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Where Andrew Bolt's Deranged Polemic ... Gets What's Coming To It

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bolt 4/3/5 "Write goes Wrong"
Summary: In which Bolt comes to the not-unreasonable conclusion that a lot of modern published fiction, film scripts etc in Australia are crap, and blames it on government grants. And he blames the fact that many artists and writers are lefties on the idea that "They know, too, it will not pay to howl Right when these folk [bureaucrats, politicians] baa Left".

Obviously, there's a pretty simple retort to Bolt's notion that government grants are to blame for vapid crap being produced by the Arts sector - has he seen all the reality shows on commercial television lately?

And yes, as he's noted before, much of the academic work which gets government grants is perhaps a bit esoteric for Jim and Jess "Dancing With The Stars" Watcher. And obviously, there'll be some examples which look ridiculous, and the Board in charge of those grants should perhaps be a bit more critical itself of such applications. But surely it's not necessarily a good idea in the long-term to leave academic writing and research to projects which are going to immediately make a buck?

And of course Bolt doesn't object to people in the arts having to pander to their masters. He just likes it a lot more when it's having to pander to right-wing commercial masters, than temporarily relatively-left bureaucrats.

The most hilarious part of this article was this little aside:

Our Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences can't believe how academics write, either.

Snapped one board member in a newsletter to humanities researchers enraged by my hints that some lacked a strong tale to tell and the words to tell it: "Seriously, rather than just rail against Bolt etc, we could reflect on the arcane, pretentious, indeed pajero-like language we fail to communicate within the sector, which lays us open to not entirely unmerited ridicule." (Translator's note: "Pajero" is Spanish slang for "wanker". "Bolt" is an academic term for "common sense".)

That must be an archaic usage, Andrew. Since your rantings started being published by the Hun, the current understanding of the term "Bolt" is as an academic term for one who writes poorly-researched, misleading, polemical drivel.

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