Angry Anderson : No violence?

Update : see/hear also : Angry Anderson’s opinions on youth violence, Shane McLeod, The World Today (ABC), March 1, 2010. The report contains no reference to Angry’s observations about culture and violence | (March 4, 2010): Ethnic groups and crime, Australian Institute of Criminology.

March 2010

In September last year I began to write a post about Angry Anderson and his jihad crusade campaign against violence gang violence the use of weapons by violent gangs.

Or something.

Anyway, today news.com.au reports that Angry, speaking before a Senate Committee enquiring into yoof and violence, is angry about the impact foreign cultures have had on street violence, viz, the introduction of weapons into fights where previously fists were considered sufficient.

Y’know. Marquess of Queensberry and all that.

Fairfax, on the other hand (and by way of AAP), has chosen to report Angry’s contention that The Young Need Discipline, especially at skool. Precisely what Angry said to the Committee has not been published (at least not to my knowledge), but news has titled his contribution Angry Anderson blames ‘other cultures’ for corrupting good old Aussie violence — the ‘other cultures’ nominated as being Lebanese, Indochinese and Pacific Islander.

See : Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth | Step Back Think.

September 2009

Huh. That’s odd. An article in today’s edition of The Age (Streetwise trio calls for action on attacks, Andra Jackson, September 19, 2009) describes how three men — rock singer Angry Anderson, youth worker Les Twentyman and Father Bob Maguire — have ‘announced a national campaign against what Mr Twentyman called ”a serious problem about carrying weapons, and about gangs”’.

Mr Anderson said: ”Have we gone crazy? Have we lost the plot?” There were racial and cultural issues behind the violence that had to be faced honestly. ”These things can be changed … you can break the chain of events,” he said. The national campaign’s message is: ”It is not manly, it is not Aussie and it is not us.” ”In my day, if you knocked a person down, that was it,” Mr Anderson said. ”People fought with fists, but did not ‘put in the boot’.”

Angry Anderson features on the new album, same, by Sydney band T.H.U.G., lending vocals to the track ‘Gunnin’ 4 U’:

    I got a gun in my pocket
    A razor in my boot
    Just been let out the nick
    Now I’m on the loose
    Makin’ up for time in stir
    Settle a few old scores
    Get a few [drugs?] on the boil
    Then we’ll break some laws

    [Chorus:]
    I’m out now
    And I’m looking for you
    Watch your back boy
    I’m gunnin’ for you

    Not long ago
    This city was mine
    ‘Til you turned dog on me
    Put me back inside
    But now I’m out again
    I’m lookin’ for you
    When I’m knockin’ on your door
    What you gonna do

    [Chorus]

    It’s been [?] thirty years
    That you stabbed me in the back
    That’s the day you cut out my heart
    Now I want it back
    Fought our way to the top
    When we were just boys
    Then you threw it all away
    For some filthy whore

    [Chorus]

same has been released on Randale Records, a German label. Of T.H.U.G., its website states: “Founding members Chuml[e]y and Simon had long been talking about getting another band together after playing in numerous Oi and Rock ‘n’ Roll bands in the early 80s and 90s… ”

One of those bands was the neo-Nazi band ‘White Lightning’.

White Lightning released one album, We Rule, the title track of which T.H.U.G. still performs. The opening track on We Rule is titled ‘Australian Youth’: “Make a stand for your great nation / Against the scum who are going to die”.

The album was subsequently re-recorded and released as ‘Destiny’ on French RAC label Rebelles Européens (1987–1994) in 1990 (RE332190).

Although apparently collapsing in 1994, in 1995 Rebelles Européens made a short-lived recovery, assisted by an Australian label, White League. White League released a handful of CD recordings before it too dissolved. In addition, another former member of White Lightning, ‘Aussie’ Nigel Brown (No Remorse, Celtic Warrior, Raven’s Wing, Wolfseye), together with a bloke called Billy, re-recorded and re-released We Rule on Welsh label ‘Independent Voice Records’ in 1998.

