Peter O’Brien: Cancel Culture

It seems ‘their’ ABC is going to audit its catalogue of titles to remove any of those that are ‘problematical’ in terms of perpetuating or glorifying offensive history.

Yesterday I was listening to a concert on ABC Classic FM celebrating Richard Tognetti’s 30 years at the helm of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.  The concert was broadcast from the ABC’s Eugene Goossens Hall.  That set my PC alarm bell clanging.

Those of you not into classical music may not be aware of Sir Eugene Goossens.  Goossens was an eminent British conductor who was lured to Australia after the Second World War to raise the profile of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  He did that and became a celebrity here, presiding over the orchestra from 1947 until 1956.

But Goossens had a guilty secret.  He was obsessed by pantheism and the occult and had a long affair with a notorious Kings Cross witch.  Eventually his peccadillos were discovered by a journalist who began an investigation and uncovered some incriminating letters that Goossens had written to his paramour.  He was targeted by police and, to cut a long story short, returning from a trip to London in 1956, his luggage was searched by Customs on a tip-off from UK police.  They discovered a large quantity of pornographic material.   Goossens pleaded guilty, received the maximum fine for this offence.  And in today’s parlance, he was cancelled.  His career was over and he returned to England a broken man.

Now you or I would think his ‘crime’ was trivial enough and the price he paid was well over the top. His contribution to music as a conductor and composer was considerable and certainly outweighs the ‘offensive’ nature of his private life.

But if consistency is to be maintained – if ideological purity is paramount – given how offensive pornography is to every right thinking feminist, surely this tribute to Goossens, the naming of a hall in his honour, cannot be allowed to stand.

Is it likely, do you think, that Goossens will fall to the purge of political correctness?  That would be a shame so let me offer the ABC an out.   I reckon he gets a free pass because he was a victim of the pigs.  That probably outweighs his offensive misogyny.

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31 Responses to Peter O’Brien: Cancel Culture

  1. rickw

    The Nazi Party and Soviet Communist Party would be in awe of this level of destruction and disappearing of dissenting views and information.

    Level 1984 fully unlocked!

  2. nb

    It is clear. No person with any taint whatsoever of any kind should be celebrated in any manner.
    No tainted should be funded by the taxpayer. All tainted must be made to resign from whatever posts they hold. All works of art by anyone who ever said or did anything that offended anyone should be removed. All works of art in any way referring to anyone who ever said or did anything that offended someone should be removed. All books, internet works, or any other work by anyone who ever uttered, wrote, or in any other way created something that might have caused someone offence should be removed.
    This is the period of love.

  3. stevem

    Hey – if Roman Polanski can get a free pass why shouldn’t Goossens?

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    It seems ‘their’ ABC is going to audit its catalogue of titles to remove any of those that are ‘problematical’

    Everything in their catalogue has been contaminated by white people. Any show, music track or web post that has had a white performer, editor, cameraperson or producer is emblematic of white supremacy. Therefore the only reasonable thing to do is delete it all. Everything. And how many white people worked on the construction of their HQ in Ultimo? It should be pulled down immediately, like a James Cook statue!

  5. Nob

    The ABC would go the “empowering” route. (NPI).

    Consistency is irrelevant.

  6. JohnJJJ

    I say, is that where “to goose” ( pinch on buttocks) came from? Quite a legacy.

  7. JohnJJJ

    The lesson here is that if you actually accomplish anything in your life you will upset someone, in modern parlance “it will be hurtful”. To build and create is to upset a lot of people and the longer you do it the more hurtful you are.
    Thus the solution is to do nothing, sit around smoking dope, drinking soy, bludging on the state. Then you are the perfect man, no one will tear down your image. Solved.

  8. bronson

    the catalogue was established with tax payer funding. it does not belong to the public servants at the abc it belongs to the tax payers of australia and the abc has no rights to do anything with the catalogue.

  9. Fred

    The entire ABC should be cancelled. It’s Australia’s home of blackface comedy.

  10. Herodotus

    All cultures are equal but some are more equal than others.
    The ABC culture is ripe for cancellation, but the abject failure of politics is writ large on this as well as many other things that have been in the gunsights of those who “march through”.

  11. cuckoo

    Are you kidding? Once the know-nothing kids at the ABC discover Goossens was a satanist they’ll be naming new things in his honour.

  12. David Brewer

    Has anyone found a news story on the ABC’s purification campaign?

    I had a look on the ABC’s site, and didn’t see anything. I did find Here’s what you told us about racism in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic which does its best to fan racial tensions by retailing stories from non-white people about being yelled at or given dirty looks during the pandemic. In several cases one has to presume the victims are Chinese because Auntie is too delicate to let on. Of course Auntie doesn’t mention that she, and the rest of the media, and the government, created such anxiety during the “virus crisis” that maybe half the Australian population, of whatever race, has been yelled at or given a dirty look after triggering someone’s resultant paranoia.

