The definitive Windy defence
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-07
From an off-the-record interview with Keith Windschultte, 2009-01-02…
"Don’t people realize that the whole magazine is a giant piss-take?
"Hell, even the name should be a hint that it is undergraduate humor: "Quad-Rant". Get it? As if the founding of the magazine by one of the most famous Australian literary hoaxers wasn’t enough of a clue! Have you read the published poetry lately? McAuley would be very pleased!
"OK, OK, so it doesn’t have "Australia’s Premier Satirical Magazine" in a large font immediately under the title, but that would ruin it for all of us.
"For years it has been great fun to watch the pretentious self-proclaimed elite take the magazine as seriously as they take themselves. The righties spout the flawed arguments, while the lefties waste their time being outraged at the magazine rather than Canberra (whichever of the two right-wing parties are in power).
"Whoever "Sharon Gould" is, the joke is on hem/hir for attempting the trick in the first place – fooled that we were a serious journal, a QuadRant hater who boosts revenue by increasing sales… delicious!
"Of course there are occasional articles that are serious so the larger joke is non-obvious: Reist’s article "The pornification of girlhood" next to the brilliant Nelson’s "What we have achieved in Iraq". Actually the latter had similarities to the current "Gould" piece in that the author was deceived. Nelson actually reckoned his thoughts on something were worth inclusion in a "serious" magazine. Then again, perhaps he was smart enough to understand the joke and did a wonderful job with faux arguments justifying the unjustifiable, in which case the "Mission Accomplished" banner behind Bush (see the footnotes) must have been inspirational.
"The appointment of Robert Manne as editor was a hoot. While satire needs distractors to maintain the illusion (just like the recent Reist piece), the same technique used by "Gould" misrepresenting a real CSIRO paper, keeping the same single joke running for nearly ten years is something even US sitcoms cannot do.
"Personally, I think George Pell’s pieces show his incredible wit and humor – a side of him few have understood. QuadRant published an excerpt from his book to demonstrate this facet of him, one on Constantine the self-proclaimed "Great" and "Thirteenth Apostle". It’s probably one of the articles that best shows what QuadRant is about.
"That satire argues between the lines for the establishment of a caliphate and the "facts" clearly aren’t. Unfortunately, it didn’t provoke the reaction it deserved: you only get a few pages when Googling the title and "Pell". Perhaps the righties could see the flaws and avoided quoting it. Perhaps the lefties aren’t versed enough in the classics to find the errors and unwritten but absolutely clear conclusions, so obvious that even that neurologically-challenged never-done-a-history-unit-in-his-life blogger Balneus was able to produce a good analysis of the joke (but, like most pretentious so-and-so’s, didn’t recognize it was just satire).
"Balneus also fell for another Pell satire, although Roman Catholic bigwigs put out so many statements that are contrary to the fundamentals of human rights and logic that perhaps it’s not surprising it was taken as a "straight" piece.
"The closest "The Monthly" has come, and perhaps the editors were fooled, was with Rudd’s brilliant "Brutopia", a joke on the Australian left, and indeed, through reviews in the press, the entire Australian electorate. Mind you, that was too subtle, and the joke is only now starting to become apparent. However, as Rudd suggests in part of his satire reviewing pundit reactions to his October piece, Andrew Bolt either got the joke immediately, penning his own spoof counterarguments, or got sucked in with nearly everybody else. The US Magazine "Harper’s" has just published an article analysing the joke.
"If the chatter is true, there’s an even more brilliant piece coming up, allegedly written by an Orthdox Rabbi (but actually Dimedenko, a pun on half-Denko, who entered the US from the Ukraine in 1993 and was worse than Helen by lying under oath about persecution to avoid deportation). It "defends" the the West Bank settlements and Israeli attacks on Gaza by including lengthy quotes from Hitler’s rantings on liebensraum, after a quick seach-and-replace of "Palestinians/Goyim" for "Slavs/Jews/Untermenschen", "Israel" for "Germany", etc.