Least Favourite

Apr 12th, 2010, in News, by

Neighbour Indonesia rock bottom on Australians' list of favourite countries.

A poll surveying Australians' attitudes to foreign countries has seen Indonesia rank last, with the country having a net minus 38% likeability factor for Indonesia's neighbours Down Under. The worst rated countries in Australia:

  1. Indonesia (-38%)
  2. Israel (-32%)
  3. India (-27%)

Australians were most favourable to:

  1. New Zealand (+60%)
  2. Britain (+39%)
  3. Germany (+35%)
  4. United States (+18%)
  5. France (+16%)
  6. Japan (+14%)

The poll was conducted by the Australian branch of New Zealand company UMR Research in late February/early March 2010. The full poll does not appear to be online as yet. theage

John Utting, managing director of UMR, said it appeared Australians were, curiously, least favourable to the countries that would be most important to that country's future - Indonesia, India and China, while favourably disposed to countries such as New Zealand and the UK, these latter being of little importance to Australia.


70 Comments on “Least Favourite”

  1. avatar berlian biru says:

    Yes, the usual agitprop rentamob types that dominate the Irish media hate Israel in the same way they used to hate Indonesia over East Timor, believe it or not back in the day the lefty headbangers didn’t like Indonesia because it was a big bad Muslim country but that was before the Muslims were granted their get out of jail free card of eternal victimhood. Actually the average Irish person doesn’t share the foam flecked anger against Israel.

    I’m often amused how it’s Israel that always gets singled out for worldwide vilification, you know the Free Tebet guys can barely get a mention when there’s a top knotch Chinese delegation in town to be wined and dined, the supporters of the people of Darfur can barely fill a telephone box in most places and the West Papuans are wondering was it something they said that put everyone off. But the Israelis evoke howls of Pavlovian execration if they look crooked at a Palestinian (this despite the fact that Syria and Jordan slaughtered more Palestinians in a couple of afternoons than the Israelis ever have).

    To misquote Mrs Merton “what is it about being the world’s only Jewish nation makes everyone in the world hate Israel so much?”.

    It’s a tricky one and no mistake.

  2. Odin,

    That’s what I said – up and down – depends on perceptions of the US. Understandable really, if they send in the military to help with natural disasters, good. If they fabricate intelligence and bomb then reconstruct Iraq, bad.

  3. avatar Chris says:

    Berlian Biru Says:

    April 12th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
    How did Israel get to be the second least liked country in Australia, what the heck has Israel ever done to Australia?

    It’s probably related to a recent news item: Israel allegedly using Australians’ passports (as well as UK and other countries) as part of their hit/assassination in Dubai of a Hamas leader.

  4. avatar Odinius says:

    Dikki,

    That’s what I said – up and down – depends on perceptions of the US. Understandable really, if they send in the military to help with natural disasters, good. If they fabricate intelligence and bomb then reconstruct Iraq, bad.

    Exactly. It also speaks to the fact that public opinion only has limited value, analytically. in Indonesia, particularly, it reflects “what have you done on the front pages lately” rather than more timeless or profound ruminations on the country’s place in the world.

  5. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Oh Berlian Biru, I do not propose to get into one of those endless discussions on the Palestinian question. I have done that before on this blog and I didn’t get much joy out of it. But I do want to say here what I said elsewhere some time ago and then I will make myself scarce. You asked a reasonable question “Why does Israel get singled out for worldwide vilification?” Here is my answer and I will leave it at that:.

    Zionist apologists often come up with an argument on selective indignation. Why pick on Israel, they argue, whereas there are worse things happening elsewhere. In Darfur, in Congo, in Sri Lanka.

    Michael Neumann has come up with some excellent arguments against this type of defense, mainly having to do with the fact that high trees catch a lot of wind. Israel has set itself up as the only democracy in the Middle East and as belonging to the pinnacle of human civilisation. The discrepancy between these pretences and the actual reality of the place is just too flagrant.

