Julia Baird asks:
If God was a DJ, as smooth-bellied songstress Pink has claimed, would the disco version of the national anthem be four-to-the-floor? Would crowds swell and sway on the dance floor to a revved-up Advance Australia Fair, as they did some time ago to the disco beats of The Lord’s Prayer? Or would it be considered an act of sacrilege and, indeed, blasphemy as was claimed this week?
I can remember a time when the only cultural contestation we had over the festive season was charges that Christmas had become too commercialised. In these times of perpetual culture wars, it seems impossible to – well, just enjoy Christmas and New Year celebrations without constantly tripping over complaints about the evils of multiculturalism and political correctness.
I’m still unconvinced that “pc” really is the rampant destroyer of all things Christmas. It sounds like – to the degree that anyone can actually produce any evidence that nasty secularists are trying to stop the reindeers in their tracks, that most of the small number of phenomena cited in support of this argument are actually commercial decisions. It’s odd that supporters of the free market would insist that commercial entities such as shopping centres should toe a particular cultural line. But then, evidence is not to the point. The whole PC Culture Wars thing was made in America, and imported here. I don’t think there ever were phantom armies of PC nasties looking over everybody’s shoulders. Rather, the whole thing was an attempt to bolster the cultural and political hegemony of the right.
I like Christmas. I’m in favour of nativity scenes. I’m not so in favour of horrible piped carols in Myer. I will probably go to Midnight Mass. Yet I’m one of those evil lefties!
Julia Baird thinks a lot of this stuff is a swipe at Clover Moore by other means. It really is a pity that we can’t even enjoy the Christmas festivities anymore without the intrusion of proxy wars against pollies wrapped in a culture wars template. Julia’s right – Sydney should recover its Dionysian spirit, and pollies and pundits should relax a little and actually spread some cheer at this time of year!
ELSEWHERE: It’s not just the Sydney City Council that’s causing some Christmas ire, it’s the Melbourne Council as well, according to David at Barista.