The Countdown Has Begun

October 16, 2007 at 4:36 am (Uncategorized)

November 24. There we have it. Howard has finally called the election, and I for one am very excited. It’s only about 5 weeks away, and things are looking good for a stunning Howard meltdown. Here’s hoping.

Yesterday’s newspapers ran with a couple of interesting headlines. The Sydney Morning Herald had ‘Love Me or Loathe Me,’ with Howard arguing a ‘better the devil you know’ position. Do you think, Johnny? Hmmm, I disagree. And The Australian ran ‘New Leader Vs. Right Leader’… um, no. I don’t think they got that quite right. It’s more like New Leader Vs. Dear Leader, and no prizes for guessing who’s singing “I’m so Lonely” a la Team America: World Police around here.

Oh, come on, Howard, let’s see you go down in a blazing fireball of rank disfavour. Could you do that for me? Please? A really spectacular landslide defeat, that’s what I’m looking for. Thanks old chum, I appreciate it. Because what I am really after out of this election is the kind of ‘critical mass’ loss that might finally give the man pause. I just don’t know how else the Australian people can actually get through to him, assuming those of us who violently disagree with Howard are still in fact entitled to call ourselves Australian. It’s been rather unclear. I’ve definitely had the impression from a variety of media sources, some of which I’ve mentioned in this blog, that you can’t say “John Howard’s Australia is not really my cup of tea” and still expect to be welcome at the cricket. Well, as awkward as it makes things, I really must insist I am both opposed to John Howard’s vision of Australia and a proud Australian. I love this country, and I love so much about my fellow Australians.

It’s just the apathy and resistance to change that drags my chain down into the bowl. That and, oh yes, the whole radical paranoia about “the other”… Australia is incredibly diverse and yet hopelessly fearful of difference – it’s one of this country’s greatest and most challenging contradictions. The combination generally keeps issues like racism paused in a state of absolute stasis – there’s nowhere to go with one that doesn’t immediately implicate the other. So we don’t deal with our social and cultural problems in Australia, we just pretend we don’t have any (a move made easier by our high-range apathy toward and disengagement from the so-called “issues”). Emu, head in sand, national emblem, you get the drill.

I am on the edge of my seat when it comes to this election. It is an opportunity to get excited about the future of Australia for the first time in a long time, and I am not going to let the long shadow of a small man rain on my parade.


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