Saturday, 15 November 2014

The past resurgent

 There was an obituary in today's paper, for Ida Elizabeth Jenkins. The nsme rang a bell. She had been one of the people involved in the Australian Broadcasting Commission's programme for children, The Argonauts. This took me back to my increasingly vague memories of my childhood.
I used to listen to it, although not very attentatively. And I was never an Argonaut. Nor did I ever really cotton on to it. This, of course was in the immediate post war days, long before television.

Being a bookaholic, I buy books here and there, both new and second hand. And a book I picked up, most likely at the local market, was a book on the story of the Argonauts.  It is a rattling good read, and an important, but quite possibly almost forgotten, part of Australian cultural and social history. All sorts of people were involved in The Argonauts. Ruth Park, scratching out a living, with her husband Darcy Niland. And Barry Humphries was an Argonaut. Although, did he live up to its promise?

Intermittently, while I read this book, I seethe and fume, because our hideous and lousy government is inflicting further cuts on the ABC's budget, so that we all will think one way. Thoughts of Chairman Mao, Stalinist , received wisdom, papal infallibilty, and the Rupert Murdoch View of the World. We cannot have diversity of thought, debate on issues, we must only adhere to the rigid and doctrinaire views of Rupert Murdoch, and be Right Wing, or die!

 Pardon me for being carried away. I am sitting quietly writing this, listening to a Bach Cantata, after my choir's performance of the Mozart Requiem. We perform it again tomorrow. Such music moves my soul, and if it had not been for the ABC, my life would have lacked so much music and so much of what I hold precious, in our cultural heritage.


Elephant's Child said...

I hope (so much) that our guvmints attempt at thought control fail - along with rather a lot of their other mean-spirited initiatives.
One of my very best friends makes documentaries for ABC National, and her job is on the line. Her job, and many other jobs...

Frances said...

The only upside of the ABC cuts is that this is unequivocally a broken promise - (as you know, there have been all kinds of squirming sophistry and denials about all the others).
And, of course, C Pyne starting a petition on to save ABC Adelaide from the cuts: truly bizarre.
I loved the comment re I E Jenkins: that she "loves....all wholesome things." Not a quality that is praised these days as far as I know.

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly they are already telling us that it ISN'T a broken promise.