Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Thu Jul 2 21:55:13 PDT 1998

>The tendency to romanticise the most backward and barbaric social
>conditions in the East arises out of a contemporary mood in the West:
>the mood that rejects modernisation as a mistake, and celebrates instead
>the 'uncorrupted' values of primitive societies. The small Tibetan
>theocracy is a romantic counterpoint to the Far East that the Western
>racist most profoundly fears: the Far East that is developing into a
>competitor, and creating a mass working class, that provokes fears of
>the oriental horde in the minds of western elites.
>My good freind Aiden Campbell has written eloquently on the celebration
>of the Primitive in his book on Modern Primitives and Ethical Ethnicity,
>which was published by Cassell, inthe UK, last year.
>Jim heartfield

Well there are no surprises in Jim's contribution and I suppose my post won't be that novel either.

First though let me say that the Tibet fad is big in Australia and I think it is as Jim suggests based on Romanticism one of the central ideologies in the Australian cultural complex.

The Scorsese movie (Kundum?) could not get an official release from Roadshow because they thought it was not economically viable but it has turned out to be a huge commercial success.

The Dalai Lama on his vists here has also been enormously successful. Myself thinks that he gives wisdom a bad name and that he has opened too many fortune cookies. I did not see his references to homosexuality covered here and I thank Jim for the info. Will use.

Now the bit that I disagree with in Jim's post is his unqualified and undialectical celebration of modernisation. But we have all been over this one before, so there is not much point repeating it.



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