Monday, November 2, 2009
Yes, I am aware of my tardiness in blogging throughout that trip.
No, I am not going to apologise for it.
Better idea just to pull my finger out now and fix it.
But I'll be obeying the principle of reverse chronology, simply because that's the order in which my photos are going to be downloaded, and also a little bit because I'm a Pisces, I want to, and you can't stop me.
OK, so one thing that sat badly with me was that "convict" reputation the Brits still endow Aussies with.
Lame jokes are not in short supply, but ignorance of Australia's current cultural make-up certainly is. Just haven't kept their finger on the pulse, have they?
For example, the group of 6 we were travelling in boasted only one member who might have held any sort of convict past in his ancestry.
1= Northern Italian
1= Lebanese/Northern Italian
Therefore, 5/6 or 83.3% of our sample group hold no ties with the convict history, thus making English witticisms lame enough to make even Mrs Slocombe and The Two Ronnies blush.
The UK still has some wicked issues to deal with regarding racism and just cultural intolerance generally.
While we were there, the BBC let some horrific racist on TV prior to their elections and he's polling incredibly well.
In the cab from Manchester to Liverpool, I actually heard the driver ranting about "all the foreigners and illegals" in Liverpool distorting the true population figures.
When he was asked where these foreigners were from, he replied in all seriousness with, "Ireland."
That's a little like Sydney-siders complaining about foreigners from Gosford, isn't it?
Admittedly I have done that many times, so I'll shut up now.
After weathering Aussie convict jokes and the morally superior English looking down their noses at us with our customary good natured Australian humour, we took ourselves off to the British Museum for the morning...
...have you heard of that one? The British Museum.
Hands up who was hoping for tea pots, Beatles and clotted cream?
Nope. It is a collection of priceless, ancient artifacts stolen by the English from all around the globe.
The only thing in there that was British was the food, and that was a damned shame.
And when I say artifacts, I'm talking about things like.... the Rosetta Stone and Amenhotep III's busts, rather than just the loaves of bread stolen by starving people that they're still giving the Aussies shit about.
The British Museum boasts over 110,000 artifacts from Egypt alone.
Dirty thieving bastards!
It was standing thus, under some 4,000 year old Assyrian something-or-other in the very heart of London, that the true meaning of the word Commonwealth finally dawned on me. derrrr
Apparently, the museum's official stance on their ill-gotten gains is,
"restitutionist premise, that whatever was made in a country must return to an original geographical site, would empty both the British Museum and the other great museums of the world",
And translates to finders keepers, or even GGF in my book.
And I'm proud to say that one country that fought the pricks and won so far, has been.... Australia, but that's possibly because it was "only" human remains they'd taken from the indigenous population they wiped out in Tasmania, and not something they considered truly valuable.
Anyway, next time you hear a dig from the Brits about the Australian convict history, be sure to remind them of their own light fingers and heavy pockets.
I find it useful to mention that the convicts were indeed British at the time of their offense - a much forgotten fact.
Pot and kettle.
And now that I think about it, if Patrick's family had stolen something, my guess is that it was a priceless statue of a demon rather than a loaf of bread, and that doesn't count anyway, does it?