a dirge. The words are, at best, inaccurate and - well it is just plain awful. There, I have said it.
I will go on and say that I have no time for Australia Day. There are indigenous Australians who find it insulting, indigenous activists who call it "Invasion Day" and many others for whom Australia is the second country of allegiance rather than the first. The idea that Australians are all one united happy people is utter nonsense. They're not. "Mateship", if it ever existed, went out the window years ago.
There was apparently an idea floating around that everyone should stop at eleven o'clock - or some hour - and sing the national anthem. Most Australians don't know the words and don't want to know the words.
The idea of a "national day" seems to be at odds with the other idea of a "multi-cultural country". How can you have both? How can you just have all the green and gold and wattle and football (Aussie Rules of course), meat pies, Holden cars and whatever else the song said - as well as claiming to have every other colour under the sun, a different shaped ball (for something called "soccer") and more foreign than locally made vehicles?
Yes, that last sentence was too long. It is not good English.
There are always "citizenship" ceremonies on Australia Day. There are always pictures of people with happy, smiling faces. They have achieved their dream of being "Australians". Good on them. I am pleased for them, genuinely pleased. I hope they won't be disappointed.
But, last night on the SBS news, they interviewed the man who owns Kogan.com. He's a migrant who came here as a child. He had something rather blunt to say to other migrants. If you migrate here become Australians, don't try to bring your way of life and your values from your other country. I think it is a fair message.
But, it is a message that is at odds with the official message.