Pop Culture Is Destroying True Beauty Essay

Pop Culture Is Destroying True Beauty Essay-8
The usual definition of it as human society defined by “urban development, social stratification …

The usual definition of it as human society defined by “urban development, social stratification …

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more At the same time as a headline in The Guardian announced: “Indigenous Australians most ancient civilisation on Earth, DNA study confirms”, we could also read that $3 billion had been left by healthcare tycoon Paul Ramsay to set up, under the direction of right-wing former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, a plan to install courses on “Western civilisation” in major Australian universities. Civilisation has nothing to do with science as such (DNA is indifferent to it), nor is it something a passing political initiative can uphold.

But with a long view of Australian history, the concept of civilisation is caught precisely in this politically charged dichotomy: between an Indigenous civilisation and a recently arrived “Western” one.

There is a prejudice about civilisation that is reinforced every time the Tigris and Euphrates are cited in accounts of world history as being the “cradle of civilisation”.

A young man jumps from the old Fallujah bridge into the Euphrates river in Iraq in 2011.

Perhaps a new ecological perspective is what is needed as we endeavour to reset modernity, to reboot the idea of living in a civilised fashion within the limits of our earthbound existences.

Far from advocating that Australians today can learn from the wisdom of Indigenous traditions about living “in harmony with nature”, we shall have to rethink the very concept of a singular nature and be aware that it, too, was a colonial imposition on the hundreds of types of country that had in place highly managed, biodiverse ways of living.It seems that the upholders of the latter would like the former to remain dubious and “ancient”, of little relevance to the future of the country.This essay is a personal reflection on the possibilities for a more reasonable hybrid definition of “civilisation” based on Australian soil. Well, it is city life, if you follow the etymology.From the Latin , we derive the group of words that includes “citizen” and “civil”.Outside of the walls of the city roamed the uncivilised, those speaking barbarian tongues.Today’s world is one in which everything can be given an economic value, and entities are defined by competition and inequality.Under this regime, traditional knowledge would have to be gathered up by a university or by native title law and turned into accountable knowledge of a more whitefella sort. And don’t even think about getting a real pay-to-learn university until your community has grown to 100,000.What he doesn’t mention, as an Australian, are the civilisations that persisted here for many thousands of years.He could have thought of the way the word was used in that context by American anthropologist Lloyd Warner in his 1937 study of the Yolngu, A Black Civilisation.It is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Western Cape, the African Population and Health Research Centre and the Nigerian Academy of Science.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a Strategic Partner.


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