On Higher Learning.

This piece was written and posted on the 16 Dec. 2013 in response to what I saw as an “understanding” that existed (and I believe still does exist) between what could be called the higher-educated middle-classes AS AGAINST the low-educated working classes..that could be best described as a “consciousness of kind” between the commentators and writers from that “upper” educated-class.

Yes, I do have a chip on my shoulder against the higher-educated middle-class and how they have either for too long dismissed or demeaned commentators and opinion pieces from the lower-educated working class as being badly written (in a grammatical sense) or too clumsily abusive or lacking the finesse both natured and nurtured by the respected Alma Maters and the “masters” of those institutions toward their charges and wards as they coached them to graduation cap and gown..bully for you! But what has now evolved from that “exclusiveness” is that the likes of idiots like PHON and the far-right of the LNP have arisen to fill the vacuum created by the “abandonment” of a whole social demographic who benefit more from being led by educated instruction than by the nose.

It went like this:

On Higher Education. (posted on “The Pub” blog circa ; Dec’ 16 / 2013).

Hello!…muy afficionados!…sit back and relax…it being Xmas, ol’ jaycee is going give you a bit of a fireside chat!

BB. (Bushfire Bill), I see you have posted on the latest Andrew Elder piece..I posted there under “anonymous”(haven’t quite worked out the identity thingo yet!)..; that last post on the accusation of Treason against the fourth estate…and I see as an aside “Cat Momma” under the alter alias of “Hillbilly Skeleton” has also resurfaced!…

On that subject of treason, I recently wrote a piece called ; “The Meaning of Treason” ( https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/the-meaning-of-treason-pts-12/ )…I first offered it to Dave Donovan at IA…which he enthusiastically accepted…but then on what I believe was the advice of his moderators, he rejected it without changes to what they thought were possible offensive slanders against the integrity of the MSMedia journalists of the day…I then gave it to Fiona, here, who accepted it and sat on it for a couple of weeks, while BB. put up a couple more pieces and I could see it was going to sit a while longer and I feared the ‘moment’ for such a piece’s impact would be lost as Abbott and the LNP. regained its footing…so I withdrew it intending to extrapolate on the subject and represent it to another site…it was eventually accepted, although ”keenly” edited and put up for THREE DAYS on the Political Sword. (1 / 12 / 2013) As it happened, Abbott predictably made another massive gaffe (who’d a thunk it!) and it went up at the right time.

But the piece is not the subject of this little discourse…The subject is the presentation of A Subject!.

BB., you wrote a post a couple of weeks back on the memory of a Brother at your Catholic College; Alma Mater “coaching” you in English essaying..and you stated ;(wtte) that even though you had previously won prizes in writing, you feared the upcoming exams would be a challenge..and so you sought the “coaching” of this brother..and all went well !…

I had a similar moment when attempting to learn Latin at Adelaide Uni mature entry..( THAT, sounds salacious!)..I remember coming out from a tutorial, absolutely weary at the constructed complexity of the Latin grammar…I remember I counted one verb alone had 35 (I think) variations..and that probably DIDN”T include a future “shifting tense” ( I remember I cracked what I thought was a witticism about that being a bit like Arabic.; ”…you know ;the Bedouin and their shifting tents”..I thought it funny…the Latin lecturer didn’t )….I remember standing in the sunlight outside the Wells Building and softly exclaiming to myself ; “Who and why, in effing hell thought up such a complex grammatical labyrinth ?”…(of course, the Romans themselves had a much simpler system, relying, I suspect, more on sound inflection and gesticulation…the Latin we learn is really Medieval Latin..constructed in the Catholic Monasteries)….and as I was spewing on this thought, I looked up and followed the line of the buildings and the road-kerbing going away, away to a converging point as in the perspective lines in a drawing right across the (then) open courtyard dead straight to the front doors of the “University Of Adelaide Club”.

An accidental metaphor?…perhaps…but then it dawned on me…like, I suspect, it dawned on yourselves with many essays…this entire “education scheme” is a structure that is not necessarily about “learning”…but more about “training”….Thorsten Veblen wrote (at around the year 1910) that the whole idea of higher education was really to filter out those who would be pliable and useful to the ruling class …the “leisure class” as he succinctly put it! Your “Brother” did not teach you anything you did not already know, BB. but he did “train” you how to frame your writing to pass those exams….you were the more fortunate than I in that you were already part of an institution..; St Johns…(I believe)…and were taken under wing (however reluctantly) and “skilled up”. I was from the “wasteland”…working-class / middle-aged male…I had only the enthusiasm..NOT the grammar!…but I scraped through it all….just!

