This is what Klein would call a ‘race toward weightlessness’, a key tenet of contemporary corporatism, which holds that the real work of companies is marketing, not manufacturing – that they are in the business of creating images rather than things. Howie’s claim that ‘lamb is the nation’s favourite meat’ is demonstrably false, but it is the idea itself that matters, framed as it is by language that is both inclusive (‘lamb stands for unity’) and nationalistic (‘Australia is the greatest country on earth’).
‘We should not underestimate the harm that illicit drugs do everyday every day in our community,’ he has stated. A crucial aspect that Dr Gannon ignores is that harm can be significantly heightened through the very act of prohibition. Take for example the prohibition era of America in which alcohol was banned. Alcohol poisoning became more prevalent among drinkers due to two main reasons.
These cuts are usually defended by the cultural construction of the ‘bludger’: a largely mythological figure who prefers a life on welfare over working and who needs to be discouraged from their idleness by the formulation of harsh laws surrounding the eligibility of Centrelink recipients, already struggling, in financial and emotional distress, far below the poverty line.
The spate of recent attacks on certain Footscray businesses by perpetrators as yet unknown feels quixotic: smashing in a few windows and spray-paining ‘fuck off hipster scum’, or throwing a bag of rotting meat at a business, cannot be expected to reverse the tide of gentrification.
Such actions misunderstand the relationship between gentrification and hipsterdom, construing as they do hipsters as active agents of gentrification rather than their presence as an epiphenomenon of it.
The 1967 referendum remains a watershed moment in Australia’s civil rights history. On the 50th anniversary of the result, that saw over ninety per cent of Australians vote in favour of including First Nations people in the Commonwealth constitution, a special performance will pay homage to the era and its activists at the Sydney Festival.