Outrage was expressed this week when a ‘welcome to country’ ceremony before a performance of Anna Bolena at the Sydney Opera House was booed by an audience member. And it was outrageous, unconscionable, loutish, and ill-conceived; of that, we agree one hundred per cent.
Imagine shelling out the whopping price for an opera ticket only to turn up and find your evening of high culture spoiled by a bunch of feral boongs assuming the role of concierge for the arts.
Here you are, expecting world-class sopranos and falsettos and what have you, but before you know what’s hit you modern primitives are cloying up the air with their bush-grade BO. But they’re also whooping and catcalling and leaping gracelessly about the stage as if they all had the most savage case of worms. And all of this is supposed to welcome the audience to Australia as if their approval mattered.
It’s horrendous that they’re even allowed inside the Opera House let alone permitted to feel as if their say-so carries any currency. Seriously, it’s too late to start bellyaching now, they had their chance to make a stand and they blew it. Losers weepers and all that. A bit of grace in defeat is called for; a splash of humility; not absurd shindigs by half-naked nogs channelling crazed emus or whatever they are.
So, we believe this audience member should’ve been refunded the price of their ticket and offered a public apology. It must’ve been like paying for a fine Cuban cigar and being offered a ciggie-butt someone fished out of the men’s trough. Who the heck even came up with the idea of a ‘welcome to country ceremony’? Paul Keating? What a bunch of horse hockey, and just like all these newly invented sacred rituals, fake.
But that was just another week in which the new era of the hoity Abo has been serving us up a big bowl of bogus. A rush is on among tourists scrambling to climb Ayers Rock before they are deprived of that experience altogether. As of October 26, the rock will be permanently closed since climbing it is highly disrespectful to the great Pedo Serpent or something. In fact, there is no such sacred anything attached to the rock, it is bullshit being pushed by the local Abo “owners” who want to see the tourism dollar plummet up the top-end so even more of them are living in tin sheds and shitting in shopping bags.
Just ask Marc Hendrickx, a geologist and writer who for yonks has argued there is no valid reason at all for the national park to stop the climb.
“Under scrutiny, the reasons for the closure cannot be substantiated,” he wrote in Quadrant.
“In 1973, as part of land rights discussions, the federal government recognised Paddy Uluru as the legitimate, principal owner of Uluru.
“Paddy Uluru was a fully initiated Anangu man familiar with all the local laws and customs. His views about tourists climbing the Rock were summed up in an interview with Erwin Chlanda of the Alice Spring News.
“Paddy Uluru was quoted as saying, ‘If tourists are stupid enough to climb the rock, they’re welcome to it’, and ‘the physical act of climbing was of no cultural interest’.”
But Paddy was a self-hating Aboriginal, by all evidence, with no clue about fake cultural interests.