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Rolf Harris – once was a great Aussie now just a dirty old Pom?

by SockPuppet ( a try hard blogger that trys)

rolf-harris-3

If anything demonstrates that Aussies have not lost their cultural cringe its this editorial written by Fairfuxed journo Tony Wright  about how we always knew Rolf Harris was not quite right, not cool and not great and not really one of us. Read it. It says a lot about us and how we now disown this once-was-an-Aussie-icon.

This is us washing our hands of the guy who put Aus on the world entertainment map one hell of a long time ago. I will make my insiteful comments and summary of this matter at the end of Wrights embarassing wise-in-hindsight piece of cringeworthy crap:

Rolf Harris always ridiculous, really

By TONY WRIGHT

MUCH modern nonsense has been written about Rolf Harris’ role in elevating Australia’s reputation in the world of entertainment and how he was a national treasure before “The Fall”.

Truth is, when he was gathering his peculiar form of fame in the 1960s, he was not much more than an embarrassing curiosity to an Australian generation in search of something approaching cool.

His unchallenging, cloying joviality was mostly popular with parents born even before him, which didn’t help his cause.

He wore a chin-beard from the vanished beatnik era, which didn’t improve things.

He had moved from Perth to England in 1952, aged 22.

He turned his energy to exploiting his short Australian heritage into a British music-hall caricature of itself. Some national treasure!

His big song, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, set back the hope of Australian cool about half a century, even though The Beatles sang backing vocals to it during a 1963 concert.

Tie Me Kangaroo Down was an unlikely blend of comical patter pretending to be from the Australian bush, and calypso, music with roots in the Afro-Caribbean population of Trinidad and had morphed into lounge entertainment for the terminally middle-aged.

“Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl” was a humorous enough line, and “Mind me platypus duck, Bill” was clever.

But even in the early ’60s, plenty of us bridled at “Let me Abos go loose, Lou; They’re of no further use, Lou”. The verse was, unsurprisingly, deleted some years later, but Harris didn’t express regret for writing it for another 40 years.

Our TV screens were regularly visited during the ’60s by BBC shows featuring Rolf painting on masonite – something he was talented at – playing his wobble board, and hopping around in his frankly ridiculous guise as “Jake the Peg” with the extra leg, diddle eedle eedle um.

We should have guessed.

Another of his big hits was not much more than syrup: Two Little Boys.

Margaret Thatcher declared it her favourite song. Of course.

The British public, who have always enjoyed syrup and comics like Benny Hill, and had fallen in love with good old Rolf from the colonies because he made them feel better about not emigrating, sent it to No.1 for six weeks.

It took decades for Harris to gain anything faintly resembling cool.

In the early 1990s, he recorded his version of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.

The spectacle of a silly old bloke replacing Jimmy Page’s guitar with a wobble board and Robert Plant’s voice with Rolf’s strangled croak was so absurd it was judged brilliant by a generation lost to 1980s spandex-pop.

When it comes down to it, Harris was a song and dance man who lived most of his life in England, painted the Queen and used a confected Australian accent when it suited him.

And he was, if he were to seek old-time Australian vernacular to describe in song the activities for which he will be remembered, a kiddie fiddler.

We were right from the start. The man was never cool at all. He was, and remains, an embarrassing curiosity.

Insiteful comment/criteak starts here:

Look, it is easy to say all this that Wright has said and distance yourself from Dirty Old Rolf by putting down his whole life and claiming he was never ‘one of us’ and ‘we never liked him anyway’ and he was ‘more English than Aussie’ but I ask you this groundbreaking question:

GROUNDBREAKING QUESTION: Why?

Why do we feel the need to disown Rolf now that its been proven he was a groping kiddy fiddler and will probably spend some time (maybe his final years) locked up in the Old Bailey?

Why? Well this is why. I will tell you why. Right now. On the next line. After “Answer”:

GROUNDBREAKING ANSWER: Because we as a nation are not yet fully grown up.

