Infantile reasoning, but there it is…

That’s a quote from Mark Kenny’s 8 August opinion piece Free-speech fundamentalists break free of good conscience. I thought it rather good myself.

David Leyonhjelm is a boorish, supercilious know-all with the empathy of a besser block. And that new Hansonite conspiracy theorist from Queensland? He’s an absurdist fringe-dweller and fellow hate-speech apologist. It’s a case of wacky and wackier…

You may disagree with this harsh critique and probably think it unbecoming of a serious media outlet. But offensive to them, it is not. And that’s the point.

You see, this gormless duo has declared, with all their angry-white-male certitude, that a verbal abuser cannot cause offence or humiliation. It is all in the mind of the recipient.

In their peerless assessment of the lived experience of all minorities, they have decreed that the fault of hate-speech does not lie with the utterer of a given slur or insult, no matter how cruel, baseless, or humiliating. Rather, the “offence” lies with the recipient – the subject who simply “decides” to be affronted.

Infantile reasoning, but there it is…

Indeed so, Mark Kenny: well spotted.

But of course that “angry-white-male certitude” has led to various paroxysms in some circles, and I would have thought a trivialising exercise on the part of Senator L, for whom my admiration – never all that evident – diminishes with each passing minute. (He just made it back to the Senate – sans donkey vote – this time round.)

See David Leyonhjelm will expose ‘left-wing racist, bigot, hypocrite, social warriors’: Corey Bernadi. Yeah, sure….

Federal Labor MP Linda Burney said she doubted any changes would get through parliament because both Labor and the prime minister were opposed to change.

“As an Aboriginal person, I can assure you that that sort of speech is hurtful, and it’s ridiculous – absolutely ridiculous – to say, ‘oh well, you can only be offended if you allow yourself to be offended’,” she said.

That was on last night’s #QandA, which also featured The Revenant Group’s Senator M Belfry – as in “bats in the…” — up against, particularly, particle physicist Professor Brian Cox. Senator Belfry does not hide his views; indeed he displays them in all their glory on his website. Do study it.


Senator M Belfry with The Revenant of Oz

Check the #QandA site particularly in a day or so when the transcript goes up, but the flavour is given in Q&A: One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts continues to deny the existence of climate change.

On ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Mr Roberts verbally sparred with physicist Professor Brian Cox after claiming the Earth stopped warming in 1995 and there was “no empirical evidence” to prove otherwise…

Professor Cox produced a graph to prove his point, which was questioned by Mr Roberts, who claimed climate data had been “corrupted”.

“What do you mean corrupted?” Professor Cox asked.

Mr Roberts responded: “Manipulated”.

“By who?” Professor Cox asked.

“NASA,” Mr Roberts replied, claiming the figures of the US space agency had been changed in recent years and had originally shown the world was warmer in the 1930s….”

And so on, until:

Professor Cox directed anyone watching the program to look at The Science of Climate Change, a resource put together by the Australian Academy of Science. He said it was hard to assess the truth on an adversarial program such as a panel show.

A recommendation I totally endorse. And it has a picture of Wollongong Harbour on the masthead!

I must admit though that Senator Belfry spoke very well at the end of #QandA on science and the arts…

Meanwhile, in the USA that amazing talking sphincter – sorry, but he looks exactly like one – Donny Trump. Weirder and weirder? These popped up this morning.


See the next entry for more on Senator Belfry.