Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Only 'dickheads' like Australia's national anthem

A fitting Australia Day post from Gavin Atkins, who links to multiple versions of Advance Australia Fair. Bob Ellis, on the other hand, hates the Australian anthem:

We give way to untruth every time we stand for it. We give way to untruth every time we sing it. We are not stirred when we hear it at the Olympic Games. We feel vaguely shamed by it, as the Canadians, French and Finnish are not by theirs.

Their songs enlarge them. Ours makes us feel, however slightly, like dickheads.

But the French have an anthem they can be proud of.

Let's go children of the fatherland, The day of glory has arrived! Against us tyranny's Bloody flag is raised! (repeat) In the countryside, do you hear The roaring of these fierce soldiers? They come right to our arms To slit the throats of our sons, our friends! Grab your weapons, citizens! Form your batallions! Let us march! Let us march! May impure blood Water our fields!

That's 100 percent reality based, of course, whereas Australia's anthem is a pack of lies:

Every one of the first six lines rings false. We are not young. We are not free. Our soil is not golden. Wealth does not come from toil here, but from birth or short-selling or real estate. And though we are 'girt by sea' so are all islands, and we are an island, and this is scarcely worth noting. And our land does not 'abound with precious gifts', it is two-thirds desert. Unless you count uranium I suppose, and the immensity of coal that is currently choking the planet, it does not abound, it is a desert waste.

The very first line, 'Australians all, let us rejoice', rings as false as 'I did but see her passing by' or 'tough but humane'. In real life you rejoice or you do not, you cannot be asked to rejoice. You can be asked to give thanks, for that is a form of words. You can be asked to bow your head in prayer. You cannot be asked to rejoice, for that is a spontaneous emotion, and you have it or not.

When Mrs Thatcher said 'I say unto you: rejoice' at the end of the needless Falklands War, she was as falsely tuned as we are when we are called upon to fill with joy at the thought of the oldest and driest land with one of the cruellest colonial histories, of poisoned flour and stolen children, and not one Indigenous person or immigrant Vietnamese, or Sudanese, or Palestinian in our Senate or House of Representatives, and give vent to our pleasured excitement. This is a problem to work on, not a victory to rejoice in.

And on and on Ellis goes, bitching and moaning about everything from BHP Billiton to the treatment of boat people. It's amazing how lefties can get so upset over nothing, seeing significance where there is none.

Anyway, today shouldn't be about whining; it's a day to reflect on life in Australia, good and bad, where we've been and where we're going. Right now I'm going to pop the top on an ice cold beer and count my blessings.


Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

Ellis sneers that "our land does not 'abound with precious gifts'.

He's right, but apparently doesn't know the words to the national anthem. It actually says: ""Our land abounds in nature's gifts, of beauty rich and rare".

The only thing 'precious' seems to be Mr Ellis.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Quentin George said...

Ellis is wrong - Joe Hockey is of Palestinian descent, and as far as I know, still sits in Parliament.

5:57 PM  

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