Daily Archives: October 29th, 2006

Women in Origin Myths

This was a lecture given by Patrick Geary, from UCal, on Feb 7th. My notes, my misinterpretations….

*Random notes:
– Matthew and Luke genealogies don’t agree?
– Davidic lineage? [Not really sure what this was referring to, obviously something biblical..]
– Matilda of Tuscany [hmmm… some sort of mythology around her I guess…]

*Interest in memory currently:
– end of the Cold War: how to remember, especially in Warsaw Pact areas
– death of WWII survivors – Holocaust survivors and perpetrators, soldiers. Who has the right to tell about the past?
— This is really about the present and the future (what was – what is, and what should be [sounds like a Led Zeppelin song…]).

*Around the fifth century BC, and following, interest in genealogies increased – but generations of men. So where were the women?

– the first man involved no woman; sprung form the earth.
– first woman ismade, not generated
Problem: to be a citizen, have to have father and mother as citizens….

*Herodotus’ story of the Scyths
– mother is semi-divine, or semi-monster…
— Byzantium liked Herodotus, and used this story.
— Amazons –> Scythians –> Goths

*Sarah and Hagar: Hebrews and Arabs

*More important to look at audience than possible matriarchal origins (at least in some cases). [I’ve always thought matriarchal ideas were feminists grasping at straws, which I thought was sad both because they thought they had to and because I thought that it was unlikely that society has ever been much different in its shape over the last several thousand years].

*Medieval historians/genealogist (most of whom were clerical, so had no children, but put themselves in the family begun by a virgin mother…):
– women are in the mythic pre-history of people/nations; their disappearance is necessary for the beginning of ‘real’ history (only men)
– not incorporated satisfactorily into lineages
– writers are aware/ambivalent of current women leaders
– fail to reconcile rension between the ideal and actuality.

*Why didn’t the men just write the problematic women out? There must have been something in the tradition….

More ARIAs

Youth Group: up there with Augie March with Radiohead as whiney little boys (although not so little, since Youth Group has been around for 9 years…).

I quite like “Flaunt it,” by TV Rock, so I’m glad they just won their second ARIA. Particularly as they beat out three Idol dudes. Mahaha.

Axle Whitehead on the ARIAs… such a long way from college.

Human Nature wins Highest Selling Album with Motown… leads to two things: 1. Can’t stand Human Nature, but they do this sound quite good, although definitely white (and the pink shirts are just bad); 2. Mothers’ Day. That’s why they won this section. OOH – one of them just said he was gay! Basically. How fabulous that this is now accepted on Channel Ten.

Can’t wait for Silverchair… can’t believe they weren’t one of the highlights of the advertising campaign… maybe they were and I missed it.

Fulbright Lecture

These are the notes I took at a Fulbright lecture a while ago now (last year sometime); it was part of a symposium of peace and human rights education, althought I only got to this lecture. As always – my notes, quite possibly my misunderstandings….

*Dr Diana Shelton (?sp) (American)
The world since Sept 11…
– Terrorism seen as act of war, not (as it actually is) a crime. Parallels with Pearl Harbour in WWII.
– People held, not given rights of POW or civilians, but as unprivileged combatants: on June 16, someone could be held in perpetuity without trial [I think I missed something here, like which year and country this was referring to… oops. Doesn’t really make much sense without that].
– USA PATRIOT Act (which I still cannot believe is an acronym; I thought only bad editors did that…) had no community consultation, was done in a panic after Sept 11, enhances executive branch powers, including protesting against the government, potentially [this being banned, I think, was the idea]; also surveillance rights, eg no search warrant needed.
–most sections have sunset clause – 31 Dec 2005 – but trying to get this extended.
–changes attitudes towards non-nationals in, and coming in.
– Other executive orders carried out… people being held for long periods with no bond… justice is being made a travesty of! Also issue about interrogation – when does it become torture?
– Losing liberty just to get a little secutiry is a bad deal.

*Prof George Williams (Australian)
– The gulf between actual knowledge of a threat v community fear of one [that’s all I wrote; I think the idea was that this is something that needs to be seriously considered. After al, lots of people think that crime is increasing when actualy it’s not, etc. The media has a lot to answer for).
– Aust laws did not get passed very quickly , and were frequently subject to parliamentary review and criticism, meaning that the laws that did, eventually, pass are better than they would have been without that.
— Still grave issues, however (you can be jailed for 5 years for reporting publicly that you were held by ASIO, or saying you were mistreated by them – as can any journalist saying this about you).
However, human rights doesn’t seem to have a place in dialogues about these issues…
— He is a strong advocate of a Bill of Rights for Australia.

Me: I can’t believe that Australia doesn’t have a Bill of Rights. That’s just a bit embarrassing… I guess the founders assumed we would be under Magna Carta or something. Stoopid. I really enjoyed this lecture. The American and the Australian were nicely complementary of one another. It frankly scared me, too, to hear about the changes to laws that both countries have made. I think it’s just dreadful that liberties are restricted to try and curb terrorism and other threats to our lifestyle. Surely that means that the people who apparently don’t like deomcracy and Western ways of living are winning?


Until just now, when the Veronicas (urgh; and my GOODness they look trampy) beat out Rogue Traders and Josh Pyke for Best Pop Release, I had picked all the winners… ok so that’s only three, but still. Wolfmother for Best Breakthrough Album or whatever (aroooo!), Hilltop Hoods for Best Urban, and Youth Group for Best Breakthrough Single (much as I really find that song whingy and annoying).

This might turn into something of a running commentary… I am mostly watching this for Wolfmother, Bernarld Fanning and the Hoods, but Eskimo Joe were ok first up too. And – embarrassing as it is to admit – Rogue Traders too….

Later edit: weren’t the Rogue Traders meant to perform? I didn’t see them….