Archive for the 'ranty' Category

white girls, by hilton als

as an unreconstructed seventies lesbian, the commercial world of magazines and praise was corrupt, why would I want any part of that, why care, I don’t care.

mira’s last dance, by lois mcmaster bujold

She wants her own house? Pen tried to interpret this. Most women do, Des returned, at some point in their lives. Getting one without going through some man is made nearly impossible on purpose, I suspect.

maps out of hell

If Feather’s Your Blue Eyed Boys got me through the brutal aftermath of Mum’s death in the summer of ’14, sassbandit and were_duck’s Draculoids Will Never Hurt You is shaping up to be the essential text for this spring under Fascism. The irony is that I first read it in June of 2011 without losing myself in it. It took six more years of working for Better Living Industries to get to the point where I know I’ll die if I don’t art-bomb the Man and write punk love songs to all my friends. (Ironic twist: gonna die anyway!)

For the full immersion experience, I’ve spent the last week listening to Danger Days on endless repeat and reading The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. In the back matter, Gerard Way, who turned 40 this week (thank you, good sir, for surviving your descent into Hell), describes “looking inward, to that inner 16-year-old girl.” As a former 16yo girl myself, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those rare moments when the culture at large stops shitting on 16yo girls even for a nanosecond, let alone acknowledges them as something strong and important and worth protecting.

But Way also identifies the Man as… himself. His drive, his ambition, his ego, his death wish. I don’t know why I am even a little surprised. Every text that speaks to me on that deep level is somehow about complicity.

why i am not a feminist, by jessa crispin

Asking for a system that was built for the express purpose of oppression to “um, please stop oppressing me?” is nonsense work. The only task worth doing is fully dismantling and replacing that system.

The workplace and capitalistic society has become increasingly hostile. Not only to women, but to men, too. By keeping the focus on how women are doing in the marketplace, rather than how human beings exist under this system of competition and precarity, our thinking remains very small.

Here is one way feminism is still a useful idea: Almost all of us have been marginalized in one way or another due to our gender. That marginalization should allow us to see that it’s the whole system that is corrupt. Being marginalized should give women the perspective and power to see the system’s workings and its dark heart.

We have to imagine something before we can build the infrastructure that will allow it to exist.

We must lay claim to the culture, occupy it. We must remember that our world does not have to be this way. We do not have to reward exploitation, we do not have to support the degradation of the planet, of our souls, of our bodies. We can resist. We must stop thinking so small.

difficult women, by roxane gay

I wasn’t much popular, either. I was too smart and that made people uncomfortable—most folks where we’ve lived our whole lives don’t trust too much intelligence in a woman. There is also the problem of my eyes—they don’t hide anything. If I don’t care for a person, my eyes make it plain. I don’t care for most. Folks are generally comfortable with the small lies they tell each other. They don’t know what to do with someone like me, who mostly doesn’t bother with small lies.

the view from flyover country, sarah kendzior (2013)

We live in the tunnel at the end of the light.

Mistaking wealth for virtue is a cruelty of our time. … Poverty is not a character flaw. Poverty is not emblematic of intelligence. Poverty is lost potential, unheard contributions, silenced voices…

Today the attack on the poor is no longer cloaked in ideology – it is ideology itself. This ideology is not shared by most Americans, but by those seeking to transform the Republican Party into, as former GOP operative Mike Lofgren describes it, “an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe.”

five images/second fortnight

Marching in the cold rain, my END WHITE SUPREMACY sign sagging, my husband and children festooned with glowstick necklaces, my city jammed with peaceful protestors from Civic Center to the Ferry Building: Market Street one river of loving souls.

The next day, beyond exhausted, crashed out on the couch; shy Alice making her way up onto my chest, quietly as if I might not notice, then crashing out there with me for most of the afternoon. Her fur from which no light escapes. The soft floof that grows out between her toe beans.

Driving up Bernal Hill with Liz to enjoy the raggedy clouds and dramatic light and rainbows. Stopping in silence at Alex Nieto’s memorial, a landslide of flowers.

An emergency drill at NERT to teach us how to self-organize and keep records. Head down counting people in and out of Logistics as incident after incident came in to Planning and Operations; adrenaline and worry and focus and exhilaration. When we got through it, high-fives all round.

