The Puppet is Going Down

November 9, 2006 at 5:45 am (Uncategorized)

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling mighty chipper about the midterm election results in the US. Yes indeedy, that ridiculous puppet president has finally copped a reality check fair in the chops. Oh, well done, voting Americans. I doff my cap to you.

Why should I care? Well, for a few reasons, really. One of them is that having screamed “Puppet!! You PUPPET!!” at Bush every time I’ve seen his face flash across the screen these last six long years, I now feel completely vindicated. For the rest of his term in office, he really will be nothing more than a puppet, and, better yet, a Democrat puppet at that. Glory be.

The second reason I care is that the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, has been carefully transforming the cultural and ethical fabric of this country in all sorts of ugly and dangerous ways for years, and if Bush is the school bully, then Howard is like the idiot sidekick, sniggering and sycophantic, whose name the bully, if pressed, would probably have difficulty recalling. He’s just the guffawing buffoon who validates my heavy-handed ways, he might say. So to have Bush so squarely chastised by the American people is like a whiff of hope to those of us in Australia who don’t recognise our country anymore. Maybe Howard’s lemming-like supporters will pause and the thought might finally, dimly penetrate that maybe, just maybe, he’s set us all on the wrong course entirely. Abort, abort.

America is our most important ally. America is a great country, one I admire and one that deeply fascinates me. I wrote a PhD thesis on the work of one of its authors, for Christ’s sake, and DeLillo’s area of expertise is sketching contemporary American culture. America is not the bad guy. America’s cool. As a country it deserves – commands – our admiration. I love America. I love Australia, too, or at least I love and respect the country I grew up in, the one John Howard is so efficiently dismantling. I don’t want to be one of John Howard’s Australians. I don’t want what he wants for this country. I want to live in an Australia that welcomes refugees and delights in our melting pot culture, that reaches out to our neighbours and embraces all the richness of their histories, languages, religions, and customs. I want an Australia that is curious and expansive, not suspicious and isolationist. I want an Australia that promotes an inclusive, broad secular ethics, not an exclusive, narrow set of so-called “family values,” so cynical in its phrasing, so deliberate in its various and disgraceful layers of exclusion and prejudice. I want an Australia that recognises the importance of education for all, one that cherishes our indigenous heritage and is honest, damn it, about our collective history. I want that history taught in our schools. I want difference celebrated, not reviled. This country, the one I want to live in, would be great because of the melting pot, not in spite of it. And the country I want to live in would never have gone to Iraq without the sanction of the UN. Period. The American midterm result isn’t the end of this distinctly UNholy mess, but the American people have made a difference, and I hope Australians can reacquaint themselves with some kind of spine in time for us to make ours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: