Sunday, November 08, 2015

In which the pond indulges in a little song singing and flag waving ...

Yes everything is on the table this meditative Sunday, thanks to the agile Moir, and no doubt everyone has their donkey favourites, all shouting 'oh pick me, pick me.'

Of course the pond could have had an easy win by drawing attention to Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds.

And not just meaner:

The study also found that “religiosity affects children’s punitive tendencies”. Children from religious households “frequently appear to be more judgmental of others’ actions”, it said.

We can always trust academics to observe the obvious.

The Graudian keeps its religion tag relatively hidden, but it's always a good starting point for a meditative Sunday, and stories such as Seventh-day Adventists put faith over science and reason. I know this first-hand

And speaking of the SDA and Dr. Ben, of course there was also the latest chapter in the Dr. Ben follies - Dr Ben has been on CNN, in Politico, and is beloved at The Graudian on slow and fast moving news days.

Of course the pond was also titillated by Gun-toting anti-Muslim 'crusader' at lead of United Patriots Front (with forced video). There's something about crazed religious crusaders with guns and tatts that brings out the mongrel Tamworth in the pond ...

And of course there were old favourites, such as the fat owl of the remove, a reliable scribbler of Bunterish columns:

Yaroop, yarhoon, gurrrgh, roared the fat owl, shouting you frabjous fatheads and you blithering bandersnatches at the world, though when you think about it for a nanosecond, could there be a bigger bludger, fool, and leaner, not lifter, than a columnist eking out an easy living scribbling propaganda for the Murdochians?

But with its usual perversity, the pond returned to yesterday's lizard Oz from the almost perfectly formed loonishness of Brendan O'Neill, who persists in claiming he's a Marxist, and still trots out pieces like Why it's now safe to say I love Marx.

O'Neill was on hand to dish out the sort of unthinking right wing tosh that would make a Franco proud ... or at least a jingoistic flag-waving Tony Abbott:

Now before we go on, the pond must confess to having refused to stand up for what once passed as the national anthem, at the local picture theatre, at sporting events, and wherever else it was played.

This attracted much ire in Tamworth, with hissing and sniggering, but the anthem in those days was a dirge to a foreign monarch, God Save the Queen, and the pond saw no reason to associate Australia with a bunch of well-off Poms of dubious German and European origins.

The pond has maintained this tradition. There's something about the new dirge that immediately alienates the pond.

Australians all let us rejoice, 
For we are young and free; 
We've golden soil and wealth for toil; 
Our home is girt by sea; 
Our land abounds in nature's gifts 
Of beauty rich and rare; 
In history's page, let every stage 
Advance Australia Fair. 
In joyful strains then let us sing, 
Advance Australia Fair.

But it isn't just that the pond is old and constrained, or irritated by girt, or the thought that nature's gifts, rich and rare, are often restricted to coal, and at a pinch uranium, but the hypocrisy involved in mouthing the words in the second verse:

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross 
We'll toil with hearts and hands; 
To make this Commonwealth of ours 
Renowned of all the lands; 
For those who've come across the seas 
We've boundless plains to share; 
With courage let us all combine 
To Advance Australia Fair. 
In joyful strains then let us sing, 
Advance Australia Fair. 

Surely they jest? With boundless plains to share? While in the age of mutton Dutton, people who've lived here for fifty years are kicked out because of a convict taint, as if the country wasn't first founded as a government prison ...

They'll need to change that second verse before the pond can singalong.

How about "with jolly good bounded gulags to share" for starters?

But back to the Marxist blathering about wicked lefties (yes, he does sound like a High Anglican, T. S. Eliot Thatcherite aspiring to a position in the House of Lords discussing the benefits of pornography):

Oh give the man some tatts and some high-powered guns.

Now it's the pond's proud boast that it's never gone around calling itself a Marxist, nor has it belonged to any political party or union of any stripe. Nor after the failed indoctrination in Catholicism at a tender age, has it ever been anything other than a proud atheist, always ready to have a laugh at religious of any stripe.

But the notion that singing the national anthem is somehow an assertion of liberal-democratic values is as absurd as the notion that Tony Abbott's form of flag-waving jingoism and faux patriotism wasn't the first refuge of the politically desperate.

Standing up for a mindless song or a mindless flag isn't standing up for Enlightenment values, it's standing up for the sort of fellow-travelling beloved by Marxists.

