This forum is too tame

Feb 28th, 2004, 03:20 PM
  #21  
 
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I guess we Americans are lucky; as we move an average of every 5 years, we're not really from anywhere.

AndrewDavid

PS never met an Australian I didn't like, but hey that's easy , I've not been to Australia yet ( 2 months and counting)
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Feb 28th, 2004, 04:12 PM
  #22  
 
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Just accidentally strayed into "Other Topics" section of this forum (have never looked at it before) - one thread started by an obsessive soul (I think/hope she's joking) who takes her own bedlinen to 5 star hotels - there's about 85 responses - some are hilarious.
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Feb 28th, 2004, 04:18 PM
  #23  
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Yes, scurry, there's a bit too much sweetness and light creeping in, but I think the fight's gone out of this dog.

It's easy to be insular when you're living in a big, diverse country that's become a de facto seat of world empire. Australians are in a different position - remoteness from Europe and North America, a small population and our perceived dependence on first Britain and now America for our security have forced us to look outward whether we like it or not. At any given time about 1 million Australian citizens (5% of the population) are out of the country, many semi-permanently.

Australians sometimes wax indignant after meeting Americans who know little or nothing about Australia. Fair enough, maybe - but then, how much do we know about Paraguay?


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Feb 28th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #24  
 
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Come on Neil,

We all know: you lost a prime minister, a governor general and your tallest mountain; that Oberon is the home of the Big Trout and a drizza bone is rain protection.

We've also learned some geography: like how far it is from Cairns to the Whitsundays and its 40 minutes from Mt. Victoria to the Jenolan Caves and Alan lives near Euroka Crossing or is it Emu Springs?; and what about Kakadu and kaka don't?

We'll try to be courteous and not mention "The Fatal Shore" in polite conversation when we wash up on your shore. We'll drink beer rather than martinis.

We may be stupid, but at least we're educated about the important things.

AndrewDavid

PS Paraguay is a nation in South America. Easy to remember; it has those Christmas in Summer sales like you do.
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Feb 28th, 2004, 07:18 PM
  #25  
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AD, I think I'm starting to get sorry that we told you about those little embarrassments in the first place. And to make things worse, now you've been doing your homework and discovered another skeleton in the closet. Well, quite a few, actually.

But take heart - there's one place in Australia that was spared the odium of being founded by boatloads of half-starved criminals (and don't they know it!): South Australia, the product of industrious, upright British and German protestants. When I lived in Adelaide it was an article of faith that the City of Churches had no home-grown crooks - they were all held to be blow-ins from the more sinful cities to the east.

Sydney, of course, was the first and biggest convict settlement, which may go some way to explaining the history of the city's police force and its property developers.

Having six convicts in my bloodline I know about these things. In fact I have a photo of one of them; his theft of a bay gelding in Bristol almost got him hanged but didn't qualify him for a career in property development (other than his own 64 acres, that is).

Which reminds me, we owe you Americans a favour. It was the American Revolution that forced the British government to find somewhere else to send its overflow convicts. In most cases, after a few years' of unpaid labour, most of the exiles reconciled themselves to warm weather, land ownership and plenty of red meat and warm beer - an Englishman's dream.

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Feb 28th, 2004, 11:22 PM
  #26  
 
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Just a bit of trivia Neil. There were more convicts sent to Virginia alone that there were to Australia. At least those convicts we did get were most probably here because they stole a loaf of bread because they were starving. Its another thing when you get a tremendous part of your population from places which have the sign of the Mafia as their insignia.
As for The Fatal Shore AD - don't apologise over it as I for one think that the writer is a big fat pompous prick who is much better living in New York than Australia and should if he had a decent bone in his body he'd pay his bloody driving fines! He is not an historian, of note or otherwise, he is a big overblown bag of wind. If you really want to read something accurate I am sure that we can put you on the right path.
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Feb 29th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #27  
 
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OK Liz, Where's my bibliography. Although our library has a short Australian shelf, I can request most titles through inter library loan.

Please don't disparage the italians, I'm struggling to learn italian now at my advanced age, and they did bring pizza and pasta to both our fatal shores.

ciao,
AndrewDavid
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Feb 29th, 2004, 07:34 AM
  #28  
 
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Can I skip the fight and go straight to the friendly beer please?

Being English (from Engerland) and everso polite I've spent weeks reading any threads I could find which were relevant...just so's I wouldn't offend anyone by asking them for the umpteenth time whether or not you can swim with the stingers,wrestle with salties or take home *souvenir* coral from GBR.

Big problem is my short attention span, I can't remember anything much I read before,and NOW Pat is recommending a thread with 85 replies which'll just confuse the issue further.

You'll be sorry,I'll be in asking allsorts shortly.

