Depends What You Mean By Extremist

Expecting skinheads, John Safran rocked up to a far right rally in Melbourne What he found led him into the mad world of misfits who helped propel the second coming of Pauline Hanson and foreshadowed the era of Trump.No one turns up where they re not wanted quite like John Safran In this hilarious and disorienting adventure he gets among our diverse community of white naExpecting skinheads, John Safran rocked up to a far right rally in Melbourne What he found led him into the mad world of misfits who helped propel the second coming of Pauline Hanson and foreshadowed the era of Trump.No one turns up where they re not wanted quite like John Safran In this hilarious and disorienting adventure he gets among our diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and , digging away at the contradictions that many would prefer be left unexamined Who is this black puppet master among the white nationalists And this Muslim fundamentalist who geeks out on Monty Python Is there a secret radicalisation network operating in John s own Jewish suburb And ultimately is hanging with all these radicals washing off on John himself Populated by an extraordinary cast of ordinary Australians, Depends What You Mean by Extremist is a startling, confronting portrait of contemporary Australia We all think we know what s going on in our own country, but this larger than life, timely, and alarmingly insightful true story will make you think again .Drinking shots with nationalists and gobbling falafel with radicals, John Safran was there the year the extreme became the mainstream.
Depends What You Mean By Extremist Expecting skinheads John Safran rocked up to a far right rally in Melbourne What he found led him into the mad world of misfits who helped propel the second coming of Pauline Hanson and foreshadowed

  • Title: Depends What You Mean By Extremist
  • Author: John Safran
  • ISBN: 9781926428772
  • Page: 500
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “Depends What You Mean By Extremist”

    1. I actually listened to this as an audiobook, which was a classic with Safran narrating.Safran's time spent going into the depths of Australia's far left and far right seems full of contradictions and tangles. What I particularly found interesting:-The far right are actually quiet multicultural. One is a Hanson supporter, yet has a wife who came over as a refugeewe like refugees, but only if 'they are hot Eurasians'.-'This is the most multicultural anti-multicultural rally I have ever been to!' T [...]

    2. Immensely quotable and utterly likeable, Safran is a joy to read. This book balances contradiction with whimsy and paints a puzzling picture of extremism in Australia. It's not what you've been lead to believe

    3. Safran is a sarcasm dripping voice of reason in the convoluted world of Australian extremism, where someone like Pauline Hanson can swear-- with a straight face-- that she was never against asian immigration, and where Islamic caucasians read the Quran between bouts of World of Warcraft. Many moments in this book had me actually laughing out loud, and my partner had to suffer so many of Safran's most clever jokes in bed late at night that she had to remind me that reading was an individual activ [...]

    4. ‘You really can reverse-park anything into your belief system’ is John Safran’s early reaction to the ideological mixes and contortions he discovers in the Australian far right. E.g. Pastor Daniel Nalliah of the fundamentalist Christian ‘Catch the Fire’ Ministry can devote entire sermons to praising Israel and Judaism, and denouncing anti-semitism, and invite along Blair Cottrell of the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF) - a man who wants a picture of Hitler is every school classroom. N [...]

    5. Laugh out loud funny if bleak irony and sass is your cup of tea. A very different picture of the hard left and right than I expected. Well worth a read.

    6. I remember reading some thinker define art as being the sole medium that amplifies life's complexities, whereas everything else is in a rush to oversimplify everything. If that's the case, Safran is an artist. I've always considered him an underrated thinker, in all things he delights in the complexities. What he likes to call 'tangles'. In this case it's race politics, which, to the chagrin of both sides are constantly being misrepresented as far simpler than they actually are. Safran is a curi [...]

    7. I couldn't put this one down. Such an entertaining, insightful, educational read. I must preface my review by saying I've been a fan of Johns for many years. I remember 'Music Jamboree' and a few of his really early things like 'Not the Sunscreen Song' and 'Jewtown' but I became a big fan after 'John Safran vs God'. I also listened to all his Sunday Night Safran podcasts so I was waiting patiently for this one to come out for a while now I really enjoy his writing and I actually enjoy his books [...]

    8. Safran's not a great writer, but he is a decent story-teller. And it's hard not to admire his persistence.I particularly liked the little digression on magical pixie thinking and its increasing representation as a by-product of multi-cultural societies. Also appreciated the journalism - going to speak to people who I'm unlikely to ever seek out and letting them speak. Still think that Safran can't help but mix that with unnecessary self-indulgence. Comes as part of the package though.

