catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

The Leunig Left

with 38 comments

Michael Leunig, who continues to be admired by some on the left despite his reactionary views on feminism (remember that anti-child care cartoon?) puts a good word in for ‘colourful’ religious bigotry in an extraordinarily verbose ramble in The Age.

First the standard ‘world is turning into Sodom and Gomorrah’ lament that one usually catches semi-lucid gusts of from streetside preachers:

At some stage well into the journey you may notice a deluge of advertisements for drugs that help men to get erections, and you may find the city adorned with photographs of naked and semi-naked young women on billboards and magazines, and on the television you may see music clips featuring a continuous throbbing smorgasbord of models and dancing girls thrusting their oiled breasts and wet lips and glistening bottoms at you and groaning and clawing and stroking frantically between their legs – the place where babies are born from – and all around you will notice images of attractive, willing, hot, horny, pre-orgasmic, aching-for-penetration women gasping into the camera for you, urging you to realise how plain, frigid and dull your wife or partner is – and still the erection drug advertisements roll in on your email device along with promises of penis enlargement and you think “what the hell is going on out there …

Too much information, Michael.

Then the apologia for Hilali:

Sometimes a religious figure, such as a mufti, makes a sermon about human nature, rape and the general sexual madness – a bit like parents do to their children in private: “Look after yourself, take responsibility – there are some dark forces and crazy people out there who will destroy you if you’re not careful.” But the mufti uses ripe, rustic language, earthy metaphors and unpleasant ideas. He is set up and set upon by a national newspaper and told to shut up and resign.

Next we come to the endorsement of religious bigotry, religion as a kind of performance art for leftists bored with the challenges of the real world:

Personally, I like my swamis, muftis and bishops to use rip-roaring colourful language, to be full-flavoured, overproof and offensive – crucifiably so; it’s what I expect from prophets and artists …religious leaders have no business or time to waste in promoting or endorsing national values and common sense – that’s what politicians do – and anyway, people need no help whatsoever with such prissy, banal trifles. What modern humans need help with is escaping from the despair of politics, commerce and media, escaping from the drabness and oppressiveness of worldly values and seeing through suburban mentality and normal community standards so that they can find some much-needed relief for their wilting souls

And finally an endorsement of Balkanisation and of immigrants as museum pieces for the edification of bored bohemian twits :

I like my immigrants with a lot of terroir, as they say in winegrowing circles, and displaying the idiosyncratic flavours and characteristics of where they have grown up. I remember when an Italian who smelled of garlic was regarded as deeply offensive. I want my new Australians to be abundantly or even outrageously where they’re from – the full bottle. How else should they be if not themselves …We need all the variety and bold and mysterious flavours we can get, surely – the organic diversity of ideas, herbs, recipes, natural yeasts, strange music, strange words.

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Written by Admin

November 11, 2006 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

38 Responses

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  1. Among the unusual nonsense, the usual nonsense that thinks that multiculturalism reduces to a wider choice of restaurants.

    Poor Leunig, missing out on first place on Iran’s anti-Holocaust cartoon comp must have really unhinged him.

    Rob

    November 11, 2006 at 7:29 pm

  2. Michael Leunig, who continues to be admired by some on the left

    Sorry, Jason. Evidence, please?
    As to his views on multiculturalism, I’d quite like to smack him on his inkpen knuckles with my copy of Mark Lopez’s Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics. Or any other convenient tome.

    Liam

    November 11, 2006 at 8:06 pm

  3. Oh come on, Liam. Don’t tell me you’re going to deny this as well. Who are his biggest fans? Tim Blair readers?

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:11 pm

  4. No, please, Jason, after you. Leftists supporting Leunig: I challenge you to move beyond anecdote or generalisation.
    Since you mention Tim Blair, here’s a comment after leftist—I assume you’re going to give him the credit even though he’s taken the Newscorp shilling—Tim Dunlop went the hack on Leunig in May.

    Why do you do Tim Blair’s work?
    Hey, someone has to.

    Liam

    November 11, 2006 at 8:24 pm

  5. Excuse me. There should be an end tag there after ‘comment’.

    Liam

    November 11, 2006 at 8:25 pm

  6. For god’s sake Liam your touchiness is getting annoying. I even took the trouble of saying this time ‘continues to be admired by *some* on the left’. It’s not even a generalisation about the left.

    Now I ask you again, who are statistically more likely to be admirers of Leunig? Now either you are just being disingenuous or you’re just being silly so I’m not going to respond to your nonsense anymore.

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:29 pm

  7. “Sorry, Jason. Evidence, please?
    As to his views on multiculturalism, I’d quite like to smack him on his inkpen knuckles with my copy of Mark Lopez’s Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics. Or any other convenient tome.”

    You got counter-evidence fool?

    Now you already said that you hate the Democrats.

    We’re on to your act mate. You’re the lowest kind of dishonourable filth. Offloading mates just as soon as they become unpopular.