  13. Bruce of Newcastle


    ABC News reports ‘unpaid emotional labour’ of explaining racism to white Australians is exhausting (21 Jun)

    Terribly exhausting explaining to people all the invisible racists everywhere.

  14. min

    no Wagner allowed believe he was anti Semite which is why Hitler was a fan , racist Puccini and Verdi banned abd that is just a start.

  15. Ed Case

    Goosens Hall was named after his disgrace, so it was an early slap on the face of Australia by the ABC.

  16. Squirrel

    I think a rehabilitation piece was done by the ABC some time ago – involving, perhaps(?), an interview with a then very ancient Sidonie.

    The mini-series about Rosaleeen Norton (portraying her as a feisty pioneer feminist/cougar) is probably in the works for the 2021 ABC line-up.

  17. Given the number of “Witches” in the #metoo brigade, perhaps this accolade should stand.

  18. candy

    I’m a big fan of the operettas of Franz Lehár, an Austro-Hungarian composer, The Merry Widow just being only one of his compositions. I believe he received something called a Goethe award from Hitler,
    so I guess he will be cancelled.

    So many things one enjoys will be banned, I guess. The Left must crush fine things.

  19. Judge Dredd

    Goossen- dealing with the occult and shipping in perverse pornography. Sounds like the exact right move is to send him back. I agree with that move completely.
    How far the West has fallen when you think someone who is dealing in the occult and distributing pornography is worth keeping in society.

  20. Leo G

    I reckon he gets a free pass because he was a victim of the pigs.

    People In God’s Service?

  21. Geriatric Mayfly

    The ABC denouncing of Marconi and Logie Baird is at hand.

  22. iain russell

    Squirrel, ‘cougar’. Yes!!

  23. Stanley

    And to think I enjoyed the Tintookies way back in the day, and a fave of the ABC. How very dare I?

    Marionette puppet, ‘Tintookies Little Fella Bindi’, Aboriginal figure, papier mache / feathers / cotton / wood / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977
    Marionette puppet of an Aboriginal man. Head made from papier mache and painted brown with pale reddish lips and a bone through the nose. Red, yellow and white zig zag decoration on forehead. Has a bunch of green and brown feathers for hair. Large cream cotton padded collar is trimmed with yellow felt. Collar does not meet at front, right hand side is nailed to shoulder and left hand side is nailed to chest. Puppet is wearing a yellow V-neck cotton long sleeve garment, which is trimmed with yellow velvet at the cuffs and a fringe of straw just before the hands. The puppet has carved wooden hands. The puppet wears a skirt of green felt leaves, which have a central vein made from yellow ribbon over a pair of khaki brown cotton bloomers. The puppet is wooden and jointed at the knee. The wood is covered with brown coarse cotton. The ankles are trimmed by a circle of green feathers. The shoes are covered with blue and yellow/gold feathers, and have leather soles, which are beginning to lift. The puppet is controlled by a T-shaped wooden device, which also features a large metal hook, and another separate single piece of wood. The strings for the head are connected to the extreme ends of the top of the T by a loop of brown fabric. The strings for the arms are connected directly to the wood between these two loops. The bottom of the T is connected to two stabilising strings which hold the back of the puppet. The single piece of wood has the strings which connect to the knees of the puppet, also on loops. This piece of wood has a piece of thin wire which runs its entire length.

  24. jupes

    … if ideological purity is paramount …

    … then the RoP would be banned in this country.

    Then again, (many, most, all?) of Mo’s slaves where Jooos so maybe he gets a free pass.

  25. Bob

    Goosens was also for famous for one other notable thing: he brought about the building of the Sydney Opera House. His bust stands inside as a testament to his driving politicians to make it happen. In a nutshell, he put Australia on the cultural world map.

  26. Bob

    Goosens was also famous for one other notable thing: he brought about the building of the Sydney Opera House. His bust stands inside as a testament to his driving politicians to make it happen. In a nutshell, he put Australia on the cultural world map.

  27. Salvatore, Social Distance Martyr

    The entire ABC should be cancelled. It’s Australia’s home of blackface comedy.

    Also whiteface comedy.
    Wasn’t Their ABC the channel on which the [actually quite funny] “Superboong” appeared? (Caucasian roles were played by Aboriginals with whitewash on their faces)

  28. David

    In our anarcho/tyranny degeneracy is given a free pass.

  29. Can’t see the old Norman Gunston show getting a replay.

    I remember one skit lampooning Erik von Daniken where Norman was examining the decomposing skeleton of an EH Holden in the bush, wondering where stone age aboriginals got the technology to build a car.

  30. Lee

    … wondering where stone age aboriginals got the technology to build a car.

    No doubt Bruce Pascoe would tell you that they did have precisely that technology!

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