25 September, 2007

time

Just in case you weren't already furious about the new Citizenship Test (not to mention the massive advertising campaign to promote it, for which you - yes you - are paying)...

(from The Age website)
One sample test question asks: "Which one of these is a responsibility of every Australian citizen?"

The possible responses are (1) Renounce their citizenship of any other country; (2) Serve in Australian diplomatic missions overseas; or (3) Join with Australians to defend Australia and its way of life, should the need arise.

The correct answer is (3).
Now, they've been carefully vague, avoiding any tight definition of the word "defend", but the inference is clear: should the "need ever arise", it is my responsibility as a citizen to pick up a gun and be shipped off to die somewhere of my government's choosing.

So not only is this disgracefully arrogant Prime Minister now claiming the right to define what it means to be a citizen of this country, not only is he going to refuse people the title of Australian if they fail to identify Don Bradman as a personal deity, he's going to sneakily imply that unless you're willing to take up arms in defense of the Motherland, you aren't truly a citizen of this nation.

I am so sick and tired of the jingoistic, bigotted, exclusionary version of Patriotism that has been allowed to flourish under Howard and his cronies. I am so angry at what these conservative, power-guzzling hate-mongers have done to my country. There are more possibilities to being a good Australian citizen than just being either Donald Bradman or Simpson's donkey. I love this place where I was born and have lived my whole life. I want to be a part of this country. But I want to contribute to Australia without playing a sport. I want to be valued by Australia without fighting in a war.

Mr Howard, you have no right to tell me what makes this nation great. Your personal agenda has no place deciding who can and cannot become a part of my country. Your archaic notion of what makes a great Australian will not dictate to whom my respect is given or how I will contribute to my country.

I will contribute though, Mr Howard. I will do my best to make my country a better place. My contribution will be this: to place your representative last on my ballot paper, when you finally call the election. Perhaps, if enough people do the same, we might shake off the reeking shackles of your notion of Australia once and for all. We might cast aside the moldering chains that have turned this into a fearful, huddled wretch of a nation, and stand up truly proud of who we are and what we stand for. In time perhaps your fetid stench will pass away altogether, allowing us to forget the cripplingly restricted notions of your sporting, fighting Australia, and to celebrate our differences, our many-faceted achievements and our multitudinous opportunities. Without you and your ilk, Mr John Winston Howard, this might finally become the wonderful country it ought to be.

Australia is young and free, Mr Howard. You are old and oppressive. It's time.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sam said...

Yes. Yes. Oh yes.

I think the propaganda cliche that shits me beyond fury and into tears of genuine sadness is the 'fair go' myth. John Howard and his government have never, EVER offered a genuine fair go to queer folk and same-sex couples, and no-one of real note ever seems willing or able to pick him up on this.

I'd wonder how he sleeps at night but I know that after 11 years lying, hypocrisy and just good ol' fashioned, country-fried bullshit comes as naturally to him as breathing.

September 27, 2007 12:34 pm  
Blogger JahTeh said...

What do you mean '11 years' Sam? The rodent's been lying for longer than that. I mean it takes control to lie that hard and not trip over an ever lengthening snout.

I pity anyone standing behind me at the polling booth because I'm going to take a lot of time filling out my ballot papers. That's because I'm a good citizen and I'm going to defend my country against rodents.

September 29, 2007 10:28 pm  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

I fear the 'fair go' is just another one of those meaningless jingoistic clich├ęs that gets trotted out because it appeals to heartland Australia's sense of national identity. It ceased to actually represent any idea of equality or fairness in treatment of people a long time ago.

October 19, 2007 11:29 am  

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