Sunday, July 8, 2012
WHAT FRAMES THE AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE
The following, written by John Carroll, a professor of sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, appeared in The Australian the Saturday before last... 'Australian nature teaches reverence for a grander scheme than the mortal human. It places human endeavour in perspective. The nation's sceptical habit of mind may have its source here.' Interesting. I subscribe to John's way of thinking. I love the economic, pithy lines. I'm not quite sure what he's getting at when he talks about our 'sceptical habit of mind'. Maybe, he's saying wilderness encourages us to be humble, utterly aware of our mortality, not showy, distrustful, cautious. He goes on to say that the 'awesome power of nature that frames the Australian experience' has led to 'ambivalences' in our character. Are we profoundly scared of nature? Is that why so few of us are out in it regularly? Do we all feel uneasy when it comes to living in and dealing with nature? Nature can be anarchic after all. The majority of us are city dwellers for a reason. Could it be that cities are a lot more comfortable or comforting than country towns for the majority? Do people with small attention spans need regular entertainment in big cities? Do country areas bring a quiet that is threatening? Do people worry they'll be bored within nature? Who knows? I'm rambling. I'll have to keep thinking about this. LJ, July 8 2012.