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Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 08:11 am

Hugh Mackay in the Sydney Morning Herald, July ‘03: “We have taken our eye off the big picture. We don’t want to know. We’ve shifted our gaze to the things we can understand and control – the minutiae of our personal lives … we prefer TV programs about backyards to news and current affairs …”

Counterpoint: “Australians have so far donated $50 million for Asia’s tsunami-ravaged countries.”

Geoff Kitney in the Sydney Morning Herald, January ‘04: “While individualism has flourished we, in our debt-laden castles and our fear of the unknown which the new world order of global terrorism has created, have become more selfish … the power of individualism is breaking down a sense of community and community responsibility.”

Counterpoint: “Even while they were celebrating the coming of the new year, Australians contributed more than $1.12 million to the victims of the devastating Boxing Day tsunami.”

UPDATE. Australians are donating $750,000 per hour, many of them via sites listed here.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/02/2005 at 02:21 AM
    1. At least they’re testable hypotheses, not like global warming or anything.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 01 02 at 05:04 AM • permalink


    1. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth they have received their reward in full.  Matt 6:2

      I’m not going to condemn the ones who are doing the giving, they’re not doing the bragging.

      I do wonder about you sometimes Tim.

      Posted by saint on 2005 01 02 at 05:27 AM • permalink


    1. Saint,

      I think you may be missing the point. Tim isn’t patting himself on the back but has been offering a ‘well done’ to the many millions of people around the globe who have kicked in.

      At the same time, he has pointed out that there are those who, for whatever reason, seek to portray these efforts as niggardly and that simply is not the case. The Bible refers to it as False Witness.

      Tim has donated his time, money, and bandwidth to this cause from the beginning and has let those who care know where they too can donate.

      It’s very big of you not to condemn the people who are doing the giving. Keep working at it.

      Posted by JDB on 2005 01 02 at 07:21 AM • permalink


    1. And a less pretentious handle than “saint” would probably be a good idea if you’re going to criticize other people’s alleged grandstanding and hypocrisy.

      Posted by PW on 2005 01 02 at 08:14 AM • permalink


    1. I thought the point was that those who decry and denounce materialism, greed and all things evil are the greatest demanders of the fruits of materialism, greed and all things evil.

      Those who are materialistic, greedy and evil just work hard and quietly give money to those in genuine need.

      Posted by rog on 2005 01 02 at 09:08 AM • permalink


    1. Apparently the Saint can’t read. Or translated another way: For a Leftist, everything you do is “Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!” [Teddy Kennedy, Richard Gebhart, enc.]

      Or, applying the McCanles/Freudian/projection/self-confession principle, [The] Saint, Makay, and Kitnis are talking about themselves. [Tim’s fact-stating and unremarked-upon acts also disprove each of the psychoneurotics’ statements as applying to others.]

      Posted by J. Peden on 2005 01 02 at 09:09 AM • permalink


    1. Iam indebted to Hugh Mackay for teaching me to say “my research indicates” rather than “in my opinion”. This gives an air of authenticity to the opinion, and smokescreens the fact that I have no time for research due to my numerous media appointments.
      Geoff Kitney tried to talk me out of buying a debt laden house (yes, to me its a castle) but I persevered, got the bank loan, bought the house and am enjoying it a great deal, as are my wife and family.
      Geoff will no doubt be saddened to hear that it has appreciated by $250,000 since we bought it.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 01 02 at 10:49 AM • permalink


    1. These incredibly, self-righteous cretins at the SMH and ABC sound more like preachers of some oppressive, fire and brimstone-type religion than they do the so-called progressives that they like to see themselves as. The galling irony/hypocrisy of their comments is spectacular to say the least!
      These frauds are the literal embodiment of the decadence they speak of. They have become so bloated with such an extravagant sense of self-importance that, to them, to believe other than they do is either ignorant or immoral. Too arrogant to see that they, in particular, can’t possibly live up to the standards they expect of everyone else!!!

      Posted by Brian on 2005 01 02 at 01:35 PM • permalink


    1. Brian � They ARE their peer group…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 01 02 at 01:39 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah but how can this ‘group’ fail to notice the audacious decadence and the indulgent pretentions of their peers, particularly when they so readily condemn these traits in others? Is it just common garden-variety hypocrisy? Do they constantly require a gag-suppressant? It’s like Michael Moore denouncing the obese as greedy, or the ABC chastising Fox TV for bias…bloody incredible! Farcical!

      Posted by Brian on 2005 01 02 at 02:21 PM • permalink


    1. JDB – there is a difference with a ‘well done’ and a ‘well done’ with a kick to your political/media opponents etc.

      And as for a juxtaposition with a comment by MacKay in 2003?????  Forgive me if I just don’t get that.

      Posted by saint on 2005 01 02 at 03:27 PM • permalink


    1. Saint,

      Re-read Mackay’s comment.

      Hugh Mackay in the Sydney Morning Herald, July ‘03: “WE have taken OUR eye off the big picture. WE don’t want to know. WE’VE shifted OUR gaze to the things WE can understand and control – the minutiae of OUR personal lives … WE prefer TV programs about backyards to news and current affairs …” (emphasis mine)

      Is Mackay using the Editorial ‘We’ or the Royal ‘We’ (in which case, he’s actually only speaking for himself)?  Or is he using the collective ‘We’ in order to implicate the rest of us for his own personal guilty pleasure in watching gardening programs?

      (‘No shame, Hugh. Loads of dead butch blokes love a go at tending the rose bushes!’)

      He doesn’t speak for me and he apparently doesn’t speak for others here as indicated by their comments.

      Whether he said it in 2003 or 1943 or 1915 is immaterial—he reckons Aussies to be selfish and willfully ignorant bastards. Plainly speaking, Saint, Hugh doesn’t like Australians!

      Tim points out that, for like the millionth time since it’s founding as a nation, Australians have responded to an international crisis in a generous manner that is way out of proportion to their actual numbers. Why? Because in actuality, Aussies are good, decent, and giving people.

      Hugh Mackay and others like him would throw up in their own mouths trying to concede that fact. He is a misanthropic prick and he hates his own people worst of all. But he’s wrong.

      Tim was just pointing that out. Get it?

      Posted by JDB on 2005 01 02 at 04:39 PM • permalink


    1. Mackay berates us poor plods for daring to take our collective eye off the “Big Picture” (whatever that is) to things that we understand and control;  shame he doesnt take his own advice.

      Posted by rog on 2005 01 02 at 05:48 PM • permalink


  1. Saint doesn’t “get” very much, indeed. At least he “received [his] reward in full”: his mind.  He’s apparently stuck with it. Pity him. Or wonder what he did to deserve such a reward.

    Posted by J. Peden on 2005 01 02 at 07:38 PM • permalink