Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A note on Australia Day and related matters

This post is a short note to myself.

Over on Thinker's Podium Bruce set out his concerns about Australia Day. Benjamin Solah had a somewhat similar take, if from a different perspective. In a completely different post on Culture Matters, Lisa Wynn looked at the confusing use of the word black in Australia from an outsider's perspective.

Australia has become a very complicated society. It is also one going through rapid change. By its nature, the language we use is a creature of the past. It changes as society changes, but always with a lag.

To manage complexity, we simplify. We also use different types of symbols and symbolic language to describe others and to provide unity, common points, within the group.

I have explored many of these issues from different perspectives. Often in discussion, the response to my post on the use of the Lord's Prayer in Parliament is an example, the focus is on the issue itself, rather than on just what the varying views tell us about the changing pattern of Australian society.

Maybe its time to pull a little of all this together from an historical as well as current perspective. As I said, just a note to myself.

By the way, Thomas, I have noticed your planned new series and will participate.


Neil wrote:

“I guess we will see some posts expanding on this...”

True of course, but I suspect that while Neil may not like some of the things I plan to talk about, he may be a little surprised at the content.

The posts I have in mind are not intended to tell people what to think nor indeed what I think on specific issues. While I will make my own views clear so that people can understand my biases, I am more concerned to disentangle issues and point to what I see as trends. Where I can, I will put things in historical context. While bias is inevitable, I want to write from a professional perspective.

I will be writing from an Australian perspective, but I hope that the material will be of broader interest.

I won't say more at this point. I leave it to you, the reader, to form your own views.

No comments: