Is Australia All Just Croc Hunters and Kylie Minogue?

Of course not, though I’m not at all sure that Aussie journalist Guy Rundle makes much of a case to the contrary. He argues that the negative image of Australia put about by left-wing British journalists is a substitute for dealing with what a “slatternly disgrace” the British working class has become. That rings true but doesn’t say much about the real state of Australian civilization one way or another.

I like what little I’ve seen of Australia just from spending a month or two a few years ago in Alice Springs, an outpost in the middle of the outback. Admittedly, I wasn’t looking for culture there — I was content simply to look at rocks and wallabys. But that’s better than what passes for culture in most parts of the world these days.

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2 thoughts on “Is Australia All Just Croc Hunters and Kylie Minogue?

  1. Tim (from Sydney) March 17, 2007 / 6:18 am

    The Ashes, the Australia versus England cricket tests, have been the focus of Anglo-Australian conflict for over a century. It’s no coincidence that the recent UK attack on Australian culture comes a mere month after the ignominious 5-0 loss by the England team to a much older Australian team. The much touted and youthful England cricket team, some of whom actually received OBEs for their fluke one game win against Australia in the last Ashes series, were heavily promoted in the English media as shoe-ins against the “Dad’s Army” Aussie side.

    It’s certainly true that Australia has for a long time been culturally provincial and in previous generations Australia’s cultural elites (or what passes for them) have often looked to the UK, or more particularly England, as their ideal. Australia hasn’t as yet completely overcome that old provincialism, and we certainly are not as hyper-cosmopolitan as some of our cultural elites (or what passes for them) sometimes like to imagine.

    But I think it is true, as Keith Windschuttle addresses here, that we have one or another overcome a lot of the old provincialism and that which survives is no longer as hyper-focused on England as it once was. Australian artists, actors and intellectuals are now as likely to make their way to New York or Rome as London. Indeed some of the best, like the superb Cate Blanchett, are quite happy to stay at home. I suspect the more second rate members of England’s cultural elite (or what passes for them) are missing some of the old grovelling.

    As for me I like cricket, surfing and wallabies and think all cultural elites (other than Cate Blanchett) can go to hell, or London.

  2. Tim (from Sydney) March 19, 2007 / 6:43 am

    “…can go to hell, or London”

    Please, please don’t interpret that as any slight on London or the UK in general. Actually I feel sorry for the poor old Londoners having to tolerate a parade of Australian expats! 😉

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