tip off

Weekend talk thread April 13 – 15

Can we have another four days off please?

53
  • 1
    monkeywrench
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Farewell Bob Brown, a leader with integrity and common sense. I will not be surprised to see The Australian’s toxic take on his tenure as Greens leader.

  • 2
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Wrench

    Farewell Bob Brown, a leader with integrity and common sense. I will not be surprised to see The Australian’s toxic take on his tenure as Greens leader.

    I agree with you on the ‘integrity’ bit there, Wrench, not entirely sold on the ‘common sense’ part.

    Anyways, it’ll certainly be a loss for the party, he was their best asset; a superb communicator and advocate. I certainly can’t see the nation responding as well to the schoolmarm hectoring of Head Mistress Milne.

  • 3
    jules
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    When will andy stop crying?

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/andrewbolt/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/one_comment/

  • 4
    jules
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I guess this story demands a smartarse comment:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/baboons-learn-to-read-four-letter-words-differentiating-between-real-and-nonsense-words/story-e6frg8y6-1226325566219

    Examples could include “Ahh thats where (ionsert name here) gets their audience.”

    and “No it doesn’t cos Baboons are sposed to able to discern reality from nonsense.”

  • 5
    calyptorhynchus
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I see on the Drum today a piece by Barrie Cassidy about the “Thompson Stench’ not going away was launched with comments on.

    A few minutes later they had them turned off.

    I suspect that they were inundated with comments like mine:

    “It won’t if stupid journalists keep on writing about it and ignoring important stuff”.

  • 6
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    God, Bolt can be a d$ck…

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_bolt_report_on_sunday4/#commentsmore

    If we have time, a little funny at the expense of Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who refused to come on. That’s how tough we play here.

    (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE WAS A JOKE, NOT INTENDED TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. IT THEREFORE IN NO WAY REPRESENTS A THREAT TO AN MP IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES OR AN IMPROPER INDUCEMENT. AS AN OFFICIAL JOKE, IT IS NOT ACTIONABLE BY THE PRESS COUNCIL.)

    what the?

    Yes, I have been out of action for a week, but what did I miss that prompted this stupidity?

  • 7
    Holden Back
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    A little gander sauce, anyone?::
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/exawb-chairman-took-cowards-way-out-20120413-1wy0n.html

  • 8
    Fran Barlow
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Condon, who had been AWB chairman for nine years before resigning and taking up the role of chairman at Bustan, admitted his involvement in falsifying documents to hide financial losses totalling more than $12.5 million.

    But but …. free speech! Totalitarian gubbmint!!!

  • 9
    fred p
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    jules @ 3:

    The journalist didn’t contact him for comment! Amazing. It’s almost as though she didn’t care what he thought or had to say, or figured nobody reading the Age would. Shocking stuff.

  • 10
    Angra
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Liz A – it’s just “a little funny”. Yeah, about as funny as a car crash.

    His sense of humour would do Gort proud.

    Along the lines of “the Greens burning bodies”; “White Aborigines”; “Flannery the liar”; “Gillard Lies”; “What Global Warming?”; “Academic lefties in the pay of the Government”; “CSIRO and BoM lefties”; “You can’t trust scientists” etc ?

    The man is a joke. He {EDIT We can’t publish those, even if they’re accurate.}

    It’s time News Limited cut their losses and got rid of the dead wood.

  • 11
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Liz A @6

    My impression of chris bowen is that he’s more than a match for bolta in a fair fight. He understands his brief, he’s straight to the point, he’s no-BS and he doesn’t lie. He’s really that no-nonsense. The interviews I’ve heard suggest to me that he knows his stuff.

    But he’s be a @#$%ing idiot to go on the bolt report. There’s no such thing as a live interview. If I were ever stupid enough to go on that show, I’d have a big digital clock stuck to my forehead, measuring to the hundredth of a second, so that the edits could be obvious to everybody ….

    … except maybe mark latham, who isn’t really paying attention these days.

  • 12
    monkeywrench
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I think Bolt is as clearly defined by what he chooses to ignore as much as by what he chooses to write. Thus, the subject of suicides linked to priestly abuse tells us as much about his psyche as his rants about Green fascists.
    One would think such an appalling catalogue of institutionalised crime would inspire the champion of free speech and justice to pages and pages of condemnation and demands for the truth. Yet he has studiously ignored this subject. You would read far more in the Bolt pages about Craig Thompson’s alleged use of a union credit card than you would about the fact that nearly fifty people have committed suicide due to priestly abuse.
    One can only assume that Andrew Bolt is comfortable with the hierarchy of Catholicism ( and institutional Christianity in general ) and prefers to ignore the suffering of these victims rather than comment on the cosy status quo being carefully stage-managed by Pell and his ilk.

