The Null Device

View from the Fiftysomethingth State

A survey has revealed that, while Australians overwhelmingly support globalisation, they see US foreign policy as a potentian external threat on a par with Islamic fundamentalism. 58% of Australians have positive feelings towards the U.S., though only one in five would support Australia going to war with China to defend Taiwan if the U.S. did so.

As far as the Americanisation of Australia goes, when do we get nifty things like a bill of rights? We can quite happily leave behind the oversized Hummer SUVs, conservative Christian political powerbase (even though Howard would really like one of those), culture of flag-waving triumphalism (and the boxing-kangaroo flag at cricket matches doesn't really count) and Clear Channel-style homogeneisation of mass culture (though, it could be argued, that Australia has its local version of the last). For that matter, a legal notion of Fair Use to go with the draconian copyright laws we just got from the U.S. would be good, though, of course, there's no multinational profit in harmonising that particular part of intellectual-property law. Still, at least Australians still get 20 days of paid leave a year (as opposed to the 5-10 the average American working stiff gets), and aren't exposed to as many environmental toxins (for which America can probably thank Reagan's pro-corporate rolling back of pollution regulations), so there are a few small mercies to be thankful for. I wonder how long they'll last.

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