Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Bells! The Bells!

A gentle breeze; the smell of mown grass; the sound of kids playing at a neighbouring barbecue; the low hum of a distant aeroplane drawing lines in a clear blue sky; and the merry chimes of the ice cream van. Sensory summer delights we can all treasure, eh?

Well, maybe not if you're a whinging Aussie (oh, the irony).
THEY are a summer staple but the humble soft-serve ice cream van has become a noisy nuisance for some. 
The Courier has received several letters from annoyed residents in both cities complaining about the “irritating” music played by the traditional mobile vendors as they trawl through suburban streets. 
According to one reader from Safety Bay, the offending tune was Greensleeves
You're starting to scare me now, Australia.

But then, perhaps we should cut them a bit of slack here, considering the environment your average topsy-turvy convict spawn is condemned to live with. The BBC revealed yet more this week (as discussed by Taking Liberties since my originally drafting this).
Sports grounds also offer a vantage point from which to view the country's surprisingly officious and authoritarian streak. At cricket matches, beach balls that transgress onto the playing area are confiscated and punctured. Fans who start Mexican waves face eviction. Those queuing up for beer have to remove their sunglasses to prove they are not half-cut. 
In the face of this authoritarianism, the supposedly anti-authoritarian Australians are a bunch of effete pussies unexpectedly meek and acquiescent. Consider compulsory voting. Recently, when the Queensland government mooted the idea of ending this almost century old tradition, there was something of an outcry. Mandatory voting has widespread support.
I think the psychological term is "institutionalised".

H/T Aussie jewel thief, CT, via e-mail


nisakiman said...

I think the psychological term is "institutionalised".

I think you're right DP. Institutionalised just about sums it up.

The rather scary thing is how fast it's happened. I lived there for most of the 70s, and it was a country of individuals. A place where you were expected to do your own thing. At least among the people I knew and worked with. It was a "go for it or you're a fuckin' poofter" approach to life.

What went so terribly wrong? And how did it happen so quickly? Was it down to a sudden rise of the urban metrosexual?

And they really are a nation of institutionalised fuckin' poofters now. I could weep. I thought Aus would naturally resist all this authoritarian control crap, and stick with the love of freedom and can-do individual meme. Instead, they've not only embraced the crap, they've become world leaders in it. They're even exporting the poison to those countries' politicians dumb enough to listen.

It's a bizarre turnaround for a country I knew and loved. What a shame.

JohnD said...

I'm all for ice cream vans playing music but the fucker round our way calls round at 6-15 to 6-30 every fucking day betwixt February 1st and November 31st come rain, hail, snow, fog, light, dark, thunderstorm or even sun.
My good lady wants to go and shoot the bastards loudspeaker and who knows one day...

John Pickworth said...

Sadly, the USA is going the same way.... although to be fair they always had a localised fondness for the rules and regulations that dictated what colour you painted your picket fence.

Frank J said...

You've only to look at the Aussie cricket team, its fortunes and members to see it.

Sledging today probably means not saying Good morning. What a bunch they've become.

Able said...

Sad isn't it?

There used to be the understanding that the Aussies were 'mid-Atlantic' in approaching life. They had the genial, laissez-faire (with added tolerance of queuing) of the British, with the anti-establishment view of the Americans. the best of both worlds.

Now? They have the blind, quiet subservience to authority of the British and the hide-bound (almost Germanic) enforcement of petty rules and regulations of the Americans.

So they seem to indicate where both sides are heading. It doesn't bode well! I wonder, as in both other countries whether away from the media selected urban elites the average Aussie actually do like this any more than we do.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I've had the same thought myself on occasion. One wonders how Shane Warne would fit in if he were to emerge these days.

Ivan D said...

Keep taking the pills. You will be OK...honest

P JH said...

At least they haven't resorted to childhood obesity as a reason for banning them. Unlike some less enlightened countries...