Racism in Oz?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Such differing views on whether racism is present in Oz in the latest Q&A TV program. To Todd Sampson, an outsider who moved to Oz about 10 years ago it is plain to see. Those born here and seem to not see it even if they are ethnics like the young Asian from Sutherland Shire. Germaine Greer’s description of the subtle racism of the educated British matches my experience in Oz. An inherent belief in their own superiority (and others’ inferiority) allows Australians to be be very ‘nice’ to people and that is supposed to demonstrate that they are not racist. This does not apply to the redneck racists who just hate ethnics of any flavour- these are the people who were drawn out of the woodwork by Pauline Hanson and co-opted by John Howard’s dog-whistle politics. See the program here.


As one who refused to take up Australian citizenship until there was an option to pledge allegiance to the people of Australia instead of the queen (sorry, no capital ‘Q’ here), I am supremely ambivalent about the constitutional monarchy we have in Australia.

To me, it is a back door way for retaining the exclusionary ‘Australia’s heritage’ arguments for the diehard old school (mainly, it seems) Anglicans who see themselves as arbiters of what is and is not ‘Australian’. They are a vocal and extremely influential minority though, and are going to have to be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming.

Face it, the monarchy is irrelevant in Australia; apart from a few archaic constitutional conventions, it exists but in name. But it does have a symbolic significance and should be turfed out if for no other reason than to acknowledge the lack of its relevance to our lives.

It’s a sign of the times that we see the monarchy being mocked in the public domain these days. Here is a billboard advertisement for a South Australian brewery:

Coopers beer ad upsets monarchists

The monarchist rump (now that’s a useful term!) is actually expending energy to protest about this sort of stuff. A link to this story is here.

Someone should tell them to get a life or move and live it in Old Blighty.

Not all airheads are blonde

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Jonathan Holmes seems to be settling in well as the new presenter of Media Watch on ABC TV. Here is a recent story that I really liked…. Can’t he do a mean impression of an airhead?


A link to the transcript is here.

More Australia Day advice

Friday, 25 January 2008

Continuing on from previous years, Sam Kekovich has offered his annual dose of advice on how to be Austraaalian on Austraaalia Day.

Have a look here.

Also, there have been these tongue-in-cheek ads in the Financial Review and other papers, over the last week that had me a bit puzzled.

I knew there’s a government organisation that works to publicise Australia Day trying to build up a sense of history and belonging among us for this day. These ads, however, have a sly sense of humour to them and I was quite sure that it was a spoof of some government ads. But no, it appears that these ads are from the government.

Now we really know that the politically correct reign of the Howard government has ended and Australians can truly be relaxed and comfortable about themselves without getting involved in all sorts of anal and nationalistic chest thumping.

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21- maybe 50- Bum Salute

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Anti Bush protesters show their all in a ' mass moon' at Hyde Park.

With all the seriousness going on with the APEC meeting at Sydney, it is fun to see how good ol’ Australian disrespect of authority is still alive and kicking!. Here’s a protest that gave an approximately 50-bum salute to the ‘War Criminal Bush’ [Link].

The Bums for Bush campaign was hailed a success by organisers,
even though drizzling rain kept many protesters away from the
mooning anti-Bush protest.

Around 50 people lined up at Hyde Park’s north end and mooned an
audience of several hundred people, including supporters and

This, soon after the security measures were shown to be woefully inadequate after the ‘boys from The Chaser’ managed to get within a hundred metres of Bush’s hotel’s entrance with one of them dressed up as Osama bin Laden! [link]

We really should be grateful that our Australian cops are so unused to this sort of high security that they are actually incapable of successfully carrying these repressive measures designed by skittish politicians afraid of their own people.

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Mankinis on Martin Place

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD was the site of an exciting competition for the best Borat-inspired mankini. Sydney Morning Herald columnist David Dale got his knickers into a knot with all the excitement, waxing lyrical about the “pimply cheeks, hairy buttocks and waxed nether regions” of the contestants”.

We read on to learn that

A sobering, if not disgusting, display of the male anatomy, the parade of five finalists had the hosts, radio talk jocks Merrick and Rosso, squirming, especially when contestant number three, Steve of Rockdale (aka “Pubes of Fire”), performed a few cartwheels and risked full-frontal exposure.

Expert judges evaluated the contestants on “hair displacement, cuppage and tortion (sic)” and then awarded the prize to one Matias Stevens.

First prize was return tickets and a five night stay for two in Kazakhstan. Wonder if the second prize was a TEN day stay there….

Read the full report here.

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That’s what you get when you cross a burqa with a bikini. And Aheda Zanetti has created it here in Australia! She exports around the world and aims to get it to the Olympics. It’s meant for Muslim women who are required to dress modestly but could probably be used by a certain generation of Indian women too.

burqini swimwear

It’s been adopted by Surf Lifesaving Australia and is in use byMecca Laalaa, the first female, muslim surf-lifesaver in Sydney (wow, that that breaks a few stereotypes!).

See a video interview with Zanetti here.


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