    But I believe that something else is coming in here. And perhaps I can illustrate that with the French writer Julien Benda’s account of his main reason for becoming an active “Dreyfusard”. It was not, he says, because Dreyfus’ personal fate touched him very much. It was rather because he couldn’t stomach the fact that General Mercier tried to impose the “truth” “with his big sabre”.

    Something similar explains a lot of anti-Israel activism, I believe. What happens in Darfur is terrible and so is the mess in Congo. The Singhalese army is poised to eradicate the last of the Tamil Tigers. But neither the Sudanese nor the Sri lankan government, or one of the warlords of Congo, has set up a string of PR offices around the world and has thousands of pens at their command to ‘explain’ to the world that what they are doing is entirely justified and that, in fact, black is white.

    People get angry about human rights violations but they get even more angry about being systematically lied to. Human rights violations generally happen to other people and unless one personally witnesses one of these one’s concern remains a bit academic. But being lied to happens to (pre)activists personally and that arouses their rage and keeps it going. Mendacious propaganda, and being submitted to it, constitutes an assault on one’s personal dignity.

    That is why I believe Israeli propaganda to be in the long run quite self defeating. Those who have been lied to for years wake up one day and are enraged about having been fooled for so long. It happened to me and I don’t believe that my experience was unique.

  6. avatar Nay says:

    Having met a few Israelis overseas, I have nothing bad to say about them. They are just people trying to get along like the rest of us. As for the conflict they are in, I’m sure I’ll still be seeing Palestinian rock throwers on TV 50 years from now unless some country decides to turn Israel into a parking lot before then.

    Back to the topic… it’s pretty east to understand why Australia had/has a dislike of Indonesia (at least the uninformed lower-class masses). It’s not just simple racism. Let me count the ways:-

    * East Timor. Conflict has now been settled, but it left a bad taste in the media’s mouth. The murder of Journalists in Balibo just won’t ever be laid to rest. AN image of a corrupt military persists.
    * Political instability and corruption. People were/still are scared to go to Indonesia in case a riot breaks out. Suharto was a known dictator. Perhaps this perception will ease over time now with more democracy and SBY at the helm.
    * Large Muslim population. Muslims were a relative unknown before 9/11. Now we know everything about them (what the media tells us anyway), and now the perception is largely negative.
    * Terrorist acts in Bali, Jakarta killing our civilians and damaging our embassy. The fact that Indonesians kept telling us that Islam is not about terrorism just paints them all as liars. It’s going to take a LONG time for the wounds from the Bali bombing to heal.
    * Perceived unfairness in the judicial system. This is mainly from media beat-up. Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine and Australians like them are lower-working-class scumbugs…. but unfortunately these rednecks comprise the majority of white Australia… and the media has painted them all as martyrs, and made the Indonesian judicial system look unrespectable.
    * Bali is almost thought of as another country compared to Indonesia in the minds of Australia’s uneducated masses who go there on holiday. Bali is Hindu and used to be rather lax about allowing western lower-working-class party-goers drink, party, and live it up. The rest of Indonesia is predominantly Muslim and conservative and not a fun place to party, get drunk, sleep around, or do any of that. After the Bali terrorist bombings, Thailand looked considerably more welcoming to that crowd.

    Of course the relationship with Indonesia is much better at the higher levels amongst the politicians and businesspeople, and people who have lived in Indonesia to speak the language and get an understanding of the place, but it’s going to take a while Indonesia’s image to improve amongst the white redneck lower-classes who live in Australia, speak only English, and never travel.