T.H.U.G. is thus one of a tiny clutch of bands with roots in the neo-Nazi rock ‘n’ roll of the ’80s and ’90s; another is the UK band Tattooed Mother Fuckers (TMF), whose vocalist is Steve “Jonesy” Jones, formerly of neo-Nazi band English Rose.

Numerous other ‘patriotic’ bands attempt to hide their reactionary politics behind the flag: Ross of UK oi! band Scum, for example, has recently been outed as a Hitler fetishist by Benson & Hedges. Scum, in turn, played a gig with TMF in October 2008, while Australian band The Corps toured Europe with TMF and Retaliator.

Retaliator, TMF, The Corps and Scum were all once available through local mail-order Deadset Music (whose proprietor was a patron at the 2006 Ian Stuart Donaldson (ISD) memorial gig).

As for T.H.U.G., in 2000, Simon was interviewed by a Dutch neo-Nazi zine Out of Order. Simon says:

All my mates were into oi! and white pride as well. I did not know any skinheads that were into oi! and were not white and proud of it. Lefty skinheads would never dare to show their face on the street for fear of getting severely beaten. And that’s the way it should always be…

Old time skinheads rule!

In the same interview, Simon says:

What is your best memory of White Lightning?

Best memory was playing a gig in Melbourne, in some pub, can’t remember which, full swing into it and about 30 Maoris drinking in the front bar… I’m sure you can picture what happened. Bedlam. We managed to protect all our gear however. Mic stands make magnificent clubs.

As for Chumley, in 1988, in an interview with The Stormtroop (an Australian RAC zine), Chumley comments:

Do you have any opinion on the current crisis in the West Bank between the Jews and the Palestinians?

As everyone can see the ever troublesome Jews are up to their old tricks by causing mass disorder. So we think that the Palestinians should wipe the Jews out and take back Palestine, then we should go in and wipe the Arabs off the face of the Earth.

What do you think of the Australian Nationalists Movement?

It makes a lot of sense.

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 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Death, History, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Angry Anderson : No violence?

  1. J says:

    On the political level, yes, I admit it is frightening that the Australian government is taking advice from a man with neo-nazi connections (though hardly surprising, as I’m sure enough of them have such connections themselves). But it’s also frightening how the racist ideology is publicly enforced. This morning, on channel 7’s “Sunrise Show” (or something similar) there was what was surely meant to be a hard-headed interrogation of Angry’s remarks. “Racist or telling it like it is?” They brought on two commentators to discuss the remarks.

    Commentator number 1 (right-wing populist): Angry was absolutely right. It’s dem foreigners. Police should be on the look-out for foreigners.
    Commentator number 2 (left-wing politically-correct multicultural wuss): Angry was absolutely right. But to base police procedure on these undisputed facts would, nevertheless, be racist. We shouldn’t divide everyone up into groups.

    I have no idea what #2’s alternative suggestion would be if he accepts “the facts” and denies “the solution.” Probably even more totalitarian than the first one, really: some kind of “culturally sensitive” police crackdown. The show’s presenters left viewers to draw their own conclusions about what needs to be done… Again, I’m not sure if the scary option is that they’ll go out and join fascist gangs, or even elect a fascist government, but that they’ll accept racist repression as an acceptable and necessary part of a “moderate” government.

  2. @ndy says:

    …a man with neo-nazi connections…

    To clarify: Angry is not a neo-Nazi, and his connections, such as they are, to any such ideology are very loose, and I imagine he would be horrified at the thought that anyone considered him in any way sympathetic to fascist doctrines. I, for one, do not.

    That said, what struck me about his participation (September 2009) in a campaign against violence, on the one hand, and lending his vocals to a song like ‘Gunnin’ 4 U’, on the other hand, was the seeming discrepancy between abhorring violence in one context and glamourising it in another. I’m also a little bit skeptical about the accuracy of his recollections of the nature of (male) violence in the 1970s, especially given the nature of ‘family’ or ‘domestic’ violence. In other words, much (male) violence takes place behind closed doors, not on the streets, and this fact should not be ignored when it comes to understanding its changing nature.

