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Five-penny Tour of Paradise Oz   Sep 13 2011

Filed under Australiana by Ewen Shearer

A nation is a vector of its citizens’ clamour.

As we more cynical and paranoid know, that vector is easily, and usually, subjugated by an elite.

Such forces wag Australia’s tongue-politic, confusing and worrying our Asian neighbors, amusing the wider world.

One hundred years of democracy has ended in this once fine country. The executive conclave now wields erosive legislative barrage upon the fading rights of its ignorant squabbling charge – the Australian people.

That, however, probably concerns you not. You, dear visitor, most likely wish to understand the people, the populace, that noisy sea of hostile faces you fear you hear barracking ugly behind a rude, arrogant, intellectually-devoid press.

First the bad news

Those Australians among us who ever stopped to think about this nation or its standing in the world community, are at a deep loss to make anything meaningful of it.

To encapsulate Australia and its people, imagine America’s brassy ersatz Las Vegas spread thick over three million square miles at the Pacific’s heel. Twenty million itinerant gamblers prowl the gaudy commercial cavalcades seeking no more than profit, leisure, and gratification.

For two centuries, from all over the globe, restless curious refugees pitched camp in far-western suburban hellish sprawls around glittering unstructured coastal cities to begin an unrelenting life grinding their neighbors into the dust.

Their children, typically obnoxious, ruthless and faithless – trapped between intangibles of their parent’s lost culture and the illusional “Spirit of Australia” – proceeded with unfettered confidence to be king of the local commercial warlords, adding one more gaudy shingle to the iconic clatter of their local “Zoned Commercial.”

Those not betting theirs and their family’s lives on the casino-commercial of small-time barter went digging up the countryside of the worlds largest quarry, encouraged financially and ideologically by the nouveau-riche barons owning a series of the most short-sighted, selfish, destructive federal governments this once-egalitarian land suffers in its short brilliant history.

If this bitter darkness does not quite gel, dear foreign visitor, with your sense of reality or the snippets of Aussie life gleaned from your own fleeting visits (or upbeat assessments by traveling friends) then I might at least kindle your suspicions, that your imagined “Australia” is a shiny racist coin in search of a scratch.

Visitors naturally perceive places through their personal outlook on the world. An Australia experienced will fit, by filtering, into each’s own model of reality – usually a media cliché blending seamlessly with the interpersonal liaisons, the meeting and matching of behavior and ideas between tourists, guides and locals.

But do beware

This easy-going, larrikin, egalitarian, friendly and generous people are easily spooked.

Like a herd of grazing cattle – indeed, like any collection of creatures on God’s Earth – the serenity of the scene deceptively cloaks an ebb and flow of sensory energies, relaxation and alert, fear and flight, prejudice and suspicion, amity and enmity, welcome and rejection.

Gentle zephyrs of generosity and sociability are swept aside in sudden storms of hatred and xenophobia.

If you doubt my word, gentle stranger, remember the Sydney riots of December 2005, or the enduring support of a political aggregate named One Nation.

Australia is a largely suburban place with an empty interior. Its population highly mobile, roughly one motor vehicle each, few walk to the local store, few commute in bus or train; family outings feature family cars; gangs don’t rumble in the hood, they rumble inter-suburban-convoy.

Few, very few, know their neighbors.

And everyone feels at a loss.

Youth, between partying, endure morose dark emptiness – awareness erased and intellect crushed during childhood in missionless, overly and overtly politically-correct, socially oblivious classrooms of formal education.

And adolescents of intellect? Well, they once filled the streets, colleges, parks and parliaments with righteous protest seeking land rights for gay whales. Today, sadly silent, they meekly tread the mills of academia, skirting excellence in science and arts for commerce and IT. Perfect fodder for what they imagine, without imagination, their perfect world.

The middle-aged middle class, intellectually plateaued, spend three decades in lemming-like quests for real estate adorned with trinkets of success – only to waken and find their lives over, pockets full, minds empty, spiritually devoid.

Intolerant gray nomads sweep the highways with camper convoys, their hardening arteries feeding hardened minds and positively concrete emotions.

Indigenous Australians suffer, trapped and mostly outcasts camped near hot dusty country towns, simmering in fatalistic bitterness between a forgotten dreamtime and forbidden dreams.

Like all godless, gambling, greedy cultures, Australia’s is as shallow today as any facile, fragile, feckless frontier. Fully self-sufficient fifty years ago, this nation’s entire mission statement now comprises merely exporting minerals in return for consumer electronics.

Infrastructure, formerly great (efficently run or not, but efficient employers) edifices of engineering, managed by engineers, is now mostly lost to private globalism, and socially-dysfunctional bean counter kingdoms of little relevance or use to a population driven into publicly-financed privately-owned “services” that – the people discover to their dismay – only the wealthy owners’ offspring can afford to patronise.

This once delightful little nation, which boasted a truly genuine cultural spirit born of its growth, struggles, and emergence from a colony in the 19th century, is today no more than a pigs’ trough, it’s ‘spirit’ a mere publicist’s slogan that turns dry in the mouths of patriots.

Lobbyists’ task near complete

While nothing differs in a population’s quest for consumer status – a Grail whose light has blinded all since the beginning of the industrial age – what is startlingly and distressingly different is the intellectual and social desolation in the nation’s leaders who are intent upon no social agenda other than subverting the entire infrastructure into bankrolling projects of the powerful elite.

The Australian federal government is a corporate branch office that functions as a revolving door feeding newly minted politicians into company directorships, along with their (only yesterday) confidential portfolio of ministerial knowledge.

Do I sound bitter?




Down Under


Australiana


Ink Irresistable

Not the NYT Montaigne's what would I know? Huxley's almost anything about almost everything. Or Bierce and nothing matters. Codifying life's inimitable impromptu inclines irrestistably to essay.

Civilization ..

   defiles itself


Times past when warlords, priests and royalty hoarded luxury, life was a short grim struggle. Today most want for little yet still deny dignified survival to working poor, and ravage entire countries as collateral to our laissez faire fiesta.
double arrowOn not shedding a tear ..

A Century of Imperialism

     ..hasn't dulled the urge

American foreign policy never a pretty sight, finesse of the mobile crane chase from Terminator 3. Export democracy? Cure worse than disease. double arrow Read more ..

Charity

~ its own reward

And what's going on in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? As 40% of kids fail graduation the Iraqistan wars suck $2.4 trillion [CBO 2017 est]. Imagine this staggering sum applied to rebuilding The Great Society. Think of others.
double arrow Where Charity Begins

This lazy unemployed

..crack-smoking welfare queen ran up U$15 trillion debt

lazy homeless scum
Odd how the ultra-wealthy gull even working poor to blame unemployed, disabled, weak, and vulnerable while but for the grace of God go all.

If he's a welfare leech then your soul is with the sociopaths and predators who own Warshington and its minions, the Repugnicans and Dumfocrats, gutting a once noble nation that aspired to equality.

This elite will survive the US economic train wreck, land softly on 300 million plundered taxpayers, then from fortresses of luxury and privilege prey elsewhere for spoils.

The dawn of civilization was greatly exaggerated.

Munch Montage


Painters, such a sad old bunch
None it seems more so than Munch
Upon that bridge with skies afire
A meme took flight to never tire.
2arrow gif

Quote Me

"I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another. In a way I have nothing to say but a great deal to add
~ Gore Vidal

"Rulers of state are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying" (Well, that explains the last 2500 years)
~ Plato

"By 'known unknowns' I was referring to the universe's dark matter.."
~ Donald Rumsfeld

"I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out.."
~ Joseph Addison