Let us recall the 1879 origins of the song the wretchedly British O'Neill wants everyone to sing along to, as outlined in its wiki here. Let's see what the subsequently deleted fine print had to say:

Verse 1 

Australia's sons let us rejoice, 
For we are young and free; 
We've golden soil and wealth for toil, 
Our home is girt by sea; 
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts 
Of beauty rich and rare; 
In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage 
Advance Australia fair. 
In joyful strains then let us sing, 
Advance Australia fair. 
Verse 2 
When gallant Cook from Albion sailed, 
To trace wide oceans o'er, 
True British courage bore him on, 
Til he landed on our shore. 
Then here he raised Old England's flag, 
The standard of the brave; 
"With all her faults we love her still" 
"Britannia rules the wave." 
In joyful strains then let us sing 
Advance Australia fair. 
Verse 3 
While other nations of the globe 
Behold us from afar, 
We'll rise to high renown and shine 
Like our glorious southern star; 
From England soil and Fatherland, 
Scotia and Erin fair, 
Let all combine with heart and hand 
To advance Australia fair. 
In joyful strains then let us sing 
Advance Australia fair. 
Verse 4 
Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast, 
Or dare a foot to land, 
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore, 
To guard our native strand; 
Britannia then shall surely know, 
Though oceans roll between, 
Her sons in fair Australia's land 
Still keep their courage green. 
In joyful strains then let us sing 
Advance Australia fair.

What a load of cobblers, eh guvnor, reminding the pond that National Party senator Sandy Macdonald once said the song was so boring, the nation risked singing itself to sleep.

Back in the day, the pond was taught a discreet form of nationalism. No jingoism, no flag waving, no triumphalism. Most of the pond's immediate or extended family fought in all the major conflicts of the twentieth century, but the sort of flag-waving and song-singing of an American kind, or that exuded by Tony Abbott was anathema.

Liberal democratic values involved being polite to people on public transport, and letting everyone get on with their own ideas and notions either in private, or in genteel public discourse.

Now by running a blog the pond has fallen far from this standard, but what can you do when confronted with an allegedly, at least self-proclaimed Marxist twit?

Um, well actually, one footballer was hated - mightily - by football fans, as were others who dared to flash a little skin, like Nicky Winmar, and Muslims are threatened by bogans, more particularly by men with tatts flourishing guns, and the pond would be pleased for Brendan O'Neill to dress as a woman and walk past a building site to discover male appreciation. Or maybe not, since the spectacle might send Germaine Greer into a rage ...

But finally what sticks in the craw is the sight of yet another Pommy bastard lecturing and hectoring Australians about what they should feel, how they should behave, and what they should make of citizenship ... and then blaming everything on lefties ...

Fuck that for a joke. It is of course a proud Australian larrikin tradition - cultivated in the brothels of Egypt - to mock Pommy bastards and their officious ways ...

After all ...

Now class, open your intertubes. Does Australia need a national identity? Discuss ...

One thing is certain. One man followed the jingoistic path of song singing and flag waving ... and look where it got him.

It started in a painful, observable reality ...

But in the traditional Australian way, it quickly shifted to cartoons and mocking memes ...

And there was a reason, because all this British and American style jingoism turned into a reminder of where it all might end ...


  1. I think O'Neill captured his target audience there: "lower class blokes"

    1. Didn't catch me. At our Josephite primary school, " God Save The Queen" was not played. Something about Ireland I would imagine.
      Be real careful about assumptions about us ' lower class blokes'.

  2. FFS DP.

    Its a shame those Muslim kids skipping out on the national anthem we're some Christian bakers balking at making a cake for a same sex marriage. Because then O'Neil would have been furiously scribbling about the absolute necessity for their diversity from the mainstream and their ability to express their religious freedom no matter how bigoted.

    O'Neil has obviously never attended and Australian sporting match of note, otherwise he would be well accustomed to the sight of Aussies using the singing of the anthem as a final trip to the bar before the game begins.

    No matter how O'Neil describes his political philosophy, in the end he always just ends up at the same ideological conclusions of the Bolts, Devines, Caters et al.

  3. No sooner had i finished shaking my head in amazement at O'Neill's largest strawman doddle ever, then eldest daughter says, "Dad", do you know Brendan O'Neill?".

    It transpires that she and her class have been asked to assess the logic in a newspaper article. And guess whose article on violence and rappers she's been given to break down?

    Should make for excellent bed-time reading. Who says News Ltd opinionators are a waste of time?

    1. The pond's full of envy VC. What a great treat!

  4. "...all creeds... had a great deal in common: in particular a shared interest in fighting for a freer, wealthier society

    ...what a brilliant idea citizenship is. Yes people have different values, worship different gods... But...

    Today's sanctification of diversity is really an assault on unity. It nurtures communalism where there should be common values, people pulling together regardless of what god they believe in..."

    The "tsixram yranoitulover", arse up backwards presumptuous pom, llieN'O, could also hold up to his trick mirror of "common Aussie values" these sanctified communalist cons: Schedule 1 - Religious Charitable Development Funds - Banking exemption No. 1 of 2011; Banking exemption No. 2 of 2014; Banking exemption No. 4 of 2014. Wow, exempting acts of gods by fiat, all for the untrammelled sectarian accumulation of Oz Fiat!

    For ref: Banking Act 1959
    Nope, nope, no Islamic, Apostate, nor Naturalist/Atheist uncommonwealth banking in there either :-( There still be gold there though, the Commonwealth confiscation of all yellow precious by fiat, and that I find amusing.


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