Saturday, 29 November 2008

Looking inwards

This week’s news provided another example of Australian insularity. I imagine that the Mumbai bombings were covered in depth in the UK, regardless of the number of British nationals that were affected by them. Here, the bombings were only mentioned in connection with the Australians that were either killed or injured, and even then, they were given a short mention before the news moved on to much more important things like who won the cricket.

The quality of life here is good (for anyone descended from the Commonwealth anyway) but it is incredibly superficial and incredibly Australian-centric. I feel sometimes like I’m living in a parallel universe. I know there are a whole stack of global issues out there, but I have to go actively searching for reminders of them, and if I didn’t have live connections with the UK, I’m not sure I would really have a clue about anything beyond local sports and self-congratulatory jingoistic Aussie crap. And that’s not to mention the blinkers that most Australians seem to have about the indigenous population.

I find myself censoring my comments to Aussies about all of this because I realise how much I sound like a stereotypical snooty Brit! And it’s not fair to generalise about all Aussies – I’ve met a lot of individuals who are just as scathing about their own culture – but it is definitely a different culture to the UK, and I have to be honest, not one that appeals to me as a long-term home.

1 comment:

impossible songs said...

I don't know if you can see
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I've been afraid
That I might drift away
So I've been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that's the reason why I seem
So far away today

Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you're calling me
And now I'm going home
If I should become a stranger
You know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia's been everything
I've ever had

Now I have moved and I've kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found others on the way
I have kissed the ladies and left them crying
Stolen dreams, yes there's no denying
I have traveled hard with coattails flying
Somewhere in the wind

Now I'm sitting here before the fire
The empty room, the forest choir
The flames that could not get any higher
They've withered now they've gone
But I'm steady thinking my way is clear
And I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands are shaken and the kisses flow
Then I will disappear.

Funnily enough we were watching Lulu singing this on the's like us?