Wednesday, 6 March 2013

More from the Double Standards Bureau

I'm not a big Mundine fan, but I feel quite a bit of sympathy for the bloke right about now.

Not because he lost to Daniel Geale in the much hyped fight after his comments about Geales Aboriginality (or perceived lack of Aboriginality), but, because he had to deal with the holier than thou media reports in the lead up to that fight (as well as post fight) that were highly critical of his comments, whilst holding Geale up equally as both a poor, poor victim of a mean and nasty racist while at the same time, parading him around as the supposedly 'better man' for holding his tongue and not sinking to those apparently racist depths of mentioning colour and Aboriginality in the same sentence.

Imagine my surprise to read this article and read Geales own comments regarding Mundines Aboriginality this week:

"according to Geale, Sheena has more Aboriginal blood in her through her father's NSW-born, Koori-descended father than Mundine"

Now, I may not have the great legal mind of Ron Merkel, but I'm thinking there's a court case going begging right here.  Considering Anthony Mundine has two parents he can trace his Aboriginality through (his father Tony as well as his Bundjalung mother Lyn), whereas Sheena only has a 'Koori descended father' (which to me always implies the climb up the family tree to a blackfella who is actually, well, black - is a long one).  Not only is Sheena incorrect in her statement, perhaps to a level lending her to be accused of defamation, but also, the way it is said is, well - offensive.  I have to admit, it would be reasonably likely for Anthony Mundine to be offended by such an obviously untrue statement being bandied about as fact, especially when it is racially motivated.

Somehow, I don't think a court case will be forthcoming.



(Geales family, pictured above, including the 'more Aboriginal than Mundine' Sheena, to the far right)

 According to the Double Standards Bureau - Mundine mentioning Aboriginality (or perceived lack thereof) = bad, Geale doing exactly the same thing = good.  According to the wise Ruth Lamperd, who wrote the offending article not only without the most basic of fact checking, but also, apparently without the intestinal fortitude to note the stunning hypocrisy of what she was churning out.  In Ruth world, Geale is a 'gentleman' and Mundine, little more than a 'bragger'. Add in the Phil Rothfield article, a so called boxing fans rant going viral, an Age article that brands Mundine as a bad loser and an idiot, and you have the scene painted.   He's the guy we must now hate for daring to speak his mind.  In addition to the rabid media coverage, his Facebook page has been filled with nasty, hateful comments that questioned the heritage of his mother and referred to him repeatedly as a c**t (along with plenty of other foul language) and one bright chap who told him to 'go eat a witchetty grub'.

It all beggars belief.

Long before all the comments about Aboriginality, Geale was hoping for just this kind of boost to his public image. Until all this drama, he was quite the Neddy Nobody.  Sure, boxing fans may have heard of him, news reports may have carried his name buried deep in the sports section long past where you've tuned out, but, he was in effect, unknown in the greater scheme of things.  Definitely not what you'd call a household name.  His meteoric rise was to be assisted by the usual hacks only too happy to scream 'racist' for a few dollars and some space online.

When I look at the photo above, the first words that pop into my head aren't 'Aboriginal family'.   They'd fit perfectly well into a K-Mart catalogue - the last place I see people of stereotypical Aboriginal appearance.  I can see how Mundine missed the Aboriginal blood in Sheena and referred to her as 'white', being that her skin is, well, white, it was an easy mistake to make.  Unfortunately, despite lots of stories to the contrary, blackfellas can't spot the 'undercover brothers and sisters'.  If such nonsense really were true, the same 'undercover brothers and sisters' wouldn't be shouting constantly about how offended they are when 'other Aboriginal people' question their statement that they are Aboriginal.  You don't exude an unseen vibe, nor does my magic spirit guide tap me on the shoulder and say 'look over there, its cuz' as you walk past me down the street.  I also am unable to tell the difference between a non Indigenous activist with blonde hair and blue eyes who is wearing an Aboriginal flag pin to show solidarity with Indigenous people on social justice issues, and a blonde haired, blue eyed person of Aboriginal descent who wears that same flag pin to show everyone that they are, indeed, of Aboriginal heritage.  

How many people featured in the 'Aboriginal Memes' craze looked like Daniel, or for that matter, Sheena?

None.

You remember the ones, mostly men who were obviously Aboriginal with charming little jokes plastered across their faces revealing their secret fetishes for metho, wife-beating and child abuse. I saw two blokes who were dead ringers for Uncles of mine, but nobody like Daniel, nobody like Sheena, and even more surprisingly, nobody like Bindi Cole, Geoff Clarke or even Anita Heiss.

