Voters have just elected a coalition of men and women to govern Australia for the next four years after a long drawn-out and insipid election campaign. A collection of almost equally conservative men and women lost the chance to govern by the proverbial whisker. The election campaign was a protracted affair running over six weeks. The outcome was protracted uncertainty, with observers vaunting fanfare for one side while consigning the other to feculent ignobility… imaginings of gladiatorial heft were strictly in the eyes of the beholding pundits. The Sturm und Drang of our reality television down under was a battle fought over the question of who should control the purse strings and matters of assorted minutiae for the next four years. It turned out yet again to be another example of Australia tightening its intellectual chastity-belt, lest it become impregnated by paradigm shifts too exciting to behold. Australian established media and alternative media…for what it was worth…came along for the ride.
As I write, Parliament is reconvening and a motley gaggle of elected individuals are assembling like children, for a sleepover at the Canberra Spiegeltent. These Rip Van Winklers have brought their pillows, water-bottles, teddy bears, cell phones, tampons, mars bars and various toiletries as adjuncts to facilitate their tenure in Wonderland over the next four years. In the game we know as ‘Election Time’, these new and old Members of Parliament are the lucky ones who acquired seats when the music paused long enough for them to summersault their arses onto benches front and aft. Those elected were perceived to be the ‘can doers’, and what most of them do best is look after the interests of White Australians who worry about property ownership and superannuation. The people who stole the country from the Aboriginal People of Australia have kinship with the ‘can-doers’ of America who coined the phrase “a-can-do-people”. They, as colonisers, stole the country from the Indigenous People of that continent too. So it seems that if ‘can-do’ is synonymous with action, it is also synonymous with theft. ‘Can-do’ can also do dreadful things to the meaning of democracy when people revert to using every means available to them to further their self-interest.
So what we are left with after our recent election is a spectrum of Anglophile clones posing as virtuous patriotic protectors of the status quo. But the ghosts in the machine are retro and toxic and loudly proclaiming that the vipers within the Anglo Temple are alien refugees who are a great threat to the nation. Nastiness is breaking out all over here, as is the case in America’s shit-fest election year. There are people who want to keep non Anglo’s out of Australia…especially Muslims. They are the people who say that they don’t feel safe, and they don’t feel that their children are safe either. Strangest of all, they can talk like this while forever ignoring the fact that Australia, directly or indirectly is responsible for countless children orphaned while assisting in the killing spree that America and its Coalition of the Willing perpetrated on the people of the Middle East. As paranoia takes hold in Australia and America, concomitant security fears regarding ‘outsiders’ gather threateningly to panic insecure settlers into fortifying the ramparts. Building walls or off-shore encampments to ward off the challenge of displaced people are now prioritised.
Australians have become the toady fellow-travellers in the business of Empire building. Sadly they have acquired a taste for genuflecting when they are in the company of their betters…our cringe-worthy ways are evident when we step forward to click our heels and salute those possessing bigger arsenals than ours. In Australia, the status quo is deemed secure when the Settlers get to walk alongside other Anglophiles who possess even bigger sticks; an uncertain piece of geo-political data entry in an ever increasingly paranoid world? Behind the mask of self-delusion resides a kind of selective amnesia that separates the citizen as ‘doer’ from his or her conscience. Time and time again, we in Australia respond to the Empire’s bugle ‘call-to-arms’ believing that the barbarians are circling the wagons yet again and that Anglo rights-of-passage are under threat once again.
Over time, ‘White Australian’ cultural myopia managed to consign the black-white-schism to the nether regions, allowing the cowardly and the callous Settlers to walk unchallenged into the history books under a false flag. The original inhabitants of Australia were a people who walked freely throughout their country feeling it was the best way of experiencing their place in nature. The white settlers were exactly that, ‘SETTLERS’ who honed-in on land-claims because that was the cloned thing to do. Resolution involving a treaty with the indigenous people, who had possession of the land for thousands of years, was postponed indefinitely because white people were too busy taking possession of stolen land and could not be bothered with the niceties of ‘a fair go’ argument for people who were not even white. Behind the mask of indifference, there was an ugly face most of us choose to ignore. As ‘can-do-ness’ was not restricted by morality, they collectively set out to pursue that fulltime fulsome job and property they had to have, regardless of the misery imposed on the Indigenous People of Australia whose country they now occupied.
