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Questions About Sydney...  
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1010 times:

I was wondering what life is like in Sydney. Can you buy a nice flat or apartment in a good area of town? Perhaps in a highrise? What's the nightlife like? Are people generally friendly? If I wanted to move therefrom the US, what would be the process?

UAL747

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 997 times:
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HEAD MODERATOR

Sydney is very cosmopolitan in my opinion. I've been coming here on holidays for a few years now.

There are lots of very nice apartments and houses available in the city and suburbs, with a price tag to go.... As far as I know housing in Sydney is quite expensive overall.

Love Sydney and it's people. The nightlife is fabulous and really booming on weekends. It seems as if the partying never stops! Go Sydney!

Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineSkysurfer From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 1137 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 987 times:

I spent 4 months in Sydney and loved every minute of it. The people are generally great, although i did find that when i went to the bars/pubs etc a lot of the guys were very agressive for no reason whatsoever, although i'm sure they are the minority. I stayed in Manley which is a short ferry ride from Sydney and it's a wonderful town. It's very relaxed and most people are just out for fun.

Cheers



In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
User currently offlineBananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1587 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 976 times:

Spent 3 months in Sydney... freakin awesome city.

I challenge you not to enjoy it.  Big grin

Great city. Generally, most people were very friendly and open, and the nightlife was brilliant. Plus the harbour and the beaches being so close by means that it really does have an "outdoor" feel to it.

I remember the property being pretty expensive too.


Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineTed747 From Australia, joined Jul 2003, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 970 times:

UAL747 - email me with any questions. Happy to answer anything you want to know about my home town.

ted_tracey_sheehan@hotmail.com

cheers
ted.


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4659 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 965 times:

You will love Sydney - all of the above is totally true.

The people are extremely friendly, and the climate is excellent (it rains rarely).

It is definitely a 24 hour party city - often people will go to dinner, then nightclubbing and then at 7am go day clubbing through to the mid-afternoon. There is always something to do.

You can get 2 bedroom apartments within 20 minutes of the city centre in nice new places for around $A380,000 to $A500,000 depending on the area. That is from 20 minutes out, and then moving in. That's buying of course.

Renting wise, you'll pay anything from $A200 per week if you were in a decent area by yourself, up to $A400 per week. Of course, if you share, it'll cost less.

The city has a brilliant range of restaurants and shopping as well.

Regarding migrating... I'm not entirely sure how you'd go about it. However, the Government has a web site about it that you may want to look at, the address of which can be found via Google.

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineQantasflyer From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 945 times:

Sydney is a great city extremely beautiful -truly gods city! Sydney is one of the world premier city destinations - infact constantly voted as the worlds most beautiful city. I t is a city of spectacular natural beauty and stunning architecture. It has a free spirited outdoor lifestyle revolving around the world famous Sydney harbour and its many beautiful beaches. A very clean city and have i mentoned how absolutely stunning the skyline looks! I wouldnt live anywhere else in the world!

Regards



Qantasflyer That's the spirit. The Spirit of Australia!
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 937 times:

Skysurfer -

You'd think after living there for 4 months you'd know the correct spelling of "Manly".

Ual747 -

If there is one thing that Sydney certainly does not lack, it is high-rise inner-city apartments. But they rarely come very cheap. I think $400,000+ is the average price. And if you want to see ocean or a bit of the opera house/harbour bridge then double that price at the very minimum.

Only downside to living in Sydney is that it's John Howard's hometown.

QFF


User currently offlineBartiniMan From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 925 times:

One thing they forgot to metion about Sydney is that it has a pathetic public transport system, and expensive too.

Qantasflyer, I dont know what is so stunning about the architecture. Pretty plain and has no history to it. Hardly anything to compare to Europe's old and truly "stunning" architecture.
Sydney, in terms of old architecture, is outdone by every city in Europe and probably US. And in temrs of new architecture, Asia is way ahead.

