Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Draped in their flag

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  • David Rush,

    "There are obvious applications for data visualisation and music and graphic composition."

    ahem...www.jazzmutant.com. I'll take one of these over an iPhone anyday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    an even stronger than usual response in the heat of the day to Australian acts on the main stages, from the retro rock of Wolfmother to the strine-rich hip-hop of Hilltop Hoods.

    which goes to show they probably haven't actually listened to what they're cheering for. Hilltop Hoods have a lot of lyrics that could easily read as 'UnAustralian'.

    and second, serbs and croats are both Christian nationalities. could we please have someone talking about christian minorities being "a threat to the australian way of life"?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    I was in Sydney recently and saw ex Midnight Oils frontman and future Australian PM Peter Garrett speak, extremely eloquently, about the Howard government obsession with owning the debate on what is, and what isn't, 'Australian', to the detriment of anyone outside their narrow definition (I was thinking of 'mainstream NZ' but thats a different story).

    Agree with RB that BDO promoters gave Howard a free kick which he gleefully took.

    Loved the Beast '50 most loathsome people', almost spat my coffee on the Ann Coulter one.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    ignore last comment re: Christian minorities.

    negative comment seems to focus on 'multiculturalism' as the enemy.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually one thing that's struck me coming back to NZ after 20 years is all the NZ flags everywhere - when I went away they were almost only ever seen on public buildings (I do remember going into the post office once and asking if they were being robbed - their upside down flag being a sign of distress and all .... they weren't amused).

    Living in the US for so long I'd always considered their flag fetish as being "something we weren't uncouth enough to do" - these days though we do seem to do it more and more

    Of course when we do wave our flag everyone else in the world thinks we're australians ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I really like this blog from The Age:

    So, it's dickheads that are the problem, and if the Australian flag makes them easier to spot - and weed out - I'm all for discouraging its use. After all, Lees and West have a duty of care when it comes to BDO patrons, and if they reckon discouraging Our Flag's use means I'm less likely to be punched in the face by a drongo with delusions of patriotism, then I thank them.

    Until John Howard, Morris Iemma, Don Rowe and pals come and stand with me four or five 'rows' from the front of the main-stage and get showered in beer, kicked in the back, covered in dust, sprayed by security and deafened by wonderful, invigorating live music - and know what a music festival is really about, and why there's no need for nationalism in the mosh pit - then I'll thank them to keep their noses out of this.

    Nationalists like to talk about reclaiming the flag (or the beaches, the cities, our jobs and our country). This is about reclaiming the Big Day Out as a music festival for music fans - and if any flag-waving tool tries to harsh my Big Day Out buzz, I'm going to turn and face them, point to the gates, and holler, "F--k off, we're full."

    I can't imagine anything more likely to kill my BDO buzz than having to deal with flag-waving fuck-knuckles. I like that "reclaiming the Big Day Out as a music festival for music fans" line, and it's nice to see the duty of care issue explained to opportunistic politicians.

    As things stand, I wouldn't be surprised if the promoters decided to take a break next year, like they did a few years back. Who needs the grief?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • noizyboy,

    meanwhile, over in Murray-land, the whole flag saga has led to him deciding that he agrees with the solution put forward by some Aussie 'patriot': 'KILL ALL LEFTIES!'

    Says Crusader Rabbit...

    Banning the flag is one thing but saying it is nothing more than a gang symbol.... If you know me, you will know it takes a hell of a lot to offend me, but I am truly lost for words that properly express how offended I am by that. That spits on every man and woman that has served, fought, and died under that flag. Now do you people see why leftists need to be killed? Do you? This call to ban the flag is a direct result of their influence on society.

    As Murray points out...

    I’d like to say that I don't agree with him completely. But that wouldn't true. [sic]

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Wonder if this fuss is going to encourage more people to bring flags and more of those "acts" of patriotism.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Hermans,

    I was at last year's Sydney BDO, and while I had a fantastic time (thanks Sleater Kinney!), there were certainly moments of distinct unease and a very palpable tension due to the presence of sunburned, flag-bearing, wife-beater-wearing Aussie boofheads. However, I got through the day without incident and was never once asked to kiss a flag (my white skin, indeed, probably saving me the grief - or at least saving me a polite and risky refusal). This unwelcome distraction didn't quite manage to 'kill my BDO buzz', but neither was it my favourite memory of the day, that’s for sure.

    Perhaps a contributing factor to Sydney’s problems is the alcohol policy. I’m used to the Auckland thing, where you’re only allowed to drink in the special area, which is usually away from the music. I like that idea, because it forces you to choose between the music and drinking, and those who choose the latter at the expense of the former deserve to be kept away from the rest of us. If I want to drink all day I’ll just go down the pub and save myself the $110 bucks that the ticket cost. Well, this ain’t how they do it in Sydney, where there‘s no such restriction (apart from in the mosh area at the main stages), with the result that by the end of the day there were empty cans of VB strewn everywhere, and groups of pissed morons roaming about, with flags.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Corin H,

    Am I the only one who sees the irony of the Aussie flag being brandished as a nationalist symbol when the damn thing has a Union Jack on it?

