Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rebuttals (or, as Nathan said, The Three Personalities of Tash: Me (Scrubs Quoter), Thineself (Shakespeare Quoter) and I (The One With Ridiculous Musings).

So the time has come where Blogger is saying, "Hey, Tash! Tash! Over here!" and gesturing.

SCENE: The interwebs.
TASH: I don't know, Blogger-old-pal, what can you do?
BLOGGER: [rattles off an entirety of jargon and things it can do]
TASH: [stares back lamely with an eye twitch]
BLOGGER: [with a touch of patience] Here, just click on here. Now you have a whole variety of links people can also click on and then they can send your genius to the world.
TASH: But isn't that a little ambitious? I'm writing to a total of 8 people. 
BLOGGER: My dear! Ambition is the key to success!
TASH: Macbeth would not agree, and nor would his Lady.
BLOGGER: That Shakespeare is relevant to this conversation is a laughable prospect. And, frankly, I find it obscene.
TASH: He is quite obviously relevant. Not to dishearten you, but you've used two words coined by Shakespeare in order to make such a point. And I've used one to rebut you. What say you to that?
TASH: And the ultimate trump card... Shakespeare coined the original Ya Mum jokes.
[BLOGGER explodes in a timely Shakespearean destruction. TASH, a la Polanski's Macbeth, spears BLOGGER's head on a stick and rides around a castle triumphantly.]

Um. Yeah. I can't explain that, but cool.
The point is, I am honestly contemplating customising this here little blog for you all, my 8-or-so readers, because I am lacking in something of a life, and I am pretty sure that this is another way for me to procrastinate.

Now, to write something of note. 
HA! Since when do I do THAT?

My good pal Joshua and I have been discussing wars. Joshua has hit his Facebook network, pleading for an enemy. 
I am not choosing to fight people via the internet, but rather, a time period, which was discussed at unimaversity where I go to get smarts. (As you can see, it is clearly working. Kudos to you all, uni lecturers!) Not even a time period, really. Oh, the heck with it, I don't know how to define this group, but I am rebutting them. And in the manner I contemplated attacking them via Facebook:

@THE COLONIAL ENGLISH WORLD: A battle has begun. Take up arms and prepare to fight, because in the words of Howard Moon, I'm about to put a move on you.

Dear Colonial England,
Aside from the general lulz and lols and giggles you inspired in today's lecture, I am fairly sure the time has come for someone to inform you of your failings.
That someone is me.
I'm not sure you realise how much you've impacted the world in how it sees us as Australians. And how many trends you've made. I specifically refer to your novel, Queensland Cousins, by Eleanor Luisa Haverfield. According to Ms. Haverfield, Australians speak like so: 
So we said when father began minutely examining the bark; and to our satisfaction there wasn't a single shot mark in the tree, though we must have fired half a dozen between us. 'We can't have seen this,' I said, feeling rather cock-a-hoopy; 'it must have been something nearer.' We were just all puzzling our heads over the matter when a Chinkee came running towards us from a group of huts not very far off. He was gesticulating and making a fearful fuss. We followed him in a fine state of excitement, and he led us to a little low shed with a railing before it. We looked in, and there lay two dead pigs!
Blame it on history all you like, but that is an openly English word which I'm fairly sure Australians have never used. My grandmother, in a fit of excitement, has never said, "Golly gosh, I'm feeling rather cock-a-hoopy." My only explanation for this is...
It isn't an Australian word. Lady Chatterly uttered it. It doesn't make it okay for it to be transported to the mouths of youth traipsing across Queensland.
Also, Eustace? What sort of a name is Eustace? 

Deep breath in, and out.

Another point which annoys me - I know that I've only been in Queensland for a short time, but I have seen no evidence of Queensland looking like ancient Rome. This may be because Australia was only colonised in the late 1700s, I'm not too sure. It also could be because Ms. Haverfield was smoking something. Or went to her local library and was like, "Huh, Bri- bri- Brisbannnnne. So exotic! It must look like Rome!"
Visual comparison.
This is South Brisbane, in 1890:
These are the ruins of Pompeii. From what I recall of Ancient History last year, these will give a clear enough view of what Roman cities were like in their heyday.

