Apr 25, 2012

Mid week reflections


Lest We Forget

Today is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand our specific day of remembrance where we honour the fallen and reflect on the stupidity of war, and perhaps the fact the generation after generation we never seem to learn that politicians and profiteering assholes have managed to refine manipulation of one’s nationalism to their own ends. 

It struck me this morning that Australia is still engaged in a war to liberate Afghanistan and yet we lock Afghani refugees up in internment camps.  Why? Because we are suspicious of the Other?  We see them as queue jumpers in a non existent queue?  Because we see them as bludging off our welfare? 

It also strikes me as ironic, that many of the people I have met that criticise refugees, are recipients of middle class welfare that successive governments hand out to keep the voters happy. 

What really annoys me is that there doesn’t appear to be any historical evidence to back up these fears, quite the contrary, there appears to be ample evidence that refugees and immigrants to this country go above and beyond, often in the face of hostility to make Australia a better place.  No, what history does reveal is that when faced by the Other we are suspicious, fearful and treat them like shit.

Consider this research by  Dr June Factor, for an upcoming book called Forgotten Soldiers.

Honour the fallen, celebrate the living, learn from history.

Historical Segue

This wonderful post by Daniel Abraham says almost everything I want to say about the “historical defence” proffered when Epic Fantasy is criticised for its racism or sexism.

The “but that’s the way it was back then” defence that is used by people whose understanding of history is more informed by the reading of epic fantasy or their emersion in fantasy roleplaying games than actual historical reading and or research.

Go read it

A bludging segue

The comments surrounding the axing of the Premiers Literary Awards in Queensland that I mentioned awhile back still get under my skin.  The whole writers living off hand outs and needing to get a real job (all this coming from aforementioned recipients of middleclass welfare) crap.

So I decided to raise Myke Cole as an example of a writer, who’s life story will fuck everyone of those bludging writer myths and misconceptions sideways put this anti intellectual rubbish in its place.  Myke’s enjoying some success with his writing, and pursuing writing as his focus.  He’s American but I am sure I could name at least 10 authors off the top of my head who are successful, but still need to work other jobs or be supported by a significant other or live on the poverty line, living in Australia.

After reading One Year In, I reflect on how lucky I am that I live in a safe place, surviving on casual work that allows me to write at my leisure.

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