  7. avatar Odinius says:

    Are Australians aware of their country’s complicity in the invasion and subjugation of East Timor? Americans sure aren’t aware of theirs…

  8. avatar Ross says:

    Can’t see anything odd about Aussies preferring UK and NZ. They share a common cultural and linguistic heritage, and though British leaderships have done many a disservice to the Old Commonwealth, the peoples in each part of that system retain the bond of comradeship.
    Also, lots of our Brit Commonwealth folks have mostly been soldiering together in good causes like the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    And America? well, it got its independence some years back in 1783, but we tend to think of them as Prodigal Sons who will eventually see the error of their ways!

  9. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Odinius, I think you would have to prod their memory – but complicit they were and remained for a long time. I for one can vividly recall the infamous scene in which Ali Alatas and Gareth Evans (then Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs) toasted each other with champagne on the agreement to share the loot from the East Timor sea.

    However I think that the Labor government of 1975 didn’t expect Indonesia to make such an absolute mess of the whole situation – as Dutch left wingers didn’t expect that about Papua.

  10. avatar berlian biru says:

    Arie Brand, it’s a bit disingenuous to say you are not going to get into a longwinded discussion about something and then proceed to get into a longwinded discussion about it.

    I have frequently heard the tortuous reasoning behind why people single out Israel above other nations with poor human rights records and frankly it rings very hollow and in many cases is simply factually incorrect, for example in the Muslim world there are no smooth Israeli articulators, simply a wall of freakish anti-Semitic howling yet that doesn’t cause Muslims to question or dispute the “facts” that they receive about Israel does it? I’m sure you’d agree that Muslims are just as capable of rational thought as westerners, wouldn’t you? So that argument falls flat on its face.

    No, the fact remains that Israel is regarded with exceptional vitriol for a reason, if Israel was a dictatorship instead of a democracy that hatred would be no less. Now you can parse it and analyse it any which way you want but this hare-brained, spittle-flecked, Pavlovian hatred which is specifically reserved for Israel above all other nations can to my mind be traced back to a very simple cause.

    When I see Russia, China, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cuba etc etc subject to the sheer eye-popping, lunatic hatred that Israel gets I’ll change my mind but I’m not holding my breath.

  11. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Muslims have their own reasons to hate Israel.

    And what, pray, would be the ‘very simple cause’ this ‘sheer eye-popping, lunatic hatred’… this ‘hare-brained, spittle-flecked, Pavlovian hatred’ is due to? Tell me.

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    Nav, your points were pretty valid and reasoned and suddenly you veered off into such strange conclusions?

    but unfortunately these rednecks comprise the majority of white Australia

    A majority??!! What a nonsense statement.

    and the media has painted them all as martyrs, and made the Indonesian judicial system look unrespectable

    The Corby case aside, are you seriously suggesting the Indonesian Judicial System needs any help to look unrespectable?

  13. avatar berlian biru says:

    If you thought for yourself why you hate Israel above Cuba or Russia or Pakistan or Syria and Jordan (two countries which have treated Palestinians appallingly) or any other country with a poor human rights record without using jesuitical nonsense and high falutin’ references to obscure writers and address what it really is about Israel that gets your teeth on edge then you wouldn’t need to ask.

    You will of course deny this but deep down the Israelis represent for you the classical uppity stereotype that you loathe and you channel your hatred of this ancient historical figure through the prism of anti-“Zionism” and support for the “Palestinians” to make you feel good about yourself.

    I don’t believe for one second that if Israel became a dictatorship and Sudan became a democracy your sense of priorities would change by one iota.

  14. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Berlian Biru you claim “deep down the Israelis represent for you the classical uppity stereotype that you loathe” And you refer to my “hatred of this ancient historical figure”.

    Well, that is news to me.

    Would these be, by any chance, circuitous descriptions of anti-Semitism?

  15. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    If the cap fits my friend…

    Just ask yourself what drives you to come back to an Indonesian internet forum to debate with an Irishman about a totally seperate country and conflict? If it was about the Russian occupation of Chechnya would you give a flying fart?

  16. avatar Oigal says:

    I always find the hatred directed at Israel very strange when one considers the abuses and killings carried by her neighbours against Muslims and others far outweighs anything done by Israel.