Funny about that.

I don't care how many reporters in Australia thinks Geale is an excellent role model for Aboriginal youth - simply saying so doesn't make it a fact.  As much as those same reporters bag Mundine as being a poor role model for Aboriginal youth, they only succeed in showing how little they know about what he has done.   Mundine has made plenty of mistakes in his life, shot his mouth off more that is no doubt wise for a public figure, but he continues to be at the coalface to talk to those kids who otherwise would be at the greatest risk of becoming just another petty criminal on our streets.  The kids whose parents don't care, the ones who if not for his boot camps, his taking an interest, would be on the streets right now, robbing your house or stealing your car.  You might not like his method, you might not like his antics, but he does care and he does put back in, all the bloody time, and for all his failings, I wish I'd had a bloke like 'Choc' around when I was a young fella.  You see, I've been a black kid in foster care and I can't tell you how good it is to have someone who knows what its like to wear a 'cloak of colour' you can't take off, a heritage that shows on your face and isn't always well received by the rest of the world, but still tells you not to accept less of yourself, and that you're worth something - and to be PROUD.

23 comments:

  1. PART ONE:
    Great to have you back online. You always write interesting and thought provoking material.

    I must admit that being from a non-rugby state until Mundine actually retired from rugby, I had only a passing knowledge of the man but it was a generally positive image of his great sporting ability.

    That positive image was enhanced with his early success in the ring - not that I am a great fan of boxing - I simply respected Mundine's ability to succeed at a very high level in a totally different sport.

    But I have to admit that my opinion of Mundine soured with every negative public statement I heard him make which to me always sounded divisive, not helpful or conciliatory.

    I am not black or Aboriginal so I can't pretend to understand the suffering from racism endured by those who are. I have a good academic understanding, and I have had glimpses of what it can be like when I have been the only foreigner in a group of insular communities who had no trust of foreigners. But that temporary position is not the same because I knew it wasn't a permanent thing - I would eventually leave that community. So please don't think I am pretending to understand how hard it can be.

    I don't think being the victim of racism excuses much of Mundines commentary and actions, particularly if he is a role model for young aboriginal people. All I can see happening is that young Aboriginal people will adopt Mundine's apparent distrust, disdain and contempt for non indigenous Australia as expressed by many of his comments. And that can't be helpful.

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    1. PART TWO:
      I'm definitely not attached to our boring National Anthem, I don't feel a need to change our flag even though it has the Union Jack on it, but I am open to discussion about both. But not when it is put by Mundine that Australia's national anthem was the theme song for a regime that wanted to wipe out Aborigines and that the flag did not represent the first inhabitants of the land.

      I won't bore you with the history of the anthem, but Mundine has absolutely no factual basis for the first part of his claim. As for saying the flag did not represent first inhabitants, if you want to get picky, it doesn't particularly represent much of the population, unless you are British born or treasure any British heritage, then the Union Jack is just a symbol of the country's heritage at a particular point in time. But a major one which determined that we are a'western' democratic, English speaking country. But there are four times as many citizens in Australia born overseas in countries other than the United Kingdom. Anyway, surely the most significant component of our flag is the southern cross? Surely that could be considered to be relevant and therefore representative of Australian Indigenous people and in fact all Australians?

      But what does Mundine suggest we have, a flag that only represents Indiginous Australians? Life is a compromise. I have no doubt that at some point in the future Australia will become a republic and that would be the most appropriate time to change our flag and drop the Union Jack.

      Mundine is also known for stating that Australia is a very racist country. It would be interesting to know what his definition of 'very' and 'racist' is. I have travelled extensively for business and pleasure and experienced many cultures. In fact at last count I had visited 96 countries and just under 1,000 cities and major towns. Yes I know it's a bit weird to keep count but I wouldn't except for a software application which does it for you automatically while labelling and storing digital photographs and I have had all my old photos digitised. This extensive travel means my observations on different cultures and societies are significant. In describing I'll try to avoid mentioning specific countries because that might just cause a techniccal debate which will get us off topic about which country is worse and what about this or that country.