But here’s the rub…Having got that piece “The Meaning of Treason” up, it was not cross-linked to ANY other site that usually links The Political Sword..I saw one usual blog even linked TPS’s Xmas Cheer message!….sure, I would have liked to have seen the piece spread around, for its message rather than my vanity…Christ!..if futile vanity was all I had to boost me in my fading years, I’d rather “bare my bum in Bangalore”…but I do wonder why it was omitted…it was no more irrational or silly than any of the multitude of articles that make their way to the web…but there is one thing…and Ad Astra touched upon it when he first posted it..He said the charge of treason might make some “bristle”….and THAT is, I believe, where I crossed the line…and you can see it in Andrew Elders reply to my post there….

I had accused what could best be described as “The Fraternity” of higher education professionals , journalists and academia of a heinous crime…because there is seemingly a “common ground” understanding that is “trained” into select university graduates that (to put it simply) “one does not peach on a fellow”…one does not cross such a boundary of accusation as cannot be retracted….

To close..I remember sitting in a shell of a new building having smoko with another contractor there…the only one on this day..a tiler..an Italian…and being half-Italian myself, the conversation got around to children…”…and how many children do you have?” I asked….he was shelling a boiled egg…tilers, as a consequence of their occupation, have very short fingernails..and his short thick, calloused fingers were making a job of it…he sat silent across from me, the action in itself was an education , his fingers working on the egg and his tongue wetting his bottom lip..I thought he had not heard my question and I was about to repeat it, when he replied in a tired, fatalistic way..; “I do not have any children….I have movie stars.”….and he bit on the egg and stared at me….he didn’t have to explain, I knew, as I am sure YOU know, just what he meant..

And (bad grammar that, starting a sentence with a conjunctive!) I now use that metaphor to say that we, of the fifth estate, have few, real, Left-wing intellectual commentators, we have Grammatical Stylists…

Like many of us here and elsewhere on “progressive” sites, since the 2010 elections, I must have read thousands!…literally THOUSANDS of posts and articles, both encouraging the Left-side of politics and villifying the LNP. mob….So..taking the 2010 election result as ending in a roughly 50 / 50 Labor / LNP. and the fact that the 2013 election ended in a LNP. win, we have to conclude the intervening years and thousands of articles not only failed to deliver ONE extra vote to our side, but in fact we LOST many…….so whatever we argued for in those essays and articles, it was somewhat of a duffer!….the argument didn’t reach the intended ears nor touched the intended minds….our direction was all wrong, it would seem.

I am suggesting we give a degree of consideration as to how we can reframe the discussion to draw in more readers.

I have an idea, but will hold off while we, I hope, give some thought on the subject.
I am going to cross-post this discussion (at least MY part) to the Political Sword to see what they think.

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10 thoughts on “On Higher Learning.

  1. That “have few, real, Left-wing intellectual commentators, we have Grammatical Stylists…” reminds me one site full of “lefties because it is trendy”, the ones that get offended and change the topic when feel self-identified by the opinions of others.
    There are to categories on the highly educated, the common ones which are weak and cannot think by themselves and therefore indoctrinated and the minority that realize that many of the “reputable education institutes” are similar to a Christian seminary preparing priest to serve.

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    1. Just fell out with Dave Donovan who has now blocked me on Twitter…ironically telling ME to “grow up”!…Ahh, I’m sick of posting pieces on those poncy middle-class blogs…sooner or later I would be bound to fall from grace…and one has to temper one’s writing so as not to offend their bourgeois sensibilities…fuck them all!…I’ll post anything I have to say from here from now on..

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    1. Dave Donovan from Independant Australia…blog… David Donovan is the younger brother of former South Australian Liberal Party state candidate Matthew Donovan. …From a well-established business family..

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    1. Unfortunately, Arthur..too many blogs and political conversations are run by from and for the middle-classes..I don’t want to be seen as one of those crazy “Yankee running dog!” lefties..I accept that the middle-class has motivated most of the social uprisings in history..but that was because they could talk the language of the masses who they relied upon for “storm troopers” if their revolution was to succeed..Today we do not have “communication”, we have lecturing and admonition…; the waving finger of the middle-classes..who, I suspect would like to maintain the economic rationalism they rail against..except THEY want it to run in their preferred direction.. and rather than regulate the overheads that suffocate the lower waged workers, they would like to maintain the “aspirational” creed for those of their own.

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      1. Frankly, I do not have the time or dedication to start “filtering” blogs to see which ones are in the same line of thinking that I am. In Twitter I can have a look the sites of the posters and if they are on the Union left movement or I know their background, then I take my time to follow them.

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