Tuesday, 25 January 2011


The feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering, and ... this feeling... should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men...

Patriotism as a feeling is bad and harmful, and as a doctrine is stupid. For it is clear that if each people and each State considers itself the best of peoples and States, they all live in a gross and harmful delusion. Leo Tolstoy


  1. hmmm....I'm not in Australia when I write this so I can only imagine what's going on...perhaps a huge orgy of patriotism fuelled by recent natural disasters? nothing like it to bring out the jingo in the local rag...

    or strike me down, maybe I'm misunderstanding it totally...(party pooper? makes me wonder...)

  2. You got it - it all happens tomorrow - I'm just getting my anti-bogan pants on early.

    And, they've got a bonafide war hero to pin to their chests this year too.

    Ergh. A 24 hr festival of the mouth-breathing patriot.

  3. Hmm.

    I can't argue with Tolstoy on 'patriotism'. Nations are artificial constructions, and any feeling of national pride is equally artificial in origins.

    Nevertheless: a culture of human beings, surviving and thriving on the second-most uninhabitable continent on this planet. A culture of people who find common ground in their geographic isolation, their shared history, and those aspects of the cultural norms which are genuinely admirable -- particularly a relaxed, anti-authoritarian egalitarianism...

    Yes, I can see cause to come together and celebrate for one day in a year. Especially if you take the time to highlight the good things, and make a point of eschewing the bogans who wrap themselves in flags and then go about drunkenly intimidating anyone who doesn't look equally stupid.

    It's easy to be negative about the Southern Cross Mafia, and to characterise Australia as a 'racist', jingoistic nation. Hell, it's easy to be negative about anything. But having visited countries in which racism is legally mandated (Malaysia. Israel - just for starters. There are dozens of others. I always get a laugh from the lefty losers who tell me that racism is a 'white western' issue. That is true - but it's because 'white western' cultures are the only ones that really see racism as a problem. For pretty much everyone else, racism is just The Natural Order Of Things.) and seen real racism, real jingoism at work...I'd rather quietly go about trying to give a leg-up to the good stuff in this country than to provide food for the trolls by acknowledging them.

  4. Oh Dirk!

    I have been sitting around all day trying to work out my thoughts on Australia Day and you've elucidated them perfectly.

    I totally agree with the Tolstoy quote Hughesy's used - I've seen it a couple of times this week.

    But on the other hand, I've noticed the rise and rise of the "anti-bogan" - people who are very vocal and vicious about the flag-waving boozed-up "F*** off, We're Full" crowd. They've very much developed as a reaction against the bogans, and I completely understand that. I don't want to run around with face-paint and flags and getting my jingoism on either. But at the same time, the very people who criticise the bogans etc for their intolerance are starting to appear quite intolerant and hateful themselves.

    And I often wonder how many of those who really *hate* the jingoistic side of the day head to an Irish pub on St Patrick's Day, claim their ancestry through a great-great-grandfather from County Cork and down six pints of Guinness?

    I realise it's a bit of a spurious argument. But for me, I'm somewhat sick of the extremes on both sides.

    All I know is I'm working on Australia Day, and I'd much rather be sleeping in, having a restful day and maybe catching up with some friends. That's what Australia Day is to me; not getting shitty for various reasons.

    Sorry to hijack your blog Hughesy!

  5. FH - that's just the problem. They NEVER go on about the good stuff. All that social reform, women voting, the labour movement etc etc. Nup - they just lowest common denominator the entire thing. And fk it - it's bloody invasion day. They should move the date out of respect to the actual Australians who died defending their country from the bloody English.

    I'll try to resist the temptation to rip the fkn fluttering flags off their cars, but GC - I know my people. I am related to the bogans I have to deal with on AUS DAY. I reserve the right to hold them in deeply low esteem. It's personal. I don't care what they are doing in Maroubra, but if one single person tells me 'it's all good, and to have a great ozzie day', I may have to kill them.

  6. Hey Hughesy,

    I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to diminish your own experience of the day. As I said, I find the attitudes of many simplistic and often abhorrent.