    9. God I love John Safran.This book is both intriguing and shocking, and peppered with witty and beautiful 'Safrans' :"The dastardly Muslim-peanut allergy connection".I think John is a national treasure.Already wanting to read his next book.

    10. Definitely recommend for those who life John Safran's style of witty, tongue in cheek commentary. The book looks at the far right of Australian politics, and the narratives and interactions of race, nationalism, religion, politics and identity. It also takes a good look at the hypocrisy and contradictions of both left and right movements. A bit of a worrying, confusing and uncomfortable read at times, worth checking out.

    11. At first I felt confused the conflicting and overlapping beliefs defy logic.Then, just when I thought I had a handle on the larger-than-life cartoon characters representing some of these political protest groups (with hidden agendas), Safran would uncover some other juicy tidbit.d I became confused once more.Truly, there are enough oddball characters here to fill a whole series of 'The Simpsons'.Safran's style is amusingly entertainingbut if I really think about his findings, we should all be af [...]

    12. Wasn't a bad overall read. The book broadly covers the rise of the 'bogan' far-right groups in Australia who all call themselves patriots and curiously all eventually devolve into white nationalism and anti-Semitism.I was hoping for more of a perspective or insight from the Australian far-left, but as such it's mostly an exploration of the Australian far-right with the left only mentioned in passing. It felt a bit listless at the end, as well, concluding with a quick chapter on Trump gaining the [...]

    13. John Safran is a very interesting character who operates in a world I view from afar, even though he's a local, more or less, although raised in a different environment. His religious and cultural background is in orthodox Judaism in a particular suburban area of Melbourne, whilst mine is the working-class Catholicism of the western suburbs of the same city. Funnily enough, he's known for his media association with the Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire, a kind of irreverent knockabout character [...]

    14. Like many people in my generation, I became a fan of Safran when he was in Race Around the World on ABC TV here in Australia, back in the 1990s. It was his first TV appearance, and no doubt as a result of his sometimes extreme stunts (staying illegally overnight in a Japanese subway train station, breaking into Disneyland, taking peyote on camera, etc etc), he cemented himself in Aussie culture. He's been somewhere in the media ever since.It's perhaps surprising, then, that this is the first boo [...]

    15. "Maybe it's helpful for people to know that dangerous people have charisma"This was excellent, an exploration of the ugly, tribal complexity of Australian politics, the rise of the extreme right in the most left of Australian cities, and an exploration of what informs the creation of genuinely disturbing beliefs. Combining Safran's surprisingly thoughtful writing and trademark transgressive humor this is fundamentally a True Crime book (view spoiler)[(is it ever! A lot of people end up behind ba [...]

    16. I very much liked this & actually laughed aloud more than twice. 3 times in fact. I thought it was going to go chapter 1: John meets the nazis, chapter 2: John meets the terrorists, but it's not like that, it's one hectic journey where he meets as many people as he can & writes about it as it happened.He meets Blair from the UPF (the united patriot front), who may or may not be a Jew hater. He meets a half Jewess whose so sure he isn't she's joined the movement, that includes marching un [...]

    17. This is an interesting book, by a guy who has done a lot of interesting work. He returns to many of the themes that he has previously explored, in some of his TV shows in his native Australia, such as “Race Relations” and “John Safran Vs God”. Set primarily in and around Melbourne, Safran also ventures out to sleepy Mildura and Bendigo in country Victoria, in pursuit of his quarry. He also ends up as far afield as Sydney and Perth trying to make sense of philosophies, agendas and politic [...]

    18. This book is pure comedy gold. It is absolutely hilarious. Its humour is showcased less through jokes, and more through the irony and satire that Safran employs, although it's not satire, it's very very real.In this book, Safran goes around and speaks to people from the fringe side of politics from neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and anti-Islam "activists" to anarchists to Islamists.I loved this book because it really points out a lot of things like how these things aren't quite clear-cut, not qu [...]

    19. If you haven't come across John Safran before then you're missing out. Just picture a high pitched squeaky Australian voice on a sarcastic comedian/entertainer who is more than willing to humilate himself or others while chasing a story.I listened to the audiobook version and loved it from beginning to end. Safran explores the extremist groups of Australia, discovering a web of factions with contradictory views but similar goals.The main takeaway from the book for me was that in all of these dis [...]