    Where is the outrage against the murder and detention of the protestors during Iran’s recent “elections” for instance?

    I found a recent statement from an Australian Politician (I forget who) very telling

    “I find that many of the actions by the Israel Government both excessive and repressive but then again I am sure if lived in Tel Aviv instead of Lane Cove I would probably have a different perspective” (paraphrased)

  17. avatar brb says:

    IMHO, “hatred towards Israel” probably comes from the perception of their “arrogant” attitudes. Much like the “hatred towards the USA”. I am not saying about individuals though, but as a nation. Plus, they are in constant war with a “less privileged, suffering” nation such as Palestine. Although there are victims on both sides, in a lot of cases, most people will side with the disadvantage, thus Israel is horrible.

  18. avatar Arie Brand says:

    BB wrote:

    “Just ask yourself what drives you to come back to an Indonesian internet forum to debate with an Irishman about a totally seperate (sic) country and conflict?”

    Hey, Berlian Biru, in case you have forgotten, it is you who brought up the topic – not me. You asked a question about it which I tried to answer. And I didn’t come back to this forum for that: I came back to apprise McKay of the fact that the House of Commons had come out with a report on the CRU emails affair and that the conclusion was that Jones, earlier described by McKay as a ‘disgusting creep’, had no case to answer (no McKay I will not enter into any further exchanges about that one). Subsequently I discussed with various people, mainly Odinius and E.T., some stuff about Indonesia’s colonial past – a topic in which you will allow me to have some special interest. And only then I came, via your question, around to Israel. So that argument falls flat, to quote you.

    So it is anti-Semitism then – it is funny how you hesitate to use the term. Funny, but understandable. This has become just about the most threadbare argument to ward of criticism of Israel in the book. One expects it from the Roth institute or the likes of Dershowitz but not from any one who wants to claim some intellectual respectability.

    Incidentally, the latest report from that Roth institute about the increasing ‘anti-Semitism’ in the world (they mean of course the increasing critique of Israel) has been debunked by Max Blumenthal, a Jew, on the blog of Philip Weiss, another Jew. Here is its address:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/04/propagandistic-anti-semitism-report-raises-the-linkage-issue.html#more-17425

    Though your excessive hyperbole and ‘wild surmise’ about the state of mind of a person you don’t know from Adam suggest that you would profit much more from a lie down and a nice cup of tea afterwards than from rational argument, I want to write this parting letter (not for you – you seem incurable) but for any bystander who might have an interest in the matter.

    Here is a bit of autobiography:

    In 1968 my then Australian wife and me, who both had been doing a stint of teaching in Thailand, wanted to go to Britain. Via an advertisement we picked up seats on a charter plane with American missionaries that originally came from Taiwan. Those missionaries were going home but wanted ‘en route’ to visit the Holy Land. Well, in Israel we were received by some functionary (in their propaganda efforts the Israelis don’t miss a beat) who gave a nice speech about the fact that, of course, we were all already half familiar with the place because of our Bible etc.etc. During that trip (barely a year after the Six Day War mind you) we were also conducted through East Jerusalem where we braved the dark glances of Arab shopkeepers. What was my main emotion at the time? Pride. Something like “the West” has nicely cleared this one. The year before I had eagerly bought in Bangkok the issue of Newsweek (it could also have been TIME) that reported the conflict and I recall the satisfaction with which I studied the cover photograph: a tank with cheering Israeli soldiers and the banner headline “A Terribly Swift Sword”.

    This state of mind was not uncommon for a Dutchman of that period at all. Holland was then excessively pro-Israel and had been so much so during the recent conflict (with people queuing to donate blood for Israeli soldiers etc.) that the Arab countries singled it out for special punishment in the oil boycott that followed.