At the exquisitely restored Curran Theatre to see Fun Home with my wife and our kids (it’s great; you should go.) The audience filled with lesbians a generation older than us; the ones who cared for men dying of AIDS; my angels, the saints of our city. May I walk in their sacred footsteps.

o negative

I have rare blood, O neg, the universal donor. After Orlando I went to give blood and was turned away because my heart was racing (it was the day Jo Cox died; I wanted to say “Haven’t you read the news?” but the poor nurse was just looking out for me.) I’ve since had an EKG and everything’s fine with the ol’ ticker except, of course, that it’s broken. It was broken before Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights and Dallas; it’s shattered now. God in whom I can’t believe, please help this suffering country.

At the same time, I’ve been flattened by a vicious cold. All I can read is Helen Garner and Joan Didion and Diana Athill and this NYer piece on hospice, and all I can watch is Angels in America. It feels like 2005, when the black water drowned New Orleans, or 2003, when Baghdad burned. Baghdad’s still burning. I cling to these words of Roxane’s:

We have to do better than all this “the world is coming to an end.” The world is not coming to an end. The world is changing.

In whatever small way I can work towards justice and peace, let me work.

friday five, but on a monday

  1. Have I really not blogged in three weeks? Oh well it’s not like anything of local or world-historical importance has happened HAHAHAHA dear god
  2. I can’t really bring myself to say anything about Orlando or the assassination of Jo Cox except that AR-15s and high-capacity magazines should have been banned years ago, and all the lobbyists and politicians who have prevented this are little better than murderers themselves.
  3. While I was trying to have a Saturday afternoon nap, much interrupted by sirens, a fire took out most of a block in the heart of our neighborhood, including our beloved local hardware store. We used to shop there even before we moved to Bernal. Several times a day I look at something that needs fixing around the house and have a muscle-memory of buying its replacement at Cole Hardware. All our neighbors got out in time, which is a great mercy.
  4. I had an almost-perfect day at work on Thursday, then came home only to grow increasingly distressed over Brexit, which broke my Judtist heart. David Cameron’s decision to hold the referendum now replaces Bush’s invasion of Iraq as the most appalling error of judgment committed by any English-speaking politician in the course of my adult life. Europe is important. Bureaucracies may seem boring and idiotic but they are inexpressibly less boring and idiotic and catastrophic than the world wars that they occasionally, through the great efforts of many kind people and with considerable good luck, replace.
  5. All of this and a lot of other stories that are not mine to tell have made the last few months very difficult, but there have been fierce joys as well: Hillary and Warren campaigning together; the enduring wonderfulness of Ginsberg and Sotomayor; the memory of my mother pouring out all her tremendous capacity for love in her last days, and the knowledge that her example will be with me for the rest of my life.

big dead place, by nicholas johnson

…the primary national interest is physical occupation, and science is the loophole through which the necessary infrastructure can emerge.

the yatima book awards of 2015

Best capstone to a trilogy that, unbelievably, saw my OT3 made canon: Ancillary Mercy

Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series explores oppression both overt and covert, personhood and autonomy, cruelty and choice. It is also and very intimately about love and trauma and about the slow and painful process of recovering from having been used as a weapon. It is difficult and allusive and strange and I have seldom loved a story more.

Best memoir containing descriptions of the surface of living human brains: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

A few years ago Jeremy and I saw The English Surgeon, a beautiful documentary about Henry Marsh, and this book of his is an extraordinary complement, the effect of which is to make both texts deeper and richer. You walk away from the film thinking that Marsh is some kind of genius angel. The book is all about his fear, doubt and failures, failures that led to the deaths of patients he loved.

Best inspiration for a hit Broadway musical: Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father is fantastic in its own right, but looking at how Lin-Manuel Miranda manipulated the timeline and even the construction of some of the main characters is a master class in creative transformation.

Best book whose first chapter will make you ugly-cry into your latte at Cafe St Jorge, to the mild alarm of your fellow guests: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize this year but be warned: her stories about what actually happened in the aftermath of the explosion, and how social class dictated who suffered and who died, will fuck you right up.

Best and most moving farewell from a writer you have loved all your adult life: On the Move: A Life

What can I add to what has already been written about Oliver Sacks, his imaginative compassion, the generosity of spirit that grew so unexpectedly out of his privileged and circumscribed circumstances? Not much. (In close second place for this category: Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia.)

