Saturday, January 26, 2013

Where Women Glow and Men Thunder

For you and me, locked in our winter of discontent's grip in the Northeast corner of the Land of the Round Door Knobs, this is the last Saturday of January (already? Didn't the New Year just get here? And now it's almost a month old already) but on the other side of the world, today is Australia Day. And you didn't even think to purchase a card.

The United States and Australia were both colonies of Great Britain. The stunning similarity between us rests in many places not the least of which is/was the subjugation and annihilation of the respective indigenous peoples those great Britons found when they arrived on the distant shores. I'm not sure how much more, or less, successful, than we here those from the Land Down Under have been in making peace with their past but I've always admired them for trying.

Of course, for Americans, Australia always has a bit more ginger with wry Irish humor perhaps because of its past as a prisoner colony for the most vexing subjects, historically and unwillingly of the Crown in the whole British Empire. I find it interesting how this account skirts that aspect of the history and the inhumanity  though the telltale giveaway is reading the account of the woman arrested (and shipped to Australia as a prisoner) for stealing cheese to eat (during the years of The Famine in Eire).

I'm not sure you wish another country Happy Birthday, but we tend to go all out around here on the 4th of July so if our long-time friends and allies wanted to sip a pint of Fosters in shade near Adelaide today, I'm sure it would be okay. As nations go, they're young, younger even than us, though they, too, have seen and done things that can never be unseen or undone.
-bill kenny

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