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.