1813: “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
2010: “I know you don’t care when your titties everywhere, home girl. Take your motherfucking shirt off” – T Payne’s ‘Take Your Shirt Off’.
“I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.”
– Lucille Bluth
That’s pretty much exactly how I feel about Glee.
What do you call an accessory to stalking?
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.
What do pirates say when they’re having a coronary?
Arrrr, me hearties!!
(I’m so proud of making this up: stay tuned for dad joke #2)
Territorialism. I understand it. I get it. I like my own space. I don’t like it when people mess with my stuff. That’s pretty natural I think.
But sometimes it can be taken a little too far. To get an idea of what I’m talking about please see this note from a co-worker of mine:
For a bit of context, I work Thur-Fri in this office and she works Mon-Wed. When I am in the office I use her chair because all the other chairs are really quite terrible. Ignoring the fact that I always adjust her chair back to maximum height (which is how she always has it), even if I didn’t, she’d only have to adjust it back once a week.
I can see how this would be such a huge problem, though. The only thing I like to do once a week is get drunk and amuse my friends with my scintillating anecdotes. I mean…they don’t pick up the phone or anything but I always make sure to leave them a voicemail telling them about my latest adventure up the shops, or about that dog I saw at the park once and how it had these funny looking ears. They love that one. And I love telling it.
Maybe she just has an intolerance for doing anything once a week. No matter how minor. I mean, maybe she has to put her bins out twice weekly because once just irks her.
Or maybe she knows something about the lever on the side of the chair that I don’t. Is it like the movie ‘The Box’, where if you pull the lever someone in the world will die? Is it a magic lever? Does it make her astral project? Does it drain away a year of your life each time you touch it? Is it a portkey and each time she uses it she ends up battling Voldemort for her life? Was she mugged by a lever once and now levers trigger some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder?
I mean, I assume it must be something like that because (as her suggestion for me to use someone else’s chair implies) she doesn’t seem to have some staunch principle against chair sharing. Or maybe she’s ok with other people being inconvenienced, as long as it’s not her.
Now, I could stop using her chair. I could. Except the other chairs in the office are genuinely horrible to sit on and I have back problems. Also she didn’t use the magic word. So fuck it.
I did try to phrase my refusal as civilly as possible when really I was muttering things to myself along the lines of: “Are you fucking kidding me?”, “What the fuck.” and other things that might have involved the words ‘uptight’ and ‘bitch’. I think I only partly succeeded considering the violently disparate size of my writing throughout my note: