Category Archives: Pomo

Iran again questions Holocaust – World –

Every now and again people in Iran read this blog. I feel so sorry for them; they have been through a lot since the late and generally unlamented Shah departed the scene. And now they have a “hawkish” and “hardline” leader, in other words a raving nutter. Unfortunately we also have a regime in the USA whose rational credentials are to say the least suspect.

Look, there are rational arguments that can be, and have been, mounted which question that the State of Israel in its expanded form is a good idea. There are arguments that Iranian nuclear research is at least as acceptable (or unacceptable) as Pakistan’s or India’s or China’s, or indeed Israel’s. The critique of “double standards” in the West really is rather unanswerable.

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Posted by on January 17, 2006 in Australia and Australian, book reviews, Chinese and China, culture wars, current affairs, fundamentalism and extremism, History, human rights, Indigenous Australians, Iran, Islam, Israel, Pomo, racism, right wing politics


Waging Peace: Paul Rasor

Go here for clarity on our post September 11 world.

Paul Rasor must be a brilliant teacher if one is to judge from Faith without Certainty, which is a model of clear exposition. His chapter on postmodernism is one of the best things I have read on the subject. I wish the book had been around back in 2002 when I had to teach a unit on pomo to a Year 12 class. I now offer a sample, a long extract from Rasor’s chapter on Liberation Theology.

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Reds weren’t the only Cold War criminals: Eric Aarons

The article above is a defence of himself and his family by former Australian communist Eric Aarons. Yesterday, in response to the screening on ABC-TV of an episode of Dynasties (full transcript there) about the Aarons family, Gerard Henderson went on the attack in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Grand mythology still blinds disciples to the crimes of communism

…What was missing from the program was a proper analysis of what the Aarons dynasty stood for up until the time when Laurie and Eric broke with Moscow, following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The fact is that Sam, Laurie and Eric supported every communist totalitarian dictator around – including Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and their ilk.

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Posted by on January 11, 2006 in Australia and Australian, book reviews, Christianity, culture wars, faith and philosophy, History, interfaith, Pomo, TV


Bookslut | Zadie Smith: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Bookslut | Zadie Smith: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Zadie Smith is 28. The Autograph Man, her second novel, ranks 3,669 on Amazon. White Teeth , her debut, at 4,323. She clocked a fair advance on the books — £250,000, people say. She’s smart, thin, and — bar her boyfriend, poet Nick Laird — the best-looking person in the room. Oh Zadie, Zadie: where did it all go wrong?

For Zadie is disgruntled…

…Flat-footed, grudging, pompous etc. catches the tenor of her answers rather well. Asked why people like lists such as the Granta one, she is scathing. “Lists are less trouble,” she tells us. “I think it’s a slightly depressing English habit. We’d much rather have somebody else’s taste to follow rather than having to take any time finding something new; discovering new writers or going to a bookshop without instruction. It is depressing.”…

“This culture is so in overdrive about any kind of youthful fiction,” she fulminates. “Monica doesn’t think hers is the greatest book ever written, but you find yourself defending something you never believed. The hype is an enormous psychological pressure on a writer. Not that anyone should weep for a writer who has earned loads of money. But the bottom line is, this is not a healthy thing to have in your head at eight in the morning when you’re trying to write something. It’s just very messy. Even in America you have a better chance of having a basically healthy literary career, at least in the beginning, than you do in England. We’re driven by the celebrity mania that this whole country is sunk in.”…

Sounds to me that Zadie Smith could be right, and “Book Slut” a tad bitchy… But that’s just my opinion.

All I know is I am really enjoying The Autograph Man, which is hilarious, even if it is really about death — in a rather serious way. Mr Rabbit is right about Zadie Smith!

Here are my select quotes so far: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 27, 2005 in book reviews, British, Fiction, Multicultural, Pomo, satire, Top read


The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith


“Alex-Li Tandem survives a bad name day, a bad trip and a raft of unlikely coincidences to discover celebrity has its price.” That sounds like a send-up to me… Nonetheless, despite my obvious cringe when Thin Potations gets into PC-kickback mode — I mean, what do you expect me to do? — I still follow his literary recommendations with respect, and you might recall his recommendation of White Teeth, Smith’s first novel, earlier this month. So I borrowed The Autograph Man (2002) just now from Surry Hills Library, along with:

  • Alan Spence, Its Colours They Are Fine (1977, pb 1997)
  • Ian Rankin, Let It Bleed (1995)
  • K M Soehnlein, The World of Normal Boys (2000)
  • Giles Milton, White Gold (2004) — “a treasure” according to that review
  • Stephen Bates, A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality, to put John Shelby Spong in context. Spong’s autobiography, which I have just finished reading, certainly impressed me and much he says resonates strongly with me. I particularly note how Spong’s views did not drop from the sky but evolved as the result of particular encounters and experiences.

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    Posted by on October 25, 2005 in book reviews, British, Christianity, Fiction, fundamentalism and extremism, Gay and Lesbian, History, Islam, local, Multicultural, Pomo, Surry Hills, terrorism, Top read


    Postmodernism and Holocaust Denial :: Robert Eaglestone


    pmhols.jpgA pamphlet rather than a book, this is well worth reading in order to clarify thinking, to avoid being trapped in some false dichotomy between “pomo” (bad) and “objectivity” (illusory). I cannot but agree with his summary definition of multiculturalism:

    Part of being postmodern is being aware that, as a result of the colonial and post-colonial history of the world, the cultures we inhabit are multicultures. Multicultural societies are not those where different cultures are assimilated into a single culture (although wonderful things come from creative mixing of cultures). Rather, it is a culture of respect and negotiation between different traditions. As I have argued, Holocaust deniers hate this multiculture. [David] Irving certainly does… Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted by on October 22, 2005 in book reviews, British, culture wars, Europe, History, Holocaust, Israel, literary theory/criticism, Multicultural, Pomo, racism, right wing politics, Top read, writers


    ATSIC website in exam ‘an insult’ — Bernard Lane (The Australian)


    THE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission’s website took its place yesterday alongside Shakespeare’s King Lear and W.B.Yeats’s poetry as an examination topic for the NSW Higher School Certificate. Students taking their final Advanced English exam were offered a choice of “texts” to analyse, including the ATSIC site, drawing criticism that its inclusion was an insult to the classics.

    A spokeswoman for the NSW Board of Studies said ATSIC’s abolition in March was no reason to remove the website from the curriculum and examiners had checked to make sure the site would remain up long enough for students taking yesterday’s paper. “Geoffrey Chaucer is dead – should we automatically drop him from the prescribed text list?” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted by on October 21, 2005 in Australia and Australian, culture wars, education, linguistics and language, literacy, literary theory/criticism, Pomo, Postcolonial, right wing politics, Shakespeare, web stuff