Tomorrow, January 26, marks the anniversary of the arrival of the English to steal, rape and murder. It is all the English have ever really been good at, so I guess it makes some sense to mark the occasion - no one has ever celebrated English cookery day.
There are really only two things of any note the English have given the world. One is genocide and the other is cricket.
And at least something interesting happens during a genocide, so if we must commemorate the legacy of English colonialisation, we might as well plump for the destruction of one of the oldest civilisations on the face of the Earth.
Particularly if the alternative is celebrating Ricky Ponting.
And, so, the flags are already out in force - Union Jacks proudly sitting in the top lefthand corners to commemorate the strong bond between the average Australian and the English aristocracy.
It is a day on which, increasingly, the flag and "Aussie pride" are the means for the expression of the powerful undercurrent of extreme racism among sections of the population.
Open expressions of such racism are still considered a bit beyond the pale in polite society. This is a legacy of powerful anti-racist movements, in Australia and globally, during the last half of the 20th century.
Significant gains were won - The US were thrown out of Indochina, apartheid was defeated in South Africa and, in Australia, a majority voted in a referendum to agree to recognise Aboriginal people as humans, not fauna.
"Australia Day", therefore, provides a defensive cover for those whose response to a society screwed over by a lunatic, parasitic corporate elite willing to destroy all life on Earth before having a loss recorded in the accounts is to blame people slightly lower on the social ladder than them on the basis of race.
The flag and expression of "pride in our country" are the defensive cover behind which aggressive racism is increasingly expressed.
To complain about this is to be, by definition, "un-Australian". How can you possibly oppose the Australian flag? How can you seek to stop people expressing pride in *their own country* while *in their own country*?
The organisers of the Big Day Out discovered this when they tried to ban the Australian flag at the musical festival in the aftermath of the 2005 Cronula riots.
The simple explanation by the organisers was the flag was being used as a hate symbol, an aggressive expression of racism. Which it was.
The outcry over this decision ("ban the Australian flag???? In Australia???") proved the defensive value for racists of using symbols of Australian nationalism.
No one mistakes the meaning of an angry white man waving an Australian flag aggressively in the face of someone with dark skin or wearing a hijab.
A crowd drunkly shouting ("singing") "Waltzing Matilda" while staggering down a street are potentially more than just a nuisance to a lone Indian student.
But, respond in the logical way the BDO organisers did, and you are spitting on the Anzacs who fought and died at Gallipoli.
So behind this defensive cover, there is a real offensive to legitimise open racism, make it more acceptable and part of the mainstream.
At the moment, racism is standard operating for the government and state (refugee policy, NT intervention, discriminatory policing targeting Muslim youth), but it is cloaked behind a formal rhetoric of opposition to racism.
In many ways, the angry racists are responding to this hypocrisy. They can see it is bullshit.
They can see the actual *content* of Australian nationalism, the actual *content* of celebrating a day that marks the beginnings of *white* colonialism.
The official message is "inclusivity and diversity", but anyone can see the implication is this is a white person's country. If that was not the implication, the day would not be held on January 26.
For those that think the implication is a good thing, the hypocrisy grates. Why not express it openly? Why be so ashamed of it?
And so you get the feelings of pride - of "taking back the power" from the weak, mealy-mouthed liberal elites - that so obviously accompanies the growing use of symbols of Australian nationalism as symbols of race hate.
For those doing this, it is a stance against hypocrisy. "Political correctness", the bugbear of the bigots, is hypocrisy personified.
It is carrying out racist policies, while denying the right to openly express racism. (Or sexist or homophobic policies, etc etc.)
This is why you can never defeat the extreme, open racism - finding increasing expression in Australia - without targeting the system.
Because a system based on racist policies produces racist ideas, even if it officially denies them.
Of course, in the short-term, we all have to survive tomorrow - a day on which the proud and dignified act of being drunk is hijacked by bigots, and twisted to their own sick purposes.
And believe me, there is nothing that makes Carlo Sands angrier than to see binge drinking misused in a such a way.
The following statement, which accurately portrays the reality of Australia Day and provides invaluable tips for surviving it, was released by the Facebook group Fuck off, Xenophobes - we're full.
I publish it here, on my blog, so that for *the first time* it can be enjoyed in combination with the tasteful and attractive google ads Carlo Sands proudly offers at the top of the blog. Check them out!
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Survival Tips for Zombie Invasion Day
Zombie invasions: usually confined to the realms of video games and horror movies, they are an actual phenomenon that occurs about once every year here in Australia. In order to avoid causing panic amongst the population, this annual day of terror has been given the less threatening name of ‘Australia Day’, a day which most sensible citizens choose to spend in the basement.
The zombies themselves are many, but they are easy to spot. For example, they usually congregate in groups, dress themselves in Australian flags and shout profanities. Their primary sustenance seems to be beer - unlike traditional zombies, they don’t eat brains, a fact which has been linked to their own deficiencies in this regard. Nevertheless, they are still quite dangerous, and have a penchant for attacking people who make eye contact with them and/or are of non-Anglo-Saxon appearance.
While most government agencies recommend that citizens stay indoors and wait until the ghouls have passed out from excessive alcohol consumption, there are some who brave the outside world and help maintain some semblance of order amidst the anarchy. If you are one of those courageous souls, here are some guidelines to help you survive the most dangerous 24 hours of the year:
1) Ensure that you have a basic knowledge of martial arts, in case a zombie requests you to “kiss the fuckin’ flag”. A swift kick to the balls of the antagonist is efficient, completely defensible in court and very, very satisfying.
2) Carry a can of kerosene and a cigarette lighter at all times. Setting an assailant’s flag-cape on fire is an effective distraction and will allow time for escape.
3) Keep a boombox on hand wherever possible, along with a CD of traditional Indian music. This “foreign shit” is known to enrage zombies, who generally prefer the foreign shit from America. Play CD loudly until zombies are driven away - if this doesn’t work, resort to heavy weaponry.
4) Summon the Pied Piper of Hamelin and get him to play ‘Waltzing Matilda’, ‘C’mon Aussie C’mon’, that terrible ‘True Blue’ song or a simple ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ chant, and dance off in the direction of a cliff. Alternately, he may choose to take them back to his magical kingdom to be zombie slaves. We’re not fussed.