It's official - farmers really are different - (OZ) : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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It's official - farmers really are different By ANDREW STEVENSON, Rural Reporter

The Great Divide may be more than an economic and political division between rural and urban Australia, with research suggesting farmers really are different.

Dr Marilyn Shrapnel, a psychiatrist who interviewed 60 farmers in central Queensland, found they inhabited a narrow band of personality types that did not reflect the broader population.

Dr Shrapnel, of the Queensland Health Department, agrees her research is unlikely to be greeted as a great shock. "There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that farmers are different. You hear stories from all sectors of society to suggest they have certain characteristics that set them apart from people in the city," she said.

But what surprised her was just how skewed her results were. She found farmers predominantly displayed only five of the standard 14 personality types.

The common elements include a capacity for hard work, perseverance, autonomy, the capacity to make decisions, ability to cope with adversity, being comfortable with solitude with little need for company, fully self-contained and a little stoical.

"One could hypothesise that the traits they have have allowed them to survive and cope with the hardships of the rural lifestyle over generations," she suggested.

The big question is whether the traits have developed in response to the conditions or if people with the right type of personality have become farmers. Or perhaps those with personalities that made them unlikely to cope with life on the land have left.

"It makes sense that to cope with the challenges of that industry the features of those five personality types would be an advantage," she said.

"But the other facet of those personality styles is that they're characterised by a particular approach to life and other people - each of them feel uncomfortable in a group of people."

The fact that governments have favoured group learning processes to educate farmers had produced a "policy paradox".

Policies devised by urban people did not seem to be suiting rural people, Dr Shrapnel said. "That causes a tremendous amount of frustration and you could hypothesise that's one of the reasons why there's a widening gap between rural and urban people."

The frustration is felt on both sides as policymakers don't feel they are getting a full return on their time and effort invested.

"They're a special breed of people and the policies that are made need to take into account what suits them and then maybe there's a chance for better success than they've been having," Dr Shrapnel said.


Posted to show we talk about 'The Great Divide' in OZ - as Americans continue to agonize about Elian.

It's not about the kid, but about Americans' relationship with its Executive Government. As I watch from afar the 'American Dream' dissipate I ask; "Where to now, America?"

Regards from Down Under

-- Pieter (, April 24, 2000


Thanks for all that you post, Pieter.

I see in my pocket calendar that tomorrow (or should I say "today") is ANZAC Day. Could you tell us about it.

-- David L (, April 24, 2000.


It's official - farmers really are different

Different than what? Here they are businessmen/women. Heavily wired on the net; using weather prediction schemes, following the market trends, etc. Not many of your type still making a living at farming.

I wouldn't worry too much about Elian. When the world sleeps next to an elephant they watch every move; no matter how minor.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (, April 24, 2000.

David L.,
ANZAC day is our annual "ordinary peoples" tribute to our "ordinary peoples" army of volunteers and conscripts who fought in those wars that kept Australia as it is now. It celebrates a wonder of their selflessness and sacrifice. ANZAC stands for Australia & New Zealand Artillery Corp (or on occasion A = 'ancillary' because it was a British colonial Corp). The date of remembrance is 25th April every year to commemorate the landing at Gallipoli - Turkey, World War One. It is a highly emotional day for Australia. Good coverage can be found here

Howdy Z,
Yeah, you're right, but the world isn't sleeping...err, well, at least I'm awake. I recall standing in a bright sunlight among a lot of people in an insignificant European village when Kennedy was shot dead. All were stunned and asked "What to now, America?" Rather I thought that was the question. I suppose everyone could have been milling around just for laughs waiting for the Russians...

In OZ the Prime Minister and his minions in lethargy are making a big noise about the differences between bush and urban dwellers. He has to. His party's future depends on getting it right. As a bush dweller I think the urban sprawlers are stereotyping farmers. In repayment we reckon those who are so sociable as to find comfort being sardined in 1/4 acre allotments and brick veneer are daft. It's our great divide. Also our farmers are highly mechanised with gizmos etc.


-- Pieter (, April 24, 2000.

I wouldn't worry too much about Elian. When the world sleeps next to an elephant they watch every move; no matter how minor.

GREAT line Z!

Hardly an "American Dream" deal-breaker here Pieter. This story is quickly becoming old news and will very soon be relinquished to nothing more than a couple columns on the back page.

Just out of curiousity, Petier, what's the opinion about all this down there in Oz?

-- CD (, April 24, 2000.

Hello Pieter-- Interesting article.

How do you see the American Dream dissipating over Eilian? I think it was unfortunate that a little boy was frightened. But I'm absolutely disgusted with the statements the Florida mayors made and I'm annoyed that the United States Government made a pre-dawn raid instead of marching up in broad daylight and demanding the respect of its citizens.

