Monday, August 06, 2007


Here I am, saying that I don't want to appear mean-spirited, and then I go and discover The Chorus of Women. How am I supposed to just ignore this? How, I ask you?

A Chorus of Women came into being when 150 women filled the Australian Parliament with the song "Lament" on 18 March 2003, the day Australia's intention to invade Iraq was announced.

We have been singing ever since. Like the ancient Greek chorus on which we model ourselves, we have commented on the events of our time. We try to listen to the wise course and seek to activate integrity and compassion in our communities.

Leaving aside the fact that "listen to the wise course" is literally nonsensical, it implies that integrity and compassion are inactive in their communities unless they open their big mouths. Personally I take exception to that, particularly when my accusers' moral authority comes from listening to whatever the "wise course" is whispering to them out of the ether. What form does this listening take? Perhaps it's a feeling they get in their waters, or some kind of feminine intuition?

Come on, ladies. It's 2007, and you're not so much a Greek Chorus as a team of nagging housewives from a 1950s sit-com. Far from being strong, modern Australian women who can take the reins of power for themselves, you're basically a gaggle of musical Hattie Jacqueses, nagging and scolding those in power without taking on any responsibility for the outcomes.

Kenneth Williams joins the Chorus of Women for a touching rendition of "I Will Arise (Especially in the Morning, Ooh!)"

I might be slightly less snarky if the music had a degree of profundity or poetry, but it's the worst kind of whiny emotional blackmail:

Planet We Share

Mourn, mourn
a planet in danger,
Mourn, mourn a planet we love,
Cry, cry our longing to save her,
Cry, cry for strength now to move
Love the earth, love its waters,
Cherish its soil and its air
Protect all its creatures
And put a coaster under that glass or it'll leave rings.

I admit I may have altered one of those lines; see if you can guess which one!

In conclusion, here's my advice. If you want to control the destiny of Australia, get voted into government. It's not as much fun as dressing in purple and playing "Greek Choruses" with the girls from the book club, but at least it has an element of dignity.


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