Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 28/08/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday August 28, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down]

Over the weekend I joined my family to celebrate Mum's 70th birthday. We had a wonderful, nostalgic time, selecting as our venue Himatangi Wines, once owned by Mum's mum, my late grandmother, now remodelled into a saloon & garden bar by its current operators, Yvonne & Stan, who are not big on sur-names. We hadn't been back to Himatangi in many a long year, so it was a very poignant occasion, especially with Mum's having been so recently bereaved. I couldn't help reflecting, amidst the festivities, that life is short, death is coming - & we must nurture & cherish the very best that life has to offer, while we can.

I arrived home to find the following news item from late Friday in my e-mails:

"A high school student has tried to put out the Sydney Olympic Games torch with a fire extinguisher. The 17-year-old carried out the attempt as the torch passed through the town of Maclean in northern New South Wales. Police say the teen stepped out of the crowd and fired the extinguisher at the torch but only succeeded in spraying the runner and bystanders. The flame was untouched."

There was nothing in the story to indicate this young man's motives, but I doubt they had anything to do with nurturing & cherishing the very best that life has to offer. The Olympics, going all the way back to those magnificent Greeks of the pre-Christian era, exemplify the pursuit of excellence - which is, I suspect, precisely why this 17-year-old, immersed, no doubt, in the punk culture of his peers, wanted to snuff out the time-honoured flame.

But the world is not yet lost to its dominant culture. By contrast with the actions of THIS young man, I thought of the writings of another one in my own magazine. And WHAT a contrast! In an article in the latest issue out this week, Victoria University student Cameron Pritchard offers a ringing celebration of some of history's greatest trail-blazers, including that magnificent Greek intellectual Olympian, Socrates. But the celebration is tinged with sadness, because each, in some way or other, succumbed to pressure from the mob, the flame-extinguishers who couldn't bear the sight of such glory in their midst. Says Cameron:

"This is a tribute to every egoist at any time in human history. Your obstacles were many, and your courage overwhelming. Your ego has created every glory on the face of the earth. This is a call to the egoists of our own time and to those of the future. Shun humility, and make no apologies for your creative spark. Do not make the mistake of Socrates! Do not accept societyıs claim to own your life. Learn from Galileo! Do not recant the truth when faced with the mindless hordes who will try to torture you into believing that A is non-A. Think of Oscar Wilde and never take the deceit of soulless power-lusters to heart, lest you lose your passion for life. Do not surrender like Bill Gates! Do not grant them any moral right to the product of your intelligence. Stand up for your right to your own life. Selfishly. Egoistically. And let the symbol of your cause be an image of Socrates sweeping the hemlock to the ground in angry defiance."

While there are youngsters on this earth writing words such as these, I have an item of news for that other young man in Australia - the flame will NEVER be touched.

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