I, as a patriotic Aussie kiddy, raise my hackles at any form of put-down or criticism of our history or values etc.
But then, upon considering Bill Bryson's observation of Ned Kelly, I realised ... He's right.
We were taught from an early age that Kelly was both a hero and a villain, but there was a tad more emphasis placed on the hero part. I mean, they made a movie (aptly called 'ned kelly') a few years ago, with Heath Ledger (rip) as our main protagonist. And what a splendid story it is, when played in the right light - the underdog sticking it to the Man.
This last phrase is why he's considered a heroby millions, while the foreigners sit there scratching their heads wondering the reason behind such a strange option of person to idolise. He was a thief, and a murderer. But he stuck it to the man, and that's why we love the story.
We're built on being the underdog, and coming out on top. We're lovers of the success story (Step-Up, Freedom Writers, anyone?) and we love the movie renditions of said successes.
Australians are as a whole apathetic and racist. I say as a whole because I know many people that are neither of these, but there is a large number of people that are. Our policies are this way, also. Sometimes the solution seems to simple, but we just can't be bothered disturbing the surface lest the ripples turn into waves and a tsunami.
We talk of a great sunburnt country (or is it sunburned? in summer i think we should spell it like that) and we are the people that live in a 'multicultura' society, so long as you confom to our version of things. remember the 'white australia' policies of previous decades?
i'm ranting now, but i just thought that i would write that down before i forget it. and, on this same note, is this statement
ever seen the shadow of the clouds move across a hillside? if not, you should, it's truly amazing at putting things into perspective.Love.