I'll agree with ya that it has stunning beaches, and the city looks really nice at night. The harbour is also very stunnin, especially when seen from the AMP Tower observation deck. Overall it is a beautifull city.

BartiniMan

P.S. I'm a Melburnian myself.



User currently offlineQantasflyer From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 907 times:

BartiniMan, Im not too familiar myself with the architectural aspects in sydney but hear my cousin constantly refer to Sydneys architecture as being stunning, and she is an architect so just thought i would throw that in  Smile But there is history to Sydney and in many places we pass everyday there is historcal significance, i agree not as rich as European but to say that there is no history whatsoever is just out of proportion.
While being expensive it is definetely not as expensive as many European city's.

But one thing stands Sydney is absolutely beatiful and breathtaking and constantly rates at the top of surveys, it is absolutely beautiful if not the most!

I just really love Sydney


Regards



Qantasflyer That's the spirit. The Spirit of Australia!
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 898 times:

Sydney is a fabulous city - I spent one of the happiest 18 months of my life living out at Bondi, while I was working at QF. Sydney is magic, tons to do, great restaurants and pubs, nightlife - plus sailing on the harbour, some of the nicest beaches in the world, and all the rest of Australia a couple of hours away by plane. I would recommend it to anyone.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 879 times:

It depends what you want out of life. It is the city of my birth and I could have done a lot worse, but I couldn't live there. Everyone always raves about the place, but if you listen to what they actually like about it, it's beaches and clubbing (day clubbing even!) and nice weather. If you actually want to engage your brain, Sydney will turn you into a coma patient inside a week. There is no range of opinion in the press (not a single broadsheet on Sundays at all!), just Murdoch or Conrad Black owned right wing nonsense. People have every right to read it if that's their bag, but in the UK, Europe and even the US, that slant is tempered by [in the UK] the Guardian, Independent et al, so there is a dialouge, newspaper editorials answering each other, it all adds up to a civilised and informed atmosphere of debate. In Australia, no-one knows anything. Aussies may say that's an old fashioned cliche but work takes me there at least twice a year and no trip is complete without a news anchorperson mispronouncing a foreign capital ("Bew-nos Air-rees!"). Another factor is it's geographical isolation - the nearest foreign cities of significance to SYD and MEL are places like Singapore (seven hours on a jet) or Tokyo (ten), LA (fifteen), Europe (twenty). It is entirely plausible that Australia could get talked into going to war against Iraq (despite being twice the population of Oz, and, you know, eight thousand miles away). The majority of the people are the most racist and ignorant in the developed world (albeit you'd be unlucky to meet any of them, the people you'll meet on a short trip are the sophisticated minority).

Basically there is no culture there at all (and the architecture, as has been said above, is a pale imitation of what you'll find in Charlotte NC). Clubbing, beaches, bad reality TV shows. Paradise to some, and a truly great holiday destination (some of the best food in the world, great restaurants, awesome seafood). But if you stay for long, you'll go brain dead. It's the plushest jail cell on the planet. You live and die there and never have an interesting thought. How could you, in a vacuum? If I could sum it up in a word? Pointless.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4659 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 853 times:

Well, I think Cedarjet has decided it for you.

Great place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there.  Smile

Sort of how I feel about Melbourne.

 Smile

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 831 times:

Well Cedarjet, I think you've made it quite clear that you are a bastard of epic proportions.

Usually I would take a user point by point - highlighting the absurdity of their arguments and their factual inaccuracies - shower them with opportunities to quietly change the direction of their argument - but no. Screw that. You are a bastard. You're disrespect - your lack of appreciation for the city that spawned you is simply staggering.

Never have I ever seen such a disgustingly offensive rant - riddled with hypocrisy, laced with discrimination and rife with misinformation!

You are a sad, wretched person indeed. I'm horrified and monumentally offended as a person who proudly associates themselves with the city that was my home for over 20 years.