  • 13
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “I think Bolt is as clearly defined by what he chooses to ignore as much as by what he chooses to write”

    Hmm, that’s a difficult thing to argue. If you take that line, what’s to stop other people from criticising us for not talking about whatever obsession the wingnuts have on any given day.

    No, I don’t think you can really infer anything from what people don’t say. Maybe if they’re directly asked something, you might be able to at least point out what they don’t say, but I don’t think it’s possible to go any further than that.

  • 14
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Moving a discussion over here from the week’s open thread

    Howard,B:

    Sure – but LOTS of people get free stuff. Without free stuff, we wouldn’t have an arts sector.

    Indeed, but we don’t subsidize the art’s or sports etc. according to race. Nor should we subsidize the individual according to race, Matty.

    If people are in need of government subsidy, judge them by their bank account, not their race. That shouldn’t be so hard to understand.

    Ok, fair. So let’s open the lid on the allegedly “illegal” topic and get right to the point:

    Do you think that we, as a nation, have any obligation (or even legitimate interest) to try to record and preserve our indigenous culture? We hear a lot from teh rights about the importance of our EXISTING culture (or at least the version people can remember from the 50′s), but not so much about the one that was here before the various western nations arrived, stuck some flags in the ground and started building.

    Would it be any sort of tragedy if that previous culture disappeared? I think that would be an obvious “yes” for people who have a specific interest in these things, but to the general population of the country, or even the world, would there be any legitimate sense of shame if we were, having as we do the opportunity to do so, didn’t attempt to prevent that culture from disappearing?

    I’ll leave it at that for now. Small steps ;-)

    I should just point out that I’m no social scientist, or any sort of anthropological hobbyist. I have no particular personal interest in australia’s indigenous art, and I even sometimes find myself feeling confused by the paintings in the new wing of the national gallery that contains a collection of ATSI art. Maybe if somebody could explain it to me ….?

    Ooh, I’m feeling all excited and coming over all flush, talking about this dangerous illegal topic. I’m half expecting the jackboots in the door at any second!

  • 15
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Andrew’s having a similar non-discussion (if he’d posted this in a different thread, it might have got some worthwhile responses)

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/racist_cried_flanagan_knowing_no_contradiction_was_permitted/

    One of our grants bodies explains the need to hand over your money to authors, one of whom was given $90,000:

    The average annual income of an artist is $41,200 but half of that comes from non-arts income. In the case of writers, they have the lowest creative incomes of all artist occupations. So there is always a need for grants, prizes and scholarships.

    Oh. So the argument is that writers need our money, not that we taxpayers need these writers. And, indeed, the less we need their particular books, the more we need to pay them in grants.

    Wild.

    Does this calculation apply to all professions, or only to writers? As in, if you are not good enough to be paid what you’d like in the open market, that someone from government should double or even triple your income?

    I know child care workers and gardeners earning not much more than that $40,000. Could they get those grants, prizes and scholarships, too?

    And that’s a good question. I’m not sure I know what the answer is. But I would point out that it’s not just confined to writers. I suspect that there would be very few functioning orchestras or theater companies in australia without public funds. While going through the australia council grants last week, I noticed that Bell Shakespeare gets a fair whack of money. I’m happy to see that, because I really like what they do, and generally try not to miss them when they come to canberra. But they’d have to be one of the more successful theater groups, and if they need public support then I can’t imagine any others surviving without gubbmint money (and yes, I realise there are other possible models, but we don’t have the same level of private philanthropy here that exists in the US – although a look through the list of submissions to last year’s review of private support for the arts suggest it’s not entirely non-existent)

    So, andrew, if you’re going to pick on writers, I’ll just point out that your beloved opera would probably go down the gurgler as well if there wasn’t a bit of free money about, be it direct support for companies and productions or indirect support for individual performers. If you think it’s better if we support those companies, then by all means tell us how you’d explain that to your hypothetical gardener.

