Moronic Motherland Madness

January 16, 2007 at 1:47 am (Uncategorized)

What is it about some Australians of some ethnic origin or other thinking that they have to be more of that origin than the people who actually live there? It’s just ridiculous. In many cases, they haven’t even been there. Haven’t even collapsed to their knees weeping to kiss the soil of the Mother Country. So just settle down, children. Get a grip on your misguided, literally misplaced nationalism.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that at the start of the Australian Open yesterday, Serbs, Croats, and Greeks started brawling, but really what it should have said was Australian Serbs, Australian Croats, and Australian Greeks. It’s these and other cultural caricatures (some young Australian Italians who have never even been “home” hilariously invoke a mafioso machismo better suited to Naples and Sicily than Leichhardt’s main street) that are often the ones hell-bent on keeping the old enmities alive, on the other side of the world from where the original ones erupted. Hell bent, I might add, for no apparent reason. There’s no context here. It doesn’t change anything that has happened historically, and here, it doesn’t even make any sense. It’s like they feel they have to overcompensate for missing the action. No, they really don’t. They could try just being grateful they did, and thank their parents for doing their best to give them a better life somewhere else.

I really can’t stand fundamentalism of any description, and I think this excess of proxy nationalism displays the type of fervor I find most ignorant and dangerous. The intense romanticisation of and unyielding loyalty to a land (pick a country, any country) a lot of these kids have never even seen is not at all the same thing as proudly honouring your heritage and embracing your cultural ties overseas. One is a wonderful chance to grow and learn and retain a connection to your historical language and identity. The other is the unthinking, reactionary, shallow bleating of a categorically disoriented dogma.

Serbian tennis player Jelena Jankovic was quoted in the SMH story saying “When you play a Croatian girl or when there’s matches Serbian and Croatian, it’s fine. But here [in Melbourne] it’s just – I don’t know what it is.”

It’s a phantom limb, striking out at nothing but its own disconnection from its distant origins.

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8 Comments

  1. Mike said,

    I was thinking about this too this morning, after seeing the news reports. I’m all for opening up the country to provide people with the opportunity for a better life, but, quite frankly, am getting sick of this violent shit that some people bring in. I’m moving towards hoping for a policy where any ethnic violence results in the perpetrators being expelled from the country permanently. Just fuck off, we don’t need that here — I don’t care who you are or where you’re from (and this includes the Strayans who perpetrate this shit).

    I think it might even be part of the Strayan culcha, if the racism has even died down overseas in the ‘motherland’: think Cronulla.

    It’s nice talking to you lots. I’m enjoying myself.

  2. doctordi said,

    Oh, Mike, tell me you don’t mean that!!! Not the bit about talking lots, that bit’s good, but the other stuff. So much of this kind of racially motivated violence isn’t, really ISN’T, brought in, it’s absolutely home grown. Violence generally, ethnic or otherwise, needs to be examined more closely in all its guises. We need to look for the root causes, and try to address those. Think about a troubled teen being expelled from school. I don’t think expulsion ever fixed a single problem, and I bet most expelled kids go out into the world a whole lot angrier with everyone. Not good.

  3. Mike said,

    That’s what I tried to say: it’s homegrown. If it doesn’t happen OS, it must be part of the Strayan culcha.

    And I said to expel the ‘Australians’ who perpetrate it too.

    I’m all for corrective action, but there’s just no getting through to some fundamentalists, including fundamentalist ocker wankers.

  4. Mike said,

    Actually, I’m sick of trying to understand bigotted morons — doesn’t get you anywhere. If they don’t have the intelligence, forsight, wherewithall or whatever to rise above it, they can just fuck off.

    I used to share your opinion (digging for root causes, etc.) but I just don’t care anymore. It’s getting worse. Nothing is working. The world is going to shit. And I’m sick of it.

    Be nice or fuck off. That’s all there is to it, really. I don’t care who you are. I have no patience with dickheads any more. And both sides are usually to blame in any argument, so both sides can piss off!

    Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

  5. Mike said,

    excuse the spellos/typos above — in a rush after lunch.

  6. doctordi said,

    C’mon, Mike, tell us how you really feel….!!

    It does happen overseas too, not just here, and difference, generally, looks in some instances to be the defining feature. It’s not even religion or nationality or colour specifically, just difference. I think some people are horribly afraid of difference. It’s a terrible irony, of course, because at the heart of all our differences is the undeniable, basic sameness that was here before us, and will still be here when we’re gone. Long Live Difference.

  7. Mike said,

    Sorry — should I tone it down?

    But the moronic motherland madness doesn’t happen overseas in the motherland (according to your initial post), which is what I was referring to.

    The point I was trying to make was that Australians (and Americans, even more so — not part of my earlier point, but bringing them in now) are probably the most scared of difference of any people in the world. Hence my comment: “part of the strayan culcha”.

    It’s a dangerous thing to quickly shoot off comments like I did – intentions get mangled all over the place!

  8. doctordi said,

    Well, no, I didn’t say it doesn’t or hasn’t happened in the motherland – in fact, it’s usually the historical context that’s invoked as a reason for the biffo. But yes, I was more thinking of places like Australia, Britain, America, and Canada where first generation young people get into these fights that may have long since reached some kind of peace, however uneasy, in the countries in question.

    I think I do understand the point you were trying to make – I don’t know why Australia is so afraid of difference when it’s so much a defining feature of this country. How can it be…? I just don’t get it.

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