Any serious historian or a sociologist in the broad Australian Studies areas must be puzzled at the messaging of the recent Australian Lamb promotional video, and the, alas, popular response on social media.
We have been here before, so many times.
Clever? or humorous propaganda, à la Morrison’s Where the Bloody Hell Are You? as we can fail to see the nationalistic-centralism and care not if we do? Just laugh it off as Morrison does, refugees, Aboriginal communities in isolation, and ‘policies’ whatever that is. Yes, let’s have a laugh. Oh, yes, the French arriving in subs, I wonder what that is about? And, of course, we would think to stay a little longer in bubble-thinking country rather than explore a world on its own terms. Think about it. There should be an emoji for shaking one’s head in disbelief, at ‘lambs’ for the slaughter.
Morrison’s hypo-conservative (the ‘neo-con’) imprint is all over the video, with close viewing of the video, segment by segment. “Oh yea, I forgot about China”, from Professor I. James at the Faculty of International Studies, is a clear hit back at Australian internationalist scholars who have demonstrated the intellectual poverty in current government policies. I am sure Peter Dutton’s thinking had a hand in that image-building as well. The book in the hands of the kindly professor appears as if it is a travel guide to Byron Bay. A reference to the urban beach latte culture, perhaps?
Then there is the mumbled remark of learning the names of the State Premiers during an extended period of national isolation. An obvious political joke, but for whose benefit is unclear.
One can say fairly that the advert is political satire on the hypo-conservativism and the larrikin politics that supports it, but the key message is the fear of “the rest of the world forgets about us.” The message has to be that we are still here, as if the need for national-love from ‘those foreigners’ is a serious crisis, and ignore the global pandemic and government in crisis. Yet the terms of telling the world that we are here are not the many terms of “the world.” It is the stereotyping of the Australian: BBQ, smoke signals (ambiguous to say the least), and at the end of the line is cooked lamb.
We have to get all Australia onboard, “or at least 80% of them.” Note ‘them’, and not ‘us.’ Is the 80% a Covid vax reference or a marketing target for the electorate? And who do the PR people turn to as the national messenger, a Clive Palmer figure?
Perhaps this is why Western Australia is not required in the view of the map during the Russian (?) newsreader’s bulletin, although the messaging at 2:04 minutes is as confusing as Where the Bloody Hell Are You?
Biden’s reference to “the fellow down-under” is no longer an insult at the Prime Minister but make him the re-electable PR larrikin, as confirmed by reaction of the Australian beer-gut, conspiracy-thinking (‘Trust No One’ top), Australian, saying how he told his mum Australia was real.
The world comes to us and not the reverse, and it is our expectation that ‘they’ come to our ‘revaluation’ according our ‘will’ without the critical parts of Nietzsche we un-educatively ignore; and Australians do not have to pick our own fruit anymore. A celebrative, hurray! In 2022 very little would sounds more colonial than that. The video is so obviously not an export advert (God help us if that was the intention!). It is a domestic promotional video on the backward thinking in hypo-conservatism. How much is it meant to be read satirically? I have my doubts, but the sub-title, says it all, “The Lost Country of the Pacific.”
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