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THESIS: 'Clark Vader and the Helengrad Labour Lesbians'
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2008-07-14 22:07
These days, you can get a graduate diploma in political science at Victoria University of Wellington by analysing "John Banks and Lindsay Perigo, in their host roles on the Radio Pacific breakfast talk show 'The First Edition,'" in particular their "political-symbolic hate campaign" against Helen Clark which was "crystallised," says research student Lewis Stoddart, "into a characterisation which I describe as ‘communist lesbian dictator’."
Student Lewis Stoddart portrays the "anatomy of [this] political-symbolic hate campaign" through the 'lens' of "critical analysis" ("it was a critical analysis," explains Stoddart apparently without irony, "because it addressed issues of power and dominance") in a thesis presented to VUW's political science department in October of last year with the title, 'Clark Vader and the Helengrad Labour Lesbians.'
The title comes from a talkback caller -- a product of the hate campaign, you see. Its methodology relies explicitly on assumptions such as this, that "talk as a genre marginalises non-dominant voices, resulting in a lack of diversity
Thus, 'timber yard' callers and the likes of James Valliant in his capacity as caller can be conveniently considered as "a single unified voice," as can the views of Lindsay Perigo and those of John Banks, "a devout Christian who broadcast Bible readings every morning." This is the sort of methodology of this sort of "academic" work.
"Therefore" (don't you love it when logical terms are used in stuff like his), "therefore," says Stoddart, "in the analysis which follows refer to ‘the discourse’, not distinguishing between individual voices except in rare cases where the speaker’s identity is pertinent for some other reason."
This is what is known as playing your research 'Aces Wild.'
There follows thirty-odd pages on the Banks/Perigo/Tom/Dick/Harry "discourse," featuring such powerful insights as the following:
"Since the discourse in question was presented ostensibly by and on behalf of the ‘battlers from Struggle Street’ and attacked powerful political elites it seemed a manifest challenge to dominance [bring on the "critical analysis"!]. However as broadcasters, politicians and political actors in their own right, neither Banks nor Perigo were in fact the ordinary folk they claimed to represent, but were themselves elites engaging in ‘insider anti-elitism’.10 Moreover, the divide they created implicated many genuinely ‘ordinary’ folk in the ‘them’ category which was the object of attack just as much as was the government. On this basis I interpreted the discourse as elites discoursing
You really need to read this. It's not just unintentionally hilarious, it's a perfect demonstration of the quality of 'thought' and research that is able to earn a qualification in today's universities. You can read all thirty PDF pages here [hat tip No Minister].
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