Thursday, January 26, 2006


Today is Australia Day. I take this opportunity to express gratitude and love for my adopted country, a model to the whole world. I am grateful for its welcome, and hope I have contributed sufficiently in return. I cherish this great, big, rich, sunburn, vibrant, cosmopolitan, diverse and highly tolerant land, there is no country like it.
I still do not fully understand your sports obesession, your tall poppy syndrome and dry humour. I still have difficulty with anti-intellectualism and the majority's proud ignorance of anything but sports, celebrities and the real estate market. I do not understand these things because you have grown up in paradise, and I had not. These are my faults, not yours. I would never ask that you change to accomodate me. This is neither my right nor my desire.
Australia, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Take it from a wog that belongs to more minorities than he cares to mention, who had to learn your language, adopt to your customs, and find his way through freedom and opportunity when all he knew was totalitarian grey.
You are strong. If your ignorant, backward, racist, totalitarian neighbours reject you it is due to their faults not yours. You stand by your friends and greater culture, and this is a virtue. You acquit yourself well every time you answer a frend's call to arms, and that is pride. You are slow to anger and this is refinement. You have rule of law and this is civilisation. You have a vibrant economy that becomes freer every year and this is prosperity. Your women are free and this is joy. Your streets are for the most part are safe and this is freedom.
I am grateful to Australia much as it still perplexes me. I love it, celebrate it, and hope that Victoria re-joins it one day.
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