Thursday, January 22, 2009

W.T.F. is With This?

It's time to ramp up the rabid nationalism, folks. Is it just me? Am I too cynical? Do I think too much?
Maybe if I were old and male, maybe I'd evolve into the type who erects (yes, erects, that little blue diamond pill being out of reach for most pensioners, gotta have some consolation) a massive gold baubled flagpole in my front yard to proudly display our national emblem this time every year.
If I was young and male, unthinking and yet slightly sinister in motivation, I would drive a Bundy ute, or dodgey Holden commodore all week in the lead-up, festooned with a flag/flags that progressed in size until that Hallowed Day when, with the help of copious amounts of Bundy, my turgid nationalism would explode in an ecstatic emission of fireworks and Two Buck Shop sparklers.

I've mentioned before that I have theories about all sorts of things. Here's one or two...
For the past five years, we've become embroiled in at least two wars and participated in all kinds of global unrest. One response to this is to embrace the good-triumphs-over-evil scenario epitomised by Lord of the Rings and The Narnia Chronicles blockbusters. It was a freaky sense of timing, considering these tales have been around for years and were both written by men who'd experienced first hand the personal and national catastrophes of World War II.

The other response is negative nationalism. Think the Cronulla riots, our shameful silence over the Tampa and Siev X issues, the cars emblazoned with stickers "Fuck off, we're full", or "If you don't like it, leave it," or even better, our national excuse for xenophobia, "Please expline?"

There are immediate consolations. Obama, Obama. Rudd, Rudd, err - Rudd. A new wind is flushing out the darker crevices of the last eight years. Finally. The relief and the elation is palpable in its creeping happiness.
For how much longer will we see these flag-weilding bog laps on the lead-up to Australia Day? I hope it's like Schoolies Week, ANZAC cookies, bratty kids extorting lollies under the guise of 'Halloween', and the 'Howard Battler' - era pieces that dissolve quietly under the whistling kettle of change. Whoo hoo! As Nick Cave and Chris Bailey from The Saints would sing - Bring it on.


  1. And thankyou to Boy Wonder for your great song!

  2. No, it's not just you, Sarah. This banal, rampant flag waving is utterly cringeworthy.

    "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind"
    - Albert Einstein.

    But wasn't it Nick Cave and Chris Bailey from the Saints who sang Bring It On?

    "Bring it on
    Every useless fear
    Bring it on
    All your shattered dreams
    And I'll scatter them into the sea"

  3. oh dear... you are right as always. i will change it RIGHT NOW.
    Love the measles quote... that is for this week's fish markets, I think. what's that, the day before Australia Day? Very cool!

  4. The local bottle shop is giving away those horrible flags that attach to your car with each beer purchase, I had to refuse.
    But I saw the connection... Beer + Flag = Nationalistic fervour.
    Flag waving is a step towards nationalism, nationalism is one step away from fascism.
    Being an immigrant I find the "Fuck Off We're Full" style of sticker very offensive, but then I am white so they probably aren't aimed at me...
    Great thought provoking post Sarah.

  5. Abso-fucking-lutely! Those fucking flags, and not only that - if you hurry you can get Australian flag bikinis, towels and stubby-holders at Red Dot. I think the people into that crap are all stubby-holders!

    But hey, it's not just the old white guys. It's the youngsters too, especially the ones who race up and down York St with obscenely loud mufflers and delude themselves that they actually have a personality because they have 'the car'. (Brilliant skill that - you know - the one where you push your foot onto an accelerator - I marvel at it all the time)

    Underneath it all is a sad lot of humans who want are actually crying out for something real in their lives, and some form of 'ceremony' to break up the monotony of a meaningless existence. If they weren't so fucking dumb I might feel sorry for them. In my more compassionate moments I do - but not today as I will have to endure flag-waving fuckwits for another 3 days!!

  6. All I can bring myself to say about it all is.............. Ugh!
    PS You should hear the original - much more lovely sub bass happening.
    PPS and when are you coming over to do the ipod thing?

  7. "Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings" abe lincoln ( i think) via bob dylan

  8. 'Patrotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings,
    Steal a little and they'll throw you in jail,
    Steal a lot and they'll make you king' bob Dylan.

    Just googled it chrissie, it was Samuel Johnson.

  9. i was just about to do the same - after re-spraying the wall with oven cleaner, and a fit of coughing.
    nice exposition of bob's. of course.
    from ratic

  10. Unfortunately, I think Obama and Rudd are more like bright lights and all the coachroach's will just run back into the holes and crevasses they came out from in the first place to stew and ferment in the darkness.

    Our new found Jingoism is one of Howard's legacies. By cleverly ignoring Hanson he legitimised the debate and point of view. She should have had a plastic bag placed over head and been slowly starved of oxygen. He then callously manipulated that sentiment to justify Tampa and a whole raft of shonk! ( Now it would have been something if John had been found in bed a'la Hutchence with pauline!)

    I think Schoolies and that fucked up Gallipoli dawn service will be around for a while , forget Howard's Battlers, these kids are Howard's Spawn and they have inherited there parents distrust of clever, well spoken, orators like Obama and Rudd.

    My favourite car sticker was attached to a beaten up falcon station wagon with a large aboriginal family inside, the back full of kids and dogs.

    Emblazoned across the top of the window in large bold type.....


  11. Wow, you have stirred up a real hornet's nest here, Sarah Toa!

    Yeah you are right C.Q. Fucking Howard, I could slap that man. Ruling under a culture of fear is not such a clever tactic, but very effective when most people don't want to think too much.

  12. It was almost embarrassing seeing all that insignia being flapped around..

    A really good read on this topic(And I understand yu older crew might hae mixed feelings about the Author) is "Fear and Politics" Dr Carman Lawrance - which is an indepth review of the Howard government politic's.

    Anyone remember that song "Australia don't bcome America - Macdonalds and coke-cola.. It was a dodge punk song, but how true it is.

    Whats the go putting a Southerns flag with the Australian flag.. Really??

    If your white - your not native.

    ps.. Sarah Toa, keep your eye's peeled Juiceblog is set to explode with new posts. I just needed some time to research literature a little more - As I told AD, I want to learn more about writing, and unfortunately it doesn't come in a tasty little pill.

  13. Waiting with baited breath Juice...oh for that tasty little literature pill. We could skip english 101, never have to read anything...mmm stuff the pill, stick with the journey, so much more fun.