I managed to miss all news reports over the weekend and Monday that may have mentioned the Sydney riots here, so it was a shock to read The Age yesterday and discover that parts of Australia SEEM TO HAVE LOST THEIR MIND.
That´s just fucked up.
I love my country, I miss it and I would do almost anything to live there again.
But Australia does have a few delusions about itself, which you can see only once you´ve left. It´s a little bit like the American I met the other week who, after 4 years in Europe, went "NOW I get why the rest of the world doesn´t like us."
Australia is small and inward-looking. Hate to break it to you, but much as Australia thinks of itself as a global player, the rest of the world thinks of it as a few beaches with some odd looking animals. It just doesn´t rate on the international scale.
Multiculturalism? Well only if you define it fairly narrowly ie. "These foreigners can come over but only if they´re rich with a good education, don´t do no funny foreign stuff here and act and sound like REAL Australians."
One of the most disgusting things I think I ever saw was shortly after the UN announced that Australia had the worst detention conditions for asylum seekers they had seen, The Age newspaper splashed the title "MELBOURNE: WORLDS MOST MULTICULTURAL CITY" across the front page.
Excuse me while I calm down again. That still gets my blood boiling.
I have driven with people through Footscray and had them yell "Lock the doors, LOCK THE DOORS" because it is a Vietnamese-rich suburb. This wasn´t Vietnam or Cambodia, it was Melbourne. As if it was dangerous and the foreign scary people outside the car were just waiting to do us harm.
And yes, with Australia´s terrorism paranoia - and paranoia it is - it´s not surprising that something like this happened. Unfortunately these days, I have more reasons to be ashamed of being Australian than proud.
And that hurts.