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The average man-bag toting yuppie in the city (be it Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide), when asked about Australian identity, would say, "Diverse", "Melting Pot" or any number of similar buzz-words. Polite way of saying, "I don't know who I am and what I'm doing here". It's a patently bullshit answer anyway- a shared identity applies both to society in general and the individual. That's what makes it shared. How can one person be a "Melting Pot"?. Idiots.

The mass city dwellers seem to have a marked inferiority complex about ruralites when it comes to Australian culture. Traditionally the "Aussie Battler" on the land is considered to be more Australian, as is shown by the truly monstrous subsidies paid by our government to the rural class in an effort to appear patriotic. The culture is passed off neatly onto the farmer, who is allowed to continue his bastard hybrid of rustic/high tech lifestyle , because he's a "True-Blue Ocker", regardless of innovations in technology and culture in the 'outback' and in other sectors of Australian society.

It's all horse-shit of course. If industrialisation had no effect on culture, then the British would still be famous for their ploughs and the capital of the U.S. would be in Richmond, Virginia.

The frenzied use of slang which has been out-dated for at least 80 years in the country, let alone in the rather heavily industrialised cities where the bulk of the Australian population dwells, speaks to me of a people who don't know who they are and are clinging desperately to something - anything - that will give them a sense of belonging. It quickly becomes jingoistic tripe and even to "patriots" the words must taste ashen in the mouth.

Australia has only existed for a hundred-odd years, and I don't think that the expedition to find out what makes Australians Australian has ever been seriously undertaken by anyone capable of finding the answer. Many academics have attempted it but, insulated as they are from Australian society with their text-books and journals, they've only be able to define it in some sort of odd technical-jargon that requires university study and a dictionary. And no doubt many pseudo-gonzos have attempted to find our identity on the roads - trying to define Australia in American terms. No attempt that I know of has been fundamentally sucessful in getting to the root of the issue - who are we, and what keeps us together as a nation.

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