THESIS: 'Clark Vader and the Helengrad Labour Lesbians'

Peter Cresswell's picture
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
despite the often large number of individual speakers on a given programme. The First Edition’s history intensified this effect. Because of this, I treated all voices on the programme as if they were a single unified voice."

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
critically about non-elites, and therefore a manifestation of what Antonio Gramsci termed ‘hegemonic struggle’."
Ooh er!

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].

( categories: )

This "PC brigade..."

Ptgymatic's picture

Is that "philosophically correct?"


Political Correctness is the enemy of humor

mvardoulis's picture

...and humor is the enemy of the statist. Ridicule is one of the best weapons a sane person has against an ever-encroaching state. Beats using bombs and bullets, at least for now.

If ever there was a justification to CONTINUE using humor, satire, ridicule as means of self-defense against the state, the brainwashed anti-individual 'paper' Peter C brought to our attention here is a great example! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

NZ judge orders 'odd' name change

Marcus's picture

"Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii"-grad, just doesn't work, does it? Smiling

24 July 2008

NZ judge orders 'odd' name change

A judge in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated - Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing.

He attacked a trend of giving children bizarre names, citing several examples.

Officials had blocked Sex Fruit, Keenan Got Lucy and Yeah Detroit, he said, but Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and Midnight Chardonnay had been allowed.

One mother wanted to name her child O.crnia using text language, but was later persuaded to use Oceania, he said.

'Social handicap'

The ruling, in the city of New Plymouth on the North Island, was handed down in February but only made public now.


Allowed: Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges (twins)

Blocked: Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips (twins)

The name issue emerged during a custody hearing for the young girl - who had refused to tell her friends her name and went simply by "K".

"The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," Judge Murfitt wrote.

"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."

Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii's name has now been changed and the custody case resolved, court officials said.

New Zealand does not allow names that would cause offence or that are longer than 100 characters, Registrar-General Brian Clarke said.

Officials often tried to talk parents out of particularly unusual choices that could embarrass their offspring, the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

That ones not surreal Hayden

gregster's picture

"It was an atmosphere that allowed National leader Don Brash in 2004 to accuse Clark of having no respect for the institution of marriage. Immediate backlash within the media pressured Brash to confess to an earlier adulterous relationship.

However, the episode did him little harm and (Tom) Scott’s view two days later was a cartoon featuring a hapless Clark with two of her staff. One holding a newspaper asks, “Seen this? Brash owning up to an extramarital affair is turning him into a stud muffin.” While the other leans across her desk saying “We’re going to have to go one better Prime Minister. Why don’t we spread a rumour that you and Peter have a trapeze in the bedroom and are active in the Auckland swingers scene…”

This echoes the dominatrix motif referred to earlier in the paper and is all part of a sexuality theme, where it seems there is still one rule for ‘the boys’ and another for ‘the girls’."

It's quite good in all.

Helengrad Persists!

Hayden Wood's picture

But alas "Helengrad" is not attributed to Mr Perigo

Can this be for real?

VSD's picture

gone for a few months and I come back and laugh my a.. off:
so if Helen Clark is indeed
- a commie as pink as any drag queen would be envious of
- a lesbian as fascist as any sexual preference could boast
- a sadomasochist as tough as you could wish for in your master
then maybe I should ask her out on a date Evil
not to put a too fine point on the imbecilic work being discussed here, but the points made against it are at least as funny and ridiculous as the original paper Smiling
but tell me: is Helen also taking mind-altering drugs?


Lindsay Perigo's picture

The main point of Perigo's use of "hyperbole" and "symbols" is not that it creates falsehood, but that it highlights truth.

Excellent observation. It strikes me that this nincompoop displays the same ninny-ness as the PC brigade on this forum, who, you will observe, are also university-brainwashed. They don't understand the role of hyperbole, metaphor or any other figure of speech.

Hyperbole highlights the essence of something by deliberately exaggerating the relevant aspects of its form. Helen Clark is essentially a communist. The form her regime takes is not (yet) full-blown literal communism by any means, but that's no reason not to hammer the hell out of the communistic aspects. Hyperbole enables one to get straight to the point, punchily and entertainingly. Academics and academia are allergic to such characteristics.

From what I hear

Jeremy's picture

From what I hear, she's a sado-masochist.  Lesbian or not.

Of course

Lindsay Perigo's picture

- Clark as "lesbian" - I don't think Perigo has ever used this specific term against Clark. Perigo himself is gay so I suspect he would not find 'gayness' to be a reason for abuse.

Of course not, and I never used the term "lesbian" against the PM, who as far as I know is hetero anyway. The injustice of indiscriminately juxtaposing me and Banks is that I get tarred with his bigoted homophobe brush and other authoritarian tendencies which I loath as much as I do Clark's. The paper should be failed on that ground alone.

Some basics

Tim S's picture

They may have got that factual detail wrong but the real point of Brown's post was just to throw some mud in the hope that it will stick.

Actually, that seems to be the point of the thesis itself, so far as I can tell.

