I find it difficult to accept the review’s closing argument …

Comment on Looking for love and meaning on the road by Russell Guy.

I find it difficult to accept the review’s closing argument that “it’s all about him” – the protagonist, Dizzy Roundabout in my novel Dry Crossing, when Nina, the woman referred to is introduced as having seduced him.
The promiscuity of the 60s and 70s on which Dizzy reflects had as much to do with female complicity as male.
While not attempting to distance male behaviour, the same can be said to be true today, cougars and mainstream pornography notwithstanding.
It took women like Linda Lovelace to reject these values as much as Dizzy comes to the same realisation.
The comment that he rejects Karin’s declaration of “fun” appears not to have noticed that such behaviour is revealed with tragic consequences during the earlier scenes in her relationship as a friend of Nina’s, which Dizzy, though existentially tempted, rejects for the same reasons in the scene referred to towards the end.
His subsequent reflection in what the review refers to as “gruesome” is mistakenly attributed and there is no inference to lust in the following thought about Dante’s observation which is also existential, although the two are part of his character flaws – the dark side liberated by the modern novel – and for which he assumes responsibility.
These complexities inform Dizzy’s character as a “thoughtful man” who acknowledges his exploitative past and tries to redeem it. Karin’s drunkenness in the scene referred to above is underscored as part of the corrupting sex, drugs and r’n’roll lifestyle at the heart of the novel.
The “disturbing undertow” is a feminist argument where feminism has failed and presented as part of Dizzy’s revelation, which curiously is acknowledged as insight in earlier chapters of the review.
Whilst I accept that the narrative could have been better sustained, the character of Dizzy Roundabout, though still somewhat existential in his humanity is restored by his association with the elderly Christian missionary and exemplified in his journey of faith.
In 1916, Maxim Gorky wrote: “I believe that Jewish wisdom is more all-human and universal than any other and this is not only because of its immemorial age, not only because it is the firstborn, but also because of the powerful humaneness that saturates it, because of its high estimate of man.”
This sentiment is embraced by Hector, the indigenous pastor in Dry Crossing and finds comparison in Blind Moses, the subject of Peter Latz’ recent book about the Arrernte evangelist of Hermannsburg, culminating in Dizzy’s crossing of the Barkly which leads to his hope of realising these mature values through the committed relationship of a marriage.
Such commitment is foreshadowed early in the novel’s complex, yet thoroughly contemporary themes most of which the review acknowledges and which I have attempted to explore, if not resolve, in this novel.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Eugene’s Mate. Posted July 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm.
Thanks, “Eugene’s Mate”, for standing on Sue and my shoulders and posting your information, which I’d like to believe is informed and reliable, but I haven’t failed to realise anything about the Gunner Government’s intentions.
In fact, I have made a point of supporting their alcohol reform.
I’m glad that “most other NT Cabinet members share this analysis”. I’m not cynical in doubting that they are taking the initiative.
I’m also glad that you share my analysis of frustrated motivation. I worked for decades with youth, both when I was one and more recently. It’s not rocket science, but please permit me to set you straight over your claim of “ignorant and patronising” suggestion.
You teeter on the edge of reason with the rest of your post in terms of the art gallery / culture centre and the government’s consultation process.
I’m also not sure what you mean about Mr Shiell’s failure to see that the gallery should be at “the heart of the town”. As far as I understand, a section of the Aboriginal community have suggested it be south of the Gap, which aligns with his suggestion.
Thanks for the directional inspiration.

Torrent of toxic Facebook posts after Mall melee
@ Sue Fielding. Posted 14/7/18. 8:46AM: In my opinion you have correctly identified generational trauma, racism, alcohol abuse and domestic violence as some of the reasons for anti-social behavior among the young people responsible.
Anger and frustration are two of the motivational issues, apart from mindless vandalism which is existential for many kids. I did it occasionally at that age, without really knowing why.
With regard to “the support and social cohesion necessary for them to make a way forward (in 2 world’s), into education, jobs, a stable life”, you are essentially discussing giving them direction.
Motivating the kids to take an interest in their surroundings (town) begins in family life and then in the school environment, but when this is dysfunctional, then special treatment is warranted as is the case with case management, but more than one-on-one is required, because that only attends to the electrons whizzing around the nucleus.
Perhaps, the kids sense that the town lacks direction.
Who could blame them for reacting the way they are out of frustration?
If you look at the local economy as tourist-based, at least for six months of the year, then getting kids focussed on how they might contribute to that opportunity through education, innovation and the kind of ideas which Trevor Shiels often posts at this site, e.g., Yirara students training for the proposed art gallery and/or a culture centre, then perhaps that could be a direction.
The problem, as I see it, is that Mr Shiels’ posts often seem to go unremarked.
You call for local MPs and Alice to focus, along with the support providers. All of this appears to lack direction.
Alice Springs is a town that has the makings of a recovery, but without the ability to help itself out of the problem.
Could this be a form of self-inflicted vandalism brought about by ennui, i.e, stunned like the rabbit in the headlights?
Maybe, it’s a Pavlovian impotence, where the dog keeps getting an electric shock, but doesn’t want to or can’t get out of the box?
Perhaps, Alice as a town is the Pavlovian dog.
It will keep on receiving these toxic social shocks as long as it lacks direction, or the will to get out of the box.

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
@ Maya. Posted 26th June. 7:16pm.
The Property Council of Australia recently commissioned a report which examines the future of Australian cities. It has been reviewed as applying equally to Sydney as to a country shire in the outback.
It’s basic premise seems to be the creation of “mini-CBD’s” over the usual model of one CBD, but the interesting thing about the second volume of the three volume report is how it charts employment growth in GDP per capita.
The take-home bit for me is that limiting the planning (?) of Alice Springs to a single CBD concept over the creation of mini-CBD’s, limits employment opportunity, e.g., transport between them is an obvious one.
Alice Springs is set up for such a vision, with some of the points you make, but with many more outlying.
It may allow for diversification and reduce the focus of social unrest on the present CBD, which seems resistant to change or reform.
The challenge might be to link them into a coherent town plan that has a future outside of the narrow confines of the present.

Indigenous gallery location done and dusted, says Lambley
@ Trevor Shiell. Posted 22nd June. 4:24pm.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founder’s Museum in Longreach are kilometres from the CBD, but the Town Council has had to build an additional caravan park on the river because, in peak season, the others are full.
The new dinosaur park in Winton is out of town.
Probably because they build the town in the wrong place back then.
If only they’d known.
Some people have been calling for a Town Plan in Alice for years, but have given the game away and it’s easy to see why.
Even you have expressed this Yirara idea several times.
Ever get the feeling you’re a cracked record?
Actually, ‘blessed are the cracked for they shall let in a little light.’

Pine Gap’s new role as a war fighting command centre
Redundancy in the use of GPS technology, especially in relation to aviation and weather forecasting, is vital, but who knows how many satellites there are, which ones are kaput and which are fully functional for commercial or military purposes?
So many of us take satellite-based technology for granted in our daily lives, more especially as cyber warfare, recently exposed as influencing Australian elections, becomes a hot-button issue for the democratic world.
In those terms, Pine Gap is a significant asset, although, I note that Professor Blaxland is an academic from the ANU which recently rejected a fully-funded scholarship program for studies in Western Civilisation, while hosting similar programs from Asian and Islamic sources.

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