    With regards Angry’s role at the Committee, his voice is merely one of many, and the Committee is under no obligation to act upon his advice. Fwiw, and from what I understand, in his later years Angry has become a little more reflective and, given his celebrity, has begun to create a profile as someone with an interest in a range of different issues, including yoof affairs, but also men’s health.

    Finally: yeah, tabloid TV.

    It’s shit.

  3. redxanth says:

    I didn’t see the program you refer to, but must contribute…I’m not that old, much younger than Angry A, but I also remember back when fights were just fights, get a flogging, learn a lesson or two (if you’re smart enough), and come back to fight another day. Culture in Australia has changed…and not for the better. Just because people in other countries stab each other, or kick the shit out of each other, doesn’t mean that us in Australia should emulate that behaviour. What’s next…blood feuds? Suicide bombings? Or Uzi gunfights at 20 paces? I think that Australian culture…of all nationalities and backgrounds…should be promoted, respected (the good bits, not the nationalistic crap), and held up as an example of how we all here in this stinking hot place can get along without killing each other…

    Just a thought?

  4. lumpnboy says:

    @ndy, it feels like there is a bit of a discrepancy between the facts you note in the post – i.e. Anderson providing vocals for the recording efforts of people who appear to have been fairly unsubtle about such political commitments – and your response to J – i.e. that you think the issue about Anderson is a discrepancy between some campaign about violence and the tough-guy nonsense he sings.

    Like, exactly why would he lend his celebrity vocals to this project, do you think, seemingly run by people comfortable in the racist far right, and presumably, if successful, for the profit of same? I mean, beyond the question of the content of the lyrics in this particular instance, how exactly would this come about?

    As someone who was reasonably harsh on people for playing at a pub which sometimes hosted nazi gatherings, you seem much less harsh about Anderson actually providing direct assistance to projects of, well, whatever the term for these people is. I mean, maybe he would be horrified, but then maybe he should suffer such horror…

    Or am I missing something?

  5. @ndy says:

    The connection between T.H.U.G. and Angry, besides anything else, is provided by way of Steve King, who’s played bass for both bands. As for T.H.U.G.’s current outlook, I dunno. Some folks in Sydney who’ve seen them play reckon there’s no trace of their (that is, Chumley and Simon’s) previous affiliations or political perspectives on stage. I did write T.H.U.G. a coupla years ago to ask them about Chumley and Simon’s previous role in White Lightning, but they never replied. So, who knows what they honestly believe? On the one hand, White Lightning was pretty straightforwardly — and unapologetically — neo-Nazi; on the other hand, that was 20 years ago. The matter is slightly complicated by the fact that in the interview Simon gave to the neo-Nazi zine extracted above he clearly indicated that leftists should be beaten — and that was only 10 years ago.

    On Angry in particular: in reply to J, I wanted to stress what had originally (September 2009) sparked my attention, and that was, mostly, the fact that Angry’s public persona has been based on being ‘tough’, that his involvement in the campaign implied a re-assessment of the virtues of being ‘tough’, and yet he’d recently recorded the track ‘Gunnin’ 4 U’… which is all about, like, being tough / settling scores / seeking revenge / employing violence. The controversy over his most recent remarks simply reminded me of the fact that I’d drafted this post, but never finished it.

    So:

    1. I dunno what Angry knows about members of T.H.U.G. having been members of White Lightning, or if he’d care if he did know;
    2. There’s evidence to suggest that the band maintains links to some elements of the current neo-Nazi milieu;
    3. I dunno if Angry knows or would care about 2 if he did know;
    4. What T.H.U.G. believes, and what Chumley and Simon in particular think about their neo-Nazi past etc., I dunno;
    5. T.H.U.G. don’t appear to currently be promoting neo-Nazism, fascism, or racism;
    6. Randale Records is a generic oi! record label (afaik, and having asked a German-speaking acquaintance to look them over);
    7. Moar later.

  6. @ndy says:

    NB. Everything changed for Angry in 1987.

  7. Lumpen says:

    My mum used to live in Richmond in the 1970s. She had a party at her house and some bloke got knifed in the eye. THE EYE. My point being that this view being pushed by Anderson has absolutely zero evidence put forward to support it and that bad things have happened for a long time now. Maybe since, like, forever.

