Back when we were throwing ourselves onto an outdoor cooking appliance to try to be noticed, we knew (or at least knew we thought we knew) who we were.
We were fun beachgoers who didn’t take ourselves too seriously, had a permanent cheeky grin, didn’t care if the world liked us as we we were or not, and loved a bit of mischief with tongues firmly planted in cheeks.
Then we completely forgot where we were and became rather demanding (“Where the bloody hell are you?”), refused to call prawns shrimps anymore, used outside for lonesome walks instead of social gatherings, knew we had your attention and thought we deserved more, and smugly believed we were better than most (mainly because we were).
Now we are overconfident, look down our noses at others (“No more boats!”), know we are the best at everything except for keeping our talent from leaving Australia, haven’t got time to go to the beach anymore because we constantly worry about working harder for less money, suffering hidden inflation (eventually we will be buying chip bags with only one chip in them and drinks with only a few drops to quench our once mighty thirst), hidden unemployment, an average income apparently of around $72,000 when HECS debts start being repaid at the ‘average income’ of $54,000, can’t buy a home and don’t know who our Prime Minister is (mainly because half the time we don’t have one).
The concept of a ‘fair go’, once the core of our essence, has been redefined and mostly abandoned (just ask a pensioner). We pay relatives $250 a fortnight to be full time carers when the market rate is $2,000, have not increased social security payments in over thirty years yet the cost of living (CPI) has increased light years beyond official figures (which the Australian Bureau of Statistics agrees, and now calls ‘Cannot Prove Inflation’), have the highest electricity prices in the world, an absurd ‘Australia Tax’ made worse by adding GST, and currently have as our nation’s leader a guy who we don’t know, don’t really care about, or for.
I think I prefer the old Australia, even if I have to call a prawn a shrimp.
At least back then I wouldn’t have to call our Prime Minister “temporary”, or pretend that everything was under control. In particular I wouldn’t have to listen to the words “humble, grass roots, servants of the people, we really care” every year when the next PM is sworn in.
I’ll take some unknown food cooked over a melted female doll anyday.
It’s enough to make you choke on your shrimp.