The model that is held up as the yard-stick of measurement for subjective argument in the written thesis, ie; “good” argument, concise writing…evidence based claims, comes from a section of society that has been nurtured and I would say “conditioned” into accepting that a clarity of interpretation of subject matter can only really be delivered through an educated mind skilled in the art of syntax and grammatical correctness. There are at least two directions by which one can come to a conclusion about a social topic…one is from analysis and concise writing, another is from the emotive expression.
Permit me to make my case ; The Parable :
I have an older cousin who is a bricklayer named Ron. His name really is Cesarino…but that is how the anglicising of “foreign” names go…; Cesarino becomes Ron. Ron was sponsored to Australia by his uncle at the tender age of fourteen, in the early fifties, after the war…He went to school here for a year and then was put to work for his uncle as a brickies labourer…he was a big bloke..a very strong man.
He worked for many years for a Greek property developer named Spero. I too worked for Spero, though not as far back as Ron. As a matter of fact, Ron worked for him for so long he had become sort of adopted into the family circle…Ron was divorced, his child grown up so he was on his own and would be available to do little jobs at the Spero family home on the weekends and such, so he was asked to stay for dinner some Sundays and it became a habit…so that every Sunday, for many years, he’d go to Spero’s for Sunday dinner….and he appreciated it…he had worked so long for the family business that it seemed natural…..until one day he stopped going.
I was working for Spero then and he spoke to me in a concerned way that he confessed he didn’t know why Ron stopped coming…and Ron wouldn’t say…Spero just couldn’t work it out…and I asked Ron on the job one day ; “‘Why don’t you go to Spreo’s for Sunday dinner any more?”…at first he was reluctant to tell me..but I was persistent. He leant against the wall crowbar in hand and told me.
‘You remember that job we did for Cathy Drummond over at Beulah Park?…yes, well, you remember that big cedar tree out the back she was going to get a contractor to remove?..yes, well…..a couple of months ago, we’re all there at the table having dinner..a roast..and there’s me and Spero next to me and over the table is Barbara (Spero’s wife) and Cathy….and Barbara stops in the middle of her eating and asks Cathy ; “Did you get the contractor to remove that tree, Cathy?”…to which Cathy replied ; “Oh, no!…they were much too expensive…they wanted a thousand dollars!”….there was a moments silence while they returned to their eating, then Barbara stops again looks at Cathy..with her fork with a bit of potato on it pointing at me and she says ; “Why don’t you get Ron to do the job…he’s cheap!”…[ now this is the important point…listen closely…after relating this sad little episode to me and he felt it, believe me..he was saddened ..he leant toward me and spoke in a lowered tone like he was telling a confidant]..: “You see..you are never their friend…never!…you’re always just the worker…you’re never a friend to them, just the worker.”
He didn’t say anything to them, he didn’t let them see he was hurt…he finished his meal and then pleaded weariness and went home…But at that moment, this man with almost no schooling, no outward knowledge of the structural strata of social classes or even any nous of the perception of those with such excellent education qualifications, this man learnt and interpreted in an instant the Marxian ethos ; the positioning of himself, his fellows in trade, and all those in employment who do labour for a boss…in those words ; “…you are never THEIR friend…” their friend….them. He did not just mean Spero and his family, he was referring to that whole class of people…a class he never before gave more than a seconds’ thought to in regards HIS position in their society. He was one of the most honest workers I have met…he would scorn shirking on the job as one would spit a bad taste out of one’s mouth!
Yet while Ron understood the situation, Spero and his wife didn’t !…They didn’t because they had been tutored ( both at expensive private schools) in a different but parallel system…THEY were not required to sympathise with Ron “the worker”…they behaved toward Ron as they would toward their other possessions. They couldn’t see any problem with their behaviour because THEY had been educated into their social position and expected someone like Ron to seek to admire and aspire UPWARD to their level of society. But Ron had NO INTEREST in becoming as one with that strata of society..he was confident and content in his own person..as are most of us. So while Ron mixed with them out of a sense of camaraderie and friendship, they saw themselves as doing him a favour……extraordinary, as in reality, it was Ron who, by his skilled labour, helped create the income and therefore their status and lifestyle they got through their speculative building.
Which brings me to that piece I sent to David Donavan ( https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/the-meaning-of-treason-pts-12/ )…He read it ; “…in the spirit it was intended, late at night…” He liked it and said it would be up the next day….then he got cold feet. He could see flaws..sure..there are flaws!..there are flaws in “The Sermon on the Mount” for chrissake!…but it was never meant to educate, it was meant to “connect” to that vein of truth , that nous of knowledge inside all of us. It can be difficult to deliver an emotive connection through statistics and clinical analysis….even “concise writing” can serve to make sterile an intense piece and while it may appear to halt, stumble and falter at times, all that, if written with a true hand and mind will serve as ammunition to reinforce the subject….you just have to trust to your instincts…and ” …the spirit it was intended.”
And THAT’S why I withdrew it…and will not re-present it. Because if one doesn’t feel need to give a “host’s indulgence” without an “expectation from the guest”, then, like Spero, they will never be enlightened. Now I don’t kid myself that it is a work of great merit, but it is MY work..if there are flaws, they are MY flaws, if it is ugly, brutish and clumsy in syntax or grammar..they are my faults and I want them to stay there. Let the dice fall as they will, I understand the risk, I accept the conditions and like Ron above ; I , alongside MY writing, have shoulders broad enough to carry the presumption.
“I come with strength of the living day,
And with half the world behind me. ” Henry Lawson.