  • 16
    monkeywrench
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    MoC @12 I think you’re over-generalising in a context where it would be good to narrow the margins of reference: Bolt on Catholicism: What He Writes and What He Doesn’t Write.
    I feel my point is still valid: his tacit support for patriarchial authoritarianism is clearly defined by his studied silence on the crimes of the Catholic clergy.

  • 17
    monkeywrench
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    or put it another way: if the Union Movement were found to have shielded its senior officers who had engaged in child abuse, would Hero Andrew keep quiet about it?

  • 18
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Holey moley.

    Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls for George Pell’s Apology to Australia’s Holocaust Survivors

    http://foiwa.org.au/node/484

    SWC Acquaints Australia’s Ranking Catholic Cardinal with Contributions of the “Little Jewish People”

    http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=4441467&ct=11712167

    Yeah, sure, it was a slam-dunk to pell. I bet dawkins wished he’d never taken part. Man, dawkins is looking silly now.

  • 19
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Matty of Canberra

    Do you think that we, as a nation, have any obligation (or even legitimate interest) to try to record and preserve our indigenous culture?

    ‘Recording’ is one thing, ‘preserving’ is another. Recording information on any culture (or language) for posterity is a beneficial academic pursuit, without question. However, the artificial preservation of culture (and language) in the present for its own sake, I think is irrational. Culture and languages are tools, and all tools eventually become obsolete with time, thus, whilst it is interesting to learn about them, emotional attachments thereto are illogical.

    Imagine, Matty, the lack of societal progress if we insisted on ‘preserving’ our culture like some kind of snap-shot in time. That progressives are arguing for any culture to be put into stasis or on life-support is a bit amusing. Moreover, culture itself is the dynamic and ephemeral sum of human mores and behaviours. It cannot be ‘preserved’ like a piece of heritage architecture.

    In fact, it may even be the case that attempts to ‘preserve’ Aboriginal culture have the opposite effect. Certain styles of Aboriginal art are not deemed ‘authentic’ unless the artist has some degree of Aboriginal heritage. By restricting who can be an ‘authentic’ artist in the Aboriginal style seems counter-productive in ensuring this cultural product’s survival.
    You will know that modern Aboriginal culture has a long-term future when dance troupes specializing in Aboriginal style dance don’t actually contain any aborigines, when an immigrant can be regarded as an ‘authentic’ painter in the Aboriginal style and when welcome to country ceremonies are carried out by a non-aborigines to a crowd of aborigines.

    It all gets back to the sheer counter-productiveness of formalized racial divisions.

  • 20
    Angra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    How do you explain prejudice?

    (I apologise in advance for some of the terms used, but these are I believe necessary in order to explain and understand what is going on.)

    I’ve have had to confront the reality of prejudice recently and continuingly while looking after my Dad, who is 87, has had quad-bypass surgery after a heart attack, had a stroke at Christmas and is suffering from dementia.

    I think this peels back some layers of our mind (like an onion) and reveals some of what is underlying our consciousness.

    Being a child of the 1930′s Dad absorbed many of the prevailing beliefs and attitudes of the time, which we now label as bigotry. This can be particularly embarassing as he tends to speak in a loud voice, and sometimes his underlying views are laid bare for all the world to hear.

    But it is a complex issue. I’ve come to think that there are at least three layers of consciousness that drive his (and our) reactions.

    Layer one – the deepest and earliest. Where inbuilt and ancient beliefs probably imbued from childhood drive our responses.

    Example (when seeing an doctor from the Indian sub-sontinent who actually saved his life). “All the doctors around here are bloody Indians you know!”

    Layer two – fundamental belief modified by mid-life experience.

    Example (from yesterday). “Miriam Margolyes is one of my favourite actresses. I saw her perform Shakespeare’s Women. I met her once and actually stayed in her house in Italy. But she’s a lesbian you know, and a Jew.”

    Layer three – modified response to immediate experience.

    Example (again from yesterday) – “Where’s my favourite nurse? She’s the black one from Rhodesia. She’s the one who treats me the best and knows what I want. The Australian nurses aren’t as good as her.”

    Where to begin to dissect this?

  • 21
    monkeywrench
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Howard, we see that argument postulated quite seriously by people who, in the next breath, rail at ‘multiculturalism’ and the erosion of ‘traditional Australian’ ( i.e.white) society by migrants hell-bent on doing their own thing. Sauce for the goose?

  • 22
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wrench

    Howard, we see that argument postulated quite seriously by people who, in the next breath, rail at ‘multiculturalism’ and the erosion of ‘traditional Australian’ ( i.e.white) society by migrants hell-bent on doing their own thing.

