Monday, November 12, 2007


Just as few people apart from me—born beyond Waterview, South Grafton—can know that a chook is a chicken, or that a poop is a smelly human shit in all its round brown glory (akin to Dorothea McKellar's My Country), I don't expect many readers to understand that a lolly is a piece of candy. So what the hell! I've never imagined for an instant that colloquial Aussie English of the kind I encountered during my childhood contained any elements that might have justified its preservation. It was empty parlance, detached from its origins. Even within the microcosm composed of my English-Protestant-oriented father and my Irish-Catholic-oriented mother, there was a nasty daily opposition concerning the way in which one might pronounce such a fundamental word as "bread". Dad said bred, in a curt clear-cut monosyllabic fashion, whereas Mum liked to drag out this word as brea-eud... as if the extra effort in the pronunciation represented a final essential stage in the baking. Can you imagine it? Parents who disagree upon how to pronounce the word bread? How could they possibly agree upon anything else in the universe? They didn't...

Today, like an ugly old man trying to entice little girls, John Howard is offering lollies to potential voters. It's perfectly normal. Some 8.5 billion dollars worth of candy. The style of Aussie politics disgusts me. Dirty old men flashing their overcoats on the edge of the school playground. Exhibiting their lollies.

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