I’m apparently unaustralian…

6 Sep

With the current saturation coverage regarding the tragic death of Steve Irwin, I find myself in an odd position.

According to some melodramatic contributers to the WWW, it is unaustralian to not jump into the morass of public grieving and beat at your hollow chest. Germaine Greer, in what I am sure is a distinct relief to her, is also unaustralian for her commentary in the Guardian (and, by implication, you if you agree with her opinion). What about the children? What if they read it? Well, what about them? Only one of them can read. Has she started reading Germaine Greer yet?

Oh for fuck’s sake. I feel like putting on my best mother voice and saying “look, just calm down, you’re really being very silly”.

I don’t understand the mourning sickness into which people so slavishly descend. While I wasn’t a fan of Irwin’s, it doesn’t automatically mean I’m untouched by the news of anyone’s death (ok, I laughed when I first heard but then I often laugh when given bad news. Or pain. I laugh during pain, too. Seriously, you can ask my beautician.)

What really confuses me is the disparity in compassion. It’s turned on to flood capacity for a man who most thought was at best a little (if not lovably) unhinged. Yet there’s a drought for those trying to enter Australia, trying to make a build a new life while still holding onto their heritage, drought for the land’s original occupants, drought for an Australian held in a cell for five years without charge or sunlight. It’s drought for anyone who is alien to the aspirations of the freakishly insecure classes desperate to ensure they get their affluenza’d share.

Why is it we see such compassion for a man who alternated between bothering and protecting animals and profited well for his efforts yet none for those desperately in need of support and a voice? How is it they get our restraint (in every way, it would appear) and yet for a man who had it all, along with a booming voice that made itself heard in important ears (well, okay, Howard), there is an effusive outpouring of compassion. It strikes me as even more disturbing that those without a voice are consistently at the recieving end of slander, hostility and insensitivity during utterly traumatic periods in their lives within the media and yet there’s no outrage on their behalf.

That is what I grieve over.

One Response to “I’m apparently unaustralian…”

  1. Polypanna September 9, 2006 at 10:48 am #

    Certain forums should have a warning at the top: “Here be bogans”.

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