Monday Message Board

Another Monday, another Message Board! Feel free to post comments any topic (as always, civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). My suggested discussion starter – What does Easter mean to you?

14 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Nothing. Being unemployed it doesn’t even mean a public holiday for me… just three days when the shops are shut and public transport (if I wanted to go anywhere) runs to the Sunday schedule. Thanks to my rotten health it doesn’t even mean chocolate to me any more either.

  2. A rilly endearing recapitulation of an ancient pagan rebirth ceremony which takes us back to our origins as a bunch of murderous superstitious gits creeping around in the forest sacrificing travellers to appease the trolls.

    How this becomes chocolate is a fabulous mystery.

  3. are there cute virgins involved in the ceremony?

    (this borders on quiggin’s civilised discussion policy)

    anyhoo, easter to me means two days off work…i.e. nothing…

    nativity scenes make me feel like im living in a primitive society…

    at any rate, i wonder why quiggin is interested in easter…i hoped he was a rabid atheist like me…

  4. At a multi-campus university: irritation. You teach Subject X at Campuses A and B on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, and on Campus C on Friday. Good Friday means you lose the teaching hours at Campus C; throw in a Friday ANZAC day as well and it goes from irritating to exasperating.

    And whether you’re religious or not, the debasement of a religious festival is depressing.

  5. On a serious note James, we joyfully embrace the debasement of “our own” Christian festivals but would get very purselipped about traducing Hindus or Buddhists.

    The Eostre festival has evolved from Pagan Europe to Christian with a side turn through Passover, but always expressed belief and world view. Now we fret over rabbits v bilbys. A sad but necessary price for rationalism.

    Mind you, I would not want us to return to the Stations of the Cross horrors I used to imagine as a brain fermenting youngster. Curse you Mel Gibson, you have been channelling my inner child!

  6. Easter=four days of the blues and roots music at Byron Bay. Crowds. Rain. Late nights. Late mornings. The event of the year.

  7. David, you mentioned that as the culture changed from Pagan to Christian, a pagan celebration became a Christian celebration. Both reflected what was important to the people at the time.

    Now, as our culture makes the changes from Christian to something more secular, Easter is also changing from a Christian to a more secular culture. Because of the accepted diversity of the culture (e.g. no common religion), there are problems defining what, if anything, is important to the people. Someone might say that rebirth is worth celebrating, but someone else might say it isn’t.

    What’s happening, and has been happening, and will continue to happen, with Easter is nothing new…

  8. Gosh James you are a sad case – and my sympathy if that is so.

    I have just joined your economic status, from three weeks ago, but we might remember neuron-linguistic programming, so for the moment it could be called for me a state of bliss, or a Johari (now Rumsfieldian) window of opportunity, or even the one chance in 16 years to clean up the house.

    Health is a big issue for me, as I have an enlarged spleen, low blood count, and no knowledge at this time of cause and effect. But I reckon I could literally share my spleen with Kerry Packer, or anybody else looking for a spare half-body part.

    I was sacked for swearing. I do, but whether I did then,I did not recall when asked almost 40 hours later. The employer and the Union, to this point not final, have come to settlement, which will see me get two weeks pay and a resignation. Since in this case there was not formal notice of dismissal, no details of the grounds other than in general terms, and no genuine opportunity for me consequently to make a genuine defence, I am astonished this agreement could be reached. But I have no familiarity of the working of the NSW Industrial Relations Court.

    There is much to be said for the process of conciliation. It avoids costs, particularly for the employer, the major economic cost, and allows me to turn my attention to discovering a new niche in the economy – better suited to my temperament, intelligence and skills (huh!). Keeping up this false bravado, I might claim if not to discover one, to make one. Don’t worry I am still flying on the island of Laputo – I have yet to crack my teeth against the Swiftian irony.

    My union is particularly conscious of vexatious claims. One member is currently facing courts costs of thousands of dollars. And then there is a concern about “the industrial relations implications”. The Union Secretary instructed the Industrial Organizer to reach a settlement. Obviously, having sound grounds for acting is very important, and it is often wise to follow advice.