This country nearly came apart after the race riots in the '50's and the civil rights protests in the '60's and Vietnam after that. We survived Nixon. Eilian is just a little blip. And doesn't he look happy with his dad?

-- Pam (, April 24, 2000.

Elian made the front page Down Under. So did the trooper. The Advertiser Newspaper devoted editorial space in a sanctomonial air about upholding law. What do we think? I suppose it confirms our notion that America lost it a bit more on a weekend with the nightly movie featuring Jesus and Pontius Pilate replete with Yankee twang.

The dream of America is a Euro-centric chemistry of hope and re- inventing opportunity of self. As such it is a dream. Elian's mom had a dream I suppose. So, to answer Pam, I think this little tiny episode in your nation's history is encaptulated by the storm-trooper's glare at the kid. It is not the trigger finger here that sends the message - it is the grab, the sudden lurge at the kid, the capture and pending banishment. Upholding the law.

I suppose in my mind I see America not as a haven for long distance swimmers in inner inflated tubes, but as an exporting country of lotsa stuff-n-junk-n-visual, including deportation of kids by force. In that you are not alone either - we're exporting refugee kids too.


-- Pieter (, April 24, 2000.

Ah Pieter, have you been keeping up with the Irish Times and the Irish Independent online? It seems that dear, beloved Eire, having lost so many souls to emigration down the ages, has suddenly joined the unenviable position of becoming a "desti-nation". Now that the EU and the US have decided that she was punished enough for her aloof neutrality in WW II. [Many Irish villages paid in blood at Gallipoli too. The rage of so many returning amputees helped spawn the rising in 16 against the imperial war fodder machine. But I digress...] It's Easter Monday Rebellion weather got me wound up today I guess lad. UP the ANZACS and The Devil's Own!

But having endured the blacklist of the benefits for the rebuilding of Europe for so long and only now, at long last coming into her own as the ubiquitous "Tiger", now her green shores are attracting foreign workers. The Roma or "gypsy" community have found to their misfortune that the "welcome committee" has no room at the inn. The nation which starved of cholera and typhoid on the coffin ships to the quarantines at Grosse Isle, Quebec; Ellis Island and Sydney Barracks, actually has proposed "floating hotels" in Waterford Harbor for the struggling masses, yearning to breathe free. While they wait for their endless applications to be processed. A lengthy ordeal. The boat launch idea has thus been torpedoed. Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot. A culture finds itself under siege. All the cries of racism at the old NINA, (No Irish Need Apply) signs in 19th century NYC and Boston have been forgotten. And the first African protest for civil rights has begun after an African youth was stoned in the Fair City by a crowd of Dubs recently.

As for farmers being different. Indeed. They are a breed apart and their offspring will be the last to carry on a 10,000 year old tradition. In Illinois, the son of the State Sec. of Agriculture will be sentenced on May 11th, for siphoning off anhydrous and then selling it to mobsters for the manufacture of meth-amphetamine. Our latest rural "scourge". Ecstasy, the rave club drug has not found a strong base here yet, but it is growing in popularity. Over in Tony Blair's "Third Way", they are discussing decriminalizing it. While also allowing Monsanto and Novartis to offer cash payments to farmers (from L6000 to L10,000) for GM sugarbeets, maize, soya, canola, etc. My opinion: The battle is over for farmers when they can be bought off so cheaply. The sacred bond of land stewardship passed down from father to son for millenia has been broken. To quote Midnight Oil in Truganini: Farmers are hanging on by their fingernails. In more ways than one I would add. If American Ag succumbs, our food chain will be hijacked and we will be slaves to the Brave New World Disorder in short order. So support your organic suppliers. This is a war folks.

And lastly, regarding Elian. This is a ruse, a media deception, a tempest in a teapot. A black psy-op to condition the people to accept "dramatic entry" by soldiers in full riot gear. And a smoke and mirror show (Ignore that Greenspan man behind the curtain) while the Nazdaq (sounds like a place for Tolkien's Nazgul) dissolves like Dorothy's witch. Let the new paradigm begin. And May God give the farmers the strength to endure crossing the eternity bridge into the next century. Regards, mate.

-- William Wallace (, April 25, 2000.

Ah, Pieter-- You see this as a deportation. I see it as a reunion.

It would have been so much simpler just to keep Elian. Simpler but not right. Where ever his father is--is home. You can see this in the joy on that little boy's face.

-- Pam (, April 25, 2000.

No, I personally see it as a returning of a boy to his father. I also see it as another arrival of the State machine arm. To that end I am cynic, knowing that nothing happens by chance in politics. The symbolism reeks. The visual disturbs. The dream dies another titbit. The Elian saga has many players aplaying..., but whose aprofiting. Votes are aswinging me thinks.

