January - Now Renamed "The Australian Ethos"

 

There has been a lot of speculation about what exactly 'The Australian Ethos' is. The only conclusion anyone seems to be able to come to is that we are unlike any other people in the world. Damn right we are, and proud of it!

 

So I will try and put down on paper (or on website) what exactly the Australian Ethos is. Feel free to disagree with me. After all, who am I, an 18-year-old Australian expatriate, to determine what is the ethos of Australia?

 

You could get on your moral high horse about that, or you could just read and enjoy this.

 

Please don't give me credit for these things. They are the work of others, who I will name if I can, but most are anonymous. This page will also be updated every time I find something else worthy of putting on here.

   
 

We Are One

(in my opinion, a work of genius)

We are the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional wanker. We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand), and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like. We are One Nation divided into many States.

 

First, there’s Victoria, named after a queen who didn’t believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand final day and big horse races. Its’ capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that ”it’s liveable”. At least that’s what they think. The rest of us think it’s too bloody cold and wet.

 

Next, there’s New South Wales, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital, Sydney, has more Queens than any other city in the world – and its might proud of it. Its mascots are the Bondi lifesavers that pull their Speedos right up their cracks to keep the two sides of their brains separate.

 

Down south we have Tasmania, a state based on the notion that the family who sleeps together stays together. Down in Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the state bring smiles to even the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can’t seem to beat no matter how often they try.

 

South Australia is the province of half-decent wines, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively reuse country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but they lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.

 

Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. Its main claim to fame is that it doesnt have daylight saving because if it did, all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts, and many of them still work there in business and government positions.

 

The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, sheep stations the size of Europe, kangaroos, jackaroos, emus, Uluru, and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content. Although the territory is the centrepiece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest just prefer to fly over it on our way to Bali.

 

And there’s Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half-assed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland. It is beautiful one day, and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.

 

Oh yeah. Canberra. The less said the better.

 

We, the citizens of Oz, are united by highways, whose treacherous twists and turns kill more of us each year than murderers. We are united in our lust for international recognition. We are so desperate for praise that we leap in joy when a gaggle of corrupt IOC officials tell us Sydney is better than Beijing. We are united by a democracy so flawed that a political party, albeit a redneck gun toting one, can get a million votes and still note win one seat in Federal Parliament. Not that we’re whingeing… we leave that to our Pommy immigrants.

 

We want to make ”no worries mate” our national creed, ”she’ll be right mate” our national attitude and ”waltzing Matilda” our national anthem. So what if it’s about a sheep-stealing crim who commits suicide? We are the only country in the world that has the distinction to hunt, kill and eat the two animals on our national crest, the kangaroo and the emu. We love our sport so much that our newsreaders can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who is winning.

 

We’re the best in the world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby league, rugby union, AFL, roo shooting, two up and horse racing. Not to mention the greyhounds. We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies, and the worst dressed Olympians in the known universe. Only in Australia can a pizza delivery get to your house faster than an ambulance. Only in Australia do we have bank doors wide open with no security guards or cameras, but we’ll still chain the pens to the desk.

 

Stand proud Australians – we shoot, we root, we vote. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime on weekends. Even though we might seem a racist, closed-minded sport-obsessed little people, at least we feel good about it.

 

I am, you are, we are Australian!  

 

 

As the above work demonstrates, one of our chief abilities is the ability to laugh at ourselves. I apologise to all non-Australians who read that, because you probably won't understand very much of it. Let me assure you - you are missing out. Thanks very much to Sarie and Trinnie, for sharing that little slice of heaven with me on Australia Day, 2004.

