Saturday, March 16, 2013

Following is a Letter to the Editor which appeared in the "Sydney Morning Herald" on 2 October, 1975. It refers to a play I attended in Sydney called "The Floating World" written by Australian playwright, John Romeril. The play is his most notable work and displays the usual Leftist double standards. "The Floating World" is a derogatory Japanese term describing the life of the pleasure-oriented idle rich in Meiji Japan. Romeril was at the time of the performance aged 30 and I was 32. The play was written in 1975

A recent picture of Romeril (as of 2013)

"The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre", edited by Colin Chambers, says of Romeril:

"Socialism and a determined anti-imperialism have led him to champion the cause of the underdog and to examine contradictions in class, gender and racial conflict as well as Australia's geopolitical identity. This is evident in his version of "Love Suicides" (1997) and his involvement in the Landmines Project (from 1999)." -- JR

2 October, 1975

Play accused of stirring up hatred against the Japanese

SIR, I wish to make a protest against a particularly deplorable piece of racism being perpetrated in Sydney theatre. I refer to the anti-Japanese play "The Floating World" being presented at the Nimrod in Surry Hills. The racism starts even in the play's program notes. These feature several excerpts from anti-Asian diatribes written in Australia around the turn of the century.

When I attended the play, I at first took these ludicrous utterances about the "poor moral character of Asiatics," etc. as being something intended to amuse. The content of the play, however, suggests that they were meant to be taken seriously. Although the play is essentially about the reminiscences of an ex-digger survivor of the Burma railroad, the play starts out with a prologue attacking the involvement of Japanese business in the Australian economy. The only common element between the World War II incidents being recalled in the body of the play and the prologue is the common theme of anti-Japanese sentiment.

While the incidents paraded in the play did no doubt take place, while the World War II Japanese Army was no doubt brutal to Its prisoners, surely there is no point in stirring up these old hatreds and resentments now. Surely incidents such as the My Lai massacre convince us all that all armies are brutal to the defenceless from time to time — even the armies of the supposedly moral West. Who are we to criticise? And yet this play has the gall to parrot the old saws about how immoral it is for 350,000 Australians to drive Toyota cars because of what the Japanese did in the war. If I had been asked to conceive of a more anti-Japanese play than this one, I would be hard put to do so.

It explicitly engages in the "stirring up of racial hatred and resentment" which in Britain is now illegal and which in Australia there have been some attempt to make illegal. Given the usual liberal commitment to encouraging one another to treat people as individuals rather than as instances of a race or nationality, this anti-group, anti-race propaganda seems something we can do without.

Given the undoubted sensitivity of the modern-day Japanese to foreign criticism, and given their undoubted importance to us as partners in developing a better world, this play can have only negative effects. It is an example of the worst sort of taste. We must surely look to the future and not go on stoking up the resentments of the past. One gets the impression that among the trendies it is all right to be racist as long as the group criticised is successul and powerful — the Japanese. A play devoted to portraying the uglinesses of Aborigines would presumably never be presented in Sydney theatre. And yet the Jews can testify that racism directed against a successful and powerful group is every bit as destructive and dangerous as racism directed against the oppressed.

Lecturer in Sociology,
University of NSW.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The de-published man

Stephan Lewandowski now has the rare "honour" of being twice de-published. His first lulu of a paper -- designed to tar climate skeptics as maladjusted -- was first accepted for publication (though it has never been printed) but then withdrawn by the journal from its publication queue after many protests over its dubious "science".

Lewandowski seems however to have been rather peeved by that and wrote a second paper doubling down. He once again slimed climate skeptics using very dubious logic -- as I reported on 6th. His second paper was however in a very humble journal, where the author has to pay to get published.

Not only his logic in the second paper was faulty, however. He repeated claims from his first paper that he knew by then to be false. He lied. So his second paper has also now been withdrawn by the journal.

What is wrong with the man? How can he have any respect for his own case when he has to lie to support it? What he writes sounds sane and logical until you look into it. Where does he go wrong?

I think there is an obvious answer. There is a lot of psychopathy on the Left and from what I see Lewandowski is one of them. The hallmark of psychopathy is that they are plausible but careless liars. They sound good at the time but the lies shatter under scrutiny. A classic example is Bill Clinton's claim that Hillary was named after Mt. Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary. Sir Edmund was just another New Zealand sheep farmer when the future Mrs Clinton was born. He didn't climb Everest until 7 years later.

One must seriously wonder about Lewandowski's continued employment at the University of Western Australia. Is such an unreliable character fit to be a teacher at any level? One expects politicians to lie, but teachers?