Quaint ramblings and occasional reflections of a journeying Aussie musician...

27 January 2006

I still call...

Clouds are starting to circle round the current abode....our merry little cottage behind the big hedge, previously referred to me in conversation as 'The House Of Love', will I fear soon be shedding that particular title....

Once again (so tiresome), it's differences in personalities between two housemates, but this time including a third virtual housemate, a romantic involvment of one of said two, which I guess makes this particular situation slightly different territory for me (about the only interesting thing to be gained from the situation). Once again, the active housemate in this particular situation was so bothered by something seeming quite insignificant to myself that this person just HAD to take action, to which I am sure the response from receiving housemate and romantic involvement will be heated, ultimately resulting in vivd displays of emotion, plenty of nonsensicality and, once again, boring but at the same time nerve-racking conflict between people you share your living space with.

It is happening again! Why is it also that I'm okay, everyone still loves me and wants to be my mate, while they all ending up hating each other!? And why this time around did it only take a couple of months?....bloody London! Guess it's just keep head down, concentrate on my stuff, try and offer consoling words and alternative opinions to the ensuing rants and character assasinations from both sides, and make sure it doesn't end up involving money or leases....

Had our little national day yesterday (back in the homeland, I mean), and while it's great to celebrate the most magnificent country on earth, I can't help but use the opportunity to drop in a couple of words on the subject. January 26th is I find an unusual day to celebrate, as it marks the day Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet set up shop in Port Jackson. Aside from obvious historical reference to the ensuing genocide of the local population, it's not actually the date on which the Commonwealth of Australia was created, which as I hope all patriotic Aussies know is January 1st, a much more suitable day to celebrate the place (although as my ever astute and skeptical mother said once, everyone would be too hungover from New Years Eve to care!).

Something else that irks me a little is our flag, something of course which is bandied about with great relish by fellow Aussies here in London, sportspeople, politicians, racist gangs reclaiming Cronulla beach for "Straya" et al, as the foremost symbol of the nation. The Union Jack, while referring to a major part of Australian history, doesn't represent what Australia is any more, certainly not a quarter of what it is. From my recent travels, it's become plainly obvious to me that if we're going to have a flag in the top left hand corner then it might as well be the Stars and Stripes....

While I'm on the topic of history, a common conversational topic when talking about the Great South Land is how 'little' history we have, barely two hundred years. Somehow, the estimated sixty to one hundred thousand previous years of Aboriginal history always seems to be left out of these conversations. Just because it's measured and documented in folklore and stories of the Dreamtime, not battles and treaties and cathedrals, doesn't make it any less relevant. Taking into account various other elements of our national identity (probably the main one being the fact that the Queen of England is the Australian head of state), a sense of confusion can emerge, certainly not as to where we have come from, but as to what Australia is today, and where it is going tomorrow.

And why have I rabbited on about this? Because I am currently living in a place which at times seems to exhibit this same sense of confusion. England certainly seems to know and relish in it's own history, but the classic example is when one visits the voluminous expanse of the British Museum to find no exhibits of British history. We all know the English national faunal symbol is the lion - I haven't checked recently, but are they native to here? I remember being out on St Georges Day, in honour the patron saint of England (who I found out the other day was of "black-Palestinian" descent), and all I seemed to come across was a lone poster out front of a pub. I guess when you live in a city that alone is ten times older than Anglo-Australian history in total, "the nation's capital", surrounded daily by all these national symbols, it just gets you to thinking about these things sometimes...

1 comment:

the old man said...

all well said Mike. seems you've inherited your dad's views on the Oz flag. about time i got off my bum and started making noises about changing it. it'll be embarassing once more at the upcoming commonwealth games (themselves an anachronism?) when people confuse the Oz flag and the kiwi flag.

take care