Can't start any fights,my Dad'll be reading the forum too,we're doing competitive intinerary planning!

Where's that beer,I'm a whingeing Pom..?
huli is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 12:32 PM
  #29  
 
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AD, I have been an antiquarian bookseller/ and collector as a past-time and for financial gain for many years and in my view Robert Hughes ( author of The Fatal Shore) is someone who likes to see his name in print. He is an art critic for the Time Magazine and as such and in my view, is not qualified to write a difinitive history book. On the other hand an Australian author and Professor of Economic History, Professor of History, and Professor of Australian studies at Harvard - Geoffrey Blainey -just might be someone who can be expected to be qualified to write an historial epic which should be accurate. Also another author/s of reknown are R.M. Berndt and C.H Berndt who wrote The First Australians and Pioneer Settlers - The Aboriginal Australians, which are particularly interesting books and cover a period of reserch which took 50 years. R.M. Berndt was a Professor of Anthropology and C.H was a Hon. Research Fellow of Anthropology. There are many other authors who wrote some very good books but if you are after factual history the above ones are my pick.
In my view, and I am saying this to be provocative, Mr Hughes and Ms Germaine Greer are 2 people who should go down in history as being 2 of Australia's worst exports along with the TV series of Home and Away and Neighbours. The best thing for them to do is stay away thereby making Australia a better place!
lizF is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 12:47 PM
  #30  
 
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A/D
Why don't you ask Liz and Neil their respective views of your mate Mr John Pilger?

Neil
I am sure you would know of the William Lane group who left OZ in the 1890's to set up a "true socialist utopia" in Paraguay. Perhaps they should have stayed here and lived in Canberra.
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Feb 29th, 2004, 12:59 PM
  #31  
 
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PS A/D
whats this story of JFK at Mt Victoria?
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Feb 29th, 2004, 02:13 PM
  #32  
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What an embarrassment of riches! Liz putting the boot into Robert Hughes and "Germs" Greer and johhj_au (whose Canberra bee-in-the-bonnet is buzzing ever more loudly) cunningly trying to start a monstrous spat over the left-wing journalist John Pilger! (Thank you, I'll resist the temptation - some readers may not have their blood-pressure pills handy).

For huli - it's OK to take some of the comments on this board with a grain of salt. That NY chef who described Australia as a "bullshit-free zone" was only partly right.

Liz, your "undesirables" list omitted Rupert Murdoch. How can you ignore a little Aussie over-achiever who pulled off the near-impossible feats of lowering the tone of Fleet Street and ratcheting up New York's sleaze quotient?

I'm now inspired to finish "The Fatal Shore" (sorry, Liz). I did get the impression that the book was a bit out of balance, but we'll see.

It's true that there was a lot of brutality in the penal colonies, and also that many convicts were transported for crimes that these days would score no more than a tongue-lashing from a bored magistrate. It's also true that many were hardened crims who simply resumed picking pockets on this side of the world. Some of course were "politicals" like the early trade union agitators the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the fighters for Irish independence, intent on returning to continue the struggle.

It's also true that many kept their heads down, were treated kindly by their employers, received land grants and married into free-settlers' families. Most of my lot fall into that category and one married his well-off boss's daughter (admittedly she was several months pregnant at the time). Unfortunately someone else must have inherited the money.

AD, although it falls into the fiction category I strongly recommend "Out of Ireland" by Christopher J. Koch, a Tasmanian novelist. Koch may be better known as author of "The Year of Living Dangerously", which was once filmed by Peter Weir starring Sigourney Weaver and a young Mel Gibson. However, this and his companion novel "Highways to a War" are his best books IMHO. "Out of Ireland" provides an excellent insight into the background of some of the Irish "politicals" (interestingly, many were from the Protestant land-owning class) and a graphic picture of early Hobart. Don't worry, it's not potboiler "historical fiction" a la Colleen McCullough - Koch's book is well worth reading for its literary merit alone.

Probably the most famous Botany Bay convict was fictional - Magwitch in Dickens' "Great Temptations".







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Feb 29th, 2004, 02:37 PM
  #33  
 
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Well Neil I only named 2 dreadful Aussie sitcoms so therefore only named 2 dreadful ( I can't believe they are Aussies ) Aussies - yes Murdock would come into that catagory and if I spent some time I am sure I could come up with a few more - what ever happened to Vince Gear - or was it Gare?
Yes we did get a share of nasty crims that is for sure but only an idiot of a place would idolise one of them i.e. Ned Kelly, but then anywhere that producers something like Neighbours must have some very strange ideas.
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Feb 29th, 2004, 03:13 PM
  #34  
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AD - forgot to say, perservere with those Italian lessons! I'm planning to resume mine this year, which gives me an excuse to pop in to the Italo-Australian Club. The biggest contingent of Italian migrants to Australia came from Calabria. We owe the Italians for a lot of good Italian restaurants and the fact that an espresso machine can be found in even the more remote towns.

