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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 4 January 2010
Silly season #2: Louis Nowra's exhortation to 'be different', shame about SMH moderator!
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: big media

Here is Louis Nowra's opinon piece about "being different" prominent in the New Year weekend edition:

To appreciate our identity, we need the write stuff 

It's a gutsy heartfelt read: It starts like this:

There was hardly a more loved and admired man than my Uncle Keith. Employed by the railways he lived and worked in country towns. He was brilliant at any sport, had a fondness for beer and spent as much time as possible with his mates. For many he was the quintessential Aussie bloke.


There was another side to him, of course. He hated gays (''pillow biters''), Aborigines (''coons'') and artists of all persuasions (''wankers'') and believed the moon landings were fake. He only gave me one piece of advice: ''Be average. Never try to be different because no one likes a smart arse.''

When I was 17, I told him I was giving up football so I could concentrate on my clarinet playing. He called me a poofter and slammed the door in my face. It was the last time I saw him. He died a couple of years later in a typical blokeish fashion. He was drunk, the car skidded off the country road and it crashed into a tree, also killing his best mate.

From memory the piece had a pointer at the front of the Sydney Morning Herald website along the lines of 'Cowardice in Australia' or similar. And the point was simple and true: The tyranny of the collective over the individual is ugly as sin.But being alty and indy we thought to have a go at dear Louis for some jarring exagerations and ideological stupidities. But the SMH moderator censored it. How ironic. So much for intellectual and moral courage the whole purpose of the article!

Here are some failings of good ol' Louis in his piece as much as I liked reading it, most of it from memory from my censored comment. What a shame because I was really trying to talk instead of rehashing tired rhetoric that was allowed through - you know, get the juices flowing instead of bland rah rah of the choir:

1. The piece does remind me of the Les Patterson crudity in aspects of Australian culture. How grog is a curse as per beloved ex football coach now apparently an alcoholic. Indeed that time as captain of the team in the 1970ies based on physical skills rather than social success urged me on to some kind of Di Lampedusa style arms length perspective (referring to the towering 20C novel The Leopard). More so with a 29 year school reunion in a few days. 

2. But the local glitterati/culturati have exploited this crudity with great disloyalty too: When I watched movie Barry McKenzie for the first time recently it was apparent refugees Bruce Beresford, Phillip Adams and Barry Humphries were intent on lauding UK comic Peter Cooke, and reinforce every other local loud mouth stereotype to the English viewer. This smacks of appeasement to a haughty neurotic condescening UK paying audience and  fairly despicable. What happened to my country right or wrong? It gets trotted out today as particularly clever but implies something again, namely ...

3. Louis implies a degree of 'self hating' - a term borrowed from zionist gibes at non believer compatriots. For instance Louis refers to Australian landscapes as "ugly". Not on my walls champ. Australia has amazing landscapes - just open your eyes. Like our oceans. As for superiority of womenfolk, talk about generalisations and reverse stereotyping. There are some real bushpigs out there and well beyond the skin deep. Indeed often because of preoccupation with the same.

4. Louis takes a swipe at "tedious" author Richard Flannagan for obsessing about the "timber industry". Put simply the massive by volume "woodchip" industry is demonstrably not "timber". So Louis has lost it already. Flannagan's only problem we foresee is his Irish genes and the risky combination with alcohol. If he steers clear of grog his huge talent can only flourish. It's a big challenge for all we Irish.

Indeed it's a funny old SMH comment moderator effort out of date order at one point. Where is the moral courage in the censorship? How ironic given the topic of the worthy piece complete with graphic of scythe in hand as if to cut this minor indy media writer out of any comment list.

Posted by editor at 11:15 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 4 January 2010 11:22 AM EADT

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