There are far too many errors for any working person to find the time to deal with, but, since they're reading this over here, here's some broad-brush bullet points:

1. Nobody thinks there is some left-wing "conspiracy" or "secret agenda" afoot. Most I suspect, simply recognise that there is simply a confluence of underlying philosophic premises which allow those of a collectivist bent to find common ground in areas such as anti-capitalism, global warming, "minority rights", etc.

2. As a specific application of the above, nobody thinks there is a "secret agenda" to dumb-down education. Dumbing down is simply the inevitable result of collectivism and forced education. Put simply, if you treat people like sheep, then sheep is what you will end up with.

3. The main point of Perigo's use of "hyperbole" and "symbols" is not that it creates falsehood, but that it highlights truth. If we think about "communist lesbian dictator" for the moment:

- Clark is "communist" because she shares the same philosophic premises and collectivist ethics as the communists - namely, that the use of state force against one sector of the public is justified for the alleged support of another sector. Hence the epithet has a basis in, and highlights, truth.

- Clark as "lesbian" - I don't think Perigo has ever used this specific term against Clark. Perigo himself is gay so I suspect he would not find 'gayness' to be a reason for abuse. But to acknowledge Stoddard's more general point that Perigo and others exhibit "hate speech" against Clark, well I suspect Perigo does hate Clark. I certainly do. So what? It is an issue of free speech that we should be able to say so and to give vent to that [justified] emotion. Unlike Clark, we do not have a monopoly over the legal use of force. She does. The whole anti-free speech thrust of Stoddard's thesis belies a fascistic - yes, fascistic - undercurrent to his views.

- Clark as dictator. Again, there is an element of truth to this. Objectivists hold that governments do not have the right to initiate force against any person or sector of the public. Clark does this in many forms - punitive taxation rates of 39% being just one obvious example. It isn't enough to say that Clark was voted in to do this. The tyranny of the majority is still tyranny, and to that extent, Clark is a dictator.

4. Perigo's "discourse" is not arbitrary, or without fundamental logic, or abstract. There is a whole literature of philosophic, political and economic writing to support Perigo's views. Perhaps Stoddard should acquaint himself with those fundamentals instead of just - himself - throwing out arbitrary statements.

5. If Stoddard is concerned about misuse of symbols he should look no further than his own philsophic equivalents on the left, who have made perverting language into an art from. To take the most obvious epithet, the term "right-wing", as in "to the right of Genghis Khan" to describe free-marketeers (Genghis, of course, being known as a great free-marketeer) is a morally-loaded, misused term. The language of "modern discourse", as Stoddard would probably say, is entirely geared to the political agenda (no conspiracy) of the left.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I note that this paper has found its way to Hard Leftie Russell Brown's site. Brown, reminiscent of the Brandroids, claims Perigo no longer has a mind, and says this of my stint post-Banks:

"Perigo, inevitably, had a hissy fit and left the show (probably blaming his 'enemies') and Banks, of course is the Mayor of Auckland."

See, that's the kind of mindless, lying bullshit one is up against. I did not have a "hissy fit" or even "leave," let alone blame "enemies." My substituting for Banks was only ever going to be for a few weeks in the interim leading up to Pacific's morphing into whatever it is now. That's exactly what happened, according to plan and entirely amicably. Anyone can verify this by checking with Chris Gregory, So where does this "hissy fit" crap come from?! Nonetheless, wait for it to show up on O-Lying as fact and be incorporated into Babs Branden's next litany of libels about me.

Do a search on his name in a year

Scott Wilson's picture

Either a student or a public sector policy wonk...

though there has to be an academic study into Elena Ceausescu and her obsessive fascination with pornography, not shared by Nicolae (if we are talking communist lesbian (or at least bisexual) dictators).

Lewis Stoddart will surely be working for Cultural Affairs or Internal Affairs shortly? A quick google appears to indicate he appears to have taught English in Korea, but I wonder which half?!?

It beats me ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... how he can quote me saying the following without realising how the gap between its intentional hyperbole and what is actually happening diminishes by the day:


I don’t know why they don’t just cut to the chase. Implement their real agenda in one fell swoop. Install
monitors in every home, and have an arch-instructor who tells us when to get up, when to ablute, when
to shower, when and what to eat – no animal protein, of course – when to go to work, when and what
to have for lunch; work again. Back home for dinner – no alcohol, and no meat. When to go to bed –
no sex, except between women. Oh, and the sheets will be examined in the morning for signs of solitary
indulgence. Why don’t they just do that? That’s what they really want to do – regulate every facet of our
existence, the feminazis and their fellow travellers. Why don’t they just get on with it? [78]

I wonder what his professor...

Marcus's picture

...will make of this footnote? Wouldn't it be funny if he has to check the references Smiling

"Perigo believes ‘all religion is evil’ (Lindsay Perigo, ‘Answer to Professor Pomo’ Salient (24 September 2007) p. 28)."

Through The Looking Glass

Luke H's picture

When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871.

