flight of fancy satirising horrible racism and not Actual Racism, no not at all" defense reminds me of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin's letters to each other, in which they tried to outdo each other in the racism and misogyny stakes, aiming for a comedic tone while saying horrible shit that they actually believed but which they would, in polite society, phrase much more delicately.
posted by Len at 11:34 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I see that the article refers to the emails going to university colleagues but doesn't name them.

Be good if that came out, so their students and colleagues could ask them some very interesting questions.
posted by reynir at 12:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


America's got its problems but our government is not releasing posters like this "NO WAY" boat people poster.

No, we just built a big wall and have it manned 24/7 by guys with guns.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2014


Most of the news I read about Australia these days is stuff involving horrible racism. There's gotta be more to the place than that.

Nope, it's wall-to-wall racism. Turn a corner? Racism. Look under the couch? Racism. Empty your bags? Racism all over the floor. Enough to drive you spare.
posted by Neale at 2:09 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I long ago accepted the fact that Offensive Racism is a large and important element of "the Western literary canon" and its support, so, I am unsurprised.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM on October 16, 2014


Indeed, this guy comes across as the ur-type exemplar of the arrogant, pompous, self-absorbed, mean-spirited, pinched-ass high bourgeois Arnoldian prig, the very generic embodiment of the phrase "Dead (historically) White (very) Straight (closeted, most likely) Male (and anxious about it) asshole, the figure against which/whom modern literature, art, and critical thought are now diversely and increasingly successfully hegemonically positioned, as it were.

Fuckin totally figures he is an Eliot scholar too. Perfect. Small minds are drawn to priggish technicians as heroes.

Thanks, big guy, for providing a visual image of the historical figure against whom my entire scholarly effort has been directed, all along. It always helps to have a caricatured version of the persona to teach with. I think my current students are beginning to lack for such mockable fools.

His days are numbered. His world has changed. His tribe, the Colonialists, held slightly accountable. His elder status no longer respected as above reproach. Of course he is a racist. It is all he has left to rationalize the failure of his culture's gods to stop history with his people on top.
posted by spitbull at 3:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Heh, as if to prove the point:

Spurr, B. (2014). "The Bliss of Solitude": The Poetry and Poetics of Being Alone. Aesthetics (was Literature & Aesthetics), 23(2), 1-23.
posted by spitbull at 4:02 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nope, it's wall-to-wall racism. Turn a corner? Racism. Look under the couch? Racism. Empty your bags? Racism all over the floor. Enough to drive you spare.


So, just like the poisonous snakes, and spiders, and octopodes, then?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:19 PM on October 16, 2014


Fuckin totally figures he is an Eliot scholar too. Perfect. Small minds are drawn to priggish technicians as heroes.


Could be worse. He could consider himself a Pound scholar.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:22 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's of note that Sydney University has also now shut down the Koori Centre.
posted by unliteral at 5:53 PM on October 16, 2014


> Thanks, big guy, for providing a visual image of the historical figure against whom my entire scholarly effort has been directed, ...

What do you mean when you say "visual image"? The only thing I can think of this referring to is what the guy looks like, and I hope I'm wrong about that.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:21 PM on October 16, 2014


Visualizable, I mean. Poor phrasing. I just mean a concrete example that people who sincerely believe in the superiority of western culture in racialized terms actually still occupy high positions in the academy.
posted by spitbull at 6:51 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Worst case scenario, I guess there's always New Zealand; Australia's Canada. Is this sort of thing less common there?

I would be amazed to hear a New Zealand academic say this sort of thing. I would be amazed to hear a university, school or government department advocate for a reduced focus on Maori issues in their area of interest: Maori literature in the English curriculum, in this case. For example, here's the first-year New Zealand Literature paper at my university: out of seven authors, two are Maori, one Asian (although only two are women).

On the other hand, I would expect views like this to be very common in the general public. More or less common than Australia, I don't know. I'd like to think less. But there's certainly plenty of people here who would echo Spurr's views.
posted by Pink Frost at 7:23 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love TS Eliot, and this was too funny ans sad. Not all Aussies
feel like he does, not most people with intellect. Some folks climb the tree
so they can fling dung farther.
posted by Oyéah at 8:09 PM on October 16, 2014


#NotAllPoetics
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:23 PM on October 16, 2014


Keep T.S. Eliot out of this!
posted by atoxyl at 8:45 PM on October 16, 2014


Yeah, he was just an anti-semite. He never even got around to scorning the "abos".
posted by benito.strauss at 9:33 PM on October 16, 2014


Suspended now.
posted by unliteral at 11:36 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'll try to write this in a way you'll appreciate, Barry:

Thine undergarments
Suffer in them

posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:24 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


In instances where things are said (or written) and then claimed to be have been done "as a laff," I remember my high school English prof:

If you tell someone that their sweater is ugly, but you try to play it off as a joke, at some level you actually did think that their sweater is ugly. In other words, jokes of that sort do a poor job hiding your true thoughts and feelings. I've kept this in mind, and I've held my tongue and deleted comments in a number of situations, and I've been the better for it.

Also, the last time I played the "let's throw outrageous slang at each-other as a lark between friends" was in college, when I was in my early 20s. You, sir, are far from your foolish 20s.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2014


> If you tell someone that their sweater is ugly, but you try to play it off as a joke, at some level you actually did think that their sweater is ugly

It's called "kidding on the square". It's one of those terms where, once you have a name for it, it's much easier to recognize when it's happening.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:08 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I didn't see any references to anti-Semitism, and I usually expect that Jews are the go-to targets for elderly establishment figures. Did I miss something, or did he insult Asians, Aborigines, and Methodists (!!!) while ignoring Jews?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:34 AM on October 18, 2014


Spurr takes New Matilda to court. There's a surprise.

Another Barry weighs in. Sorry to see this.
posted by rory at 8:30 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Joe, at some points he talks about the superiority of the Judeo-Christian tradition, so I guess he's one of those bigots, rather than the anti-Semitic type. Still don't get why he's attacking Methodists...
posted by Pink Frost at 12:24 PM on October 23, 2014


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