The legions of bigots in Australia mirror the legions of bigots in America or other colonised lands. Their election cycles mirrors ours here in Australia too…in so far as they have similar programmes that engage lots of people in the task of compiling statistics via data entry and call it communication; data entry that constructs statistical castles in the air becoming our raison d’etre…missionary zeal added? In our neck of the woods we have the pettifogging pain-in-the-neck dribble of Pauline Hanson (One Nation Party), Sonia Kruger (Television Presenter extraordinaire to some), ex-Prime Minister John Howard (pivot to permanent retro drivel), Jacqui Lambie (of plain Jane mojo) are just some of the counterparts to the Clinton and Trump/Pence supporters busy making White Men and Women…in suits…Great-Again. These are just some of the people who forever manage to whine their retro mantras into the ears of ‘born-to-rule’ clones in the hope of securing their votes. The message in our parallel universes is about advancing the White Person’s notion of orthodoxy, supremacy and exceptionalism…and horror of horrors, White orthodoxy is just another # for racism.
At this point in time, the call-to-arms mantra “Make America-Great-Again” is a big worry…America have been at war with its neighbours and the rest of the world since its very inception. To the ears of the colonial clones, it must sound awfully like a repeat of the rallying cry oft used as motivation for vigilantes… go forth and dominate your fellow men and women whenever and wherever you can. America has been expanding its armament industries for centuries as a means to take control in everybody’s back yard. But the Big Fat Ugly Man that America has become needs to take note of the fact that the ‘Fat Lady’ is finally singing…and the lyrics of her song come forth clear as nuclear day…”go back big boy, enough is enough” don’t think its ok to keep threatening the rest of the world with your nukes; it’s just not on anymore…ours are as big as yours!
But outside of reality television, the real world is about ‘can doers’, ‘un-doers and re-doers. Australian history in the main is basically a record of the benefits accruing to the expat Anglos in far-away places who were engaged in providing services for their Imperial masters. But if you were black, brown or yellow and actually belonged in far-away places it was just too bad, you shouldn’t have been there for starters. The Empire, like all previous empires, assumed that it had the right to everything and a right to be everywhere it pleased. To be ‘cloned’ of British or European stock was considered of prime value in the Gene-Borse. Over time, the rulers of the colonised countries, America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc., came to believe they had a God-given right to keep everybody out of the countries they acquired from indigenous peoples, while simultaneously plundering everyone else’s assets.
Which brings one back to questioning the very idea of what supremacy means in the context of the modern world. Is Australia a re-doers culture? In Australia, just about everything is cloned from outside its borders. The ABC as public broadcaster is cast in the mould of its British progenitor. It’s grammar parsing the syntactic function of approvable norms. Australia’s adoption of populist music and ‘stand-up’ and other artistic tricks reveals our appetite for honing-a-clone…and it’s always hungry for more imports. There is nothing particularly obnoxious in any of this, but it does raise questions about our consumerist habits. So if the be-like-them-out-there model is king, is it because we see ourselves as re-doers? The Lodge is a redo of Little Brit Royal Real Estate? Royal Randwick is a redo of Royal Ascot and an opportunity for the average settler to be ‘a toff’ for a day? Which makes one wonder; is Whitie’s ‘toff-for-a-day’ mask a force that eclipses everything including republicanism?
Which begs the question; is the Mona Lisa’s smile ultimately safe from ad hominem attacks because it is something that defies explanation…a smile is a smile and what could that ‘something’ behind it mean? The Mona Lisa smile may be an expression of something that is spontaneously free of mask, or is simply there because she thinks life is ‘cool’ to be without a chastity belt? The Mona Lisa might even have the power to seriously confront the colonial psyche, given that it acts like it believes there is nothing realer than the mask itself? (Did you hear the one about the man who walked into a voting booth and sees three masks hanging on the wall marked, Mona 1. Donald 2. Hillary 3. Tasked with rating their inscrutable smiles he fails the ‘read-my-lips’ test?)
So if the voting booth is where you go to choose your lesser-evil candidate…and that sadly is all there is on offer…what does this say about the invisible forces behind the scenes who invest vast amounts of money in the election process for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the election? Is money the glue that secures the status quo by way of creating subaltern circles of power within an establishment beholden to vested interests? The great majority of people focus on single issue subjects such as superannuation, gay rights, abortion or identify with the hair style or ethnicity of the candidate…or all of the above…in order to arrive at a decision. But the most compelling sentiments behind the mask of self-interest are tribal instincts. It is always at election time that data-entry and populist feeling merge to point the way forward. The paucity within our respective political institutions inevitably leaves the door open to feckless outcomes. Expect the average Jo and Jane to intuitively seek the ‘Trump-Card’ within the pack that reads, ‘cloning is wot does it’…and take it from there.