And that, of course ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... is straight from the Richard Goode Pomowanker's Manual.

typical pomowanker's case

Lance's picture

typical pomowanker's case for shutting down free speech

That's certainly what I read it as.

The implication is that what a speaker actually says, and how, is more important in terms of meaning
than what she thinks she is saying.

You don't really know what you're saying, you only think you do.

Defamation on Pg 6

gregster's picture

"Perigo went so far as to give explicit support to National (in spite of his own misgivings about the party) on the grounds that they oppose Labour [51, 53, 87]."

Well, the "powerful associations" will have him worried next time in the team showers.

Problem is ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

.... it's really making the typical pomowanker's case for shutting down free speech, and that ain't funny at all.

We'd better get our book out while we still can!

Can it really be for real?

Tim S's picture

"Can it really be for real??"

I don't know, but it sure is fucking funny! Tears of laughter for over an hour so far. Laughing out loud

Now ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... you've prompted me to go look at the thing. Unbelievable. Who needs Sciabarra or Robert Campbell for Polish? Can it really be for real?? Take this for example:


Political speech
is both semiotically fungible and highly polysemic [hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!]: symbol meanings change rapidly and may legit-
imately be interpreted in diverse ways. An analyst or audience member must therefore rely on her
own (or received) interpretations as to whether a given utterance is to be taken seriously, and if so how
seriously. Banks and Perigo frequently resorted to hyperbole, humour or sarcasm; so frequently and
with such vigour as to present serious problems in discerning between satire and serious comment.
In response to one such instance (though not in my dataset) Perigo ridiculed Victoria University of
Wellington Religious Studies Professor Paul Morris for taking as written Perigo’s statement ‘recom-
mending “robust sodomy” of Muslims as they bend towards Mecca’ saying ‘such is the paucity of
his case, it would seem, that he must repair to piss-taking as meant literally, when he knows full well
it wasn’t.’24 This was disingenuous. Lisa Wedeen argued that discourse itself is a form of political
action, in the sense that all speech – and especially public, widely-disseminated, semiotically rich
speech – constitutes meaning-making and norm-reinforcement, whether the speaker believes it to be
so or not. She said
Systems of signs are inscribed in material, observable practices; semiotic practices produce material effects,
... And material effects reproduce systems of signification, which are communally intelligible and therefore
open to interpretation.25
The implication is that what a speaker actually says, and how, is more important in terms of meaning
than what she thinks she is saying. Perigo’s appeal for the sodomy of Muslims during prayer, while
indeed ‘piss-taking’ as he says, nevertheless had powerful associations which were not diminished by
the attempt at humour. In analysing the texts of my dataset I took no position on matters of fact or
accuracy, or indeed on matters of a speaker’s interpretation of events or history, but I took positions
on issues of discourse since that was the object of my research.


What can I say but ...

Semiotically, fungibly, highly polysemically yours,



Tim S's picture

Oh my giddy Galt! I haven't laughed so hard since Perigo discovered Prudence Hymen! Laughing out loud

'Unintentionally hilarious' doesn't do it justice. The interspersal of Linzisms amongst all that monotonous tripe was sheer comedic genius! (See Figure 2 and Figure 3 for example. 'Saddamy at Seven' is a new one on me Linz ... Laughing out loud )

However, as editor of Perigo's upcoming book, I feel a few corrections are in order: it's 'Mordies', not 'Modies' (racist bastard - get your pronunciation right); Helen Clark is not just a 'bitch', she is an 'evil bitch'; and it's not 'Minister of Ugly Women's Affairs', it's 'Minister of Ugly WIMMIN's Affairs' (sexist prick).

Other than that, I give it an A as an example of academic tripe - and an F in terms of the author's hopes of getting a job in the real world.

In any event ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

‘communist lesbian dictator’


I never mentioned her sexuality, since I don't know what it is and don't care. Ascribing "hegemonic" unanimity and import to me and Banks on the basis of two out of three is very sloppy indeed.

First they ignore you ...

Luke H's picture

Well, it looks like we will have to amend our old saying ...

"First they ignore you.  Then they laugh at you.  Then they write academic theses attacking you ..."


Have done a bit of reading,

Elijah's picture

Have done a bit of reading, Peter, and it would appear this thread is not a hoax Shock...(due to the absurdity of such a thesis, I was not sure if you were pulling our pissers)...which means..ummmmm...I am speechless Victoria University allowed such nonsense to proceed.

Naturally Wink I am happy to accept the 'Elitist' label if some of you chaps are uncomfortable with it Tongue ...but yes...this whole business is..ummmm...gosh. 

Amongst other gems of

Peter Cresswell's picture

Amongst other gems of humour, I was amused to see him recount that you left the show he was "researching" for "undisclosed reasons."

His research apparently hadn't revealed you were filling in while Banks was electioneering.

Our Voices Are as One. We are all Hegemonic Elitists!

I suspect ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... Lewis Stoddart cribbed it from Richard Goode. Wink

Now, I did say it was all down to Gramsci, did I not? Smiling

Linz the Hegemonic Elitist

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