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

National Aboriginal gallery: Town Council’s action clear as mud
I took the Victoria Hotel tour in Goondiwindi recently, led by an eighty year old local who said that much of the old town had been knocked down by “multinationals” who didn’t care about its heritage.
“They just threw the old tin on the back of a truck and took it to the tip,” he said.
I stayed at the Victoria around 1990 as a break from the swag. It was a grand old building with a main street verandah in the Australian tradition, but fell into disrepair until a few years ago when the Council colluded with a local to bring it back.
Because of the memories, I took the tour, but the town hardly resembled the way it was 30 years ago. Kinda lost its soul. Grows cotton now for export to China mostly, where they make the clothes and ship ém back.
It’s easy to understand how multinationals and mall makers can knock heritage down, but not so easy when your own government does it.
There’s a plaque on a rock near Anzac Oval dedicated to George Wilkinson who managed Wallis Fogarty’s store in Alice in the early days.
If you look carefully, you can see lots of heritage around there.
Beats me why the NAAG can’t be build somewhere else.
The CBD is chockers as it is, whether functioning or not. This is a country town like Goondiwindi, not Las Vegas, yet.
It’s easy to lose a town’s soul, if you’re not careful.


Nanny state: Tennant alcohol restrictions for Alice?
The NT Government released a press release on September 3 announcing that it was inquiring into takeaway liquor licensing regulations in the Alice Springs region after conducting an inquiry in the Barkly.
Reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT is not “going to send people packing”.
On the contrary, I suggest that it will increase the quality of life for everyone.
The problem is easy access to alcohol and takeaway has been the biggest culprit for decades.
There is no silver bullet: The BDR and a Floor Price are part of the goal of reducing the amount of excessive alcohol consumed and the cost to the public across many portfolios, including tourism, which suggests that a figure of 99% responsible consumers is inflated.
If 1% of the population can do so much damage, and it is a generational trauma, then the status quo needs changing.
Lulling people into complacency and allowing the alcohol industry to self-regulate while alcohol-related trauma continues is irresponsible.
A nanny state would do nothing about it.
Intervention is necessary.


SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins
@ Albert Diano: Thanks for your engagement, Albert.
I encouraged “Local Centralian” to engage with Alex Nelson’s post because Alex is making a similar point to yours.
I have made the point that nurturing and encouraging (financially) the jewels of community museums and other galleries in Alice is part of establishing a stable tourist economy, with benefits for the CBD and visitation accommodation alternatives for the growing Baby Boomer domestic market, versus the high end air fares on which the government’s proposal is based.
I suggest that more cross-engagement with thematic posting would be useful in debating the points made, with thanks to the Editor for his patronage.


Gallery: national reference group appointed
@ Local1. It’s called a thematic funding window or bucket of money in the vernacular.
In Mexico, photographic exhibitions are combined with music. How revolutionary! Should be exported to the colonies.


Gallery: national reference group appointed
“In my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far …” (Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles. 1979).


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