Bruce in Adelaide has written one of his best posts ever, in my humble opinion, about Catherine Deveny: Fired! Fired! Fired! Fired!
… I can’t help but vacillate between apathy, joy and being slightly disturbed by the whole affair.
I’ll make the obligatory, entirely unoriginal confession: except for that which she may have written for TV that I’ve laughed at, I’ve never liked her stuff. Ever.
I’ve been at a loss as to why people like her, so I’ve read her material at The Age; the supposedly funny, informative, thought provoking stuff. I haven’t even snickered and I haven’t felt my consciousness raised…
Offence and edginess
My ignorance on other-matters-Deveny aside, her diatribes against the poor – and they aren’t gentle mocking – remind me of when I moved from a nasty block of flats in one of the nastiest suburbs in Adelaide, to a middle-class location with a middle-class friend.
Somewhat broken after being overworked (and poisoned and stressed the hell out) in a nasty factory job, my humour directed at my former-fellow-bogans was snide, capricious posturing. It wasn’t funny at all.
Indeed, I consider this stage in my life as rock bottom in as far as my comedic ability is concerned.
With the exception of my still recovering ability to make with the funnies, I’m well over that stage of my life, have learned not to be ashamed of or aggrieved by my working class roots and indeed have learned to embrace them. No more am I one of those people so at odds and insecure amongst the middle-to-upper class that they need to bag the old working-class crowd just to fit in. Apparently Deveny hasn’t managed this, which is a shame for her, if not her readers.
But about her no longer working for The Age…
Does she deserve it? I think so…
Since when did repeating stereotypes about poor people that everybody already knows constitute as “edgy”? How does this constitute challenging the assumptions of “white honkies in suits”? There’s nothing challenging about it. It’s easy pickings.
Here’s “edgy” – a guy who got on a bus in Elizabeth in the 1990s in thongs, jeans and singlet, carrying a slab of VB, only to sit down before interjecting in a conversation to articulately criticise the divisive and misleading propaganda of Pauline Hanson and One-Nation. True story.
It doesn’t fit well with people’s assumptions of “bogans”, does it? Not offensive at all – but more edgy an observation than the unoriginal tripe Deveny writes about poor people, because it challenges commonly held beliefs.
I don’t have a problem with defending critique from the whining hordes of the offended. But I have a problem defending garbage.
How can you defend Deveny’s position of privilege if all she can provoke is a gag reflex, rather than touching on genuinely sore points? Her role as a columnist was justified and is defended on the grounds of being “edgy” social commenta ry, no? “Edgy” my arse – clichéd is what it is…
My acquaintance with her work is very limited… Really I formed a negative view of her when I saw her on Q&A a while ago. “Smartarse” is what I felt.
Nice one, Bruce.
Maybe it’s the shorter paragraphs. 😉