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December 2, 2008

Baz Lurhmann's Down Under Moonbattery

Pretentious auteur Baz Lurhmann's epic Australia is pretty much a flop, but at least it allowed him a chance to wallow in moonbattery and sanctimoniously bash his own country:

AUSTRALIA'S shameful past has again been brought to the world's attention with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann linking US President-elect Barack Obama and the stolen generations.
The Australia director used Obama's US election victory to remind the world of Australia's recent practice of taking Aboriginal and mixed-race children from their families, MX reported.
"The President-elect of the United States is 47. If he was living in Australia, it is absolutely credible that the government, because he had one white parent and one black parent, could have taken him forcibly from his family," Luhrmann said.
"They would have put him in an institution, probably lied to him that his parents were dead, changed his name and reprogrammed him to be European, so he could have some sort of function doing something of service in white society. That would possibly have been Obama's journey."

Sounds like Australia is even more evil than America. That's not going to do much to stimulate tourism. What goes unmentioned in righteous condemnations of attempts at integration is the child abuse that has long been epidemic among Aborigines — prominently including child rape. But apparently nothing can be bad if it isn't done by Caucasians.

Andrew Bolt has five requests for the esteemed director:

1. Please name just 10 children stolen from their families just because they were black.
2. Please name a single child stolen from his white mother just because he was black.
3. Please explain your racist assumption that it would be terrible to raise a child of a single white mother as "European", and please define what you actually mean by that phrase.
4. Please explain how Obama himself was not raised as "European", given he was brought up by his white mother and white grandparents. Please explain why Obama is a lesser person for that upbringing.
5. Please explain why you continue to assert as facts things which are absurd, untrue and unhelpful.

Here's another request, on behalf of the Tinseltown execs who have pumped more than $130 million into this dog: next time make a movie people want to see.

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If only we could all be put-upon noble savages.

On a tip from mandible claw.

Posted by Van Helsing at December 2, 2008 10:15 AM

Comments

These out of touch loons like Lurhmann, Cuban et al just DON'T GET IT do they? Those of us who haven't drunk the Kool Aid don't want to pay $10 to be told how evil we apparently all are.

Posted by: antipinko at December 2, 2008 10:45 AM

Love your "requests," Mr. Bolt! Would that this unthinking robot of a film director would take a moment to consider the requests and provide an answer to each. Haven't seen the film (and probably won't, anytime soon), but I hear from other reviews that it is exactly as noted in the posting: long, boring, bleeding-heart liberalism at the forefront, native Aussie: always good; white Aussie (native after the 1st generation, of course): evil personified -- basically a miserable failure at the box office in the offing.

Posted by: jc14 at December 2, 2008 10:46 AM

Funny how they don't advertise the "stolen generation" angle of the movie.

Then they wonder why no one is going to the movies anymore. Take a wild guess.

Posted by: Jaeson at December 2, 2008 10:59 AM

Where do you think they got all those kids for MAX MAX 3:BEYOND THUNDERDOME from?

Posted by: Anonymous at December 2, 2008 11:13 AM

Another liberal left-wing movie maker FEED HIM TO THE CROCIDILES FEED HIM TO THE RABID KANGAROOS FEED HIM TO THE CARVIVEROUS EMUS

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at December 2, 2008 12:19 PM

Not surprisingly, the movie Australia was pushed by Oprah on her show as an incredible, epic love story. I fear I'm doomed to see this movie, though :(

Posted by: Cheesecake at December 2, 2008 2:43 PM

Hey, Republicans were looking for a candidate for 2012, and now we've got one. He makes Obama look Swedish.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 2, 2008 6:44 PM

Just saw the movie.

Actually, not bad. A bid sappy and very long. But watchable and interesting. The PC angle is in-your-face but not coninuous.

Posted by: mega at December 2, 2008 6:48 PM

Van - thanks much for taking the time and effort to post on this.

Mega - I haven't seen it either (I'm Aussie btw, although not living there now) but from the reviews it's not a very accurate portrayal of Australia or Australian history at all (eg. racist white missionaries sending part-Aboriginal kids off to remote islands in the path of Japanese bombers about to hit Darwin - when in fact Aboriginal women and children were evacuated in the opposite direction as far out of harm's way as possible.)

I've always had a deep love of Aboriginal culture, and the Australian outback has so many incredible stories to tell - the heroic acts shown by many Aboriginal drovers who simply came out of the bush on newly-formed cattle stations and immediately adapted to the new ways the Europeans were establishing would be a fantastic story; or the book series on "Napoleon Bonaparte," the fictional half-Aboriginal detective who solved outback crimes using traditional Aboriginal tracking methods for the police, (inspired by the heroic Aboriginal policemen and trackers of Australian history), and countless other heartwarming ways in which Aboriginals and the strange new light-skinned people who moved into their lands cooperated to overcome the troubles of the outback, until the government decided Aboriginals needed to be legislated down to the smallest details of what they could and couldn't do..

It's such a shame that no-one seems to want to tell them accurately.

Posted by: mandible claw at December 2, 2008 10:52 PM

Whoops, meant to say:

"Mega - I haven't seen it yet"

Posted by: mandible claw at December 2, 2008 10:57 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong but Australian aborigines are technically Caucasian themselves, no? I remember that from an Antro class.

