Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mykeljon's choice

Seemingly undeterred by the implosion of his collaborator Martin Doutre, who was last seen denying the Holocaust, complaining of Jewish conspiracies, and praising the genius of David Irving, Franklin E Local editor Myklejon Winckel has popped up at the Scoop Review of Books discussion board to heap curses on those of us foolish enough to doubt that an advanced civilisation built vast observatories on the hills of Auckland thousands of years ago.

Mykeljon claims to have authored the articles in Franklin E Local, albeit with the help of Doutre, yet he seems curiously unaware of the central thesis of the texts when he writes that:

You obviously did not read and still have not read the eLocal articles. NO where in the article does it suggest the arrival of Celts or white Europeans...you guys are on LSD!

Mykeljon and his mate Martin Doutre certainly seem to read texts differently to me. I'm sure it's the effects of acid, postmodernism, and politically correctness, but I tend to interpret passages like the following in a pathetically literal sense:

Despite long denials by entrenched historians that European travellers ventured as far south as New Zealand, there is ample evidence to the contrary...

Maori themselves have been ignored when they speak of the “fairy people” with pale skin, pale eyes and reddish hair who were in Aotearoa long before the arrival of the first Polynesian travellers...

There is ample evidence that branches of the selfsame family tree of nations that built the great megalithic sites of Britain, Continental Europe or earlier edifices around the Mediterranean Basin, were also living for many thousands of years in New Zealand...

These quotes all come from the first couple of pages of the first of the three articles Mykeljon published in Franklin E Local . How can Mykeljon hope to interpet the past properly, when he can't even read what are supposedly his own writings?

Mykeljon also complains about the way that critics of the articles in Franklin E Local have highlighted the connections that proponents of the Celtic New Zealand thesis have with neo-Nazism. Mykeljon is quite right when he says I’m trying to associate the articles with racism, Holocaust denial and other irrational and dangerous ideas.

I make no apologies for using an ad hominem argument against Mykeljon and Doutre. Ad hominem arguments are sometimes misused, but they can be very valuable when the competence and trustworthiness of a person making a truth-claim is being discussed.

I have no qualms about arguing that a person like Martin Doutre, who by his own admission denies the Holocaust, believes the convicted neo-Nazi David Irving is a great historian, and believes 9/11 was an ‘inside job’, is unlikely to have anything useful to say about history. Getting advice from Doutre about history is a bit like getting a lesson in evolutionary biology from Brian Tamaki.

Doutre and Kerry Bolton have absolutely no support for their theories amongst New Zealand’s scholarly community. There is no historian who believes that white people became the tangata whenua of Aotearoa thousands of years ago. There is no archaeologist who thinks that the stones scattered around on One Tree Hill are the remains of an ancient Celtic observatory. There is no museum curator who believes that Celts rather than Maori carved the hei tiki and meeting houses displayed in places like Te Papa. There is no kaumatua who agrees with Doutre and Bolton's claims that ancient Polynesians were incapable of making long sea voyages, and had to rely on white 'God-men' to guide them safely from island to island as they crossed the Pacific.

The question, then, is who does one believe - a man who can’t even recognise blatant historical facts like the Holocaust and Al Qaeda’s role in 9/11, or a community of hundreds of careful, dedicated scholars? It’s a pity that Mykeljon made the wrong choice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought poets were supposed to believe in the imagination?

Hullo, we live in a barren boring age where there are too many facts: why do we need to make the past as boring as the present where there are no facts we can argue about!!? At least with prehistory we can let our imaginations 'run wild'. At least we can believe in visions of the past that are poetic and not the boring tracts of academics.

I am in favour of imagination not cardigan wearers.

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