My essays lack academic rigour. It’s because I don’t care about creating factually precise documents which may be suitable as source material for someone’s course of study. I don’t write to educate. I write to get ideas out of my head, so that I can have a closer look at them, before deciding whether they are any good, or not.
I generalise – it’s a “no no”, but I do it. Otherwise I’d become so bogged down in “correctness” that my writing would become impossibly hard to do, and even harder to read. I don’t self-monitor for prejudice. My biases are easy to identify. I don’t apologise either.
I’ve never been to America and, with luck, I’ll never have to go. I’m sure that there are millions of Americans who are just like most Australians – decent people who find the actions of their governments deplorable. I’m not writing about the ordinary Americans in this piece. I’m describing the public face America.
The America which has colonised Australia is the one which has given to the world, amongst other totally undesirable and unwanted gifts:
The atom bomb
Perpetual war &
If my scribblings encourage someone else to think about my thoughts, or to create new thoughts for themselves, that’s a bonus which may give my writing some further purpose.
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RANT 20 – THE AMERICANISATION OF AUSTRALIA.
Although the portrayed American persona has, forever, been one of superiority and conceit, the push towards global domination seems not to have begun until the early part of the 20th century.
I suspect that it was ramped up in earnest in the post–World War 2 period and grew quickly following the introduction of television in Australia.
Perhaps it was at this time that Australians began to realise the extent to which we had been fucked over by our British masters, who had used our young men as cannon fodder in two world wars, at least, or perhaps Australia’s politicians saw something more to be gained for themselves, rather than for our country, by crawling up America’s arse.
(Please note the spelling of the word “arse”. The mental image of someone crawling up America’s donkey is laughable.)
Although Australia’s PM (Prime Minister and Principal Monarchist) Robert Menzies, elected in 1949, was blatantly pro-British, the writing was on the wall. In 1951 the ANZUS Pact was signed, a three-way military alliance, which included New Zealand.
This meant that, rather than send our young men overseas to die for Mother England, Australian governments were able to have them killed and injured in Korea, Vietnam, (who will ever forget PM Harold Holt’s classic line “All the way up LBJ!”?), the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. In more recent times, young Australian women have also had the opportunity to play their part.
We’ve also had extremely important, and prestigious, visits from several American Kings of the World.
LBJ came a couple of times, no doubt to thank us for sending our young people to die in Vietnam, so that he could justify sending his young men to die there, too.
George Bush Seenya came once, and made an entirely underwhelming impression on Australians.
He was followed by Bill Clinton, who was later famous as a sucker for a pretty face – oh, hang on, he was the suck-ee, not the suck-er.
Then came the illustrious George Dubbya Bush. Many Australians thought it strange that Bush Joonya had not brought his brain with him, until George made it blatantly clear that he didn’t have one to begin with. Dubbya had some issues with travelling long distances. It appears that the puppet strings which attached him to huge American business enterprises, kept getting tangled.
Finally, we had Barak Obama, who visited twice, and created quite a reasonable impression on Australians. Some started thinking that the world now had a king who might actually achieve something.
Sadly he was dragged back into the mire of mediocrity by his handlers, who feared that he might upset those Americans who wanted to preserve their right to behave corruptly, value and hoard wealth, abuse the poor, neglect the infirm and the dying (especially if they were returned service people), kill other people with guns, and rule the world.
Our guys and gal went to the US of A, too.
Prime Ministers Curtin and Chifley went once each.
Although a rabid anglophile, Menzies went nine times in 15 years, inspiring rumours to the effect that his romance with Not-So-Great Britain was shaky. I’m sure that Liz was more than a little disturbed.
Harold Holt went once, uttering his famous declaration that Australia would always crawl up America’s arse. Upon his return, he went for a swim.
John Gorton went next. Twice. He met with LBJ first (they probably compared Vietnam casualty figures – the USA won that one by miles.)
On his second visit, he got to chat with that bastion of political rectitude and defender of democracy, Dicky (also known as “Tricky Dicky”) Nixon.
Next to visit a reigning King of the World was Billy McMahon, best known for his wife’s amazing dress and his son’s career as an actor in America.
Gough Whitlam didn’t get an invitation. He’d really pissed off the Yanks by thinking for himself, and having the temerity to decline the invitation to join in our previous Australian leaders’ obligatory anal exploration of the USA.
Next to go was Malcolm Fraser. He had wiped the blood from the knife which he had used to assassinate Gough Whitlam, possibly at America’s request, and with the assistance of the English Queen’s lackey in Canberra.