Okay I hear your stunned silences and/or your “Huh?” reactions to my groundbreaking answer so I will explain it to you. I will put it in words that even a child could understand. Its like this:

1. Think of Aus like its a person.

2. A male person.

3. Now think of what makes a male person grown up and mature. A real man.

4. Well there are lots of things that make a male person an adult and a real man and one of them (a big one) is this (see 5) (below)

5. A mature adult MAN – a real MAN – owns up to his mistakes and does not make excuses or pretend what happened was an accident and rewrite history.

You see that is exactly what Wright is doing. He is disowning Harris as an “embarrassing curiosity”, as someone who was not really an Aussie who “lived most of his life in England, painted the Queen and used a confected Australian accent when it suited him”. He is rewriting history and making excuses. He is saying that Rolf Harris was an accident and we are not responsible for foisting this kiddy fiddler on the world.

But Rolf Harris was and still is an Aussie and until about a year or so ago when all this stuff first came out we – that is most Aussies – wore him like a friggin’ badge of honour because even though he was not “cool” (far from it) and even though he lived overseas and even though he was a bit of a dork guess what? He was a huge friggin’ success and we were proud of him. Super proud.

And now we are not proud of him. We are “embarrassed” and we seek to make excuses and disown him. We are not mature to do that. A mature nation would not say what Wright has said (and believe me Wright is reflecting the general attitude here).

No. A mature nation would respond more like this or words to this effect perhaps expanded on but you will get the gist:

Rolf Harris was an Aussie great who has fallen from grace in a bloody big way. We are all shocked and mortified that one of our most treasured Aussie achievers has been shown to have had a real dark side – the darkest of all sides – a person who molested children. A dirty old man. It goes to prove that even (or especially) the greatest achievers among us are usually flawed. Some more than others. None it seems more flawed than Rolf Harris. We will forever hold Rolf’s achievements high and never disown him. We thank him for his boldness and ambitious career that helped put Aussie culture on the world map albeit in a rather jingoistic but nonetheless relevant way. But we can never forget or forgive him for bringing shame on himself. And on us. We are a great nation that has produced many great people and champions in all types of pursuits. Rolf was one of those. A big one. We regret that it turned out as it did.

There I have done it again. I don’t know how I done it (or why) but I reckon no one else is saying what I just wrote – you know …. the truth.

GROW UP AUSTRALIA.

.

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14 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    I’ll agree with you that we are a nation that hasn’t yet fully grown up, one reason why we still hold on to the Anglo/Royalty apron strings. I’d also add to that we still haven’t realised that white supremacy fell into a rather large hole as various colonised countries threw off the yoke from the 50’s.

    I must admit that as a ‘Bassendean Boy’ [a long time ago now] I never much liked Rolf’s persona or music. But he did make a success of what he did as is now also evidenced by the number of family hanging off his earnings. Like so many he had a dark and dirty secret which has now been revealed and effectively destroyed everything that he created. Given the current Royal Commission in our Oz, there, under the name of God, go an awful lot of others.

    There’s no question that his sexual predation of young children was disgusting, and to be abhorred. As is that of anyone else. And that’s makes you wonder why there is not the same degree of indignation about those perpetrators (and those that protect them) currently being identified in Australia?

  2. Richard Ryan says:

    not funny Richard play nicer
    Iain

  3. SockPuppet says:

    Wait for the law suits deknarf. There is a plethora of ‘offended lasssies’ lining up to get there hands on Rolfie’s $millions.

  4. deknarf says:

    Moral of the story? Don’t sexually abuse people and not expect social and financial retribution — except if you’re of a religious bent?

  5. GD says:

    deknarf spews:

    we are a nation that hasn’t yet fully grown up, one reason why we still hold on to the Anglo/Royalty apron strings. I’d also add to that we still haven’t realised that white supremacy fell into a rather large hole as various colonised countries threw off the yoke from the 50′s.

