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Australian vs American culture


Bruce Tuncks
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There is a story about how Australians survived much better than Americans in Japanese POW camps. The difference was that the Americans had this ethic about strong silent individuals while the Australians had the idea of looking after your mates.

I reckon we are seeing the same difference playing out with the covid epidemic.

Mind you, we are getting closer to America all the time and our old Australian culture is weakened with every new immigrant. Of course, not all was good in old Australia and there were conspicuous failures in looking after helpless people. But I still reckon we have done better than the US in the covid stuff.

And the food sure is better with those immigrants. 

 

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3 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

our old Australian culture is weakened with every new immigrant.

And the "immigrant" is not necessarily flesh and blood. 

 

We only had about 75 years to develop an Australian culture before it was swamped by American motion pictures and commercial music forms, and multi-national take-overs of Aussie icons. 

 

Where are our "peoples' poets and writers today? The Americans killed off the production of motion pictures that had any relationship to Australian culture. Sure, Australians are some of the world's best movie and animation technicians, but where are the scriptwriters who can produce the cliche-free framework for 'the Great Australian Story'?

 

Where are the "songs of my people"?  Australian rural/ working class music is a pale imitation of the output of the Grand Ol' Oprey twang. (The Yanks even claim 'bull twang' as their own. Even worse, it is attributed to our mate Donny. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bulltwang ) We have world famous musicians and composers, but nobody listens to their works, or if you try, you are told to "turn that crap off". Out painters have reduced their work to caricatures for the Archibald Prize, and the real painters of Australian life (graffitists) are labelled 'vandals'. 

 

Where are the writers like Patrick White, Ion Idreiss,  Neville Schute, Mile Franklin, Ethel Turner? I leave out Patterson and Lawson as they were more entertainers than the others, but still good reads.

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I just love the Banjo Patterson stories and poetry. But Auntie Pat had never heard of Banjo! She only did English poets at school, which would have been in the late 1930's.

So there was a wonderful window in time when we got to hear about the man from Ironbark etc. Gosh I can just about recite them now.

Once in Alice Springs , I got to be Mulga Bill at a school presentation. Wanna hear the whole poem?  It will cost you a beer.

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  • 1 month later...
On 05/11/2020 at 1:02 PM, old man emu said:

And the "immigrant" is not necessarily flesh and blood. 

 

We only had about 75 years to develop an Australian culture before it was swamped by American motion pictures and commercial music forms, and multi-national take-overs of Aussie icons. 

 

Where are our "peoples' poets and writers today? The Americans killed off the production of motion pictures that had any relationship to Australian culture. Sure, Australians are some of the world's best movie and animation technicians, but where are the scriptwriters who can produce the cliche-free framework for 'the Great Australian Story'?..

All over the world, national governments support (subsidise) their own film and television sector in an effort to protect their country from being swamped with cheap American media.
In Australia, Auntie ABC was always one of culture’s biggest protectors, producing world-class TV content. 
Now, the ABC budget is being culled to the bone; some of that money has been given to Rupert Murdoch’s outlets.

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There weren't a lot of Anglo's employed on the Snowy project and it was quite a success at the time.. The  Us is bad, but we have little  to skite about and there's still enough corruption left to go around, alive and doing well.  Exploiting a place is NOT development, . We cut the Cedars and made fence posts. Dumped animal carcases in the Harbour. Put $#1t out near our best beaches. The WHOLE of Newcastle is undermined and subject to subsidence. etc etc. Lots of serious damage in a short time. Paddle Steamers used to go as far as Willcania..Without beating ourselves up too much , Not a PROUD record.  Oh by the way . We make NOTHING HERE any more. . Nev 

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ew did cut the cedars and use them. that has now been stopped by the greenies and the cedars are useless. They have not been selectively culled so there are a lot of skinny little poles rather than a few good timber trees.

Those river boats had a much more fickle environment. Sometimes they would be stranded in a small pool of water, so they cut down local timber and using their engine power, again powered by local timber they produced sawn timber for buildings. I never heard of the Missisippi boats doing that. 

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I'm not a big fan of the good ol' USA, but there are some positive things about their culture. I respect their can do attitude. In Australia, we're getting better in that regard but in the past it's swung more toward the can't do attitude. A few years ago, I was about to embark on a complex project and was a bit shocked to find that when I discussed it with anyone, about 70% of people tried to talk me out of it. A lot of the comments were along the lines of 'too hard', 'why would you bother' etc.. A bit like 'forget about it mate, just have another beer'.

 

Most Americans I've known are the opposite. When confronted with a proposal like that, they seem more geared toward trying to problem solve, come up with a workaround and are generally more positive. A more engineering like mentality. A lot of Australians will try to find reasons to not do the project, whereas a lot of Americans will try to find ways to do it. As I previously said, in Australia we are improving.

 

Another part of the American culture I like is schooners as opposed to our British tendency toward the ketch rigged yacht. In sail boats,there's no better or more graceful sight than a schooner displaying a full compliment of sails. And America has heaps of them. Harder to rig and sail maybe, but the sheer beauty of them is worth it.

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Schooner - front stick is shorter than the back stick.

Ketch - the front stick is taller than the back stick.

Ketch - the back stick is in front of the rudder.

Yawl - the back (little) stick is aft of the rudder.

 

All of them - are money pits worse than aeroplanes

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That's the word, Red750. I thought I spelt it right, Don't know how it got "Man" in it.

As for boat's being "money pits" cars are the biggest PITS of all. sucking your dollars away even if not driven all year (covert lockdown). statutory charges are completely out of control.

We should do as NZ has, and pay road tax and insurance on distance travelled. ( Hub Meters ), and on seats in vehicle.

Covert because it was denied by the Designated place of origin.  

spacesailor

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Thanks Gareth.

I was wondering whether the boilermaker trade still exists. Apart from power stations, there isn't much call for boilers.

I do recall seeing a row of Steam Engine Operator certificates in the control room of a power station. I'd never thought that a Power station is a big steam engine! Power stations are perhap the last remaining steam engines around (except historic ones)

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Boilermakers build ships and submarines too. And pressure-vessels. They have to be good welders.

I always wanted to be a good welder but alas it never happened. Once I was taken in by an article I read and went to the welding shop to buy some special rods which enabled a mug to do good welds. The guy looked at me funny and said there was no such thing.

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