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Catherine Deveny on ANZAC Day

This afternoon, between 3.01 pm and 5.16 pm, Catherine Deveny (@CatherineDeveny), a columnist for The Age newspaper in Melbourne, posted 14 interesting tweets about ANZAC Day.  One she deleted before I could save it. Here are the rest (warning: this post contains strong language):

Don’t support Anzac Day. Refuse to celebrate a glorification of war that ignores the suffering and carnage of (mostly female) civilians.

Anzac Day refuses to recognize the chest thumping and dick swinging politicians that create the death, suffering, torture and poverty of war.

Politicians should only be allowed to wage wars they have to serve in themselves and send their children to fight in. In the front line.

Anzac Day. Men only enlisted to fight for the money, for the adventure or because they were racist.

Anyone who lived through war not a fucktard says no parades, no medals, everyone who suffered and struggled remembered. Anzac Day Shits Me.

Anzac Day. Men only enlisted to fight for the money, for the adventure or because they were racist.

Bigger heroes the women who leave abusive relationships with nothing. More guts the survivors of sex abuse. No medals, fanfares or marches.

Anzac Day IS a glorification of war. They didn’t die for us but because they were risktaking testosterone fuelled men with a pack mentality.

I adore men. I hate bullies, homophobes, thugs, racists, misogynists and rapists in the name of war.

Anzac Day. I abhor people whose self-esteem is fuelled by nationalism approved misogyny, homophobia, racism or cruelty administered by relos.

Live your own life. Make your own mark. Stop feeling big because your dead relative killed people because they knew no better.

Anzac Day. Fuck repect. Respect is just code for ‘support our selective narrative used to prop up our power that we use to oppress.’

Remember war. The whole truth. Not the selective version. All the heros. All the victims. Not Anzac Day. Let’s move on and learn.

I respect the right to speak freely, and I have a lot of reservations about ANZAC Day, the mythology developing around it, and the pseudo-religious rituals often associated with it. But Deveny has made several significant but baseless claims here, and the onus is on her to provide evidence for these claims. And then there is the question of whether Fairfax Media should continue to print her work.

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Rod Benson

Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.

10 replies

  1. There is no way Fairfax will get rid of Deveny. When your share price is not much better than your cover price you will take any publicity you can get, they will milk this lunatic for all she’s worth.

  2. These are some quite typical comments eminating from what I call the ‘Northcote elite’. If you have read ‘The Slap’ you will be familiar with the self serving elitist piety that seems to find its home in many who live in Northcote… affluent, Anglo, well edcuated, Rudd voters, Age readers, hate all who are unlike themselves, think of themselves as socially liberal and progressive, scoff at people who live in suburbs (which for some bizzare reason they argue Northcote isn’t!), etc

    1. Spot on about the “Northcote elite” Macca. Though not tue of all people who live in Northcote. They love to support the disadvantaged whether they be homeless, refugees, migrants, indigenous etc but get them talking about people who live in the outer suburbs and you get to see their true snobbery. “Oh God, why would you want to live out there! The people are so narrow minded” Northcote has changed dramatically in the time I have worked there, the migrants, renters and gay families that once lived there in large numbers have been forced out by house prices so the once eclectic mix is no longer so evident.

  3. catherine deveny you are highly pathetic thousands of soldiers lost there lives in war for our country and our people just think if it wasnt for our soldiers that faught for there country our country there would be no such thing as freedom of speech we wouldnt have any rights at all you are fighting a loosing battle trying to get people to forget anzac day do u even know what anzac means it means australian and newzealand army corps so yeah get stuffed if you hate anzac day so much get lost and go find a country that hates our troops that fought for us and lost lives and everything else just as much as you do because we love our country we love our troops that fought all those battles to make it a happy country

  4. Jacqueline, I have one word for you; PUNCTUATION. Your spelling leaves much to be desired too.
    Re: Deveny, maybe she went a bit over the top but Australians are overly precious about Anzac Day and I find it quite refreshing that someone like Deveny has the guts to speak out regardless of whether I agree with what she said.

  5. An elite have power. Obviously Deveny doesn’t have any because she was sacked.If Macca opened his eyes he’d see that the elite live in Suburbs on the other side of the Yarra river ie Brighton, Toorak, South Yarra and the like. If you want elite – go there.
    One of the ways the media try to disparage people who espouse views against the ruling hierachy or who are disadvantaged ie pensioners or unemployed or workers is to assert that they are somehow powerful in society ie that they are an elite. the real elites aren’t people like Deveny or Will Anderson but are people like Neil Mitchell, Alan Jones, the poison dwarf Price etc- and I don’t know for certain but I suspect they don’t live anywhere near Northcote or equivalent suburbs in other cities such as Sydney or Perth.
    One way progressive people or those on the left are put down these days is to say that they are powerful or somehow privileged when they aren’t. I’d take Deveny as Prime Minister ahead of Abbott or the Ruddster or Comrade Julia or Lord Faunteroy Turnbull any day.
    As far as Anzac day goes, the positive aspects of Australia – its egalitarianism, democracy, social cohesion etc weren’t formed or even protected on the battlefield(ie from an invader except by Japan in World War II) but were formed in the decades prior to Anzac day in the 19th century when Australia was one of the most economically, socially and economically progressive countries on earth. Sadly it has been mostly a downhill run ever since due to conservatism. Conservatives like John Howard have shamelessly exploited the Anzacs to attempt to rewrite history to say that Australian values of democracy egalitarianism, social justice human rights etc were formed in war which is patently wrong. Australia has always fought other peoples wars many of which were of an imperilialist nature. For instance how did fighting farmers in South Africa advance the cause of Humanity and democracy? Instead of celebrating militarism we should be celebrating Australia’s gains made in civil society. ie Gaining the vote or the celebration of other stunning achievements in human rights ie the creation of state education in Victoria in 1876 that Australia made often decades before other countries. This is what should be celebrated.
    John Howard attended the funeral of the last Anzac who died in 2002. The irony of this was that Australia’s last Anzac was a unionist and a socialist. One wonders if Howard knew this before hand whether he would have attended.

  6. Fascinating and oh so accurate. Fight war not wars should me the mantra of us all.
    ANZAC Day both here in NZ and Australia is a ridiculous attempt at constructing nationalism to futher distract peopulations from the ways of the political masters.

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