The Art of the Australian Insult

Australians are into failure in a big way

“WHY do we have such a rotten national anthem? It’s because the only words that rhyme with Australia are dahlia and failure. Even Les Murray couldn’t do much with them. Mind you, a sort of mulga-wood version of the Marsellaise, emphasising Australian failure rather than French triumphalism would fit the local psyche like a shroud. Because were into failure in a big way. Think of all the films weve made about our failures. Even before Gallipoli and Burke & Wills there was Sunday Too Far Away where Jack Thompson failed to be the gun shearer, Petersen where Thompson failed to succeed at Melbourne Uni and Picnic at Hanging Rock where almost the entire cast failed to return from a picnic. Not to mention the two McKenzie films wherein despite his desperate efforts Bazza, that archetypal Australian hero, failed to lose his virginity.”

Phillip Adams, who thinks that Waltzing Matilda would make a great national anthem because it’s so depressing.


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