I didn’t want to let this day of commemoration go by unnoticed, but then, what to say? Happy Australia/Invasion Day has the wrong ring to it. Then I found a story about the fracas over the request earlier this week by organizers of the Big Day Out to leave the “gang colours” of the Australian flag at home.
Somehow I wound up at The Chaser, a site previously unknown to me, but that seems to specialize in a sophomorically humorous, millennial-generation view of current events. (Forgive me if I’m mischaracterizing it.) Anyway, I found a video called “This season’s Cronulla riots,” which dared to ask the question: “What’s in this riot season at Cronulla beach? Will it be Australian flags draped over the shoulders again, or something more couture?” (Grammar doesn’t seem to be one of the site’s concerns.)
The answer comes in a video that is, as noted, rather sophomoric, but there was one moment of seriousness–or maybe it was mockery of a subtler sort than the rest. The video’s “anchor,” Tim, catches an older man wearing an Aussie flag cap and a red-whte-and-blue shirt sitting on a bench near the beach and this dialogue ensues:
Old man: I’m totally against certain people.
Tim: Which people?
Old man: (whispers) The Muslims. I’m totally against the Muslims.
And a bit later, we return to this clip:
Old man: The problem is the government is treating these people from overseas better than fair dinkum Aussies.
Tim: So you feel like an Aboriginal in your own country, right?
Old man: That’s right!
A quick cut ends the clip just as the old fella realizes what’s been said.
Happy Australia/Invasion Day.