    There has always been levels of shocking violence in Australia, particularly being a nation founded on it (Aborigines, of course and don’t forget the convicts). That isn’t to say that the nature and the direction of the violence doesn’t change (does anyone target the Irish for violence anymore?), but there is no evidence to say that there is a culture of weaponised violence attached exclusively to race, and specifically to certain races. That includes whites, btw.

    If my dog whistle interpreter is correct, the suggestion is that violence may by afflicting white people and that this is unacceptable.

    BONUS ‘Bad Boy For Love’ lyrics:

    Well I… I went around just to see my chick
    I found her room and it was candle lit
    She’s makin’ love to another man
    I shot ’em both and they locked me in the slam

    I’m suspect if Anderson himself heard similar lyrics coming from someone with the wrong religion in a rap-like format, he’d call it an “imported” attitude.

    I really, really like a couple of Rose Tattoo songs (the one quoted above and, of course, this one). That doesn’t mean Anderson isn’t a bit of a knob who confuses his own opinions/concerns with fact.

  8. Kieran says:

    Precisely what Angry said to the Committee has not been published (at least not to my knowledge)…

    The committee appears to be a bit slow on the publication of transcripts of its hearings, the last one they put up was for the 15th of Feb.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/fchy/youthviolence/hearings.htm

  9. FR says:

    Twentyman and Anderson were always self important wankers but I am disappointed with Father Bob. I can imagine it was better back in the day for white straight males but it sure wasn’t for a lot of other people. If they really think it isn’t white Australians who started the violence they should try living in a rural area for a while.

  10. Jamie-R says:

    To clarify: Angry is not a neo-Nazi, and his connections, such as they are, to any such ideology are very loose, and I imagine he would be horrified at the thought that anyone considered him in any way sympathetic to fascist doctrines. I, for one, do not.

    That said, what struck me about his participation (September 2009) in a campaign against violence, on the one hand, and lending his vocals to a song like ‘Gunnin’ 4 U’, on the other hand, was the seeming discrepancy between abhorring violence in one context and glamourising it in another.

    I don’t actually listen to Angry Anderson’s songs, except Kylie and Jason’s wedding song that was so big in 1987 omg I cried as an 8 year old!! But here you see @ndy is a balanced guy, maybe he finds common hypocrisy, hypocrisy is everywhere, I’m not supposed to get drunk as a Christian, but damn you right now I’m getting hammered. Apathy is pretty cool, non-violence is the best the best the best.

  11. Jamie-R says:

    what struck me about his participation (September 2009) in a campaign against violence, on the one hand, and lending his vocals to a song like ‘Gunnin’ 4 U’, on the other hand, was the seeming discrepancy between abhorring violence in one context and glamourising it in another

    You know I’m just wondering, isn’t this the separation of art from reality that so many musical artists, including Tupac Shakur of the 90s, were trying to get across to those who couldn’t see a difference? And should we make a distinction when the line seems blurred to the layman? Is art literal and actions lying in abstraction, should it be considered damning evidence of the artist’s views in subversion? There’s been plenty of offensive art works in the past that have pushed that boundary. There seems to be, at least to me, no solid answer presented. Art is just art, or is it.

  12. @ndy says:

    The transcript of Angry’s testimony has been published.

    He makes a handful or references to ‘culture’; most of his commentary stresses the importance of providing good role models and nurturing, loving environments for children…

    [32]

    I know it may be an area that councils might not really want to get into—they are getting into areas where I do not think they belong and they are neglecting areas where I think they fundamentally should be involved—but maybe in conjunction with the education department they can set up cultural exchanges where people from different cultures can find one another as people. After all, we are all brothers and sisters together in this. The parents of an island kid or a smaller Indo-Chinese kid or a frail Pakistani kid would be having the same agonising to do at home about their children being left out because they are big or they do not appear to be as smart as the other kids in the class. There has got to be a truth brought into this as well and the racial thing or the cultural thing needs to be addressed because it is not going to go away. It will, in time, dissipate. The effects will water down so to speak.

