Unca Tim, what’s a dystopia?

Has this Melburnian dilettante read Huxley’s novel and resents the quoted phrase below as a slur on hir beloved reality TV? Or does sie, as I suspect, hate reality TV and inadvertently revealed that sie hasn’t read the novel and doesn’t recognise the contextual meaning of the title phrase? Can anyone untangle these antecedents at all?

"the brave new world of reality TV"?!?

lordy”¦ someone get me a bucket, i think i’m going to hurl.

80’s music is one thing, i’m quite fond of a lot of it even when it’s second time round & really not quite as good as it was first time around. calling reality TV a “brave new world” is”¦ well”¦ words fail me.
Posted by pache on 2006 09 20 at 06:19 PM "¢ permalink

This comment responds to Tim Blair’s swipe at a Tracee Hutchinson column as part of his ongoing “look at the loony lefties” schtick aimed at everyone who writes for The Age.

Blair: The Age’s Traceeeee Hutchison asks:

"Ever had that sinking feeling that the planet is spinning in reverse?"

Can’t say that I have.

To be scrupulously fair, that opening phrase made a really easy target, and the column isn’t one of her best, redolent with cliche (sorry) as she bemoans the current superfluity of recycled rock stars touring the nation. It’s a journeyman effort at best. But hey, she’s still got a major broadsheet column gig, which is more than some other people can say.

Pache’s response reminds me of Pavlov’s Cat‘s recent post, and Orwell’s essay that I mentioned earlier, regarding dying metaphors which need retirement from the general vocabulary due to their original vividness fading as people no longer understand the origin of the phrase, thus leading to confusion. Some of Blair’s commentors point out Hutchinson’s overuse of cliche as a flaw in her writing, and despite the repellent glee of their attacks they do have a point. Pache’s response would certainly lend support for the argument that cliche far too often obscures rather than clarifies meaning.

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2 replies

  1. I think that was one of Blair’s better posts, which you can interpret any way you want! I do think Blair is a good writer and blogger, but I’ve come to accept that most (ie, all) bloggers I’ve come across in real life have feelings about him that range from dislike to out-and-out loathing. His nickname for Tracee Hutchinson is unfortunate – not very witty to begin with, and with just the slightest whiff of misogyny.
    Unfortunately, I think that the fact that Hutchinson is employed at The Age doesn’t reflect much on her, but rather reflects rather poorly on The Age. She’s attempted satire in her latest column – and the results are terrible. The regular writers for The Age at the moment really are dreadful – what with Leunig’s being given free licence for his self-obsession, and any number of cantankerous old socialists who must have been hired in the old ‘Spencer Street Soviet’ days.

  2. Agreed that her opening was ripe for mockery, and the rest of it not much better. I haven’t read many of her columns – the first I heard of her that I know of was her column about Greer writing about Irwin, which I liked a lot. Maybe she’s better when she’s writing with passion on issues, not just trying to pull off a fluff piece.
    Also agreed that most of Blair’s blog posts are clever and pertinent, even when I disagree with his opinions (ie mostly). It’s the Blairites that disturb me: that he doesn’t care to rein their nastiness in (and deliberately sics them on other bloggers just because he can) reflects badly on him.

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