    For me nothing much changed on this score for the next thirty years or so. I remained ‘pro Israel’. Not that I knew much about it, or about the history of the conflict, but that didn’t diminish my sympathy for the place. Until about ten years ago. The skeptical attitude of my children and a chance exchange in correspondence with a brother- induced me to have a close look at the conflict. And “the scales fell from my eyes”. I had been, thoughtlessly, unforgivably, fooled.

    Since then I have blogged on the issue mainly on http://www.philipweiss.com , http://www.richardsilverstein.com and http://www.tonykaron.com. If you are familiar with Jewish names you will notice that all three these people are Jews. The second one, Richard Silverstein, is also a Jew in a religious sense and a self-declared Zionist. They are all highly critical of Israel and it is unlikely that they are inspired by the “hatred of that ancient historical figure” that you ascribe to me.

    Michael Neumann, whom I quoted in my penultimate post, is the son of the well known political sociologist Franz Neumann who wrote that trenchant study of the Nazi regime: Behemoth. They are of course also Jews. The article I quoted (“What is wrong with Israel”) can be found here.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann0706.html

    In studying the conflict I found out that I had believed in a pack of lies. Of course, some of these are too well known by now to deserve much further comment. There are still people who hold that the Jews went to ‘a land without people for a people without land’ but that is a decreasing minority I would say. The people who believe in the Israeli version of the war of 1948 and the ‘voluntary’ departure of the Arabs then are also no longer very numerous and certainly not to be found among Israel’s so-called “new historians”.

    But I believe to have made a modest contribution to commentary on the Israeli version of the so-called “three noes of Khartoum” here:

    http://tonykaron.com/2009/01/09/the-battle-isnt-over-but-israel-has-lost-the-war/ comment no.35

    And also the deceitful Israeli interpretation of UNSC Resolution 242 here:
    +
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2009/11/17/obama-israel-palestine-policy-in-ditch/ down the comment list.

    If by any chance somebody might be interested in any other comments from me they can be easily traced via the Internet. Here this is DEFINITELY my last word on the matter.

  19. avatar ET says:

    @ Arie Brand

    Muslims have their own reasons to hate Israel.

    And what, pray, would be the ‘very simple cause’ this ’sheer eye-popping, lunatic hatred’… this ‘hare-brained, spittle-flecked, Pavlovian hatred’ is due to? Tell me.

    I will give you the answer.

    Qur’an 59:2 “It was He [Allah] who drove the [Jewish] People of the Book from their [Medina] homes and into exile. They refused to believe. You did not think that they would go away. And they imagined that their settlement would protect them against Allah. But Allah’s torment came at them from where they did not suspect and terrorized them. Their homes were destroyed. So learn a lesson O men who have eyes. This is My warning. Had Allah not decreed the expulsion of the Jews, banishing them into the desert, He would certainly have punished them in this world, and in the next they shall taste the torment of Hell Fire.”

    Qur’an 59:4 “That is because they [the Jews] resisted Allah and opposed His Messenger. If any one resists Allah, verily Allah is severe in Punishment, stern in reprisal.”

    Ishaq:248 “Allah increases their sickness. A tormented doom awaits the Jews.”

    Ishaq:262 “Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews, so Allah sent down a Qur’an forbidding them to take Jews as friends. From their mouths hatred has already shown itself and what they conceal is worse.”

    etc. etc.

  20. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    In Europe today Jews worship, go to school and socialise behind fortified barbed wire fences, CCTV’s and police protection. We are blithely assured that this has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, no of course not, it’s just an unfortunate reaction to events in the Middle East we are told, so nothing to see here then, move along.

    But hang on a minute, the Russians rolled their tanks into Checnya, they absolutely devastated Grozny, they slaughtered Chechen civilians by the thousand, they continue their occupation to this day and the systematic rape and human rights abuses being inflicted make anything in Gaza or the West Bank look like a picnic. Were Russian Orthodox churches firebombed in cities throughout western Europe? Were Russian cemetaries desecrated? Were Russian schoolchildren intimidated from their schools? Were Russian community centres firebombed?