    But I am sorry that group of people - which I do really believe is a minority (albeit a growing and vocal one) - spoil it for everyone else.

    As for the date...well, I don't know the answer to that. There are all sorts of dates commemorated all over the world that are great for one country/race/person/etc and terrible for another.

  7. Hughesy: I respect utterly your feelings of contempt towards the mob that GC describes as the "fuck off, we're full" crowd. In fact, I probably share the feelings. (Don't know how intense they are for you, so I can't be sure about 'sharing'. I do know that these idiots give me a very strong urge to wade in and flatten them... which keeps me away from large Aus Day celebrations.)

    But I do stay away, don't I? And meanwhile, I figure there are better ways I can get along on the day in question.

    The 'Invasion Day' thing is another point altogether. I'm still thinking about that one. I watched a local Aboriginal activist - a Mansell - stick his foot in his mouth on TV today, blithering about "a day based on race"... which it isn't, and will only become such if idiot activists successfully hijack it.

    I'm pretty sure the folk who arrived here didn't see themselves as 'invaders'. I'm happy to acknowledge that the locals may have had different ideas, but I'm not convinced we have to disregard the date or consider it one of shame as a result. I figure it happened, and historically, it's supposed to have happened on this date.

    Might as well deal with it, I reckon.

  8. Interesting, whilst I agree, I must also admit, I could not perhaps..temper it, any better than Dirk has.

    You see, whilst Patriotism is or has been invoked by any number of countries to visit harm upon others, its also been the tool to mitigate that harm. I guess it has a good and bad side or dark side if you wish to use the force!.

    Maybe its something governments should not over actively encourage....unless really required, and I am perhaps being to simplistic there as well, but I am sure you get the gist of of what I am saying.

    As for the muppets ( bogans) , well, not much argument here. But I would like to see the community and especially the media move on from the riots, the more its mentioned, I fear the more it percolates away. Not to say we should do nothing, quite the contrary, we should be moving heaven and earth, but quietly in the back ground and denying them media coverage at the same time.

    As for the suggestion the date be moved...well for me..NO, for those we oppressed and still do treat poorly, we should hold the government to better account.

    But I will also admit, I am getting kind of sick and tired of the PAST being brought up by them. Some things...well, they need to build a bridge and get the fk over it!.

    Other, of more recent..thats very very different..persons should be made aware and held to account, but multiple generations ago.....nup..had enough of that one I am afraid!

    Hope you had a nice day!


  9. Nup - I refuse to just deal with it. A whole pile of people decided to just deal with it when German youth started having their little 'tomorrow belongs to me' song fests, boistrously breaking a few windows here and there and generally draping themselves in master race emblems.

    Call me old fashioned, but when I see the dull light of mindless stupidity flicker in the vacant stares of these piss addled flag flapping fools, I get a little nervous.

    So, I'll be maintaining my rage. Someone's got to be society's angry nana.

    And don't get me started on the blackfellas. If I was a blackfella I'd be a total ratbag about it. Much worst than Mansel.

  10. And FH - actually, I do find it shameful. I am, I'm afraid to say, a black-arm-bander when it comes to Australian history. I've never really gotten over being blatantly lied to by the education department I guess.

    Much of what this county does publicly I find either shameful or embarrassing, or both - from it's juvenile obsession with winning at sport, to a fkn labor government STILL in engaged in the NT intervention.

    Australia Day is my own personal festival of misanthropy. I'll be fine once the cyclone season has blown through.

  11. DAM!...I'll make note of that " seasonal affliction" ...just in case!

  12. LOL..was gunna go with " you should be more mellow in ya twilight years"...but figured a second round of Cyclone esk behavior...AT ME..might not be good for Hav's health!

  13. Havock, ai never think of you as the circumspect type. A man full of surprises.

  14. Now let's see, where did I read this? "...but mostly for the fellow feeling in the crowd, and so grateful that I had the great good fortune to be born here, in this time and place and to find myself at one with my fellow common folk."

  15. That sentiment does not apply when I am wearing my cranky pants.

  16. Oh, I see. Couldn't see the pants from here!

  17. Heheh
    They go with the bad hair.