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 822 times:

Qantas Forever, I am not generally considered a bastard of epic proportions, but I can see why my post made you think so. Briefly, there is of course a lot to like - the climate, staggering natural beauty, food, tolerance of alternate sexual tastes. But please, and I mean this in all sincerity, try and change my opinion on the rest of it. If there are points I've raised that you think are unfair, tell me why they're unfair.

I've just reread my post and I stand by every word. I didn't even exaggerate to wind anyone up (as is my wont, on occasion). The Aussie press is appalling - the SMH is the best of a bad lot, but to rest my case I cite their 9/11 front page* - and I'm definitely right about the racism. Not among the intellectuals with harbour views (they can't bring themselves to discuss race at all which is nearly as damaging, giving rise to Pauline Hanson - and they sent her to jail for speaking her mind), but the vast majority and the PM (the horrible lies he told - knowingly - about refugees throwing their kids overboard). And it is a disgrace that such a little and distant country should attack Iraq and participate in the unjustifiable slaughter of 100,000 innocent people, not a single one of whom ever did anything to Aus (except import the majority of Australian wheat!). And the culture? Look at pop music. Where Aus is a melting pot of immigrants, that exotic mix is utterly absent in the music, which is a nasty third rate imitation of whatever was happening in London and NYC two years previously. INXS, the biggest musical export and only truly successful one (Crowded House were Kiwis), were a shitty Duran Duran copy with a lead singer that would struggle to get a gig with a Doors tribute band (although he would have loved it). All Aussie bands have singers that sing in American accents. How embarrassing! There was a band called Single Gun Theory who did emulate urban Australia's ethnic make-up, with Arabic chanting, dance beats, eastern European scales, various Asian things going on and some great songs. But they seem to have been the exception that proves the rule, and never made the slightest impact abroad (sad to say). (The Aussie film industry is considerably more impressive, with great work like Lantana and of course the mighty Baz Luhrmann and Peter Weir - but even Mel Gibson speaks with an American accent off camera as well as on, so clearly there is some ground to be covered yet before the great Cultural Cringe to the US and Europe falls away, as it should have done sometime around 1920.)

Our personal associations with Sydney do not make the population of Bankstown (or Parliment House) less racist, the press better informed or the culture more vibrant. Come on, I've tried to put some flesh on the argument here, could you have a go at a rebuttal?

* - yeah yeah, some of the 9/11 coverage may be OK, but I giggle in embarrassment every time I think of the part of their front page where it says, "Passengers knew something was wrong as the jet(s?) turned away from their course and headed towards New York." Of course we'll never know what happened on those planes, but I think a dead giveaway that something was wrong was the crazed Saudis running up and down the aisles stabbing flight attendents and shouting Koranic quotations. (I have some other Aussie press delights that I can quote verbatim that would shame the editorial of the P'yong Yang Gazette for being so willfully misleading and ill-informed.)



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 805 times:

Come on, I've tried to put some flesh on the argument here, could you have a go at a rebuttal?

Flesh? Is that what you call it. While it seems more akin to an orgasmic tirade I will nonetheless rebut.

What I will make clear is that I will not associate any arguments with the United Kingdom - drawing comparisons etc. It would be extremely easy to show you to be a complete hypocrite for being content to live in London yet completely disparage Sydney. It would be a very easy thing to do and I'm not buying into it. I wouldn't want to offend so.

You said: It's the plushest jail cell on the planet. You live and die there and never have an interesting thought. How could you, in a vacuum? If I could sum it up in a word? Pointless.

And you justify this belief by talking about the lack of a diverse press, an inability to pronounce words, geographical distance, a lack of interesting architecture, a lack of culture, lack of original music, and a tendency for Australians abroad to adopt a new accent.

I think you have failed to take into account the fact that we are talking about Sydney here - and Australia's participation in the Iraq war really doesn't make Sydney any better or worse just as the US participation didn't really change New York all that much. You even talk about Iraq having twice the size of Australia's population - when infact, Iraq is of similar size to Australia with 25m to Australia's 20m. The facts become more awry still...

