First published Feb 5
Back in the good old days, no one cared too much about celebrating Australia Day. It was traditionally consigned to the closest Monday and had little flag waving or silly speeches. It was seen as the last chance for a great long weekend at the beach before the onset of Autumn.
However the conservatives decided that we citizens needed nationalism, flag toting and political ranting about our goodness and political virtue … a bit of goose-stepping lies close to the reactionary heart.
So, subsequently in the 1990s a decision was reached that we must celebrate on the 26th January with lashings of idiocy and right wing patriotism coupled with copious amounts of flags flying around attached to bombed out Holdens … the now no longer national car! This was a double bonus for the Libs beholden to the bosses for party funds as the capitaliat class would only pay five of seven holidays per seven years as as two out of seven are going to be weekends!
But honestly we all know that this day is an attrocious date for a national holiday which quite simply can only be described as invasion day and soberly remembered for the subsequent dismemberment of the Aboriginal people. Awful, also is the politicization of this day, the pale attempt to turn us into flag-waving, uncritical idiots, without criticism of the faults and failings of our white colonial past.
However nothing wrong with a long weekend holiday towards the end of Summer. Perhaps we could call it Inclusive Australia Day. First Australians might like to talk about the 60,000 years of their history on such a day. And perhaps those new Aussies who came by boat could tell us some sobering stories as to why they fled their homelands.
But Inclusive Australia Day should include some fun, satire, games and a few glasses of home-made beer!
Taking the piss out of pollies is always terrific fun and perhaps a John Clarke award for the best political impersonatrions could be great concept. For example how about a John Howard imitation … remember that speech … “we shall decide who comes here” … contestants would raise their voices to a squeak, flap arms with angry chook intensity and perhaps stamp feet in child like fury to a refrain of I feellikechickentonight.
If this is too difficult, as admittedly the Howard voice is wingely unique, perhaps go for the Abbott segument. Remember that “shit happens” moment when a journalist questioned poor old Tone on his dreadful comment relating to the death of an Aussie soldier in Afganistan. Struck dumb was Tony, apoplectic, incapable of uttering a sound beyond a gasp, mouth open, head rocking, appearing close to having a heart attack or was that an impending shirt fronting on the journalist? The kids could enter this competition … rocking heads, get themselves all pink in the face?
You might argue it would be difficult to act out the venom of Abbott however; Malcolm Turnbull provides an image much easier to parody. He has an interesting habit of placing one hand on his hip and strutting around the parliament floor waving his other hand in a rather limp manner. While Malcolm probably perceives this look to be Ciceroesque, it maybe better described as foppish!
While politics for the adults is grand fun, Inclusive Australia Day needs a strong kids component. Remember those ball-gobbling clowns of the old country Show days, with moving heads and almost unwinnable potential prizes … fluffy toys for the kids. There are a number of political faces that could be used as great models for papier-mache clowns … fleshy mouthed Tim Wilson with a little IPA sign around his neck or perhaps a grimly smilely George Christianson marked with One National and a third lively fellow could be Barnably Joyce with perhaps a simple EXNZ identifer? As these three amigos are Right-wingers they are reluctant to swing their heads to the left. Perhaps the kids might have to wait patiently to slot that ball into a gobbling mouth as it turns away from the right to the left?
An egg and spoon races for the kids would be terrific too. Initially eggs provded for the kids to decorate as Peter Dutton with best image winning the prize and then off with the spoons for a race. Hard-boiled eggs ia best for Dutton as the kids might just want to chuck randomly and later Dads could shell the Dutton eggs and cook up some inspired non-Anglo recipe for all to enjoy!
Bad fashion day could be fun for both women and blokes … who could imitate Lucy’s bad taste Sydney attire best or dear oh dear Michaela Cash’s odd identical pastel suites … some great op shop opportunities there!
Could be great fun … Inclusive Australia Day.
So let’s get back to being UnAustralian because as Australians we do that rather well!
*Josephine Zananiri lives in the Independent electorate of Indi in Germantown Vic and currently works in the manual labour arena tending native and exotic trees, so has plenty of time to think. Followed everywhere by her two dogs Percy and Fino who generally agree on all subjects, only occasionally deserting the conversation in the chase for samba deer! Slight differences in logic can therefore be attributed to the two woofers leaving their critical post!