    20. This is better than his first book, which was still fairly interesting. If you're already interested in alt-right and extreme left-wing politics, white nationalism, Islam and Zionism in Australia, etc, this doesn't go particularly deep, bit if you have a passing interest it's excellent. Strangest thing, however, is that many events in the book John recants as if he was there on his own, however I distinctly remember seeing those interactions filmed and included in the SBS program "The Goddam Ele [...]

    21. This book provides an interesting glimpse into the handwaving extremists do to stop themselves from looking like hypocrites. Want to ban Asian immigration but have an Asian-immigrant wife? She doesn't want any more Asians here either, so that works. Express outrage at any sign of Islamophobia, but don't raise an eyebrow when a Muslim storms a kosher deli? No worries there, because one's "structural violence" and the other's "non-structural violence". As it turns out, both the far-right and the f [...]

    22. John Safran is a polarising Australian journalist.Love him or hate him, very few people are ambivalent to him.His squeaky voice on the ABC challenging religion, race, really any controversial subject can dismiss him as an annoying hyperactive pain in the arse. However, beneath the brash exterior is a thoughtful and though-provoking journalist.As a young Jewish man, he is equally likely to ask a Rabbi, a Catholic priest or a Mufti the same difficult questions. He is well read, and well researched [...]

    23. A very easy flowing and intriguing read. There was a very loose 'story line' that is followed but I don't feel like it lead to any major conclusion. At first this didn't sit right with me as I enjoy a summary of ideas at the end of a book so I can refresh what was presented to me at the beginning and really connect it with the ending, but after sitting on it for a few days I like that this format makes you draw your own conclusions. The book I don't believe is there to give you an opinion but to [...]

    24. I love any book that takes me back to Melbourne (Australia). Safran is an interesting character, specializing in sarcastic political humor. He makes fun of all sides, which can be annoying if you have a side. If you don't take it personally, though, he provides and interesting analysis of the white nationalist phenomenon in Australia as well as providing a link to its counterpart in the U.S. (He who shall not be named.) To a certain extent, it reminds me of some of what I've seen on the new Sara [...]

    25. This is a book which is both alarming and vastly entertaining; not descriptors which usually go hand in hand. John Safran has a unique ability to dispassionately observe and report on the oddities and incongruities of the disparate groups which make up the extremist fringe, and then to unerringly hone in on the salient detail that give his observations meaning and context. He picks up the "thing" you didn't notice while in the process of being horrified/amused/alarmed by the inaccuracies that in [...]

    26. An engaging read that follows the seam of thought often tapped in several of the authors past novels, whilst also seeking to engage with elements of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith followers who are somewhat displeased with, or in proposed conflict with, the followers of the alternative faiths. Fortunately, in Melbourne, Australia, still a relatively minor theme. Based in my home city, the novel can be put a little more into context as I am familiar with many of the locations mentioned. I fou [...]

    27. One word: complexity.This book is just so of-the-moment it feels like reading the news. Safran's writing style has shifted from almost script-like in Murder in Mississippi to more literary and it works well. His eye for absurdism makes a frightening tinderbox of politico-religious stances/opinions/theories a rollicking ride through the fringes of Australian identity. But as soon as the book is read and we are in the present day again, the fringes have flipped and topics are suddenly, dizzyingly [...]

    28. I've been on team Safran ever since Race Around the World in 1997 when his sheer audacity and hilarious ability to take the piss in the quirkiest of situations had me eager to tune in every episode. This book was definitely pure Safran. 20 years later he still manages to sniff out the whackos and find the most wtf moments. In this book, his goal is to understand the rise and rise of the extremes, politically and religiously and he succeeds in an astonishingly oddball way. And the real entertainm [...]

    29. John Safran has a way of exposing the hypocrisy of extremism while forcing us to examine our own beliefs in a way that only he can. His sarcasm and humour and the fact that he is always at the centre of his stories mean that his books, including Depend What You Mean By Extremist, are compelling, disturbing and hilarious. A book that's published in 2017, a book with an unreliable narrator, a book with pictures, a book written by someone you admire, a book with an eccentric character, a book about [...]

    30. Really interesting book. It was confronting to read all the different extremes in Australian politics which are on the fringes, a little underground but very very real. Definitely challenged me in avoiding simplicity - not everything is as you expect. The far right rallies are multicultural (or they would prefer to say multiethnic). Everyone is complex and john safran is incredibly nuanced in his narrating. I’m left more uncertain with more questions. And I guess that makes it a good ‘un.

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