    The other day I was entertaining at a mate’s biker club turn and someone said to me, ‘I am fourth-generation Lebanese. My family and I are more Aussie than Aussie.’ That is because they have embraced it. They came here to find what we had to offer, not to change what we had or to rigidly stick to what they had brought. It is like this. He said: ‘We still eat wonderful food at home.’ In fact, I was invited home to eat authentic, traditional cuisine—and of course I am going. Having said that, it indicates that in time these things happen. When it comes to where the differences are now manifesting themselves in this violent nature, that is not the only reason why there is violence in schools but it is a very large component of it and that cannot be ignored. As for all the political correctness or politeness and as for ‘Gee, I wish it wasn’t this way’, well, gee, it is. We all wish it wasn’t, but it is. You cannot shrink from the truth. We cannot allow children to believe that if we ignore it it is going to go away—because it is not going to go away…

    [35]

    Culturally, there are components today which we did not have to deal with. There is a point in case. I grew up in Melbourne. There was an old mate of mine. Sharpies were part of a street cultural revolution that took place in Melbourne around 1964 until the early 70s, culminating in the skinhead thing. A bloke came to me some years ago. He was a Sharpie. We knew one another from those days. The bands that I have been in have always appealed to those people. They are now adults. They are now mothers and fathers. He came to me and said, ‘I taught my boys to always stand up for themselves—to look at a bloke in the eye. You never kick a bloke when he’s down. You don’t gang up on a bloke’—the same things. This is Australia. This is where we have to get a few things sharply in focus. It is not an embarrassment to be Australian. He said, ‘What do I tell my sons and what will they tell their sons when they turn up to a fight armed with nothing but their fists and the other side turns up with machetes and hatchet?’ There is Les Twentyman, who I would like to briefly read from, if I may—

    CHAIR—We met him last week in Melbourne.

    Mr Anderson—He can tell you horrific stories about what has been going on, not for the last two, three, four or five years but for the last 10, 12 or 15 years. For the Indochinese kids that is their way, that is their culture. We should have addressed that when we knew they were coming here. We should have been able to turn around and say, ‘We’re going to end up with a whole lot of really good restaurants and good food et cetera. We’re going to end up with some hardworking people because this is part of their culture as well. But also we have to acknowledge that they have a different view of the way to handle themselves.’ When they come and live amongst people of European descent they apply the same rules here that they did amongst their own kind in their own country. It is not untoward or out of place for them to turn up to a fight with a hatchet. That is what they do. But that was ignored. It was not that hard to realise. It is the same with any of the ethnic groups. For any purposeful, accurate or honest view of this, or to attempt to do something about it, these things have to be recognised. You have to say that kids from a different background are going to be educated differently by their parents and they are going to have a different view. This is sloganeering that comes from a company that Les supports. It says:

      What is this about? The cost of escalating violence has become too high, of course. This presentation offers a ray of hope with regard to one specific element of violence: the carriage of edged weapons. Our assertion is that we can make a difference in this area through smart, targeted and informative communications that connect with at risk youth.

    They are all at risk as far as I am concerned. It goes on:

      The vast majority of violence is conducted by people of disadvantaged background, economic, ethnic and social. So reaching out to young people in areas of economic disadvantage is critical—

    as is reaching out to the other two that are mentioned—ethnic and social. It continues:

    [36]

      The majority of weapons carriage is undertaken by people who consider a weapon to be a means of defence against a perceived threat. So careful communication is required to dissuade defensive weapons carriage. Peer pressure is an important influence on how individuals respond to a perceived threat, so it is an important tool in behaviour modification. What makes us believe it? The evidence of the 2002 Victorian government, through its ministerial crime prevention council …

    In other words, the figures are there. It goes on:

      We propose an integrated communications campaign discouraging weapons carriage of any kind, whether defensive or aggressive. We believe the campaign should involve trusted, high-profile personalities making the case against weapons carriage. The campaign should target the carriers themselves, as well as their key influences—girlfriends, parents. The campaign would be a combination of mainstream and discrete targeted media …

