Saturday, January 29, 2011
Invasion day... Australia day
I find Australia Day a pain in my heart and a terrible reminder of the invasion and subsequent abuse and cultural genocide that followed of the first peoples. Australia Day could encapsulate so many things if only it were truly an event or ideology shared by all.
http://www.aussieeducator.org.au/tertiary/subjects/history/australian/culture.html is a website coordinated by a group who call themselves Aussie Educator they define Australian culture as follows:
'Australia has many things in common with the rest of the world, though there are several parts of our national identity and culture which are peculiar to us. ... They include emphasis on physical as opposed to mental achievement, the concept of mateship, Australian idiom, language and humour. The embracing of the concept of multiculturalism is also covered. Be aware that any culture and national identity is always changing.'
This small minded idea of identity holds us back and retards our growth permanently as we have steadfastly held on to the 'iconic' mate-ship slogan and the idea that colloquial language is unique and a particular identifier of Australian-ness we have ignored other potential identifiers, therefore limiting our growth potential (appropriate colloquialism being Tall Poppy Syndrome).
Her name in 2011 was Wednesday but she answers to Australia, or Aussie.
She's draped in cloth.
Her face planted in a poisonous garden, sweet red lips connecting her to another drunken face.
She walks the monster halls of St Kilda.
A sea of parting wolves pick the carrion from her feet as she stumbles through the night leaving unacknowledged carnage.
Her bright blue eyes a dazzling contrast to the red whites.
Her ill-fitting dress, pinned together with pinches of skin leave slight brown stains of dried blood on finely woven chunks of plastic.
The creases of her mouth and the hurried movement means she's hungry, and lives ebb in and our of her void and she sucks and sits and vomits and drinks.
She is ill, Australia.
Her blood hair has black roots.
She is drunk with rage, alcohol and frustration.
She is dry and cracked and her skin is peeling like worn wall paper in a rental house.
Her youth is a pretense, she's mine I know her. But I don't.
And what I don't see is a magic shimmer. Under that skin is law and country and blood, and blood and blood. Under that ruckled paper skin is something ancient, wise and mysterious, raw and angry. She smells like gum trees and her words are lyrical, easygoing and no worries. And I lie these to myself at night as she rages in my white dreaming and drowns me like a rat.
Posted by Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins at 12:32 AM