Sunday, January 17, 2010

Australia Day Preparation

Australia Day is soon upon us and the countries media have already started stirring up the controversy of the arrival/take over of Indigenous lands by British settlers and convicts. Is the controversy real or is it just a desperate attempt by print and broadcast media to generate news on a day when the only other news is an overweight drunk bloke wearing nothing but Australian flag boxer shorts burning the sausages.

What is the controversy? Sure the new arrivals did not form a treaty with the indigenous peoples as they were supposed to instead they killed. Wasn’t that what happened when Aboriginal nations ventured into the territories of neighbouring nations? No one can tell me that their spears, boomerangs and hitting sticks were only used to kill native fauna. Are we yet to uncover the rock paintings that depict a treaty between theses nations marking out boundaries between lands?

It is also not lost one anyone that the Australian Government deploys huge resources to prevent the arrival of boat people and then contain those that do slip through the net and yet the first government officials arrived unannounced and uninvited to this country on boats.

So the media tell us that the community divided between those that see Australia Day as a celebration of the beginning of the country and those that see it as the beginning of the end. Personally I don’t think the majority of people care either way. It a day off, that is to be spent eating and drinking with friends listening to The Hottest 100 with the one day cricket match on television. If anything the day is a celebration of the first meal of the year that does not contain left over turkey or Christmas ham.

I would have thought that a traditional Australia Day celebration would have been quiet appropriate for the Aboriginal population. It is groups of people getting together eating random bits of meat that have been cooked over a fire, wearing clothing that more often than not only covers the wearers genitals, and getting intoxicated.

To be fair the beverage of choice may have changed after settlement but, if koalas can get drunk on the oils of native eucalypt species there is no way that Aborigines did not discover an intoxicating substance or two for use in celebratory occasions.

The fun police are out in force already warning about. The New South Wales constabulary are calling for only light beer being on sale on Australia Day. Understandable because there has never been any crowd unrest at major sporting events around the country since the introduction of light beer. No pitch invasions, no fights, no offensive behaviour, no flairs. Restricting beer sales to only light varieties will only add to the binge drinking problem.

If people are determined to get drunk then they will. If alcohol content is reduced they will simply drink more and drink it more quickly. It will also increase the sales of slabs of full strength beer in the days leading up to Australia Day. We have all seen the panic purchasing of milk and bread in the lead up to Easter when the supermarkets are going to be closed for a couple of days, resulting in some stores running out of stock. Imagine the stampede if beer sales were restricted.

The humble sausage is also under attack. They are too fatty and too salty. A high fat and high salt diet is bad for your health. It is just ONE day people. Has anyone ever died from a sausage overdose, from over consumption of one day? A stomachache sure, but that is more about the quantity. Nutritionists are always concerned about the fat and salt, when are they going to question the lack of recognisable meat. Don’t get me wrong I love my grilled sawdust, sinew, gristle and hoof. It is just that ever now and then I would like my sausages to contain some actual animal flesh.

Queensland police are also calling for increased penalties for antisocial behaviour by people draped in the Australian flag. Just fine people for wearing the flag. It is not a cape! A cape could help the republican debate as no-one can agree on a model for the presidency. I say scrap the presidency altogether. Give the Head of State an Australian flag print cape and call him/her Captain Australia.

The people wearing the Australian flag come from all cultural backgrounds ironically and unfortunately end up fighting with people from other cultural heritages. Ironically many of these cultures originally came to Australia fleeing the racial tensions of their home countries.

If it was not for the injuries and property damage it would be quite amusing watching migrants fighting over who is more Australian, with Anglo-Australians arguing that because they are all from migrant backgrounds that none of them are truly Australian anyway.

It is just like the Indigenous people’s claim that the Anglos are not really Australian… Oh, so that is the controversy.

Ok, so can’t we just all agree that the friendship got off to a bit of a rocky start and try again? Nothing a few burnt snags wrapped in slightly stale bread can’t help us overcome.

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