Posted by: Rob Taylor at December 2, 2008 11:06 PM

Mandible, I like your observations. I'm not Australian, but I have made four trips there and have been interested enough in the history and geography of the place to read up extensively on it. Having just seen the movie, it is definitely a heavy-handed account of the lost generation, but not much different (if at all) from a left-wing interpretation of any historical event in US history. That is to say, it emphasized the sappy humanity of it all, and set up a simplistic black and white "these people, good" "those people, bad" which rarely reflects the contours of cultural clash and competition for land and resources. Like, the white folk were trying to get violent warring tribes to settle down and join in prosperous culture, not just killing them for sport. Reality is so much more complex than lefties want to tell it. But depending on one's ability to absorb the lefty propaganda and discount it, I thought the film was actually OK. Plus, Hugh Jackman is like a greek god and now my wife's got something to occupy her neurons for a few months other than whether I've taken out the garbage or fixed some broken thing. He must work out 10 hours a day or something. Friekin' unbelievably good shape. Nicole Kidman - a bit past her prime, unfortunately, but still an engaging actress. And the story was not bad at all, except for the heavy handed parts about, well, the usual: white men raping the land and such.

Posted by: mega at December 2, 2008 11:48 PM

^^ Have never heard that before Rob - although the classification of "Aboriginal" quite often refers to Australians who have only tiny remnants of Aboringal ancestry in their history, whereas a vast majority of urban Aboriginals would have at least some caucasian ancestry. I don't have the numbers but actual full-blooded Aboriginals are fairly rare and make up a majority only in some outback Aboriginal communities.

Posted by: mandible claw at December 3, 2008 12:00 AM

Thanks Mega.

I'm not Australian, but I have made four trips there and have been interested enough in the history and geography of the place to read up extensively on it. Having just seen the movie, it is definitely a heavy-handed account of the lost generation, but not much different (if at all) from a left-wing interpretation of any historical event in US history.

Australia has its own "culture wars" and "history wars" that are ongoing and yes, the "liberal" side's argument is all about "imperialism, genocide and racist government policies," etc. The usual phoney causes du jour and which enable grievance-mongering and lead to no meaningful conclusion besides shielding Aboriginal communities from any kind of criticism or self-assessment of their many problems and difficulties, and keeping far too many of them on welfare with no aspirations beyond hating white people and blaming them (us) for their problems.
In fact recorded history of Australia shows nothing of the sort; yeah there was racism, there was bad treatment of some Aboriginals - on the flipside there were massacres of white settlers by Aboriginal tribes over land conflicts etc. There's still plenty of casual racism directed at Aboriginals - and plenty more back the other way.
But on the whole it's basically what would be expected among a nation forming from two very different peoples and cultures at the time; and compared to the formations of almost every other nation in history was peaceful, smooth and harmonious - and the simple fact is that yes, half-Aboriginal children were removed from their tribes (as were white children removed from their families if they were observed to be in harmful living conditions) because they were almost always rejected by full-blooded tribe members and suffered abuse; and no-one has been able to present a single convincing piece of evidence that racism was the cause or even a factor in this, or that any of these children would have been better off with their tribes than at missions, as difficult as that concept is to swallow.

I thought long and hard about the whole thing - it was perhaps one of the defining issues that swayed me to conservatism from liberalism as the conservative side of the debate makes the arguments that are harder to make but the ones which have solutions that are rational and reasonable. And I've been through the outback and studied its ways and its people more than any grievance-mongering liberal and grew up with Australian history in my heart and I know which side is telling the truth.
The simple fact is that the traditional Aboriginal lifestyle is too fragile and specialized to fit undiluted into what is modern Australian societ. Heck, the amount the Europeans learned and absorbed from Aboriginal lifestyles is incredible - and we make no pretence we would have survived if we hadn't learned the ways of the land from its original inhabitants. Now white society has brought them modern medicines and modern conveniences and there's no purpose in not taking advantage of that - and I blame (largely white) "liberal" agitators, grievance-mongers, guilt merchants and facilitators of unhelpful causes for the poor conditions many Aboriginals still live in; along with a hefty dose of government do-goodery, of course.

Why people think urging the reverse process to take place to an extent constitutes racism or genocide of a culture is beyond me - especially given the troubles in outback communities as Van Helsing alludes to, and the fact that many if not most of the strongest proponents of Aboriginal arts and culture, who do the most to promote them, are urban Aboriginals.


That is to say, it emphasized the sappy humanity of it all, and set up a simplistic black and white "these people, good" "those people, bad" which rarely reflects the contours of cultural clash and competition for land and resources. Like, the white folk were trying to get violent warring tribes to settle down and join in prosperous culture, not just killing them for sport. Reality is so much more complex than lefties want to tell it. But depending on one's ability to absorb the lefty propaganda and discount it, I thought the film was actually OK.

Yap.. I will probably end up seeing it at some point; it just seems such a pity that of all the stories to tell from the outback it's the "stolen generation" one that is told in Luhrmann's film - it's a slap in the face to every Australian who doesn't want to spit on the memories of the pioneers who built what our country is today.

Plus, Hugh Jackman is like a greek god and now my wife's got something to occupy her neurons for a few months other than whether I've taken out the garbage or fixed some broken thing. He must work out 10 hours a day or something. Friekin' unbelievably good shape.

I have to agree with her (I'm a straight male, just for clarification, haha).. He is something else, and not just for looks either.

Nicole Kidman - a bit past her prime, unfortunately, but still an engaging actress. And the story was not bad at all, except for the heavy handed parts about, well, the usual: white men raping the land and such.

Exactly - And anyone who thinks European settlers raped the outback is free to travel to the outback and see for themselves what kind of condition it's in. I just wish someone would tell that story - apparently so do cinema-going audiences too.

Posted by: mandible claw at December 3, 2008 12:31 AM