Thursday, August 14, 2008

Greer Nails It

Last night's Lateline included a report on Germaine Greer's latest essay on Aboriginal men, and an interview with Greer herself. Greer was on song throughout the interview - interviewer Leigh Sales wasn't, right from the start:
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And with me in the studio now is Professor Germaine Greer. Thank you for coming in. What I would like to do is take you through points raised in [the story we just aired] so we could hear your responses. But if I could start more generally, for people who have not read your book, what is your central objection to the Federal intervention?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER, ACADEMIC AND AUTHOR: [My book] is not about the Federal intervention. It is about rage, it's an essay on rage itself. It begins with a white example of somebody who feels his people have been unfairly discriminated against by government policy... (my emphasis)
If you missed it last night because the household remote control hog couldn't bear to miss the Olympic Pole Dancing, Thai Ping-Pong Ball Target Shooting or whatever it was that Channel Seven was showing, it's worth catching up on the interview at the Lateline web-site.

A few more great moments:
LEIGH SALES: If I can look at some of the points raised in the package and have you respond to them. You write that Aboriginal women humiliated their men by seeking the white fellas help in the intervention.

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Hang on a minute. That is not how it's put...

LEIGH SALES: Alright, let's talk again about something they would like you to respond to. In that package that we [just] saw, both Des Rogers and Judy Atkinson, while they agreed with some of your views, disagreed with you that Aborigines can't overcome the trauma of history. By saying.

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: I never said that I don't know why they thought I did. But I don't know who spoke to them or what they said I said...

LEIGH SALES: Well again the quote is that 'rage is the inevitable consequence of a series of devastating blows inflicted on a victim who is utterly powerless to resist'. You are suggesting that Aborigines are powerless to resist this rage that engulfs them?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: No, it's their powerless to resist us...

LEIGH SALES: But at what point do you say, yes, I have suffered victimisation but I will not allow that to make me a victim?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Isn't it curious thing [- I] write about the pathology of rage in this situation and it's suddenly turns into a conversation about whether or not these people can get over it. What I am saying is they can't get over it and it's inhuman to ask them to get over it. It has to be recognised that they have undergone a series of the most appalling outrages and abuses...

Update: I've just sat through the whole of Tony Jones's Q & A for the first time ever. Kudos to the floor manager who seated Germaine next to Julie Bishop. Pure genius!

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