      With regards racism and descrimination in general, I've been in countries where people of the same race despise each other simply depending on whether they come from the coast or the highlands, or whether they have sun darkened skin which shows they are peasant farmers versus the lighter skins of city people of the very same race. I have been in countries where one group of people wont even touch another group based on the accident of what family they happened to have been born into. I have been in countries where one sect of the same religion regularly carry out deadly attacks on the defenceless women and children of members of the other sect. I have also visited many countries quite close to Australia which have laws making it illegal for anyone but decendants of native born people to own property or become permanent citizens with full rights regardless of how many generations their family have lived in the country. Then there are other countries which force all citizens to obey certain religious laws regardless of what religion they are.

      I haven't really found a less racist country than Australia. I know Australia isn't perfect by a long way but perhaps Mundine, yourself or another contributor would like to suggest a country which is less racist than Australia? You may think there are, but when you scratch the surface, it isn't difficult to find widespread and institutionalised discrimination, if not on the basis of 'race', then certainly on the basis of culture or background.

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  2. James, although I was brought up in the AFL heartland - Victoria, I've always been a fan of Rugby League. Mundine never played for my beloved Broncos, but his skill whenever you watched him was always evident. I often think back to he (and Nathan Blacklock) being overlooked repeatedly for State of Origin duties, despite the fact that they should have been in very strong contention for a spot. He accused the ARL of racism, which led to them denying that racism was the reason for his non-selection and clarifying little further than that. 'It's not cause you're a blackfella, we're not racist' is a pretty shabby answer under the circumstances. I've been in that position, where you have been overlooked (my brother and I played District cricket, should have played State but were always overlooked, despite - especially in the case of my brother - obviously superior skills) and it is a hard pill to swallow. It is something that some sporting bodies in NSW and Victoria definitely had a problem with for quite some time there.

    You are right though, that some of the things Mundine has said in the past have not been helpful to any 'cause' that he stands for. Racism is absolutely no excuse for some of the public comments he has made (his inital public remarks about September 11 - a perfect example) and he has to wear that behaviour very publicly, it is repeatedly dredged up and thrown back at him at every opportunity, and seeing how he responds to that makes me see him in a different light than I used to.

    I often have difficulty myself in expressing exactly what I want to, first go around. Issues that I am especially passionate about, well, I'd hate to have to be put on the spot to answer questions on that issue. Simply because I often find myself needing a few goes to really put what I want to say, in the right words. My blog posts take a long time each to get together, because I like to write it, re-read it and then clarify my point better because most of the time, it never comes across just right the first time. I hesitated a lot before I agreed to go on SBS for that very same reason - 'some words once spoken, can't be taken back'.

    My biggest gripe with Mundine is, as you have done well to point out, is when he is divisive - and his sometimes barely concealed hatred for people who are not Indigenous. I can never agree that behaviour or comments like that are helpful, or that if he rephrased himself it would sound better. You don't fight racism with more racism, nor do you fight it with public humiliation and abuse. The reactions he has received have only reinforced to him what must be his world view. If I was ever invited, I'd go to his gym (actually, I think it is the gym his Dad started) in a heartbeat and talk to the bloke. I owe my life to two white people, who experienced plenty of racism and poor treatment because they chose to foster Aboriginal kids in a time that wasn't PC and friendly like it is now - the 70's (right through until they died in 2009). They suffered with ridicule, abuse and racism from both Aboriginal agencies, Aboriginal people and people who were not Aboriginal. No side can claim a moral victory in my eyes, everyone is capable of poor behaviour - skin colour and race seem to have no bearing on that.


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  3. Part Two

    The Anthem and the Flag, I could devote probably a whole blog post in itself to my thoughts on these. I don't share Mundines views, instead, like yourself am open to tinkering on the Anthem and would like to see a flag that is representative of all of us, not just some of us. Whatever the outcome on both, you go to the heart of the issue in one word - Compromise. We need to all enter into any discussion about these things knowing and being at peace with the fact that to reach any state where we find a solution, each side will have to compromise. If both have to give up a little something, neither feels the loser. You don't always get what you want, but no side has had to give up everything while the other gives up nothing.

    I can't name a single country that is less racist than Australia. I certainly don't have anywhere close to the depth of world travel under my belt that you do, so definitely would think your opinion quite valid on this issue. We've made some great leaps to become better than what we were (the days when Aboriginal people couldn't vote, own property, travel freely etc) but we are very much a work in progress - like all countries we should always aim to do better and improve on where we are, and I think for the most part, that is what we do.

    I hope we can continue this discussion further, it has been a real pleasure getting such thoughtful feedback and feel free to ask more questions of me or get me to clarify anything further if you like. I'm always open to more discussion on issues as I believe that is our best way to solve problems and get an understanding of another person.

