Monday, October 17, 2011

Mills Bomb

IT IS not entirely original, being inspired as the author announces by a satire published by Granta in 2002, but Jennifer Mills' “How To Write About Aboriginal Australia” is well worth reading. Oh, and it is in Overland, which makes it even more remarkable. Finally, the taxpayer is  getting a little something in return for those six-figure sums the magazine receives from the Literature Board. That assistance, by the way, is vital to our nation's vibrant political conversation, as Overland might say. Without it, editor Jeff Sparrow might not find the time to brand Israel a despotism and its supporters fascists, which he did to the applause of the Max Brenner blockaders  last Saturday on the steps of the State Library.

Here is one small slice of Mills' Overland essay, followed by a video that that makes her point wincingly well:
…talk about how you were adopted by the tribe as family and given a skin name and how this made you feel that you belonged in Australia for the first time. Sprinkle your article liberally with skin names.
Now, fast forward to the 1:30 mark to enjoy the best bit.
Going by some of her other thoughts, Mills would likely make a difficult (and very annoying) guest at a Billabong barbie. That said, you cannot fault her keen eye.


  1. Re: the video. Fair enough to criticise, but at least he seems to be putting his money where his mouth is and going bush.

  2. PhillipGeorge(c)2011October 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Commonwealth arguably only ever existed in Christendom.
    It starts with this central thesis; "you're all a pack of lousy bastard rotten sinners" and so it begins with a level playing field. And with only a tad of self reflection it is hard to deny. Army training traditionally incorporated elements of the thesis, only more bluntly expressed.
    The alternative is to start with everyone being heroes - its quickly seen to be unworkable.
    What we have now is "some are more equal than others"
    * more notes on Commonwealth, and why it isn't any more.

    You'd look good in possum skins Prof.