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Fisher J. Have we lost the plot?. 2004.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/10575
Have we lost the plot?
"It is the worst of times, the worst of times." This seems a constant refrain at present. There is no Dickensian balance to it. Everything is bad. There is some justification for such a view. Iraq continues to implode; temperatures rise while governments deny global warming; children are victims of unspeakable deeds throughout the world. Much of the gloom stems from 9/11. I read time and again that the events of that day changed the world. The images of those great towers crashing to the ground, and the death and injury toll are certainly shocking. Were I a New Yorker, I could well believe my world had changed forever. But is the same not also true for the citizens of Beslan or Baghdad or those dying of starvation in the Sudan? Apparently not, if we are to believe our popular press and the apparent mood of the nation as reflected in recent election results. Australians have adorned themselves with American-tinted glasses and happily adopted the US point of view of 9/11. This is only natural. Since the end of World War II, the US and its culture have come to dominate Australia. Without American assistance in that war, it is doubtful Australia would be a free nation today. American know-how and money have helped transform our economy into one of the world's strongest. Perhaps as a result of this close association, our government has strongly supported the US war on terrorism, even endorsing a policy of pre-emptive attacks. However, it is not always the case that what is in the US's best interest is also in Australia's interest. The Australian-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is an example. It is difficult to see how the FTA does not represent "the worst of times" for Australian culture and its creators. Our film and television industries will most definitely suffer from it, and American cultural products will flow in at a greater rate. A possible result is that Australian writers will be sidelined in their own primary marketplace. There is strong historical support for this argument.