    I’m sure we do, but why are you telling me? It would seem you should be addressing whoever these people are, not me.

    Personally I’m quite happy to see some aspects of ‘traditional Australian’ society naturally eroded by immigration and international cultural influences. Food for starters.

  • 23
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Oh, wow. SOMEBODY’s got to have the sense to jump on this:

    NRA official accuses media of sensationalizing Trayvon Martin case, ignoring other crimes

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nra-official-accuses-media-of-sensationalizing-trayvon-martin-case-ignoring-other-crimes/2012/04/14/gIQAIpsQHT_story.html

    N.R.A. Official Attacks Florida Shooting Coverage

    But Mr. LaPierre argued that violent crimes happen all the time in cities across the United States.

    “By the time I finish this speech, 2 Americans will be slain, 6 women will be raped, 27 of us will be robbed, and 50 more will be beaten,” he said at a N.R.A. members meeting on Saturday morning. “That’s the harsh reality we face, all of us, every single day. But the media, they don’t care. Everyday victims aren’t celebrities. They don’t draw ratings, don’t draw sponsors. But sensational reporting from Florida does.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/us/nra-criticizes-trayvon-martin-media-coverage.html

    I TOTALLY agree. And I think that the NY Times should run a special spread on everyone who was shot, slain, raped, robbed, kidnapped, threatened and beaten by somebody using a firearm to gain advantage since that guy started speaking.

  • 24
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I think the point the Cardinal was making was that God chose a relatively humble people rather than a “great” people like the Egyptians, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, etc. Naturally, the Cardinal could have been more articulate, and my estimation of the Catholic Church (of which I knew relatively little) has plummeted upon observing his performance. (The Catholic Church has been around for ages, so you’d think they’d have better answers than were on display at the hands of Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic!) The idea of God favouring the weak, humble and nondescript is a constant and recurring meme in Christianity and is not understood as an insult but rather something that bespeaks God’s condescending grace and so something morally praiseworthy. Perhaps to be charitable to the Cardinal, he was beginning to make a point but was remiss in failing to take into account the context in which the debate was occurring, where one is not giving a lecture without risk of interruption, but rather where points must be encapsulated in short, pithy statements, in sound bytes. But then again, surely the Cardinal has had the opportunity to watch Q&A before and so would have known what to expect. Poor performance by both him and the English guy, in my opinion, both being philosophically unsophisticated. But the Cardinal of course meant no offence to the Jews, and it is ridiculous to think so.

  • 25
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Howard, B:

    I agree with your about preserving a culture in aspic. But that’s a slightly different problem to what I was thinking about. I’d like to leave the problem of camps and the intervention and and the stolen generation and wotnot for another time. What’s got us all exercised this week is the problem of the latte-sipping inner-city, PhD-toting, fair-skinned “professional” aborigine.

    As I suggested in a previous post, we spend a fair whack of public coin on preserving traditional western culture. Not by just writing it all down in a book, but by making sure it is performed. I doubt if there is a single theatre company, opera company or orchestra in australia that would survive if the gubbmint pulled the plug. None of them are, by themselves, financially viable (at least, I don’t think so). In places like the US, that role is largely taken by private philanthropy (and it is to some extent here too), but in australia, europe, the UK, new zealand and so on, it’s the tax payer who props up that noble connection with mozart, puccini, shakespeare, bernard-shaw etc. Also, we don’t have any significant privately-run galleries in this country (or many other western countries, either). Without the tax payer, there wouldn’t be anywhere to go to see those renaissance masters, or the impressionists, or the whatever else.

    We DON’T just make sure it’s recorded somewhere and shut the door. I don’t think anyone would regard that as “preserving” our heritage. If we did that, it would undoubtedly lose its relevance for most people. And, while I’m no culture-vulture, I didn’t really “get” van gough until I saw “starry night” in the fleshcanvas. Sculpture generally leaves me cold, but this melted my brain (michelangelo’s “unfinished” slaves are also incredible). I don’t think it’s possible to grok classical sculpture from a book – you have to see it. Reading a play is one thing, but I reckon anyone would understand it better if they see it performed.

    So what about out indigenous art and culture? Do you think there should be any state support for that? Should we support our indigenous artists? Should that include supporting indigenous artists who record how their culture interacts with the modern world? I mean, if we don’t do it – who will?