Your comments are rife with sweeping statements with regards to the press, here are two:

"There is no range of opinion in the press"
"In Australia, no-one knows anything."

Now you expect me to have form an intellectual argument when you are spouting comments such as these? You must be joking.

Anyway - There is a broad range of opinion in the Australian media. The ABC and SBS - two independent news sources are highly popular in Australia. And while newspapers may be the bastion of the Murdochs and the Blacks, Australia having one of the highest internet access rates in the world means that Australians are open to a broad range of opinion on a minute-to-minute basis. To simply base your entire opinion on not only the city of Sydney but on the whole nation of Australia on a few hours of watching commercial television is utterly ridiculous. Australians have just as much access to international news and left-wing media as any other person in the western world.

In Australia no one knows anything? You obviously haven't been speaking to many Australians. Since when has this been a cliche' anyway? As far as I'm concerned it is a factually inaccurate load of crap.
Most countries have a distinctive accent. They will pronounce words differently. In Australia - it is different still because there is a broad range of accents due to the country's huge geographical size. So if some people want to pronounce Buenos Aires differently to other Australians, it should have no impact on the "livability" of the city of Sydney.

You talk about geographical isolation being a factor in why Sydney is crap. Australia is in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region and I believe is quite content with that. With the advent of better communications technology this is no longer an issue for business or news or cultural exchange as the modern transfer of information is instantaneous these days.

You go on to suggest that at least 10million Australians (plus) are ignorant and racist. Oh wait...

Your comments are rife with sweeping statements with regards to Australia, here is one:
"The majority of the people are the most racist and ignorant in the developed world"

Facts and figures and historical events cannot accurately describe just how wrong you are. I can of course, point out the fact that One Nation gets crushed at every election (PH actually went to gaol for election irregularities, not for speaking her mind - we do actually have an independent judiciary you know), or that the diversity that I have witnessed first hand in rural and regional Australia is a testament to the broad minded and accepting nature of people in country Australia - but it is something you will have to discover for yourself. Australia is a very culturally diverse nation with strong anti-discrimination infrastructure in place. Racism is not acceptable there. And while every society (yes, even yours) has its racists, they either shape up or ship out should they ever want to do more than write inane letters to regional newspapers.

You talk about a lack of culture - again, this is plainly wrong. It is unfortunate but Australia's cultural exploits rarely make headlines outside Australia. There are world class symphonies dotted across the country - ballets, operas, museums (of which sydney has tens) - and as for architecture - well.... have you never heard of the Sydney Opera House?

I urge you to look at this website: http://www.sydneyarchitecture.org

You sail over listing any achievements in the arts by talking about pop music. Well, although Australia has indeed had its successes there, Australian culture is alive and well. There are indigenous influences, european influences, american influences - and pretty well influences from every single country in the world in one way or another. Australia is a hybrid nation, typically adopting best practice for one country in one field and another from another country. It's made Australia the success it is. What other 100 year old country of 20m people can claim to have achieved as much as Australia has with regards to culture? Theatre, Art, Literature, intellectual offerings, museums... Why do I get the impression that when you stepped off your plane at Sydney airport you still had your eye-mask and ear plugs on - and continued to wear them for the duration of your journey? Because if you do visit Australia as often as you say, I am at a loss to explain why you have such a foul view of the place!

You said: Everyone always raves about the place, but if you listen to what they actually like about it, it's beaches and clubbing (day clubbing even!) and nice weather.

Well, what people? Tourists? Of course they are going to talk about those things - because that is what they wanted to do. If you talk to someone who wants to explore art galleries and museums and see a show and experience history then they would be equally satisfied with a trip to Australia. If you are looking for business opportunities you would be satisfied with Australia. If you want to lie on a beach all day long then - yes, you would be satisfied with Australia. Australia is a great many things to a great many people - and it is not defined by the needs and wants of european leisure tourists. I would kindly ask you to remember that.

