Australinvasion Day Essay 2016

Old baggage that we can move away from when we change the date

Love it or loath it, it’s Australia Day again.

Australia Day is certainly part of our cultural fabric, but that doesn’t mean it always must be called Australia Day and always must be held on 26th January until the end of time. With the social media cyclone of dogged opinions that blows us all over every year, this day now has more baggage than Geoffrey Edelsten on holidays hunting for his next romantic victim.

Would our culture be enhanced, destroyed or would it make no difference if, as many are suggesting, the name and/or date were changed to break from the First Fleet invasion and the current racist bogan-itus that many otherwise upstanding members of society get infected with for this one day a year?

Some would fight this change, but why? What exactly would they be losing? Would they feel deeply traumatised by being stripped bare of their cultural identity and punished with forty lashes by the leftie tyrant femi-nazi thought-police dominatrices who only care about the plight of minorities and the First Australians rather than the majority true-blue, fair-dinkum, Aussie-flag-cape-wearing, Southern-Cross-tattooed, tinny-drinking, pale-skinned, bonza, real Aussie battlers batting for Team Australia? Some would initially, I’m sure, but give it a few years and they’d barely remember what all the fuss was about. They’d still be just as free to try and silence others and reclaim whatever they claim needs to be reclaimed from our apparent gloriously mono-cultural past.

Culture is of course a dynamic construct and there is nothing particularly special about our culture in 2016. Many humans have an inbuilt bias to believe that there is, along with a delusion that some arbitrary point in the past was even better, but take a step back and look. We are, as a society, constantly changing. And overall for the better too. Australia Day wasn’t even a public holiday in all states and territories until 1994. Check out the timeline of Australia Day if you’re really into this history stuff that Conservatives keep talking about, while cherry picking out only the good stuff from the amorphous, heterogeneous pavlova and ignoring the atrocities, like the 90s Aussie sitcom, Newlyweds.

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“The need to preserve society is at the very heart of conservatism and the absolute moral truths that are required for this preservation are not subject to change.”
― Cory Bernardi, The Conservative Revolution

It’s only really the ultra-hyper-Eric-Abetz-level right-wing extremists that resist change like their children’s lives depend on it. Not all change is positive of course, and on the issue of us becoming a republic as an example, there is a rational debate to be had about what the new system would be if President Peter FitzSimons gets his way and we ditch the inbred foreigners as our heads of state. But moving the date as a gesture of increased inclusion for all Australians surely won’t have any real negative consequences, right? So let’s just #changethedate to preferably a cooler month to reduce the number of people who are literally killed by the Australia Day sun every year and the let’s keep working on making our country even better.

But why rest there? How about we go even further if we’re going to start moving public holidays around? I’m trying to think about some future logical improvements to celebrate the diversity of Australia even more than we do now, and get rid of the cultural legacy of the European invasion and the White Australia policy.

So, in addition to moving the date of Australia Day, let’s add on holidays to celebrate both the oldest and the newest Australians.

A First Australians Day would be a great way to acknowledge the past, think about the current inequalities, and celebrate the achievements of First Australians past and present. We could eat kangaroo and other bush tucker. Maybe we could even have a chat with some First Australians if we can find one that doesn’t mind talking to 33 Australians whose ancestors haven’t been here for 40,000 years. No wonder racist, white South Africans, who are outnumbered nine to one where they come from, love Australia so much: Indigenous Australians make up only 3% of the total population.

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How about a New Australians Day to celebrate the contributions that our continuous migration has made to the prosperity and the rich diversity of this country? First and second generation Australians could host gatherings for all their diverse friends and put on a spread of food from where their families came from, as long as their families didn’t used to eat boiled chimpanzee and raw whale meat.

If we’ve then got too many public holidays and businesses are worried about pesky productivity, then get rid of Queen Lizard’s birthday. That will happen soon anyway, after the battle of Endor, when we swear in Supreme Chancellor Mon Mothma and install The New Republic government.

(This is where the non-apathetic Christians can just stop reading. Thanks for making it this far!)

On top of that, we’d need to transform some existing holidays. What about perhaps turning Easter into three public holidays celebrating this country and all its people; even poor atheist hippies like me. We aren’t a Christian nation so remind me again why we have public holidays to celebrate the laughably low probability that Jesus ‘The Hammer’ Christ rose from the dead?

If we can somehow kill Christ permanently this time, then we could turn Good Friday into First Australian Day, Easter Monday into New Australian Day and Easter Tuesday into Australia Day where everyone just does whatever they want, as long as what they want isn’t race riots. Now Easter moves around each year because of the stupid pre-historic lunar calendar. So just #fixthedate and we’d be done. Problem solved and we can all just love this sunburnt country, right? Well, the kids might be a bit gutted about no chocolate eggs. So Easter Sunday could be renamed Chocolate Egg Day so they still get visited by a giant bunny with no genitalia.

Is anyone still on board with this amount of change? You might be thinking, “Fair suck of the old sauce bottle, Davo!” I wouldn’t worry. There’s pretty much no way it would all happen in one step. So a staged approach would be the go; starting of course with changing the date of Australia Day, and there are some indications that the majority of Australians would be in favour of this.

In any case, I will try it all out this year. I’ll celebrate nothing today. Easy Peasy Brown Booby Squeezy. Then at Easter, when people wish me Happy Easter, I’ll respond with Happy Australia Weekend! That will be guaranteed to get up the nose of at least one of my family members, even after I explain myself. She’s understandably worried that if I don’t splooge over Christ torture porn during Easter then I’ll be barred from the gates of Heaven.

Well Australia might have its problems, but compared to every boring depiction of Heaven that I’ve ever heard, and considering how many extremist fundamentalists would be there, maybe the real Heaven is a place on Earth: Australia!

Harmony Day in Australia is March 21 according to Wikipedia. The fact that this day even exists is evidence that we have a major problem with Australia Day not being a day for all Australians. It really has to change. Most of our ancestors didn’t come here on the First Fleet and their arrival/invasion wasn’t the start of Australia; it was Federation.


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