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    1. I'm travelling at the moment and have been without Internet for a couple of days, so I just wanted to let you know I hadn't ignored your thoughtful response. I take your point about saying words on the spot. I think we are on the same page on most issues here. I'm just trying to understand the issues and find your perspective without the bitterness which often goes with these discussions most helpful.

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  4. mundine played for the broncos in 2006

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    1. You're right Kevin. I'm pretty sure he was going to make a comeback to NRL around that time (in the end he didn't), but he did play for the Broncos for a single year - but now that I've done some fact checking (my apologies for being lazy and not doing it at the time), it was 1997, during the Super League fiasco.

      Not his most impressive playing days unfortunately.

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  5. It has been a pleasure to read your considered article on Anthony Mundine and James Doogue's thoughtful comment. But your reply to James is an example of what makes your blog worth reading.

    I've always admired Mundine because of his great sporting ability. He's not the best rugby league player I've seen. In fact I wouldn't rate him in the top 100 of all time. However, he was a first class player and, I have no doubt, worked hard on his natural talent.

    He started boxing professionally as a relative old man. This is a tough sport where you don't have a team to help you when you're on the ropes. It must have taken tremendous courage for him to drop out of rugby league when he was at the top and take up boxing; and I don't mean physical courage, which he has aplenty, I mean courage that runs deeper.

    I have also read that Mundine was a fair basketball player in his younger days.

    He's a gifted athlete who must work awfully hard to achieve what he's achieved and I rate him highly because of his success in two difficult sports.

    I have more to say, but like you, I need to think through what I want to say as I want to talk about the deeper issues you and James Doogue have been discussing.

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    1. youcancallmemeyer - I agree with you that he is not in my list of all time greats, but it is a very hard list to make - lots of very talented players aren't on it, not a reflection on their abilities, moreso a compliment to the level of talent the sport has had over many decades now.

      I've also read that Mundine was quite the basketball player, and if not for St George coming along and scooping him up, the NBA might well have been where he made his mark. Like yourself, I am also impressed with the success he had in boxing - very few people could replicate his achievements across such a broad range of sports.

      Looking forward to more of your thoughts mate. I have to say a big part of why I like writing this blog is the overwhelming majority of people who respond give thoughtful and considered responses - it is a pleasure to read them.

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  6. Good article. I should pop in more often here.

    Anthony's faults are too obvious and public to need repeating. But he's a disciplined, clean-living, family man who was highly successful in two completely different sporting arenas. He had the bad luck to go to Brisbane when Kev Walters had an unexpectedly brilliant late career, Coming back to the Dragons, he found Barrett at 5/8. He was a very good player who needed time for others to adjust to his interesting style (eg line breaks made from a standing position).

    I thought the way he hung in the fight with Geale was admirable, though I know nothing about boxing. Look, there's someone for everyone. I wouldn't defend Mundine because he deserves most of the criticism he cops for his appalling mouth. So I'm not defending him. I'm a full blown conservative monarchist etc etc, but I just kind of like and admire the bloke. (Okay, I'm also an old Blakehurst boy, but that's not the reason.)

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  7. The interesting information that I got from your article about Mundine was that he 'continues to be at the coalface' to help the group with which he identifies. His bragging seems to me to be a take off of Cassius Clay - harmless enough stuff to get the punters in. I'll stand corrected, if someone can show me otherwise, but I don't think he makes a big deal about what he puts back in.
    Mundine's commitment to help disadvantaged kids might explain his outburst against Geale. Maybe he thought that wearing the modern insignia of blackness was not enough. I don't know what Geale does for Aborigines - he seems a good family man and modest in his achievements - but maybe Mundine feels that Geale hasn't put in enough to claim Aboriginality.
    I doubt if it's Geale's colour he objects to as I'm sure many of the kids Mundine helps range the full spectrum from white to black. It seems to me that colour is only one factor in Aboriginality; but one that allows the freeloaders to put their snouts in the trough when there are boards, courts and commissions to say who is and who isn't. Maybe Mundine knows in his group who is not and who is - I'm sure he doesn't feel unseen vibes nor does a magic spirit guide him. He certainly didn't get any unseen vibes from Geale.
    The comment that I made in my earlier post about your blog being worth reading was made because you allow a dialogue to happen. It is refreshing that different points of view can be put on such truly complex problems.
    I'll comment on the flag and the Republic later if you're still reading.

