Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oztraya Day

In honour of the fact that a lot of years ago a bunch of whitefellas landed on our shores and thought "This looks like a jolly place to swan around and claim as our own," today is National Get Pissed and Carbonise Animals on a Barbie Day.

I have mixed feelings about celebrating an event which led to the wholesale slaughter of thousands of people, and started the systematic extinction of an entire culture. Yes, we have a bloody good country here, most of the time I'm proud to call myself an Australian (shameful antics of the Howard government notwithstanding) and I am thankful for the opportunities and the lifestyle that we have here. But these things all came at a very high price.

There are plenty of Australians who take a dim view of the "black armband" view of history, but I seriously doubt that any of them would be reading this blog. Regardless, I want to take this opportunity to say that I am so very very sorry for the atrocities that have occured within the Indigineous community as a result of the actions of past and present Australian governments.

Recently in Los Angeles, a strange event called something like "Cooee Cobber Week" occurred, where they celebrated all things Australian, including playing Aussie Rules Football and eating lot of our national emblems. I scratch my head in wonderment, but...well... those crazy Seppos will do just about anything so I shouldnt be too surprised. I know that this was a publicity exercise on behalf of our tourism industry, and its all about generating goodwill and - more importantly - lots of money for the coffers. But how many people outside of Australia are aware that its not all Steve Irwin, being allowed to say "wanker" on prime-time tv and the domination of world sport?

Something to think about while we all whack some lamb on the barbie today.

1 comment:

  1. I feel very similar about Columbus Day here. It's nice to have a day off but it always leads to thinking about the Native Americans and how the "discovery" of America was just the beginning of their woes.

    In retrospect they probably shouldn't have helped those damn pilgrims.


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