Australian cultural sensitivity.

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Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Wellpisser » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:23 pm

Surely we need to hear from "Aussie Bob" about this?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... ckson-jive

Harry Connick Jr weirdly unimpressed by Australia's blackface Jackson 5Comments (155)
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Harry Connick Jr. Photograph: Robert Pitts/Empics Entertainment

To Australia, the world's most savagely self-parodic country, where there is news of an important breakthrough in race relations.

We lay our scene on long-running Australian TV variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday, which finished in 1999, but was back on air for a reunion special on Wednesday night - along with celebrity guest Harry Connick Jr.

As is the custom on these kerrazy studio programmes, the singer was roped into the judging panel, passing his views on - among others - a musical comedy troupe introduced as The Jackson Jive.

Now, having watched the Jackson Jive's act, Lost in Showbiz can tell you that they bring almost nothing new to the lame old business of impersonating Motown's most dysfunctional family. But I guess their USP is that they perform in blackface. Isn't that darling?

Not according to Harry, oddly, who marks them zero (the Australian judge to his right comes through with a 7. "I thought you were very cute"). "Would you give them anything for turning up?" asks the bemused host. "Man, if they turned up looking like that in the United States …" comes his guest's retort, "it'd be Hey Hey There's No More Show."

Seemingly oblivious to the point being made, the host cheerily points out that this is a comeback of sorts – the Jackson Jive in fact performed this act on the show twenty years ago. You know, in the olden times of 1989, when blacking up was totally acceptable.

Anyway… If you take a look at the mind-boggling video clip, you will note that we rejoin the show after the break, during which the host seems to have had a somewhat unconvincing epiphany.

"I noticed that when we had the Jackson Jive on," he says to Harry, "and it didn't occur to me till afterwards, I think we may have offended you with that act … I know that to your countrymen, that's an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologise."

Very good of him. In Australia, of course, it is perfectly acceptable, and we thank the nation for yet another important contribution to the annals of human culture.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby mikado » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:54 pm

Wellpisser wrote:To Australia, the world's most savagely self-parodic country


Liking the irony of Brits lecturing anyone else about racism. The reader comments are a hoot.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Citizen Baba » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:57 pm

Is the word "negro" still in common use anywhere else in the world?
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:11 pm

That show was crap 20 years ago, and I am not sure why they have attempted to revive it, however I did happen to see Harry Connick nr perfomring briefly as I was channel surfing and I have to say he was crap, what has happened to him, he used to be great.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:15 pm

Sol Trujillo was right.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby MidnightBitch » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:33 pm

What an odd positon to put Harry Connick Jr. in, he handled it well.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby The Obama Nation » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:41 pm

Citizen Baba wrote:Is the word "negro" still in common use anywhere else in the world?

Yes. It's Spanish for 'black', so figure a worldwide usage.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:37 am

http://www.news.com.au/comments/0,23600 ... 29,00.html

There's a link for shits and giggles. Mostly bogan Aussies venting their reflexive anti-American tendencies because of Connick's comments.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Scott_Baio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:46 am

Wow.

Reading those comments was crigne worthy. way to go Australia...you really stuck it to Merka!

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby 2wilzgood » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:57 am

Scott_Baio wrote:Wow.

Reading those comments was crigne worthy. way to go Australia...you really stuck it to Merka!

Dopes.


I'm thinking I read purple lipped bastard somewhere and am not really getting this particular post at all.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby OnTheBall » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:58 am

I dont think there is a bigger racist and xenophobe on this board than you scott
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:49 am

In 1996 Harry Connick Jr. appeared in a sketch on MAD TV in a Baptist preacher sketch with "blackface." In the sketch "Revs. LaMont Nixon Fatback" and "Dr. Michael Cassidy" talk about "the true meanin' of Chrimmah"... all the things you can do with a "Hair Connick, Joonyah" Christmas CD when you’re all alone during the holidays.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooKaCbMvaZ0&source=cmailer

Whilst I do agree that it was in extremely poor taste, and that the TV execs at least should have known better even if the performers didn't, it does have to be said that Australia does not have the cultural history that goes with blackface performers that there is in the US and that many in Australia particularly those less worldly may well be unaware of the sensitivity of this particular activity.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby pezworld » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:55 am

Oh man that was awful. Worse than I'd gathered from reading the comments. Did you see the actual clip?
http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/hey ... /695238461
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Wellpisser » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:58 am

guruwil wrote:Whilst I do agree that it was in extremely poor taste, and that the TV execs at least should have known better even if the performers didn't, it does have to be said that Australia does not have the cultural history that goes with blackface performers that there is in the US and that many in Australia particularly those less worldly may well be unaware of the sensitivity of this particular activity.


doesn't stop Australians commenting on the USA though does it? :wink:

In Britain this would be considered a hate site (NSFW outside Australia)

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:01 am

Wellpisser wrote:
guruwil wrote:doesn't stop Australians commenting on the USA though does it? :wink:


No not at all, and I have no problem with any of the comments people have made about it either, go for it, just giving you a bit of perspective
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:08 am

Do you really have no trouble with any of the comments that are strewn about all over the internet? I'd say that many of them are classic bigotry. That's life in Oz.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby OnTheBall » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:09 am

Yeah because your own country is racial heaven :roll:

Seriously, if its so terrible why dont you just fuck off back to the US?
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:18 am

misanthrope wrote:Do you really have no trouble with any of the comments that are strewn about all over the internet? I'd say that many of them are classic bigotry. That's life in Oz.

I am not sure what you are trying to say
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby section8 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:25 am

That was so lame and unentertaining that I was unable to be offended by it.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:26 am

Classic OTB. Circle the wagons! If you don't like it, you can leave!

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby section8 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:29 am

I didn't watch any 'telly' when I was in AUS. Is it all that mediocre? The AUS film industry punches above its weight. Does TV not get the same level of governmental support?
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby OnTheBall » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:32 am

misanthrope wrote:Classic OTB. Circle the wagons! If you don't like it, you can leave!


Now youre a poor victim...

Going by your posts on here you sound like youre miserable here, so it is a genuine question, why dont you just fuck off back home if its so terrible?
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:35 am

It would be too much of a pain in the ass to go after one year, so I'll just go about my business and avoid people.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby OnTheBall » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:37 am

Ill read that as being that you are poor and that your prospects of finding a job back in the US are bleak so you are staying here because you have it a lot better over here than you would back there
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:41 am

Play the ball, not the man, OTB.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:47 am

section8 wrote:I didn't watch any 'telly' when I was in AUS. Is it all that mediocre? The AUS film industry punches above its weight. Does TV not get the same level of governmental support?



I can't say the Australian television industry punches above it's weight except maybe in the minds of UK soap opera fanatics, however that particular show is definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Logg » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:57 am

pezworld wrote:Oh man that was awful. Worse than I'd gathered from reading the comments. Did you see the actual clip?
http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/hey ... /695238461


When you watch the clip you learn that they did the same act twenty years ago as medical students, only that time they won. And now, they're all doctors.

The best part is at the very end when Harry Connick Jr educates these sheep fuckers about standards of common decency in the post 1954 world.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Wellpisser » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:10 am

Australia is different, in a way it is a step back in time, recently there was this "joke" about concentration camps broadcast:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainmen ... 26510.html

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby pezworld » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:13 am

For the record, the bf now considers Connick a superstar after viewing the clips.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:19 am

Sol Trujillo was right.


Yes. He was.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:47 am

Argonheart_Po wrote:
Sol Trujillo was right.


Yes. He was.


Sol was a fuckwit who wandered in fucked up a big telco, ruined its relationships with 2 governments and the Australian people, got paid a shitload when he was sacked and then left the country, and then when people dared to criticise him he pulled the race card. Whether or not he is correct about the racism inherent in Australia he was not in a good position to make the point at the time.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:53 am

When people dared to criticize him? Rudd himself told Trujillo "adios, amigo". There were pictures of the man in the papers on a donkey wearing a sombrero.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Wellpisser » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:12 am

Oh come off it Guru, even the normally uber liberal and PC Mike Carlton banged on about the Three Amigos, it was sickening.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:15 am

misanthrope wrote:When people dared to criticize him? Rudd himself told Trujillo "adios, amigo". There were pictures of the man in the papers on a donkey wearing a sombrero.



Why is saying Adios Amigo to a person of Spanish Speaking background racist? would saying Sayonara to a person of Japanese background be racist, would saying Arrivaderci to an Italian be racist etc etc.

The cartoon picture of him on a donkey with a sombrero may be insulting, and it it was intended to be, but it is also parody and is it racist?? maybe but to me it would be the equivalent of insulting an Australian businessman in another country by drawing a cartoon of him riding a kangaroo with a hat with corks dangling from it wearing RM williams boots and a Jackie Howe singlet, insulting yes, racist ???? probably not.

Just because something is insulting doesn't mean it is automatically racist, he got insulted because he was a fuckwit, not because he was a Mexican
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Wellpisser » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:26 am

so why did the insults centre on his Mexican heritage and not on his managerial abilities?

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby guruwil » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:29 am

because it was convenient I guess,

look I'm not really comfortable with what was done overall, I think it would be better to not bring cultural or racial background into it, but I'm just not sure that it is actually racist, but I could be potentially be swayed that way if presented with a good argument.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby misanthrope » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:44 am

You're grasping at straws.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:05 am

but I'm just not sure that it is actually racist


That is because you are an Australian, and about 20 years behind the rest of the west on these issues.

