Tuesday, 26 January 2016

"Australia Day" is a ridiculous

holiday. The "nationalism" and "pride" we are supposed to feel makes me cringe. 
I loathe people running around in t-shirts adorned with the flag or having little flags fluttering on their cars.  I don't like gongs being handed out to people for simply doing their jobs - and, what is more, being paid to do their jobs. I am fed up with the emphasis on the "barbie" and the booze which goes with it. 
Australia Day falls on a Tuesday this year. A good many Aussies managed to take Monday off as well - so they get a four day weekend. For some it was an official day off. Their bosses just gave up knowing that some people would not bother to come to work and that others would resent being there. Other people just took the day off anyway - some via the time honoured tradition of a "sickie", others as part of their "flexi-time" arrangements. It's the sort of attitude which makes a joke of Australia Day.
We get nationalism rammed down our throats by politicians and the media, by sportspeople and other personalities. They tell us how wonderful they feel about being Australian - that "deep inside" there is this warm fuzzy feeling about something I don't even pretend to understand.
I don't get shivers down my spine on hearing the Australian national anthem. It sounds like a dirge. I don't want to have a little flag fluttering on my tricycle as I pedal down the street. I don't want to wear the flag as a t-shirt or a hat. 
I don't want to listen to the likes of Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten and Peter Fitzsimon telling me Australia isn't really an independent country yet. That's nonsense. It was an independent country long before any of them or their ancestors were born. It is also, despite what they want people to believe, a completely independent one now. These are people who believe that denying our past will somehow allow us to become some sort of Utopia in the future. It's nonsense but they want us to believe it - and in them as potential Presidential candidates.
I don't want Australia to go through what the United States is  currently going through. I don't want the regular social upheaval and political uncertainty of choosing a President - or the expense. I don't want one chosen by politicians because, unlike the present choice of a Governor-General, it would become a very political issue rather than a mildly political issue.
I don't want to listen to any more nonsense about Australia being a multi-cultural country but "everyone" being Australian as well. It's a contradiction nobody seems prepared to face. 
So could we cut the nonsense please? Could we forget the "all let us rejoice" bit and get on with being citizens of the world instead?
I might be able to feel something about that.

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