Sunday, 7 September 2008

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Didgeridoo book upsets Aborigines


"Aboriginal leaders in Australia have called for a book teaching girls how to play the didgeridoo to be scrapped.

The Australian version of the Daring Book for Girls is due to be published next month.

It has angered some indigenous leaders who view the didgeridoo as a male instrument not to be played by women.

Publisher Harper Collins Australia said it was not aware of any taboos on women playing the didgeridoo, and has apologised for any offence caused."

So reports the BBC in a recent online news report.  It is popular these days to think it very civilised to consider all religions, ideologies and world-views as of equal worth and worthy of equal "respect". This story raises the question of what happens when two worlds collide.

The publishers of the offending book are the product of a culture holding to the world-view that sees men and women as equal, hence an adventure book for girls as well as the original book for boys. With its introduction into Australia we have a clash of opposing ideologies; one that includes women and one that is exclusive of them. It is all well and good to want to be even-handed and sensitive but what happens when the irresistible force of modernism comes up against the immovable object of aboriginal tradition?

Science tells us that when an irresistible force meets an immovable object a vacuum is created. Nature abhors a vacuum and seeks to fill it. Ideologically, it is essential that we decide for one argument over another or someone else will fill the vacuum and make up our  minds for us.

The publishers have been sensitive enough to apologise for any offence inadvertently caused but have, nevertheless, determined to carry on with publishing in Australia on the sound basis that there are different ways to look at these things.

The liberal agenda often finds itself groundless when it comes up against reality because, while liberalism would have us bend ourselves out of shape to try and accommodate everyone's world-view, reality inconveniently challenges us to choose.

As someone once said, "Stand for something or fall for anything, live for something or die for nothing"

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Didgeridoo book upsets Aborigines

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