    The Chinese occupy majority Muslim provinces in the west of their country where the Muslims are treated like second class citizens, last year the Muslim people were subject to brutal repression. Did anyone see attacks on Chinese homes, businesses or temples throughout western Europe as a result of this?

    No, me neither.

    Yet Israel seems uniquely above all others to attract this crazy attention and hatred. I ask again what is it about Israel, what is the one defining aspect of Israel, that warrants this reaction?

    Arie probably genuinely feels that he can’t possibly be anti-Semitic, anti-Semites (and I’m using the term in the traditional way to describe people prejudiced against Jews) are bullet headed skinheads not nice left wing, socially aware people like him. What he doesn’t realise is that anti-Semitism was always a strong factor of the Left, the “Capitalist” was always interchangable with the Jew in the same way as “Zionist” is today. I’ll bet if I spoke to Arie he wouldn’t be long in telling me about how Zionists control the media, how Zionists have a hold of the financial system, how the US government is in the pay of the Zionists in exactly the same way as my crazy old Catholic uncle used to rant about the “Jooooz!”, nodding significantly as he’d point out how some celebrity’s real name was Iggy Finklestein and we know what they’re like don’t we?

    Look at the passage above for evidence of this. Every country in the world has a network of embassies and consuls who engage lobby groups and consultants to promote their respective nation’s interests. But look at what those devious Yids -oops sorry Zionists- do; they

    “set up a string of PR offices around the world and ha[ve] thousands of pens at their command to ‘explain’ to the world that what they are doing is entirely justified and that, in fact, black is white”,

    the cunning bastards eh?

    No I’m afraid if you aren’t Palestinian or even Arab but you nonetheless get emotionally worked up over “Palestine” in a way that you frankly couldn’t be bothered to about Tibet, Darfur, West Papua, Chechnya, or countless hundreds of other territorial disputes around the world then I remain steadfast in my opinion about your underlying motivation.

  21. avatar Ross says:

    So Old Surly aka Brand is ‘frit!’
    How curious that when repeatedly challenged to condone or condemn a disgraceful statement by one of his fellow Climate-Panickers, he ducks and runs.
    An amazing contrast to his otherwise ever-readiness to emit verbal diarhoea on all aspects of life!
    (Here’s where he jumps on the spelling of diarrhoea, to show what a clever little d-h he is)

  22. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Correction: the address is http://www.philipweiss.org not com.

  23. avatar Odinius says:

    Five points about Israel:

    1. It behaves horridly towards the Palestinians, and intermittently towards its other neighbors

    2. Palestinians, and intermittently its neighbors, behave horridly towards it

    3. Following from 1 and 2, it stands to reason that there are no “good guys” in this fight, only rival coalitions of ultranationalists and religious fanatics, and regular people caught in-between

    4. Neither Israel, the Palestinians nor their neighbors are in any way especially horrid, when you consider the universe of world events and man-made tragedies

    5. Following from 4, we collectively spend way too much time fretting over this backwater, and not enough trying to sort out places like DR Congo, where perhaps 500x as many people have died through conflict since 1990.

  24. avatar Ross says:

    Arsie Brand said that i was making ever wilder allegations when I mentioned his habit of quoting from his published works. So I got worried maybe i had been inaccurate, till I went walkabout on IM and found the following. from Arsie Brand

    ………………………………..
    If I may quote myself:

    “One of Weber’s main concerns was the fate of ‘personality’ in the modern world. It was this preoccupation which informed his sociology and constituted its connecting theme. Essential for ‘personality’, thought Weber, was a constant orientation to certain ‘ultimate’ values – an orientation which was expressed in the rational and methodical conduct of life. This ideal of the personality, which for its realization actually depends on rationalization (because it presupposes a conscious and appropriate choice of means) collides with the products of rationalization, the disciplined and disciplining bureaucracies. It collides, too, with codified law and the institutionalized procedures of its administration. For the West, so Weber seemed to say, there is no escape from these dynamics. There is no such thing as an indubitable hierarchy of values on the basis of which the paradoxical consequences of rationalization could be circumvented or removed. Final peace here could only be the peace of the grave when Man would be , finally and for good, dominated by the products of his own rationalizing activities … Weber would have been the first to recognize the irony of the fact that his anti-historicism can yet only be understood within the context of these times. It is certainly not the least important aspect of his greatness that he could recognize the power of history even there where he sought to escape from it.’

    Arie Brand (1982),’Against romanticism: Max Weber and the historical school of law’ Australian Journal of Law and Society. Vol.1

    I wrote my Ph. D. thesis (Leiden 1976) on Weber (and Habermas) which was subsequently commercially published (Boom, 1976). You can, if you are interested, find its title in the catalogue of the Library of Congress. I will resist the temptation to list my subsequent Weber publications.
    l……………………………
    Mind you, if I wrote such turgid and self-important drivel, I’d not want folks to think I kept quoting from it.

  25. avatar Arie Brand says:

    McKay,. you are a bit inaccurate in telling us what you wrote. This is what you said:

    30.

    “Reading back over the AB posts, it seems that the reason he is suddenly pronouncing himself an ‘expert’ on all kinds of things is to promote the books he has written, which he does tend to mention and not infrequently ‘recommend.’
    Like me, he has included extracts from his published work, and in all due modesty, I reckon my stuff is more readable! And I just do it for fun”

    I pointed out to him that these books are out of print – no point in trying to boost their sales. His post could only lead to the conclusion that I had provided extracts (plural) from those books. Instead I had come up with one quote from an article of mine. This was in answer to Odinius who was all set to teach me about Max Weber.

    McKay has used the majority of his posts over the last few weeks in an attempt to get at me. At one stage he tried to hound me off this forum by proposing a kangaroo court of opinions regarding my contributions. If I remember correctly the categories he proposed were ‘unreadable”, “meaningless”, “mindnumbingly boring” etc. Patung prevented this exercise by deleting his post.

    O.K. McKay I will ask you the Nixon question – what will you do when you no longer have me to kick around? You can go back to promoting your own books of course.

    As for me I am going to study Congo – forgetting about that ‘backwater’: the Middle East.

  26. avatar Arie Brand says:

    McKay re Brand:

    pseudo-intellectual, patronising twit, supercilious, verbose, “Old Ass Burn”, “Old Surly”, verbal diarrhoea, mean-spirited, outstandingly boring, dry as dust, obnoxious, self-important, drivel, opinonated, turgid, arrogant, humourless.

    I might have missed a few. And all in just over a week.

    One would think that I had murdered his mother.

  27. avatar Oigal says:

    Following from 1 and 2, it stands to reason that there are no “good guys” in this fight, only rival coalitions of ultranationalists and religious fanatics, and regular people caught in-between

    Probably the most sensible thing said on this thread over the last week.

  28. avatar Odinius says:

    Arie said:

    “This was in answer to Odinius who was all set to teach me about Max Weber.”

    Someone having another view on Weber isn’t the same as being set to “teach you.” Everyone has things they can learn from others.

  29. avatar Arie Brand says:

    Another view on Weber? I had only mentioned his name at that stage.

  30. avatar Oigal says:

    indubitable hierarchy of values on the basis of which the paradoxical consequences of rationalization could be circumvented

    Most educated people don’t realise how little impression abstract words make on the average man.

    George Orwell

    To sound professional, you must express everything in abstract nouns and verbs, and each noun in terms of another one; Your words will be obscure and indigestible. You will conform to the new way. You will surrender the ability to write and speak with spontaneity or clarity and, with prolonged use, even your ability to think clearly.

    Gotta love weasel words

    Oigal

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