Further comparison, in case somehow you aren't convinced, but from modern times. Brisbane:
And modern-day Rome, also at night:

 I don't know about you, but I can find more than the 6 differences that are usually required to successfully complete spot the difference.

Once again - the boy's name is Eustace. It is a Greek name. Specifically meaning, "Fruitful". Australian children most likely during this time would have had ENGLISH NAMES. You know those ones. John. Peter. Alfred. Etcetera, so on, so forth. The point is, just because Australia is a colony that is overseas, and is ever so exotic... it does not give you poetic license to give a child a Greek name.

To move onto the more pressing matters of Colonialism.
What. On. Earth.
Explain to me, Colonialism, where on earth is your sense of fun? I understand you were heavily sexist and you lived by the principles of Tennyson as expressed in The Princess:
When the man wants weight, the woman takes it up,
And topples down the scales; but this is fixt
As are the roots of earth and base of all;
Man for the field and woman for the hearth:
Man for the sword and for the needle she:
Man with the head and woman with the heart:
Man to command and woman to obey;
All else confusion.
Why were boys encouraged to be paragons of virtue by being heroic, self-reliant idiots, essentially? Because apparently, women were around to speak on all moral matters. Men, throw away your Jiminy Crickets! Women are here to save the day and be moral.
And poor Eustace's sister cries for the adventures she'll never get... but it's okay. Because you're learning to be upstanding citizens by reading really, really, didactic texts.

Okay. Last argument there, I know. It can be easily backed up by the whole "product of their times" etc. And one of the things we covered today was that Colonialism, in their literature,  pretty much oozes dominant ideas of race, of class, and of gender. I make reference to it for later.

Later comes now.

Myths are flying around about Australia. From the ever-popular "Australians ride kangaroos to school" (which, seriously? Those things hugely damage cars, for crying out loud. Why would I try capturing one?), to the "That's not a knife. This is a knife" a la Mr Dundee, I fear we're on the end of some pretty ridiculous myths.
Case in point: I believe the 'outback', as it were, is horrendous. I have family who run a farm, as I've said. I have not had an adventure as of yet. Why? There are catheads. There are lone sheep. There are miles and miles and miles of dirt road. Everything smells faintly of aforementioned sheep. There are snakes. To get anywhere remotely resembling civilisation, you have to drive for half an hour. Oh, and then the epic lulz of shooting vermin that attack a farm! Hehehe, oh yeah, real fun (sarcasm hand raised) watching a rabbit die. GREAT fun watching innocent animals perish. I know they're attacking the livestock. BUT DO I HAVE TO SEE IT?!
I have never in my life said "g'day" without immediately bursting into hysterics after. Nor sheila. Mate, yeah, I have. I regard that as a dismal moment in my life. My family who are wholly Australian are actually pretty much teetotalers. There goes your idea that we're all massive drunks. 
Oh, and I refuse to be endorsed by Lara Bingle. My country is not as the ad portrays it. 
This ad just reinforces more stereotypes of Australia.
Contrary to the ad's claims, my ex-driveway is actually a short walk down. Also, I live near a golf course. Never have I once seen a kangaroo on it. I have never seen a shark in a pool. Even the beach-pool at Shelley's. And, honestly, we're not idiots. We don't refer to beaches as pools. We know there's a considerable difference to something that you get inserted or propped in your backyard, and something God himself created. Sitting around a dusty bar, wearing Akubras... really? Really? You weren't taught that cliches were bad?

It's getting far too late.

Rant off.

No, wait.

Colonial period... as you are dead and cannot fight back, I believe I win this one.
And I will finish with an exuberant Coxish finish.

Things that irritate me as much as Australian cliches:
Everything on the planet, everything in the solar system, everything everything everything everything everything everything - eve - everything that exists - past, present and future, in all discovered and undiscovered dimensions. Oh! And Hugh Jackman.
(I'm actually a Hugh fan. But why quibble?)

No comments:

Post a Comment