    GMB

    November 11, 2006 at 8:37 pm

  8. If you *have* statistics about Leunig admiration, Jason, then it won’t be a generalisation, will it?
    I’m telling you that I don’t think there’s any cause to think Leunig is admired. Paid, published, given vastly more credibility than he deserves, maybe, but then in that respect he serves the same function as any other Fairfax shill. Either way he doesn’t serve a partisan function; it’s just that the people who have contempt for his misogyny and anti-semitism on the Right don’t realise that it’s shared pretty much universally.

    either you are just being disingenuous or you’re just being silly so I’m not going to respond to your nonsense anymore.

    Would you prefer if I contributed to comments thread with mindless abuse or bizarre stories about my own intelligence?
    Let me tell you a story about a magical lake…

    Liam

    November 11, 2006 at 8:39 pm

  9. Birdy
    Calling someone ‘the lowest kind of dishonourable filth’ for a mild comment like that is not on.

    First warning.

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:39 pm

  10. sorry Liam I still think you’re denying the obvious. His cartoon anthologies sell as do the shows based on his work. Obviously someone out there is buying his work. I doubt they are the sorts who read Catallaxy.

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:43 pm

  11. No he is being very shabby here.

    He said he always despised the Democrats…

    Now why is that?

    Its because they are going through a bad patch.

    And now he is disowning Leunig. But Leunigs been around forever. And not because he’s some sort of conservative icon.

    Liams going to play that trick whenever someone on the left does something wrong or is down on his luck.

    Liams going to kick them when they are down and say he always despised them.

    GMB

    November 11, 2006 at 8:50 pm

  12. “I doubt they are the sorts who read Catallaxy. ”

    All sorts of people read catallaxy, Jason. Hell I sometimes even read leftwrites until my stomach turns.

    whyisitso

    November 11, 2006 at 8:52 pm

  13. “Would you prefer if I contributed to comments thread with mindless abuse or bizarre stories about my own intelligence?
    Let me tell you a story about a magical lake…”

    Good.

    Lets go Liam.

    Can’t wait.

    GMB

    November 11, 2006 at 8:54 pm

  14. Anyway the Leunig Left was just a play on the term ‘the Loony Left’. Or is Liam going to deny that such a thing exists now?

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:55 pm

  15. Sorry Jason, but I’m with Liam. I think Leunig is a complete waste of space. His political cartoons and opinions are vapid. He should stick to cartoons about ducks.

    Plenty of letters to the editor of “The Age” are highly critical of Leunig and I don’t think they are all from conservatives. I don’t think any lefties I know would agree with the dopey Leunig article in “The Age” that is the subject of your post.

    What you have done is the same as a Leftist using Wolfgang Kasper as an example of the stupidity of libertarians, Pat Robertson as an example of the stupidity of the Christian Right or Bruce Ruxton as an example of Conservative stupidity. It is an easy game to play.

    melaleuca

    November 11, 2006 at 8:57 pm

  16. Steve
    Point taken but I’m pretty happy to stand by Wolfgang Kasper. If anything he’s not libertarian enough on some issues.

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 8:58 pm

  17. Well I used to think Leunig was funny, but have definitely gone off him in recent years.

    “I want my new Australians to be abundantly or even outrageously where they’re from – the full bottle.”

    Yeah – well I’ve tried being outrageously Welsh but it’s frankly boring getting pissed in the corner and angrily hating the English.

    Angharad

    November 11, 2006 at 9:01 pm

  18. Look at how these unscientific idiots use the smug Deltoid-like jerk-off to deny the facts of reality from ever penetrating their stupid bubble-world.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/english-vineyards-again/

    GMB

    November 11, 2006 at 9:24 pm

  19. Wrong thread, Graeme.

    Jason Soon

    November 11, 2006 at 9:25 pm

  20. Gary Sauer-Thomson likes to reprint his cartoons in a context which suggests he approves of what Leunig has to say.

    Also the Age seems pretty happy to keep on giving him a platform.

    So between that, I would say that there’s the evidence the Liam is looking for.

    Scott

    November 11, 2006 at 10:41 pm

  21. Laime is lying when he says lefties don’t like Leunatic. He got himself a gig on our ABC’s Denton recently , an obvious attempt by other lefties to rehabilitate the loathsome little prick.

    Denton to his “credit’ went vey hard on him by asking Leunatic a lot of quesions about his youth etc.

    JC.

    November 11, 2006 at 11:39 pm

  22. In my view Leunig reperesents, by and large, a very radical variety of the modern left. Liam does not like him because (Leunig) is outspoken and too radical. All this comes down to the terminological question of what is left. I know people who think ALP is right-wing and no better than fascist Liberals. Without an agreed definition all this becomes meaningless.

    Boris

    November 11, 2006 at 11:43 pm

  23. “Without an agreed definition all this becomes meaningless.”

    A religious hatred of the market is the overall binder, Boris.

    JC.

    November 12, 2006 at 12:35 am

  24. “…crucifiably so.”

    That would be extremely offensive to many Christians because of the link made between the alleged utility of Hilali-like obscenity and the praxis of Christ. A comparable allusion vis-a-vis Islam would have lunatic targeted by the Rushdie hit-squad.

