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15 November 2003 @ 11:06 pm
Richmond Sheep Station  
Australia surprised everyone tonight by not losing the rugby.
And Waltzing Matilda was sung.

Is it just me, or does that song suck?
From time to time you hear the suggestion that it should be our national anthem.
Apart from the fact that only a complete fuckwit would want a song about a suicidal sheep rustler for a national anthem, I still have another big objection to this song.

I live in a city. A big, sprawling city with a skyline that's resembling New York's more and more each day.
I live in a small flat in an inner-city suburb.
I see kangaroos from time to time - when I go to the zoo.
I very, very rarely see sheep (or jumbucks if you prefer).
The image of Australia portrayed in Waltzing Matilda, The Man from Snowy River, McCleod's Daughters, The Dish, that "Sunburnt Country" poem, The Crocodile Hunter, Crocodile Dundee, The Bush Tucker Man, Ned Kelly, etc, etc is not my image of Australia.
I travel to or through the bush sometimes, but my experience of Australia is, for the most part, urban, cosmopolitan and modern. It always has been.
In school we learnt all this bush culture stuff - it was meaningless to me then, and it's meaningless to me now.

I don't want to be part of that culture.
Great that it exists - if you want to live out in the bush, go ahead.
I hate the bush, or the country, or whatever.
I mean, it's okay to visit once in a while, but to live?

I like to drink lattes. I like to go to the movies. I like to go to a pub, and not recognise anyone. I like shopping. I like walking through green parks full of European trees. I like to eat gelati. I like having pizza, or thai, or souvlaki delivered to my door. I like walking to the local Indian restaurant. I like that I have a choice of at least three local video stores. I like public transport. I like 24 hour supermarkets that have dozens of different toothpastes to choose from, and even more types of ice-cream. I like being able to buy pornography from the local newsagent, and they don't know my name. I like eating at the local vegetarian restaurant. I like being within walking distance of major cultural and sporting events. I like that I can go and see an elephant any day of the week. I like living in the city, and I wouldn't trade it for any amount of "fresh air".

Back to the poll. I'm increasing the pace a little bit, two polls in one day.
If you haven't filled out the earlier polls (Round 1 - Pools 1-3), go and do so...

Poll #205288 Movie Night Poll - Round One - Pool Four

Choose One:

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Monsters, Inc.

Choose One:

The Terminator
Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrmann)

Choose One:

The Crow
The Matrix

Choose One:

High Fidelity
Flesh Gordon

Choose One:

Ghost in the Machine

Choose One:

Charlie's Angels
Cruel Intentions

Choose One:

Devil's Advocate
Back to the Future Part III

Choose One:

Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me
The Big Lebowski

Choose One:

Back to the Future Part II

Choose One:

Dark City
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Choose One:

The Princess Bride
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Jamestarleon on November 15th, 2003 04:22 am (UTC)
I'm more anti-WM because of the reasons mentioned earlier.

It's a dumbass song that has some sentimental value attatched to it.

We have an amazing national anthem, and people refuse to recognise it.

It's somewhat frustrating.

Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 05:12 pm (UTC)
At least our national anthem is unique.

Next olympics, check out how many different national anthems are to the tune of "God Save The Queen".
Kittymoorekittie on November 15th, 2003 05:01 am (UTC)
You're so right! I hate the country too, and I speak first hand, I live in the damned place. Sure it has its beauty and its peace and some things that i don't think I could ever give up, since I have lived here all my life. But there are so many things that it lacks, you have just made me realise how much I wish I could drink latte's and have thai food delivered to my doorstep, and go to the newsagency to buy porno's and be served my someone who DOESN'T know my name...
Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you go girl.
Buy those pornos!
parakleta on November 15th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC)
I always liked "We are Australian" as an anthem ever since I heard it at the Seekers 20th Jubilee reunion concert.

The Australian Anthem is quite a good song lyric wise, but it's a bit of a boring tune. I reckon we should just get someone to set the lyrics to a new beat.
Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 05:21 pm (UTC)
The tune is magestic, like a national anthem should be.
It's not meant to be a pop song.

"We Are Australian", is too inspirational for my liking. Deliberately tugs at the heart strings and makes me want to vomit. Can you imagine them playing it at the olympics? Might as well sing "Kumbaya".
Robet Éivaayvah on November 16th, 2003 02:45 am (UTC)
Majestic? Is there somehow a special majesty to the national anthems that I haven't noticed? It seems to me that the only majesty comes from the millions of people who honour the song.
Jacobyak_boy on November 16th, 2003 05:13 pm (UTC)
I'm talking about the music.
Majestic in mood. Big, long notes.
As opposed to a pop song or Waltzing Matilda.
Robet Éivaayvah on November 17th, 2003 03:00 pm (UTC)
I think it'd be good if our national anthem stood out, and not because it sucks. :P

I don't really care though, it's not like I've heard it once since leaving High School.
Jacobyak_boy on November 17th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC)
Sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport.

Don't you watch sport?

Whaddaya a poofter orsummink?
Robet Éivaayvah on November 17th, 2003 11:33 pm (UTC)
What's the point of watching sport? Does it keep me entertained? Does it make me a smarterer person?
Jacobyak_boy on November 18th, 2003 02:36 am (UTC)
B I N G O !
Okay, so maybe you don't enjoy sport.
I happen to enjoy watching sport immensely.
Mr Sinisterglintsinisterglint on November 15th, 2003 11:16 am (UTC)
Fuck national anthems, and fuck the irrelevant concepts of nations and borders. We are a global, if not universal species; and flags, patriotism and meaningless ditties are just more hollow excuses to fight and kill one another.
Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 05:29 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree with you more.
I hate the concept of patriotism.

Except for one aspect, which I can't seem to shrug off - sport.
Watching the Davis Cup, or the Cricket World Cup (sorry, I don't follow Rugby), or the Olympics, or whatever sporting event Australia is competing in as a nation, I find myself sitting, literally, on the edge of my seat, with butterflies in my stomach, strangely frightened that we are going to lose - swearing at every point (or whatever) that we concede and cheering when we score.
I am not patriotic, although I feel lucky to have been born here (and not in Iraq for instance), I know I'm not special because I'm an Australian.
So why do I cheer for Australia over other countries? I guess there's just something about sport that brings out the tribal instincts. There's no particular reason why I should support Essendon in the AFL, more than any other team. I was born in Essendon (which is more than a lot of essendon supporters can say), but I don't value that suburb over any other. I guess to enjoy competitive sport you just have to invest some emotion in a team - any team. Australia is just the obvious choice.
vogon__poetry on November 15th, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
Yay the Wallabies! Is that what they're called? Anyway, it's nice to win..

Regarding Waltzing Mathilda - I think it's lovely. It portrays the tragedy and beauty of this country in just one song. I love the transition from heartless and scary to soulful and beautiful that the Australian landscape went through this century. The bush gives us a focal point & a mythology to attach our identity to, and I don't think it is necessarily connected to patriotism :)

Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 08:03 pm (UTC)
Re: tradition
But that's exactly my point.
My identity has nothing to do with the bush, no matter how beautiful it is.
I don't want to identify with the bush.
I'm a city boy, always have been, always will be.
Almost every day of my life is spent in an urban or suburban environment.
The bush is foreign to me, and some song about it is therefore meaningless to me.
Why would I sing a song about a place and culture that I have never been a part of?
I might as well sing a Russian folk song.
vogon__poetry on November 15th, 2003 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: tradition
I guess I see the world through literature, and when I read an Australian novel, or an essay on Australia, there is always an ambiguity towards the bush. When the bush isn't mentioned, it's an obvious omission. We escape it, live on the coast in cities. It's there when it is not there. I am Australian, you are Australian, what we have in common is a set of characteristics we call "Australian" and the land.

You make a good point. It's a folk song, a song for the common people. "Advance Australia Fair" is constructed, it just isn't organic. (How's that for an appropriate metaphor :P )
Jacobyak_boy on November 15th, 2003 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: tradition
"We escape it, live on the coast in cities."

I think that's probably the only real way the bush does define my life: the fact that Australian cities are relatively isolated from each other (on top of the fact that Australia is isolated from the rest of the world).