As ever with Germaine Greer’s occasional forays into the national discussion, the brouhaha surrounding On Rage has been as instructive as the actual ideas put forward in the essay have been challenging.

Why do we shy from a serious discussion of confronting issues? In this case the destructive possibility of a widespread and bitter male Aboriginal rage grown from dispossession and disadvantage that poisons both indigenous culture and its political expressions?

Leading opinion setters in this area — with The Australian self appointed at the helm — have not responded by joining meaningfully in the discussion (with the honourable exception of today’s thoughts from Marcia Langton), but rather with their own barely contained anger.

The last few days have amounted to a vituperative and bitterly personal assault that has done little to address the central issues that ought to have been raised. We’d be the better for it if we just talked these things over without fighting for our corners.