The content on this webpage contains paid/affiliate links. When you click on any of our affiliate link, we/I may get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our affiliate disclosure for more info -----------------------
Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 04:25 am
Christopher Bantick gets all nostalgic in The Age:
Children these days are growing up in a very different, less open, society than when I grew up in the 1950s. Curiously, even with high postwar levels of Mediterranean migration, there was less need to ostentatiously show what being an Australian meant. Those simple days were measured out with Vegemite on crusts at the school tuckshop and singing the national anthem on Monday mornings.
Not even John Howard wants to return to that sort of monoculture. Bantick’s nostalgia is perverse.
Back then, there were no wire fences in the desert keeping new arrivals from the rest of Australian society.
“New arrivals”? He’s talking about illegal arrivals, who tend to turn up without passports or any other supporting documents. By the way, Australia’s enlightened post-war Labor government tried to ship refugees home. Here’s what went on in 1949: “The Chifley Government passes the War-time Refugees Removal Act in July, with a view to forcibly repatriating approximately 900 non-Europeans who had been admitted temporarily during the war. They had declined to be repatriated, wishing to settle in Australia.”
Never did I think I would have to explain to my young son why people were locked up in camps.
Did Bantick’s own parents ever explain to him anything about 1950s refugee camps?
Never did I think I’d feel ashamed as an Australian when there was so little that apparently could be done to save Nguyen Tuong Van.
Drug mule Nguyen Tuong Van was caught and executed in Singapore. What did you want Australia to do about it, Christopher? Launch a military attack?
Or so utterly shamed that Australia remains for many indigenous people a Third World country where children are born into unspeakable disadvantage.
I guess we could always return to the 1950s, when Aborigines weren’t counted in the census, or allowed to vote. Bantick is a specialist “good old days” writer; here he mourns the lack of interest modern kids have for stuffed reptiles:
These days, virtually no children stand awe-struck before Python reticulatus. Its place in the museum is one primarily of historical association. But where once this massive snake slithered into the imaginations of children, there is now less wonder in childhood. It has been replaced with automated fun.
Back in Bantick’s day, the oldsters groused: Look at them kids with their fancy preserved python. We used to get our fun from realsnakes! None of this high-tech taxidermy for us, no sir. And we were the better for it!
UPDATE. More from Bantick: “Every faceless junkie has a name.” Yes. And also your DVD player.
- He can sit with Angelina Jolie at the U.n then she is now claiming to be “ashamed to be an American”..
Strange that Eric Bana (despite the whinging reservations of his interviewer/journalista) said recently that racism he experienced as a migrant child in Australia was decimated by multiculturalism.
- Regarding the python article, what a cliche-ridden old windbag this Bantick twat is. I have a young nephew and have spent a lot of time around kids. I can assure this forgetful, unobservant, insensitive (ha! hoist on your own petard!) man that children today are as full of wonder at the stimuli the world presents them as ever.
There’s nothing wrong with the kids of today. Bantick’s just another uninformed – possibly bitter – whingeing old fart disguised in progressive garb and wielding a university degree as his sword of credibility. Evidently, it hasn’t helped his insight into the human condition much.Posted by James Waterton on 2006 01 29 at 11:31 AM • permalink
- that malayan python used to terrify me when i was a wee kiddie in primary school. there was no way any excursion failed to go past the pythons (there were more than one of the huge brutes) because they were on the way to phar lap’s stuffed hide, a masterpiece of taxidermy like the pythons. you could imagine them slithering silently out of their case eeeuuuuugggghhh. the wussier ones amongst us, me included, would edge our way around the exhibits, never for a moment turning our backs on those snakes. we knew they were dead, because there was an articulated skeleton of one, but they were still scary
ot an aussie pig farmer has proven global warmering
- Lissen, in my day we had to drag our preserved pythons six miles to school, uphill each way, barefooot, in the snow, and then the teachers would make us force-feed them stuffed passenger pigeons, buffalo calves and Injun babies…Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 29 at 01:00 PM • permalink
- These consarned kids today, with their Playchannels and their biddyogames, why, I remember when I was a kid, all I had to play with was a stick and a rock, and I was durned lucky to have them! These young whippersnappers, they don’t know how lucky I felt to have a crust of bread spread with old beer leavin’s, these darned kids…whar’s my old rockin’ chair, an’ whar’s my tin of snuff, these dang kids today…
- Even for the Age that is just pure rubbish. I wonder whether the 5220 Sudanese who were granted offshore* visas to come to Australia in 2004-2005 would agree with Bantick. Or even the 7000 other, almost exclusively, non-white refugees who were granted offshore visas to come to Australia in 2004-2005. They wouldn’t have been let in in the 1950s. I mean seriously Bantick has a warped version of history if he thinks that Australia is a less open society now.
