Laughing at Aborigines now – An Aboriginal woman’s perspective

UPDATE – This post has suddenly become very popular.  New visitors to Paradigm Oz should be aware that this was posted before the new allegations against Noonan were put on youtube (post on that issue here ).  It was not written as a response to the youtube allegations. The complaint refered to was a complaint to the QUT Vice Chancellor relating to the representation of Aboriginal women in the footage.

Paradigm Oz regulars will know that I have been following the controversy over Michael Noonans movies and his Phd thesis “Laughing at/with the disabled”.

This is a link to my most recent article on the controversy which contains links to the other articles on the issue.  “Michael Noonan exposes his naughty bits”

Since  Noonan has released his controversial footage to the public it has been widely applauded and the criticism against it in the name of “the disabled”  has dissolved. 

However Noonan is still being criticised, this time for inappropriate representation of Aboriginal people in one of the released clips.

So Paradigm Oz asked Baganan Kurityityin Theresa Creed , a Kalkadoon and Pitta Pitta woman what her impressions were of the controversial Boulia Pub scene.

Baganan is not related to May, the Aboriginal woman in the footage, and cannot speak on her behalf.   She is however a traditional owner of Boulia.

This is what Baganan says………

(note Baganan is refering to James, one of the two stars of the clips when she speaks of “him” and “he”)

That was liable to happen because that was their intent to get a girlfriend for him. When he asked all the town folks and most of the girls up there had children so there wasn’t many to pick from who didnt have children.

It looked like a good mood where they were happy and cheerful and looking content with their interactions, content with each other.

Playful to the point of playfullness and a good time.

Aboriginal woman was very cautious with him, very careful with him, picked up straight away that he had disabilities and was able to give him that attention that he needed.

She was very careful with him and encouraging.

She was a very thoughtful person who was able to read where he was coming from and make sure that he felt accepted.

It was funny because this guy finally found someone after all this time, after looking everywhere, his heart was content then when he finally found someone.

The issue was to find out about a girlfriend, the issue was to go on a trip and find a girlfriend that can be good for him. Someone that was acceptable to him and acceptible to her.

Aboriginal women role in this movie was very powerful, she chose to be with him and understood the unspoken words of mental disability. She was woman affectionate as well as strong and straight, she wanted to be with him and she was sure of that, sure that she was with him, she made it happen.

She directed the playfulness and was able to get what she wanted which was his attention and they both got lost in each others joyfulness and had a playful time.

Racism could block the gap and peoples minds and make them get offended by this beautiful phenomenon. Once upon a time out west it was forbidden for black and white to be together and people who still suffer from that racism would have been very wild upset at seeing this happen.



Filed under Aboriginal, australia, disability, film, reconciliation, Uncategorized

13 responses to “Laughing at Aborigines now – An Aboriginal woman’s perspective

  1. Sally

    He watched on silently and in deep thought.
    The program he was watching touched him deeply.

    It was after all, he decided – his own story, his life, his own sorry predicament.

    As time went on the program “became” him – and now he was the program.

    Any attack on its intentions, its ethereal beauty, would be an attack on him, his world, his politics, and his worldviews. No one else matters.

    Narcissistic voyeurism is a powerful aphrodisiac – it’s what film makers strive to achieve and produce.

    It’s a symbiotic and highly erotic affair.

    Forget the real world values and our stance against racism, sexism and discrimination
    What matters is the dream, the surreal representation of reality

    What becomes the imperative is not the end product but the production values and how they are served up, reproduced and consumed again and again.

    The pitfall is that when the surveillance is sold as entertainment it allows for a mass-customized commodification that exploits the very people who willingly view and are viewed.

    What we now witness are clear examples of where the producer and the consumer (co generator?) are exaggerating their own importance and clinging to each other for validation of their own self-perception of not just each other, but that which they created as “themselves”.

    “It cannot be discriminatory because I do not see it discriminating”

    This is what narcissistic personalities do.

    They are unable to distinguish “being” from “seeming”, frauds from errors,
    anomalies from falsehoods, and rights from obligations.

    They cannot see who they have appropriated or discriminated against simply because they do not see beyond themselves.

    Discrimination cannot exist because there are no real people and if there are, they can only speak from a position of amicable support.

    They must remain captured – as the producers are themselves in their own dreams of the real.

    (editors note. “Sally” also posts as “Darren D.” on the “Naughty Bits” post)

  2. Three white men, two of them with intelectual disabilities, the other with academic disabilities conspire together to explore their own white common reality.

    To the surprise of them all as they explored the mysteries of Pitta Pitta country an Aborignal person is discovered to be part of the local reality.

    This person who, with neither intellectual or academic disabilities, afflicted only with compassion and curiosity, intervenes into the insulated white world of our three men, and then wants to be part of their Boulia Pub experience.

    Outrageous! shout the whinging squabbling horde of academics and activists.

    The man is a monster and Aboriginal people should be ignored, extinguishedand dismissed from the experience and cultural reproductions of Aboriginality by white cultural producers.

    The black entertainment industry suddenly collapses in its guilt ridden acceptence that they have sinned by performing in front of white cameras or on white stages.

    No Fixed Address and Us Mob are suddenly thrust into insignificance as they were simply constructions of a white film maker’s imagination in Wrong Side of the Road.

    David Gulpilil is exposed as just Paul Hogans glove puppet for his involvement in an white ocker narrative – Crocadile Dundee.

