This piece contains the following: coarse language, sexual references and horror theme (involving hair). You have been warned….
BTW, to any Australian who might happen to read this, allow me to apologise beforehand. I think perhaps on several occasions I might take our society off and make Australians seem, I dunno, like a bunch of raving psychos perhaps. Well, I hope that is not the interpretation orchestrated within this piece, but if that is the way my words are interpreted, allow me to apologise. But in my defense, which is pretty shotty I’ll admit, is it not better for an Australian to attack (?) the Australian way of life than have an outsider who knows our culture as well as they know the planet Neptune analyse us? Well, here goes…
…Am I Australian? Of course I am, what a stupid question, but that is not my point. Yes, I was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, as were my parents and the seven generations of my family that came before them. So yes, ethnically I am indeed Australian, but my question evolves more along the lines of the cultural dynamics of such a country.
So, what makes an Australian, Australian, and do I have such qualities? Well, according to a Robin Cook novel, whose title eludes me, he explained how all Australians; wore shorts, idolised Ned Kelly, and their hero was the kind of guy who would dress all in khaki. I would assume this to be considerably inaccurate. One, I don’t wear shorts. Two, I idolise beautiful women, and only wish they’d do the same unto me. And three, my hero? Well, to be perfectly frank, in my mind I am the number one super hero! So, what would I put in this interpretations stead? Well, even though I have lived in this country for a cool 23 years, I would never go so far as to call myself someone who properly understands the cultural atmosphere of such an environment.
First off, I would explore beer. According to the stereotypical norm, Australians are notorious for drinking beer, and are supposedly the largest consumers of such a product. The quintessential larrikin Australian bloke is always seen with a beer in hand, a six pack beside the BBQ, and a giant beer gut that extends a few feet out from the rest of his body. Problems with this assertion? Well, for one, I loathe beer. I hate it to such an extent that those nerds who invent new words, would have to come up with a brand new word to describe how much I detest beer. Me? I’m a wine guy myself, or perhaps port. Nothing short of a stereotypical bottle of wine will ever pass these lips, and if the letter ‘b’ begins the product, or the liquor inside looks remotely like the evil product that, like the antagonist from the Harry Potter novels shall not be named, it is not drunk. So, no to beer. Also, no to barbies. No, not the dolls…BBQ’s. Such a piece of equipment is believed to be what all Australians use to cook their dinners. And their lunches. And even their breakfasts. The stove? Huh, not for the colloquial Australian my friend, no, it is the barbie all the way. Well, I do suppose I get bonus points from having a barbie. It is however covered in so much dust and grunge and filth from the fact it has not been used since the days the Tyrannosaurus Rex still walked the Earth. This however don’t exactly score me anything in the cultural department.
Third – the Australian accent. This is quite possibly the second most quintessential thing an Australian needs to earn such a title. Shouldn’t be too hard to gain, I mean, one should have one from the moment they are born in such an establishment. Me? Not really. Odd, since like I mentioned, my family have been living here since the first fleet arrived, and that is no joke. My father’s relatives all those years ago – one of them was arrested for stealing bread, true story, no lie. So, if my relatives have been around all this time, you would imagine that I would have an accent? No, apparently not. In fact, some people (half of whom I wouldn’t trust with a stapler) have said that my accent sounds somewhat similar to that of a Chinese or Middle Eastern accent. But what do they know? Might have something to do with the fact that my voice is just very, very DEEP! So, no points in this area of necessity. Damn, if I were in competition here, I would be falling short.
Food. More importantly, lamb. This is seen as the essential delicacy in this country. The Chinese have fish. The Americans have McDonalds. New Zealanders have fish and chips. Australians – we have lamb. Beautiful, little, white lambs, who frolic through the meadows laced with beautiful red and white rose petals. They munch upon the green, green grass. They bleat under the gorgeous yellow sun. And then they have their legs hacked off and thrown onto someone’s plate. Me? I hate lamb. I love lamb when they are alive and bleating. I don’t like them when they are lying on my plate, its mutilated, decrepit cadaver looking back at me, smoke wafting off from the flesh that was, up until a few hours before, covered in white, silky wool. I used to live on an acreage when I was very, very young, with a couple sheep on their too. Ramsey and Blacky their names were. Ramsey was the lady – all she liked to do was eat grass, and probably smoke it too when we weren’t looking. Blacky, the bloke, all he cared about was Ramsey, more importantly – her vagina. Luckily for us he had, rather unfortunately for him, his balls removed upon purchase, so, no baby lambs, otherwise after a couple years the ratio between sheep and human would have been 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 3.
I’m not a big fan of ham either, which is meant to come in second from the lamb. I personally enjoy beef, or chicken, and when I do purchase beef, I go for the heart smart stuff, which is supposed to have very little fat. You try telling those who hand it out at the shops though. Sometimes there’s more fat on a 250gram packet of meat than there is on a humpback whale. Moving on though…
…Swearing. Yes, swearing is considered something that Australian’s do quite frequently. Almost every person I know cannot go five seconds without using one of the three major profanities, which I will not list. Why? Well, I personally don’t think I use profanities very often. On occasion, yes, but I just don’t have the time for them. I would like to think that perahps…oh my fucking God! I just fucking spelt fucking ‘perhaps’ wrong! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Oh, maybe I do swear. Wow, that’s a lot of curse words. I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!
