Sadly, an honest answer to this question can only be resoundingly negative. Australia is an infant nation redolent with the residue of its mostly ‘criminal’, colonial past. Increasingly uncultured and uncaring, selfish and shallow, loud and lazy, this island continent now behaves like America’s neglected stepchild, and lately Daddy’s obviously gone off the deep end. Subsequently, the sins of the fathers have started to seep out of this isolated, impressionable society – a wide brown land with no real sense of identity.
Aside from an almost holy day celebrating the spirit shown during a spectacularly misguided military rout, and what truth in advertising would rebrand ‘Invasion Day’, all of our holidays are inherited. We bemoan the ‘boat people’ while pasty British backpackers make up the bulk of those still present past their welcome. If you’re not down with drinkin’ to excess, bread & circuses then you can fuck right off maaate, ‘cause we’re like full (and shit).
Obviously this is ostensibly an unfair and grossly oversimplified generalisation, but in case you haven’t noticed, attention spans are in seriously short supply these days – the gist is all that needs to be got, and regrettably there really isn’t much to be gotten about Down Under.
As I’ve only ever lived in Perth, I have no first hand experience with the east coast, but apparently the picture’s not much prettier. Despite being the most isolated capital city on the planet, Perth can proudly boast more millionaires per capita than anywhere else on Earth, aaand that’s about it really.
The ravenous dragon to our north continues to fuel a mining boom that has so bloated much of the bourgeoisie that they can no longer claim the same class. Ironically, as the population puts on weight, televisions considered too chunky to make the cut are seen lining the streets en masse during council kerbside collection; cast aside for a younger, slimmer, brighter model in spite of their still being serviceable. While this segue might seem spurious, the underlying themes of shame and waste shed light on one aspect of the imbalance of this ‘two speed’ economy, in the sense that the absence of the former facilitates an acceptance of the latter. Deeper than that, it speaks volumes of the spreading spiritual and mental malaise manifested by suckling at the tantalising teats of material ‘success’ and multinational corporate misinformation machines.
Hyperbole? Hardly. Here on the edge of the Earth the tyranny of distance alone stifles progress, and a mocha-latte crüe of entitled – and oft unsurprisingly corpulent – conservatives call the shots. The media machine does its best to keep citizens both afraid and enraged, and multitudes are gullibly grateful as this gives them something to grind their otherwise idle gears on – scapegoats never go out of season y’see.
The aforementioned dragon is our pseudo socialist sugar daddy, and his scaly and supportive wings kept Western Australia (WA) sheltered from the sharp end of the GFC felt by basically every other economy, to the extent that far too many mouths now house unsustainably sweet teeth. Generation Y has grown up into generation whine and the ‘free market’ mantra of “harder faster better more” has become the prevailing mindset.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and this author would argue that the same applies to dissent. In a first world nation irrefutably growing fatter and more fatuous by the day, the greatest hope for revolution this country has is up a tree in Tasmania, barefoot and fighting a very worthy fight, but one with a scope so narrow that victory in this area alone would probably turn out to be pyrrhic, or at least unhygienic.
In short, while WA represents only one state out of seven in Australia, it can be seen as a part of a trend towards apathy and entropic attitudes. A fervent acolyte of failing, flailing empires and proven economic fallacies, our broad bellies are soft, our narrow minds are bleached bland, and our white bread is buttered on whatever side promises most persistently not to burst the bubble.
Here in ‘the lucky country’ ego is definitely not a dirty word, while the word revolution remains alien to the exponential number who think that the world revolves around them. Nobody gives a fuck about global warming, ‘cause we’re well good at sports and have shitloads of uranium to sell to anybody who isn’t a sand nigger.
VIVE LA DELUSIONE!