Aug 242007

Kim Beazley thinks Australian’s don’t understand enough about the United States of America.
I have to ask, what is there to understand that we don’t already have showcased for us by television, radio, news media, political rhetoric, cinema, in fact name a segment of Australiana which isn’t influenced by American culture and capitalistic ethos, and I’ll gladly reassess my belief that Kim Beazley needs to pull his head out of his arse.

Why does your average Aussie need to understand American culture? Do we have an all-abiding understanding of Indonesian culture or South African culture? Do we really care all that much that Vladimir Putin wants to exercise his newly found monetary muscle by wasting aviation fuel on long rang strategic bomber patrols over the North Sea? Should we really give a shit as to whether or not Shinzo Abe visits the Yasukuni Shrine, or even what that monument means?
I’d suggest that a passing understanding of these events and the drivers for them is probably not a bad thing, but there’s no imperative that anyone go out of their way to do so. Why then would Beazley make an assinine statement to the effect that:

“Yet we have had a very long standing alliance with the United States, and while we had a superficial view of US culture, politics and institutions, we really knew very little about the place,”

Still, if Big Kimbo dearly wants to wax lyrical about the US and rub shoulders with fellow Amerophiles including Malcolm Turnbull’s missus and other conservative apologists in the process, then he should go right ahead. Every club needs a membership, I suppose. He shouldn’t expect your average Aussie to get overly excited about it, or join him in his effusiveness over all things Americentric.

  2 Responses to “What’s to Understand?”

  1. On matters American, just finished reading a book called “Deer hunting with Jesus”. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in politics. Grim, relentless, scary and funny.

  2. I wish that amerikans had some understanding of “..their culture, politics & institutions.” They might do a better job of selecting candidates and exercisng some oversight when they do stoopid thing.
    In the 60s i did an equivalency course for entry into Uni of Maryland and this covered basically their high school curriculum. It included a comprehensive and rivetting civics course – who, how, primaries, electoral college, and of course the owners’ manual, the Constitution.
    Young friends in that benighted land tell me that is no longer standard and their parents aren’t certain when it ceased but guess around the mid-late 70s.
    Which explains a lot.

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