    Your point about the need for authentic performers is noted, but until there actually is a body of work that has been recorded to be transmitted, I’m not sure how any non-aboriginal troupe is going to be ABLE to perform any aboriginal style dance. It’ll take a more ardent consumer of dance then me to say if there are any non-aboriginal people currently performing in aboriginal dance troupes. I’d guess that the odds are “yes”, but I don’t really know.

  • 26
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    “But the Cardinal of course meant no offence to the Jews, and it is ridiculous to think so.”

    Not meaning offense and actually not being offensive can be two quite different things :-)

    I guess I wonder what it is that elevates a man of words and ideas to such a high rank, if a fairly straightforward statement in front of a stacked audience leaves him needing to apologise to people the next day.

    Poets, priests and politicians
    Have words to thank for their positions
    Words that scream for your submission
    And no-one’s jamming their transmission …

  • 27
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Also, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the main tenets of Christian philosophy, so to have the Cardinal dismiss the Adam and Eve story as being, I dunno, apocryphal or metaphorical or whatever, makes me wonder whether Catholics subscribe to the doctrine of original sin. I thought I’d ticked the box of understanding the fundaments of Christianity, and thus (perhaps naively) included Catholicism in that putative understanding, but it seems I’ll have to make a separate study of Catholicism, since Christianity and Catholicism seem to be different philosophies altogether! After all, if the Fall didn’t come from the First Adam in the Garden of Eden, to be atoned for by the Second Adam at Calvary, then what the heck is all this Catholicism about?! Perhaps Dave, being a professed Catholic, can enlighten us on the mystery that Catholicism appears to be — cos I’m stumped.

  • 28
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I wonder if there’s a place for a regular “things left out” thread? Or would it be better as a “tricks of the trade” thing?

    Anyhay, some of the words that bolta left out of his quotes from the Tele about craig thomson’s refusal to speak to the police from task force carnarvon:

    “We asked them for areas they wanted to ask me about and they declined to do so. On that basis we declined to talk to them,” Mr Thomson said last night.

    “I haven’t been involved in the HSU East branch since 2002. I declined on legal advice.

    “What I would say is that it is my very strong view that Fair Work Australia should immediately give their report to the Victoria Police.”

    He said he may agree to be interviewed by Strike Force Carnarvon if his lawyers reached agreement with NSW Police.

    None of that gets a mention in that thread. I’m sure his readers will click through and read it, though[1]. Andrew’s addition to the quotes he DID use is:

    An innocent man refuses to help police establish the facts:

    I reckon AB and all his followers need to watch the following video:

    Don’t Talk To Police

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

    That video is brain-melting. It’ll change the way you see things.

    [1] Just kidding.

  • 29
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I guess I wonder what it is that elevates a man of words and ideas to such a high rank, if a fairly straightforward statement in front of a stacked audience leaves him needing to apologise to people the next day.

    Precisely! The guy’s meant to be a professional thinker, a highly qualified representative of the philosophical system to which he subscribes. How Catholicism has managed to survive for so long, I don’t know. Pope Benedict is described as being “intellectual” (one would have thought that they all would be), so perhaps he would have offered a better apologia. At least the English guy (I suppose I should look up his name, which has escaped me for the moment — Ah, Dawkins!) at least Dawkins is a scientist who’s looked up from his microscope for the moment to engage in philosophy (the queen of the sciences), and so less is to be expected of him. But someone who’s meant to be a philosopher, who’s meant to be a scientist in the truest sense of the word, and whose administrative tasks ought not to be sufficient to detract from this task — for such a putatively qualified person to act in such an unqualified manner is perplexing, to say the least. From Dawkins we know not to expect too much, but from a supposedly real scientist?

  • 30
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Since somebody brought up theology in the podcast ….

    I’m sort with PdM on this one. If The Fall is just an illustrative story, or a metaphor, then what IS the theological basis for original sin? If there’s no original sin, why would Mary’s conception need to be immaculate? If there’s no original sin, what’s the basis of Total Depravity (the ‘T’ in ‘TULIP’, the acronym that summarises the calvinist view of predestination). If there’s no original sin, then why baptise?

    As an outsider, that does seem to shake the foundations a little bit. What next – “I’m not saying that Jesus LITERALLY came back to life …”, or “hey, it’s just a wafer … people get up early, they gotta eat”?

    … you might know how to play with fire …

  • 31
    podrick
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    It is good to see that the standard of political discourse is being maintained over at Menzies House?