Best gift for your girlfriends of the crazy cat persuasion: The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries

Disappointed in love, the brilliant Jessa Crispin packed up her apartment and couch-surfed her way across Europe, reading in search of reasons to go on living. A manifesto for all of us who are lost, lonely and ugly, outside and in.

Best book you bounced off hard as a stupid kid and now recognize for the straight-up masterpiece it is: Beloved

The insane, vindictive ghost baby? It’s us.

Best book-length elaboration on the theme that Black Lives Matter: Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ open letter to his son may also turn out to be an enduring masterpiece, but for me the most intimate pleasure of it was its celebration of Paris, a city that for all its fucked-up flaws is one of the finest things human hands have made.

Best book that killed off my favorite character from the previous book in its opening scene: The Philosopher Kings

Jesus, Jo! This series is obviously written for the pure motherfucking joy of it, for the wish-fulfillment of standing shoulder to shoulder with the writers you adored and building a city even more beautiful than Paris. (And then finding out that you had overlooked some very important questions about personhood, autonomy, cruelty and choice.)

Most heartbreaking memorial to our own lost generation: And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic

An essential book and a companion to the equally essential The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Randy Shilts’ history of the plague documents the appalling cost of it and the sheer inadequacy of our human response.

Most beautiful portrayal of raw grief: Men We Reaped

Five young men close to Jesmyn Ward died in four years, and this devastating meditation on their deaths brings their loss into razor-sharp focus.

Most accurate portrayal of Australia as an airless mining asteroid that turns men’s hearts to stone: This House of Grief

Helen Garner is our Janet Malcolm and this book is our Iphigenia in Forest Hills.

By the numbers:

Books by women: 7. People of color: 3. Gay men: 2. Straight white men: 2. (Is this the most charming sentence in Wikipedia? “Marsh is married to the social anthropologist Kate Fox and spends his spare time making furniture and keeping bees.” Kate Fox wrote Watching the English! BEST DINNER PARTY GUESTS.) I used to joke that I didn’t read books by straight white men because their concerns were too narrow and parochial, but it’s not a joke any more.

Australian writers: 1. Russian: 1. English: 3ish, although Jo Walton is Welsh and lives in Canada and Oliver Sacks spent most of his life in New York. American: 7.

Total books read: about 120. Either I am slowing down or I lose 30 books’ worth of capacity in each year in which one of my parents dies. Guess we’ll find out!

ancillary mercy, by ann leckie

…in the last twenty years I had grown accustomed to making my own decisions, without reference to anyone else. To having authority over my own life.

“We are weapons she made for her own use.”

“…You’re used to people being attached to you. Or being fond of you. Or depending on you. Not loving you, not really. So I think it doesn’t occur to you that it’s something that might actually happen.” “Oh,” I said.

“Oh, Cousin,” replied Sphene. “We sit here arguing, we can hardly agree on anything, and then you go straight to my heart like that. We must be family.”

“Can I be a cousin, too?” asked Station, from the wall console. “Of course you can, Station,” I said. “You always have been.”

how should a girl be

In an otherwise creepy and depressing thread, I found this wonderful comment:

A girl needs to learn how to perform “what boys like” in order to attract and keep boys’ attention, and boys take it for granted girls will be doing this, that girls exist as objects for their attention to pick and choose from (this is why many guys, especially young ones, feel perfectly at home evaluating women, any woman at all, with “I’d hit it” or not – we are surprised at their presumption, but from their POV that is their role as selector). Boys and girls (and men and women) will “punish” girls who aren’t trying to fulfill their given role.

This was such a strong pressure in my adolescence that specific instances of gender-enforcement stand out in my memory: Christine saying “It’s past time you started shaving your legs”; Aaron and his friends forming the Itty Bitty Titty Committee to give marks out of ten for our bust sizes; Cameron saying “I wish you hadn’t cut your hair; your long hair was the good kind, with curls.” And many more. Women were the biggest enforcers. Jan, the minister’s wife, was the worst. Anne Summers wrote a book I still haven’t finished, about women in early colonial Sydney, called Damned Whores and God’s Police. Those were our only options. Jan was God’s chief of police.

