Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

an archive

Posts Tagged ‘culture wars

John Quiggin, Jim Belshaw and Bruce on the culture wars

First came John Quiggin on 15 November, then Jim Belshaw on 17 November, and then Bruce on 17 November. There is considerable comment on the first of those entries. I do not propose to examine those posts in depth, but do ask that you read them all. Each in its own way is very good.

Now you will gather from my post tags that I have a position on this; in fact this post will be the 349th under that tag! Over on Oz Politics and Big Archive you will find 326 more! There is also a page on a rather specialised aspect of all this: Revision or Ideological Makeover? HREOC’s “Face the Facts” Rejigged which traces the evolution of changes of attitude and policy — not as successful as the government planned, I would say because HREOC has not been totally abject — that I encountered as an ESL teacher from 1996 onwards.

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Written by Neil

November 19, 2007 at 11:13 am

Global warming a hoax? No, the hoax claim is a hoax…


See Global warming a hoax? No, the hoax claim is a hoax. Rush Limbaugh fell for it, though, as did several others who profess to be skeptical of global warming.


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Written by Neil

November 11, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Schools, Australian History and the Garden Gnome of Kirribilli House

One small bit of Australiana: as a descendant of the Guringai my nephew is one of the original owners of Kirribilli House, just as I, if it is indeed the case that I am a descendant of the Dharawal, am one of the original owners of Sutherland Shire…

But all that aside…

I experienced a chill when I read the highlighted words in the Herald by Anna Patty. I am forced to transcribe from the print edition as this report online is quite different. They confirm the nature of our current Prime Ministership, the iron fist in the velvet glove, the protofascist* — I do not use such words usually — under the Aussie mate surface:
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Written by Neil

October 11, 2007 at 8:29 am

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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Yes, but is it true or not?

The Australian and Janet Albrechtsen in particular are mounting a classic ad hominem attack on the Australia@ Work Report. See also IR critic exposed as a campaigner and Full text of John Buchanan’s speech where the co-author of the inconvenient report said at a Politics in the Pub gathering here in Surry Hills in 2005:
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Written by Neil

October 6, 2007 at 8:54 am

The novel Andrew Bolt hates and Zadie Smith’s 21st century classic

 Underground by Andrew McGahan (2006): Andrew Bolt hated it! Now there’s a literary critic to take notice of, eh! It must be a good book… 😉 Andrew Bolt concludes:

It is said that a mark of the great artists is to see us as we really are. If McGahan is a winner of our top literary prize we must conclude this country has no great novelists at all. Truly, ideology does not just blind a writer but strangles his art. How many more examples must Australia endure?

In all honesty I have to say that Underground is not nearly as good as the same author’s The White Earth, but even that novel did not impress me as much as some others:

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Written by Neil

September 26, 2007 at 8:58 am