Can you remember the last time a senior member of the Federal Government ... stood up, hand on heart, and declared their strong support and unbridled enthusiasm for Australian art and culture?
Well no, Peter. But I do still remember how you declared your feelings for Australian culture on Australia Day 1998. You spoke of Australians remaining,
what we have always been: a people without a soul, not a nation but a community of thieves.
No-one could accuse Peter of being indifferent. Just plain hostile, like too many of our artists.
It amazes me that so many artists believe that their role is to shock and insult the public, and that they then complain when the public shows little enthusiasm for the arts.
High art ought really to communicate the more difficult, elevated and profound of human experiences. It probably for this reason will never have the same mass appeal as sport. If Australian art were to follow this path it might, however, win the respect of a section of the public.
But too often today the arts are simply an uninspiring mixture of rancour and therapy, which is better left ignored.