Matt just sent the following in and I know what he means.
America Here We Come…
I was in a newsagent today. Saw an Asian man wearing an Irish polo top serving and African immigrant in a totally safe neighbourhood. In a totally safe country. Damn, how lucky are we!? Then I read the news.
The past is the past. We’re going forward, to America. We’ve lost. From here on in it’s shrivelled souls.
A survey was done on the weekend. It seems 52% of us agree to some charge for healthcare. That’s a small thing. $6 a visit, but a massive thing, a foot in the door for a two tier everything. A shift in attitude.
“Why should I pay for some bludger’s health issues?”
We’re sucks. Sucks to authority. To what we’re told. We’re comfortable in our money, in the meanness the papers are telling us to feel. In being American.
“What’s in it for me” doesn’t work, you idiots! Look at them! It fails. It fails the workers. It fails the poor. It fails the average, the diverse, those of special needs. It fails the sick. It fails yourselves.
There is always someone richer and more spiteful and better at “What’s in it for me?” than you. That’s how they’re rich. Their big secret. They get you fighting their battles for them.
Like the mining magnates. How the Holly Hell did that happen? We, as a nation of “battlers” chopped off a leader’s head because he dared tell fat fucks like Gina and Clive “Hey, that’s our soil. Go forth and conquer, but pay tax like everybody else.”
“Ohh!” we squealed.
“Hey! Don’t you upset our bosses! Slurp, slurp.”
But they’re screwing you! Some of this money is yours! It should be going to you. To build schools and better health care and roads and childcare and shit you need.
“Shh. SHH! They might hear you! What’s a bigger picture? Fuck everybody else. I’ve got mine.”
Gradually, we’ve lost the lot. Out telly, language, fashion and culture are all drifting towards America, or already have. The one thing we truly retained was the thing that founded us, that this country was built on, what made us unique. What made us strong:
A fair go for all.
A FAIR GO FOR ALL, damn it!
We were tougher than them. We could handle such an ideal. We were more laconic, had far better values. Morals. Weren’t scared of “Socialist threat” bullshit. We were Aussies. We saw through bullshit like clear water.
It’s laughable. All the right wing shock-jocks and politicians and yobs love saying what is and isn’t “Un-Australian” and are obsessed with wrapping themselves in the flag, like a Yank would do, yet I never, even hear any of them hollering our national tattoo:
A Fair Go For All.
It’s an old saying, as are ya bloody drongo and she’ll be right mate, and other things that have never belonged in the American vernacular.
Now, like caring for refugees and voting for parties not faces, and being sceptical of media, and believing in affordable education for all, and thinking beyond what’s in it for me, the foot is in the door on universal healthcare. There’s a thin crack that we all know will never seal again, that will just grow and grow.
And, years down the line, when people are dying because they can’t afford health costs, and others are living in constant pain, we will piss and moan about the price of it all and blame big business and government and the poor and that bludger who doesn’t deserve your hard earned tax dollar, but not ourselves.
“Things are so tight! What, with no loading fees, or overtime, or holiday pay, and increased costs of education and childcare and healthcare. I can’t afford to help you too! What’s in it for me? Why’s everything turning to shit?! WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME!?”
I still remember when Kim had the election in the bag, then the Tampa landed on our shores. Johnny took the lessons he learned from Pauline and made her irrelevant. Put her bumbling, embarrassing child’s hate into a smooth politician’s mouth and nurtured that side of us all. A day before the poll I saw an old man being interviewed on the telly.
“I know he’s probably lying about the children overboard,” the fella said, “but I think he’ll do better with my interest rates than the other mob.”
What’s in it for me, versus a fair go for all.
And thus we become American. And thus we fall.