Australia world’s ‘dumb blonde’; Or: Simon Anholt — Benedict Anderson for Dummies

And here’s me thinking Australia was renowned for its intelligentsia.

Foreign smarty-pants Simon Anholt — the genius who “developed the concepts of the ‘nation brand’ and ‘place brand’ in the late 1990s, and today plays a leading role in this rapidly expanding field”; a kind of Benedict Anderson for Dummies — reckons “Australia has Les Patterson, and I don’t think that’s enough”.

I agree. I think we need more Leses, not less.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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4 Responses to Australia world’s ‘dumb blonde’; Or: Simon Anholt — Benedict Anderson for Dummies

  1. Sam says:

    What a brilliant fella. He’s hit the nail right smack bang on the head!!! Well said mate, we are shallow.

  2. @ndy says:

    Please explain?

  3. j says:

    Australia is the dumb blonde of the world. We don’t back our own designers/entrepreneurs. Tall poppy syndrome is still alive & well, unless you’ve made it overseas first. We’ve sold most of our icons & brands to foreign entities. We mainly export raw materials & usually allow other countries to value add, then we buy them back & you would be surprised how much we still “ride on the sheep’s back”.

  4. The Australian ruling class spends so much time and effort to make sure that the mainstream Australian society and culture is depoliticised, then of course we’re going to find results like this.

    Just think about sports alone, let alone sit-coms and Australian Idol and ‘mateship’, but [just] sports alone — so much money is spent on sports, not just on the matches, but on building up the image that Australia has a ‘great sporting culture’. But worse still: sports are [certainly] not stupid, as you can still get a heavy intellectual discussion out of sports, and it can be stimulating. Listen to the Saturday night football, 11pm, and Footy Classified, and you will [receive] an intellectually interesting conversation and provokes you to think. (Those intellectually interesting sport shows are always shown late at night, so few viewers as possible will be watching them.)

    And compare this with the sporting thinkers during mainstream television, ie when everyone is awake and watching. Who do we have? Sam Newman, Tony Greig, etc, and none of them are intelligent no matter what definition of the world you use.

    (If you think really hard, and you happen to watch the ABC a lot, you can sort of name the leading thinkers in Australia: David Marr, Germaine Greer, Clive Hamilton, etc. And none of them are particularly smart, or have particularly interesting ideas.)

    The Australian ruling class spent so much effort to depoliticise Australian intellectual culture, then this will naturally and organically manifest itself in such a manner that, yes, Australia will be labelled as anti-intellectual, dumb, focused on looks without substance, etc.

    …And quite frankly, when ever you listen to Eddie [McGuire], Kyle Sandilands, or Andrew O’Keefe speak, you are instantly drawn to the conclusion: we deserve that label. Because those are the kinds of [people] that get mainstream broadcasting on [Australian] airwaves, then unintelligent is an apt label.

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