* This means they were not asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat/airplane and applied for refugee status in Australia. They were all determined to be refugees first and then waited their time before coming to Australia.
- The bush ethos is a haven when uncertainty exists.
I’m confident that he isn’t talking about Chimpy McHitlerburton. So, are we to presume then that Australian national pride is a “bush ethos”?
How old is this guy anyway? If he’s pining for the 50’s (the frickin’ 50’s???) he ought to give it all up and fold himself into the nearest nursing home right now. He’s done for.
- Actually reading that I don’t think this Bantick character really exists. I think the piece was written by some sort of Age opinion article generator that they use to keep costs down. It manages to touch on almost every anti-Howard issue as if employing some talking point algorithm. It has so many cliches and banalities in it no human could have written it with a straight face.
- We were so poor..
MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!
GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!
TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.
EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”
MP: But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t believe ya’.
ALL: Nope, nope..
- Australia is fast catching up the USA in the number per capita of demented self-hater senile farts. Bet Ted Kennedy wishes for the good old days when a married drunk could drive his latest fling off a bridge into the drink and leave her to drown while he explained to his friendly local copper that what he did was better than date rape, which was not even a crime in those days.
I guess we could always return to the 1950s, when Aborigines weren’t counted in the census, or allowed to vote.
Acutally, Aborigines had the vote in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia in 1950.
Under the Constitution, electors who have the vote in their home state also have the vote in Federal elections. In 1949 Chifley passed an Act to confirm this.
So, in 1950, only Aborigines in WA and Qld could not vote. In 1962 Menzies extended the vote in Federal elections to Aborigines. WA gave them the vote in the same year, and Qld came to the party in 1965.
In 1969, at the time for the famous referendum, every Aborigine had the right to vote.Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2006 01 29 at 05:43 PM • permalink
Well done trashing that urban myth. The 1967 Referendum changed section 51 of the constitution to allow the federal government to make laws in respect to the Aboriginal Race.
If memory serves me correctly the original clause was:
The power to make laws…..
in respect of the people of any race(except the aboriginal race)
The words in brackets were deleted by the amendment.
It would have been far better if the entire clause called “the race power” had been deleted. Since the feds took over responsibility the position of aboriginal people has declined.
The other amendment related to the counting of aboriginals in the census. They were excluded initially because of problems relating to the determination of the financial arrangements between the states as there were great difficulties in actually determining the numbers of aboriginals particularly in remote areas at the time of federation. There was nothing “racist” in their exclusion.
- Stuffed pythons? Pshaw. The giant squid fighting a sperm whale under the life-sized Blue Whale, now there’s a museum display for childhood nightmares.
That and the T-Rex eating a stegosaur.Posted by John Nowak on 2006 01 29 at 07:19 PM • permalink
- John Nowak — Noo Yawkuh, is yez?>Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 29 at 07:23 PM • permalink
- The crusts of bread with Vegemite touch is particularly heart-wrenching. One imagines the poor ragged mites their dirty lttle faces pressed yearningly against the baker’s window,looking at the unattainable loaves, while in their tiny paws they anxiously clutch a few stale and dry crusts, tossed to them by an uncaring baker, sparingly scrapped with just a touch Vegemite.
Dickens couldn’t have done better.
- As someone old enough to have spent his childhood in the ‘50s I can say that people who yearn for those days are suffering delusions and probably require medical treatment or at least some time with Bob Ellis.
As I remember those days it was outdoor dunnies with pans (stinky/cold and inconvenient with newspaper to wipe not soft tissue). It was no tv, no money and few clothes, or at least no fashion.
It was “get up and get on with it!” when you hurt yourself. It was a licence for bullying, even by your older relatives. It was girls being told they were not useful enough to be educated. It was rape being quietly hushed up etc etc.
With all the faults of life today, and they are legion, we live in an age of individual empowerment and unimagined economic richness. We eat better and healthier food, we tolerate racism, rape etc much less. Only a fool would not see this age as better than the ‘50s.
- Perhaps Bantick et al should all volunteer to put up and pay the expenses of ALL the illegals who turn up without passports or any other supporting documents.
Let them run the risk of their political position.
Its one thing to take the supposed higher ground, its another to take action supporting it.
And where then from Bantick et al is the supporting argument for all immigrants who do ALL the RIGHT things. Why aren’t they given the same (should be more) consideration than the Bantick et al crowd.Posted by WeekByWeek on 2006 01 29 at 08:47 PM • permalink
- In The Age today:
Kate Bean, p11 , regional manager, family planning, Alice Springs, says local Aboriginal poverty is comparable to the ‘grinding poverty’ of slums of Mumbai, Delhi and Lahore.
The Aborigines and “poverty” issue needs a little careful thought. Every adult Aborigine is entitled to the same minimum pension arrangements on the same terms as non-Aborigines. In addition, they have many extra, Aboriginal-specific benefits from governments, state and federal. Government benefits, through parents, to Aboriginal children are often superior to non-Aboriginal childrens’ benefits. For example, Aboriginals at Wadeye getting Centrelink payments averaged in 2003 $305 a fortnight. Wadeye payments
So next time you read of , say, 17 Aborigines living in a single house, presumably with none employed, do a little calculation of the total welfare payments for that HOUSEHOLD.
Aboriginal problems are not particularly due to lack of money. To compare people on this sort of income with starving Indian slum-dwellers is just ridiculous.
- I agree with him about the snake. That collection of stuffed critters was absolutley the greatest thing on Earth as far as I was concerned.Posted by Just passing by on 2006 01 29 at 10:06 PM • permalink
- OOOHHH! I thought it was only Conservatives who hark back to a golden age that never existed! Ah yes, the 1950’s, where Aboriginals really were treated as second class citizens, homosexuals were invisible or non-existent and women were largely house-bound. THIS Bantick holds up as an ideal time! EVEN DOGS HAVE RIGHTS TODAY!
This ILLUSION that people like Bantick are “progressive” REALLY pisses me off! All they EVER seem to do is complain about the modern world.
They complain about globalisation, disregarding the 100’s of millions lifted out of poverty. They complain about genetic engineering, despite its incredible promise. They come up with disparaging terms like “designer babies.” They were largely responsible for the Y2K hysteria, and MARK MY WORDS, I’ve been saying this for years, just you wait for the nanotechnologyscare campaign to get underway! First you’ll have to wait for the Hollywood movie, which is usually the case, to get things moving and to give the Left their script. For example, the common refrain of anti-GMO activists:
JUST BECAUSE WE CAN, DOESN’T MEAN WE SHOULD, Jurassic Park, 1993.
- Disclosure: I am over 60, so I know the 50s.
“Never did I think I’d feel ashamed as an Australian when there was so little that apparently could be done to save Nguyen Tuong Van”.
Well, Chris, we didn’t do a whole lot for the scores of millions who died by starvation and persecution under Mao Tse Dong in China in the 50s and the 60s, did we? They didn’t even have boats.
Or have you conveniently forgotten?
And we can’t do a whole lot to save heroin smugglers in Indonesia today…
Which way the real world??
- “Every faceless junkie has a name.”
Here in America, every nameless junkie has a face.
Must be a hemispheric thingie.Posted by zeppenwolf on 2006 01 29 at 11:10 PM • permalink
- Oh!Dear, these poor little bleating heat hand wringers. How miserable they are , I think we should set a place quite apart for them to sob in peace. Is Baxter empty at the moment?
Mate I lived through the fifties. The White Australia Policy ensured that that asian bloke wouldn’t have set foot in this country so there would have been no hanging.
There would have been no rioting at Cronulla or anywhere else because that element also would have been kept out.
I think I need somewhere to go to get away from this bloody Multiculture and sob. Is Villawood empty?
- #36 well, here in Oz, junkies have names, but no faces. Of course that has certain benefits to the criminally inclined. Just try describing that junky who stole your DVD to the police? On the other hand it has its down side – faceless junkies in Oz have devil of a job trying to tell each other apart.
- In a world in which there are only victims and oppressors, there is nothing to celebrate.
And if people have fun that can only be a display of callous indifference or prideful excess. Expect this in spades on national occasions.
We had the same nonsense about the thousands who went to ANZAC Cove last April.
Expressions of regard for your own country and its achievements are passe among the faux sophisticates of the left – who spend most of their energy congratulating themselves.
- AND in the 50’s McCarthy and Menzies were executing tens of thousands of people just for being communists.Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 01 30 at 12:24 AM • permalink
- Wasn’t the “national anthem” back then G-d save the Queen or was it the King?
Wasn’t there something called “the white Australia policy” back in the 50’s?
Wonder if he remembers such slogans as “bring out a Brit”, “Populate or Perish” and “the yellow peril” the latter a racist remark in reference to people originating from Asia. All from the 50’s.
