Brooker, Ben: 100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation

Ben Brooker

100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation‘, Overland, 24 April 2018 updated

Sets the Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux against the broader context of commemorative spending, quoting Honest History estimates. Sharp points on opportunity cost and musing on the nature of myth and the changing form of warfare. And on what happens to dissidents:

If there is a further irony to our renewed veneration of the Anzacs, it is in the twinned claims of conservative politicians and commentators who, on the one hand, assert that the diggers who lost their lives on the Western Front died ‘protecting our freedoms’ and, on the other, apparently hold the view that any dissension from the official narrative is punishable, as in the cases of SBS journalist Scott McIntyre and ABC presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied, by sustained, vitriolic campaigns designed to silence them (McIntyre was sacked after an intervention by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, while Abdel-Magied had her Australia Wide program cancelled, and was more or less ultimately hounded out of the country).

Things have come to a pretty pass when any view that challenges the official Anzac orthodoxy is deemed not merely objectionable but intolerable, its holders personae non gratae, and when even the mildest parliamentary scrutiny of $100 million war memorials leads to near-hysteria.

Update 23 April 2019: more on the related subject of Australian War Memorial extensions: from the same author.

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