    This crap about we haven’t grown up as a country is bullshit. Why should we turn our backs on the society and institutions that enabled our now great Australia. It wouldn’t have have happened under the Russians, or the Chinese and definitely not the backward Muslims. WTF is it with leftards that they can’t acknowledge their heritage instead of trying to re-invent it?

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Why should we turn our backs on the society and institutions that enabled our now great Australia.

    We are already independent in case you didn’t know, GD. It happened in 1901. If we were to take the next step and remove the Queen as our head of State and remove the flag of GB from our flag that would in no way amount to “turning our back on Great Britain”. It wouldn’t be the slightest bit disrespectful and the Queen and GB would not give a flying folk dance.

    Anyway what’s your opinion on Sock’s Rolf post and the other one? You were the one who wanted him back.

  7. richard ryan says:

    The Union Jack, a symbol of violent colonial oppression of the original inhabitants of this continent, a symbol of murder,pillage, theft, rape, and many other acts of human rights. Let us remove this evil symbol, the Union Jack, off the Australian flag

  8. SockPuppet says:

    Let us remove this evil symbol, the Union Jack, off the Australian flag

    We should jackoff on the union jack on our flag Richie? That would not be nice.

  9. GD says:

    If we were to take the next step and remove the Queen as our head of State and remove the flag of GB from our flag that would in no way amount to “turning our back on Great Britain”. It wouldn’t be the slightest bit disrespectful and the Queen and GB would not give a flying folk dance.

    And it would achieve what exactly…..leftists wanking about how ‘independent’ we are? Leftists, forever symbolic and apologetic yet effectually shambolic when it comes to delivering the goods.

    I once knew a band call the Symbolics, there was Sym the singer and the rest were bollocks.

    Boom boom

  10. GD says:

    There is a plethora of ‘offended lasssies’ lining up to get there hands on Rolfie’s $millions.

    And haven’t they suddenly come out of the woodwork…

    btw good post sockie. I reckon your re-write of cringing politically correct Fewfacts journo Tony Wright is spot on. Reckon I owe you and Laura a slab and a couple of these:

    Keep up the good work, we bogans need ya’

  11. SockPuppet says:

    Its like now Bambi has been shot everyone wants to get in and have a good feed from him GigGuy. I hope hes put all his assets in his wifes name or sumthing. Thanks for the booze it will keep Laura going (down).

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    And it would achieve what exactly

    Cutting those ties with the Monarchy and finally getting our own flag (instead of one that has the flag of GB on it) would indeed be “symbolic” of our true independence and culture. You seem to be saying that the symbols under which we identify ourself as a nation don’t matter – well they do. Why do you think private industry spends $billions of dollars every year on creating and shaping their public images, branding and symbols? Do you think it might have something to do with market perception of their products? Well, the market perception of Australia – including among many trading partners – is that we are still connected to the British Colonial Empire. Do you realise that billions of people in Asia (our most important market) think Australia is actually still owned by England? They do and it is holding us back, GD. Think of it this way:

    If you were still getting around in the school uniform that your mummy bought you and you were going around strumming ‘God Save the Queen’ at all your gigs, how much work do you think you’d get? It’s about showing the world we are grown up, independent and here to do business.

    And then there’s the the sense of national pride such a move would engender. That’s an intangible benefit but a very real one nonetheless.

  13. GD says:

    It’s about showing the world we are grown up, independent and here to do business.

    Ray, I doubt seriously whether any nation considers our ties to Great Britain when conducting trade with us. That is simply more symbolic, leftist projection.

    As for:

    If you were still getting around in the school uniform that your mummy bought you and you were going around strumming ‘God Save the Queen’ at all your gigs

    It seemed to work alright for Angus Young, multi-millionaire at last count. He didn’t strum ‘God Save The Queen’, he left that up to Johnny Rotten.

    The Sex Pistols felt the same way as you Ray, completely deluded..

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    I doubt seriously whether any nation considers our ties to Great Britain when conducting trade with us

    It’s not the “nations” that conduct trade with us it’s their private citizens and business people. They see Australia as part of Great Britain and don’t see us as independent and grown up. It affects our trade.

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