Sunday, 28 September 2014

One of life's little Canberra mysteries

Apparently bohemians are persona non grata in Abbott's Australia, even when endorsed by an apparently chest-beating, weapon-toting attorney-general such as 'Lord Brandis of the Bookshelf' .....

@samdrummond 25 September 2014

This is the club in question:

Welcome to the Melbourne Savage Club

Established in 1894, the Melbourne Savage Club is one of Australia’s oldest and most atmospheric private members clubs.

The clubhouse is an historic 19th century mansion right in the heart of Melbourne.

The club’s name reflects the desire of the founders to encourage a flowering of Bohemian tradition, like the London Savage Club, by taking the name of Richard Savage, a free-spirited 17th century English poet.

These origins are expressed today through club members who engage in a broad range of interests across the arts, literature, science and sport.

A diverse mix of academics and artists, lawyers and judges, businessmen and journalists is to be found behind the clubhouse’s scarlet doors, enjoying one another’s company amid classic décor and furnishings, fine art and exotic artefacts.

Hospitable rooms provide a rare ambience for the many member performances showcasing their musical, theatrical and artistic talents, and for wonderfully eccentric social occasions.

Membership is offered to gentlemen only, based upon the criteria of good fellowship and shared interests.

The shared interests of these clubbable males became a Question Time subject for discussion in the Senate at 2.47pm on 25 September. During which the Opposition taunted the Government with this line; Which institution is harder for a woman to get into in 2014: the Savage Club or the Abbott cabinet?

However it appears to have been Labor Senator Doug Cameron's observation that this club had bizarre rituals that require members, when they are greeting a new member or when a new member is being initiated, to make guttural noises and to beat their chests which saw Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan lose his cool and approach his fellow senator too closely:

The Sydney Morning Herald 25 September 2014

The 'discussion' was finally laid to rest with this from Senator Cameron at 3.04pm; The Savage Club has also said that it is 'the more sozzled alternative to the genteel Melbourne Club'. That is why they have got to lift the handrails up! This is really bizarre. It is a club that is based on 'bohemianism, free love, frugality and voluntary poverty'. I will not go into the first point in relation to Senator Brandis but I certainly know that frugality is not one of his main games. And they all have their own titles when they go to the club. Senator Brandis has picked 'Lord Brandis of the Bookshelf'! That is his title when he goes to the club. He will be beating his chest and making guttural noises and making sure women have no place at the Savage Club. What an absolute disgrace from a frontbench minister in this government. 

The mystery of which weapons owned by the Melbourne Savage Club have resulted in its website being blocked remains unanswered.

As does the question of why the club still retains that bizarre and implicitly racist logo/watermark on its website.

No comments: