Friday, December 28, 2012

Keeping It Real

"Celebrated [Australian] playwright and screenwriter" Andrew Bovell on settler-colonialism:

"You can't get away from the fact that there are still two ways of seeing the past... those who regard European history as a process of benign white settlement and development, and those at the other end of the scale who regard it as an act of brutal occupation. Somewhere between those two paradigms, those two poles, one imagines the truth lies." (Quoted in Blood on the banks, Rosemary Neill, The Australian, 22/12/12)

So European settler-colonialism in Australia (or anywhere else for that matter) was sort of benign and sort of brutal? Really?

Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary doesn't have an entry for settler-colonialism but his definition of 'aborigines' says it all:

"Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize."

No, there's nothing 'sort of' about ceasing to cumber or fertilizing, Andrew. Nothing at all. It's just plain bloody brutal.

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