Sunday, April 1, 2012

National identity and generous conversation

Nikos and his shiny dad in
the ABC studios
Today Nikos and I bussed into the city, and I spoke on ABC Radio National's 'Sunday Extra', with historian Professor Marilyn Lake and pollster Mark Textor. Our fine host was Jonathan Green.

The topic was national identity, ANZAC, and the arguments that still simmer and boil over.

You can listen here.

After the conversation, Nikos and I tripped to the National Gallery of Victoria, and had a chat about a number of paintings and sculptures.

One that stood out was one of my favourites, Rembrandt's 'Two Old Men Disputing'. In particular, I admire the combination of passion, concentration and generosity.

The old man facing us is clearly committed to this conversation; to making his arguments, as his finger firmly points at the page. Yet look at the gentleness in his eyes; the patience and respect.

It's an ideal, perhaps old-fashioned, of how the best arguments look.

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