Some might say: “What’s the harm of a little patriotism?” You live in a beautiful country and you should be extremely proud right?
There is nothing wrong in loving the country you live in, but you should love it for the right reasons.
On Australia Day many Australians wear the ‘Southern Cross’ and the classic yellow and green. They get boozed up and parade the streets. It’s a celebration that can (and has quite often) led to disgraceful behaviour. When I was a bit younger, I remember walking with my family down to the foreshore to watch the fireworks. On the walk home a car had hit someone, not fatally but enough to trigger other people climbing aboard the car and banging on the windows.
Only just this year one of my best friends was driving to a party we were at. She was parked at some traffic lights when a group of drunken men started shouting at her and one of them threw a beer bottle straight through her back windshield shattering the glass. She was absolutely petrified and ended up not celebrating that night.
In that respect, I don’t feel proud.
Recently, I was shown a poem written by the great Australian Phillip Adams called ‘I Love This Bloody Country’. It is a sort of parody of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem ‘My Country’ (http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm). Which to me was amazing because only a week earlier I had written something relatively similar. If you aren’t Australian it will be hard to understand a lot of the references, but it’s a well written piece of satire and…well…it speaks a lot of truths:
Here is what I had written in the style of a diminished hexaverse. It is nowhere as good as Phillip’s but the content is of the same theme:
The Land of Oz-Straya
Our sunburnt country
Is a sight to see.
Vast empty deserts.
Just ignore the
‘Bogan’ pride, slight
Who are we?
I don’t want to seem like I hate my country. It has a lot of faults but it is my home and it’s not all bad. I will leave you with a link to a Joelistics song (Aussie rapper) which presents Australia in a much more positive way:
His lyrics are fantastic, but the video is what makes this memorable for me. A bunch of Aussies were asked to record snippets of things they thought represented Australia. The result was myriad of images that reminded me of the things I think are beautiful.