Some context


November 21, 2011 by NH

Without ideas for a post, I am going to elaborate on my more impenetrable of tweets. Doesn’t that sound fun?

This is going to get heavy.

Because of the 140 character limit, sometimes a tweet must be compressed so much that the context vanishes into an expectation of prior learning. A code that it takes certain fore-knowledge – perhaps not knowledge, but a mood – to make sense of. This post is a key.

So: “To those who have no time for abstract art I ask, what does a guitar sound like in realism terms?”

What did I mean? If you live an open life, fairly often you will come across people with no time for the conceptual. For them, all thought falls into two camps: practical or rejectable. If it has no obvious use it is useless. I find it hard to empathise with this world view but I will do my best not to allow judgement to cloud this – for I know no one owns the truth. But we are off topic already…

What I meant was that those people who would look at a Pollock and say “that doesn’t look like anything” – meaning it has no natural-world analogue – will then go home in their car rocking out to a song that too has no natural world analogue.

A guitar sounds like nothing but a guitar: why should all yellow shapes be bananas, pieces of lego or daisies?

So: “The thing that scares me is that people support political parties more than they support democracy itself.”

What I meant is that democracy should be a larger form than its parts. Most free market democracies d/evolve into two large polar parties.

By various names they represent conservatism and property on the one hand and progress and humanism on the other.

One is the party of ‘why?’ and, as Robert Kennedy so often might have said, the other is the party of ‘why not?’

Now, here is the kicker: anyone who ascribes wholly to one of these world views is anti-democratic. So often it seems, they would rather their view be predominant and unchallenged. In purity lies extremism.

Democracy is strong only because it encourages strong oppositions, so many other political systems do not. It is by the tension of the opposing forces that it is resilient.

When someone says a Bob Hawke or a John Howard should be leader for life, they are really advocating an extremism.

Tony Abbott might be a good prime minister if his opposition is powerful. The opposition is the quality control.

So maybe now you understand this tweet: “I’d rather a government we should have be in opposition, than an opposition we shouldn’t have be in power. “


One thought on “Some context

  1. I enjoy your tweets, but this contexy does help…xx Thursday

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