Oxfam's finest

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Another reflection, as much in the (social) media storm as anything.

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/oxfam/amp/
Hmmmm. I like Mary Beard but she'd have been better advised to reflect a bit more on why she was so surprised that people were angered by the original Tweet. Putting 'civilised' in quotation marks hardly negated the import of what she said. She was well out of order, and could have just apologized instead of tying herself in knots.

Jeremy Hardy didn't seem to have the same problem understanding that the abuse of Haitians is about power, and gave a stonking performance on the News Quiz. First item on this episode.
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Here's an open letter to Beard from one of her Cambridge colleagues.
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
[QUOTE 5155668, member: 43827"]I cannot agree she was "well" out of order. She admitted her fault in not realising that people would assume the worst about putting "civilised" in quotes, but that, I believe, was more due to people being unhappy that she was not 150% behind condemning Oxfam and looking for something to beat her with. I also agree "civilised" is a relative term and not one that we get to define. I sympathise with her view that: "I have to say too that I find the moral certainty of so much of this debate a little scary"

I do not agree that Jeremy Hardy has a better understanding than Beard of the Oxfam/Haiti situation based on a two minute act, played for easy laughs, with all the depth of a puddle, to a right-on audience.


Where Beard has erred is in thinking that a tweet is the best way to deal with a complicated issue. You have to be so careful to cover all the angles in so few words. But such is life these days when even the most powerful leader in the world communicates via Twitter.[/QUOTE]

I can assure you that to argue that sex-tourism and prostitution is abuse, and that the global sex trade is fundamentally racist and colonialist in character, is a deeply unpopular position to take, even in so-called 'right-on' circles. There's a thread in the closed P&L about Amnesty's recent decision to support the global sex trade.
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Which I think is spectacularly misjudged. On all sorts of levels. As are accusations of colonialism - unless you think that all aid is colonial, which takes me down a very dark alley indeed.
Beard's tweet absolutely reeked of colonialism. Where did Gopal say that all aid was colonialist?
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
From the Beard article:
"I was certainly NOT saying that Haiti was uncivilised. Mea culpa if it looked as if I was"

"Mea culpa" means "it's my fault; I'm sorry."
You taking lessons in being patronizing from our friend in the other thread? I know what it means. It's a classic no-pology. The whole Twitter debacle ended with Beard tweeting pics of herself crying, FFS!
 

Levo-Lon

Guru
Men like sex, some women like getting money supplying it , its such a shame a really great charity is suffering due to fooking media hype
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Well no. It is, quite literally, a classical apology.

The fact that some people have chosen not to take it as such is sad.
"Partly mea culpa. I was genuinely surprised that people took this as a justification for what seems to have gone on in Haiti and elsewhere". How is she so surprised? What's wrong with "Mea culpa - my Tweet sounded like Heart of Darkness so it's no wonder people were pissed off".
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I was genuinely surprised that people took this as a justification for what seems to have gone on in Haiti and elsewhere". How is she so surprised?
In the meantime, it's a pretty sad state of affairs if it's become mandatory to preface every comment with "of course, it's dreadful that the abuse has happened" - personally I have a more optimistic view of humanity than that, and tend to assume that people aren't going to be very happy when they hear about people suffering.
Social media (as we all on here know extremely well) is extremely good at polarising. It is extremely good at whipping up sentiment and making people angry. It is extremely good at setting against each other people who are fundamentally on the same side, arguing for fundamentally the same thing because of tiny nuances of words spoken in haste, because of assumptions that what is unsaid is unmeant. It's extremely good at turning reasoned "well, you might want to think again about that" into thoughtless "I hate you and everything you stand for". It is extremely bad at moving discussions on. And I include blog posts in that - especially ones written in haste.

I'm very very close indeed to saying I've had enough.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...ge-public-social-media-politics-repercussions
 

theclaud

Openly Marxist
Location
Swansea
Social media (as we all on here know extremely well) is extremely good at polarising. It is extremely good at whipping up sentiment and making people angry. It is extremely good at setting against each other people who are fundamentally on the same side, arguing for fundamentally the same thing because of tiny nuances of words spoken in haste, because of assumptions that what is unsaid is unmeant. It's extremely good at turning reasoned "well, you might want to think again about that" into thoughtless "I hate you and everything you stand for". It is extremely bad at moving discussions on. And I include blog posts in that - especially ones written in haste.

I'm very very close indeed to saying I've had enough.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...ge-public-social-media-politics-repercussions
Well I can't argue with the bit in bold, although I think its about political and media discourse more generally and not just about social media. It isn't about really about sides, and insisting that it has to be is itself polarising. I'm well aware that the whole story is one big divide-and-rule manoeuvre aimed at damaging or destroying the aid sector, but sundry feminists and human rights activists have been critiquing aspects (including structural aspects, not just 'bad apples') of the sector for years, and are the only people apparently unsurprised by the 'revelations'. It's not OK to ask people to renounce that critique because the sector is under attack from elsewhere, as if their concerns are suddenly trivial because the insular racist Tories are gaining ground over the ruthless neoliberal ones. I'm also aware that Beard gets deluged with misogynistic abuse pretty much whatever she says, but that doesn't mean that everyone who takes issue with what she said is some kind of mindless attack dog - she is an influential person with a large audience and it's perfectly appropriate that she take responsibility for the import of her words - she's a writer, after all.
 
Top Bottom