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Australia never had a place in its culture for adventure, romance or experimenting with different ideas
December 21, 2007

The evidence in the Hicks case spells the end of Australian understanding of romance, adventure, and the thrill of experimenting with new ideas. We never really did understand, for our present hollow culture is more of the cruel, bureaucratic and vengeful genre. Let’s not kid ourselves. The fading culture that we glorified came from the David Hickses and Jack Thomases of the nation who took to the sniff of war in 1914 for comradeship and adventure. It didn’t come from our imitative, educated and ambitious classes who sacrificed fun for doubtful status. Doubtful because in the swim to the top of the horrible pile it means servility to those nations we wrongfully regarded as our superiors. Look at our subsequent distorted perceptions. Menzies imagined the Queen as a romantic, sexualised image. Keating thought Menzies correct and being opportunistic working class ( which used to have a strong culture) placed his hand on her waist and was splapped on the wrist by the media. How unbelievably banal and pathetic. If she had responded in a knowing way Keating would have rogered her without hesitation, later receiving the offer of a knighthood. Keating was a bit too real for our sick bureaucratic nation.

And are we going to pay for the nasty, obsequious drivel that our department heads foist on our lazy politicians.

The Hicks case shows just how far we have deprived ourselves of our democratic rights and the rule of law. It’s not just Hicks who has to prove himself innocent of terrorist sympathies, and being a future danger, it’s all of us. Don’t think so? Just remember the environmental protesters who were arrested in the UK under such laws a few weeks ago.

And who may have beenthe role models for Hicks and Thomas in the thirties? Why, George Orwell and Arthur Koestler. They took the communist side in the Spanish civil war. Each of them were condemned to death and each were subject to a mock execution. Read terrorist for communist in that conflict. However they each saw the error of the side they had chosen and wrote revealing texts on it. Texts we still turn to for enlightenment.

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