Music. Yes, I enjoy such an aspect of life, but it is the variations that are most notable. If I were to make an assumption based upon most of the people I have been unfortunate enough to meet, I would say that most of the people of my generation have an infatuation with rap music. Every time a car drives by, rap music is pumping out through the stereo. That, and according to the news, a hail of bullets. Every time your neighbor throws a grossly oversized and incredibly loud party – rap music is pumping through the subwoofer’s of the stereo. Every time a guy with an MP3,4 or iPod walks by, rap music is heard pumping through the speakers. My point? Wherever you go, rap music seems to play a crucial part in contemporary Australian society. The problem? I would rather burn in the fires of hell – the fires reserved for the most nefarious of individuals than listen to rap music. There is no such word that I can find to describe how much I detest rap music. Simply put? I fuckin’ hate it, which apparently puts me at odds with the rest of my generation that cannot seem to get enough of it, and I truly mean that. I really, truly, deeply, unconditionally, unrealistically, unbelievably, unfathomably, incalculably, intoxicatingly, immeasurably, with a passion loath rap music!
Whilst on the subject of ‘entertainment’, the next subject up for discussion is Australian films. A true Australian it would seem hates Australian products. I enjoy watching Australian films. When I was younger, I used to ignorantly believe like most people that I know today that Australians were unable to decently create a good film. Once I turned twelve however, I began to worm my way out of such a belief and came to the conclusion that although Australian film finance companies have less green on hand than what American and other film companies do, this does not necessarily mean they cannot create a good feature film. Funnily enough, back in the early twentieth century when the development of films had commenced, Australia was the largest contributor of films in the entire world. Then Hollywood found its druthers and cancelled the Australian cinematic chain forever. But here’s some additional things I know – I was the only person in my entire last year of high school to have seen all three Mad Max films – some people didn’t even know there was a franchise called ‘Mad Max’. I found this to be utterly atrocious. I’ve known Americans who have known of the franchise for crying out loud! Additionally in my performance writing class at university, I was the only person to have seen the likes of Undead, Daybreakers, the Tender Hook and Sleeping Beauty – the other thirty odd or so students hadn’t even heard of the titles, let alone seen the films. Quite disturbing if you ask me.
As for clothing? Shorts are seen as been the fashionable accessory of clothing according to advertisements and the like. Me? Well, if you follow the information from the previous paragraphs it is obvious that everything is downhill from there. The last time I wore shorts I was in primary school. Since then, I have worn jeans. Except for the occasions when I didn’t, but even during those occasions, my legs were not graced by the likes of shorts. No, this has nothing to do with the fact that there is more hair on my leg than flesh. In fact, I think there is more hair on my entire body combined than flesh. Yes, that’s right folks. I make gorillas seem bald, in fact the film, Gorillas in the Mist? It was filmed in my shower. Well, not exactly, but it might as well have been, which leads me to my next point. Hair. Many of my friends (the guys I mean) have no hair. I don’t know this fact from peering under toilet lavatories and perving on them whilst they did their business in the shower. No, they simply talk about it. And so do the women who have seen the men when their clothes were no longer on their person. Now, I don’t know if such a thing comes from the fact that they have grown up to look very much like the day they first came into this world, or if they simply shave it off. At high school I went through a phase, many of them actually, where I changed my hair style frequently. My facial hair remained the same in which I had chops on either side of my face for quite a while, and a goatee on my chin. This did not go down so well with the ladies. Apparently, the women of today in this particular hemisphere, on this particular continent want their men to be bald – at least on their bodies. Now, I ain’t taking a razor to any other part of my body that is not either attached to my face or the top of my head, which might explain why some women never give me a second look. Perhaps they can just sense the hair. Safe to say, if they were to run their fingers through it, they would probably never get them back. Now, I’d have no problem with a woman being permanently attached to my person – but they might. Considerably in fact. I found out, quite quickly, that if my mother had given birth to me in the early seventies, I would have lived through the eighties rather than been born at their conclusion. My point? The eighties was the time for hair. Women loved it, and the hair loved them. Boy have times changed.
Now, this next point I intend to make may seem kind of racial – well, it is, but I don’t mean in the sense that I intend to talk about ‘race’. I mean, some people may consider me to be ‘racist’ after saying such a thing, so allow me to make this point as delicately as I can. I believe I have mentioned in the past that I was the only person in my high school year with an Anglo Saxon last name? In my university classes I am often the only person on the class roll with an Anglo Saxon last name too. Perhaps in a couple classes here and there a couple other names join mine in such a genre. My point? And I do have one…is that perhaps the key to been Australian is to typically not be Australian at all! We live in a multi-cultural society, which the government frequently refers to as an amazing aspect of this continent, so technically, if you are not adding to the wide diversity of cultures within the society I would suppose that you simply are not a part of it period. The days of the Anglo Saxon I personally sometimes believe are numbered. I’m not saying we’re going to be murdered. I’m just saying that eventually we are perhaps going to be bred out. That is of course if parents of children who are not Anglo allow their children to actually have a relationship with an Anglo, which from my experience is as likely as wings sprouting out from my back due to the overall strictness of their cultures. In fact, I’d probably go so far as to say that in a few years time, the Australian Anglo Saxon may very well join the humpback whale, polar bear and white tiger on the world’s endangered species list. Now, I’m not sure if this next point is pertinent to the present subject or not, but I do believe it highlights the point that Australia is filled with cultures that are not quintessentially Australian. Year 10, high school geography class. We are given a task; look at an atlas and discover the countries listed on the piece of paper. First person to do this successfully will be able to leave five minutes early as reward – quite the reward if you ask me since geography to me was as gratifying as running a cheese garter over my testicles. Suddenly, a student calls out ‘Sir! What is that oddly shaped country in the centre?’ The oddly shaped country he was pointing at – the one that was supposedly in the centre – what was it exactly? Australia.
So, basically that is all the essential features apparently which are necessary to build a true Aussie. Well, I get points for having a barbie. And maybe for the swearing. But apart from that, it would seem that I am about as Australian as an American French Fry. Is that wrong?