Thursday 28th of January 2021

celebrating dreary jingoistic insecure nationalism …..

celebrating dreary jingoistic insecure nationalism .....

Rapper and poet Omar Musa refused the Queanbeyan City Council's request for him to be an Australia Day ambassador because he said January 26 represented a date that had increasingly become the focal point of the country's culture wars.

''I am not against the idea of a national day per se, but I think it's glaringly obvious that this particular date is so disrespectful towards Aboriginal people, it's an exclusionary day,'' he said.

Musa, who has lived in Melbourne for the past year, said, ''I want to make it clear I have nothing against the Queanbeyan City Council and I am completely up for supporting my home town in any capacity, but I just feel that with my stance on this I could not with good conscience appear as an ambassador.''

A spokesman for the Queanbeyan City Council confirmed Musa had been asked to be an ambassador and had declined. He could not comment on Musa's decision.

Musa won the Australian Poetry Slam in 2008 after winning the Canberra Poetry Slam. He released his debut album World Goes to Pieces in 2010 and supported American soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron on his German tour early last year.

Musa performed his popular work My Generation when he appeared on the panel of the ABC discussion program Q & A last year and is working on new album and his first novel, based around Queanbeyan.

He said he was not surprised at the fracas on Australia Day when Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were bundled out of a restaurant by security police after Aboriginal protesters surrounded the building.

''I think it's just a sign of how high tempers are, how tense this day is becoming,'' he said.

''I've noticed over the last 10 years that feelings are becoming more and more inflamed every year.

''The arguments are becoming very vitriolic and poisonous on Twitter, Facebook and in the public arena.

''You are probably never going to find a date for a national day that everyone will agree on, and is inclusive of everyone, but I think Aboriginal people feel so excluded and disrespected that it's pretty obvious that it shouldn't be this date, something that has come to symbolise dispossession of Aboriginal people.''

As January 26 commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and the proclamation of British sovereignty, Aboriginal leaders have asked for the date to be changed.

''I think Australia Day has become the focal point for a lot of these culture wars and almost rightly so, because there are so many questions about it,'' Musa said.

''What is the nature of Australian identity, what characterises the Australian people, what happened in the past and how should it be recognised or analysed, it seems to be becoming more and more heated.

''It's become a day that commemorates the dispossession of the original people of Australia but I think most people have forgotten that and now it's just a big piss up and a brawl.

'' I read some statistics that there is the highest rate of violent assaults of any day in Australia, it's got to the point where people feel a bit scared go to out and about.

''I think that is a pretty shoddy state of affairs, definitely not a day we should feel proud of if that's what it means and signifies and that's the way people behave.''

Musa said politicians on both sides had become detached from the grassroots sentiments.

''It doesn't feel as though either of the political parties stand for anything, and if they do try and pretend they are listening to the people it's always some dreary jingoistic insecure nationalism,'' he said.

Poet Rejected Australia Day Ambassador Offer


does it count if a robot does it?...

China has planted its flag on the moon during a space expedition to collect lunar rocks.

The communist nation is the second country after the USA to deposit its national flag on the moon’s airless atmosphere.

American astronaut Buzz Aldrin planted the first flag during the manned Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and the US left five more flags there in subsequent missions until 1972.

China’s mission was not manned by astronauts so the distinctive red flag was unfurled by the Chang’e-5 lander vehicle before taking off to return to earth.

The state-run Global Times newspaper said the milestone was a reminder of the “excitement and inspiration” felt during the US Apollo missions.

China’s Chang’e 5 space module left the moon this week after completing its mission to gather 2kg of rock lunar samples.

It is the first time in 44 years moon samples have been brought back to earth and researchers hope it will provide new information about the volcanic activity of the moon.

China’s ambitious space program also includes building its own space station by 2022 and sending an exploration mission to Jupiter by 2029.

The space module landed on the moon on Tuesday and started to scoop up rock samples on Wednesday, state media reported.

The lander is expected to connect with a spacecraft which will then take it out of the moon’s orbit and return it to earth in the next few days.

The only other countries to have collected moon rocks are the United States and the Soviet Union.

The US Apollo missions brought back about 380kg of lunar rock.

The Soviet Union collected 300g.

Chang’e 5, named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, was launched in late November from the space port in Wenchang on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

Chinese probes have already landed successfully on the moon twice before.


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