Girlness was a performance judged by a panel of assholes. I sucked at it, which turned out to be my salvation. Being a horsy girl was a recognized loophole on the tomboy spectrum (although, again, Claudia, when we were all of ten: “You can’t just talk about horses all the time, you know.” HAHAHA SUCK IT.) The panel of assholes still in full flight in Australia, by the way, where the gendered slurs against our Prime Minister boggle the mind. (Anne Summers, on point again.) But whenever I get to bitching about this on IM, Liz sensibly points out: “It’s not Australia. It’s the patriarchy.”

Argh! I have daughters. I drag them along to barns and science museums and give them math books and read Swallows and Amazons to them at bedtime so that they can have Mary King and Limor Fried and Fan Chung and Nancy Blackett as alternative role models to Jan-the-minister’s-wife. But they’ll need the hearts and stomachs of concrete elephants all the same.

And still. More vividly than I remember all the putdowns, I remember the day I realized I was a free agent, and could exercise a choice. I want that for everyone.

panic, by david marr

Marr is Australia’s best journalist right now, as far as I can gather. He is acute on both what makes us different…

David Malouf has a wonderful theory that it’s the English we carried in our baggage that makes America and Australia such different places. In the early seventeenth century, settlers took to America a language of abstractions: “Passionately evangelical and utopian, deeply imbued with the religious fanaticism and radical violence of the time, this was the language of … dissenters … who left England to found a new society that would be free, as they saw it, of authoritarian government by Church and Crown.” Malouf argues that by the time Australia was colonised, the language had changed. What the First Fleet brought here “was the language of the English and Scottish Enlightenment: sober, unemphatic, good-humoured; a very sociable and moderate language; modern in a way that even we would recognise, and supremely rational and down to earth”.

…and what makes us boringly the same as everyone else.

Wherever the Tampa tactics lead Australia in the years to come, those of us in the City Recital Hall yesterday will remember the sight and the sound of a white, prosperous audience baying for border protection. They know it’s the winning ticket and John Howard has found it for them. He is a genius of sorts: he looks this country in the face and sees us not as we wish we were, not as one day we might be, but exactly as we are. The political assessment is ruthlessly realistic. Only the language is coy. But who has ever admitted to playing the race card?

i am an anarchist

I read Leonard’s book and identified completely with his crunchy Granola post-scarcity, zero-coercion aliens and their fluid overlays for getting things done. I said to Danny: “I think I may be becoming an anarchist,” and Danny, because he is perfect, ran off to find a pamphlet to push into my willing hands.

The pamphlet is perfect. It is Kevin Carson’s “Resilient Communities: Society After State Capitalism.” The first essay talks about local economies, including farmers’ markets and barter systems. The second essay talks about the historical roots of such local economies: Pompeiian villas and labor cooperatives.

I started to realize that I have been a practising anarchist for quite some time. Consider! I like: credit unions, hackerspaces, Mechanics’ Institutes, small-press books, community gardens and California commune and other DIY architecture. I dislike: large banks, surveillance, inequality, institutional racism and sexism and the police state.

I’ve been thinking a lot about money, both professionally and politically. Despite the overwhelming centrality of venture capital to the technology industry, my standard (good) advice to engineer-entrepreneurs is: “bootstrap. Run off revenues. Never sign a term sheet.” The more I read Keynes, the less I think of money as stored value. Money is something else.

This is important. Carson brings up Schumpeter, who distinguishes between “the money theory of credit” and “the credit theory of money.” We live in a world ruled by the money theory of credit. That is, when you borrow money from a bank or VC, it is assumed that loan comes out of a pile of cash placed in the bank or fund by account holders or limited partners. The credit – the loan or investment – is funded by the money, which exists. Right?

Wrong. Schumpeter’s credit theory of money turns that logic on its head. “It is much more realistic to say that the banks ‘create credit…’ than to say that they lend the deposits that have been entrusted to them.” What does it mean to create credit? Think about what “credit” actually means. It is a measure of trust in a relationship. Money flows from the social contract.

That’s why Keynesianism worked, especially after WW2: people were too afraid of the consequences of not trusting one another, and so they credited one another with enough goodwill to build the Interstate Highway System and the National Health. It worked right up until Reagan and Thatcher made hate fashionable again.

