If you want to know how dumb I can be sometimes, I sincerely thought Waltzing Matilda was the Australian national anthem.

Because I need some excuse to stop refreshing the same Facebook feed, I’m gonna just start writing and see what comes out.

I recently discovered that the life expectancy of Dollarama sticky tack is around a year. I know this because I hung a shitload of pictures in my kitchen after my birthday last year and now they’re falling down one by one. The self portrait of a friend done in only oversaturated colours? Down. The especially veiny and commendably detailed penis? Down. The piece that I can only see as a Lovecraftian ode to the vagina? It’s hanging by two corners. This could be due to using insufficient tack. This could be due to dry conditions in my kitchen. This could be due to a prudish elder god trying to smite my unsavoury false idols. Joke’s on them though, this year’s crop is doubly lewd.

I went to a local Australia Day celebration yesterday and found myself facing conflicting thoughts. On one hand, the country’s foundations stand tall upon piles of systematic oppression and inhuman treatment of the indigenous people. On the other hand I wanted vegemite toast, fairy bread and Tim Tams. I wondered whether I should go. Australia Day as it’s often celebrated is a glorification (like most colonial histories) of the whitewashing and erasure of aboriginal culture. It’s come to represent yobbo behaviour at its most loutish and I know I’m not the only one who questions just how much that should be commemorated. While I do tend to get that kind of friendly sibling rivalry with Aussie folk, there’s no denying that they excel at casual racism. Quite possibly the poster boys of white privilege, typical Australia Day behaviour highlights the elements I dislike most about my own New Zealand culture. Let’s get this straight, I’m not putting a blanket damning on both countries. So much representation of Australia Day tends to follow the more bogan aspects of the society, when there are so many amazing artistic and cultural products coming from Australasia. Perhaps this is just because the louts are the loudest. The lighter side of this rugged behaviour tends to be an amicable, earnest desire for friendship through misguided means.

So anyway, I went along to TRANZAC for Australian karaoke. It was equal parts sad and adorable (sadorable?) to see a small room with no more than five Australians and around 20 Down Under groupies. Most of the Aussies had been here for under six months, but they were friendly and happy to meet someone else from the same hemisphere. Some particularly awful karaoke surfaced (with the exception of some socially awkward Jewish dude (he was wearing a kippah) who kept singing Savage Garden songs. He was Truly, Madly, Deeply good at it) including an a cappella version of Advance Australia Fair. I had trouble finding Australian artists in the song book, so I just did OMC’s How Bizarre. It was a strange, fun/uncomfortable (funcomfortable?) evening and I can’t decide if I’m glad I went. Still, I had some Tim Tams, vegemite toast, ANZAC cookies and fairy bread, so it wasn’t all bad.

I did not pay $6 for a can of imported Fosters though. I’m not thaaaat dumb.


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