the games

Rob Schaap rws at
Tue Aug 22 21:14:59 PDT 2000

G'day Jonathan and Catherine,

Sprach Jonathan:

>I agree, just look at the growth in newspaper liftouts that refer to our
>>sporting brilliance. Consider the liftout from the 'Weekend Australian'
>just >past: 2000 Winners, Secrets of the Gold Medallists, PART FOUR:
>Australia: >Champions of the Pool. So much for modest Aussies.

Since the late eighties, the Ozzie gold medallist's secret is the $40 million each gold medal costs the public purse here. Nothing against the athletes in that, of course, but a lot of evidence in it that we are wall-biting mad. $40 million gets chucked at a millionaire like Kieran Perkins, whilst we're closing down suburban footy ovals and public parks for everyone else.

Shameless Generalisation Alert: And I don't reckon Ozzies were ever very modest - it's just that, by and large. they didn't share other people's criteria of worthiness. They're (comparatively and typically) humble about their intellect, their 'high' culture, their physical appearance, and in their style of argument. But ya can't knock their country, their guts, their honour, and their sporting presence in the world - not if you're not prepared to resolve the issue toe-to-toe behind the dunnies, anyway.

Given all that (and Catherine is probably tempted to demur), we still don't know our national anthem or our constitution (they are neither of them particularly attractive examples of their genre). That's not how we express our patriotism, because I reckon we're a bit suss about symbolism, and prefer to believe an Ozzie expresses himself (I think I have the gender right) through action - taking great pride in his modesty.

I'm consequently saddened to hear that our athletes now take classes to learn the anthem (signifying an unfetching arrogance, I reckon), and, worse still, some have taken to clutching at the heart Yank-style during the tortuous strains of 'Advance Australia Fair'.

Blecch. Rob.

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list