The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

Hauser ’ s KITTY re­view of Blub­ber­land by El­iz­a­beth Far­relly Re­view , De­cem­ber ( 15- 16) de­tected de­fects in the way the mes­sage was pre­sented, but we do need to hear a lot

ar­chi­tec­ture’ s more about pend­ing death as a pub­lic phe­nom­e­non. Ar­chi­tec­ture has been pri­va­tised and mo­nop­o­lised by the wealthy elite, while the great lump of Aus­tralians get Boyd’ s

The stuck into blub­ber. Since Robin Aus­tralian Ug­li­ness in the 1960s, there has been no crit­i­cal as­sess­ment of the dross we have wall­pa­pered this poor con­ti­nent with. Churchill said we make our build­ings, then they make us. His in­sight ex­plains why we have be­come such an ugly, shal­low and pa­thetic bunch. We are con­fronted by a na­tional scan­dal fu­elled by philis­tine politi­cians, and our artists are mute. What a cow­ardly bunch! Or ig­no­rant. It has to be one or the other. Greg Hamil­ton Hy­land Park, NSW about th­ese fas­ci­nat­ing and beloved school texts, visit www. austLit. edu. au. Clare Brad­ford Deakin Univer­sity, Melbourne

Fraser’ s I WAS hor­ri­fied by Jane flip­pant par­al­lel be­tween vi­o­lent crim­i­nal be­hav­iour

‘‘ . ( bank rob­bing) and bipo­lar dis­or­der: . . a bank rob­ber into a wor­thy cit­i­zen sadly

bipo­lar­ism’’ . smit­ten by ( Re­view , De­cem­ber 8- 9). Not only is this par­al­lel a grossly in­ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of what a bipo­lar per­son un­der­goes when suf­fer­ing a mood swing, it sug­gests they are in­clined to vi­o­lent crim­i­nal be­hav­iour. In fact, peo­ple with a men­tal ill­ness are sta­tis­ti­cally more likely to be the vic­tims of vi­o­lence than the per­pe­tra­tors. Sug­gest­ing a bipo­lar per­son is likely to com­mit vi­o­lent crime be­cause of a mood swing is as ig­no­rant as state­ments that iden­tify AIDS as a gay dis­ease vis­ited upon ho­mo­sex­u­als be­cause of their life­styles. At­ti­tudes such as th­ese de­lay suf­fer­ers in seek­ing the help they so des­per­ately need for fear of be­ing stig­ma­tised and be­com­ing so­cial pari­ahs. The con­se­quences of de­lay­ing treat­ment can be fa­tal. Most of those with bipo­lar dis­or­der, just like the wider com­mu­nity, do not be­have in a vi­o­lent or an­ti­so­cial man­ner. Most of those with bipo­lar dis­or­der par­tic­i­pate and con­trib­ute to our com­mu­nity in a pos­i­tive and worth­while man­ner, just like ev­ery­one else. Asha Say­hina Townsville, Queens­land

Murray ’ s ROBERT in­ter­est­ing piece on the Vic­to­rian school read­ers and pa­per ( Re­view Novem­ber 24- 25) cer­tainly struck a chord with a small group of lit­er­ary re­searchers work­ing within the AustLit na­tional data­base. Since Septem­ber, a project funded by the Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil has been un­der way us­ing the col­lec­tions of Deakin Univer­sity li­brary and the State Li­brary of Vic­to­ria, and call­ing on their spe­cial­ist staff to in­dex the com­plete con­tents of the eight Vic­to­rian read­ers and the school pa­pers for the years 1928- 30. When com­pleted in early 2008, this dataset will pro­vide a snap­shot of Vic­to­rian school read­ing for the pe­riod. To find out more

Robin Boyd

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