Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 04/09/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday September 4, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down]

Friday night I had the pleasure of a visit from a cherished friend & his six-year-old son, who treated me to a display of his precocious skill on the violin. This boy is being home-schooled so that he is not exposed to the dumbing down & Political Correctness of state education. He is well ahead of his peers in all areas of study, but the violin is his passion. When I asked how often he practised, he replied, "At every opportunity." He played me pieces of varying complexity, from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Vivaldi. Then we put on a CD of Sibelius' Violin Concerto, which I had lent him a few weeks back, &, without ever having seen the score, he joined Anne-Sophie Mutter in the more manageable passages which he had picked up by ear. It was a remarkable spectacle.

True, the boy has formidable natural intelligence & talent, but I wonder if he would be this far advanced in a less nurturing environment. One great shock awaits him in the world at large, for which his parents are gently trying to prepare him - that the more he shines, the more others will try to extinguish his light. I have cited many times the example of the secondary school swimming champion who refused to participate in subsequent championships lest she win a second time & have to endure the tall poppy-cutting that followed her first triumph. The taunts this budding Menuhin will have to face will probably be even greater given that the field in which he excels is classical music, not sport. It's not that his talent will be denied - it cannot be - but that every effort will be made to find an Achilles Heel, an unrelated flaw on which the envious can seize to "bring him down to size." We saw a disgusting example of this sick mentality at work in the furore over Mark Todd. And we saw a disgusting attempt to justify this mentality in the Herald's weekend editorial:

"Public figures, whatever their character, have to resign themselves to the fact that they are public property. They have traded privacy for the benefits - personal, professional & financial - of public acclaim ... The price of fame is exposure at any time. A character that cannot stand that need not apply. The price must be a constant worry. But think of the compensations."

Needless to say, this sordid bit of sleaze, breathtaking in its presumptuousness, was unsigned.

Those who distinguish themselves from the mob are NOT thereby doing a "trade" with it; they are NOT granting the mob a license to overlook the norms of privacy & decency that the rest of us take for granted; they are NOT ceding sovereignty over their lives to the mob. What they do in their private lives is STILL their own business (except in the case of politicians proposing to enforce a policy with which their private conduct is inconsistent). It is a sign of the sickness of our culture that the country's leading daily newspaper can so brazenly, gleefully proclaim to the achievers in our midst, "Ha! You have done something outstanding! Because of that, you belong to us, & you must constantly be anxious as to what we might expose about you. But hell, think of the money you're making (that we're not)!"

New Zealand Herald, you stink!

Yes, I believe in a free press. Would that we lived in a culture where that freedom was exercised responsibly, where my little violinist friend could look forward to going out into a world that would embrace, applaud & reward him, rather than telling him that the price of his effort & talent "must be a constant worry" about "exposure at any time."

But play on, my shining little friend. By the time you're an adult, we might have created such a culture for you.

Upon you, & your magnificent spirit, I have pleasure in bestowing the Free Radical Award.


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