When I look at a map of Australia I find it hard not to see it as a fat man taking a dump. Tasmania is the turd, main land Australia is Elvis.
Allow me to explain myself. Let’s start with Elvis; The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll killed himself through excess. Having a Grapefruit diet consisting of anywhere from 10 to 100 Grapefruits a day, and when this got boring, so the rumours go, he injected the Grapefruits with liquid cocaine. These Grapefruits were but one of the many mad diets he went on. He went and sought professional help, he was told to cut back and try specialised diets only to then completely overindulge. Before he died, when he was performing in Vegas like a broken record, he would wear a corset to hold in the size of his bloated stomach. He hated the fact that The Rolling Stones and The Beatles had in many ways dethroned him. When The Beatles, who were apparently huge fans, went and paid him a visit, as the story goes, he was cold and unwelcoming. Where’s the sense in that? Any of it for that matter? Don’t get me wrong, I like Elvis, in fact I admire him in many ways, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that he became an egotistical asshole on a grande scale. He had it all and wasted it away on an unquestioning conformity to his money hungry overlord manager colonel Parker. As for the faeces that came out of him, well that was obviously hideous due to what he was putting in his body, and how he was treating himself in general. My guess is he had about as much disdain for what came from his ass as he seemed to for everything else.
If you haven’t cottoned on as to how this scenario is at all like contemporary Australia, allow me to elaborate. Australia is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. I don’t mean this just in a monetary sense. We have astounding pristine beaches, amazingly lush rainforests, flora and fauna unlike anywhere on the planet, vast alluring expanses of desert spotted with oasis’ of which are incomparable to anywhere on earth. Yet what are doing with it? We’re injecting it with liquid cocaine. Removing the mountains for their coal, destroying our wilderness to export our uranium to foreign powers (funnily enough one of the major recipients of our uranium is Russia, who is directly helping Iran build their much beleaguered nuclear power plant outside Bushehr, a power plant and a technology that many in Australia seem to feel that Iran shouldn’t have, so much so that we’re willing to go to war over it!). But I digress (it is rather funny though you have to admit), and all of this is done to help our economy. Which is in many ways a fabrication, an invention of our own making, a little like Elvis’ ego, and just as The King’s ego did him in so too shall our worship of money and what I can only describe as our wilful ignorance do us in.
So why is Tasmania the shit? Well, that’s exactly how Mainland Elvis treats it. It’s ‘down there’, often ignored and overlooked, and if it is remembered it would seem it is only done so to abuse it; Damming it’s rivers, and cutting down it’s ancient forests. It’s as if Elvis has eaten some diamonds during one of his many mad binges and when he recovers from his hangover he goes rifling through his entrails. So then who are The Stones and The Beatles in this scenario? I like to think it’s the asylum seekers. Just as Elvis helped give birth to these two great bands, so too has Australia helped give birth to the asylum seekers through our eager involvement in Americas senseless wars. Just as John Lennon and Mick Jagger looked up to Elvis, so too do members of the Global South, the Third World, the Majority World look to us. We are as Elvis in his meeting with the Beatles; we are cold, harsh and quick to judge, not realising, or ignoring what’s going on in the world outside of our Australian Graceland. A world we play a large roll in.
It’s time for us to stop acting like a fat Vegas Elvis. In fact it’s time we stopped acting like Elvis altogether. We’re better than that. There’s a great big world outside of Graceland that needs our intelligence, our ‘battler’ spirit, and give these people what I was told as a boy was something truly Australian; a fair go. It’s time to tell our version of colonel Parker (Abbott, Murdoch, Rinehart and any other elitist individual or institution for that matter) to fuck off. Tell him he’s pulling us all down, making us look bad and driving us to a Grapefruit diet that’ll leave us with our pants around our ankles dead on a toilet seat.