Sunday 9 August 2009

Germaine Greer cracks me up

We have a long-ish article in the Grauniad from Australia's favourite haridan - Germaine Greer (long may she refuse to return to us). It's two years old, but worth a gander.

The suffering of Aboriginal women and children at the hands of their deranged menfolk has been going on all Howard's life.
I always like to contrast statements like this with lamentations that "too many Aboriginals are in prison". You can have it one way or the other - you can lock up the maniacs who beat their women senseless and molest every kid within reach, who burn and steal anything they can and wreak havoc on the lives of all around them, or you can let them out to commit more assaults, rapes, robberies and murders. Which is it to be?
Boundaries are important to Aboriginal peoples, who have always respected each other's space and have suffered acutely whenever disparate groups have been forced to occupy the same space.
And how is that to any other group of people? The Russians will tell you that it is no fun to live anywhere near the Germans, and the Poles will complain that living between those two groups is the rough end of the pineapple. What makes Aboriginals so special? I like my neighbours; but I also like the fence that separates us.

Officialdom has never made any attempt to cope with the multiplicity and complexity of Aboriginal culture. For groups who have jealously guarded their distinctness and carefully managed their intercommunal negotiations for 40,000 years, enforced togetherness brings intense psychological stress. For six months of the year the disparate clans of Wadeye cannot get out of each other's way, as they are hemmed in by the wet, with neither roads nor runways usable.

I don't think there is anyone in the media that understands the multiplicity of cultures. The luvvies understand that when they go to Europe, many languages are spoken across the continent and that housing, dress, religion, food and so on varies from region to region. Just look at France as an example of distinct regional differences. Hell, go to England and listen to the accents that you get from county to county. However, bring the luvvies home, and they can't seem to grasp that the blackfellas living in FNQ (Far North Queensland) have quite a different culture to those in southern WA, say around Albany - umpteen thousand miles away.

As for the groups being unable to get away from each other, I view this as a property rights problem. Give a blackfella proper property rights to a bit of bush and let him build his own place where he wants, rather than putting up with what the government gives him in a location of the government's choice. I would never allow the government to tell me where to live - and I guess you wouldn't put up with it either. Why though do we expect blackfellas to do that? Where is their freedom to build the house of their dreams? Communal land rights, which is socialism with a pretty name, has produced the most miserable bunch of buggers you could ever point a stick at.
In the immediate aftermath of the mayhem, Mal Brough, minister for families, communities and indigenous affairs, came to town. Instead of being appalled at the evidence of criminal neglect on the part of the authorities whom he represented, he laid into the inhabitants, ordering them to clean the graffiti off their walls, collect the rubbish littering the streets, and get their kids to the school that wasn't big enough to hold them, on pain of having their funding frozen. The people responded badly, saying they were not "going to bloody fall down in a heap just because some clown like Brough comes along and wants to bounce us". As one citizen told a reporter, "I won't do it, because of him asking me."

Given that Brough had custody of our money - your money and my money - I don't blame him for wanting to see a bit of value from it before spraying it around with the usual fire hose. My reaction would be the same - you want our help, clean up your shit first. I didn't make that mess - you lot did. You clean it up.
Likewise, when white administrators have offered Aboriginal people "decent housing" they have seen it wrecked and even burned down, yet it does not occur to them that the three-bedroom brick veneer is not what Aboriginal people can use. Many live in segregated camps, or would if they could. Indeed, the problem of child abuse would be mitigated if they went back to the tradition of men's camps and camps for women and children.

This bit really did it for me. One of the most ardent feminists of our age arguing that men and women should be segregated! We can't have men-only clubs in the city, but Greer is arguing that we should have men only camps in the outback.

I will have to leave it there. Monkey is driving me nuts.

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