A buffoon

Fun and games with the cult studs.

[W]e attended a recent PhD confirmation at the Queensland University of Technology, where we teach. Candidate Michael Noonan’s thesis title was Laughing at the Disabled: Creating comedy that Confronts, Offends and Entertains….Noonan went on to affirm that his thesis was guided by post-structuralist theory…He then showed video clips in which he had set up scenarios placing the intellectually disabled subjects in situations they did not devise and in which they could appear only as inept. Thus, the disabled Craig and William were sent to a pub out west to ask the locals about the mystery of the min-min lights. In the tradition of reality television, the locals were not informed that Craig and William were disabled. But the candidate assured us some did “get it”, it being the joke that these two men could not possibly understand the content of the interviews they were conducting. This, the candidate seemed to think, was incredibly funny. Presumably he also thought it was amusing to give them an oversized and comically shaped pencil that made it difficult for them to write down answers to the questions they were meant to ask.

So vulgar cruelty is dressed up as poststructuralism now? I didn’t know that.

It is not our intention here to demolish the work of Noonan, an aspiring young academic and filmmaker. After all, ultimate responsibility for this research rests with the candidate’s supervisory team, which included associate professor Alan McKee, the faculty ethics committee, which apparently gave his project total approval, and the expert panel, which confirmed his candidacy…Lest the reader think we exaggerate, let us turn to the views of McKee, the enfant terrible of the post-structuralist radical philistines within the creative industries faculty at QUT. In the university newspaper, Inside QUT, he was reported as saying: “Teaching school students that Shakespeare is more worthy than reality television is actively evil” (italics added) and in his “ideal world programs such as Big Brother would be at the centre of thecurriculum”.

So naturally I googled this Alan McKee genius, and found this brilliant item.

I’m trying to encourage people to break out of their normal habits, to think about the culture they consume. I’m thinking that maybe we shouldn’t just do the same thing, every day week in, week out. So I’m going to start ‘Put down a book week’.

Ha ha ha – like turn off the tv week, only different; geddit? Is that funny or what.

‘TV Turn off week’ is gaining media attention around the world. Under a rhetoric of encouraging people to try something different, it focuses on one particular part of culture and tells them that they should give it up. But why only television, and not books?

Because tv makes you stupid in a way that books don’t, because reading is more active than watching tv is; that’s why we prefer to watch tv rather than read when we’re exhausted; duh. You know that, but you’re pretending you don’t, you pretentious git.

TV is popular culture. It is particularly popular with large working class audiences. And it is consistently attacked more than other media. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I’m guessing that there’s a connection there. There’s no harm in asking people to think about the culture they consume – but how come it’s only the consumers of popular mass culture who have to do it? Why not force some emeritus Professors to watch Channel Ten for a week? It would shake up their habits just as much as turning off tv would for some other citizens.

Who have to do it? They don’t have to do it, you ridiculous pseud; the campaign is voluntary. And that’s why not force some emeritus Professors to watch Channel Ten for a week; because nobody is being forced to turn the tv off.

That’s the guy who approved his student’s reality video that makes fun of a couple of guys with intellectual disabilities. Impressive.

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