The last thing this blog needs is another angst-ridden thread on Australian multiculturalism, but it seems the discussion is on again following the Australian government making one of its few and far between enlightened decisions on the matter.
Now that is very good advice, that headline, whoever said it – Labor or Liberal, and either may have in the past.
So full up with moussaka and other good things from the Hellenic Club, I am offering you an angst-free Ozzi Multi post.
If you want angst go to the thread following Inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style revisited but make sure you also visit Talk show without ego which no-one commented on, though it is just as significant.
What makes this show stand out, aside from the calibre of the guests, is this: Oprah is about Oprah, even Parkinson and Andrew Denton are very often about Parkinson and Andrew Denton. But this show is not about Waleed Aly — no more, at any rate, than any other person around that table.
Of course it is also an object lesson in civility, and of how Australians of all kinds and backgrounds may sit around a table, and often do. Waleed’s “invisibility” is a real talent.
Since Waleed is a Muslim I hope he appreciates a comparison with Rumi, because watching the show made me think of this:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century
The angst-mongers ignored that one.
Just a note on change. There are those who think that Australians can’t cope with change, or that our institutions lack the resilience to cope with change. Both ideas are far too pessimistic. Our system has plenty of resilience, and Australians are no worse at embracing change than anyone else.
Mind you, the degree of change in Australia is exaggerated. Would someone like to tell me about the revolutions, civil wars, or foreign invasions that have brought turmoil here in Oz in the past sixty years? Can’t think of any? Of course you can’t…
So I dedicate the video that follows thus:
To ALL Australians
To those who have pledged “loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
Whatever their colour, background, religion, philosophy or gender, all who have made that pledge are Australians.
And to the rest of us who happen to have been born here.
Every image there is from my own life, work, or experience.