A Tentative Cheer for the Sydney Festival – Quadrant
Quadrant readers, I should hope, will be unbothered by Tom Ballard’s absence from the Sydney Festival, as the humourless comedian, at the urging of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has decided not to participate.
As I write, the list of withdrawals, 30 at last count, is sure to get longer and longer. At what I imagine would be the panel discussion from hell, Yumi Stynes, Julia Banks and Louise Milligan were scheduled to bang on about the patriarchy and related themes until Stynes, also in solidarity with Palestine, pulled out. Again, for my readers, this may be the cause of amused cheer rather than annoyance.
That said, there is much in this campaign that we should find bothersome: the rebarbative manner in which it has been conducted, the pathetic non-effort by some in the media to question its claims, and what it all may foretoken for the cultural life of the country.