Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Clicking on the "Next Blog" button #1
January 30th, 2005

I just randomly came across this blog after clicking the “Next Blog” button. It is authored by a person named Peter Faris. He indicates he is “Proud to be Australian” and that his blog contains politically incorrect views. At least he is up front. I do not always have the guts to be as open as he is in his blog.

I disagree with most but agree with some of the stuff he publishes. Unlike Peter I do find it hard to be a “proud Australian” at times. Ever since Pauline Hanson made her maiden speech in parliament and the actions of the Liberal Party in supporting Bush, establishing detention centres, etc it has been somewhat embarrassing to be an Australian.

When travelling and also working overseas, being an Australian wasn’t such a big issue. You were just an Australian. That was fine. But since 1996 it has perceptibly changed. People question me about Hanson, Howard and the like and I have to answer those questions. It is uncomfortable and it makes me feel frustrated. I apologise for the actions of the Hansons and the Howards and reassure my inquisitor that not all Australians have such narrow minded views although I think now I may be wrong there having returned to this country after a stint overseas.

Anyway, back to Peter Faris’ blog. He writes about the left and the right and terrorists and so on. It made me think. So I wrote this as a comment in his blog:

“What’s the point of being left or right? What’s the point of being patriotic or not? Being left is a problem. Being right is a problem. Patriotism in any form is a problem. Life everywhere would be pleasant if patriotism and politics didn’t interfere in our daily lives. Patriotism is becoming jingoism in this country.

What difference will being right or being left make when you are dead and buried? Just get on with life. Enjoy a meal, have a drink, go for a walk, paint a picture, listen to some music, read a book. If we continue to worry the way we do we will all go to an early grave, one way or another.

The left and the right in Australia are identical anyway. Go and live in several other countries… in several continents and then you may understand how pointless it really is to unswervingly sit in any camp.

We will all be dead one day anyway. We will all be forgotten soon. Why waste time and energy pontificating the way that you/we do? If you are so committed to your views why don’t you join an army and really face up to someone with differing views to your own (or that of the political leaders that sent you).

We live on an insignificant planet surrounded by an infinite number of galaxies and stars and here we are preoccupied with freedom, terrorism, politics and money. What a waste of time and energy!”

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