PSsst! The Greeks show how it’s done

By The Mandarin

March 25, 2022

Ancient Greeks- Athletes, Warriors and Heroes
Director of the National Museum of Australia Mathew Trinca takes a look at the ‘Amphora’ vase made by ‘Exekias’ during a preview of ‘Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes’ at the National Museum of Australia. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Leadership and democracy, ancient Greek style 

When it comes to democracy, we have much to thank the ancient Greeks for. The same can be said of course about athletic competition and war.

Perhaps that is why the Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes exhibition at the National Museum Australia is attracting such good crowds in Canberra.

Political types and policy wonks are flocking to it.

With more than 170 items from the British Museum on display, exploring the themes of politics, diplomacy, war, sport, music and drama, it’s not only a highly illuminating feast for the senses – it is also most informative.

A great deal can be learned about strategy and leadership from the ancient Greeks – their actual history as well as the mythology on which they built so much of their society.

Take the goddess Artemis, for example. When Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, boasted he was a better hunter than Artemis, she was offended and demanded the king’s daughter be sacrificed.

Yet, as the sacrifice was about to take place, Artemis intervened to rescue the girl and place a deer on the sacrificial table in her stead. 

Ruthless and compassionate all at once. That’s leadership.

And that story is depicted in the exhibit on a beautiful red pottery jug that was made about 350 BC.

The exhibition has been attracting crowds at the National Museum Australia since before Christmas, and runs until May 1. 

Talking about democracy at work 

Independent candidate for the federal seat of Goldstein Zoe Daniel had a Victorian Supreme Court win this week when it ruled she could keep her election signs up despite the Bayside City Council saying she couldn’t.

The sitting member Liberal Party MP Tim Wilson was none too happy that Daniel had her act together before he did and was so early to put up her signs, so he began a campaign to dob her in.

But the council lost in the courts and Wilson lost in the fair play stakes. 

Daniel, meanwhile, has expressed her delight at the ruling with a rallying tweet to her supporters to get more signs up.

Did someone say democracy?  

Interesting to note that the former head of consulting firm McKinsey’s public sector practice, Simon Kennedy, has won Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Bennelong on Sydney’s north shore – John Howard’s old seat.

The incumbent Liberal MP, former tennis star John Alexander, is retiring.

Kennedy, who provided advice to the government about the JobKeeper scheme while at McKinsey, is a right-aligned member of the Liberal Party.

Did someone say election?

Parliamentary committees are shoving their reports out before next week’s budget in such a rush that you would think there is a chance of an election being called. 

Since Monday this week alone, various committees have tabled reports on the Fair Work Commission, the future of media in the regional communities, a report on adult literacy, and a report on better corporate engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers. 

It is unclear how many more reports are going to bounce into our inboxes. 

There will surely be far fewer people actually diving into these reports as politicians, the media, and politically engaged Australians gear up for the federal budget as well as the coming federal election. Hmmm, wonder if that’s the intent?

Arnie mentions ze war

Propaganda comes hand-in-hand with war, but technological advances mean messages spread far and wide more quickly than ever before. 

It has now been widely reported that actor and sometime American politician Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in a video reaching out to Russian citizens to let them know what was happening on the ground in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s government has sought to restrict the access Russian citizens have to alternative sources of information. 

Schwarzenegger’s video was recorded in English, with Russian subtitles appearing at the bottom of the screen. 

But just how did Arnie try to get past the digital iron wall Putin and his mates have put up? 

The Terminator uploaded a copy of the video to his account on Telegram, a platform that, despite bans, lifted bans, presidential orders, and legal battles, is reportedly still accessible to most Russians wanting to read something other than state-sanctioned news.

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