   
 

You can ”Bali” this, M#@£$$”¤%

 

You hurt us bombing Bali, but we can take the pain,

But if you think you’ll beat us you can think a-bloody-gain,

We battled at Gallipoli, we fought the bloody hun,

Of all the assholes we have faced, you’re just another one,

You won’t get your hands dirty, you won’t fire a gun,

Whenever danger threatens you, you pack your gear and run,

You brainwash innocent children to do your evil deeds,

Careful not to let them know just where it really leads,

You teach them to believe all of your bigotry and lying,

Until they cannot see that there’s no glory in their dying,

Now we’d like to pose a question, answer if you can,

Where does your Holy Book tell you to kill your fellow man?

Now listen hard and listen well, we’re giving you the word,

You’re never going to beat us, you spineless bloody turd,

You’d never face us personally, you haven’t got the guts,

You know if it was face-to-face we’d have your bloody nuts,

Our spirit us unbroken and our heads are still unbowed,

We sure as hell aren’t scared of you and your gutless crowd,

So get your act together – you’ll never win because

What you’re really up against is the spirit that is OZ

 
 

If you ignore the racist undertones in the poem above, it basically tells a lot about Aussies. We won't back down and our spirit will not be broken.

 

And now, last but certainly not least, a modern-day classic. This is the finest piece of Australian prose committed to paper since Waltzing Matilda, in my opinion. Rupert McCall, Aussie poet (and Brisbane boy!) writes mostly about the Spirit of Australia. Well worth a read if you're looking for an insight into our culture.

 

 

Green and Gold Malaria

by Rupert McCall

The day would soon arrive when I could not ignore the rash.
I was obviously ill and so I called on Doctor Nash.
This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate.
I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight:
`Doc, I wonder if you might explain this allergy of mine,
I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine.
From there, across my body, I will suddenly extend -
My neck will feel a shiver and the hairs will stand on end.
And then there is the symptom that only a man can fear -
A choking in the throat, and the crying of a tear.'
Well, the Doctor scratched his melon with a rather worried look.
His furrowed brow suggested that the news to come was crook.
`What is it Doc?' I motioned. `Have I got a rare disease?
I'm man enough to cop it sweet, so give it to me, please.'
`I'm not too sure,' he answered, in a puzzled kind of way.
`You've got some kind of fever, but it's hard for me to say.
When is it that you feel this most peculiar condition?'
I thought for just a moment, then I gave him my position:
`I get it when I'm standing in an Anzac Day parade,
And I get it when the anthem of our native land is played,
And I get it when Meninga makes a Kiwi-crunching run,
And when Border grits his teeth to score a really gutsy ton.
I got it back in '91 when Farr-Jones held the Cup,
And I got it when Japan was stormed by Better Loosen Up.
I get it when Banjo takes me down the Snowy River,
And Matilda sends me waltzing with a billy-boiling shiver.
It hit me hard when Sydney was awarded the Games,
And I get it when I see our farmers fighting for their names.
It flattened me when Bertrand raised the boxing kangaroo,
And when Perkins smashed the record, well, the rashes were true blue.
So tell me, Doc,' I questioned. `Am I really gonna die?'
He broke into a smile before he looked me in the eye.
As he fumbled with his stethoscope and pushed it out of reach,
He wiped away a tear and then he gave me this stirring speech:
`From the beaches here in Queensland to the sweeping shores of Broome,
On the Harbour banks of Sydney where the waratah's in bloom.
From Uluru at sunset to the Mighty Tasman Sea,
In the Adelaide cathedrals, at the roaring MCG.
From the Great Australian Blight up to the Gulf of Carpentaria,
The medical profession call it "green and gold malaria".
But forget about the text books, son, the truth I shouldn't hide.
The rash that you've contracted here is "good old Aussie pride".
I'm afraid that you were born with it and one thing is for sure -
You'll die with it, young man, because there isn't any cure.'

 

 

Unfortunately most non-Australians won't understand the references to sporting events and the like in the poem above, but just bask in the glory of it's words. Feels good, doesn't it.

 

I will update this page when I find more worthy material. If you know of anything that you think is worthy to be immortalized on my webpage, or if you yourself write poetry or prose regarding 'the spirit of Australia', hit me on the guestbook or email me.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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