"I remember reading some years ago about the series Dallas being beamed in to the New Guinea highlands. It was being viewed by mountain tribal people who were just a generation removed from First Contact, people who’d had little or no connection with European society at all apart from the odd Christian missionary."From John Doyle's magnificent speech at this year's Andrew Olle Media Lecture. You can download it as a mp3 or read the transcript at the ABC website.
"Tim Flannery recalls seeing a burial service in the highlands whereby the deceased was picked up and swung over the grave with the family and onlookers solemnly chanting the incantation ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the hole he goes’."
"What were they to make of Dallas? A highly camp styled vacuous rich oil family living the life of Reilly in a bed-hopping fun-filled soap operatic adventure, laced with stylized irony. Probably the highlanders saw it differently - a lifestyle that was heaven on Earth. Irresistible. Vast houses, huge cars, heated pools, money, booze, guns and loose women. And no morality to speak of. Ancient and modern cultural universes brushing against each other. Again a cataclysmic event."