Margaret Louise, Lismore
On this day, of all days, the excruciating vulgarity of Ocker culture is hard to take.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the lucky country. I can live with the Bottle-O, the servo, the smoko and the avos; I’ve gotten used to brollies and lollies, bikkies and sickies, the ciggies and sunnies and posties and mozzies (who are not the same as ankle biters).
But what does it say about our nation, that so many solid upstanding nouns have been turned into their comic diminutives? Are we afraid to say it like it really is?
Sure, we’re a nation of ex-convicts, larrikins, swagmen, settlers – and who need to get the words out quick, before the flies got in – so if shorter, cutesy words made the hard yakka of living on the world’s driest inhabited continent a bit easier, well good on ‘em!
Look at us now! And look at what, and who, we’ve destroyed to get here.
Was it was worth it?
Did the massacres of this land’s original inhabitants all happen just so a bunch of legless bogans could spend the arvo’ round a barbie, clutching their stubbies as the snags burn and ice in the esky melts? (Do these blokes think of anything else but the footy, mate? Or who’s gonna shout for the next slab?) Ah well, boys deserve a bit of relaxation, don’t they?
Like ScoMo sez, life wasn’t so flash for those arriving here in 1788 either.
And from that point on it was far, far less flash for the folks who watched them arrive…
…in Botany Bay or Perth or Hobart or Mallacoota, or in Evans Head, where Indigenous people were later surrounded at dawn as they slept, and shot – or driven off the edge of the cliffs at Goanna Headland.
Fair dinkum mate… happened right here.