Ned Kelly Air Freshener (Caramel Scent)
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These Air Fresheners to hang in your Car, a great Xmas Present, can be bought from nedkellygifts.com.au
For a long time Ive been thinking I should write something nice about Ned Kelly. And what better time than Xmas, to write something nice, something positive and kind instead of what I usually do, which is focus on the many distortions, inaccuracies and outright falsities that make up so much of the Kelly story?
The problem with what I usually do, or at least what I have been writing till now, is that it leaves some people thinking that I am “anti-Kelly” that I hate Ned Kelly, that I am “hateful” “deeceitful” and “a troll” trying to rid the world of Ned Kelly and the devotees who venerate his memory. Ive also been bundled up with anyone else who is not a Kelly fanatic, and who dares mention “The Kelly Gang Unmasked” in other than horror-struck condemnation as in some way an apologist for it, linked to its author and his family and therefore utterly to be condemned.
These tactics are all what is known as “ad hominem” arguments , which is to say they are entirely invalid arguments aimed at a person rather than the arguments themselves. The point is, whether I hate Ned Kelly or not, whether I am “dee”ceitful or not, indeed what my identity actually is, has no impact at all on an argument about, say, what Ned Kellys intentions were at Glenrowan, or whether or not there is any evidence to support the notion that Ned Kelly was Australia’s Robin Hood. I really wish Kelly devotees would get that. I really wish they would concentrate on the arguments rather than descend to personal attack, label anyone who disagrees with them as Trolls, or worse, and set up a Forum designed to exclude such people even READING what is there!
But for the record let me state it plainly: I do not hate Ned Kelly, and never have. I could never hate such an extraordinary and singular young man. Hate is a negative and destructive emotion that springs from ignorance and fear, and the antidote to hate is knowledge and understanding. Whats more, I doubt very much that any of the many and various other people who have commented on this Blog in support of me, or Bill, or Mr MacFarlane or the Queensland Psychiatrist hate Ned either. In fact, I would guess we are all fascinated by Ned Kelly, and by the history of the Kelly outbreak, by the early history of Australia and of Victoria , of colonization, Gold rushes, of Bushranging, and Eureka. I know I certainly am, and as I warned earlier “exploring the history of Ned Kelly and the Kelly gang can become an obsession, such is the complexity and the richness of this extraordinary story”. We are all fascinated and curious and want to understand as much as we can about this historically significant time in the history of Australia, and its central towering figure, the complex and commanding , and ultimately deeply tragic figure of Ned Kelly.
We are all asking the same question : who was he?
There is of course, a group who think they already have the answers to that question, and they defend their answers with a ferocious zeal that takes no prisoners. They see him as Max Brown did, a persecuted messianic figure ultimately losing his gallant fight against corruption in high places. Others of us disagree – in fact we know for certain, as I have been pointing out on this Blog, that much of the story, as it is popularly understood, is in fact misunderstood. Much of the story, as we are seeing , is mythology rather than historical truth, and its historical truth that’s important to most of us. In fact, in my view it is disrespectful and dishonoring to Ned Kellys memory to promote and venerate a sanitized and inaccurate myth rather than the truth about him. So, I am not trying to make Ned Kelly go away, or even to make those who idolize him go away. Instead what I am trying to do is engage with people who are interested, curious, fascinated, horrified, adore or despise Ned Kelly in a debate about him and his times, to maintain some sort of contact with what he truly was rather than see him smothered and buried under layer upon layer of idolatrous myth.
As far as saying something nice about Ned Kelly is concerned, I am reminded of Politicians who are often asked at election time by journalists, to say something nice about their opponent, and if they do, they only manage it through gritted teeth. However, theres no doubt Ned Kelly was handsome and physically strong, theres no doubt he had a way with words, and no doubt at times, he could be very charming.
I wish every one of my readers a very Merry Xmas, and all the Best for a prosperous New Year.
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