He met with Jimmy Carter and later with Ronnie Raygun, the actor who couldn’t quite score an Oscar for pretending to be the most powerful man in America, and in fact, in the universe. To be fair, it’s hard to give your best performance, when you’ve got someone else’s hand shoved up your back, pressing your buttons.
In 1986 Bob Hawke, the guy who went from socialist to superstar, (in his own mind, at least) met with the intellectually deficient Reagan as well. It was expected to be a meeting of the minds, but Ronny had left his at home.
Hawkey had a second meeting with Reagan in 1988, but The Defender of the Universe was no more lucid on that occasion.
After finally persuading Hawke to put his feet up, and concentrate of his extra-marital affairs, Paul Keating made one visit, to meet up with Big Bill Clinton, in 1993. Paul was pleased to find that Clinton had his pants on at the time and noted that there were no young female employees present.
Little Johnny Howard was all over the map between 2000 and 2006, sucking up to the Americans on numerous occasions, and picking up ideas on the best ways to get re-elected.
He can possibly be credited with introducing to Australia, the strategy of using market research as the basis for his government’s policy formation, and misleading the electorate with scare tactics, a gambit brilliantly employed by Donny “Keep Your Guns Loaded” Trump in recent years.
This tactic involved candidates discovering what it was that voters thought they needed and/or wanted, and then promising to give it to them, whilst pointing out that political opponents would not only refuse to give them what they wanted, but would take away what they already had.
Any thought of creating and pursuing policies which would benefit the nation as a whole, or which would consider the needs of people who were unable to influence an election result, was discarded in the sole interest of getting elected.
Any consideration of a nation’s responsibility as a member of the world community, in areas such as the environment, or the promotion and maintenance of democracy, would only take place when there was a demonstrable benefit to be gained domestically, and by the politicians.
In short, government “for (all of) the people”, or world citizenry, became extremely low priority matters for politicians. In America the power of the gun lobby to ensure that all Americans have the right to be killed in their homes, on the street or in a “shopping mall”, is an excellent example of politicians catering to the demands of special interests groups whilst ignoring the needs of the community at large.
Little Johnny gained fame as a “political strategist” beginning with his role in the “Khemlani Affair”, which became a contributing factor to the dismissal of the Whitlam government, and perhaps peaking with his questionable behaviour in the “Children Overboard” saga, which he co-authored with that pillar of rectitude Peter Reith, and both of which focussed upon creating maximum fear in the electorate.
Howard is generally regarded as one of the most skilled Australian politicians, ever to deceive the public. (Not a compliment, by the way.)
Kevin Rudd met with Dubbya in 2008, and then with Obama, the man who seemed most likely to bring a modicum of integrity to American politics. Sadly, he didn’t quite live up to expectations, shackled as he was by his powerful backroom boys.
Gillard, (the) Abbott and Turnbull also met Barak, probably trying to see if the rumours were true, that America finally had a president who could count past ten without taking off his shoes.
Turnbull then went to have tea with that warrior for human rights and moral behaviour, Donny Trump. He went back for a second visit, probably to see if Trump was as big an asterisk as he seemed.
Last, and definitely least, the man who makes Tony (the) Abbott look like an intellectual giant, burst onto the scene, having failed miserably in several lesser political and commercial roles. He got the job as the PM to replace Turnbull, almost by default. Malcolm, having been screwed by his own party, went back to counting his millions, and making cutting remarks about his former friends.
In Australia we currently have a prime minister who serves the needs of the fossil fuels industry first, and the needs of the nation and the world, an extremely distant second. This buffoon brandishes a lump of coal in parliament and espouses its contribution to the economy, whilst ignoring its effect upon the world’s environmental welfare.
He managed to win an otherwise unwinnable election, by scaring the shit out of Queensland coal miners, convincing them that he would be the saviour of their jobs. We cannot know if he is genuinely supporting the fossil fuels industry because it is critical to Australia’s economic stability, or because many of his campaign dollars are provided to his party by the fossil fuels industry.
His name is Scott Morrison, aka Scomo, Schemo, Scummo, Scotty from Marketing, , The Master of Sports Rorts, and sundry other flattering sobriquets, and he travelled to God’s Country to meet Donny. It was love at first sight. Morrison loved crawling to Donny, and Donny loved meeting someone who has even less credibility than he has.
So, there it is. A brief, but simultaneously too extensive, summary of the principal Australians who have had their snouts in the trough of the Good Ole USA, on behalf of the Australian electorate, of course.
Along with political “support”, although some would suggest interference or manipulation would be more appropriate terms, America became an important player in our economic development, through investment in companies like GMH – General Motors (American) Holden (Australian).
If you are inclined towards being bored shitless, you can research all of the relevant figures, but I’m too lazy. Suffice it to say that America is currently the largest overseas investor in Australia, the value of that investment being estimated at shitloads.
