Aboriginal Internet Meme

Warning: Frivolity ahead!Wikipedia defines an internet meme as “a catchphrase or concept that spreads in a faddish way from person to person via the Internet.” This particular version is a bit like a chain letter, in that you are asked by someone to respond with eight answers to each of eight questions, and then to “tag” three people to follow on with their own answers. 

Normally, I would pipe this to the “null” device (which is techspeak for the trash, the bit bucket, the place where the internet goes to die). But since I got tagged by my friend Jonathan, to whom I owe the habit of blogging in the first place, and since I realized it was an opportunity to sum up a few themes pertinent to this blog very quickly, and heck, since it’s the holiday season and we all deserve a break, here’s my contribution to the electronic chain.

1) Eight things I am passionate about:
Aboriginal art 
Aboriginal culture
Australia
Blogging
Reading
Libraries
Rock ‘n’ roll
Appropriate access to information

2) Eight things I want to do before I die:
Turn this blog into a book that someone else will want to publish
Learn to speak an Aborginal language, at least a little
Live in Sydney for an extended period of time
Live in Perth for an extended period of time
Live in an Aboriginal community for an extended period of time
See Nabarlek in concert
Kick around Alice Springs for a day with Neil Murray
Celebrate the appointment of Australia’s first Indigenous president (or even Governor General or Prime Minister) (stole this one from Jonathan Shaw, who got me into this meme in the first place)

3) Eight things I say often:
Aboriginal value systems are way different from our own.
Imagine Martians landed in your back yard and took total control of your town….
As the great anthropologist W. E. H. Stanner said….
These paintings can be read as maps of country.
It all started when we saw the Dreamings exhibition in New York in 1988….
Someone needs to hear what Aboriginal people themselves want.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Damn!

4) Eight books I’ve read recently:
(Sticking with titles I haven’t reviewed here yet)
Howard Morphy, Becoming Art: exploring cross-cultural categories (Berg, 2007)
Philip Jones, Ochre and Rust: artefacts and encounters on Australian frontiers (Wakefield, 2007)
Quentin Beresford, Rob Riley: an Aboriginal leader’s quest for justice (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2006)
Tara June Winch, Swallow the Air (Queensland, 2006)
W. E. H. Stanner, People of the Dawn: religion, homeland, and privacy in Australian Aboriginal culture (Solas, 2001)
Elizabeth Povinelli, Labor’s Lot: the power, history, and culture of Aboriginal action (Chicago, 1993)
N.G. Butlin, Economics and the Dreamtime: a hypothetical history (Cambridge, 1993)
Mary Durack, Keep Him My Country (Constable, 1955)

5) Eight songs I could listen to over and over:
Warumpi Band, “Kintorelakutu”
Warumpi Band, “From the Bush”
Yothu Yindi, “Treaty”
Lajamanu Teenage Band, “Teenage Band”
NoKTuRNL, “Neva Mend”
Chris Jones, “Get a Grip”
Nabarlek, “Najorrkon”
Sammy Butcher, “Dancing Brumbies”

6) But if I were doing a triple CD set, I’d include (8 x 3 = 24)
The rest of the Warumpi Band’s Big Name, No Blankets and Go Bush! albums.

7) 8 things that attract me to my friends:
They laugh at my jokes
Their jokes make me laugh
Curiosity
Generosity
Kindness
Courage
The ability to listen and ask good questions
Humility, which is a very complex virtue
(I stole all 8 of these from Jonathan, because I couldn’t improve on them.)

8) 8 movies I’ve watched at least into double figures
(I’ve never watched a movie 10 times, but here’s a few I’d consider:)
Yirrkala Film Project: Djungguwan at Gurka’wuy
Yirrkala Film Project: Dhapi Ceremony at Yirrkala
Yirrkala Film Project: Madarrpa Funeral at Gurka’wuy
Benny and the Dreamers
Where the Green Ants Dream
Black Fella/White Fella
Yolngu Boy
Australian Rules

With some trepidation, I must now tag three others to fully expiate the meme, so I salute fellow bloggers whom I know only internetly, JangariDeborah, and Megan. To quote Jonathan one last time, I won’t be offended if none of you takes up the challenge, preferring to continue having a life.


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