MySchool and the Cowardice of the Left

“They’re not nihilist, they’re just cowards.” These are the words of warning that John Goodman’s character gave in the film the Big Lebowski when dealing with a bunch of black clad extortionists. Such a warning is appropriate for the Australian right regarding its leftist opponents. The point can be made evident with reference to any one of a large and increasing number of orifices that spout opinions which taken together constitute the Australian left. The most recent and high profile instance would have to be the reaction to the making public the results of National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy, NAPLAN, results via the MySchool website.

The reaction to the Myschool website and the making public the NAPLAN results demonstrates this beyond the fact of the Australian Education Union’s capitulation on threats to boycott the tests in exchange for a ‘working party’. The whole effort can be seen as a timid approach to seeking justice.

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Art is Theft

Andy Warhol collectors are currently up in arms about the dramatic loss in value some works attributed to him are suffering. One work from the Red Series made the dramatic descent from $2 million to nothing. The cause of the decrease was the stamping of ‘denied’ in bright red on the back of the canvas.

That stamp was a costly little addition given by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of its authentication efforts. What, above all, has got people up in arms about that stamp is that the actual process of determination is entirely secret and appears arbitrary. That 1 in 5 of works attributed to Warhol are knocked back amplifies the significance of the issue. The ramifications, however, run much deeper than the trade-able value of certain works by a certain artist, the situation highlights a general arbitrariness in the determination of art as art.

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