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Once upon a time …

Resisting the temptation to declare that this current period of so-called governance of the nation reads and performs like the script of a Grimm Brothers fairy tale, we have to admit … no … screw it! … it is like a fairy tale … a horrid fantasy where instead of the villains getting their just desserts, they end up like the wolves consuming the children.

There’s something badly wrong with our cultural perceptions. Badly wrong … our sense of fairness has been turned upside down. All those same fairy tales, those moral insights, the Grimm Brothers … those Hans Christian Anderson anecdotes, Aesop’s Fables and the rest have been trashed for the complete opposite result that is the lesson of ancient times and now anarchy and mayhem rule our days.

It truly is a bizarre turn of events, because in every moral tale told to us, to our children down the ages, at fireside or bedside … the most miserable stereotype, sniveling, vicious, narrow-eyed lying schemers are identified, chastised and given a bloody good and well-deserved walloping! Now, any one of those many mythical weaselly villains could be morphed into a Pyne … the most brutal, bullying, cold-blooded destroyer of the innocents could be at anytime a Dutton … the avaricious landlord or overlord, who wouldn’t hesitate to send in the bailiffs against the most sorrowful widow could unmistakably be a Murdoch … that suavo wealthy uncle, bon-vivant, amusing raconteur and apparent gentle “assistant” to the ladies … all the while slyly and slimily waiting his chance to de-flower the young maidens could easily be Turnbull (except he’s too gormless!) … any number of LNP women can be measured up as equally vindictive nasties or cackling harridans straight from the pages of medieval folk-lore and tales warning of the evils of  over indulgence and characters that stalk the innocent and unwary.

And yet … here we are with those very same ghastly beggardly representations leading the nation … voted in there by many who not only have had such dire warnings read to them as children, but to this day, most probably still read a variation exampling of such mendacious behaviour to warn off their own offspring.

So where is the lesson? Where is the example? If we cannot see the danger, why bother trying to teach our children? Why not just let the strongest in brutal aggression rule over us? Is might right? Murdoch obviously believes it is … Dutton does, too … all their creatures have eagerly signed onto the “contract” and it seems many of the population likes what it sees! Perhaps it is time to rewrite the fairy tales?

Perhaps it is more suitable a time for us as a nation to “courage-up” and face our own responsibilities and cease fobbing off care and international treaties to those countries less wealthy and less populated that in many cases strain that nations resources to the limit and beyond. No nation is in isolation in a changing climate world … if we do not seek a solution to manage the trickle of refugees we currently experience – and yes – even 50,000 in a year or two is no great number for some situations and some regions … so if we refuse to negotiate our way to accept those refugees now, what are we going to do when the climate refugee situation gets really serious? For by then there will no place to hide and no impoverished country on our doorstep that we can bribe or bully to do our dirty work for us.

After all, in all our European cultures, there is an overarching theme in both history and storyline, both fact and fable, in fantasy and mythology, there is the lesson indelible of right triumphing over oppression and wrong. We base the hard lessons of our laws upon these heroic myths … we forestall tyranny by using the lessons of past history – hopefully – to give example … we start these lessons with the very young, the innocent, before they can talk or walk by reading to sleep with rising or descending inflection of voice to the children, those tender lessons of adversity, of hope, struggle and triumph in big or small measure. We read these stories with that same voice that has come down from ancient times, down to our grandparents and parents and then to fall to us the responsibility demanded by our many cultures and creeds … we talk with sweet drops of dialect into the ears of the innocents, our dreams, our aspirations and desires with all the sincerity of a whisperer’s secret.

It is our solemn duty to our inherited culture to inculcate into our children those lessons so vital to the continuity of civilized society. And if we but renege on that duty, we fail both our children and our culture..and woe betide us when either of those most important pillars of community fail.

So … do we start to practice what we preach, or do we turn our heads away in craven shame … yet continue with our children to just hypocritically and cowardly mouth those platitudes of morality and ethics to those innocents?

But my goodness … won’t our voices have changed because of it? Now, instead of our child detecting that soft mood of courage and determination in the voice of their storyteller, they will detect most astutely – as children do – the trembling hesitancy of the spineless wimp.


  1. paul walter

    Some luscious writing in that. Enjoying your stuff JC.

  2. Michael

    Oh, Lordy, Lordy – your wordsmithing in this article encapsulated much of what I have been struggling with to enunciate as my observation on what, where, how our perpetual work-in-progress democracy is evolving – thank you – I am framing your article.

    It seems to me that a slight majority of voters, having been duped by “clever” systemic “tricks” and perhaps ignorance fueled frustration, vote for politicians to do the dirty work for them at the expense of others instead of to do the good work for them so that all can enjoy the results.

  3. Joseph Carli

    Paul….Michael…I believe it is through those old stories and mythology that the west can recreate and resurrect its lost civilising innocence…We just have to learn to re-write those ancient scripts onto our new page so they re-appear fresh and inspiring.
    I do suspect that it is that loss of child-like wonder at other peoples, cultures and places that has made our senses jaded and cynical..

    F.Scott Fitzgerald learned this lesson too late in life to be able to change..sad for him..:

    “So what? This is what I think now: that the natural state of the sentient adult is a qualified unhappiness. I think also that in an adult the desire to be finer in grain that you are, “a constant striving” (as those people say who gain their bread by saying it) only adds to this unhappiness in the end—that end that comes to our youth and hope.” F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    There are so many wonderful stories out there!


    What influence have those fairy-tales had on a population that is almost 50% migrant and none western European where many of the fairy tales originate from? And on politicians that have divided loyalties many of whom come from locations where the fairy tales would be unknown?

  5. jimhaz

    “cackling harridans”

    I must remember to utilise this whenever I wish to publicly refer to a women as a bitch.

  6. Joseph Carli

    OTMP….EVERY culture and ethnic group has its own fairy-tales and mythology…EVERY one…even politicians!

  7. helvityni

    jimhaz, no need to borrow words from Joe when you are inclined to call women as ‘withes’ in future….

    If ‘cackling harridan’ were directed at Julia by the Liberals,it would have sounded almost like a term of an endearment.

    With only seventy in the House of Reps she got plenty of good legislations through; when Mal has 73, he gives his members time off….


  8. jimhaz

    The first opinion I had of Malcolm years ago was that he was a consummate opportunist. This most prominent aspect of his personality is now shining clearly so everyone can see it. An opportunity arose where he saw protection for himself in giving parliament time off, so he took it.

    Sadly he has never seen an opportunity to strongly refuse the far right in his party, to draw and line in the sand and take the consequences. I understand this as he would lose in the current times. He does not want to be seen as another failed PM, as he would be if a major stand occurred. Half the LNP are regressives and ALL the National party are nutters.

  9. Joseph Carli

    The LNP as we see it today is the direct result of their own philosophy of ” the individual first”…We can see that the incorporation of many of the IPA’s wish-list tenets when seriously applied to any community or group will result in what we see unraveling in the LNP…ie; no cohesive group loyalty…every person for themselves and devil take the hindermost!

    A perfect example of why the Right-wing will always fail..and fail miserably.

  10. Steve Coyne

    Exactly Joseph Carli.
    The right-wing represents and actively pursues imbalance and an absence of harmony. A master-class in how to crash.

  11. Kronomex

    In the photo Trembles is silently praying for a lightning bolt, just one lightning bolt, to hit the slime standing beside me. Please, please, please.

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