In your next post you said:
"All Aussie bands have singers that sing in American accents" - whoops sorry, that should have gone under one of the "sweeping statement" categories.
I'm aware of Single Gun Theory's work - and I must stress that the music scene in Australia is a very diverse one. Music from specific cultures is highly popular in Australia. What you must realize is that 12 year old girls usually like bubble gum pop no matter what country they live in (yes, even yours). So to claim Australia has no culture because the pop music scene is severely lacking (I do agree there) is utterly ridiculous. It is the nature of the beast of pop music to be inane nothingness - don't judge the country based on that!
Walk into any good Australian music retailer and you will find many many many bands with ethnic sounds - that are increasingly popular in clubs.

You talk about Mel Gibson having an American accent and point out that it is because Australians are embarrassed by the way they speak - the "cultural cringe". Well, Mel Gibson was raised in America. His parents were American. He lives in America. What on earth do you expect?
Nicole Kidman (yes born in Hawaii, I know), Russel Crowe (yes born in NZ, I know) or Naomi Watts (yes born in the UK, I know) have all retained their Australian accents - no cultural cringe there.

I'm glad you raised the cultural cringe - because you have surrendered to the fact that Australia does indeed have a culture. And a culture that I and 20 million others are fiercely proud of. This cultural cringe is dead. Australians couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks anymore. We know what we are and it is a great source of pride. I can only hope that in the fullness of time you can come to see the real Australia and leave your pre-conceived notions behind.


QFF


User currently offlineQantasflyer From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 796 times:

QFF very well put - it is such a beautiful thing to see a man feel so strongly about his country, almost brings a tear to my eye.

"Australia does indeed have a culture. And a culture that I and 20 million others are fiercely proud of. This cultural cringe is dead. Australians couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks anymore. We know what we are and it is a great source of pride. "

Could not agree more, we have a culture which we all as Australians can be proud of. Thankyou for being such a loyal and patriotic fellow Australian.

QFF welcome to my respected users list!




Qantasflyer That's the spirit. The Spirit of Australia!
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 772 times:

Thanks for a long and interesting response. I should say that I was feeling a tad grumpy when I posted those two trashings of my birthplace, and while I do believe in what I said, you are right that it is ungracious to say all this stuff, and of course there is much to like about Sydney. There are far worse places to live and the plus points - climate, natural beauty, food, laid-back attitude - are hard to beat. After my twin outbursts above, it may not make any sense (even to me) but I do feel loyalty to the place; I was on tour (in the UK) with a band when the Bali bomb happened and there was a big fuck off Aussie flag (mine) on stage behind the keyboard rig every night for the whole week (from the night of the bomb til the memorial service the following Sunday) and the gesture was heartfelt.

So, just cutting and pasting some random stuff from your reply:

The ABC and SBS: absolutely. They would be the pride of broadcast media in any country. I don't think there is anywhere else that has a national terrestrial TV network that is almost exclusively foreign-language. You got me there. On the other hand: "Australians have just as much access to international news and left-wing media as any other person in the western world." Not in print, matey. Look at The Australian, surely the most vile mainstream publication in the English language. Fine if it was a fringe title but it's the only national broadsheet. I may come back to The Australian, some of their headlines (I hinted at this before) make me break out in a rash.

"So if some people want to pronounce Buenos Aires differently to other Australians, it should have no impact on the 'livability' of the city of Sydney." Yeah sure, but I'm talking about TV newspeople, commentators, they should know better. It does have an impact on the livability of the city if you roll your eyes in horror at the lack of intelligence on the TV news every night (Americans who get Fox News will know what I mean) - the TV should know better than you, you watch it to be informed, not to fight the urge to throw your shoes at the screen.

"12 year old girls usually like bubble gum pop no matter what country they live in (yes, even yours)." Too right mate, and this is true especially of the UK - everywhere else, it's called Australian Idol, American Idol etc. In the UK it's just Pop Idol, the Ph7, the GROUND ZERO of truly awful music.

