Once upon a time - around 1984 - George Michael was my favourite living musical performer (John Lennon having died in 1980). I particularly liked the song by Wham! called "Freedom". It was a good listen then and a good listen now. A lot happened since those days, and I am not sure George Michael himself took those lyrics seriously, but maybe he should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff7IY1kPafM
Here's a different film clip - based around their tour of China in the mid-1980s - of the same song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFwOs-jy53A This setting, of course, gives another meaning to the song.
Hillary Clinton has just insinuated (to put it nicely) that "Fake News" might have cost her the 2016 election. The sites of Fake News, we might assume, include Drudge Report, Briebart, Fox News and Gateway Pundit. Clinton insisted that her claim was nothing more than an objective observation: "This is not about politics or partisanship." She is 180 degrees wrong. Briebart etc are not the purveyors of Fake News but political and partisan media outlets. They are no different from CNN, Time, Newsweek, MNBC, Huffington Post or the Guardian, to name just six "progressive" sites. They did not get the whole US election wrong because they are "fake" but because they are ideological. Right now, I should think, every prominent media outlet, Left or Right, is political and partisan, though some offer space for a contrarian voice. The trick, for the consumer of the site's point of view, is to realise that media outlets are political and partisan before reading their opinion. Here, for instance, is somebody in the Guardian explaining Hillary's "Fake News" accusation: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/08/hillary-clinton-fake-news-consequences-pizzagate It is basically sympathetic, which is fine if you build that into your reading. For instance, it leaves out the fact that Hillary Clinton of "right-wing conspiracy" fame would say that, wouldn't she? And particularly about the Drudge Report because Drudge was right about Monica all those years ago when Clinton first used the expression "right-wing conspiracy". Here, to give a very different point of view, is a story I have lifted from the Drudge Report: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/a-clinton-fan-manufactured-fake-news-that-msnbc-personalities-spread-to-discredit-wikileaks-docs/
Here is another piece that is interesting on the "Fake News" of Vladimir Putin interfering in the US election: http://www.globalresearch.ca/mainstream-media-blames-russia-for-fake-news-while-pushing-neo-mccarthyism/5559136
Fake News, apparently, is in the eye of the beholder.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as I argued yesterday in A spittoon's worth of bigots, is not racist: http://spectator.com.au/2016/12/bigots/ The problem with the ABC is its bohemian-style socialism - that is, its ideology. Some will want to argue that a consequence of its identitarian ideology is racism but that, as I say in the article, is to borrow from the PC playbook. You call me a racist and I call you a New Racist and there is the end of the discussion across the great divide.
An interesting - though not necessarily connected - development occurred not so long after that article appeared in June 2015. An editor at the ABC's Drum Online invited me to contribute a piece to his site. A number of the resultant articles are collected here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/daryl-mccann/6773340
I found all the editors and line-managers involved very professional and polite. We all sensed, I assume, that giving me a voice on the ABC was a win-win. I got to speak to a different audience (often but not always antagonistic) and the ABC showed its "diversity" policy stretched to providing a forum for the occasional libertarian-conservative. Alas, in the middle of 2016 someone higher up at the ABC - not anybody I worked with - decided that the days of hosting contesting opinions at Drum Online were over, confirming my argument about the ABC made back in December 2013: http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2013/12/taxes-abc/
The solution is simple: the ABC can prove it believes in ideological and intellectual diversity by finding a forum for a contrarian like me. There is my challenge to Aunty.
Here is 'The Britishness of Australia', my article in the just issued Winter 2016-17 edition of the Salisbury Review:
There is nothing more traditional than an
agricultural show in an Australian town, and
nothing more British than a horse showing
event. It’s a 3-ply-wool jacket and always the right
handkerchief in the right pocket, even if the day’s
a scorcher and birds are dropping from the sky. The
accents of the competitors are broad Australian but
the saddles are handmade English leather; the boots,
the jodhpurs, the breeches all imported from Old
Blighty. Even the riding ponies have their origins in
England, with bloodlines that can be traced back to
the original homeland. You might call it ‘Hot Britain’,
although these days things have become a little more
complicated in the Land of Oz.
Actors have a right to say whatever they want: http://nypost.com/2016/11/20/the-real-problem-with-the-hamilton-shout-out-to-pence/ That said, perform your play for a paying audience and then get out of their face. Soviet actors would have loved the American possibility of putting on a show without having to bend the knee to a totalitarian ideology. Art for art's sake! Now these particular American actors can't stop themselves from giving an audience the benefit of their soft-totalitarian PC ideology. Besides, if you can't make your point with your art form - be it poetry, music, fiction or whatever - don't delay us from the fresh air with your prosaic explanations. Last year I watched the NT's "live" version of Hamlet at a local cinema before vainly attempting to escape as Benedict Cumberbatch hectored us, post-production, with his views on the state of the world. Save it for the Graham Norton Show, my friend. While we're at it, here's a review of Cumberbatch's performance (before the hectoring): http://adelaidereview.com.au/arts/cinema/review-hamlet/
The final paragraph of my review summarises the hurdle Tony Blair would have to jump were he to return to domestic politics: "The dream has soured for the man who once upon a time was as popular as Princess Diana. At this moment, in his book, it seems a little churlish not to feel sorry for him. But maybe our sympathy is better spent on the nation he misruled for ten long years."
Politically speaking, at least, John Lennon was always ahead of the curve, with Paul McCartney valiantly trying to catch up. Well, 48 years later Paul has finally caught up...only to find the caravan has moved on.
The Left Power Elite doubles down on its attack on 'Deplorables'. But is that such a smart idea? Here Tucker Carlson easily exposes a would-be PC hit man as a total fraud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp7jyFzflW4
Everybody who belongs to their Rainbow of Discontents (Ellison et al) gets a free pass; everybody who opposes them (Steven Bannon et al) is an anti-Semite, racist, fascist, white supremacist, mysoginist, xenophobe.