Celebrating the blessings we were lucky enough to inherit

Like you, I’m a huge fan of Australia Day. When better to celebrate our nation’s restrained approach to “patriotism” and “nationalism”? Of all the nations on Earth, we’re one of the absolute best at recognising how stupid and insular it is to blandly declare that your nation is one of the absolute best on Earth.

Good on this country for breeding a healthy cynicism of the powerful, and of those who seek to shamelessly manipulate historical symbols to make themselves seem “one of us” – or for simple commercial gain. I’m proud that we look with contempt at those idiots abusing the national flag to try to intimidate slightly more recent immigrants, and that we don’t succumb to the temptation on a day like Australia Day to use it to gloss over issues on which our society needs to work. No, we use it as an opportunity to remember the kind of egalitarian, fair country we want to be, and resolve to resist those interests that might try to pull it in another direction. To make sure that the benefits we’ve enjoyed are available for all.

Most of us have it pretty good here, and it’s a fine day to reflect on the blessings we’ve inherited, and resolve to share them more generously with others who’ve not been so fortunate – both here, and overseas. Because isn’t that the kind of people we aspire to be?

Happy Australia Day.

21 responses to “Celebrating the blessings we were lucky enough to inherit

  1. Well, I guess it’s a happy we-killed-your-people,-took -your-land-and-screwed-you-over-day! HOORAY!!! Although I’m probably less entitled to join in because my parents were immigrants, which makes me a dammned gook.

  2. I’m not sure whether or not I’m a fan of Australia Day. I am fond of my country, very much, and after doing a bit of travelling to other countries I’m fairly sure we’re lucky enough to live in one of the, well, luckier places. But I don’t think the flag waving sits at all well with us, nor the tattooing of completely banal slogans like ‘HANDMADE IN AUSTRALIA’ or ‘I GREW HERE, YOU FLEW HERE’. The Australia I believe in (if I do actually ‘believe’ in it) much prefers a bit of reflection on its national day, rather than wrapping a flag around your neck and pretending you’re Super OzMan. Thankfully it’s my brother’s birthday today, so that makes it a good reason to celebrate despite all the national stuff.

  3. Australia Day.Umm a bit like Xmas and Easter another excuse for multi national companies to make a motza out of the people of the ‘Twilight Zone’ I can bet the local coppers in each state through out the land will be counting the hours, until this great festival of faux nationalism is over.

    Of course this is a great day for the blue bloods, the blue rinse set in Toorak, the North shore of Sydney.So much wine so little time, they will be rabbiting on about, how the working class should be at work not taking a holiday at their expense.I have no doubt Abbott will probably treat himself to a new pair of budgies, in honor of the day.

    Howard no doubt will be guaffing down gallons of fine plonk I’m still paying for.By about now he will be waxing lyrical to his faux mates how he saved Australia from the yellow hordes, and how he decided who came to our fair and righteous land.

    I feel like puking thinking about it all.

  4. The fact we “celebrate” Australia Day on 26 January surely is the biggest insult to the indigenous peoples of this land.

    Once a year they are acutely reminded of the arrival of the British over 200 years ago and the destruction of their society ever since.

  5. Nigel,

    if I saw someone with a tattoo that read, ‘HANDMADE IN AUSTRALIA’, I think I’d find it hard not to immediately think of turkey basters!

  6. Roll on the republic, then shift Australia Day to the day the Act legally came into effect.

    Then move Sorry Day to January 26.

  7. The only decent way to celebrate Australia Day is to slash our wrists or practice self-immolation. Self-loathing for the colonialism that has produced our racist oppressive dysfunctional society is the hallmark of our intellectual elite and a sign of true piety exhibited by all decent folk.

    Oh sinful people, heed the wisdom of the chattering classes. Repent of your selfish ways. Freedom arises from serving the state, not the pursuit of happiness according to your own lights.

    I acknowledge that although I was born here, I do not have equal rights with people whose ancestors had longer tenure. In fact all people who cannot trace their ancestry back more than 222 years should become serfs of the local indigenous tribe. Claims to equality of all people are insane. Those with a connection to the land have a higher status which must be reflected in the law.

    Attempts to impose a foreign legal system were unconstitutional. The true law of the land is the ancient tribal law that was improperly supplanted by the English. There are far too many people in jail when a simple spearing would serve just as well. If we do not return to a sustainable stone age culture, the forces of nature will impose it on us with one climate disaster after another.

    Do not celebrate your freedom on this shameful day, or the prosperity of our nation but weep bitter tears for the debasement that comes when prosperity is available to all, even misbegotten rednecks who have the audacity to breed, and vote for people who serve their interests rather than follow the righteous path of the pious elite.