Carson takes up the argument:

“Capital” is a term for a right of property in organizing and disposing of this present labor. The same basic cooperative functions could be carried out just as easily by the workers themselves, through mutual credit. Under the present system, the capitalist monopolizes those cooperative functions, and thus appropriates the productivity gains from the social division of labor.”

Far from “storing” “value” in the form of “money”, banks and venture capitalists subtract credit from the social contract by adding (mostly worthless) extra layers of abstraction between individual actors. The mortgage crisis began with liar loans and banks selling off mortgages: anything to distance themselves from the consequences of what they had done.

Vast wealth is hoarded money, stagnant credit. It is more disgusting and a bigger threat to mental and public health and aesthetics than the hoarding of physical goods.

So that’s where I am. Still supporting Obama because of Affordable Care, but adamantly opposed to extraordinary rendition and detention without trial. Not exactly soured on electoral politics, but empowered to say A Plague On Both Your Houses! because finally able to imagine an alternative: a society in which we help each other, listen to one another and share what we have. In short, I am an anarchist.

unfairfax

I know I was rude about the SMH just a fortnight ago, but it really was my first window into the adult world, and for many years the name Fairfax held for me the ring of integrity. I’m gutted at the layoffs. The innocent are punished while the guilty walk free.

because i love you

Here are a couple of unicorn chasers.

Tintin author Herge was a super-problematic dude in many ways, but he was exemplary in at least this one: he made friends with a Chinese scholar and he listened to his friend and he let that friendship change him and his work. That’s all you can ask of anyone, really, so: props.

This conversation between two Asian-American foodies about cultural appropriation is a privilege to overhear, and also contains these handy hints on not being racist:

Danny Bowien is a guy who NAILS it in terms of messaging. He does funky hybrid party Chinese food that I think we’re all honored to be the inspiration for. Danny hit me on twitter today wanting to put my Hainan Lobster Rice on the menu, do it! I love that people like Danny and Kareem Abdul Jabbar are interested in our culture in an inquisitive and honest way.

Danny’s the chef at my new favourite brunch place, so: yay.

yo, this is racist

I do get that it’s totally my fault for reading the Sydney Morning Herald (which I remember from my childhood as a fun, sophis window into the adult world, but which today (possibly without its even having changed!) reads as a gross crawly-bumlick to wealth and power, as unrepresentative of most of Australia as Fox News and the NY Times are of most of America.)

Nevertheless!

When St Pauls College (last seen waving a flag for rape!) holds a party at which the white guests are served by Indian waiters in colourful dress in celebration of the “colonial” theme, the appropriate headline is not: “Was this uni Raj night racist?” The appropriate headline is “Fire everyone responsible for racist uni Raj night.”

And! If you are the principal of one of the major private schools, and you say aggressively racist shit like this:

Dr Paul Burgis, the principal of PLC Sydney, where 34 per cent of students are from other cultural backgrounds, said there was a huge level of exposure to, and acceptance of, other cultures at the school.
”It would almost be offensive if I, as a principal, was to talk about it: ‘Why do you have to raise it as an issue? We’re past that now, we’re just friends’,” he said.
”At a school like PLC it’s almost an invisible question.”

…your racist ass should be fired, rehired only to write an essay explaining exactly why making cultural difference “an invisible question” is itself part of a set of racist strategies, promoting whiteness as the cultural default and problematizing any person or experience that deviates from that racist-ass norm, and then you should be fired again, with no pension.

You know what’s offensive? What’s offensive is that people like Paul Burgis are awarded doctorates and given influential jobs in education when they exhibit ignorance of the most basic facts about institutional racism or systems of oppression or the cultural transmission vectors for all of the above. How do you even wade self-importantly into a discussion of race and privilege in Australian classrooms and throw around a word like “invisible” with no apparent awareness of its, you know, meaning?

To be fair Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man, a book about the racist use of invisibility, is ONLY SIXTY YEARS OLD AND NEWS OF IT MAY NOT HAVE CROSSED THE PACIFIC YET.

DEAR AUSTRALIAN JOURNALISTS, NEWSPAPER EDITORS AND PRIVATE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS: YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THAT BOOK, IF YOU GET A MOMENT.

