“We can have our own opinion about the anniversary,
but we can’t have our own facts”
AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
January 26th 1968.
But first to a new study published recently by the University of New South Wales that confirmed that the term “Australia Day” is offensive, but only when people take a moment to think about the actual meaning of the anniversary. Let’s hear from our UNSW correspondent and lead researcher Lawrence Pyne:
“When you hear or say Australia Day in the abstract, it’s completely harmless, but we’ve discovered that if you briefly pause to remember it marks the official beginning of a racial invasion upon an indigenous group devastated over the course of a few centuries, then, of course, it’s horrendous.”
Okay, so if you allow the day to register in your mind you’re saying it evokes the thought of human being’s devastated by the forced removal from their sovereign land? Is that right?
“Oh, yes, intentional exposure to white diseases and vices, countless massacres. Australia Day has the potential to come across as an insulting relic of an ethnocentric mentality responsible for the destruction of an entire people and their culture, but that’s only if you take a couple of seconds to recognise it as something beyond a string of letters.”
And you’re recommending that the Government change the name to something more appropriate and historically accurate, such as “British Australia Dances On Indigenous Ancestor’s Grave Day?”
And we seemed to have lost that signal from UNSW so let’s cross to Davo in Cronulla Beach – Davo, how’s the mood down there?
“Honestly, the amount of crap that is brought up EVERY SINGLE Australia day.
“CHANGE THE NAME. CHANGE THE ANTHEM. CHANGE THE FLAG. CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION.
“We can’t just simply enjoy the day can we? Political correctors and loony lefty inner city hipsters need to criticize everything to sound “intelligent” or “progressive” ”
All right, congratulations to Ena Squirts who phoned in sick but still managed to guess the correct colour of Davo, which of course was blue. Ena will be receiving Davo in the mail some time next week.
Of course, not all large chunks of Australia would like the issue to go away, as our reporter Melanie Chard discovered when she ordered a light, semi-skimmed soy chai latte in swinging Newtown and asked the enthusiastic hipster barista what he thought of Australia Day:
“Most Australians, pseudo and otherwise, deal with the history behind “Australia Day” simply by ignoring it. They never attempt to refute the evidence. It can’t be refuted. If and when the silent treatment doesn’t work, a lot of these “objective” scholars and mass media opinion molders often resort to personal attacks, ridicule and satire. The personal attacks tend to divert attention from the facts which an author or speaker is trying to focus on. The idea, of course, is to force the person exposing the elephant in the room to stop the exposure and spend their time and effort defending themselves. – Thanks Mel, that’s $5.”
MELANIE: “Can I use eftpos?”
“There’s a $10 minimum.”
It’s January 24th 2014, the Newcastle to Sydney train, 5.30am near Gosford: “That’s one reason why the debate has raged on, with no end in sight, since Australia Day’s 150th anniversary, in 1938. Did you know on that day a group of Aboriginal activists named the day a “Day of Mourning”, alluding to the annual re-enactment of Phillip’s landing?”
“Yes, they refused to participate in the re-enactment because it included chasing away a party of Aboriginal people (who were carted there against their will). At least by 1988 the re-enactments had been discontinued. Did you know 1988 was The Year of Mourning named by and for the Australian Aboriginal people?”
“Yes, the reasons they mourned had less to do with the name given to January 26, and more to do with the extreme and unnecessary poverty they lived in, in particular, the things that were being demanded of Aboriginal Australians in order to elevate “their kind” out of poverty. Did you know…?”
“Shhhh! Please, stop talking to me. This is a quiet carriage.”
“Sorry, dear, I’ll assimilate….” Finally…the “real” celebration behind January 26th – Assimilation! Better known as How The System’s silent carriage has for over 200 years failed to silence the Aborigine.
But first, the last thoughts of an Australian soldier lost in the snow: “That’s why I ran away, ma, living in modern Australia – “The System” – always pushing for affirmative action around Indigenous issues. The system, set to move Indigenous people into high-prestige jobs, for improving Indigenous education, increasing funding for Indigenous schools. The Minister For Indigenous Affairs agreed: “…the way of life of the Indigenous “underclass” is a social disgrace.” They plan to assimilate the Aborigine into the system, turn ‘em into business executives, lawyers, scientists, just like upper-middle-class white folk…this is too much…. I’ve decided to end my life….”
Objection Your Honor.
Cue THE VOICE OF REASON in 3 – 2 – 1….When challenged, the talking heads of the system start reciting monologues that state the last thing the system wants is to turn the Aborigine into a carbon copy of the white man. Indeed, the system wants to preserve Indigenous culture, yes, that is the official position. But what does this preservation of Indigenous culture look like? It looks like “bush tucker.” It sounds like a didgeridoo. It is a white person acknowledging the original custodians of this land. Twenty five million for an Aboriginal dot painting. It is cheap superficiality because that is all the system will tolerate; anything other than superficiality and the system would not be pushing the Aborigine towards white, middle-class ideals. The system demands the Aborigine study technical subjects, it demands Aboriginal executives, Aboriginal scientists, no time for the dreaming, just climbing the status ladder to prove that Indigenous people are as good as white people. “There’s nothing wrong with an Indigenous father being “responsible” is there? Well, no one wants an Indigenous gang to be violent, do they?” These are exactly the cons of the Industrial-technological system that the Aborigine has held in contempt since January 26th 1788. Yet through it all the people clung to their identity and continue to do so. The Aborigine knows the system couldn’t care less about their music, their ceremonial clothes or what “the dreaming” means. The white ways do not impress the Indigenous man, the voice of reason knows it, and the system may deny it, but the demands that the Aborigine assimilate and adopt white 21st Century values have failed. The demands continue to be ignored. And in turn the system has ignored the Aboriginal, and any funding is damage control heaped upon the ancestors of the collateral damage that began in 1788.
Davo: “See what I mean?”
Voice over (…sounds like Hugh Jackman) – There lived a proud Aborigine called One who for over 200 years had resisted assimilation into white man’s culture. For so long as there is One the people will not die.
Enter stage left a “white face” Aborigine who trots to a chair in a spotlight and sits: (This is One that did not get away.) “Like many other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, I’m going to take the time to reflect on January 26 that we are a lucky country. I believe we as a nation can work together to address the problems facing Aboriginal communities, and at the same time, still see January 26 as a day to celebrate that we live in a great nation, and that we can happily live along side one another and with one another – which many of us are already doing.”
Excellent! Now follow that with a “News Update” containing welfare leeches at a barbecue, youth-gang members arrested in Kings Cross, anti-government rebels being tasered, some drunken radicals, Green & Gold dropouts, some jail-birds in the Northern Territory and resistors of various kinds.
And here’s mud in the eye of those not so easily duped.
Who let THE VOICE OF REASON back in?
Okay, cue fireworks. –