Awstraya – centre of the universe

Australians like to think they are important.

Why else would Australians call the country Godzone? This is  - for aussies – short for Gods Own, a contraction of Gods Own Earth. Every aussie knows that God came from Australia. And speaks with a nasal strine accent.

Except…

I’ve been travelling overseas for a month. When away from the big brown land down under, it’s apparent just how full of their own shit Australians are. I suppose Americans are worse, but Australians need to get a serious grip.

Important? Nope. 

Understood? Nope.

Recognised? Nope.

Leading the world, in a position to be seen and known for (name todays cause)? Forget it.

Leaders creating a special relationship with the USA / UK / Europe. Don’t make me laugh.

During our month away, we stayed in apartments for fair stretches. We had the chance, and watched a bit of TV in various languages and places. We included the news channels like CNN, CNBC, Sky News and BBC World News. We looked at newspapers now and again. Watched for advertisements, signs, placards, news headlines.

During the entire period, there were precisely 2 (two) mentions of Australia:

- An advertisement in the London Underground promoting “Aus Tours”, where the featured location was Milford Sound in New Zealand!!!!!

- A scrolling banner on CNN TV during the financial shennanigans announcing that the Australian Reserve Bank had cut interest rates by 1%.

Drum roll. That’s it folks. Tish-boom!

Nobody in the UK or Europe knows or gives a toss about Australia.

Next time some pillock opines with “The eyes of the world are on <insert cause or scandal of the week here>”, tune out. It’s bullshit.

And next time some f-wit politician says “We have a special relationship with <insert country here>”, tune out. It’s also bullshit.

Folks – Australia does not exist.

Let’s strive to keep it that way!

3 Comments

That point also came home to me as a nervous year eight student suffering in Aberdeen Scotland in 1981. Scottish folk didn’t follow cricket and Dad read exactly two references to Australia in the paper all year!

Comment by Kath Lockett | October 24th, 2008 5:50 pm | Permalink

Yep, Australia only raises a blip on the international media radar when a stingray kills a crocodile hunter.

However I don’t think this accurately reflects the mindshare Australia has when you talk to actual people. They all know about kangaroos, at the very least.

#2 Son was in Lyon and asked a local for directions. The conversation went like this…
Local: You are American. Wait till I finish my cigarette.
#2 Son: Non. Je suis Australien.
The local stubbed out his cigarette immediately and gave good directions in perfect English.
#2 Son remarked on the sudden change in attitude.
Local: It’s a good thing you didn’t say you were English. Otherwise I would have stubbed out my cigarette ON you.

Comment by MikeFitz | October 26th, 2008 5:46 pm | Permalink

Frankly I like it that the world thinks we speak a Germanic tongue are fantastic skiers and that Kangaroos live in Austria. If we can keep our politicians ‘mum’ we’re on a winner!

Comment by Baino | November 5th, 2008 8:12 pm | Permalink

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