Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Oz Day

It is Australia Day today. It is a public holiday and we celebrate.....umm, being Australian I suppose. At times you will see cars with Australian flags attached to them. I have never felt comfortable with the use of our flag in such a manner. To use a word my grandparents used to use, it is skiting. Apparently flying our flag on the car is a favourite things for racists to do. I'll make do with the toothpick with the Aussie flag.

I like my country as much as the next person. There are many people in Australia who will justifiably disagree with me, but Australia truly is the lucky country. By this I mean it is relatively successful for no reason other than succeeding by arse rather than class.

I am sorry for being so negative on what is supposed to be celebratory day, but I have and most of you have seen many changes in Australia, and mostly they have been for the good. What troubles me is the lack of political passion, be it left or right, it doesn't matter. What is wrong is that no one believes anymore. Everyone is so cynical. It is easy to blame the politicians who literally or figuratively pork barrel. It is easy to blame the shallow five second grab media.

But no, the fault lies with us, you and me. We have fallen for the 'give them cake'. We are fat and gazing at our navels.

Australia has such a huge potential and many individuals do fine things, but collectively, we really need to get our act together.

I would like to expand further, but I have to write an email to the manager of the building next door to query why the air conditioning is running at night time and disturbing my sleep.

Later edit: This is all very glum. Try last years Oz Day post or the year before for some nice music.


  1. Not to mention that it is on an awkward day of the week and the wrong time of year. As it was the first fleeters faced a cracking Sydney storm, unlike anything they had seen before, the afternoon they arrived. March would have been better. Then there is the assumption that Oz was 'Terra Nullius'...difficult.

  2. Hello Andrew:
    Happy Australia Day, Mate!! [Is this the usual greeting on this celebratory day?!!]

  3. Show your pride and fly our flag just like other people do in other countries, i don't hear them being called racist. Happy Australia Day Cobber :-).

  4. the aircon next door is running all night because the Overnight Low recently has been not a bit Low at all. It needs to be quieter that's all. Ring the EPA on the noise pollution.

    and I second what Windsmoke says above. Australia is actually one of the LEAST Racist nations.

    and #1 by Christine - "a cracking Sydney storm" - so no change then in 230 years?
    I hope you have a holiday HighRiser, or at least double-time
    X X

  5. Happy Australia Day Andrew!
    I share your concern over flag waving. As I see it there is a very fine line between patriotism and fascism. Bear it mind that I am looking at the state of affairs in the U.S.
    Cobber is it?

  6. Happy Oz Day, mate. You could do a lot worse watching a pair of girls grunt and scream in a tennis match...

    It's the 4th day of the Chinese New Year here in Singapore and it's going to be madness all over again in the weekends as the celebration starts again.


  7. welcome to the land of Apathy

  8. Christine, March would have been better. I thought my post was glum enough without mentioning Invasion Day.

    JayLa, yes, Happy Australia Day is often expressed now, although it never used to be. Not too many add mate though. I asked our guests the other night if they had heard anyone in Australia say mate, and they had not.

    Windsmoke, I think flags can mean different things to different countries. We view our flag quite differently to how Americans view theirs.

    Ann, the aircon is faulty and there is a wait on parts but it has been going on for over three weeks. I beleive it's the local council who enforce the EPA regs. Yes, I don't think Australia is very racist in comparison to other countries. Yes, day off today.

    Thanks Rubye. I heard my grandfather use the word cobber once. It has fallen from favour.

    Michael, in the land of public holidays. How many do you have? Missed CNY celebrations here this year.

    That's us pretty well Fen.

  9. I'm with you here, Andrew, and with Christine about the choice of day and the choice of focus. As for nationalism leading to racism, it's unfortunately true. Pride can shift to superiority.

    I heard Charles Teoh's talk this morning, about his experience of racism as the son of Chinese migrants growing up in Sydney.

    My father used to say, as a migrant you have to do three times as well as an Australian born individual to do well here, and that was in the sixties and seventies. I'm not sure it has changed all that much. I am appalled by our governments' of all persuasions pragmatism when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers and the lack of compassion shown there.

    To me it makes a mockery of all the good things that Australia day is meant to represent, the idea of diversity and sharing among other things. I'd better not go on here. It's becoming a rant.

  10. Happy Oz Day, cobber. I agree with Fenstar, we're a (a)pathetic bunch a lot of the time. It's the heat, I reckon, just wears a mate down, ya know?

  11. Perhaps I'm missing something... after your call to arms, I thought your complaint about the aircon was an ironic punchline. Not glum at all.

    Ideally, Australia day should be moved to the date of Rudd's apology - perhaps as the day when we grew up as a nation and accepted some responsibility. In practical terms, of course, it won't happen.
    At the very least Jan 26 always reminds me of Burnum Burnum planting the Aboriginal flag on the beach in England and claiming the country on behalf of his people.

    As for the flag I think of it as being a little like "god" - I can choose what it means to me, and I'll focus on the positive.

  12. Elisabeth, the worst thing I heard in Teo's talk was about his daughter not going to Bondi Beach anymore. She is as Australian as you or I. I think it is quite true that you have to go the extra mile as an immigrant, but hopefully not to the point your father thought. But then I have never walked in an immigrant's shoes.

    Nice work River.

    FruitCake, yes, the air con comment was irony. I should have left it at that hey. I'd forgotten about Burnum Burnum. That was clever. Re the flag, I don't like what it is coming to represent among young people.

  13. ...don't worry about the glum tone. I feel a bit that way because emails, blogs and FB have reminded me of the sunshine, BBQs, tennis and all the other lovely things that I can't get here.

  14. Kath, while I don't really mind our winters, I expect a Euro winter would get to me. But what excitement spring will bring.

  15. "By this I mean it is relatively successful for no reason other than succeeding by arse rather than class" I have never heard it put this way - thats so true.

    Re the political parties - Right Wing, Left Wing same bird. I have only met two that I thought were decent people and they were Ted Mack and John Hatton.

    Where are the Statemen such as john Curtin who cared about where we were in 50 years not just 4 years?

    Don and I did get very involved but its a weird thing get a group of 30 activists together and it will end up that two or three do all the work, and often be vilified because they are not doing this or that right as if it was a paid job - and the majority who do join will sit back and expect to have it doled out to them like entertainment. Call me old cynical.

  16. MC, while no doubt hard work was done by many over many years, it really is the lucky country and not in the ironical sense.

    You know generally I don't think politicians are bad, with some exceptions, but they are caught in the political process and they think to do good, they and or their party must get re-elected, and that is where it starts to go wrong.

    What you say about activists or volunteer orgs is so true.

  17. If you haven't heard an Aussie say 'mate', you must be moving in the wrong circles!!! Much as I love being in OZ, I can't help but agree with your political assessment. Did you know that well over 50% of the working population effectively pay no tax, or even negative tax?? While I have no issue with respecting people's life choices, why does that mean the nation has to sink into debt for them? All the same, I'm happy to be here - we (nationally) just need to get off our a**es and demand that priorities are given priority funding! HHHMMMmmm... that's my rant done!

  18. Red, I am certainly not among the 50% who don't pay tax. I am happy to pay tax to benefit society. The older I get, the more I think of saying to some people, have you ever thought of getting a job?


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.