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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

This Country is Ridiculous

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

This Country is Ridiculous

Andrew Ryan

“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”

Man. This politics shit is pissing me off. I’m tired of not talking about how I feel about it. I keep biting my tongue because no one likes a political idealist. But screw it; today I’m going to rant about how I feel about it.

Tony Abbot and many of his cabinet, are aging, small-minded colonial fear mongers, riding the powerful horse of their heterosexual pale skin male privilege into unsustainable resource grabbing and short term economic security. They sit with a huge percentage of fellow hetero pale skins in their bigot/idiot-based-mediacratic government, thinly disguised as an economics/law-based-meritocracy. It’s a huge sham, a big tiring façade of bullshit that consistently sidesteps the true problems of all of the people residing on this continent.

You like those pretty beaches we’ve got? Yeah? You like that land and that house you may or may not have paid off yet? That you’re paying too much in rent for? How do you think your pale skinned ancestors were able to get that land, how were their descendants able to sell it to you, rent it to you? By murdering (or supporting/ignoring the people who murdered) the original owners of the land, and by pushing the survivors off their ancestral territory and effectively leaving them to rot in unfamiliar surrounds.

No war was ever declared on the first people of this country; the people weren’t even considered to be people. The technicalities of the Australian land grab by European colonists are a fucking kick in the face of everything we know about human rights.

A complete genocide occurred in Tasmania. Every single last Tasmanian Aboriginal was killed as a direct result of European occupation, after 10,000 years of isolation on the island, in just over 70 years. How anyone can be proud to live in the wake of such a tragedy blows my fucking mind. How so many people seem to actively ignore or play down the repercussions of our colonial history makes me sick.

But the Europeans brought progress, civilisation, technology… And to what end? To rape the Earth of it’s resources, to blind humanity from our basic connection to (and absolute reliance on) nature? To continue stomping around and destroy more things than are created for the common good of man?

And what progress? So many of this land’s first people (as well as a bunch of descendants of later arrivals) live in poverty, with poor health/dental care and nutrition and literacy (while a select few, mostly of European descent, have numerous investment and holiday properties). The traditional cultures of Aboriginal people- such extensive knowledge of native foods and medicines, such incredible respect for and understanding of nature- all but destroyed by death, displacement, religion, booze and shame. An ancient way of life, sustainable for at least sixty thousand years, was upheaved by an ignorant swarm looking to extend Europe’s agricultural economy.

So this country is what it is now, with more and more waves of people drawn to the sun and easier way of life with every passing decade- loads of different cultures, languages, histories, memories all falling on to the suburbs and the cities, looking for a chance to make it, to live peacefully… but harmony has not yet been found.

There is still racial vilification, there is still cultural ignorance and a seeming general acceptance by much of the population that “that’s just life”, that “this is just what happens in Australia”, that “boat people came here illegally anyway”, that “the Aboriginals don’t WANT help”, that “they don’t deserve job allocations just because they’re indigenous”…

So many citizens are used to living outside of their means, with credit cards and home loans and car loans and student debts (seriously, why the fuck isn’t free education provided by the government to its citizens anymore??), so used to living with wasteful supermarkets and heavy polluting industries and modes of transport, with deeply ingrained social inequality, that it seems overwhelming to try to change it, to even consider that changing it could be an option. Why the fuck is that?

I can’t help but look at the media. What is the country’s mainstream media talking about, today, instead of ways to peacefully ensure that all cultures existing in this country can come up with ways to be mutually beneficial to the entire population- something that everyone should be interested in given the opportunity and EDUCATION to think about and discuss?

The online news media are giving us: “hipster” Christmas menus, discussions about whether or not maths is necessary in studying engineering (fuck, really?), the cricket scores, a story about some hoons who got their cars taken away because they were paying homage to Paul Walker’s death, and a bunch of economic jargon about state and Federal budgets, which I can safely assume means absolutely NOTHING to the vast majority of people.

Commercial television gives us a whole bunch of crimes shows from the USA, and a bunch of talent contests.

Shock jocks consistently distort facts.

Commercial radio sucks the dicks of big-money international companies because they want big-money more than they want to support independent local musicians who have legitimate artistic statements to make about the society and cultures they live in…

Most of our media is running on socially destructive, equality inhibiting, and profit driven agendas. It’s not a conspiracy. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that it’s a fucking bullshit thing to take part in, to accept as norm, when it’s so obviously and stinkingly revolting.

I want to calm down, look at things pragmatically, and come up with some real solutions instead of just ideologically ranting. I want to. But the emotion is so charged that I can’t help but rant like this.

It’s as if I’ve got some maternal thing within me that is screaming in pain; screaming in pain every time I wake up, and have to interact with the society I wish I could escape from. Too often, I feel stuck in it.