Whilst politics and the economy are important avenues for American manipulation of this country, it is with respect to culture that the ordinary Australian can most easily recognise the process of Americanisation.
More cunning than clever, the new Kings of the World recognised that attaining global domination of the physical kind is a messy, noisy and expensive business. Why use violence, when subversion is a cleaner option?
In Australia, we have experienced an at first inconspicuous, and then insidious, invasion of our culture, by America, a nation not especially known for its capacity for subtlety.
In this respect we are not alone. The entire world has been targeted, manipulated and finally overcome by American forces. What the British used guns and fear to accomplish, as they first gained and then lost their “empire”, the Americans have achieved largely by stealth.
Yes, they have engaged in a bit of unavoidable bloodshed along the way, but even countries which have never known the impact of America’s god-given military might, have been culturally corrupted by America.
The Yanks have used the most apparently benign weapons known to man – large scale commerce, and its promotion through movies, television and the internet.
In the post-war period Australians had the opportunity to go to “the pictures” to see America winning the war, on behalf of Australians. American actors not only won the war, they got the girl whilst doing so, and everything in the garden was rosy.
American films also described the manner in which those good white people overcame the threat of the evil redskin, proving the superiority of guns over bows and arrows, as well as white supremacy. The parallels with our own treatment of our indigenous people are quite disturbing. In those days it was called “taming the wild west”. Today, the process is known as ethnic cleansing or racial destruction.
In the wild west, too, good always triumphed over evil, again at the barrel of a gun, and the concept of using violence as a means to solve problems has been disseminated worldwide.
However, it was the explosion of television onto the world scene which enabled a rapid expansion of American culture around the world.
Television could, and eventually would, infiltrate almost every home on the planet and, with money behind them, Americans were able to dominate the world’s TV screens.
In the earliest days we were treated to a heavily stylised and idealistic version of American society. “Leave It to Beaver” comes to mind – a greater load of American bullshit has never graced the television screen, unless it was “Happy Days”.
In Australia were deluged by this crap, and we lapped it up. It’s little wonder that Australians saw America as the land of milk and honey, a place where the sun always shone, and people treated each other with love and respect.
One of my favourite characters was Jet Jackson, a dashing American hero, who, assisted by his gawky sidekick, Ichabod Mudd, flew an amazing aircraft around the world in his quest to vanquish evil. I was about nine years old and this was an important means of escape for me, when the elderly couple who lived across the road, would invite my sister and me to watch their TV, once or twice a week.
With the introduction of colour, came an increasing sophistication in themes. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” demonstrated the American capacity and willingness to save the world from oppression, and the villains all spoke with an Eastern-European accent.
We were young and impressionable, and we didn’t know that there were other, more significant and less palatable aspects of the great American culture, to which we were not privy. For some reason, television shows about poverty and racial hatred in America, never reached our sunny shores.
Anyone seeking confirmation of the suggestion that American television dominates the world, need only peruse their local TV guide. In Australia we have two basically non-commercial channels charged with satisfying the public need for factual news and entertainment which requires in viewers an IQ above 80. Then we have the commercial networks which provide biased news and commentary, along with mind-numbing garbage to “entertain” the brain dead.
These stations rely on (un)reality programmes imported from America, or made locally in an American mould, and an assortment of “comedies” and “dramas” which would do little to challenge the intellect of the average five-year-old.
As the world metaphorically shrank before our very eyes, the influence of TV over Australians, paled in comparison to the impact of the World Wide Web.
The Internet, and the madness that is social media, have allowed American culture to infest and infect almost every home in the world, and too many Australians lack the intellectual wherewithal to filter this shit from their lives.
Look at the number of young Australians who are entirely too stupid to realise that the peak of a cap is there to keep the sun out of their eyes, or who insist on believing that everything written on Facebook is factual, and that people will eventually be born mobile phones will built in.
In America, the greatest nation on earth, anything is possible.
If you choose to adopt “The American Way”, you too can become successful beyond your wildest dreams.
Unfortunately for America though, the incredible expansion in communication which has occurred in the last couple of decades, has also enabled ordinary people to expose some of the lies of American culture. The world can now see instantly, corruption, poverty, racism and persecution, as integral parts of American society, and some of us choke upon the hypocrisy.
Sadly, though, the initial brainwashing which was carried out in the early years of influence via electronic media, has allowed false knowledge of the American culture to embed itself in the minds of countless Australians, who have been unable or unwilling to see through the showers of bullshit.
Mimicking America has become a national sport for Australians. The fact that, as a nation, we are not alone in suffering from Americanitis, doesn’t make the situation any better.