    ThePhilosopher said in reply to Kushiel...

    Commie red ragging poofter

    Piss of and leave the country and go back to read square
    Reply April 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM

    http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2012/04/browns-exit-gives-extreme-left-a-foothold-in-the-greens.html#comments

  • 32
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    And moreover, sin and death are specifically meant to be the result of the Fall, and correspondingly, the post-millennial eschatology has it that the redemptive effects of Christ’s atoning sacrifice will progressively reverse the effects of the Fall until a little boy will be able to oversee the peaceful interaction of lions with lambs, an effective restoration of Paradise. The last enemy to be destroyed shall be death, completing the regenerative process, following which will be the Parousia.

    If there was sin and death before the Fall, then the Fall wasn’t the cause of sin and death. Indeed, what were the heights fallen from if the apparently lofty Edenic state had been characterised for aeons of time by a state of nature already red in tooth and claw. What effects of the fallen state was Christ’s sacrifice meant to overcome?

    Has Catholicism run up the white flag? If so, why don’t they admit it already and stop bothering everybody and making a nuisance of themselves? Dave, will you be the first to apologise for such a poor philosophical system and promise never to engage in such philosophical tomfoolery again?

  • 33
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read square, myself. Is it good?

  • 34
    jules
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    “However, the artificial preservation of culture (and language) in the present for its own sake, I think is irrational.”

    This isn’t what happens is it tho Howie.

    Cos the languages you’re talking about in many cases are not artificially preserved, they are naturally preserved, and thats why English is the second or third language of indigenous people in parts of Australia.

    So you’re not whinging about another “white man’s burden” when it comes to preserving a culture, you’re actively promoting the destruction of a culture. Otherwise how else are you going to turn English into a first language?

    “Imagine, Matty, the lack of societal progress if we insisted on ‘preserving’ our culture like some kind of snap-shot in time.”

    By funding opera’s with govt money, or obscure classical music labels and the like?

    “In fact, it may even be the case that attempts to ‘preserve’ Aboriginal culture have the opposite effect.”

    You’re insisting on aboriginal culture including you but you have no idea what it actually is. (As evidenced by your superficial reading of it as dance groups, art styles and ceremonies while ignoring the substance those things reflect.) There are non indigenous people around Australia becoming exposed to and continuing indigenous culture in their own way with a bit of respect for the originators of the culture.

    Of course if you are talking about people like that new age artist in nsw who thinks they can use an indigenous name and icon, make up shit about it and not acknowledge the people who exposed them to those stories or anything similar, for their own profit then you wrong again. I can’t pinch someone else’s song and make money off it without appropriate licensing – why should other IP not be provided those same protections.

  • 35
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Matty of Canberra

    So what about out indigenous art and culture? Do you think there should be any state support for that? Should we support our indigenous artists?

    Generally speaking, if we are to subsidize the arts with public money, we should subsidize artists producing art in the Aboriginal style, as opposed to subsidizing artists for merely being Aboriginal.

  • 36
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    …philosophy (the queen of the sciences)…

    I thought mathematics was the queen of the sciences. According to some long-since dead German, at least.

  • 37
    Phil Vee
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    There is a link on the Media section of Crikey to an article about the cost of running comments pages. It is written by a guy in New York who runs an online magazine.
    http://animalnewyork.com/2012/04/comments-are-bad-business-for-online-media/

    There is a quote in the article that is clearly wrong, and wrong for this blog.

    I don’t think you can have both high quality comments and lots of comments: there just aren’t enough intelligent, civil people on the internet with the time to do free work for you out of the kindness of their heart. Or the smart, engaged people with the time aren’t the ones who have the information that would add real value to a thread.

    Well, Mr smartypants New York expert, not only do such people exist but we are willing to pay someone else for the privilege! So there.

  • 38
    Angra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Priceless quote from Mr B.

    “Christopher Pearson is a gay friend of Tony Abbott, and wonders why the ABC’s Tony Jones forgot it. ”

    This just works on so many levels (although he forget to mention the Catholic angle.)

    Well done Andrew!

  • 39
    Angra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Howard,B – Google Natural Philosopy.

    BTW I think you are referring to the Philosophy of Mathematics, whose meta-form is Symbolic Logic. Regarded as the Queen of reasoning (scientific and otherwise) from Aristotle all the way down through to Wittgenstein, who is somewhat guilty of philosophical regicide by replacing it’s pre-emeinence with Language and Meaning.