    Noel Pearson, Murrandoo Yanner and the Dodson Brothers dissolve from relevence and political reality as the enlightened realise they are just constructions of white journalists.

    The academic and activist protectors spin deeper into their vortex of esoteric theories, far removed from the corruptions of real people, especially the sinfull drinkers in the Boulia pub and they develop prescriptions for the definitions and parameters of Aboriginal discourse.

    Sleep well tonight Aboriginal people and people with intelectual disabilites. There are no longer any problems for you have been made invisible and silent, no harm can come to you.

    The articulations of the Academics and activists are as poetic as they are militant and will provide a soothing lullaby as you rest your anonymous heads.

  3. p.s. Sally,

    My white male perspective and self obsession prevented me from picking this up in my initial response.

    You said….

    “What we now witness are clear examples of where the producer and the consumer (co generator?) are exaggerating their own importance and clinging to each other for validation of their own self-perception of not just each other, but that which they created as “themselves”.”

    I notice that you have totally ignored Baganan’s perspective and limited your critique completely within the framework of white men.

    Is not the perspective of an Aboriginal woman consumer relevent, especially in matters of self perception and validation? Obviously not. Such opinion is not authorised within research protocol and should be ignored by any academics, especially white ones.

  4. Sally

    while it seems you’d like to be one, you’re not a black woman. I am.

    Need to sort out your own positioning there…very mixed up..speaking ‘about’ and then ‘for’ and then ‘as’ a black women.


  5. (Oh no! Baganan has something else to say. I wonder if it is appropriate to include the perspective of an Aboriginal woman on a white man’s blog? I am unsure of who’s permission I should ask?)

    From Baganan

    james went to meet his princess but instead he meet his queen of Boulia a match of genuane curiosity and affection and their meeting and respons to each was very touching and exciting wish that there was more footage of them together and around town

    as an aboriginal women i feel that may was having a good time and not hurting any one she was intoxicated but new what was going on and she was ver much intitled to be with who ever she wanted to be with Ifeel very muched aroused that love can be forund in the buolia pub i feel that may was very gentle in her aproach to james as a aboriginal women its like my auntie my mothers my sisters my neice it speaks to me like all of them

  6. Sally,

    except for my introductory remarks the above article is the perspective of an Aboriginal woman.

    We happen to agree on the matter but that is no reason to dismiss her perspective.

    Positioning – read the blog. I clearly and repeatedly (monotonously) identify as non-indigenous, sometimes more specific in terms of Irish.

    Unless specifically noted such as the above article and the above comment from Baganan, I have never claimed that anything in this blog represents anything but my own white opinion. I am clear and confident on matters of my own identity although I understand that may be confusing to others. But that is your problem, not mine.

  7. p.s.from baganun

    not to forget my cousins and sisters and great grndmothers who have the time of their live in the pub

  8. This blog is a bit like a university.

    It is a white male institution but it has a series of Aboriginal reference groups, consultants and advisors.

    I take my advice seriously, which is the difference between this blog and universities.

  9. Sally,

    You have the same I.P. address as Darren D on the other thread. It seems I am not the one with problems of identity.

    Who are you? man or woman, black or white? academic or human?

    The dishonesty of the attempts to smear Noonan, and now myself, is disgusting.

  10. I was hoping not to make comment on Baganan’s comments as they are clear enough of themselves.

    But since Sally/Darren failed to even notice them I draw readers attention to the fact that she identified with the image of a strong and caring Aboriginal woman.

    The criticism of this footage in terms of Aboriginal representation has focused on the allegation that May was drunk and that this negative image of a drunken Aborigine should not have been captured by a white film maker.

    However it is the academic wowsers who have portrayed May as shamefull and something to be hidden from view.

    They have demanded that Aboriginal images should be sanitised so as not to appeal to racist sterotyppes of, for example, drunkenness. Yet these wowsers have been so obsessed with shame that they have failed to see May’s humanity or her power in this short footage. It is these self appointed advocates that have belittled her, called her drunk and accused her of mauling James.

    Darren/Sally and the rest of the MacLennan and Hookham camp have no more interest in Aboriginal people than they did for disabled people when they launched the first round of their dishonest smear campaign against Noonan.

    This latest complaint to QUT – by a white person – is just the cynical next move in the perverted power game played by white academics and ideologues in a dishonest attempt to justify the unjustifiable and now discredited attacks on Noonan’s film work.

  11. Sally

    Getting a touch upset ?

    Have the guts to front up when the shit hits the fan and admit you were wrong.

    Front the community you keep on speaking on behalf of but don’t belong to.

    But you won’t.

  12. No Sally/Darren I am not getting upset. I find you funny in a pathetic sort of way. I am wondering if it is appropriate to laugh at you.

    My purpose for running this thread was to support Noonan against dishonest attacks.

    You have assisted greatly with your abuse here and on the other thread. Did you not think I would check IP numbers? You have proved my point better than anything I could have said – i thank you for that.

    I find your racist paternalistic and absolute dismissal of Baganan’s opinion to be a good indication of your capacity to comment on the representation of Aboriginal woman.

    Baganan and I would be happy to attend any community meeting on this issue. I have allready made this offer to Victor Hart of the QUT Oodgeroo Unit.

  13. I am going to close the comments on this thread now. I invited Baganan to offer an opinion but Sally/Darren have chosen this as an opportunity to attack me. It seems there is not going to be any discussion, only shit throwing so I will not subject Baganan to any further disrespect and reconvene the slanging match to another post.

    All comments welcome here….