G'Day Wallace,
Where've been? I figured the blarney stone must've been a bloody sorry rock for you, and then you pop up sprouting broadest Irish brogue and manage fusing best of Disney biz, smelly nazgul, and dainty Yankee folk-tales all together into one sentence. I dip me lid to the emerald gloss of it. Nobody would dare the like & it's a punishment for sure!


-- Pieter (, April 25, 2000.

Pieter, it gets even better lad! Now wait for it. The Irish Taoiseach is being blackmailed as we speak together. Dublin press speculates some fiendish "leprechauns", using the American owned web portal site (via the Netherlands), bought the rights to It features live sex shows from Amsterdam. The bold pornographers are demanding a cool million pounds in order to remove this besmirchment of Bertie's reputation. Now think all of ye. Who would have the finances to invest in this little defamation of character stunt? Who are the REAL powers behind the cyber "mafia" throne. Who has a vested interest in North Sea Oil rights? Who would like to discourage, distort, delay and distract a key player in the "peas process" aka the "Good Friday Agreement" (aged 2 years).... I will say this to the beleagured Bertie. The photography is slick and sublime. Gives new meaning to the words "cute hoors". P.S. And plants the seeds of discord between the Dutch and Irish as well...fringe benefits, no? And confidential to Pammy, check out the articles at Scroll down to headlines and read the latest alternative media on Elian.

-- William Wallace (, April 25, 2000.

Pieter, you're right, we are the best exporters of junk, to fill your over-flowing land fills, of anyone in the world. And the DEA, INS, FBI, and on and on, all like to dress up like spacemen or Rambo and bust down doors, while playing savior in riot gear.

Having said that, I believe the boy wanted to be with his dad but had been brainwashed by all the junk and attention surrounding him. That family is a bunch of sleazy jerks, bordering on kidnappers.

-- gilda (, April 25, 2000.

PS..I love farmers, they always have lots of buckets.

-- gilda (, April 25, 2000.

Dear Pieter,

Here in the West of England,farmers are certainly known as being "a breed apart"particularly those up in the hills & moors.I believe that similar research carried out in many other professions or crafts would show similar results.Remember the old saying describing somebody who is inept at their job as being "a square peg in a round hole" ?

Dear William, We are hoping to move to Co Mayo to live in about 6 weeks time.The Irish people are so friendly & very kind.They keep asking us when we are coming home....Poor Bertie..even my husband blushed.

-- Chris (, April 25, 2000.

Chris, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to ye, but have you seen today's edition of the Irish Independent? A proposal to house 30 refugees in a hotel made only Monday was quashed with a vengeance. Some jackeen crawled thru a laundry window last night at 2 a.m. and set linen afire. Hotel damaged. End of refugee proposal. But read between the lines at what the publican had to say about the people of his town and their response to 30 immigrants. Chris, I take it you are not a native of Rwanda, Nigeria, Pakistan, Albania or Moldova.

In other words an "economic migrant" as opposed to someone seeking political asylum. It's Cead Mile Faultye these days. I suggest you listen quietly in the pubs to the slang that's lashed about. Both Gaelic and otherwise. Yankee Narrowbacks, 2nd and 3rd generation tourists, meaning they didn't have to "work" as hard as their Irish Broadback kinfolk. Merkins, ie Americans, sounds like elves. Kelly Greens, you know these, the lookalike green tracksuits and matching jumpers. IAMS (Irish Americans) Iams is a pet food brand here I might add. But then the term I abhor most, reserved especially for the children of Irish men and women desperate for money, who fled to Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester for work during the war. They are simply called "plastic paddies". There's nothing new going on here. Cu glas from the Irish Gaelic is the term for "foreigner". It translates literally as "water hound" or metaphorically as "dog from across the water". Dates back to Viking times. If that explains it to ye. She is an emerald gem to be sure, but flawed with a dark deadly scrath in her deep heart's core. Tis the Sean Mallacht, the "old malice" or jealousy towards others that is her curse. If the English are afflicted with elitism then the Irish are condemned with utterly blatant "opportunism". Or as yer man Pieter from Oz (of good Dutch stock) says fondly, "the cocky Irish". True enough. Best o luck to ye as you'll need it. You've picked a tricky time to "come back home". See

-- William Wallace (, April 26, 2000.


I had to laugh while growing up. My parents both immigrated to the U.S. from Norway, but my mom came from a farming environment and my dad from a city environment. My mom's sister married a German immigrant who was also from a city environment. These different points of origin always flavored conversations. My father thought it could be fun to live on a farm. My mother had absolutely NO intention of returning to that type of life. My uncle [known to curse a blue streak] would throw up his hands in despair when conversing with my aunt and state "There's just no dealing with these farmers!"

-- Anita (, April 26, 2000.

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