In the recorded history of our Nation, we have seen many trials, natural disasters, two devastating World Wars, which ripped our gene pool apart for at least two generations. We have endured floods, wildfires, droughts, which tear the heart out of the Bush and political nonsense which tests us and causes us to question just who it is that we place in our Parliaments?
But, we are resilient people, Australians, we grit our teeth, shove some steel into our spine and get on with our lives, doing the best we can with what we have.
In recent times, following the terrible death of an African American criminal, George Floyd, at the hands of Police in Minnesota in the USA, there has been a flood tide of mainly young Australians, infected with rage and hatred streaming through the streets of our major cities.
They are incensed by our history.
This is a global phenomenon in as much as the screeching and raging are conducted by mainly affluent young people in the major western democracies. Their targets are the statues of men whose achievements, by the standards of long ago days, were worth capturing for history by erecting statues of them in our cities and on the grounds of our significant Universities.
What these men did, in those long-ago times, is now deemed, by the influential baby boomers in the tertiary institutions, to be offensive, and the destruction of the statues is now essential to the common cause of trashing Western civilization’s values.
And, of course, the influential boomers, through the overflowing sewers of the internet and social media, recruit the mob to destroy the statues and chant nonsense as they do so.
The apparent faults in logic and commonsense in these mad activities invite some obvious questions. When all the offensive statues are destroyed, what then? Will the world be better? Will racism and poverty be diminished?
I have lived long enough and seen enough of human behavior to say that I hardly think so!
Humans cannot destroy their past.
William Faulkner was spot on when he made a comment: “ The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
This contagion of ‘ cancel culture ‘ is not even new. I take you all back to the city of Florence in 1497. Girolamo Savonarola demands a Bonfire of the Vanities and the trolls leap to the task – mass burnings of cosmetics, paintings, jewelry, and books occur – all the sinful objects are burnt.
But they are baaack! We still have them!
History shows us the burning and destruction went on and on…Alexander the Great burnt Xerxes palace at Persepolis; the Romans burnt Carthage, on through the centuries we go until we arrive at Nazi Germany and Kristallnacht when all the impedimenta of the Jewish people was burnt in an hysterical display of hatred & intolerance.
And, quite predictably, the Jewish people did not disappear, they were not canceled; the modern and formidable State of Israel is eloquent testimony to that.
So apart from the immediate gratification of the howling mob and the self important smirking of the boomers on campus, what is achieved?
The activists see the statue destruction as victories. Well, in my opinion, they are victories built on a shaky foundation of deceit. The destruction of symbols such as statues and artistic creations such as films and books plus the humiliation of people like actors is an admission by the activists that they cannot mount a sensible argument for ‘ cancel culture‘, so they wreck property, both intellectual and physical, as an alternative.
And those actions leave them as prisoners of symbols and language, they stand amidst their wreckage, panting and grinning, oblivious to the absurdity of their actions.
We hear, reported in the media and seen on TV screens for those mad enough to watch, the pathetic mimicry of the Greens as their representative stands in the Senate of our National Parliament and advocates the defunding of Australian Police Services.
What mindless and comic mimicry of the Marxoid politics flowing from The New York Times and The Guardian newspapers from the United States of America?
We deserve better from members of the Greens in the Australian Senate. From a promise of fresh thinking and innovative solutions to social problems, the Greens have morphed into a myopic, bitter, and dysfunctional force in Australian politics. They are not worth the money they are paid by the Australian taxpayer if all they can do is babble international nonsense.
Denying our history is intellectually stupid.
None of us can change it. It happened; it is a part of our story.
The adults among us, and they are by far the majority, know that some of the events in our past would not be sanctioned today.
We accept that.
We learn from our history; we determine not to do these things anymore. We don’t dunk women in ponds anymore to see if they are witches. We don’t burn humans tied to stakes in the centre of Brisbane anymore.
The adults among us also know that the way to resolve pressing and challenging social and political issues is to have open, honest discussions where participants are free to express their views and to be treated with respect.
Luckily for us, in Australia, we have developed a relaxed view of the significant issues of the day; we are not ignorant, we are not foolish but when the wild-eyed activists, with their hair on fire, appear in the streets or on our TV screens exhorting us to join them, most of us look at them and decide that we would rather take the kids to the beach instead!
Because that is the way, we are.