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Friday Australian poem # 14: "The Australaise" by C J Dennis

Expanded since draft posting… And as for the wrong number: oops! 😉

After watching The Sounds of Aus on ABC last night my choice this week was clear. 🙂

Hosted by John Clarke, this entertaining story about the way we sound is told through an array of illuminating interviews with linguists, historians, social and political commentators, comedians, actors, and plenty of opinionated people with genuinely hilarious anecdotes. Those featured include Rachel Griffiths, Bruce Beresford, Bert Newton, Max Gillies, Denise Scott, Mary-Anne Fahey, Santo Cilauro, Simon Palomares and Akmal Saleh.

Is our accent really the legendary broad “Strine” of Paul Hogan and Steve Irwin? Why is it so hard for others to do? Are there regional variations? Is it a bastardised version of the Queen’s English? Is it under threat from global forces? And if it is, is it worth saving?

By examining the Australian accent and discovering its story, The Sounds of Aus reveals much about the Australian psyche and our national identity. Indeed, over the last two centuries, many of the conflicts about our identity have been played out through the accent, with our vision of, and our relationship with, the world reflected in the way we speak.
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Posted by on November 9, 2007 in Aussie interest, Diversions, immigration, Multiculturalism and diversity, OzLit, poets and poetry

 

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Davo on migrants, Kevin Andrews, etc.

Breath of fresh air, Davo. Well done.

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Posted by on October 10, 2007 in blogging, Current affairs, immigration, racism

 

Timely site find

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Update

Media Watch promises to be very relevant tonight!
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Racism and racists and The Plonker’s latest foot-in-mouth attack

I have been giving much thought to Jim Belshaw’s post Race and racism in Australia. He is quite right to say that pseudoscientific racism, the kind that was official policy in Nazi Germany and more widely accepted elsewhere in the not too distant past than we now find comfortable to admit, is probably a minority position in Australia. Jim prefers the word “prejudice”, the term “racist” having become a generic term of abuse that shuts down discussion. This is certainly worth considering. I will let Jim explain, but do read all his post:

…By global standards, we live in a remarkably open, pluralist, tolerant, polycultural society. We have transformed ourselves as a country and a people. Yet based on our own reporting of ourselves, an outsider could be forgiven for thinking that this is a place were racial bigotry runs rampant.

Mr Andrews is not known for his ability to handle things in a sensible and tactful fashion. Yet when I look at the facts, the ones who introduced and then followed up the race issue were the media and commentators more broadly. They created the problem.

There are a small number of genuine old style racists in the Australian community who do try to take advantage of this type of event. They did so in Tamworth following the controversy. As happened with Tamworth, they will fail.

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Michelle Grattan on Kevin Andrews and Africans

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Has the gatekeeper turned card dealer? is fair comment in my view.

Andrews’s mishandling of the Sudanese issue, talking up their alleged problems of integration, has been very odd. The politically tempting explanation is that this was a Government effort to play the “race card”. But there’s something unconvincing about that. This election is not 2001. The “race card” would be seen as a cynical tactic; it could lose more votes in middle-class marginals than it might gain in more redneck areas.

Certainly Labor, with its “me too” policy on cutting the African slice of the refugee intake is avoiding leaving itself vulnerable to any wedge politics, although spokesman Tony Burke quickly jumped in to condemn Andrews.

It’s possible Andrews has created a political storm by stirring the race pot without having any deliberate strategy to do so. Some describe him as narrow in focus and very “technical” in his approach. That might explain his failure to couch any negatives within the wider story of these African refugees. In fact, once they get over initial settlement challenges they make very good migrants…

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Posted by on October 7, 2007 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, immigration, Jim Belshaw, Multiculturalism and diversity, News and Current Affairs, Politics, racism

 

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I was going to leave this alone for now…

… until I saw Legal Eagle had given it a go: Playing the race card.

Last night when I was driving home, I saw a large group of boys standing on the pavement outside the Housing Commission flats. The boys were predominately of African descent. I was thinking about it when I got home. The boys had been dominating the footpath. Would I have felt nervous if I had been walking on the street and had to push past them? Yes, I would have. Was it because they were African? No, not at all. It was because they were male and blocking the footpath. Regardless of race, religion or class, as a lone woman, I would feel slightly worried about having to pass a large group of boys. I don’t think they were a gang, they were just a group of boys hanging out with nothing better to do, but that’s when boys get up to mischief. It made me think more deeply about the news of the last few days…

This is quite a judicious entry. The problem has been brought to the fore by Kevin (Po-faced Plonker) Andrews again proving a PR nightmare. See Minister’s African dossier renews racial tensions. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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When asses rule…

It must be said that mere name-calling is no form of argument, but it is really difficult to think of Immigration Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews without simultaneously thinking po-faced plonker. My reason for that today is noting the first batch of on-line so-called Citizenship Tests have started, at God knows what expense. The Plonker is apparently now admitting it is actually an English test but fails to explain why this level of English — not to mention computer skills — is necessary (albeit desirable) for someone to be a perfectly functional Australian citizen. I have ranted on this before, as some of you know, under the rubric of “Trivial Pursuit”: you can’t possibly be an Australian citizen unless you know the country’s floral emblem. Really? Seriously?

I agree with Senator Allison:
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Posted by on October 1, 2007 in Aussie interest, immigration, Multiculturalism and diversity, Observations

 

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