IN CLOSING: AARGH.

archie and jackson

Since we last spoke about riding in a frame, I have tried the same technique on Archie and Jackson. (Dudley, Bella, Louie, Archie, Jackson, Mattie, Ruth, Verina, Oliver: why yes, our barn is actually a Montessori preschool in Pacific Heights.) They’re much more difficult than Dudley and harder even than Louie and Bella to get moving off my leg. Dez is right: it takes WAY more leg than you think, and slightly more leg than I actually have. My thighs shake after a serious session at this.

But even with Archie, and more so with Jackson who started the ride completely inverted and did a 180, I managed a few steps of fluid softness. I itch to ride more. The feeling is so extraordinary. The resistance goes away. Freely forward.

When I’ve had enough to drink, I talk about godshatter, an idea I have stolen from Vernor Vinge. I think consciousness is a shard of a mirror, and that our chosen family, our jati (an idea I stole from Kim Stanley Robinson, who stole it from Hindu), is composed of the pieces near us in the jigsaw, so that together we make up a bigger piece of what for the sake of argument let’s call God. (Getting this far takes several drinks.) Obviously I think horses are conscious too. When I ride well, I am part of a bigger and more splendid thing.

Taken all together, that’s what we are. That’s why we love. The idea that we are not all on the same team is the first and most pernicious illusion, but it can be dispelled. (Of course the idea that we ARE all on the same team is another illusion, exploited by the oligarchy for political gain, but that is another ranty for another time.)

lost paradise, by kathy marks

Trigger warning for child abuse

My cheery holiday reading included this bleak account of the prosecution of seven Pitcairn Island men (of a population under fifty) for raping children. Amazingly, or not, one of their lines of defense was that they did not consider themselves part of the British Empire (this after decades of hanging the Queen’s portrait everywhere and welcoming the DoE and Lord Mountbatten as their own personal royalty in 1971) and that, consequently, they were unaware that forcing sex on pre-pubescent girls is wrong.

The “We aren’t British” defense was officially put down by Lord Hoffman, president of the Privy Council, in 2006: “I must confess that I have (ha ha), I mean (ha ha), seldom heard a more unrealistic argument (ha ha).” But it is also undermined at every point by the language of the defendants. It’s not only that they spoke English (as well as their own dialect, Pitkern.) It’s the English they used. A disabled man is nicknamed “Mento”. A coward is a “woos.”

That’s the English they speak where I grew up, in the arse-end of the British Empire. Matter of fact nearly everything about Pitcairn seemed familiar to me: the thongs and shorts and t-shirts, the bullying, the wives who invited all the journalists over in order to lecture them for three hours about their husbands’ innocence. And then never socialized with them again.

That’s how things were where I grew up. I got scolded by lots of wives exactly like those wives, for stumbling blindly towards the same kinds of socially unacceptable questions. I was bullied by men like the Pitcairn men. I wasn’t raped, lucky me, but I was groped.

I’ve fallen into the lazy habit of describing that Australia as a “bully culture,” one in which cruelty and meanness and dehumanizing behaviour were routine. Marks herself touches on something like this:

…a sense of inferiority, because they were from such a tiny, faraway place and felt sure that everyone else was better educated than them, and more sophisticated.

Australian exceptionalism is such a neat little just-so story, and it ties Rupert Murdoch up with a pink ribbon like a little gift, how festive! But it’s unfair to all the Australians who aren’t bullies, and don’t partake in that culture. And it conveniently lets me off the hook for all the ways in which I bullied other people.

And nice as it would be to think that I left the bullies behind when I got on a plane, it’s not remotely true. Geek Feminism exists because of the bullying that’s endemic to online culture. Dick Cheney is nothing if not the king of all fat complacent war-profiteering bullies who sleeps dreamlessly each night on impossibly-high-thread-count sheets. Murdoch may have grown up in Australia but his slavering toadies at News and Fox are drawn from the entire Anglosphere. So what am I talking about here? What is bully culture and where does it come from?

Robin Fox, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says “Just because it’s isolated, and people are stuck there, doesn’t mean you get that outcome. If a bunch of Tahitians had settled on Pitcairn voluntarily with their pigs and their women, they would have set up a recognizable Polynesian society, and it would have been a different story.”

But it wasn’t a bunch of Tahitians, it was a bunch of English-speaking Westerners, and so what they set up instead was a recognizable…

Oh.

Oh.

Oh, shit.