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

NT-SA agreement hardly historic
Paul Keating, in his 1992 Redfern Speech, framed by speechwriter Don Watson, author of the somewhat dryly punitive opus, The Bush, also claimed a historic mandate, announcing success for Reconciliation “within the next decade.”
It’s in the nature of politics to claim credit for doing something, mostly spending tax revenue and living in hope that it won’t run out.
In my opinion, the “historic” issue is just a beat up or a sop.
Pass me another piece of Bicenttennial birthday cake, please.


Greens on Pine Gap: Move towards non-aligned foreign policy
The Greens, once declared an “alternative” political party, inherited the structural social and cultural goalposts, but they keep trying to kick goals through them.
Kinselas’s, one of Sydney’s long established pubs, was recently sold through the Sunsuper-backed Australian Pub Fund for $22m.
It was purchased in 2010 for $10m, but it’s been said that it would have gone for $40m had the NSW government’s lock-out laws not been enacted.
Senator Di Natale obviously supports other supply-reduction measures, but dealing with the structural wealth of Super funds and their investment in the alcohol industry is a bit more difficult than continuing to bang the party political donation route to government corruption.
It would be nice if politicians who eschew liberal social policy when it suits them, could tackle financial regulation through institutionalised investment in the alcohol industry.


They must be joking!
@ Charlie Carter. Sense is subjective. Some people laugh when others don’t and vice versa. Cheers.


They must be joking!
From reading these comments over a number of years, there are a lot of disgruntled people who have moved to Alice Springs in recent times, who appear to want the place to conform to their aspirations.
They talk about “remote” and “communities” in the abstract.
They have no idea of Mbantua.
They want what they think life should offer, according to what they read in the glossy inserts or la dolce vita on television.
When the lights go out and it’s time to cook dinner on an open fire, what then, ye dreaming?


What the open letter didn’t say
End-of-day performances by the many local musicians, occurring in the Mall is a great idea for so many obvious reasons.
I did this numerous times in the 1980s with musos and it’s not that difficult with a small PA system.
It creates paid work and gives a sense of cultural belonging that cannot really be created by other art forms.
Music speaks all languages. We had occasional problems with intoxicated persons, but violence was extremely rare.
I urge the council to look at this again, especially where inner-city gentrification is forcing musicians out and replacing “live” entertainment with grog shanties. Goodness, people might start dancing again.


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