BRISBANE BORING FESTIVAL – From the chronicles of the left’s auto-cannibalism:
Outspoken feminist writer Germaine Greer and former NSW premier and foreign minister Bob Carr have been told they are not welcome at the Brisbane Writers Festival because they are “too controversial” and would “overshadow” other writers on the program.
Both Greer, who was going to discuss her contentious new book, On Rape, and Carr, who has just published a memoir, reacted with surprise and indignation when told of the decision, sent to their publisher, Melbourne University Press.“The Brisbane Writers Festival is very hard work,’’ said Greer, who landed in hot water at the same festival in 2012 when she noted low literacy rates in Queensland, where she now lives part of the time. “So, to be uninvited to what is possibly the dreariest literary festival in the world, with zero hospitality and no fun at all, is a great relief.”Carr, who in his memoir Run for Your Life discusses the “China panic”, the decline of the US and his relationship with the Israel lobby, said he thought literary festivals were supposed to encourage ideas and debate, and even controversy.“This is political orthodoxy gone mad,” he said. “The (festival organisers) have turned themselves into vestal virgins and told us we are not welcome. Well, I feel honoured to be thrown out the door in the company of someone like Germaine Greer.”
I don’t care much for Greer, who has spent the past two decades making sure she will be remembered not as a pioneering and world-renowned feminist but a sad bomb-thrower, and I care even less about Carr, who after a likewise sensible start in public life has recently reinvented himself as an apologist and propagandist for communist China and Palestinian terrorists and kleptocrats. The festival organisers have a total freedom whom to include on their program, though should be more professional than disinviting previously confirmed guests. What makes this situation unusual is that it’s generally people of non-left that are treated as intellectual lepers by the trendies. The progressive world is now so jittery with identity politics and cultural Marxism that new enemies, wreckers and saboteurs can be and are being found everywhere, including increasingly on the inside.