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  8. The flag - it's pretty ordinary to look at and looks like other flags, but I've got relatives who look pretty ordinary, like many others, and I don't want to get rid of them or change them. Flags don't have to look flash, it's what they mean to the people that's important.

    To me, the Union Jack symbolises the roots of our democratic system under which all Australians benefit. I'm a conservative person and I haven't heard a good argument for change.

    The Southern cross seems non contentious, though I'm sure others will consider that the flag should look more like the continent we all inhabit.

    Every design of a new flag I've ever seen looked ghastly or would cause such a shit fight. Ugly or divisive, or both, are not a good way to go, in my view, Many believe the present flag is both ugly and divisive; but it is there, has history and means something to people - China can hardly keep up with the demand.

    The Republic - I didn't vote for a Republic in the Referendum because I think the present system works well for Australia, had the Referendum put the minimalist option (the only change being an Australian to be Head of State with the same powers and appointed in the same manner as the GG) I would have voted for that.

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  9. Trouble is, that pride Mundine speaks of comes not at the hands of individual achievement, but from the adoption of a collectivist identity which relies upon fostering perpetual victimhood. Such stuff corrodes at a soul and the life it might otherwise lead. Strange, most of your railings are against such collectivist identity whores, and yet you don't see it here?

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  10. No man is an island.

    The issue is not simply the 'collectivist identity' - its the official 'collectivist identity' that is the problem, in my opinion. All humans relate to a group. The problem arises when the group is given special recognition (favouritism) by government over other groups.

    My football team is favoured by me and my group over others, my family is favoured by me and my family over others, my country is favoured by me and my fellow citizens over others and, presumably, those who identify with an Aboriginal group favour those over others - is this not human nature?

    I'm not upset that Mundine seems to favour his group over others - I only have a problem if the Government accepts and implements his view.

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  11. I perceive it differently. One can favor a football team, their family or their country, without forsaking individual identity.

    What was it John said to his father in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner:

    "You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it's got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs! You understand, you've got to get off my back! Dad... Dad, you're my father. I'm your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man."

    Mundine demands he be seen not as a man, but an Aboriginal man. And along with that demand asks also that, like all victims, he be cast as perpetually morally right and free from judgement. It is just this mindset that lowers the bar into the realms of degeneracy whenever it is adopted by a group, ethnic or otherwise. Comparing that to supporting a footy team or family, well, there isn't really any comparison.

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    1. I think your perception is quite valid, but I have a different perception.

      It is a great quote you use, particularly the powerful statement in the last sentence. Interestingly, it was written by William Rose, a white man born in Missouri who lived his adult life in Britain. Not that there's anything wrong with being a white man.

      I think you draw a long bow with this: 'And along with that demand asks also that, like all victims, he be cast as perpetually morally right and free from judgement'. Mundine is not the most articulate person around and he tends to let his mouth run ahead of his brain. He does withdraw sometimes when he says the wrong thing and is constantly judged by others - I don't believe that he thinks he is free from judgement nor that he's perpetually morally right.

      He uses his Aboriginality to pump himself, like his braggadocio. I think the whole reason that Dallas and I have some time for Mundine is that he uses his Aboriginality mostly in a positive way to help lift others up - not to claim victimhood.

      It would be great if Mundine was like the character in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - 'highly and internationally respected in the medical field, and he's impeccably mannered, handsome, well dressed and of a respectable California family'. But he's not and such a character does little to help those at the bottom of the group.

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  12. I do not know Mundine personally. And so my character assessment is based entirely upon what he himself chooses to publicly portray. Do I go too far in ascribing to him 100% of the motivation/behavior I see again and again in those who congregate under the mantle of victim? Undoubtedly. That does not mean that there is not an awful large dollop of it there though. There has to be. When one forsakes individual identity to the collective it can be no other way. Comparing such action to identification with a footy team or with family serves to greatly minimize the evil of such an act.

    It is contemptible that any child or any woman suffer as so many do in some Aboriginal communities. That cannot be said though by either black or white, because such relies upon individual accountability, something which the collective roundly rejects.

    Mundine or anyone else for that matter, of any ethnicity, religion, or sexuality does not have to be a well-spoken, well respected professional in order to state a simple truth, 'I am a man first, and should be held to account as an individual.' I understood that as kid when I watched Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a have never departed from it. Did the actor who delivered that line so powerfully believe it? I don't know. Are there a lot of black guys who would reject it? Absolutely. But I don't. Such is the power of enshrining that individuality before all else. Forsake that, and you introduce a cancer to the soul that has brought low whatever community on the planet it has come into contact with.

