16 December 2005

Something Else Getting No News Coverage

The New York Times is too busy featuring another non-trend among rich parents (this one on expensive electronics for infants) on its front page to cover the race riots in Sydney. I may work up a snarky post on the Times stuff--although that's feeling too easy these days--but the Australia story makes me sad. I spent 2 months in Australia when I was on sabbatical a few years ago, and I found the positioning of multiculturalism very different from that in the US. I remember a tour guide at the Victoria parliament building tour in Melbourne: he was retired, giving tours of the building, and he talked about growing up in Melbourne and how it was a much whiter place when he was a boy, a much less interesting place. And I thought how hard it was for me to imagine someone of my father's generation in America making the same kind of statement. Not that I was romanticizing a multicultural Australia, just that it seemed that there had been a different playing out of cultural scripts. It was interesting to be somewhere that in many ways is so like the US (former British colony, love of independence and informality, a sense of frontier, bad relations with indigenous people, history of immigration, etc.) and that in some ways developed so differently from the US.

Some days I really wonder what kind of work Curious Girl and her fellow children will be inhabiting.

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