- Mr BANTICK was one of my teachers in high school. Seemed like a harmess enough fellow back then. I don’t recall there being a great deal of hand-wringing, head-tilting or sitting around the a fire holding hands singing Cum-by-ya and reminising about the 50’s.
As I recall he was a big fan of the Essendon Football Club so he can’t be all bad.
Seems he has taken a bit of a lurch to the left in the last 15 years though. Shame about that.
- #42: not to mention Arthur Calwell’s famous piece of sagacity: “Two wongs don’t make a White.”Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 01 30 at 04:22 AM • permalink
- Slum dwellers in India are generally seeking any kind of work and do not choose to live thousands of miles from employment opportunities….
Second point -two weeks ago in Oz news paper,Arts Editor one Miriam Cosic wrote two columns on how American Fundamentalism is vying for the hearts and minds of Australians and we are worse for it..
“Indeed since the education system
has liberated us from the dreariness of reading history,how many Australians
knew what the term Un Australian echoed until George Clooney’s film Good night and Good Luck reminded them what the House UnAmerican Activities Committee actually did for liberty half a century ago.”
(I resisted caps for “liberated us from the dreariness of reading history”.)
Teachers take note….John Howard is correct.
- #43- Class – ‘Good morning Mr Bentdick’!Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2006 01 30 at 05:45 AM • permalink
- The people who were alive in the 1920s, 30s and 40s thought the 1950s were wonderful.
Full employment. Rising standards of living. Ordinary people began to own cars.
May be in 1950 you could have bread and butter or jam but not both. But those parents got bread and dripping if they were lucky when they were children.
Most of the “terrible things” of the 50s lasted through to the 70s.
The White Australia Policy, a Trade Union/ALP policy, was still there.
The move for equal pay for women began in 1969, but was not completed until 1972.
Throughout the 60s (and in Broken Hill for sometime later) women were forced to leave the permanent workforce if they married.
Sodomy was a crime into the 70s, [even later in Tas], shotgun weddings still there into the 70s, rape within marriage &c, &c.
Officially, discrimination against Aborigines in matter of Social Security was abolished in 1966, but many waited for effective access until the 1980s.
Funny how so many people think that everything changed for the better at the stroke on midnight on 1/1/1960!Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2006 01 30 at 06:57 AM • permalink
- Did you see that RACE thing on the ABC tonight??? Race, according to the haughty, black, female narrator, was merely an “illusion” invented by white Americans to justify their atrocities against all other people. Among these white crimes she described the enslavement of Africans, the massacre of Native Americans, the dispossession of Mexicans, the occupation of the Philippines and America’s other colonies in its “Empire.”
WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! You should have heard it! What the hell is the difference between classifying people on the basis of colour as opposed to race???
John Nowak — Noo Yawkuh, is yez?>
Richard—yep; born within sight of Shea Stadium.
The T-Rex eating the stegosaur’s from Milwaukee, though.Posted by John Nowak on 2006 01 30 at 11:03 AM • permalink
- #48. Spot on about the bread and dripping. My mum used to drag that one out if we whined about what we were getting.
She also had to stop working when she got married.
As for mod cons? Well, I always loved the story about the loo being a hole in the ground that one of the chooks fell into. They had to fish it out with a broom LOL!
Ahhh, the 50s and 60s. Wouldn’t go there for quids. I like the 80s, myself.Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 01 30 at 06:09 PM • permalink
- #42 – And don’t forget St Gough’s reference to Vietnamese refugees as “Asian Balts”.
#54 – Don’t knock bread and dripping (with lashings of salt). Yum – still love it, although with the passing of the 1950s post-Church midday roast it’s rare these days. Who got the jelly from the bottom of the dripping bowl was a cause of family fights.
While we’re reminiscing: Roast chicken – Christmas and Easter only apart from the occasional boiler. Hogget, not lamb. Weekly baths. Chip heaters. Jason and The Argonauts (too intellectual for me). Town smoked out on Mondays – wash day. Icecream a rare treat until it became available in 1 gallon cans, but you had to go to the depot across town. Milk delivered by horse-and-cart into your billy then left out overnight for clotted cream. Groceries delivered by the Four Square man. Wouldn’t have the 50s back for quids. Give me the latest era any day.
There is, however, one thing I do miss about the 50s: All ABC presenters spoke Cultivated Australian English. You just didn’t get a look in unless you spoke CAE. General and Broad Australian were lower-than-low. These days it’s the other way around. CAE speakers got shafted as being too snotty-nosed.Posted by walterplinge on 2006 01 30 at 07:42 PM • permalink
Page 1 of 1 pages
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.
That is a deadset pisser.