Friday, March 13, 2015

Miscellany - Putin, PUPs with a dash of blood on the wattle

This has been a funny mixed up week, making posting difficult. Hopefully, I will do better next week.

It was a week in which Prime Minister Abbott's life style remarks received major media coverage. I had a post written, but waited until I saw the transcripts. I am glad I did, for the reporting and response based on that reporting was selective. Given my own biases, I had gone along a different track. For that reason, I will amend and post later.

This was a week in which Russian President Putin confirmed what we all knew, that Russian troops had been directly involved in the Crimea. As the week ended, President Putin vanished from public view, leading to speculation about his health and position. I suspect that he will be back shortly, but who knows.

This week a Brick fell on a PUP, leaving the poor animal sorely wounded. I do wonder whether this aids or hinders the Abbott Government in its millennial pursuit of a legislation passing Senate. Probably not.

This was the week I made the mistake of buying Bruce Elder's Blood on the Wattle, subtitled massacres and maltreatment of Aboriginal Australians since 1788. If I had taken the time to speed read it in the shop I would have not done so. But I was running late for the train, had been wanting to read it for some time, so just grabbed it. It may have been voted the tenth most influential Australian non-fiction book of the twentieth century, I accept that it was arguing a case that may needed to have been said at the time of first publication, but it just annoyed me.

It's not often that I get so little from a book. I picked up a few points on the native police, but that was about it. Bruce makes the point that he is not writing history, that it's a compilation, but even so. In the end, I couldn't distinguish fact from fiction, the author's interpretation of what people and especially Aboriginal people were thinking based on what he thought that they were or should have been thinking.

I know Northern NSW best, of course, including the main sources he used. The picture is far more complex, more nuanced than he allows. That doesn't make it any less tragic from an Aboriginal perspective.

Ah well, I won't go on any more. Time to move.


Am I being unfair on Bruce? Perhaps at one level, for he does have material on areas outside my primary geographic focus that I wasn't familiar with. I think that I would still stick to my primary criticisms, however.  


1 comment:

Dr Purva Pius said...
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