In a Comment following my Post about Morrisseys PhD thesis, “Brendan” makes a number of statements that I would like to respond to. Firstly, he asks this question:
“You keep calling people who sympathize with Ned Kelly ‘ Kelly fanatics ‘, but aren’t you (Dee) a Kelly fanatic yourself?
That’s a fair question, and this is my answer: No, I am not a fanatic; Instead I would call myself an enthusiast, as would many people on both “ sides” who are interested in Ned Kelly and the Kelly story. Brendan thinks I am a fanatic because he says I have spent all this time “posting on and creating Blogs about Ned Kelly” but if you look at a definition of the word “fanatic” you will see its not enough just to spend a lot of time on something or have a passionate interest in something to be a fanatic:
FANATIC: “a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.”
There are two main differences between an enthusiast and a fanatic, and the first is the intensity with which a belief is held – it has to be “extreme”. In my view, extreme Kelly enthusiasts are the ones who elevate Ned Kelly to the status of a national icon, who wreath images of him with flowers and kisses, who attribute to him lofty sentiments worthy of a Saint, and a reformer, who see him as an inspiration, a role model and unique Legend. Their extreme enthusiasm is further demonstrated by the aggression and hostility with which they defend their views against all comers, regarding every person who has an alternative opinion as “anti-Ned”, as someone to be silenced if at all possible,as someone to whom no respect or courtesy is due.
The second important difference between enthusiasts and the fanatics is the way in which the belief of fanatics is uncritical. For example if someone were to suggest Ned was only ever kind and polite to women – that would immediately be accepted. No evidence would be needed to justify such a statement, because in the mind of the Kelly fanatic, its self evidently true. On the other hand, if someone were to suggest that on the contrary Ned was a bully and threatened and frightened women and children, that claim would immediately be rejected as Police lies, or the opinion of newspaper men who were in the employ of the rich and powerful Squatters. Furthermore the motives, family connections and identity of the person making that suggestion would be attacked. This is fanaticism, and I have been the focus of much of it for more than a year.
No, Brendan I am not a fanatic. I don’t attack people who disagree with me, or by devious methods seek to have their web sites closed down and removed from the internet, because I am an enthusiast not a fanatic, and I support the right of people to have different opinions to mine. I listen to, read about and seriously consider viewpoints that are not necessarily my own, and it doesn’t concern me if other people have alternative opinions. I would not, for example ever have an extremist Facebook page devoted to attacking the author and supporters of a book that I didn’t agree with even before I had read it:thats extreme and fanatical. I might write a Post about what I don’t like about a book or where I disagree with its conclusions, but I wouldn’t advise people to use it for toilet paper or make mad racist remarks about its author because I am an enthusiast and not a fanatic.I think of Bill, Sharon and Brian as enthusiasts as well: we share an interest in the Kelly story but are not haters of people who hold other views ( and before you start jumping to conclusions the only connections i have with these people is what is Posted on the Internet)
Now, next Brendan comments on my claim that, as he puts it “sympathisers are not facing the ‘truth’ about Ned, deliberately avoiding articles and books that aren’t ‘ pro Kelly’”
He says that I do “the exact same thing”
and that I avoid “anything which is not negatve about Ned Kelly”
( without the double negatve it becomes “I avoid anything POSITIVE about Ned Kelly” – which is easier to comprehend)
Well, I have to simply deny that absolutely. Have I not recently read Max Browns Australian Son? There is no webpage or book or You Tube article, or Kelly “thing” or place of any kind that I could get my hands on that I wouldnt read, photocopy, download, visit, buy or borrow if it was at all possible. That’s because I am not a fanatic with a fixed inviolable belief, but an enthusiast, and I am interested in what the truth about Ned Kelly really is, not in defending a fixed predetermined Creed about Saint Ned. Unlike Fanatics I cant tell if a book has something to teach me, or if I like it or not until I have actually read it.
Lastly you say this :
“People who sympathize with Ned Kelly and his gang always will; no matter what you or anyone has to say, that will not change. We have all read what you have read and more; you views will not convert anyone.”
As a definition of what a Kelly Fanatic is, that statement pretty well says it perfectly, and its worth reading it again: “People who symapthise with Ned Kelly and his gang always will ; no matter what you or anyone has to say, that will not change” Given this view of yours I am left to wonder about why you read my Blog. If nothing I write could possibly change your mind, why are you wasting your time here? Is it just to stir?
My final comment is to repeat something I have written several times before, that I am not interested, and have never been interested in converting the fanatics. I would be very happy for them to stay away from my Blog and hide away out of site in the Ned Kelly Forums secret Members Only hideout and leave me alone. It’s a pointless waste of energy and time to try to “convert” people whose minds are already made up., and who say that no matter what anyone says, they won’t change, as you do. No, my interest is in all the other enthusiasts and interested people searching the net for ideas and information and opinions about Ned Kelly, and in making sure that the fanatics aren’t the only people who have a voice.
PS : Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts, but do you realize you did exactly what I was saying Kelly fanatics do? Instead of talking about Morrisseys PhD thesis, which was the topic of the post, you were ignoring it and having a go at me!
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