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Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Cultural Creep
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'TODAY it would be called a reality show, but in the early 1950s the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Incognito was billed as light entertainment. Alas, no recording of the radio program survives in the corporation's vast audio archive. Nor does it earn a mention in Ken Inglis's two-volume authorised history of the ABC. Yet Incognito is one of the most influential programs the national broadcaster has ever put to air, if only because it caught the ear of the Melbourne-based critic AA Phillips. The idea, thought Phillips, was quaint enough: to pit a local artist against a foreign guest, with the audience asked to adjudicate. Occasionally, listeners would favour the home-grown performer, thus producing 'a nice glow of patriotic satisfaction'. The program, however, was founded on the belittling premise that 'the domestic product will be worse than the imported article.' Phillips coined a neat description for this 'disease of the Australian mind' and immediately his aphorism, described in a 1950 Meanjin essay of the same name, took hold: 'the cultural cringe'.' (Author's introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Griffith Review What is Australia For? no. 36 Winter 2012 Z1857197 2012 periodical issue 2012 pg. 118-131
Last amended 9 Apr 2014 16:39:14
118-131 Cultural Creepsmall AustLit logo Griffith Review
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