Friday, February 19, 2010

Mixing it up

Post of the week:

Hagley Road to Ladywood: A plea to the Left: ditch the pompous language!

The Left's most important challenge: attracting activists and MPs that don't stem from the inner circle of academia, research and "think tanks".

One thing at the back of my mind has been bugging me for a while.

It was brought back to the fore by a paper called Culture and Society, Then and Now that I recently attempted to read/decipher. Published not long ago in the New Left Review journal, it was written by a critical theorist called Francis Mulhern.

In itself the paper contains a number of interesting thoughts and analyses from a leftist perspective. One, for instance, is Mulhern's critique of 'multiculturalism' as a sort of fig leaf for the liberal establishment to deflect from fundamental questions about class and inequality. This is, however, a summary. A very crude summary of an incredibly complex piece.

Which begs the question: the revolting, inaccessible, superelitist way so many people on the Left insist on writing/speaking, effectively putting off a massive pool of people with a potential to find both hope and political inspiration in certain ideas. [READ THE REST.]
Related: the IWCA on New Labour's crocodile tears for the white working class, and why the right-wing press sometimes get it better than the Guardian does.

Other things:

Fascism and anti-fascism:
AGT on so-called Autonomous nationalists and national anarchists. LFF on Nick Griffin and the Holocaust deniers.

UK politricks:
A campaign against the Tories and the fascists - as discussed by the Shirazites and the Coatesists. Meanwhile, Phil leaves the Socialist Party, finding life in the Labour dog yet.

Anarchish:
Next Left marks the passing of the great Colin Ward. As does Five Leaves. (Latter via La Brigada.) And just saw lots more from Andy.

Bob's beats
Graeme on an awesome event in musical history, the birth of Black Sabbath. Louis Armstrong at his best with "Go Down Moses" from ANABlog. Mark Steyn on Bobby Charles (who we met here), via Mick H. And Latino border music from Mick himself.

Me elsewhere:
I have had a few posts lately at Contested Terrain, a platform against antisemitism and for emancipation. Most recently, this post is simply a collection of resources on antisemitism in the "anti-globalisation" movement, which I collected when the wikipedia page on that topic was nominated for deletion. Along similar lines, I posted sections from Wikipedia article on Press TV at AGT, when had large sections deleted from it and moved to a new article Press TV controversies which was also  nominated for deletion (so far still there). And here's me inserting myself, and Alabama 3, into Harpy's miserable song meme, which no one tagged me for.

Me here:
Two posts recently had extensive comment threads, which you might have missed, as there was a bit of a timelag: on the New Israel Fund and, earlier, on Chomsky and the Vietnam war. A couple of posts I added updates to, so again you might have missed, include on 22 Bahman in Iran and on Gita Sahgal at Amnesty.

Other recommended miscellanies:
Roland, Modernity, Poumista.

4 comments:

ModernityBlog said...

Very good point about elitism and language, I wouldn't even trouble to read the New Left Review, when I last perused it, twas barely readable.

Now when my mind's working I normally almost anything, from the New Scientist (which I barely understand) to any amount of dry history books, but the New Left Review, nah not worth the effort.

My least favourite word is "neoliberal".

I freely confess that when I first heard it I thought they were talking about some David Owen/David Steel conflab, and unless you make an effort to think about it or know early political history it is fairly opaque, but thrown around like confetti on the Left.

PS: thanks for the link.

harpymarx said...

Hey Bob, I have tagged you for the shameful miserable music meme (see http://harpymarx.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/shameful-shocking-music-meme-enter-at-your-own-peril/) didn't want to leave you out. And c'mon you must have music you know you shouldn't enjoy listening to but can't help it!! :)

Judeosphere said...

You should seriously consider an ongoing series of posts quoting the latest, most egregious examples of pompous, indecipherable language.

Maybe it will help drive home the message. At the very least, it promises to be entertaining.

bob said...

Trouble with setting myself up as a policeman of pompous language is--- I might notice how much of it I use myself! Or, other people might notice... I'll keep my eye out though.

Harpy, thanks for the tag. I will reply with gusto. All these music memes circulating around the UK left 'sphere, and I thought I was just not getting tagged. (This namby-pamby democratic "tag yourself if you want" attitude!) I am, by the way, genuinely shocked at Take That!