OK, enough cutting and pasting. Briefly on The Australian (paper) before I have a random ramble. This kind of sums up why the Aussie media is so bad, and so representative of a greater malaise (lack of debate, information). In August 03, when I was there, there was a Palestinian attack of some sort in Israel, the usual affair, the Israeli dead numbered somewhere between 3 and 15 (probably all civilians) including the Palestinian bomber. A few days later, Israel sent tanks and god knows what else into a Palestinian village and blew up houses, killed about 30 people, all civilians - the usual disproportionate response. The headline (top of front page) covering the Israeli reprisal was, "Wounded Israel takes its revenge." That headline was a really despicable example of partisan journalism (as was the article) for reasons that should be obvious, regardless of any personal feelings about the conflict. The Australian is, as mentioned earlier, the country's only broadsheet and portrays itself as (a) upmarket and (b) a kind of "all things to all men" vibe a la USAToday. There is a responsibility to remain neutral on issues, and to inform, not wear an extreme political philosophy on it's sleeve and (in this case) sanction Israeli tank attacks on refugee camps. The likes of the Telegraph and The Mail in the UK are right wing papers and may hold pro America, pro Israel views every bit as strongly as The Australian but they couldn't ever get away with a headline like that in a billion years. It wasn't the sentiment, I need look no further than non-av right here on a.net for that, for a respectable newspaper to be so blatant about it! It reflected worse on the readership than the paper itself, that they would willingly swallow such a bias without comment made me wonder what the readership don't know about the rest of the world. If there was a left wing (and I'm not talking about the Socialist Worker, I mean the Guardian) equivalent, the reportage would be a huge amount more honest. (Damn, finally given the chance to let rip on The Australian and I'm struggling. Let's move on.)

What winds me up about Australia is two things: the first is that there is no nation on the planet that will so cheerfully surrender it's national interest. This is the IRAQ bit of the debate (but goes back to Vietnam and even WW1) - of all the countries to participate in the attack, Australia? Speaking of headlines, last Christmas there was a full page headline (I mean, the whole page was just the following words): AUSTRALIAN WAY OF LIFE CHANGED (or was it GONE) FOREVER. Further reading showed that a poll had come up with the result that the majority of people asked were of the opinion that the threat of terrorism (as a result of the attack on Iraq) meant the old days were gone. And this is true - I never thought I'd live to see rubbish bins removed from Wynyard station because of terrorism. London in the 80s, with N Ireland on the doorstep, perhaps. But Wynyard Station? Whaaaat? Just for the chance to participate in the mass killing of 100,000 (and counting) innocent people thousands of miles away?

The other is that the Cultural Cringe is indeed alive and thriving - the whole society is a copy of America (and some elements of Europe), and the country seems to measure itself by the comparison to others, to the point that certain social ills that have no local motivation seem to be springing up - well, they have gangs in LA, right? I know this will sound truly psychotic but now that Johnny has chucked Australia's national interest to the wind in the name of America The Beautiful, with the terror warnings etc, I almost sense in some Aussies a degree of pride, that Australia is finally important enough to be on terrorists' radar. Hmm, it looks even worse in print than I thought it would. I can't put into words, but the whole place feels like a copy of something that is happening elsewhere for real. That The Matrix was filmed in Sydney is a truly delicious irony.

I think that may be the core of the problem for me - Australia is a lovely place where nothing bad happens, and nothing original ever happens ever (music etc), people are born, get a good education, the jobs they want, they marry, reproduce, retire, die. The lack of challenge or struggle makes it all so damn boring. How can you learn ANYTHING about the human condition if you never have to face a challenge beyond, "I want that car / girl / house / promotion?" But why should that be bad? Isn't that what we've all been striving for everywhere else for the last few millenia? Indeed it is. I'm not one of those idiots who thinks war / the ghetto / suffering is romantic, but I'm beginning to think people are at their best when confronted with hardship of some sort, I know from my own life that the best lessons and the real character-building has all sprung from the most horrific times, I don't think I've ever learned anything important when I've been happy. I think that's it: I have seen the future in suburban Australia and it's a really long life of mindless friction-free consumption of corporate shit (food, TV, financial services) that teaches us nothing about life and humanity. Like I said at the end of the first post: it's so fucking pointless. My problem isn't Sydney, it's that human suffering is bad, and the result of removing almost all of it is even worse.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 765 times:

This has got to be one of the most satisfying conversations I have had on A.net in the almost four years I have been a member. So thank you, Cedarjet.

