Friday, September 30, 2005

Latham Diaries V: I'm spitting the dummy

The diaries were suddenly and abruptly shut last night. I may or may not continue; once a book annoys me I often quickly move on, there's so much to read out there, so little time.

Easton Ellis and Houellebecq both have books on their way, and I worship both of these insane screwed up individuals and their writings. I have books on Vietnam and Robertson QC's Tyrannicide Brief.

I have enjoyed my readings to date, but the obvious and well-parsed (here and elsewhere) flaws and outright contradictions in Latham's polemic hang over my head like an annoying blowfly. I detested his call this week for young people to avoid politics, which was no better than sour grapes. Now he's reached 2001.

First thing to note, no diary entry around 11 September. The date that tipped western politics on its head, which left me in a depressed and uncertain fugue for days, didn't register as worthy of an entry. Latho sometimes comes across as quite ignorant of the ways of the wider world, and this didn't help.

Then he gets to Tampa.

Here's the guy who has spend over a hundred pages going on about how Labor needs conviction and principles, and should not be following what it perceives as public sentiment, and he starts having a go a Beazley's belated attempt to do the right thing and quibble with Howard's dog-whistling legislation because his local bogans are siding with the PM. Worse, he repeats and endorses the great lie that people exercising their basic right to seek asylum are criminals.

Well, this is Australia's apartheid for me, the touchstone issue dovetailing conscience and law, and in an era of debating what is or isn't left wing and deserving of ideological conviction, it's a no brainer. That means even a narrow-minded yobbo who thinks he's PHD material can click his couple of neurons together and work it out.

If you think Beazley had to compromise and sway with public sentiment, well that's one thing. I actually sympathise with the predicament. Parties are after all in a democracy, and can't entirely impose their will even when they know they are right. But that's the sort of pragmatism Latho spends the whole book attacking.

However, if in fact you really believe the anti-Refugee position hook-line-and-sinker then you are not left wing. Join the Libs, join the Nats, please consummately and irrevocably wrench yourself clear of any so-called left wing political affiliation. Now. Thank you.

As this may be my post-script, I'll say I think Latho has a talent for writing, and lots of ideas, and I hope he continues to develop his social network and community empowerment ideas into a workable thesis.

And that, one day when he's cooled, he apologises to Gough.

5 comments:

Brownie said...

In The Age 1/10 there is a review of the book by John Button which was easy to read, and he does agree with you about the Gough thing.

adam said...

Sorry to hear Iron Mark goes pear shaped. I bought Easton Ellis' new one to read on the plane, and I must say that while it starts strongly, it dips somewhat (a la Glamorama). Would be more than happy to post it to you if you like, as there's possibly money better spent elsewhere...

Armagnac Esq. said...

Oh I quite liked glamorama... but still, I saw a not-so-flash review of his new one the other day so I'll be cautious.

THere's also a book of david eggers short stories with my name on it, and a book I read about by this french writer where people are in a reality tv show and they are killed or something equally mad, which I'm interested in getting.

Guy said...

I've finally finished my long-winded review of the diaries (or more specifically, the intro). You can find it here.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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