When did Australia start its terminal decline into a boring dystopia?

Australia was once considered “the lucky country”. We sold dirt to every continent and received all the fancy household goods and nick knacks we could possibly desire. Those other nations never bothered us because we were too stupid to be a threat, and we kept dealing the lovely cheap dirt out like a donkey following a carrot. What happened to those fruitful years of plenty? What happened to the seemingly endless economic prosperity that fuelled our first world society? Well, like most failed civilisations, Australians and the Australians who ran Australia were too particularly stupid. You probably have all the crazy ideas and common sense to see why we are screwed as a nation but I want to alert you only to the tipping point toward our decline.

The point at which this country made a turn for the worse was simply when Pizza-Hut restaurants started closing their doors. You probably remember them, because they were so fantastic. You went to a fast food pizza restaurant and got to actually sit down. You were treated to meals and treats galore. There were self-serve buffets with mini marshmallows and bacon-bits. It was the place were any old ruffian who had crawled in from the dirt mines of prosperity could eat like a king in a utopian palace of happiness and safety. I think it was no accident that they often had a colour scheme very faintly, vaguely reminiscent of an ancient Roman villa. We in Australia were at the peak of our civilisation. But sometime near the transition between my early childhood and wanting to leave earth for good the restaurants vanished. I realise now that it is the lack of these restaurants that make life no longer worth living.

Like the well fed fat-cats in ancient Rome I am now sitting in a blissful ignorance as the empire collapses around me. I feverishly consume the computers and cars and smart-phones that are testament to our wealth and yet are produced by other nations now growing because their people aren’t simply lucky for a living. The heyday is over, Australia is on the way out and these are the last days of our hedonistic existence. The dystopia is here already and we daren’t look it in the eye. This is why synth-pop bands exist here now that celebrates the opulence of the late 80s and early 90s. For all its social shortcomings it was a time when the country had more money than it could poke a stick at and all problems could just melt away in a sea of our expensively expensive plastic money.

So what does this dystopia look like? Not the cool radioactive wasteland of Mad Max, but much like the Australia of old, only without Pizza Hut restaurants. Sad really isn’t it. There is more detail of course. We actually have telescreenesque TVs which record our conversations and tell us what to think with increasingly shit news. Digital profiles and metadata mean that big brother is always watching you, only big brother wants to sell you toothpaste and lodge insurance claims against you for something you did online. Again, this is a lot sadder and less exciting than in the books. Where’s Room 101, and why doesn’t everyone have helicopters? Well that’s because reality is shit. Hedonism doesn’t mean people enjoy good things. It just means they enjoy a lot of whatever is around at the time. Which in light of dwindling cash means shitty stuff, nothing exciting.

Even shiny new submarines aren’t enough to make us lift a finger and give a shit about what happens to this place. So long as I can extract my super before Australia is occupied by people who don’t want to waste money and have another party. That’s the mentality now. The government will wheel and deal over where to build submarines because the country might need them but their heart wont be in it, because no one else’s is. Why build submarines, what are we defending anymore? Go hard or go home is a lost phrase because the country has lost its youthful vigour and gone limp. Better go home.

If there were anything here to instil a sense of prosperity and competence it would be abundant Pizza Hut restaurants, but they’re gone now. Case closed.

-W

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Why do Australians Love Soccer -Cough, Sorry- “Football” Now?

A couple of years ago when I was a wee little kindergartener, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I played under-fives soccer in Sydney. My uniform was orange, and since then I have thought of good old no-arms-rugby as just that – a preschool pre-sport. It was something that would make for a fun little kick-around before the head-pounding puberty that was rugby or ping pong. You know, real sports for real Aussies. And it was never talked about again unless you knew some kid who “played for state” and thus was a mythical beast from another time. Internationally, there was no internationally. Australia sucked at soccer because Australia didn’t play it. But things are different now.

Australia just won the Asian cup. That’s right, an Australian team actually beat teams fielded by other countries, several times in a row, at soccer! Suddenly, from out of nowhere, we are an international soccer country, which “loves soccer” and has “veteran players” revered among toddlers who adorably think that Australia has some kind of institution around soccer. How did this happen? And what does it mean for this fat and lonely island we call home?

Even though it sounds like a strange sub-Saharan ruminant, soccer, or ‘football’ as it is referred to by people whose minds have been warped by living in the wrong hemisphere, has somewhat of a decent following. It is in fact one of the most popular sports in the world and is played in probably every country except Atlantis, which has different rules and was obliterated by Brazilian warships for calling the sport “soccer” as if it were just a game and not an act better than sex with the god of sex. Its popularity has even been hinted at on Australia’s own racist spy TV station, SBS (spy bloody secretly), which keeps an eye on those shady foreigners. It calls soccer “the world game”. Unfortunately for SBS, the national broadcaster the ABC has jealously stolen SBS’s soccer coverage now that the game is of great national importance. Could its international popularity have anything to do with its increasing prevalence here? Surely not, but lets look into it anyway.

Australia, as a unified country, was founded after a bunch of whiteys took it with flags in the 1800’s. However, the only ones who did were from the “British isles” or thereabouts, because it is an island, like Britain, and thus Australia’s habitat was identical to that of British and they were able to settle down nicely. This led to sports in Australia being derived from very British sports such as rugby, cricket, Gaelic football, croquet and pub-fights. The rest of Europe played games like soccer and all competed amongst themselves and the countries they beat up around the globe. Now everyone smiles and plays soccer. Population demographics in Australia has only recently started changing as the racist powers-at-be have wanted to appear trendy and let in “multiculturals” who can clean the whitey’s clothes or something, they rationale racistly. As such, soccer players from other countries have become more prevalent in Australia.

But surely this can’t explain a sudden cultural shift. No, its time for the conspiracy theories. It’s all about the money. I know now, my Dad told me. The world game is all big bucks. As a burgeoning industry fuelled by violent, gambling punters, soccer is promoted big time by the cash cows and the media and the kids that sell peanuts at matches or whoever. Australia’s sport culture may just be corporate society’s little bitch.

However, there is still hope. The rise of soccer in Australia may be more Australian than evidence suggests. As a tiny population of people who reckon they’re hot shit, Australia is a country of sport in general. But not just any sport, sports we win at. We love sport, if we’re winning it. With a little success in soccer come the masses of southern-cross tattooed dumb-shits yelling ozyozyozyyyyyy! Because at the end of the day Australians love to spend all of our material wealth on a bunch of blokes kicking shit and each other in a field, better than other blokes do. Oath.

At least we didn’t inherit competitive bloody darts from Britain.

-W