The reality of being Australian and why it is disappointing.Posted: August 15, 2011
Australians have a pretty good reputation around the world. Sure people can ask us stupid questions like “Do you guys travel in the pouches of kangaroos?” and “So, is this a knife?” (the answer to both being, fucking obviously), but in terms of anything of real importance, such as our politics, current affairs and foreign policy, we pretty much get a mulligan. Nobody really cares about what we’re doing when superpowers such as America, Britain and China are hogging all the sweet ‘being a subject of scrutiny’ spotlight. In comparison we’re less leading role and more stagehand.
Whenever you travel overseas, as soon as people realise you’re Australian, they decide that the next best course of action is to get you drunk and make various jokes about wanting to go ‘down under’. Yet despite these frequent dalliances into the land of ingeniously thought out puns and witticisms, being Australian can have its drawbacks. Namely, that we’re a lot less awesome than we think we are and we don’t even realise it.
Apparently we have fallen for our own Tourism ads and accordingly we have a fairly good opinion of ourselves that is either not shared by others or is completely at odds with the reality of our situation. What am I talking about? I’ll tell you after I stop awkwardly asking myself rhetorical questions as a segue into the article.
We think we’re totally bad arse.
Thanks to myths of bad arsery perpetuated by ‘Crocodile Dundee’, ‘Mad Max’, ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ and Russell Crowe’s right arm, Australia has put forth the idea that if we’re not out in the desert wrestling crocs or navigating a post-apocalyptic wasteland overrun by awful, awful children, it’s merely because the waiting list is just too damn long.
As mentioned almost everywhere on the internet, Australia is a veritable death trap of deserts, insects, animals and serial killers. As a consequence Australians enjoy a fairly consistent (if tongue-in-cheek) characterisation as indestructible desert people who battle daily through a deadly mire of things that want to kill us.
The problem doesn’t lie with the expectations of others, however, rather it lies with our own bizarre, usually subconscious beliefs that we actually are all those things that we pretend to be in the talkies (or the ‘big pictures’ as they’re commonly called). When confronted with danger, we almost immediately start convincing ourselves that despite having lived in the inner city for most of our lives, we are completely capable of Mad Maxing all over the place, entirely forgetting about the fight we lost to our bean bag last night in the eternal struggle to get up off the ground. In other words, we tend to buy into our own stereotypes to the detriment of our health and safety.
One example of this mentality is Australian comedian, Mick Molloy’s attempt to wrangle a snake whilst on holiday in Vanuatu, despite being city born and raised. Fortunately he managed to get a hold of the snake. Unfortunately he grabbed it by the tail and got bitten 27 times. On the dick.
To be fair this self view isn’t entirely modern. In fact, it comes from a long tradition of imagining ourselves as hard living bushmen, fully adept at not only surviving but kicking the shit out of the harsh landscapes of the outback.
This myth was initially conjured up around Australia’s Federation in 1901, as the nation desperately sought a national identity that reflected the reality of Australian living, which had little to no relation to the tea drinking, scone eating finery of its British counterpart. The creation of the Australian archetype as a rough talking, beer swilling, hard living man who could kill a crocodile just by making insinuations about its mother, has consequently been burnt into our subconscious whether we like it or not.
Yes, if questioned about it we would be fully aware that this stereotype has little to do with our reality. In fact we often mock it as much as we can. But on some level, deep down, we still believe ourselves to be fundamentally connected to it in an entirely unrealistic way.
We think that everyone loves us.
While what I said above about being positively received by others is, in my experience, largely true- it seems that we are determined to destroy whatever good reputation we may have in the world. Apparently when Australians travel overseas, we have the tendency to exaggerate every negative aspect of ourselves to the detriment of…just everything.
Drinking to excess, being obnoxious about sport and generally acting like we’re allergic to etiquette are some of the most notable symptoms: “In this day and age we are better known as being rude, unabashed, whingers notorious for drinking too much and getting into fights.” At Oktoberfest, extra security guards are hired just to deal with the Australian tent. This may in part be down to a huge fight that happened in 2007 that involved 300 Aussies, as well as our general penchant for punching people right in the face.
Not surprisingly, acting like drunken jackasses hasn’t earned us many friends around the world, as we increasingly Gibson ourselves into disfavour.
Australian men are terrible…just terrible.
Lifeguards, crocodile hunters, post-apocalyptic warriors (I can keep referencing the same movies all the time right? Because that’s one stereotype that’s actually true about us, we are incredibly lazy)- whichever well known Australian character you can think of, they all come from the same archetype mentioned above. But despite their coarseness and lack of manners, they manage to make up for it by being strangely appealing in a ‘I can kill things with my dick’ kind of a way.
They’re stoic and sexy in an unpolished, rough and tumble sense that almost makes you want to deliberately put yourself in a perilous situation so they can rescue you whilst making glib remarks in lingo you can’t quite understand. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, the dick killing isn’t strictly true, which just leaves us with the drinking and the swearing and the lack of personal hygiene.
Sure we have guys like this:
But so many (too many) Australian guys are more something between this:
Despite the charm of Hugh Jackman, Paul Hogan and Mel…I mean, Russ…(ok I can’t think of a third) the reality is much more gross and much less appealing.
So am I just a bitter, sexless old hag who has an unfairly low opinion of her penised countrymen because of my bitter, sexless old haggishness? Maybe. Maybe even yes. But the horribleness of Australian men has actually been quantified by people who know science and understand how numbers work. An Oxford study revealed that Australian men are the worst husbands in the world due to their unwillingness to share domestic duties, thus placing all the burden on their poor hot wives.
Further studies have revealed that Australian men are sub-par lovers, likely to cheat on their girlfriends or dump them if they gain weight. They’re also sexist and sexually violent. Yay?
Indeed despite the existence of many time honoured traditions of courtship, such as drawing sketches of your beloved in blood as they sleep, making a mix tape, or jacking off to their facebook pictures before subtly hinting at it in the comments section via use of the winkey face emoticon, there are still many out there who struggle to embrace these traditions and opt instead for less orthodox, wildly experimental and ultimately creepy methods of courtship. In my experience, Australian men excel at this kind of wooing dumbfuckery.
To illustrate this point I will now give examples of several pick up lines I have either witnessed or been subjected to.
Ladies, get ready to pick which one of these will be the basis of your masturbation fantasy tonight. Gents, take notes.
For the ladies who prefer the direct, depersonalised approach we have this fine selection of lines:
- You got a name?
- Fancy a root?
- Nice tits but your legs are shit.
- Does anyone here want me to buy them a drink or not?
- I wish the lady were a tramp.
Or perhaps Madame would prefer something more awkward and fumbling with just a hint of surreptitious erection hiding:
- Hey..hey you and your friend should kiss. Kiss! Seriously…you should kiss. Are you going to kiss?
- I wanna…*burp* I wanna be the guy who washes your hair. Just like, we could be in the bath and I could wash it. Y’know?
- Hey are you here with anyone? Oh you are? Yeah, yeah good cause I was just on the dance floor and this girl was starting to dance with me and I just wanted your advice on whether I should dance with her or not. I should? Ok thanks. *walks out of the club*
NB: this particular gentleman caller had pie stains on his shirt and was listening to a walkman. A walkman. In a club. So many things to italicise.
Or you can just run up to a girl on the street and lift up her dress. But make sure you do it like a gentleman.
Perhaps you could even enact a Flaming Mangina. For those who are unfamiliar with this practice, it involves tucking your naughty man parts between your legs and then setting your pubic hair on fire. Certainly the mating rituals of us Australians are unusual indeed.
I mean I appreciate people doing horrifying things with their genitals as much as the next girl (that’s what vagina monologues were about, right?) but with this I just can’t get on board.
Australian women are hot.
On the up side, apparently people still tend to think that Australian women are hot.
The hotness of Australian women unfortunately cannot be measured empirically, except that it can be and it has. In 2009 it was reported that due to increasing demand, Australian lingerie companies have had to introduce J – K cups for women’s bras. Increasing demand. Australians all let us rejoice, indeed (or get ready for some serious back problems).
Apparently over 40% of Australian women now buy bras over DD cup size. Experts “blame the cleavage boost on obesity, contraceptive pills and artificial hormones” for this sudden increase in the size of our naughty pillows. I’m not sure where ‘blame’ comes into this, I’m too distracted trying to imagine what K cup boobs look like. Some may say this proves an increasing trend towards obesity, whereas others would say it proves the existence of God.
So I guess that’s some kind of reprieve. Unless that’s also just a big lie and then people expect us to be exceptionally hot and big boobed only to be disappointed by the reality.