It was the moment I considered cooking tofu for Australia Day that I began to wonder if I wasn’t as Australian as I perhaps should be.It shouldn’t have been a surprise, frankly. I’ve been displaying “un-Australian” tendencies for some time.
I don’t like the beach, for one. I think footy’s dull and I find cricket a bore. My parents never owned a barbecue, or went camping. I didn’t even own a pair of thongs until I was 25.
My saving grace is I enjoy beer and meat pies, often at the same time. This, we are told, is what it means to be Australian. Beer, pies, cricket, footy, barbies and thongs. Straya!
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We’ve got a lot to be confident about being Australian. Leaving aside, for a second, all the issues each of us may think are sending this country to hell in a handbasket, (such as this, this and this) the list of what we can be proud of is pretty long.
Most of us would think we could pin point what those things are. We talk about mate-ship, mythologise our sporty outdoorsyness, perhaps mention multi-culturalism, our startling natural wonders, and our stable banking system.
But none of that really adds up to a national identity we can dress up in. There are so many ways we represent ourselves to the world that the annual cringe-fest that is our entry in the national dress segment of Miss Universe is by no means the most crucial. But it does serve as an annual reminder we’ve got no real idea who we are.
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You don’t often hear people challenging someone’s claim to be Italian. Or Swedish, or American. Generally you accept what they say even if they don’t have an accent, or a funny surname, or blond hair.
Aboriginality, on the other hand, apparently remains a contested field.
The Federal Court last week decided that high-profile and controversial columnist Andrew Bolt had breached the Racial Discrimination Act in his columns ‘It’s so hip to be black’, and ‘White fellas in the black’, which questioned why nine prominent ‘fair-skinned Aborigines’ identified as Aboriginal.
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A funny thing – actually, make that a frilly thing – happened on the way to the feminist revolution.
Just as women started to get a better deal at home, at school and in the boardroom, our girl children have been hijacked by a foe more flouncy than any which has come before.
It is the colour pink and it is being worn – probably in frothing tutu form – by a micro-Cinderella near you.
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Last week while much of eastern Australia struggled with visibility I had a moment of surprising clarity.
Having ceded control of my diary years ago to my assistant Sav, nowadays I have about three hours visibility in my life. I know what I am doing up till about 10.30am but after midday it starts to get foggy.
And yet for three weeks I was completely aware that I would be in Cairns on Friday, September 25. Even more amazingly I was thinking about what to wear.
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That’s how many credit card details Miami resident Albert Gonzalez is alleged to have stolen by hacking into US companies over recent years.
Gonzales hasn’t been the only one busy stealing financial credentials from legitimate businesses who have collated data from our online and offline transactions, others have targeted home computers using malicious software (malware) or tricked them out of us via phishing or fraudulent websites.
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