Stephens, David: Anzackery in the time of Anzac

Stephens, David

Anzackery in the time of Anzac‘, Pearls and Irritations, 16 March 2015

On John Menadue’s blog, this short article takes an etymological look at the concept of Anzackery and quotes a couple of prize examples. While ridicule is a legitimate weapon against the tosh that is Anzackery – a phenomenon that is truly a distortion of Anzac – there is a serious side also.

Phenomena like Anzackery spread when they are not contested. There is growing anecdotal evidence that many Australians, while respectful of our war dead, are uncomfortable at extreme forms of commemoration-celebration. (Some people feel intimidated by the noise coming from the Anzackers or are afraid of being seen as disrespectful.) Hyperbole ultimately devalues its object. Sentiment prevents us asking important questions about why we fight wars. The Anzac centenary should be marked by vigorous debate. Anzackery is a bubble that needs to be pricked.

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