    C.L.

    November 12, 2006 at 2:04 am

  25. My definition of the left (in Aus) would be someone who puts ALP ahead of the Liberals. Simple.

    It won’t work in countries with volutary voting since many people don’t vote.

    Boris

    November 12, 2006 at 2:46 am

  26. Leunig’s just a cartoonist for chrissakes, not the Messiah or the antichrist.

    He reduces often complex issues into simple absurdities which make many people laugh and many indignantly outraged. Seems like it’s working a treat here.

    Lighten up!

    slim

    November 12, 2006 at 8:02 am

  27. That’s feeble, slim. Just pretend it was all a joke. Leunig takes himself pretty seriously, whatever you may say in his defence. He didn’t write this long op-ed (longer and more verbose than most op-ed writers are allowed but because it’s Leunig it’s OK) as a joke.

    Jason Soon

    November 12, 2006 at 10:00 am

  28. Well we all take ourselves pretty seriously in my experience.

    I just don’t understand the indignation or the point of your griping, other than he has lefty sentiments and you don’t find him funny, especially when he is guilty of lampooning one’s cherished beliefs or offending one’s sensibilities.

    It’s only weekend newspaper commentary. Consider it a balance to Bolt.

    As for the length of the article “but because it’s Leunig it’s OK” – I’d suggest it’s simpler than that – Fairfax know that he helps to sell the weekend paper and sustain that crucial advertising revenue. And isn’t that the free market at work?

    slim

    November 12, 2006 at 10:18 am

  29. Lefties are obsessed with Bolt. It’s almost homoerotic.

    C.L.

    November 12, 2006 at 10:50 am

  30. Yea CL, what is it with Bolt and leftiies? I never read Bolt. I don’t need to.

    Leftists must find Bolt very “attractive”, if you know what I mean.

    JC.

    November 12, 2006 at 10:59 am

  31. I don’t read Bolt either. I don’t need to. I know what he stands for. But if you’re going to get all precious about Leunig misleading decent folk from the righteous path, then surely Bolt is equally worthy of attention for his calculated disinformation?

    Why bother with a decent argument when you can use labels to keep a closed mind? Lefties are dickheads – end of story.

    slim

    November 12, 2006 at 11:08 am

  32. Bolt and homoeroticism?

    Methinks the lady doth protesteth too loudly.

    slim

    November 12, 2006 at 11:10 am

  33. This is really getting ridiculous.

    1) Liam goes out of his way to deny that Leunig is a lefty or is admired by lefties at all.
    2) Slim puts on the ‘it’s just a joke’ defence even though Leunig is being serious.
    3) And Slim himself admits that Leunig is a kind of leftist contrary to Liam
    4) And then Slim like Liam goes on this ‘I hate all lefties’ characterisation of my argument when mindful that Liam would burst into tears again the moment I made generalisations about Lefties I specifically took the care this time to write ‘some Lefties admire Leunig’.

    Now it’s obvious to me that Leunig is representative of a particular brand of Lefitsm. And it’s a brand of Leftism which I despise in unqualified terms, which is why I pick on him. None of which means I hate all Lefties. I like Lefties like Chris Hitchens and Paul Berman and Ian Buruma. The sort of Leftism I hate and which is represented in spades by Leunig consists of a number of elements
    1) a touchy feely emotive New Age/semi-Buddhistic/ religion as performance art and catharsis approach. Give me the Pope any day! As an atheist I prefer rationalistically minded religious folk.
    2) a sort of reflexive anti-Westernism and pro-Noble Savage (what Buruma, turning the tables on Edward Said has labelled Occidentalism) instinct
    3) the shared view with some religious nutters and Fascists of the Charles Maurras variety that capitalism and bourgois values and individualism are decadent and leading us to Sodom and Gomorrah mixed in with hairshirt puritanism of the Clive Hamilton variety.

    I am doing my part to heap scorn and ridicule on this brand of leftism. I don’t have an issue with social democrats of the Steve Munn variety.

    Jason Soon

    November 12, 2006 at 11:30 am

  34. So many labels… I surrender!

    Happy to raise the level of ridiculousness. I guess that’s what happens when we overreact with our emotions rather than logic.

    slim

    November 12, 2006 at 11:45 am

  35. Jason

    keep up the good work

    stephenc

    November 12, 2006 at 7:19 pm

  36. I surrender too. I’m off to cry myself to sleep on my massive pillow.

    Liam

    November 13, 2006 at 12:27 pm

  37. Course you will, you big howling baby.

    Leunatci is a middle of the road leftist as far as i can see.

    JC.

    November 13, 2006 at 12:35 pm

  38. “Lefties are obsessed with Bolt. It’s almost homoerotic”.

    Hmmm, there’s an obvious flaw to this argument, and I think it’s too obvious to mention, although there could could be homoerotic elements if a girl lefty…no, I’ll leave it at that.

    Darlene

    November 13, 2006 at 3:47 pm


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