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‘Straylia Day 2014

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In a rare moment of illogical impetuosity, I recently moseyed off down the mountain with Mrs GOF to check out the Australia Day family fiesta being held along the magnificently picturesque Cairns Esplanade.  No politicians. No speeches. Just lots of free entertainment, frivolity and fun in the sun.

I’d never been to an official Australia Day celebration before. 
The previous 60-odd during my lifetime seem to have vanished unnoticed as innocent victims of my social and nationalistic inertia.   I do however seem to recall that in 1972 one of ’em clashed with the United Nations World Scentless Skunk Day so I chose instead to show solidarity for this downtrodden minority by waving my “Odorless skunks need love too” placard and letting off smells in public places to draw attention to my ’cause’.

Whilst I remain quite fiercely proud of my country and it’s achievements I am not an aficianado of earnest patriotic displays and flag-waving. History warns me that such events can sometimes grow into sabre-rattling exhibitions of military might, platforms for political and religious zealots, or just excuses for xenophobic dimwits to drum up support for their ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

Which reminds me;  Some years ago when they apparently had nothing better to do, a few lunatic politicians proposed legislating against the wearing of clothes depicting images of our national flag.  Included below is my little pictorial tribute to people-power, democracy and the victory of common sense over dictatorial stupidity.

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snake 1


Combo 1

combo 2

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

29 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed the esplanade in cairns when we visited 🙂

  2. Wow … security around the yacht club must be really lax!

    Glad you’ve mellowed a bit and are “enjoying” some human association once in a while.

    • Security was fine GOM…they still wouldn’t let me inside. 😉
      Mrs GOF thinks that I’m suffering from hormonal imbalances as I’ve voluntarily attended several social events during the last year. She’s probably right.

  3. I’m pretty sure the snake would also count as national attire.

  4. The copying of that Nationalistic fervour the Americans suffer has to be resisted at all costs. Every flag waved takes us one step closer to a Pollie sending our kids to whatever war they can find.

    The most distressing of all is seeing a Pollie wearing a military uniform. It leads straight to them wanting to play soldiers and becoming the next Churchill. 😦

    • I’m with you and America-schmerica but have you noticed other countries do this as well? Just saying. It’s not the flags but the idiots waving them who think waving them ‘does’ something. They’re so thin, they don’t even create a breeze on a hot day. I personally see no point but I do see every other country does it.

      • You’re right Lily we all do it to a certain extent…..but ex Soviet bloc countries do it more, and North Korea would have to be the worst…..that’s downright scary.

        What’s the story in America about wearing the flag?…..I’m sure I’ve seen many examples on TV but what’s public opinion on the practise?

        • I don’t really see it apart from the front of baseball hats. I grew up seeing Union Jacks on everybody’s patootie (and jacket) but apart from July 4 or Memorial Day, not much.

          I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag, a daily school ritual) as a kid. I didn’t believe it had a part with ‘under God’ in a public school — and I’m a person of faith. I want no part of organised support for an oligarchy–though I didn’t word it so well as a kid.

          I wasn’t the norm…

          • Well done for having a mind of your own Lily ….not only now, but when you were young. I just blindly did what I was told to do, including every morning at school saluting the flag and reciting the pledge of loyalty to God, The Queen and country and whatever else…..I no longer remember. We were certainly never encouraged to have independent thought.

            • Oh, I got many an ear-full and beaten up for my troubles. It was me and the Jehovah’s Witness kid.

            • During my infants/primary school there was a picture of Queen Elizabeth in every classroom and we’d sing God Save the Queen followed by the Lord’s prayer – or perhaps it was the other way around – like you GOF, it never occurred to me to object. I think we just stayed “mum” if we didn’t want to sing or recite.

              Next trip home I must get some flag apparel….

              • Thanks for your childhood memories too Emjay… dared object to school rituals because there were CONSEQUENCES. 😉

                Oh, and you’ll look good in an Aussie flag sari.

      • You are absolutely right Lily. Right wingers all over the world are into it.

        You should take it as a compliment though. We only pick on the US coz we love the stuff you do brilliantly but hate how seriously bad some of your shock jocks are.

        We don’t waste time on lost causes. 🙂

        • I’m perhaps not helping the problem but I don’t wave the flag, nor wear it, and I don’t listen to radio! I do recommend–you can listen online and realise whatever they’re playing at any given time will be completely different in a few hours. Often, you can go hours without recognising a single artist 🙂 No shock jocks, too.

          • Score. 🙂

            I have had to back off the news occasionally. The Child Abuse by churches really gets me down. I have been known to relax with YouTube clips of music performances. Some even feature a uke player. 😉

            • And you’re one helluva good man to bear it! 🙂

              I pretty much skim yahoo news splash page, (daily) and if I hear something, I’ll look for the story but I can’t bear to just watch the news. I was just telling a friend how my PTSD kicked up reading about a local 2 & 4 yo who died. It was an accident but so gruesome and to babies…I just do better walking in the trees and talking silly to Bobby.

    • Yes it all tends to be a bit scary Peter, which is why I love the idea of people having fun with the flag on stylish items of clothing. I believe there were even girls with Aussie-flag bikinis cavorting around the pool… you know that’s not something I would have personally noticed. Just something Mrs GOF told me.

      I remember in the early 1950s during the Queens first visit to Australia all us kids were given little flags and instructed to wave them vigorously at her train as it passed by. A little seed of brainwashing.

      • I like your tactic and we have to admit waistcoat made of the Aussie flag looks far more impressive than the Union Jack version.

        Thank Mrs GOF for the research tip. I’m on it.

  5. I think we have much to celebrate in Oz, but without all the jingoism that pervades the celebrations. Sure, there’s lots we can do to improve Oz, and we’ve made many mistakes, but it could also be a lot worse. A few snags on the barbie, and a few ales do it for most.

    • I agree totally Snowy. We have much to be proud of.

      I wish you were right here at the moment to give me technical assistance…..I’m trying to set up this new laptop for the internet..installing antivirus and browsers and remembering passwords…..I think I’d better take a break before I kill a brand new computer. 🙂


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