Everyone has bad days and so I fully retract my comments a' la: "bastard of epic proportions" etc.

I simply cannot defend the ridiculous nature of the right-wing press in Australia. The Packers, Murdochs and other billionaires are very much in control. All I can say is that I find them as ridiculous and frustrating as you do - but Australians can access left-wing media if they want. And just because there are no major left-wing newspapers does not make Australians ill-informed. Most Australians have cable TV now so get their news from a broad area. And just to let you know - I've never had any complaints about my pronunciation of "Buenos Aires"  Big grin .

Having just returned from another trip to Australia - I have to say that I find Australians (or Sydneysiders in particular) less willing to compare themselves to anything else. Melbourne is very European, Sydney is very American - and the rest of the country is a mix of that or something else. Australians have really come to see that in the last few years - and while I know that the image in the UK of Australia is rarely a positive one, it seems to me that New Zealand is the one who is constantly comparing itself - I truly believe it is not common for Australians to do so anymore. A good example is how journalists have stopped asking visiting celebrities what they think of Australia. The common opinion is - Australians know they have it good and don't feel the need to prove it anymore.

Sure, there are things I would definitely change about Australia - among those being a move to a republic and a change of flag, but still - I love Australia and will defend it when it deserves defending. No cultural cringe here - so long as people actually accept to broad nature of Australia and Australians and don't presume that the nation is a living stereotype.

I was against the Iraq war. What you must understand is that it was undertaken by a government with only 55% support in the general electorate. So there is a good 40%+ of Australians who were and probably are still against the Iraq war. You remember the slogan in the UK - "Not in my name"? - Well give me a fair go here - you talk about Australia's decision to join the war as a roundtable vote of 20million people. It was not a unanimous decision. Don't blame the whole country for the war-hungry nature of the Howard government.

As you pointed out, Australia was badly hit by the Bali bombings - there have been arrests of suspected terrorists in Melbourne and Sydney, there are two Australians in guantanamo bay, Australia is in what can be an unstable region - I don't think security precautions such as removing rubbish bins in Wynyard is based at all on ego.
Again, while it seems to me to be a national pastime in the UK to belittle Australia, Australia is still a wealthy, powerful, western nation. A lot happens there that doesn't make the cover of the Daily Telegraph - but that doesn't make what happens there unimportant.

You talk about nothing ever happening in Australia - that simply is not true. Yes, Australians typically have very wonderful and fulfilled lives, but that does not mean that we do not suffer. When you compare Australia to the UK - what real difference in the standard of living is there apart from a few extra days of sunshine? London isn't downtown Belgrade and the UK is hardly hell on earth.

I don't understand how you can find the standard of living in Australia so frustratingly stable when it is just as stable and constant as in the UK?

QFF


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 755 times:

Definitely a great discussion, this is the best time I've had on here for years. I need to go to sleep so I'll chuck a few final thoughts on tomorrow. For now though: I don't think the bins have been removed from Wynyard because of ego either, foreign policy has made the security threat at least partly a real one. I just think that some Aussies feel a certain pride because of it - it's another weird Matrix-like facsimile of life in the real world.

And I'm with you on the Republic issue 100% - can't believe we've had this huge debate about the Cultural Cringe and neither of us has mentioned that the head of state is some doddery old foreign bird who lives on the opposite side of the world, and pays a (largely ignored and deservedly so) visit once every fifteen years.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 736 times:

Hey guys, thanks for such an interesting discussion. I'm visiting Australia for the first time in a couple of months and this has been very educational. Thanks to both of you for your views.


But that was when I ruled the world
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