“Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused…” – Gilles Deleuze.
The Green Left Weekly that gets emailed to my blog-related email account (who in Paramatta signed me up I wonder) is telling me not to be afraid to protest at the APEC meeting this weekend. Even if someone were to offer me a lift interstate and magically get me off the hook with my daily responsibilities I wouldn’t go.
Not that I think that the content of the APEC meeting (specifically our Government’s participation) is going to be particularly good, it’s just that I pick my protests based on their capacity to get a point across. APEC protesters don’t get listened to. Even if the media gave them a fair go they simply don’t have the gravitas or an informed consistent message to get across to the public.
Their campaign isn’t like the 2003 protest against the Iraq war. That protest had a consistent message and it had gravitas in spades. That protest wasn’t tainted by the confected outrage of a jaded group of the usual suspects.
I want an alternative to what is being sold at APEC, but I don’t want the Democratic Socialist Party’s alternative. More importantly, I want alternatives delivered more effectively.
I want more thought out alternatives to be sold on the floor of APEC to a captive audience, I don’t want these alternatives desperately thrown at them from a distance by a dis-empowered citizenry. We the people shouldn’t be fronting up to global decision making as beggars.
However. I respect the right of the likes of the DSP to peacefully protest and to do so without persecution, defamation or being subjected to violence. No matter how much conservative Australia may be aroused by the prospect of violating these people.
Let’s not delude ourselves. Coverage of these types of events by the conservative punditocracy are rarely fair-minded, are often exaggerated, mostly dishonest and in many instances sadistic.
Take a look at this piece of hyperbolic fantasy by Alan Jones. How quickly the discussion turns from protesters towards terrorism. What a bizarre and non-sequitous segue! Also note how quickly after said segue he turns to the straw man of people not believing that terrorism exists. The likes of Alan Jones harp on about terrorism and exaggerate the risk whenever they can and that’s the criticism that Jones so dishonestly dodges.
It’s an obvious dishonesty his straw man. When you actually bother to think about it that is (and let’s face it, Jones has a demographic to cater to). How can he claim his (and Howard’s) critics deny the existence of terrorism when they accuse him of exaggerating it? Accusations of exaggeration presuppose that there is something (i.e. terrorism) to exaggerate in the first place.
But enough of Jones’ inept grasp of reason. This is about what gets his type (I mean modern radical-conservative thank you very much) aroused.
“There is no reason why these people should be allowed to march.”
(Alan Jones, 2007)
Clearly Alan Jones abhors democracy. I’m sure that goes down well with his black shirt demographic.
“Where are the views of the rest of the community represented in what the Commissioner in waiting is going to do?“
(Alan Jones, 2007)
The “rest of the community” has its voice (heck it could counter protest) and has its democratically elected representatives there to represent its views. The police aren’t there to enforce people’s political will at least not in a democracy they aren’t (with the exception of what people determine as criminal through a democratic political process; a process that hasn’t deemed said protest criminal). Orwellian police state yes, Australia 2007 no (or at least preferably “no”).
“How about listening to the law abiders, not the law breakers… [blah, blah, blah]“
(Alan Jones, 2007)
See what I mean about dishonest and unfair? The protest hasn’t even happened and magically they are already sentenced by the right honorable Alan Jones as law breakers. Imagine Alan Jones’ utopia; a place where people are guilty without even having a trial (or an opportunity to commit the crime). Somehow I can’t see the disregard for due process and rule of law required to be so arbitrary in administering justice as being associated with “law abiders”.
The stark reality is that Jones’ audience don’t give the proverbial rat’s about the rule of law. They don’t abide the idea of a lawful, democratic society. What they care for is the persecution of people that don’t agree with their point of view. Even if they haven’t done anything wrong yet (or indeed if they aren’t even going to do anything wrong).
Now that Alan Jones (apparently a prognosticating mutant) has done his Minority Report,
“Tell them that our police and security services are not going to be made frontline fodder for their violence.“
(Alan Jones, 2007)
The violence that Alan Jones predicts that they are all guilty of of course. Not violence he can demonstrate (as it hasn’t happened yet). It’s all decided in the court of Jones’ rather over-fertilized imagination (forget domestic terrorism, Jones’ own political ammonium nitrate is going to contribute towards far more violence on our own shores than his much derided Australian Muslim victims ever will).
“And if there’s a 600,000 dollar water cannon which we’ve purchased, use it.
If it can knock protesters off their feet, if they defy the law in numbers, use it.
Because it’s clear that whether the march is sanctioned or not, in open defiance they’ll come.“
(Alan Jones, 2007)
Now this bit of Orwellian double think is breathtaking (in a conservative lunatic auto-erotic asphyxiation kind of way if the words of Deleuze hold true). Basically what he is saying is that if the protest is legally sanctioned (in addition to the unavoidable inference that it is also supported by the principals of participatory democracy) then they will all be protesting in a fashion that has already been determined (through Jones’ magical prognostication) to be illegal.
Further to this, given that they have (apparently by way of magical thinking) broken the law, the police should brutalise them! The law-abiding Jones’, wants the police to mug some protesters for participating in a legally sanctioned protest, all without a shred of evidence (his prognostications aren’t evidence, they just act as a substitute for evidence for when Jones and his audience need support to go through the contortions of their cognitive Karma Sutra).
Of course before Australians continue to entertain these kinds of sado-erotic fantasies, they should be aware that this kind of rough-play does come with consequences. At the risk of providing pornography to these types (if it were any more graphic I likely wouldn’t show it*), I think people need a visual reminder.
(John Filo, 1970)
That’s un-armed Kent State student Jeffrey Miller dead on the ground who apparently was a threat to the national guard who were called in to deal with violent protesters. Jeffery was never proved to have been an actual threat so as to justify his death, but then the national guard weren’t singling people out for being shot (and all things being fair are innocent until proved guilty). Of course, if we use Jones’ heuristic, he was a violent law breaker and the action of the state is all lemon-peachy.
There is doubt being cast on the justification for this man’s death of course, that’s natural. But just this year an audio recording of part of the shootings popped up to re-open old wounds. I’m not sure if any of this proves anything, but it should give people pause for though.
Of course, if you buy into Alan Jones’ minority report style heuristic of determining guilt, you probably won’t seriously consider things like consequences and facts. You’d be too distracted, being aroused by the prospect of brutalizing your fellow Australian.
Fortunately, most of you aren’t like that.
So when you inevitably come across media coverage of the APEC protests this weekend, keep in mind that a lot of it is just pornography for violent media consumers of an anti-democratic perversion. Keep that in mind when the pornographers of totalitarianism spew invective upon anyone else for that matter.
This post dedicated to raptured blogger, Art Vandelay.
* If the image were so sensationalist as to possibly impair people’s critical faculties I would consider the photo disruptive to sensible debate. It’s subjective and this criteria requires a bit of a guesstimate, but it’s the best I can do.