Tony pencils Vlad in for a full-on, heavy-duty shirtfronting – ‘you bet you are’ says Tony. Check out the video.
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Australia: a nation with its profoundly sick religion of ‘the ordinary’ (might any of those who bow low to this religion ever rise from the floor to reflect on how useful it is to those who control and exploit them? Might they ever reflect on the odds against their mere existence or on the greatest product of nature, between their very ears? Yet ‘We are ordinary’?!), of brittle, pretentious, provincial toadies, of little empires sat upon by little ‘experts’, of vengeful control-freaks, thieves, liars and panders.
Where are the big spirits? Where is, beyond the time-serving blather of ideological spinmeisters, true bigness of spirit – a bigness which despises servility and ‘the ordinary’ – in this nation that has everything?
Hey Phil – I just started a book that I bet you would find interesting: Culture and the Death of God by Terry Eagleton. It traces philosophy and its relation to religion starting with the enlightenment. Many of the philosophers referred to are unknown or barely known to me but I bet you’d know them all and might find the context intruiging.
keep the faith!
Hi Austin, thanks for your comment and for the reference. I don’t know when I can check it out, though, because most of my time is being taken up with coming to understand the intricacies of US baseball. Best wishes for your writing. Phil
Australia is young, and like the world is becoming, modern mobile urban and diverse. I think we have past the period for forming an identity, to express from and be authentic. Rather humanity is busy reflecting its self, and earning to pay to do so and to purchase the technology and the services to.
Tach, undoubtedly your view is correct – that Australia, ‘like the the world is becoming modern, mobile, urban and diverse.’ But Australian culture has also gone backwards – to its convict origins. In the late 19th century there was a great strike by the London dockworkers and Australian workers not only supported them but were the most generous in the world. Times have changed.
There is another aspect to Australian culture – a sick, mean, nasty, dangerous convict mentality – one which Australians tell themselves they have moved on from but which has been quietly exploited on behalf of capitalism by successive Labor (note the adoption of the American spelling) and, particularly, Liberal governments (Howard – he of the quivering bottom lip so well depicted in Moir’s cartoons – drew most effectively on this) to result in a society which, while one of the richest, is one of the meanest (materially, spiritually and intellectually) – Australia’s geographical isolation plays into this.
Look at the continuing treatment of the indigenous (who had the military put onto them in ‘the Northern Territory intervention’ in 2007), of asylum seekers – of anyone who is perceived as sitting outside the mass of beautifully conditioned ‘happy’ consumers – get your ticket from uni, earn your 100 thousand +, hook up, have your 2 and 1/2 kids, build your super and private insurance (you’re on your own, pal) and end your days sipping on a not too expensive white as you survey your lifetime’s accumulation of material and human possessions.
I used to read on the walls of inner-city squats ‘Consume, be silent, die’. I haven’t seen these words for many years – they have been overcome by what they condemn.
Look at what is being done to funding for health care, education and science (there is no minister for science), at Abbott’s and this country’s myopic, racist response to the rapidly developing Ebola crisis. Look at what was done to Utzon (and many others) – all, for little spirits, easily ‘justifiable’.
Bigness of spirit and a commitment to vision profoundly offends and provokes this conformist, consumerist culture – they remind it of its littleness.
Abbott’s truly primitive waving of his mouth at Putin (he didn’t have the guts to repeat it) and the extent to which this contrasts with his lickspittle behaviour towards the Americans, towards US capitalism (the former directly related to the latter) perfectly symbolises a littleness of spirit which I believe to be throughout this white dominated culture (Australia is one of the ‘G5’ – an intelligence grouping which aims to maintain white domination of the world, led by US capitalism, but with its social origins in ‘Great’ Britain).
My hope is that millions of people will come to Australia from Asia to live (Horne correctly wrote that if they are not absorbed, they will take it. One can see the beginnings of this expansion with the rise of China and the rapid growth of its middle class) – people who have no experience of this sick, lickspittle convict mentality that cripples, particularly, the intellectual growth of this country that has everything materially going for it and that they, with their numbers and an eager view to the future, will wash it into the sea where it will sink without trace forever.
In that process, Australian culture will rise off its knees, divest itself of its shame, its disgusting religion of the ordinary and commitment to littleness and truly begin to exploit for all its material good fortune. Phil
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