Stephens, David: magic Anzackery pudding

Stephens, David

The magic Anzackery pudding‘, Honest History, 9 April 2015

Guest posting on 7 April on John Menadue’s blog.

Norman Lindsay was busy during World War I. When he wasn’t doing propaganda posters of slavering Huns or sketching buxom young women he was writing a children’s book called The Magic Pudding: being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff. The magic pudding was remarkable for its ability to keep regrowing itself, regardless of how many slices were taken off it.

There are some people who think Anzackery is like the magic pudding. There are two elements which are essential to the Anzackery concept and which reinforce each other: sentimental and jingoistic commemoration of an Anzac myth; making money from this commemoration. Anzackers hope they can go on doing Anzackery indefinitely (or at least till something better comes along) and the pudding will just keep growing back.

Looks at examples of the commercialisation of Anzac and concludes:

A regenerating pudding is what both the commercial and political Anzackers are counting on, the former because there are potentially big bucks in it, the latter because wrapping oneself in the flag, with moving music playing and a Victoria Cross winner or two nearby, never did a politician any harm.

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