Watch the video for a broad overview of the Bond Store and the exhibitions we visited. Use this to identify some broad themes that we will explore further.
Zaphod, Ford and Trillian discover the point-of-view gun:
What do we learn about each of the characters? What do each of them value?
Why won’t the gun work on Trillian? What is the joke?
Stan doesn’t get it:
Why can’t Stan understand how it feels?
In reporting on the issues surrounding asylum seekers and refugees, the Australian government and media often present us with texts that create a narrow representation of asylum seekers in our country. They have through carefully constructing their language positioned the reader to hold a negative attitude towards asylum seekers and refugees. Quite often the media describe asylum seekers as ‘boat people’ or ‘illegal immigrants’ but it is stated by Australian Greek author Christos Tsiolkas that in fact 85% of boat people are genuine refugees and that as signatories to the UN refugee convention we are obliged to offer these people asylum. On the other side of the scale though coalition candidate Fiona Scott argues that the primary cause of traffic jams in sub urban places are initiated due to the increasing number of refugees and opposition leader Tony Abbott also states that ‘the point of the matter is if we stop the boats we will have less pressure on the budget’. That budget being the pension. Abbott has injected a $420 million dollar budget into buying boats of Indonesian fisherman and stem the flow of refugees. The fact of the matter is, is that our governments and press have demonized boat people for 15 years. Organizations like the asylum seeker resource Centre worry they’re fighting a losing battle. Refugees are so generalized that many people are led to believe that our country is being flooded when in fact only around 8,600 refugees are made legal, since though refugees are so over generalized by the media and government this leads us to believe that boat people are the leading contributors to our influcuating traffic problems and that they are stealing our jobs, this then positions the reader to become defensive toward refugees. Abbott states that buying the fisherman’s boats will help stop the asylum seekers but several of the fishermen said that this would only allow then to buy bigger and better boats for the use of transporting refugees overseas. In relation to the arrival of asylum seekers in our borders, the word predominately used by the media announce it as ‘intercepted another boat’, the word intercept is used so often in our median that every time the public read about boat people they become hostile towards them as the word intercepted suggests wrongdoing by the boat’s passengers. It also positions the reader to accept the harsh treatment of refugees by constantly using the word ‘intercepted’. The lack of broader context in each and every text creates a narrow representation of the reality facing asylum seekers, this then leads to the reader feeling less sympathetic towards asylum seekers. Because of the broad narrow representation created by the media and government gives us less potential to think and speak critically about the asylum seeking topic, if the media gave the full information in articles it would allow us to be unbiased towards refugees. Yet since they provide information that fails to inform us of all aspects of the topic we act hostile towards the topic. I believe this is wrong as every human being should have equal rights no matter what color or where they are from.
When reporting on the issue of gay marriage, Kevin Rudd plays a controversial part. Rudd used to have a strong negative opinion of this issue however lately his opinion has changed and he now supports gay marriage. The Australian media have reported on this not by discussing the issue but by discussing Rudd’s change-of-heart. This method of reporting positions the reader to have a strong opinion of Rudd and not the issue itself.
When describing Rudd’s parliamentary strategy, one news article, ‘Kevin Rudd: My shift on same- sex marriage’ (The Australian, 2013) the author, Brad Norington refers to Rudd’s decision as “a difficult personal journey” which suggests that Rudd struggled to reverse his opinion on same-sex marriage. This places the reader to sympathise with Rudd and to admire the struggle that he went through to change his long-held position.
In the same article, Norington includes snippets of Tony Abbott’s opinion on same-sex marriage. “Like Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott is opposed to same-sex marriage.” The fact that Norington only includes small parts of Abbotts view positions the reader to perceive Abbott and his views as inferior to Rudd’s. Abbott’s opinion of same-sex marriage is represented in the article ‘Same-sex marriage push a ‘fashion of the moment’, says Tony Abbott’ (The Australian, 2013) the phrase “fashion of the moment” suggests that people wanting to legalise gay marriage will soon lose interest in the topic.
While the number of people seeming comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage is increasing, the number of concerns being raised is also increasing. The use of language from both texts positions the reader to value the right to make their own decisions. The variety of opinions from the members of parliament give the reader a chance to make an informed decision on whether they believe that same-sex marriage should be legalised in Australia.
Norington, B. The Australian (May 212013) [online] Accessed: 06/09/13 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/kevin-rudd-my-shift-on-same-sex-marriage/story-fn59niix-1226647250264
AAP. The Australian (August 14 2013) [online] Accessed: 13/09/13 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/election-2013/
In reading the two news articles ‘Greens leader visits Pontville Detention Centre’ (Tasmanian Times, 2013) and ‘School children band together to send a message of welcome to asylum seekers (The Mercury 2013) the Australian media misrepresent children asylum seekers. Through a range of language features, texts in the media that are supposed to inform tend to create a narrow representation of their harsh reality and position readers to value equality for children.
In one news article ‘Greens leader visits Pontville Detention Centre’ (Tasmanian Times, 2013), language has been used to persuade readers to be against asylum seekers. The text shows readers that children in detention facilities are being under privileged in the media because they give society and authorities the impression that they are not welcome in our country. This writing places readers to value equality for innocent children in detention facilities, and shows that Australian media choose to ignore children immigrants in a professional aspect because their status isn’t seen highly in society and assume readers won’t want to hear about it.
A different news article from The Mercury, ‘School children band together to send message of welcome to asylum seekers’ (The Mercury, 2013) also puts forward a similar message as ‘Greens leader visits Pontville Detention Centre’. The representation of young asylum seekers in Australian media is that they don’t get the same chance of life as others do outside of detention centres. This article shows a school raising money to buy dictionaries for the children in Pontville so they can have an equal chance at receiving an education. The article quotes that year 6 students from St Mary’s in Hobart “displayed signs reading welcome in different languages” to the young migrants. This shows readers that children and schools are ready to welcome asylum seekers into our state and education system but people in the media represent them as vulnerable people.
The use of language in both news articles show readers that the media represent children as people who are not supposed to be in Australia and therefore shouldn’t receive the same things others outside detentions do. The lack of equality that is given in these texts shows that children asylum seekers in the media are generally represented as inferior to others in society outside of detention facilities.
Tasmanian Times (2013) ‘Greens leader visits Pontville Detention Centre’ (online). Available from http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/greens-leader-visits-pontville-detention-centre/
The Mercury (2013) ‘school children band together to send a message of welcome to asylum seekers’ (online). Available from http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/school-children-band-together-to-send-message-of-welcome-to-asylum-seekers/story-fnj4f7k1-1226709315196
The language within the two articles “Turnbull’s fragmented NBN dooms Australia to repeat the mistakes of the past” published by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ on September 4th and “NBN’s glimmer of hope” by Mark Gregory, published by ‘Business Spectator’ show the audience the power that politicians and the government have over simple issues by valuing the cultural representations of Australia such as equality and using local workers to manufacture and install products instead of larger national or international giants.
Australian society highly values local work over international and national efforts, Gregory’s article reveals to the audience through and uses dramatic, negative language such as ‘terminate’ and ‘failure’ (Business Spectator, 2013) to position readers to view the national contractors in a negative light. Comparatively to this is when Gregory talks about the local contractors using words such as ‘experienced’ and phrases such as “one wearing a camel back to remain hydrated in the extreme heat” show the audience the ingenuity and detail that these local contractors bring to the job, and revealing to us that local contractors can be just as good if not better than larger company giants.
On the contrary to valuing local workers is the Sydney Morning Herald’s article which is written to position the audience to see equality within our society via the use of highly dramatised quotes such as “hotch potch broadband infrastructure and monopolistic quagmire created by decades of market failure and regulatory impotence – an environment which empowered the monster that is Telstra” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2013) to position the audience to see that the government, primarily that the coalition are to blame for the shaky infrastructure of our copper networks. With this is a quote about Malcolm Turnbull saying “he’s open to the idea of letting competing telcos build different parts of the NBN – allowing them to cherry-pick the profitable suburbs while making it harder for NBN Co to sustain the network in less profitable areas” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2013) showing to the audience the inequality that the coalition government brings to Australian citizens by using dramatic words such as ‘cherry-pick’ to reinforce the ideas and issues that appear with Turnbull’s policy, also showing the values of competition within the businesses competing to try and get the better parts of the NBN and therefore get a better profit. The article also uses the author’s opinion saying “Turnbull’s plan is exactly the kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2013) by using this quote and the negative language and tone that it contains, the audience is positioned to see that the coalition’s National Broadband Network scheme is a horrible idea for todays society to have to suffer with.
The values of Australia’s cultural representations that present within these two articles are that of contradictory statements yet combine together in another way to show us that we should have equal amounts of local contractors and national contractors within our society and not over amounts of either. Though is also shows us that we always seem to have someone to blame for our problems no matter who they are and what prevalence they have to the situation.
Gregory, M 2013 NBN’s glimmer of hope, Business Spectator, accessed 4 September 2013, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/5/technology/nbns-glimmer-hope
Turnbull’s fragmented NBN dooms Australia to repeat the mistakes of the past, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 4 September 2013, http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/turnbulls-fragmented-nbn-dooms-australia-to-repeat-the-mistakes-of-the-past-20130904-2t4cr.html