    You say Mundine works with kids? Great. Truly, I mean it. But if what he offers is one spoon of poison for every two spoons of medicine, I have to wonder as to how wise it is to gloss over the former so as to champion the latter. After all, I have no doubt what is said about Mundine and the benefits he gives to his 'community' can also be said about highly radicalized elements of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Individuality must come first. Make excuses as to why this should not be so, and you set yourself upon the road the hell. This is true whether you are at the bottom of the group, or the top.

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    1. I agree with you if you are saying that if the group's overarching character is bad then an individual within the group who does good works does not make the group good. Nor are those good works to be admired if they are within a rotten group. Hamas' social action wing does not compensate for Hamas' overall despicability.

      I also agree that group solidarity can lead to horrendous cover ups, such has occurred with abuse of Aboriginal children. Also like clergy group solidarity to cover up crimes of the same type.

      Where I disagree with you is that the conflict between individual responsibility and group solidarity is not as black and white as you paint it. Life is a balancing act, in my opinion. Group solidarity can be a positive attribute provided it's not used for improper ends.

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  13. What I am saying is that a man either stands as an individual first, or, as a representative of a collective. The former, if they are religious, identifies the soul before anything else. This soul stands identical to any other, regardless of the melanin content of the skin of the body that houses it, or, the language that that body speaks. Though religion need not enter into it. There are many of an agnostic or even atheist mind that demand individual identity over an imposed collective one.

    The moment people forsake their individuality and demand instead that they be judged for the collective they self-claim they represent (a claim whose only validity comes from sometimes quite fevered imaginings), then everything goes to hell. Show me one collective that has formed along ethnic, religious, sexuality or gender lines, and I will show you a group that demands that they are of superior morale stock and are entitled to be judged to a different standard. And further, that this state of affairs stands independent of any rational assessment, and that more, it is the very act of evil itself to question it.

    That a white guy wrote the lines from Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, is only relevant if viewed through a collective lens. If an individual soul wrote it. Then it stands beside another individual who asked to be judged first on individual content of character, rather than as a representative of an ethnic collective.

    As I already said, you don't have to be a white collar professional to recognize the sacredness I first identified as a child, and have held to ever since. 'I am a man first, and should be held to account as an individual.' On the topic of Mundine, I don't believe he would ever say this. If I am wrong on this though, that would be fantastic. Talk about group solidarity along whatever lines you like, but it must come secondary to individual identity. At least that is what I hold to. The irony in this of course is that there will be plenty who will call me racist because of this. Though I get off lightly in comparison to those of more pronounced melanin content who also take my stand. The abuse that is heaped upon these people, often by others of their own ethnicity is truly horrific.

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    1. I basically agree with you; even if you sound like you swallowed Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' whole. I loved Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, the uncompromising architect. If you haven't seen the movie (though I'm sure you have) you should see it. I was 24 years old when I first saw it (in 1974) and it had a profound effect on me - there is a magic to the intellectual attraction of the individual - modernist architecture fucked by balconies and classical columns drove the character (Roark) to blow it all up because of the paramountcy of his individuality.

      Note: Ayn Raynd thought the movie was a perversion of her thoughts. I loved the movie and think Ayn Raynd one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century - but what do I know?

      I'm leaving work now for a drink with my friends so I can't finish what I wanted to say.

      I'll leave you with this link to this summary and analysis of the plot to 'The Fountainhead':

      http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/the-fountainhead/summary-analysis/part-four.html

      I also read Tom Wolfe's From Bauhaus to Our House on holiday in Tahiti, shortly after it came out in 1981 - a great short book that takes the architecture of Roark's type apart. Individualism is great but sometimes what you are individual about sucks. Principle versus the factual is another argument we may have.

      Anyway, have to go. Sorry that I can't respond to your intelligent comments at this stage. Hopefully, I will be sober about 6 hours from now and will continue the discussion.

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  14. Quite the comment there, considering I have never read The Fountainhead nor seen the movie it inspired (God's honest truth). I was never drawn to Raynd, my views on individuality and the soul, and the sacredness therein, bringing me to very different conclusions about the value of charity and compassion than what she held to. I know a little of her actual life though, and if one's philosophy on existence is to be judged by how they personally live their own, well...

    But I fear I am heading off into the weeds here. There is nothing really I can add to my previous comment. It is my faith. But there would be plenty that would demonize me for it. Thank you though, for the back and forth. It's always nice to bring the thinking muscles into play. And our discourse did exactly that.

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