the games

Catherine Driscoll catherine.driscoll at
Wed Aug 23 20:03:09 PDT 2000

Rob writes:

>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.

fair enough -- although you're allowed to knock australia i think so long as you do it the right way. and also it's 'australian' to want the australian cricket team to lose when they start winning too often, for example. at least it's australian to think they're getting a bit up themselves and it would probably be a good thing if they lost a bit.

but while i've agreed with you, and know who you are referring to quite well i still want to question it. who is the they/their in this? not you? not me? who then? the australian public? the people who watch little johnny's noxious gallipoli performance without retching i guess, but why are they australians and not me, you, or my son (who responded by trying to discover how one gives up citizenship these days)?

>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.

oh i think 'we' like symbolism well enough -- digger crap and so on so long as it's nothing too 'affected'

>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'.

nauseating. embarrassing. and i think the majority of people respond to it that way. surely. do you know the movie _the castle_? i don't really like it at all, but it has a memorable 'australianism' that once came to mind when looking at perkins or some such grating dimwit doing his patriotic routine to the anthem -- 'get ya hand off it daryl'.


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