How Now Brown VOW

Yes ladies and gentlemen.  It is that time of the week again.  Brought to you by I Am Spartacus is Van Onselen Watch – VOW.

As Cats know, Spartacus does not have a $5 million budget or a team of 15 like ABC’s Media Watch.  Nor does Spartacus have the dry wit and rhetorical skills of Gerard Henderson of They Sydney Institute’s Media Watch Dog.  But we’ll give it that old college try.

Writing last Saturday in the Australian, on the subject of polls (as in the things conducted by Newspoll and not the people coming from Poland), Van Onselen wrote:

Some commentators have pledged not to write about the polls because of their distorting influence on politics, challenging others to do the same. I see this as the equivalent of ignoring data that fills in blanks when trying to piece together what’s going on. The academic in me can’t do that.

The academic in him can’t do that.  Hmmm.  But in being the academic he is, Van Onselen does not bother to actually analyse the data, but rather goes on a long winded and methane emitting gossip session including this insightful and evidence supported statement:

By the time of the 2007 election, having trailed in the polls consistently during that term, Howard couldn’t manage a fifth comeback. That was partly because the polls became a self-­fulfilling prophecy. Rudd’s mo­mentum was unstoppable.

Unstoppable eh.  Hows that for academic rigor from Van Onselen the academic.

But Van Onselen’s evidence and data driven academic mindset and wisdom is not limited to the dear students at the University of Western Australia and Griffith University.  Professor Van Onselen, for a Professor he is, also shares his academic research on Twitter; as he did earlier today:

Strong assertions.  No evidence.  Sting in the tail.  You’d think with that kind of academic rigor he would qualify for the Australian of the Year award in the Tim Flannery division. Good thing there is the academic in him.

PS – does anyone have a Dutch-English dictionary out there?  What is the translation of Van Onselen?  Spartacus threw in “peter van onselen” into Google Translate and it came back with “godfather of usen”.  That seems imply leadership and usefulness, but clearly that can’t be the case here.

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14 Responses to How Now Brown VOW

  1. Entropy

    Well they might have to resort to unpaid leave, asssuming they used up all their various other leave entitlements first.
    And if it was a small business, they would have to comply or face unfair dismissal.

  2. Jannie

    “Van” is a generic word meaning “of” or “from”. Usually it applies to names that were derived by indicating the place the person came from, sometimes their profession.

    “Ons” means “Us” or “Our”. Selen may be a reference to souls, ziel or siel being variants in Flaams and Afrikaans. “From our Souls” is a bit odd, maybe its a reference to soulmate or friend, but so its more likely a reference to a locality or farm.

  3. RobK

    I put “onselen” in google dutch to english and got “to eat”.

  4. NB

    Such a rich field, but really, my nomination for Australian of the Year – Tim Flannery division is a shoe-in:
    Vice-Chancellor of James Cook University, Sandra Harding, for protecting us from amusement, conversation with wives, and lots of other stuff.

  5. Jannie

    I put “onselen” in google dutch to english and got “to eat”.

    That’s weird. “To eat” is “Om te eet”

  6. jjf

    Van Onselen is dutch for fuckwitt!

  7. Mother Lode

    Van Onselen is dutch for fuckwitt!

    I think it has become that in many languages. In the same sense that ‘Kleenex’, starting as just a product name’ has become a current generic word in many languages.

    Google has done it. You ‘google’ for information.

    And Van Onselen has achieved the same. If you call someone a ‘Van Onselen’ in a bar in Madrid, New York or Port Moresby, you can expect to see your teeth flying through the air.

  8. Chris

    Maybe Gerard and the Late Nancy can add a new parenthesis for PvO (for a fuckwit he is).

  9. John Brumble

    Looking at the twitter thread, I am again reminded of how the left always, always exaggerate. Joyce has only been in the office (this time) for a few months and could not possibly have accrued that much leave. The question over whether his leave should be paid or unpaid is relevant. But that’s not good enough for the screech era to. No. They need to start comparing it to Casual work, which of course is no different whatsoever to full time work, oh no no no. And they ALL work casually, oh yes indeed, even the ones who note their very much full-time jobs in their twitter profiles.

  10. Anonymous

    When he was on Sky I once heard him ask his interlocutor what the “visual optics” were regarding the topic they were discussing. Recalling the old gag: “But enough about me, lets talk about you…what do you think of me,” perhaps the English translation of Van Onselen is Visual Optics.

  11. JohnA

    Chris #2724620, posted on May 31, 2018, at 7:44 am

    Maybe Gerard and the Late Nancy can add a new parenthesis for PvO (for a fuckwit he is).

    I would be confident that Gerard could find a suitably obscure Shakespearean insult for that purpose – raw crudity isn’t his style.

  12. H B Bear

    Good to see van Wrongselen is able to compartmentalise his wrongology. A true professional.

  13. egg_

    He’s our Wrongology Olympian, two Unis can’t be wrong, surely?

  14. Rob MW

    The academic in me can’t do that.

    Steady on Sparty. Assuming he has a leftwing nut cohabitating with a rightwing nut then he can count to too with spelling errors, which then in turn, powers up all an academic can handle with just one hand. The next step is no hands at all !!

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