One thing we are is one of the most urbanized nations on earth, over 80% of us live in cities and those cities are all on the coast, almost the entire population lives within 50 ks of the ocean. That doesn’t include us renegade Castlemainiacs though does it? Yet the quintessential Ozy lives in a place called the outback. We call it that because we are all longingly looking out to sea. Once searching for a ship from the motherland, bearing news about ‘mother’. (QE2) Now we scan the horizon for vast super-ships bringing junk from China (Chinese Junks?) Meanwhile our alter ego sits tall in the saddle of their magnificent steed, one hand to their sweaty brow, scanning the parched earth for dead cows and lost sheep.
We see ourselves as peace loving, generous, tolerant people’ yet is that how the world sees us? The rest of the world sees a country constantly at war. We have been at war in Afghanistan for 14 20 years now, and no end in sight. We here in Sleepy hollow may have forgotten about those wars but I can assure you the people of Afghanistan have not.
The rest of the world sees a nation hell bent on denying asylum to some of the most desperate people on earth, fleeing conflicts half of which we have created, while we debate whether to tow their boats back out to sea and use them for target practice.
The rest of the world sees a nation that treats its Indigenous people like shit. Always has and always will. We may believe we are trying really hard to ameliorate their endless suffering, but the world, I’m afraid sees our complete and utter failure to do so. Why do we treat them so? Is it punishment for making us feel guilty?
We are one of the wealthiest nations on earth yet we sit back and watch our nearest neighbor Papua New Guinea descend into barbarism. We attempt to diddle our other neighbor East Timor out of their oil. We turn away Pacific Islanders desperately seeking somewhere to live once their countries disappear under the rising seas. A problem we have helped to create and are unwilling to fix.
Maybe it is time to administer a few drops of Optical Viagra and have a good hard look at our selves.
Ben Laycock 2010 2020 – still relevant