    OTOH, as a fundamentalist – when I jump off the flying island – I think that hearing the other side (“Audi alteram partem“) is something to die in a ditch for. It is, I think, the citizen’s implied duty to protect and promote the cause of justice, in particular relating to the rules of natural justice. Not only, in my opinion, do these rules reinforce a decent society, they lead to “a fair go all round”, and make for better, sounder decision making. They protect the poor as they do the powerful, the stupid as the wise.

    So Easter means a shorter week, and less time take up again the harness of the circular tread of the pit pony again – with bit.

  9. Easter means blissful autumnal weather – if we are in luck, a chance to enjoy time away from work and the opportunity to do some painting, read a book, visit friends, family, have fun with the kids or do whatever is right at the time.

    It gives those who want the opportunity to meditate on how awful some treat others and highlights the stoicism that can be shown in the face of unimaginable pain.

    So I am very happy to have Easter as a holiday as long as I don’t have to go to church. I would be happy to have a few of the other multicultural religious festivals as well. We could have another holiday for the Orthodox Easter as well. This would probably resolve the image problems multiculturalism faces from time to time.

  10. A little Aussi easter story for youse all.

    Padre White was an Anglican clergyman who volunteered to go and serve in France with the 44th Battalion in 1916. He was a Brother of St Boniface, an idealistic celibate order of high Anglican priests that was established in 1911 to minister to the, then, far flung parishes of the W.A. wheatbelt. Anyhow, this idealistic young priest went away to war and came back a changed man(as you do), gassed and deafened. He returned to Albany in early 1918 where it is thought he celebrated the first informal dawn service for the many who lost relatives in the 44th, decimated at Paschendale.

    He didn’t return to Albany until 1930 when he again initiated (in this neck of the woods) the dawn service which, by then was spreading throughout Australia. Nevertheless, he was revered for his part in it by the locals.

    But Padre White had other agendas amongst which was his defence of the sanctity of Good Friday. In the low Anglican world of Albany he raised eyebrows when he stood up in front of the cinema in 1937 causing them to stop showing films.

    But in 1938 it got really serious. You see, Albany had instituted it’s local Easter event which was a ’round the houses’ car race. The organisers wisely had planned the actual race to be on Easter Saturday, sensible, since St John’s Anglican Church was on the route of the race. However, they unwisely decided to hold their brake tests on Good Friday outside the church! This prompted the Padre to lie down in the road, foreshadowing a tactic that was supposedly invented by Anti Vietnam protestors 30 years later. He had a victory on the day, but it was his last Easter and Anzac Day in Albany. He was in his fifties by now and protesting is a young man’s sport and there was mutual agreement about the appropriateness of his posting to Forbes in N.S.W.

    The car races were abandoned during the second world war but were revived a few years ago and, for me, it means the town is full of rev-heads in MG’s etc. etc. and my favourite coffee shop is inaccessible for my Saturday morning coffee. But at least, they still don’t race on Good Friday.

  11. No, conciliations are often harmful. As I have just found for myself, conciliation exhausts much of one’s resources – particularly time – preparing for AIRC hearings. Yet one has to jump through the hoops so as not to appear unreasonable.

  12. I read that our Australian unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest since 1989.

    Good News? Doesn’t it ring alarm bells? for it wasn’t long after 1989 that we had the recession we “had to have”. Labor had been in power for 7 years, run the pedal to metal with serious tax cuts starting back in 1983, triggering almost uncontrollable growth that even 17% interest rates could contain.

    So things are different now, with inflation under control and interest rates low.

    Would a comparison to 1989 even be valid? Have the liberals engineered an economy that isn’t going to need to burst? If it is going to burst and latham inherits it thats some baggage that he won’t want to wear…

    Sad that labor handed over a decent economy on a sound footing in 1996 and the liberals can claim credit. That recession we had to have may just have bought us 20 years of controlled expansion.

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