Thursday, January 25, 2007

Australian history 101 (and why we should proudly burn our flags tomorrow)

If you're anything like me, you'll have found any trip to the supermarket in the last two weeks increasingly painful. Hell, you'll have found almost any journey into public thoroughfare cringeworthy. Why? Because Australia Day is upon us again. Lucky us. And amongst all this carry on about the banning of the flag at the Big Day Out (for further reading, I advise this), and about Lebanese schoolboys pretending to be thugs - just like most 15 year old schoolboys - you can't help but notice that with every year that passes, the politicians, the media, and the pissheads hanging out down at the local pub get a little more zealous about the flag, and about Australia Day as a whole. At last years Big Day Out in Sydney, there were a massive group of drunken yobs running around with the flag, ordering people to kiss it, or 'face the consequences'. A year later, from Big Day Out to the Federal Government, I now feel like I've been put in the exact same position with Australia Day - Celebrate it or face the consequences.

Now me of all people likes a day off work and a lazy drunken afternoon BBQ, but really, what are we celebrating on Australia Day? Our nations ability to be utter cunts at any given point? Our humanity in locking up refugees for years on end while awaiting 'processing'? Or maybe our ability to leave one of our own citizens, David Hicks, high and dry in Guantanamo Bay 5 years after being captured, still without actually facing any charges. Atrocities aside, there's still not a lot to be proud of - a yob culture where disrespecting women is fine, providing it's only done by white boys in board shorts; an ongoing oppression of queers; a culture where John Howards right wing politics and churchgoing morals are not only forced upon us, but popularly voted in? C'mon, give me a fucking break. And what the fuck are we even celebrating that particular date for? January 26th 1788 was the day the First Fleet set foot on the shores of Australia - a land declared Terra Nullus (that is, without population)... despite the indigenous population being somewhat established and until then getting by perfectly fine without the shot laden 'assistance' of the British Empire - to colonise the land as a rather large prison for British (well, mostly Irish) bread thieves. For fucks sake, for something that we declare to be 'Australia Day', it has fuck all to do with Australia as a nation - we didn't even become a federated nation until over a fucking century later, and that only happened because the Brits were scared of the naughty Germans and French arsing about in New Guinea and New Caledonia respectively. Christ, Western Australia wasn't even claimed by the British until 1829 - more than 30 years after the date we celebrate! In short, Australia Day is a celebration of the invasion of this land mass - an event that if occurred today would be a major war crime and in contravention of about a zillion international laws and rulings. Oh, and a scathing insult to all West Australians. No more, no less.

Really, if we're going to get all nationalistic one day a year, or at least, more nationalistic than usual, we should be celebrating Federation. It's got it all, and in fact is a far more relevant lesson to the kiddies of today! It reads a little like the current move for Australia to become a republic, it reeks of war-time terror and imperialistic overtones, and it frequently touches on the idea of New Zealand becoming a state of Federal Australia. In fact, over the 20 year campaign to Federalise the Australasian British colonies, both New Zealand and Fiji were at the table. Hell, in the first incarnation of Federation, the Federal Council of Australasia (designed as a sort of protectionist council against the Germans and French), New South Wales wasn't even a member. Queensland had massive problems with it too - because the proposed White Australia Policy to come with Federation would ruin their ability to kidnap Pacific Islanders for use as slaves. That's right, Queensland was anti White Australia Policy. Who'd have thunk it? But all the colonies bar Fiji & New Zealand held hands and formed a nation. A nation committed to the White Australia Policy, celebration of the indigenous population as fauna, and lets not forget imperialist arse kissing - a value we retain to this very day.

Anyway, enough about boring history bollocks and all that shit. Back to our little problem regarding compulsory celebrations tomorrow. What to do, what to do? There's always the Survival Day celebrations to attend, or you can opt for a long sleep in and do your best to avoid the flag waving public all day. Then again, you can get so utterly obliterated tonight that you sleep off the entire Australia Day - a plan fitting for Krus, methinks - or you can have a simple flag burning ceremony. But please, for your own safety, do it in your own backyard, or you'll end up with that cunt John Howard on your doorstep giving you a damned good talking to, and find yourself having to serve him tea and biscuits. God help you if you don't have any anzacs in stock.

3 comments:

CJ said...

note to self...
1. buy anzacs (in case of surprise PM visit)
2. buy flag burning materials...flag, lighter fluid...
3. inject rat poison into anzacs (in case of surprise PM visit)

RunningWithScissors said...

oh sweet i love anzac biscuits!!!!

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