    The slogan that Leslie and I came up with years and years ago is: ‘It’s not manly, it’s not Aussie and it’s not on’. That was to address what we thought were the fundamental issues that masculinity involved. It is not manly to gang-fight. It is not manly to stab someone. I was surprised by this the other day. I am delighted by the fact that I am surprised by something new just about every day. A person is more likely to die from a stab wound—because they reach vital organs so very easily—than they are from a gunshot wound. I do not know if you were aware of that, but I was not. Bob Falconer, who is—

  13. @ndy says:

    Back in the good old days, when fair dinkum Aussie blokes settled their differences using their fists, not guns or knives or bats or…

  14. Jamie-R says:

    Back in the good old days, when fair dinkum Aussie blokes settled their differences using their fists, not guns or knives or bats or…

    Should we be portraying all regular typical Aussie blokes as bikies? I don’t think so. That’s just a trashy bushranger-like element that continues on from the colony days. Back then, I don’t think Aussies considered bushrangers the mainstream colonial population, so why assert it about bikies.

  15. @ndy says:

    Should we be portraying all regular typical Aussie blokes as bikies?

    I’m not. Obviously. The point I’m making is fairly simple, and that is: it’s not true to suggest that the use of weapons in gang fights only began recently (the last few decades), or that it may be blamed upon members of particular ethnic groups (Lebanese, Indochinese and/or Pacific Islander). The Milperra Massacre was a highly spectacular and hugely violent incident in which a variety of weapons were used and seven people died — including a teenage girl. The Massacre was conducted by ‘fair dinkum’ — that is, predominantly ‘Anglo’ — ‘Aussie blokes’.

    The Massacre also points to the fact that, when it comes to ‘street’ violence, there’s actually a whole range of different factors which determine its nature and frequency, and this is true of yoof violence as well. Angry’s testimony is based on his personal experience; he’s not presenting the findings of his own, long-term study. The evidence he presents to justify his views — that is, this particular contention — is fairly slim. He cites various mates of his, and makes one reference to one government study (on the effectiveness of peer pressure upon yoof behaviour). This does not mean he is wrong; it does mean that the evidentiary basis to support his conclusions about the impact of particular ethnic cultures upon street violence is unconvincing. A serious examination of the issue deserves more: in which context, it should be understood that he was one of a number of individuals giving evidence to the Committee; its investigation into the impact of yoof violence is continuing; I might write moar later if I could be arsed.

  16. @ndy says:

    On bikies as exemplars of a particular form of masculinity:

    As noted, you are of course right to state that ‘all regular typical Aussie blokes’ aren’t bikies, and that to portray them as such is false. (The 1%ers are just that — a tiny proportion of the adult male population.) Nevertheless, in their misanthropy, exclusivity, lawlessness, and propensity for violence — whether real or alleged — bikies do provide a masculine ideal (for some), especially male yoof; certainly, tho’ not exclusively, working class male yoof.

    Y’know… Hyper-masculinity And All That?

    Anyway, moar later. In the meantime:

    XY online

  17. lest we forget says:

    sorry andy but i can’t agree with that. bikies have always been a fringe element of australian society and their appeal has always been limited to people with a proverbial chip. a possible exception to this would be the vietnam veterans who, upon returning to australia, felt justified in rebelling against the society which they perceived treated them deplorably. however, the idea of roaming the streets in armed bands is completely at odds with the typical australian male who has traditionally been self reliant, individualistic and has a basic sense of decency born of an anglo-saxon up-bringing. please read the official history of australia during the great war, particularly vols. 1-6 for a glimpse into the basic character of an australian male 100 odd years ago. the traits found during this period still exist today, albiet less and less. the diversification of australia’s cultural spectrum as well as the overwhelming influence of american popular culture means that the disgruntled youth of today (of all backgrounds) are more likely to find american gang culture as the basis for their behavior. here in lies the problem and is what, i think, angry is trying to say. because this culture is so attractive to the mind of a teen as well as being extremely violent, the urge to mimic this behavior is great. the question becomes, “how far will i take it? how far will i let myself become absorbed into this lifestyle?” this is where ethnic identity is crucial in determining the likelihood of an altercation or perceived sleight turning into something far more serious than the circumstances would suggest…

  18. @ndy says:

    lest we forget:

    The appeal of the bikie is not universal, obviously, and I noted as much. My point, in any case, was merely that, if you have the eyes to see and the willingness to look, deadly violence did not emerge the moment Lebanese and/or Indochinese and/or Pacific Islanders stepped ashore (in which context, the practice of ‘blackbirding’ is germane, as is the occurrence of anti-Chinese rioting in the nineteenth century: the reason ‘Lambing Flat’ is now known as Young).

