BY JOHN FOWKE
TO BE NOTICED by Keith is gratifying; to be patronised by him is sublime. I am grateful for the opportunity given to take up my blunt axe once more.
I am sad that my words seem to have inspired no immediate riposte, no cutting put-down from the class of contributors I addressed. Perhaps familiarity with Fowke breeds contempt rather than a righteous or contentious response.
No matter. In peril of being called a one-track-minded old fool, I should like to go further along a pathway which, as Keith says, is well-established; a pathway I have pursued at length through all four daily and weekly papers published in PNG as well as upon the pages of PNG Attitude over the past twelve months.
In a country such as PNG, we who have ideas and who like to put them out for consideration have only the press, augmented by the electronic media, within which to express our ideas. Radio of course provides another and very valuable medium but one doesn’t hear much in terms of real ideas here, more’s the pity.
TV is not a valuable tool for us as it is driven by commercial considerations and without any tradition of truth such as is maintained by PNG’s relatively free daily press and its senior practitioners.
As inferred by Keith, the pen is mightier than the sword, and it is hoped that in our case and in regard to our concerns it will be the pen and the minds and mouths of those who wield pens which shape the future, rather than a violent alternative.
My desire is to see mouths begin to spread the word, though, rather than offerings made to the various media where there is a limited audience. Preaching to the already-converte may be enjoyable as an exercise, but it is a waste of good time and talent.
As acknowledged by men much wiser than I, PNG hovers daily on the brink of anarchy, a situation of precarious balance maintained only by the fact that apart from the nation’s criminals, those driven to violent acts are anchored by concerns linked to clan-owned land, in widely-dispersed trouble-spots.
Concerns over matters of principle and communal equity are necessarily tribal ones, and not nationalistic, nor especially idealistic in nature. Thus PNG’s innate tribalism, aided by something like 75% illiteracy, militates against any binding alliance based on a sense of nationhood and driven by the pen alone.
This is the bone which supports the body of my contention against “those who only write.”
Read John Fowke’s full article here: More for those who only sit and write