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Honesty + Australia

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Honesty + Australia

Andrew Ryan

photo credit: Emma Phillips

This week I have been thinking about how I’ve just started a degree in communications, and I have been thinking about Australian politics. Tonight, I have been thinking about honesty.

So many people I know appreciate honesty, which makes me wonder, does that mean that everybody appreciates honesty? Does everyone I have never met care about honesty? Do the majority? Or is it just the people I take the time to know? If it is the latter, is that because we’ve all searched each other out, anomalous feather-birds seeking desperately to find our thought/feel kin amongst a predominantly (and terrifyingly) dishonest world?

At the gig I watched tonight, the guitarist of one band introduced the song they were about to play as a new one. She then checked herself, and told the audience that she was once told to never tell the audience that a song was new. And then the drummer grabbed her microphone and was all “Fuck that shit, we’re being honest” and then she made a really satisfied facial expression. Was it a revelation? It was certainly something, like a kick in the teeth of whoever said that thing in the first place. A stand-up-and-proclaim-this-honesty moment. Both the drummer and the guitarist felt it important to say this thing out loud. This honesty. And the small crowd continued sipping their drinks, and rubbing their love-interests’ respective legs, waiting for the music to happen.

I imagine that original statement was an attempt at a marketing thing.

How does the marketing steez in that situation work? What is the purpose of holding back the truth of the newness of a song? The audience will probably be able to tell the difference between the well practised/many played songs and the songs that are fresh on the arms of whichever musicians are playing before them. I’m pretty sure they would, even if they didn’t know that was the difference between the quality of performance/song, even if they weren’t seasoned music listeners- they would be able to see a difference. Why would someone impart this advice? From where I sit, on the ground, on a step, stepped on and steeped in an appreciation of the honesty in music, I don’t see the logic.

So, is it dishonesty that leads to profit (much of this world being profit driven as it is)? From what I can perceive, it is necessary to exploit things in this world to create a profit. Exploit the unknowingness of live music punters, exploit the anticipation of ready consumers, exploit the resources that lie deep within the land.

Is exploitation dishonesty? Or are they separate?

To be exploited implies a certain amount of not-knowing. A punter doesn’t know that the song is new. What profit comes from that? The profit of an interest in the dynamics of a band’s set, I suppose. Interest in a potential future sale.

A consumer is waiting to have a certain thing in their possession, and they anticipate that thing, whatever it is, because they’ve been told it is worthy of possession, and they need.to.know.why. So they exchange something for that knowledge, and it is usually money.

The resources that are taken from the land are taken only for that exchange of things, always money, and those resources are without consciousness, so they cannot protest, in Anglo-Saxon cultural thinking at least. But what about when another culture, born of that land, has emotional ties to that land which lie as deep- if not deeper than- the minerals within it; have emotional ties running through the veins of all the things that grew on that on that land, who scream when their blood and rocks are wrenched from the planet without ceremonious reverence, without thanks?

To create a profit, someone has to loose what another is gaining. To exploit, one is making full use of and deriving benefit from something, in an unfair or underhanded way.

How many human beings actually value honesty?

But I digress. There are men doing honest dances to the live bands, wearing honest pants, and honest shoes. I am not sure of the honesty of their haircuts.

Honestly, they probably look much better in the nude than they do clothed.

Honestly, I probably look like an asshole clapping at the end of a song with a pen in my mouth.

A culture of acceptance around brutal honesty. Around around around.

Overheard in the beer garden tonight:

1. “The biggest misconception about acting is that it’s lying, but it’s the TRUTH.”

2. “The government should push towards making beers in the morning acceptable.”
“Well, the government isn’t ever gunna do what we want, are they?”
…a brief conversation about a lack of unity in the country entails.

If you don’t know something, then either you a) haven’t seen it, b) haven’t gone searching for it, or c) haven’t been told it. The worst is when you’re not told the whole of it.

My left eye has been twitching for at least a month now.