lt is high time we ditched the hackneyed kangaroo and emu from our coat of arms. Actually, come to think of it, why don’t we ditch the coat of arms while we are at it.
As we learnt in Grade 4 history class, the coat of arms was something our forefathers put on their shields before going into battle with our neighbors, way back in the dark ages. ( it was called the dark ages because Western Europe was ruled by the Christian church, who felt it necessary to keep everyone in the dark about all the exciting things going on ever there in the land of Mohamed )
The idea was to decorate ones escutcheon, surcoat or tabard with pretty symbols that conveyed to your enemy in battle just who they were about to garrote, in the off chance they might recognize you as a distant relative, and spare your life. We have scant stats on the efficacy of this ruse, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
Nowadays of course we deploy drones to do our dirty work. Our escutcheons, surcoats and tabards lie idle in the attic, along with the family bible, no doubt.
But somehow the good old coat of arms, (that some poor lad carried heroically into battle, until he met his inevitable grisly demise) has survived, until now.
l propose that the those two herbivorous bipeds that grace our coins and our parliament, do not truly represent the Australian character.
Your koala on the other hand, is the perfect mascot to lead us into battle. The kangaroo is well known to prefer the greenest of grass, grass from a distant land that is alien to our soil, and the emu as you well know, will eat anything at all, especially bright shinny coins, whereas the koala eats only gum leaves. Nothing but dinky die, home grown, organic, Ozzy gum leaves. What could be more Australian than that!
Now let’s take a good hard look at ourselves.
Who are we? What are we?
l think we can all agree that at if we drill down into our collective psyche with a Black&Decker, we will come to see just how obtuse we really are. Abstruse, recondite, recherché even?
Exhaustive scatological studies have shown the koala to also be an obtuse creature, more obtuse than all their obtuse relatives that share this large obtuse island, for the resourceful koala has honed its obtuosity down to fine art. Over many millennia the koala has adapted to our unique environment, our uniquely harsh and erratic environment, and adapted to its unique place in that uniquely harsh and erratic environment (up a gum tree) by casting aside all useless evolutionary baggage so as to concentrate more intensely on what is required for life in the tree tops. The koala discovered long ago that up a gum tree is by far the safest place to be. There are no predators up there you see, so need for long legs to out run them. Nor is a large energy consuming brain needed to outwit them.
So that begs the question, why didn’t any other curious and adventurous creatures follow them up the tree?
Well, because though it is safe up there, the diet is monotonous to say the least, and actually quite unpalatable, even toxic. What our wondrous and ponderous koala has that others lack is a very sensitive nose, a nose that can distinguish between a toxic gum leaf and a tasty gum leaf. Hence, over thousands of years, perhaps even millions of years, the koala’s brain has shrunk to the size of a walnut, while its proboscis has grown and grown.
There are rival theories of course, this is science after all. Some claim the nose has grown and the brain has shrunk due to the the gum leaves being saturated with alcohol. The Koalas spend their days in a state of perpetual inebriation, it seems. l know it sounds like pure bliss, but it actually makes them grumpy and taciturn, especially if you take away their beloved gum leaves. Sound familiar?
l like to think both theories can be coalesced and harnessed in our quest to make the humble koala our National Emblem. OK, we don’t live in trees, haven’t done so for quite some time, but our brains have shrunk something terrible over the years through lack of use, and are we not also besotted with alcohol throughout the life-long day, and far into the night?
I am a fearless reporter who has recently been sacked from News of the World due to wishy washy. namby pamby, bleeding heart, bed weting liberals banging on about Ethics, whatever they are. I try to offend as many people as possible but in the words of some great orator, "you can offend some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but youcant offend all of the people all of the time".