Incidentally, at the moment Canberra is resounding the noise of large military choppers, and the military police have blocked off Anzac Parade - could your fearless leader have slipped into town again?

And maybe it's time at last to dispel the mystery of our missing governor-general. The fact is that he's just keeping a low profile. Our prime minister is fond of photo-ops with returning troops, sports stars and the like. Unfortunately, past governors-general, not having much else to do, have tended to get into the act, and two's a crowd. Worse, the G-G before last (Sir William Deane), a Labor appointee, had an unfortunate habit of discoursing on matters like Aboriginal poverty. He's almost certainly a closet chardonnay drinker. As a result the present G-G no doubt is under orders to confine himself to opening cake-baking competitions at obscure agricultural shows.

By the way, we (or rather the Queen) don't issue knighthoods any more. Bill Deane must have snuck in just before they were ditched.
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Feb 29th, 2004, 03:38 PM
  #35  
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Liz, that would be the Vince Gair who I think led the now-defunct Democratic Labor Party. If I remember rightly our former PM Gough Whitlam disposed of him by naming him ambassador to Ireland, where he made a nasty dent in their Jamiesons Whiskey supplies. The Irish have never forgiven us for that one.

Reminds me of a couple of nice Whitlam anecdotes. For non-Australians, Whitlam was (is) a rather imposing and erudite individual with a taste for self-mocking tongue-in-cheek comments that many people took seriously. Once, on a visit to London, he went to a Savile Row tailor to have some suits made. Carefully measuring the inside leg, the tailor asked deferentially, "And what side does Sir dress on?" Whitlam looked down from his full 6'4" and boomed, "Both sides, comrade. Both sides!"

Later, when his government had become as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue (as we say) a local pol took Gough to a football match in Brisbane. As soon as he appeared in the stand, the crowd erupted in enraged boos and catcalls. Utterly unfazed, Whitlam looked at his colleague and said, "McAuliffe, in future I'll thank you not to take me to places in which you're so obviously unpopular!"

And for political history buffs - in which city did Whitlam's successor, Malcolm Fraser, have the misfortune to lose his pants one night? I think it was Memphis, Tn., but can't be sure.



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Feb 29th, 2004, 08:44 PM
  #36  
 
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Yes it's true. I have read John Pilger's "A Secret Country". That where I first heard that the CIA got the Gov General to boot Gough Whitlam over the secret missle tracking stations.

i read somehere that JFK recuporated at the Albert and Victoria Guest House in Mt Victoria. after he lost PT 109.

Thanks all for book rec's . will follow up at libraray tomorrow.

Neil; posso visitare il club italo-austaliano? Dov'e?

Hai letto "Old Calabria"?

AndrewDavid
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Mar 2nd, 2004, 08:59 PM
  #37  
 
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Australia Board for Australians only??? Get off the grass! To be of any value at all, the board name has to represent the country of interest or enquiry, not the country that the participants reside in. For example, I go to a Board be it Australian, USA or Europe, not because I am Australian, American or European, but because I am looking for travel tips on Australia, USA or Europe.
twoflower is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 11:51 AM
  #38  
 
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Twoflower:
and your point is?
lizF is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 12:27 PM
  #39  
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AndrewDavid - (a) Si, certo. Il indirizzo e 78 Franklin Street, Forrest, vicino di Manuka. (b) Mi dispiace, no ho letto quel libro. Now, before some other reader jumps on me for my lousy Italian ..... be warned - last time I looked, the Italo-Australian Club's in-house restaurant was Chinese! As for the rest, it's a typical Australian club - bar, poker machines and a downstairs bistro.

For some reason Canberra has a lot of passable Italian restaurants but no really top-class ones, despite having a large Italian population. Most serve a predictable menu of pasta dishes, veal parmigiano, saltimbocca and so forth. The Bella Vista in Civic and Belconnen (owned by northern Italians) and the Santa Lucia in Kingston aren't bad. Small point - here, "marinara" sauce has seafood in it.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 12:52 PM
  #40  
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AD, I meant to say that Whitlam himself has always poured cold water on the CIA theory, despite the claims of a former CIA agent. You can't help wondering, though - from memory, a pivotal event prior to Whitlam's dismissal was a letter that his deputy, Dr Jim Cairns, denied having written, and so Whitlam sacked him for misleading Parliament (they had stricter standards in those days). The idea that Cairns of all people would deliberately lie to Parliament always seemed implausible to me, and intelligence services are not above forgery. It's good to know that such hi-jinks don't go on these days.

Incidentally, yesterday the Governor-General was reported as lunching with Her Majesty at Buck House. Unless it was his double...
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