  8. Northern Exposure

    I like Australia day. I love this country. Those wankers in wife beaters and boardies running around with those shirts have hi-jacked the bloody day.
    I spent mine down at the closest citizenship ceremony. It was lovely to see the 150 odd new citizens, of 16000 that became citizens yesterday. It’s not all useless wankers singing We are Australian missing the bloody point of the song.
    That being said, Australia day is on the wrong day. It’s like having your birthday on the day your mum and dad had too much to drink and he invaded her, conceiving you, instead of the day you were born. So, what chinda said.

  9. Australia Day — or any National Day — is a bit like Valentine’s Day. You celebrate your relationship with your partner, tell him/her they’re handsome/beautiful and the most wonderful person in the world, and engage in a little helpful self-delusion.

    There’s nothing wrong with it, really, and churlish to whinge about it.

  10. Who is going to welcome SB to the age of enlightenment?

  11. You all know that scoundrels have always used patriotism for their own ends, so thats no surprise, and there is plenty I love about Australia, and Australians, and I can even see some good in some aspects of the Australians State, and states … but for a start they are different things, Australia is a place, we all live here, but Australians as a people and the Australian state, well one we are part of the other actually belongs to us so we can be as critical of either as we like.

    There’s plenty wrong in Australian history, but there is also plenty thats good, and to be honest these things tend to balance… but some of the apalling wrongs that have been done by us as a people or in our name … they need to be balanced out by some pretty righteous and honourable behaviour and I don’t see that happening…

    I have a great life in what I consider to be the best place in the world, thats why I live here, but that came at a huge cost (not to me) … If I’m gonna live a meaningful life its up to me to sort that out, cos I know how good I have it and how bad some people have had and still have .. it.

    The latest trend of Nationalism is so anti that … if Australia day is about anything its about reflecting on how we a s individuals, and a people got here and now, or yesterday. Well should be, cos otherwise its a divisive insult.

    Its worse with that if you don’t love it leave bullshit…

    There’s plenty about “Australia” i don’t love, and one of the things I do love about it is that at least some people in Australia’s history tried to change things they didn’t like and it benefited all of us.

    That “If you don’t like it leave” bullshit is as much an attack on that aspect of Australian Culture as it is on non white culture.

    I wonder how many of those flag wearers know the history of the Australian flag, and how much their use of that particular flag would have been frowned upon 80 or 90 years ago.

  12. There’s absolutely nothing for Australian Aboriginals to celebrate on Australia day, except they survived an attempted genocide on their race.

    I can remember the C.B.D. of Adelaide circa 1963 the Aboriginals were rounded up like so much cattle and placed in paddy wagons.Their crime!Having the temerity to have wandered into the city, where it was decided they were not wanted in their own land.

  13. “In fact all people who cannot trace their ancestry back more than 222 years should become serfs of the local indigenous tribe”

    Awesome. I’m okay then. I’m Welsh back at least that long on both sides.

  14. Fred Phillips

    Gee, SB, for someone who claims to be centrist, you certainly have a lot that comes from the angry Right playbook.

  15. Cachau bant Keri, of course I was referring to local ancestry.

    Fred, I thought you would be in complete agreement with what i wrote.

  16. Local? Bollocks. Better get the slave-girl outfit out.

  17. SB – amen dude.

    Apparently everyone who is not aboriginal is shit.

  18. Apparently everyone who is right-wing likes putting words in the mouth of those who dare to question Australia Day and what it actually means.

    It’s funny how the media didn’t really do the typical vox pop out in the streets and ask Australians why we chose 26 January to celebrate the day. I did see one a few days ago and the person said it celebrated our federation – wrong.

    Maybe it’s because we’re actually celebrating the fact the British needed a new dumping ground for their prisoners (after those pesky Americans told them to get fucked) and 26 January happened to be the day they arrived.

    Being reminded of the fact we celebrate our national day because a bunch of prisoners and their more corrupt overlords turned up here is hardly noteworthy. Much better to keep it a little vague.

  19. AU – we celebrate what they built. Our 1st word quality style of life didn’t just appear out of the worlds arsehole. Nor did our stable democracy. Be thankful for both….

  20. Fred Phillips

    “Apparently everyone who is not aboriginal is shit.”

    Not quite what Jeremy said, though. Read it again.

  21. “Apparently everyone who is not aboriginal is shit.”

    See you are an amazing example of what diversity we have in this country. You could go somewhere like Bowraville, Texas or any number of places and you’d find that everyone who is aboriginal is shit.

    The real shit about Australia is that most Australians, most of the people who have lived here over the last 220 odd years are really thinking like Europeans on holiday for a few generations… Possibly even a few of the people reading this… We are still a colony and most people still look at this land like they are from somewhere else.

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