Australian settlement, chess, and Pirate Pete


From time to time your author here takes time off his own massive ego and dips into the articles published by fellow XYZ contributors.

One that stuck in the mind was by guest J Marc Schmidt who put forward a very well structured argument supporting the No Vote for Canberra’s current smug appeasement for those who shout the loudest. A good article. Please make sure, dear reader, that you pass your eyes over it once you have finished fawning all over this one.

Now as part of the argument, J made mention of failed rugby player Peter FitzSimons, a man known for his elitist views, his rudeness, his convoluted excuses on why it is not racist to call South Africans gorillas, and his fear of having his naked head seen in public. Also, for his regular output of historical novels, as anyone who actually believes FitzSimons publishes non-fiction has clearly never attempted to read one of them, but that is not what we are here today to talk about.

Instead there has been something mildly vexing your author about some virtual signalling FitzSimons made a few years ago. Here, Pete tells a story about how he was playing Mini-Pete in a game of chess. Old Pete was apparently white, Mini-Pete playing black and, in a situation very common when adults take on their children in chess, Mini-Pete was getting his clock wiped.

Now, the story goes, Mini-Pete suddenly burst into tears. Rather than making the rational conclusion that maybe he should be throwing the game slightly to give his son a bit of a break, Old Pete instead decides to ask what it wrong.

To paraphrase, Mini-Pete makes a massive parallel between white people beating up black people and boldly claims he now knows how the Aborigine’s must have felt.

Yeah. Good one Pete.

Now the problem that has always been irritating about the entire chess equals white expansionism is the structure of chess itself, and namely that both sides have exactly the same pieces, exactly the same starting position, and are bound by exactly the same rules. The only variation is that white gets to go first. Chess is an I-Go-You-Go game and hence someone has to make the first move. It is just white by long standing convention, and if this is an advantage or disadvantage probably reflects your playing style.

The point? Chess boards are effectively equal.

The historical fact? 1788 European culture was highly advanced, pre-1788 Australian culture wasn’t. European settlement, rightly or wrongly, selfishly or for the betterment of human life everywhere, overwhelmed what was there before because is was so much stronger. Those are the facts. Accept it. Not discussing the morals or the long term implications at the moment, just what happened and why.

So getting back to Mini-Pete and his insight into 18th century Australian history, there are two ways of rationalising his story. The first is that Old Pete gave his son only two pawns to start with because Old Pete likes to cheat against children, and the more likely option is that Mini-Pete had the full starting 16 and just sucks at playing chess.

Given that Mini-Pete is probably just a rubbish chess player who still doesn’t know how to move the horsey piece properly, Old Pete’s attempt to turn this story of a simple chess game with his son into a smug Leftie dig at Middle Aged White Men isn’t actually as clever as Pete would like to think.

It is a chess game. Chess games start equal. If his chess game against Mini-Pete really was an accurate metaphor for post 1788 Australia then what Old Pete is really saying is that Aboriginal Australia, despite having exactly the same strengths and advantages as ‘Non’ Aboriginal Australia, still screwed up, not because they were overwhelmed by an unstoppable force, but because they took a sound starting position and ballsed it up royally.

Or to word it another way, Aboriginal Australia was STUPID. Which, when you also take into consideration his unapologetic public slurs against South Africans, it does start to give the impression that FitzSimons may just be a closet racist.

Still, to close with a quote from the man himself, ‘All good!’

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