2 Goal:To understand why Leunig thinks it’s important to “cut the rope” and be free.
3 What is cutting the rope? Ignoring societal expectations. To stop being influenced by other’s perceptions of reality.Connects to ideal:In order to be free, we must define reality in our own terms
4 Rehabilitation- ‘to restore to normal health.’ The ‘rehab’ centres that pop stars like Britney get sent to are not what Leunig would consider places of rehabilitation.They in fact only pressure people to conform into thesocial norms of our society:“her minders seem just as determined to get a new rope around Britney’s neck and lead her into ‘rehab’.”
5 Crazy or winning?Is he crazy? Or is it the society that we view as normal that has pushed him to this place?
6 Madness – a way to cut the rope “Zorba the Greek wisely said, ‘A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free’.”“we need at least a sweet little tincture of madness…if we don’t…it will certainly be provided by fate in due course, in a size that may be far too big for us”(if we don’t allow ourselves to be our natural, peculiar selves, we will go too crazy trying to be “normal”)
7 Nature – a way to cut the rope “a man needs a little gang-gang cockatoo or he will never dare cut the rope and be free”Leunig views nature as the real place for rehabilitation. His home, a small place out in the country; ngurra (aboriginal for country), is where he finds peace and his true self.People may view him as being “out of touch with the human condition” here p.216 but he maintains that he’s not in fantasy, he’s in rehab. And he believes “the entire world is longing for respite and healing”Connect to “hello, welcome to our drought”. Hiked to the top of a big mountain or camped out in the wilderness.There is a sense of calm and restoring health. We need an escape from the pressures of the dictator, peer pressure, the fast pace of work and social life.
8 Our obsession with being ‘attractive’ has led to our world becoming extremely materialistic. This is why Leunig values nature as a way of escaping from this insanity, and as a reminder to value what we have around us: the land, other people and our true selves.Aboriginal children fishing and playing
9 Welcome to our Drought... P.1-6 How a drought can alter our reality: - “a kind of letting-go and a brokenness. You let go of many things: garden plants, various hopes about life itself, and most of all, your remnant andpatheticallyhuman notions ofnormality andperfection”NatureWelcome to our Drought... P.1-6
10 make us not very “fun at a party”. This would be unattractive. The reality we are faced with in the media is that of a “brutal and crazy world” so to relieve us off this harsh fact instead we read celebrity gossip and failed boob jobs.This is to prevent us from being “troubled... negative or unhappy” which wouldmake us not very “fun at aparty”.This would be unattractive.We try to deny the majority of the bad actions humans commit and focus on lighter topics. What brutal acts occur in our world?
11 Leunig seems to be suggesting that this acceptance of the world as it is (cruel, unforgiving, inequitable) is in fact the insane thing.Even a Buddhist once said to him that ‘“it’s just what is”- the general point that to rage against a brutal, crazy world would be futile.’
12 What do you think?It is morally wrong to simply accept cruelty and injustices in this worldIt is pointless to try to improve the world Wherever you move, be prepared to justify where you are standing.
13 Questions:Do you think we have a moral responsibility to try and improve our world, even if the majority seem to see it as a futile pursuit?Is it okay to change channels or to stop listening when the news is too confronting? (How could we connect this to Leunig’s ideas in ‘Blood, Guts, Violence and Death’?)Write a paragraph.
14 Concept MapDraw a diagram that shows how the ideas in these essays are connected:Hello, Welcome to our DroughtThou Shalt be AttractiveBlood, Guts, Violence and DeathMania Posing as PassionCutting the Rope
15 Return to Learning Goal: Why does Leunig think it’s important to “cut the rope” and be free?Your understanding: /4