  • 40
    Angra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    God – I just switched channels and happened across the automatic pilot sequence from Airplane!

    My first wife slapped me when I laughed at first seeing this. No wonder we got divorced.

  • 41
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Jules

    Allow me to address much of the substance of your emotive fulmination by putting to bed its grubby little undertone.

    Two non-European languages are spoken in my house. My children are native speakers of both. We partake in the cultural practices associated with the two languages; its art adorn our walls; we occasionally go and see performances thereof.

    That my children should end up maintaining these languages and associated cultural practices is not a situation the government should seek to ‘preserve’. It will be an entirely natural development borne of their own choices.

    They are taught not to define themselves by their race, language or culture: race is superficial whilst language and culture are merely tools. It is not only irrational to define yourself by the superficial and cling to useless tools, but an irrationality borne of racialist sentiment.

    An irrational and racialist sentiment you appear to endorse.

    … you’re actively promoting the destruction of a culture. Otherwise how else are you going to turn English into a first language?

    Not at all, merely pointed out that cultures and languages rise, change and fall naturally, according to their utility.

    Where have I suggested English should be a first language?

    You’re insisting on aboriginal culture including you but you have no idea what it actually is.

    Sorry? Is Aboriginal culture not like any other human culture? Is it not the collective common beliefs and behaviours of a group of people?

    Anyway, I haven’t insisted on being included personally, merely observed that the best way to ensure the survival of a culture into the future is to facilitate its transmission across races.

    There are non indigenous people around Australia becoming exposed to and continuing indigenous culture in their own way with a bit of respect for the originators of the culture.

    Am I to give a moment’s reverence to the Germans before I kick-back to Mahler’s fifth, Jules? Should I go out of my way to be extra respectful to anyone Arab given I admire Islamic sacred geometry? Perhaps praise all Chinese after enjoying lunar new year festivities?

    Unfading culture transcends race, Jules, yet here you are insisting on racialising the culture you wish to preserve.

    I can’t pinch someone else’s song and make money off it without appropriate licensing – why should other IP not be provided those same protections.

    I am unaware as to what specific example you’re citing, but I’ll go out on a limb and assume some non-Aboriginal artist has used motifs or the such from Aboriginal mythology and culture in a piece.

    I wasn’t aware that you could trademark a collective public culture and transfer the IP collectively by virtue of race. Seems silly. Do all Scandinavians have collective rights to the image of Thor? I hope the Chinese are all getting paid for whenever someone draws an oriental dragon. Don’t even thinking about publicly performing Recuerdos de la Alhambra unless you’re Spanish.

    Culture is something to be shared and propagated, Jules, something that transcends ownership. You’ve just reduced Aboriginal culture to the status of a comic-book hero or today’s latest pop song.

    Anyway if you wish to ensure a culture’s disappearance into the future, I can think of no better means than to restrict who can use its motif’s and mythology.

    This is another self-defeating piece of racialism.

  • 42
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Correction:

    Am I to give a moment’s reverence to the Germans Austrians before I kick-back to Mahler’s fifth, Jules?

  • 43
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Angra

    Google “Carl Friedrich Gauss”, the German mathematician to whom is attributed:

    Mathematics is the queen of sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics. She often condescends to render service to astronomy and other natural sciences, but in all relations she is entitled to the first rank.”

  • 44
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Am I to give a moment’s reverence to the Germans Austrians before I kick-back to Mahler’s fifth, Jules?

    Germans … Austrians … same difference.

  • 45
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    “Generally speaking, if we are to subsidize the arts with public money, we should subsidize artists producing art in the Aboriginal style, as opposed to subsidizing artists for merely being Aboriginal.”

    That’s quite reasonable. But if we return to the question of whether we should take responsibility to preserving (or recording) a culture that has only ever existed between our shores … who, at present, is best able to do that? The people who still live in the communities and speak the languages and know the stories? Or some arts grads who can mimic dot paintings?

  • 46
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I started to write a comment, earlier today, about how odd it is that the world is having such a great sense of memorial for the titanic.

    Then I went and read a bit about the engines on that sucker, and found some pictures.

    Wow. That boat was interesting.

  • 47
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m not entirely sure what the point of number theory is. But, then, I kind of blanked out when we got to abstract algebra and groups and stuff. It was a long time ago.