    In summary, your account is a mythological reinvention: urban gangs have been a part of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ culture for centuries, whatever the effect of hip hop on Australian popular culture, and hence the forms that such activity has taken in recent years.

    Whatever Charles Bean wrote concerning the Gallipoli campaign and the Australian Imperial Force in France is one thing, a characterological study of The Australian Male (c.1910) is another matter. In any event, Russel Ward’s The Australian Legend is likely a better, more straightforward account, one which stimulated ongoing debates, including sharp rejoinders, the most obvious of which concerns the absence of the missus. Anyway, this talk of (masculine) national character/identity reminds me of nothing so much as the old crack about the Nazi ideal: oh to be blond as Hitler, slim as Goring, handsome as Goebbels. Besides, murderous devotion to the state is not exactly my cup of tea and — surprisingly enough, if the results on the conscription referendum were anything to go by — for the members of the Australian Imperial Force, it wasn’t much chop either.

    Moar l8r maybe.

  19. lest we forget says:

    whoa, andy mate. don’t be too hasty to throw me into that camp. when i say typical australian male, i’m talking averages, not bigoted stereotypes. i am also well acquainted with the history of violence within our history. you’re right in saying gangs have always been present but i was refuting your comment that bikies have a relatively broad appeal. i despise bikies, i despise gangs of any sort. i consider a gang to be a form of security blanket for little boys. a man who knows himself doesn’t need the reassurance of others no matter what the motive.

    as for the conscription thing, didn’t that prove the nobility of our men. they knew weak bastards were back home, fucking their women, drinking beer and eating steak for dinner, but did they force these men into the hell that was their lot? no they didn’t. touche perhaps. lastly, you shouldn’t be so harsh on people’s motives. do you have a ‘murderous devotion’ to your cause? at least theirs was plausible, as borne out by the result.

  20. lest we forget says:

    again, stating the bleeding obvious. i can just imagine the original writer trembling with self-righteous joy as he penned these words. no longer would the masses be ignorant of the hideous conspiracy that drove them like sheep to the slaughter. the truth, hidden for so long, will now be brought forth like a shining beacon for all man kind. rise up, down-trodden peasants, and cast away the shackles of your masters. my god, what bullshit. any half educated man is well aware of the inequities in society. i’m sure [there] is a considerable class difference between the intellectuals who concoct these blissful theories, and the peasants they require to put them into practice. after all, you couldn’t use the bright ones as combat troops…who would be left to remind the stupid peasants what they were fighting about?

  21. lest we forget says:

    oh, by the way…it’s Sir Charles Bean. have some respect hey andy. he he he.

  22. lest we forget says:

    g’day champ. pretty nice track. i sympathise with what you’re trying to do mate, and i kind of admire your vision, but where you might call me apathetic, i consider myself a realist. if there’s a revolution in my lifetime, you can bet your arse i’ll be on the winning side.

  23. Steven Noble says:

    I’m disturbed by anyone who thinks there’s a “manly” or “Australian” way to fight.

    Reminds me of the Christian Brother who addressed an assembly when I was at school. He explained that he was horrified by a recent schoolyard fight because there was kicking involved, which is just not manly, but he could understand why the fight happened, because someone had been called a poofter, which is even less manly.

    If I ever have zero choice but to fight, then I’ll resort to whatever unmanly and unAustralian tactics are necessary to survive. But if we really have to spread the idea that a certain approach to fighting is “manly” or “Australian”, let’s get everyone believing the idea that the “manly, Australian” thing to do is to just walk away.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.