Jul 17, 2014

Razer’s Class Warfare: stop saying Ian Thorpe ‘matters’

We assign the value of meaning to everything, thereby making it valueless. We want to believe that solutions are before us, but they aren't, and just by declaring and debating whether something matters, we make sure it doesn't.

Helen Razer — Writer and Broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and Broadcaster

What did Bill Henson’s 2008 exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery mean? There were two major interpretations served. Columnist Miranda Devine said the presence of infamous images represented the “sexing up of our children”. Prime minister Kevin Rudd, more or less, agreed. Malcolm Turnbull treated us to a rare moment of pure liberalism when he said the exhibition represented “freedom”.


Leave a comment

8 thoughts on “Razer’s Class Warfare: stop saying Ian Thorpe ‘matters’

  1. brendan king

    a good read.

    interestingly though, the thing that doesn’t seem to matter so much is the systematic transfer off wealth from the poor/middle class to the upper-upper-upper-class. maybe we should start a petition about that?

    p.s. i like how you Spell Out Things With Capitals.

  2. Bento

    Nice article.

    I recall 20 odd years ago asking a good mate about rumours of his being gay.

    His reply “does it matter?”
    My response “nope”

    We kept watching and talking about the footy. Footy mattered because we were both connected to it by our interest. Our sexual lives, like Ian Thorpe’s, were of no importance.

  3. klewso

    A media beat-off.

  4. Sean


  5. Dogs breakfast

    This desperate search for interpretation of everything is somewhat pathetic, and a symptom of our (humanity’s) inability to grow to full maturity.

    Lots of stuff is beyond analysis, and most of it should stay that way. Like with the senseless killings, trying to graft sense onto the senseless, makes no sense.

    The relationships you are currently having with real people, not celebrities, is what matters. Your place in the world, on this planet, matters. That’s a fine place to start.

    Nice article.

  6. AR

    Almost 1,600 words to say “doesn’t matter”. Can i get a refund of my subscription?

  7. Guy Mander

    Good article.

    Many years ago there was a “joke” going around along the lines of “Ian Thorpe is gay, but we just don’t know it yet.” It seemed a bit surreal at the time that (a) it needed to be important and, (b) it was worthy of special interest. That was before everyone discovered how important it was to have thumb, “F”, and bird symbols on everything electronic to make sure everything was connected to everything else.

    Long before the advent of these symbols on a small insignificant blue green planet, Douglas Adams (sadly gone but not forgotten) made the following prescient observation in “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” about a made up civilisation :

    “The Belcerebons used to cause great resentment amongst neighbouring races by being one of the most enlightened, accomplished and, above all, quiet civilisations in the Galaxy. As a punishment for this behaviour, which was held to be offensively self-righteous and provocative, a Galactic tribunal inflicted on them that most cruel of all social diseases: telepathy. Now, in order to prevent themselves broadcasting every slightest thought to anyone within a five-mile radius, they have to talk loudly and continuously about the weather, their little aches and pains, the match this afternoon and what a noisy place Kakrafoon has suddenly become.”

    They were cured by hosting the loudest rock band in the history of the Universe who were so loud they caused major geological disturbances on the planet.

    So what will be our “Disaster Area”?

  8. Liamj

    Good work. We tell each other that x, y & z matter cos, yes, its more reassuring than complexity or existential meaninglessness, but also cos thats how ego co-dependancy works, otherwise we’d be challenging each other not to be so trivial & 2nd hand. We do so symbolicly cos nobody does jack shit in the real world these days, thats so last century. I predict the end of the world will arrive heralded by a twitter-storm on whether it matters.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details