Friday, October 5, 2012

Pandemics and Aborigines

As I've said before....

I get excited when Australia is mentioned in American books.

In a book I read recently, Australia was mentioned a few times.

The Things That Keep Us Here, by Carla Buckley, is about an avian flu pandemic.  

Before the virus explodes into the pandemic, the protagonist teachers her elementary school art class about Aboriginal art. 

I might have issue with one of the lines in the story. A child says,  I know what I want to do.  I want to make a story about airplanes, but you said the Aborigines don't have planes.

In the past, Aboriginal Australians didn't have planes.

They have them now. 

They live in the modern world.

Why did the teacher say otherwise?

Is she teaching her class about Aboriginal Australians as something that existed in the past but not now?

Anyway.  Whatever.

Later in the chapter, some Aboriginal symbolism is explained.  

Fruitcake once talked about the type of stuff in her blog.  I'm trying to find the post.  I can't.

Did I dream it?

No, I don't think so. 

Carla Buckley's novel says a circle and a dot represents a campfire.

This website says differently.  It says cocentric circles is a campire.

Well...I guess a dot IS a circle.   So a dot inside a circle could be concentric circles.



There's lots of different Aboriginal groups. Did they all have the exact same symbolism for their dot paintings?

It would make sense if they didn't.

So I'm not going to say Buckley is wrong.  

The art class scene doesn't last long.

It's interrupted by a dramatic fire alarm catastrophe. 

Later Australia is mentioned again, though.

As the flu becomes quite monstrous, scientists find a group of Aborigines who are immune.  

Then I think there was also mention of the protagonist having wishes to visit Australia someday.  Or maybe they had planned to move there at some point.  I forget.