Naphthalene Avengers

Sydney New Year.jpeg

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.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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Scot Mcphee
2022 years ago

I think the vast majority of the population, will in fact set out to “well, just enjoy Christmas and New Year celebrations without constantly tripping over complaints …” as you put it. Only a small percentage of the commentariat, radiotalkbackland, and the political sphere are at all concerned about this issue. how much of this stupid-arsed debate leaks out of the hallowed halls of commentary and into the average person’s consciousness? Not much, I hope.

Personally I’m much more concerned (for myself) about the almost-mandatory and practially unavoidable extra spending one has to indulge over christmas.

What’s really killing the Dionysian spirit in Sydney at the moment are killjoy Body Corporates and ‘Concerned Citizens’ who don’t like people having a Christmas party anywhere near them. ((Some friends of mine finally put on a great xmas party in their apartment block’s excellent entertainment area and earned the ire of the resident body corporate-fascist for daring to entertain people in the entertainment area!)).

mister z
2022 years ago

shame on Julia. CJ Bolland declared god to be a DJ long before little miss pink climbed out of the sink…

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

I reckon we should just revisit the ghost of Christmas yesteryear.

http://www.observer.com/pages/story.asp?ID=10006

(Why doesn’t the <a href link stuff thing work here – in Firefox, IE or Safari?)

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Nabs, they turned it off to stop spamming.

Irant
2022 years ago

Why all the fuss over what Christmas is or isn’t? We all know that it is just a warm up for Boxing Day and the first ball of the day’s play in Melbourne.

anthony
2022 years ago

For Japan it’s entirely about getting your end in, cake, and fried chicken and a marvellous thing it is too. Just to enjoy a bit of consumerism without somebody telling you what it’s really about.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Here’s to getting your end in in Japan. Apart from that, Christmas can bite my ass.

What christmas means to me is a 3 hour drive in 40 degree heat with no radio reception.

Bah fucking humbug courtesy of your friendly neighborhood right-wing crank.

Scot Mcphee
2022 years ago

hey yobbo you aren’t on a body corporate in enmore by any chance?!

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

There always has to be one body corporate fascist. Ours is a charming young straightlaced couple of aspirational yoof. Mrs yoof rides her exercise bike for an hour when she comes home from work with the teev blairing out afternoon soaps from her balcony. They hatched a nefarious plot to lop the beautiful fig trees out front which make this odd 60s building with marble-floored balconies worth living in. Fortunately, they were foiled! But for some reason, they succeeded in getting the nameplate for the building (“Smeralda”) removed… Luckily, I’m one of Dr Hewson’s despised renters, so I only have to hear about all these shenanigans second hand!