Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Response to a comment

Response to a comment Here

I read & re-read your article a number of times this morning Chris.

Chris if you were trying to make amends for ‘blaspheming’ (a patronising descriptor & indicator of where Chris’s argument is headed) you get off on the wrong foot with the title of the article.

I dare say “Lest we forget about what?” would neither sit comfortably with you or with many readers. Not just because it’s ignorant & offensive but because I actually don’t think its representative of what you are trying to say here.

What exactly is Chris Harries trying to say here? At times it’s hard to know exactly. I’m not even sure Chris knows.

That our reverence for the ANZAC’s and by extension ANZAC day is something akin to the dreamtime & religious stories? Religious/spiritual stories which try to explain the meaning of life. Stories not based on fact or empirical evidence.

That ANZAC day is a ‘white persons’ thing (The ‘ANZAC Spirit’ has become the white person’s veritable Dreamtime story” says Chris. Patronising twaddle if ever read it!), excludes aboriginals - essentially another slap in the moosh for Aboriginal Australians?

Chris you say - “It is for sociologists to explain why the quirk of a military failure nearly a century ago has become our national Dreamtime Story, the core of our national psyche. That’s a mystery to me but I must respect the fact, all the same”.

Chris I dare say that to many Australians it’s not a ‘mystery’ and the nations annual observance of ANZAC day is something that is reasonably well articulated by most Australians. Dare I say Chris (a former Greens party advisor) that your struggle to identify with & understand ANZAC day is emblematic of your Party’s inability to identify & resonate with mainstream Australia.

The story of Gallipoli whilst being, among other things, an example of the senselessness & sheer violence of war speaks to Australians about our commitment to each other, to our commitment to our right as a nation to guide our future free or fear & oppression. It’s about the powerful legacy of the actions of Australians during that war campaign. About what our forebears were prepared to do, the sacrifices they were prepared to make to defend Australians & Australia. Whilst patriotism (Nationalism Chris? – where is the evidence that “nationalism is Australia’s core belief system”? You’ve got to explain that one Chris) inevitably, to some degree informs our reverence for the ANZAC’s so does respect. Sheer respect.
Chris you also say - “What has irked me through the years is that our ANZAC culture is generally intolerant of, or forgetful of, the Aboriginal war experience”.
Where is the evidence for this? To say - ‘Australian culture is generally intolerant of, or forgetful of, the Aboriginal war experience’ would have been much more accurate.
As far as I can see ANZAC day, led by the RSL is very inclusive of aboriginal diggers.

Chris I would like our nation (perhaps expanding ‘National Sorry Day’) to sanction & dedicate a day recognising & reflecting on aboriginal victims of genocide.

Is it smart or helpful to push such an idea on ANZAC day? Nope.

Is it realistic or sensible even to hope that ANZAC day could be shared (as you now appear to have recognised Chris) with a day recognising aboriginal victims of genocide? Maybe if you are a year 10 student with little or no life experience.

If Chris Harries ANZAC day confusion & defensiveness is reflective of the discussion on ANZAC day being had in the Tasmanian Greens Party then it’s very disappointing. It highlights the ongoing problem of immaturity in Greens party thinking and is indicative of why so many Australians simply can’t relate to the Greens.

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