    Since Jan 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    meanwhile, over in Murray-land, the whole flag saga has led to him deciding that he agrees with the solution put forward by some Aussie 'patriot': 'KILL ALL LEFTIES!'

    Ah yes, Murray. I remember when he advocated the mass-murder of Muslims ...

    I'm glad you didn't quote more from Crusader Rabbit: I'd rather not have that kind of hateful racist flith on a website I'm responsible for.

    I'm really warming to this reclaiming the BDO for music fans thing. Perhaps Murray and Crusader Rabbit and their ilk could have their own, inevitably tragic, cultural festivals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Perhaps a contributing factor to Sydney’s problems is the alcohol policy. I’m used to the Auckland thing, where you’re only allowed to drink in the special area, which is usually away from the music. I like that idea, because it forces you to choose between the music and drinking, and those who choose the latter at the expense of the former deserve to be kept away from the rest of us. If I want to drink all day I’ll just go down the pub and save myself the $110 bucks that the ticket cost.

    I agree, and I have been known to like a drink or two. I see one of the commenters on the Age blog is advocating handing out E at the gate ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Australian policies towards non anglo people has been fairly dodgy for quite some time. Take a look back at 1 stolen generation, 2 white Australia immigration restrictions, 3 more recently the Tampa and its refugees. The wierd thing about this is there are huge and I mean huge communities of non anglo peoples there. Italians, Greeks, Serbs, Croats, Vietnamese, Lebanese, not to mention loads of expats too, some of whom may be anglo or caucasian. The thing is that Australians are very overt in their ways of living, we seem to have a bit more of the repressed English thing happening here. To just carry on etc.
    Buggered if I'd kiss their flag though.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    That Beast guy is a bit harsh on Suri Cruise. She can't do much about it yet!

    As for BDO carnage: Thousands of pissed ozzies wandering around leering, making racist comments and acting like drongos? Sounds like every Friday night in Oz, what's the fuss? If a bouncer didn't like my tie I'd get refused entry to private gigs, I can't see that refusing tasteless paraphernalia like annoying big flags at a concert is any business of the federal government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    It's not really but it is a great opportunity to bluster away at the electorate, who you're trying to sell nationalism to as part of your new security regime.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Oh well. I know a really top drawer Aussie who is moving to N.Z. because A) it rains here and B) She feels like cultural refugees from Texas on the Tasman. So John Howard's policies are not all that bad - we get to export our rednecks to Queensland and import their nice liberal women from Victoria.


    ThoughI am still trying to work out if her desription of New Zealand as being" like Tasmanian only without the stigma" is an insult or not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1739 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's an insult.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Things aren't that much better in Aotearoa. I recently witnessed a tatooed, drunk white retard racially abuse and physically intimidate a local shopkeeper - no flags involved. Suffice to say it was infuriating and intensely embarassing, and I'm sure most Australians would feel the same way about their lunatic fringe. Australia is, on the whole, a great place and its Summerdayze lineup almost warranted another visit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 553 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    I've often found underbelly's to be quite soft.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    when i lived in melbourne an english friend stated quite baldly he'd never been to a country with as much visible mental illness as australia.

    i laughed. a lot.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If a bouncer didn't like my tie I'd get refused entry to private gigs, I can't see that refusing tasteless paraphernalia like annoying big flags at a concert is any business of the federal government.

    And yet, there have been explicit threats by politicians to close the whole thing down on the basis that it takes place at a state facility.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Che: But the British have such a tedious love affair with the place! Every British person I've ever met in Aussie carries on like they've won the lottery just being allowed to live there. I suspect Kylie Minogue and the generational brain washing of "Neighbours" is to blame.

    I don't "get" the whole flag thing, its just a piece of material. If your sense of belonging is so fragile that you need an inanimate object to prop it up then there is something very wrong indeed.

    As a New Zealander, I think that since seminal moments of 1984 we have not just caught up with but actually passed the average Australian in being comfortable in our sense of place, politically and geographically.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1739 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    tom: i didn't say he was talking about australians.

    and i agree, they're an insecure bunch. i think it's the whole, "the continent is out to get us thing". living in a place full of poisonous little snakes is bound to do that.

    but then, howard should be voted out at the next election.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I think environment has got a lot to do with it to. Australia will kill you if it gets half a chance, its all poisonous this and salt croc that and boiling desert heat the other. Over there itas all about survivng a landscape that a harsh father with a propensity for corporal punsihment.

    Kiwiland on the other hand can offer nothing more ferocious that an enraged weta amongst its native mini-fauna. And we have a gentle, breezy maritime climate climate with lots of rain for the vege garden.

    We are all soft and cuddly and strategically benign, mummy's children all of us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1739 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Ahhh...

    they came from convict stock,

    heh.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

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