Sunday Territorian 5 Nov 2017
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5 2017 OPINION 13 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA ITS a funny thing, offence. Even dictionaries have trouble pinning down what it is exactly, most defining it as being annoyed by some perceived insult and handily providing a bunch of synonyms that may contain the word umbrage, which is one of my favourites. A long time ago, an angry reader chased me through the NT News carpark armed with an umbrella. She was umbraged beyond belief, although I cant recall exactly why. That happens from time to time in the cartooning business. You cant please all the readers all the time but I can run pretty fast when I have to. Whats harder to outrun, though, are the good intentions of governments. The damned things are everywhere. Most of the time thats a welcome thing, until they stray into areas beyond their level of expertise, like feelings. These days it seems everybody has been hurt by something or been seriously aggrieved in some way, possibly by a post on social media, or graffiti or, if youre a vegan, a picture of a sausage. In an effort to address this pressing issue, Australia is boldly striding towards Orwells 1984, possibly because we missed it when it was actually 1984. Here, the Gunner Government is looking at modernising our existing antidiscrimination regime to make people nicer by law. If youre not nice you could face fines, be ordered to pay compensation and have to sell your dog for scientific experimentation to pay for it. People of faith, it seems, are also in the firing line, propelling these proposed legislative changes into waters never before charted in modern Australia. Good intentions all around. Of course, the basic problem is that things like this are generally driven by a slightly skewed world view that presumes there is something deeply wrong with most of us and that something needs correcting. Oddly, some Australians find that idea offensive, but thats how it goes. Some ideas can offend just as well as a sausage can. And theres the rub. Certain ideas are now seen as so offensive to civilised society that shooting the messenger has become a preferred option. And governments have made that much easier to do, regardless of the message. Intentionally or not, weve managed to weaponise antidiscrimination laws to the point they have the potential to be used as a blunt instrument to stifle legitimate debate, effectively kill off some of the more difficult national conversations we need to have and suppress ideas seen as beyond the bounds of accepted thought. Increasingly, whats acceptable and whats not in this context is being defined by people hurling insults at other people on Twitter on behalf of other people who may or may not have been offended by something the other person wrote, drew or said. The most bizarre aspect is that a lot of the hurlers believe tent, it wont make or break your future career. It wont affect where you will be in 10 years. There are so many alternate pathways after everything is done. All you can do is your best and I am sure that will be more than good enough. Dont sweat the small stuff good luck! Marcus Valastro their right to free speech is somehow more guaranteed than anyone elses, even gasp the odd cartoonist. Strangely, freely tossing around ideas and being able to talk about them without fear of retribution is the cornerstone of Western democracy. Its how we are supposed to do things. Our political masters, protected as they are by whichever Parliament they serve, seemingly cant get their collective heads around this. Maybe theyre too busy looking for offensive sausages on Twitter. Anyway, I will continue to do what I do and see how things play out, although I may start buying more Lotto tickets. You know, just in case. Col Wicking is a cartoonist for the NT News and Sunday Territorian completed Year 12 at Darwin High School and was awarded top indigenous NTCET student of 2016. He also plays for the Waratahs in the NTFL COL WICKING: Shooting the messenger has become a preferred option ... regardless of the message a practice exam so your brain gets used to working for that amount of time. At the end of the day, remember although exams may affect your ATAR to some ex earlier on exam day and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Dont just study here and there throughout the day, allocate yourself a three-hour block to study intensively or do ON PEOPLE BEING BANNED FROM CLIMBING ULURU Its called Ayers Rock belongs to all Australians. And if you want to climb it you should be allowed. Glenn Hanning To say its only a rock! Uluru is a must see for all Australians, it is spectacular ... We didnt climb it out of respect and its dangerous. Michelle Keremelevich Do the custodians consider what the economic flow down will be as a result of fewer visitors and/or shorter stays at the resort. Craig Hurren Id guess that I wouldnt be able to go to the Vatican, climb all over it and leave garbage at the top. Not sure why Uluru would be different? Merric Foley The elders always tell you not to climb it because you will have bad luck. But people still climb it. No respect Brenton Rouvray I have always thought that the beautiful Rock should not be climbed. Just stand back and view with awe. Aileen Falvey HIRO SNAGS A $10,000 BARRA He probably froze time to grab the fish. Cheeky bastard Mark Fenton Are any tourists actually winning though being the whole purpose but good on all the locals killing it Ryan Birch Never a more deserving winner ... Congrats Hiro, we all love your work!! Christian Cunningham Well done Hiro, a guy I would love to wet a line with. Well deserved winner. karma at work Ray Rowe ON DARWINS WILD WEATHER It wasn't that huge. Just looked mean. And its no wonder with all the heat and static air around. We are in for a few crackin ones this year. Irene Angel How I miss those incredible storms and the wonderful heavy rain, sounds like Darwin is in for a big wet ... stay safe everyone ... Paulene Kittler Beautiful watching it from the waterfront couldnt even see Stokes wharf at one point!! Melanie Freys I do miss the storms but not heat and humidity!!!!! Karen Chilcott Enjoying some storms while were here for a few weeks, but not the humidity! Anne Bastian Impressive. The rain was going sideways in the city! Cassandra Buckley Exam success all routine ... no sweat Year 12 exams can be stressful for students throughout Australia