ONE OF PNG ATTITUDE’s most popular features happens to be the summary of the articles (as well as poems, stories and essays) most commented upon by readers in the preceding month.
Today we review these 150 or so most mentioned contributions in 2012 to determine which of them our readers thought were most commentworthy over the course of the year.
In seeking some themes that seem to particularly spark a response from readers, I can only observe that the dramatic, the bizarre, the challenging and, from my point of view, personal tests of health and grief, all motivated you to address the keyboard in 2012.
So, in the terms of reader reaction, these were the big ones of 2012….
34 comments – Stan Jackson OAM dies after a long adventurous life (Keith Jackson). “My father, Stanley Jackson – teacher, author, environmentalist and marathon bike rider - died on Friday evening at the grand age of 98.” March
29 – Thoughts on Martyn’s uncertain road to Melbourne (Paul Oates). Martyn Namorong’s agenda for his Take the Truth to Australia tour was parsed by Paul, enticing a lively debate amongst readers. February
26 – As Carr stumbles, Bishop announced 2nd visit to PNG (Julie Bishop). “Australia has a deep and enduring relationship with PNG, says shadow foreign minister Julie Bishop, and, while it has challenges, it also holds enormous potential.” March
26 – East Sepik declares ‘independence’ from PNG (Keith Jackson). Tim Koeser, former self-styled leader of the World Indigenous Council of Jesus Christ, re-emerged as the no less self-styled President of the East Sepik Interim Government. April
26 - Bob Carr finds political events in PNG 'confusing' (Keith Jackson). “The events [in Papua New Guinea last week] were most certainly confusing,” foreign minister Senator Bob Carr told reporters in Canberra early in the month. Whah? Australia’s work experience FM needs to learn the difference between what you say to your wife and what you say in public. June
23 - A long week's journey through nothing very much (Keith Jackson). Ten days in hospital for spinal surgery slowed down your editor a bit and this piece heralded a recovery of sorts, although an anaesthetised brain didn’t make for easy writing.. I remain deeply grateful for the many expressions of support I received at this time. August
21 - Live blog: Mutiny leader gives MPs 7 days to resolve 'crisis' (Keith Jackson). Colonel Sasa’s attempt to create conditions in which Sir Michael Somare could make a comeback went awry but caused high excitement around the world for 24 hours. January
21 - Loujaya Toni – a life of music, politics & poetry…. (Keith Jackson). When academic, journalist, singer and poet Loujaya Toni shocked a strong field of male contenders to become Papua New Guinea’s newest female parliamentarian, it proved to be an event that resonated within and outside PNG. July
20 - O'Neill-Namah tiff demonstrates political fragility (Keith Jackson). Apparently Belden Namah thought the prime minister had shown insufficient support for him in dealing with Indonesia over Falcongate. The difference of opinion was expressed in Belden’s normal understated manner. January
20 - A salute – and a caveat - to the activists of PNG (Martyn Namorong). “Activists, we salute you for your courage. You are doing a great thing by showing the government the people have a voice – that O’Neill and the whole parliament have forgotten that they are accountable to us.” It was a big month for PNG’s best known blogger. Just before he left on his Australian tour, Namorong was part of a collective that organised a 10,000 person protest against the PNG government’s threat to defer national elections and a protracted attack on the judiciary. May
20 - Road to hell is paved with religion & westernisation (Martyn Namorong). You can count on Martyn to take the pin out of the grenade, engender some danger and trigger a degree of excitement from readers. This was he case when PNG’s best known purveyor of buai turned his attention to westernisation and development – which he saw as a cover for “the greedy white ruling class deciding to loot the rest of the world's nations of their wealth they carried with them their laws, their customs, their government, their technology, their diseases and their religion.” July