If the Left’s continuing assault on what remains of our civilisation is the big problem of our time, a lesser irritation is that the Left itself is dead boring. All that tedious complaining, like fractious infants. You get the impression the complaining is as important to the Leftist as the succession of fads complained about – a long list now, stretching back through the years via the inglorious but thoroughly merited dismissal of Whitlam to the days of “Pig Iron Bob” daubed on railway bridges.
Not having an inspiring vision of life, the Left reduces the whole realm of human experience to tight little categories so alien to traditional ways of thinking that it has had to invent ugly neologisms to denote them – sexism, racism, sundry phobias. These serve as the building blocks with which the earnest Leftist constructs his ethical views. Things are good or bad – no, you can’t say good or bad, the Left considers moral absolutes a relic of outmoded Judeo-Christianity – approved or disapproved of according to the absence or presence of one or more of these categories.
Annoyingly, Leftists have infected everyone with this tiresome grievance-classification jargon, thus straitjacketing public and much private discourse within Leftist concepts. That’s fine for Leftists, whose conversational range is limited to their current hobbyhorses but pretty ho-hum for the rest of us. Get stuck at a Leftist dinner party and instead of a feast of reason and flow of soul you’ll get an orgy of virtue-signalling variations on the usual dreary repertoire: the awfulness of Trump, the wickedness of letting the Barrier Reef “die”, the iniquity of Murdoch and his myrmidons and so on, until you slide off your chair comatose, at which point the company, misattributing the cause of your narcolepsy, is catapulted by association into lamenting the shocking toll of binge-drinking as reported in the Age (which is now a fanzine for the Left with boring Leftist articles for boring Leftist letter-to-the-editor writers).
Leftists, letter-writers or not, are boring because they are predictable. They have what the Oxford don Lord David Cecil called “package-deal opinions”. Know what a Leftist thinks on any one thing and you know what he thinks about everything else, or everything within the range of his awareness, which is usually not extensive. (There’s no point in asking him what he thinks of abstrusities, say the Shakespeare-Earl-of-Oxford theory or Victorian Gothic stained glass, because he won’t understand what you’re talking about.)
Leftists are boring because they never say anything stimulating or challenging. They stick to what they know is OK to other Leftists. Take Alan Joyce and his announcement that Qantas is in favour of “gay marriage” (as though an airline were a sentient being capable of opinions). What he deserves for this utterance is to be sacked for alienating a substantial number of potential passengers. What he gets is a gong for, inter alia, his contribution to “diversity”. What diversity? If he’d said something really diverse, such as that Qantas opposes Section 18C – or, really sticking his neck out, that Qantas supports leaving the marriage laws as they are – he might have merited this signal expression of his sovereign’s esteem. But to say anything of that sort would have been to break ranks with our opinion controllers.
There’s something comic in the Joyce affair, with a captain of industry turning from his performance charts to become a gender warrior. It’s like Roz Ward trying to pilot an Airbus. But the Left wouldn’t know that it’s funny because, like all bores, it has no sense of humour. How could a Leftist laugh at something that saner generations have found hilarious such as the books of P. G. Wodehouse with their cast of servants, tough aunts and pining lovers? The Leftist reader would find the first an example of capitalist exploitation, the second of authorial misogyny and the third “homophobic” because of the “binary” nature of the love. Leftists didn’t get the wit of Bill Leak, who made them incandescent with uncomprehending rage, but they love Michael Leunig’s silly doodles because his palaeo-anarchist platitudes speak to their simple hearts. Leftist “humour” as witnessed at “comedy festivals” and on the ABC is nothing more than vulgarity with a public subsidy.
Leftists are boring because they relate everything to themselves. The old Left of fairness and compassion for the underdog has gone. The new Left is about posing as compassionate at no cost to oneself, preferably towards some “victim” safely at arm’s length – an Aboriginal township-dweller or an “asylum seeker” over on Manus Island. And if an asylum seeker who’s been let in throws bombs in a crowded street the Leftist can live with that too, and make excuses for it, as long as it’s not in some sacred Leftist space like the Wheeler Centre.
Leftists’ self-centredness means they reject objectivity. The Leftist woman is ipso facto a feminist, judging everything from a feminist point of view, not because she’s weighed the arguments but because she is a woman. The Leftist male is a feminist too because he’s terrified of being thought an aggressor. Literature is evaluated according to the sex of the writer. Forgotten lady artists of dubious ability are disinterred and hailed as geniuses suppressed by “patriarchy”. Canberra, it turns out, was designed by a woman with her husband as assistant.
The LGBTQIXYZ Left (notice that in the order of initials it’s still “ladies first”, which is either a pleasantly chivalric survival or the result of lesbian pushiness) is exclusively obsessed by self, so can never understand that the rest of the world is not agog to hear its eternal laments about “heteronormative” oppression. For selfish Leftist gays, it’s always other people who are out of step. Opposition to their campaign to remake society to their own prescription is opposition to “inclusivity”. Parents who object to their children being brainwashed at school with mendacious and unscientific notions of gender “fluidity” are denounced as culpably “cisnormative” with no rights in the matter. If even an experienced paediatrician dares to suggest that some brattish child “identifying” as the opposite sex is undergoing a temporary phase and should not be delivered into the clutches of surgeons he is “transphobic” and the child’s “wishes” should be “respected”. By contrast, Leftist same-sex parents take a very proprietorial attitude to the children they’ve browbeaten a craven society into allowing them to adopt. They regard them as a possession with interests subordinate to their own; otherwise why would they ignore survey after survey that show children are better off with a father and a mother?
Leftists are tediously inconsistent. You could write a book on this but let one glaring example suffice. Leftists worry incessantly about the effect of “global warming” on unborn generations but, for their own convenience, gladly consign unwanted members of the generation due to be born in the next nine months to be flushed away on an industrial scale.
And yet Leftists are insufferably self-righteous. On and on they go, in Fairfax editorials, on television, bleating and cursing on Twitter in an unceasing stream of vilely and violently expressed abuse of everyone who doesn’t think as they do, perpetually pointing out the mote in the eye of other people while ignoring the whole structure of beams, purlins, rafters and walls in their own that make up the edifice of their hatred and lack of charity, of their unwillingness even to try to understand that there might be a justification for a contrary opinion. To the Left, disagreement is the product of malevolence or stupidity.
Yet when it comes to stupidity, Leftists themselves aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. One sign of this is that they are no good at reasoned argument. Hence their fondness for meaningless statements. Remember Obama’s vacuous electoral reiterations of “Yes, we can” (with hindsight would that be, “No, you couldn’t”?), or Julia’s silly speech blaming her plummeting reputation not on her own manifest ineptitude but on “misogyny”, and how the Left received these pronouncements as though they were pearls of Ciceronian oratory?
Rather than debate, Leftists assert. “Coal is bad”, “Wind is good”, a bit like a well known television commercial for cured meats. If assertion doesn’t get them their way they go on demonstrations and threaten violence, shouting slogans in mindless unison like a combination of Nuremberg rally and primary-school children of the rote era learning the multiplication table. Conservatives don’t go on demonstrations, a Leftist habit that became fashionable here with the moratoriums (moronatoriums one might say) of the 1970s. Conservatives might make an individual stand for what they believe – Enoch Powell and Margaret Court spring to mind – but would never dream of subsuming their identity in the assembly line of shrieking clones that is a Leftist mob.
Dullness, obtuseness, tediousness are not innocuousness. Adolf Hitler was a dull little man and look what he unleashed. As Hitler should have been, so the Left should be confronted and opposed while there is time, before we all risk being bored to death, or at least into submission.