  • 48
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I just read this:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/tony-abbott-is-not-the-messiah-hes-a-believer-who-stands-by-his-sibling/story-e6frg7ko-1226325188557

    Somehow the entire debate has now become “tony abbott is right about gay marriage because he knows gay people”.

    I don’t think anyone ever had reason to wonder if tony abbott knew any gay people. I sort of assumed that he does, like just about ever australian adult does. So this looks like a bit of careful PR to me – addressing a question that nobody asked in order to respond to a problem that he won’t or can’t answer. They took a snide comment from tony jones and made out that it’s the entire issue … rather than, you know, equality and policies and stuff.

    I’m particularly wondering about this paragraph:

    “Rather than engage with Abbott’s arguments on marriage, she [Phelps] asserts that he has none and dismisses his position as blokey malice”

    I’m not sure I’ve heard kerryn phelps describe abbott’s position as “blokey malice”, but I might have missed something (wooldridge, on the other hand …). I’m not really following the issue all THAT closely, but it occurs to me that if tony abbott had actually MADE an argument on marriage, it might have been reported somewhere that even I would have seen it.

    So … can anyone tell me what “Abbott’s arguments on marriage” actually are?!? In actual words? I mean an argument – not a re-statement of liberal party policy, or a recited definition of marriage under the act, or a vague observation on the electorate’s readiness for change … what is his actual argument? Has anyone heard it? It has to be better than the usual set, i.e:

    (1) I don’t like it
    (1a) Australian’s don’t like it / aren’t ready for it (I’d say put that to a vote)
    (2) It’s a slippery slope to dogs and cats, living together
    (3) Some sort of argument from antiquity (this is just how marriage has always been)

    I mean, surely. His argument’s better than that, right?

  • 49
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Stray apostrophe. Sorry. I shall flail myself.

  • 50
    jules
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    “Anyway if you wish to ensure a culture’s disappearance into the future, I can think of no better means than to restrict who can use its motif’s and mythology”

    You’re in advertising right?

    “Allow me to address much of the substance of your emotive fulmination by putting to bed its grubby little undertone.”

    I will, please do so at some point.

    HB – “They are taught not to define themselves by their race, language or culture: race is superficial whilst language and culture are merely tools. It is not only irrational to define yourself by the superficial and cling to useless tools, but an irrationality borne of racialist sentiment.”

    So we can agree we are talking about things other than race – we are talking about identities. BTW I’ll bet your children are taught to define themselves via culture and language, in fact especially by language and culture. Its a function of having a nervous system. Its an unavoidable side effect … no primary effect of having one.

    However culture, and identity, are important things to people. Not just “tools” unless you mean tools as things to give meaning to life. In which case they aren’t as interchangeable as the tools in many garages. In addition – WhatTF??? no tool is useless, unless its broken – so what are you talking about – some culture you came from thats broken? Someone else’s culture thats broken? or useless? Either way – WTF???

    Honestly it appears you are mistaking culture for the products of culture. So perhaps a bit of respect for the Bohemians before you kick back to your musak wouldn’t hurt you. Perhaps you could reflect on the role of self satisfied nostalgia in a declining Austrian empire. In that particular case. (Mahler’s 5th.) Indigenous culture is open to anyone, but within limits. You can paint by making dots if you like. I doubt you could paint by making dots then claiming some connection to the meanings associated with those dots tho.

    You could even do it and say you are mimicking aboriginal styles. What you couldn’t do is say this and this and this refers to these traditional things. Which is a big part of indigenous art – the attached meaning.

    “Culture is something to be shared and propagated, Jules, something that transcends ownership. You’ve just reduced Aboriginal culture to the status of a comic-book hero or today’s latest pop song.”

    No I haven’t … at least not in a bad way. In fact lets just say I did.

    You’re assuming that comic book heros and the latest pop songs are not cultural. There’s way too much ground you have to make up in your understanding of culture before we can have a meaningful conversation. For example:

    “Unfading culture transcends race, Jules, yet here you are insisting on racialising the culture you wish to preserve.”

    Unfading culture is mathematics and to a point science.

    So anyway, my main point is – stop whining about taxpayer funding for indigenous people and their culture. It verges on racism.

    HB – “Where have I suggested English should be a first language?”

    On this blog, at various times.

    As for irrationality. Embrace it Howie.

    I recommend dancing naked round a bonfire burning the works of Kant and Descartes under the full moon while howling and drinking magical potions. It’ll do you the world of good.

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