Angela thinks she is responding to ‘goading’ with this post. What a pity. Below is my response that is unlikely to appear on her blog. I’ll add one additional comment:
The sort of immediacy of a lamb chop bbq (lol) also exists online. You bump up against strangers all the time. Some are more strange than others. For someone who clearly spends a lot of time thinking about borders and so on, it is hard to understand why she (Angela Mitropoulos) doesn’t ever talk about people simply not liking others and the mixing of strangeness when the borders do not exist. (She has apparently discussed the pleasure of calling others on being a discriminatory -ist, ie racist or sexist, so maybe that has something to do with it.) Or are strangers never meant to get along, especially at lamb chop bbqs? Should mechanisms like ‘mateship’ and ‘mate’ that have the potential to be used to transcend difference be cast aside because of… what? The way it has been used in the circulation of spectacular nationalist enterprises? Why let it go? I don’t get it.
Oh, go read Angela Mitropoulos’s first post about hating the term ‘mate’ and the nationalist/masculine overtones of the term, then my response where I outline how she has missed the point (in part repeating what I wrote about my mate Cliff’s newspaper article about the Dark Side of Mateship), then her comment about names and reading my blog, etc. and then come back here for this (if you have the stamina!):
First, is it really that hard to understand the sense of hospitality that motivated the original line about “if you can’t pronounce their name, call them mate” amongst all the satirical humour of the kekovich lamb chops rant? In that specific context of a backyard bbq cooking lamb chops, linguitic or discursive difficulty, familial lineage, signification of ethinic difference or whatever matters less — the name matters less — than the hospitality, than the event of hospitality that must be produced by all parties and not extend from one to another. Some call this a gesture of good will.
Second. Clearly, if you cannot prenounce someone’s name then it is unlikely you would be friends with them or even know them in passing! They will be strangers. Hospitality for strangers. In that specific context, and in most others beyond the recent and historic spectacularization of a sedimented ‘mateship’, the identity of one’s mates does not matter so much compared to what you do with them, the action (event) precipitated by the term ‘mate’. If you think stranger-hospitality is a bad thing, then I am not sure what else to say. Names should not be the thing that matters the most when trying to produce hospitality. Good will does. Hospitality has to be negotiated together from the to-come. The very first step in that is an immanent relation of commitment to the process itself.
Sure the lamb chops ad was also for the cynical, knowing, highly educated bourgies who would think it is funny or even horrible that anglo (or well assimilated wogs like Sam Kekovich ) cannot pronounce non-anglocized names. The ad was a very intelligent (for mass media and an advertisement no less) dig at neighbourliness (‘invite everyone other’) and then through the logic of ‘mateship’ raised the problem of otherness and belonging at the same time. In this context, ‘mate’ is an icebreaker. For a lamb chop BBQ. A signal that the speaker has some stake in the way that things (the hospitality)turns out.
In a broader sense, TKO’s example from Lost Sunday was quite good I thought of what I was trying to get at on my blog. It matters less that some people earn more or less money, but what matters — in the context of ‘mateship’ that I am talking about — is what passes in the conjunctural relation between ‘mates’. In this example it gets expressed (actualised) in some piss head drinking-in-rounds ritual. Sure there is a politics of friendship where the more affluent mate might have the brains to realise that his or her mates earn heaps less so s/he would do something about it (for example, like not go to some over priced bourgie bar in the city).
I use my name in my blog url because it is a simple guarantee for whoever reads it that I mean what I say and that I am serious even when I making the stupidest of jokes, pointing out my own stupid activities, or poking fun at other people for their stupidities. Google cache etc means that what I post will be there for a long time. There is a lot of shit on the internet and I use my proper name to indicate that at least the author thinks that in the case of my blog it isn’t (deliberate) ‘shit’.
I apologise for the insult of my name-joke. I thought it was funny and somewhat subtle way to broach other forms of belonging etc. rather than belonging to the immanenet event herald by the use of ‘mate’. I was incorrect in this assessment. People spell my name wrong all the time, never for any purpose though.
You know, I was warned off engaging with you at all. Ages ago. Funny that…
Oh and I’ll add a second comment, something I wrote previously that seems to always apply when exchanging views/shit with Angela and her affective maps. (Maybe she should put that post into a FAQ accessible to anyone who crosses the singular threshold of her blog and affective map’s virtual border?):
I am more interested in being productive. if a discussion ends in a shit fight (or ‘stoush’), it simply hasn’t gone very well (and has probably served as a ‘zero institution’). I don’t know? Like was the point to simply accentuate their inadequacies (use them as a punching bag) or was it to make a point in a constructive manner (which includes on-going dialogue and so on)? sure this is the logic of ‘performance management’, but why else bother making meta-critiques, etc. unless you are working towards certain outcomes?