You live in a country where Italian and Greeks are called "wogs" and where your sportsmen representing your country can call black opponents "black cunts" and "niggers" and get away with a slap on the wrist, and your supposedly progressive Prime Minister makes south of the border Mexican jokes about a Hispanic businessman.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby patrik » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:13 am

and your supposedly progressive Prime Minister makes south of the border Mexican jokes about a Hispanic businessman.


Adios Amigo is racist?

Im afraid I've heard the Americans you worship on this very site use much, much worse than that.

What about dirty unwashed pommy cunt? Is that racist, too?
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Argonheart_Po » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:02 am

Adios Amigo is racist?


Yes - but because you are a dinosaur, 20 years behind the rest of us - you don't know yet.

What about dirty unwashed pommy cunt?


No, that's not racist. But your Mum wouldn't think much of you if you ever posted it here.

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby janieblack » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:26 am

Good for Connick for saying what he said and in the way he said it. He was calm and clear and didn't make a big hand flapping scene about it so I don't get the remarks that his comments were too PC or whatever. All he said was that blackface was offensive to him and that he loved the show (ack) but wouldn't have come on had he known there was an act like that. But, y the same token, I don't get the remarks about the host being unconvincing. I think his apology was sincere, his own face was pretty red and I don't understand the sense of outrage over that portion of things. A bad show made a bad mistake and made an immediate apology for it.

It is cringeworthy in and of itself that that show is back on. It was old school 20 years ago... even without blackface.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby SeamusMcCool » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:00 pm

mikado wrote:
Wellpisser wrote:To Australia, the world's most savagely self-parodic country


Liking the irony of Brits lecturing anyone else about racism. The reader comments are a hoot.


He's not British, but he desperately wants to be.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby SeamusMcCool » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:04 pm

section8 wrote:That was so lame and unentertaining that I was unable to be offended by it.


Best comment so far regarding the sketch.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby janieblack » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:10 pm

The sketch is just The Gong Show (e.g. laugh at untalented l00sers who are seeking their 15 minutes), recycled. Which is why it was a lame ass thing 20 years ago. Given The Gong Show had died in the ass a decade ore so before 'n all.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Collateral Knowledge » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:55 pm

Let's not forget that until a couple of years ago it was not unknown for European men to dress up in blackface, flanked by girls wearing dresses made out of bananas.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Scott_Baio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:09 pm

it does have to be said that Australia does not have the cultural history that goes with blackface performers that there is in the US and that many in Australia particularly those less worldly may well be unaware of the sensitivity of this particular activity.


Oh the irony.

It wasn't so much the performance that got me bothered. I expect Aussies to act like that. They don't know any better. They're the international equivalent of the country bumpkin.

It was the vitriol and the venom of the average Aussie in the comments section that was really disturbing.

Wow.

The hatred for a far away land that most of them have never been to is Al Qeada-esque. Scary.

Of course, I found out the hard way that Aussies were a bunch of self-serving cunts with bad attitudes. I actually spent money to fly to that whacked out version of Texas with worse accents.

What a waste of time Australia was.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Geece » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:13 pm

If this thread is any evidence, Australians are even more thin-skinned to cricisim than Seppo cunts. OTB's contribution is particularly delicious: "We're not xenophobic. If you think so, get the fuck out!"

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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby joeyramone » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:17 pm

Tie me Kangaroo down, sport.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby Collateral Knowledge » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:34 pm

Harry Connick Jr did a great job there, steering a line between stating clearly he thought it was wrong and being tactful towards his hosts. It's sad that it brought out anti-US defensiveness rather than gratitude from Australian commenters on CiF. I've known many likeable Australians, but their open and habitual use of racist and otherwise bigoted comments is a real eye-opener. They really don't seem to get it. It says plenty that the only Aussie on this thread who appears to really get it is originally from Canada.

Harry reached out to Australians, like a heroine reaching out to a haunted musical box in a gloomy attic. But the Australians played the same old tune: the Racist Waltz. That's regrettable. Let's hope that in the long term Harry's contribution will prove as instrumental (geddit?) in improving relations between people of different nations as Sting's song 'Russians' did in the 1980s.
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Re: Australian cultural sensitivity.

Postby SeamusMcCool » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:15 pm

I've always found Aussie accents amusing. Like an Englishman who just filled his lungs with helium.

The comments were unintentionally funny. For the ones who stated the skit wasn't racist, but was indeed funny I'd love to ask them what was funny about the skit? If the humour wasn't in the blackface and Amos and Andyesque representation of the Jackson (Jive?!?) 5, where was it?
"I'd stumbled into the middle of an evil, insidious cult of chainsaw worshipping maniacs. I had to wonder if we'd let our religious freedom go too far in this country, or maybe our immigration laws were just too lax."

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