So, it was Australia Day yesterday. I’m always a bit uncomfortable with it, between what is often the creepy showing of patriotism and, more importantly, the historical significance. 26 January marks the anniversary of the coming of the First Fleet to Australia and the British claim over eastern Australia. Obviously, it’s not a cause of celebration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I’m developing my thoughts about Australian politics, nationalism and history, so this post is pretty light. I just wanted to have that acknowledgement.

I went to see Australia with the family. I’d been… not wanting to see it. It sounded cheesy and just bad. It wasn’t bad. (It was loooooong.) It was rather good, in fact. Well, better than I would have expected. I was waiting for the racism spectacular, but Baz Luhrmann and co made a real effort. I mean, it wasn’t perfect or anything, but overall, it wasn’t too bad. Anyway, there are reviews more specific than mine. Here’s a range of reviews and here’s what they had to say at Racialicious. Also at Racialicious, a tourism ad tied in with the movie. It incorporates all kinds of ‘what?! no!!’ and was a good part of the reason I didn’t want to see the film all that much.

Also, it was Chinese New Year. Might I wish you a very happy one. New Zealand Post has launched these lovely stamps in honour of the Year of the Ox:

NZ Post Year of The Ox stamps

I’m glad they have a translation right in there. It gives one that warm feeling of look-they’re-not-just-paying-lip-service-to-the-idea-of-engagement. Ooh, someone oughta make up a word describing that situation. I think that would be of great use.