Nationalism on the loose… again

22 January, 2007

Firstly, sorry for quiet over past weeks. I intend to get this blog going at full pace again in about two or three weeks, but have had a lot of offline stuff to sort out prior to reenrolling at university for the first time in a while. Career changes are interesting, but a lot of paperwork.

Anyway, to the latest nationalist bait of the week. Apparently the Big Day Out, realising that some rather nasty groups use the flag for purposes other than that which it was intended (usually as an excuse to carry out entirely anti-Australian activities like maiming non-“white” Australians, burning down their places of worship, and other such wholesome activities), have banned the flag. All of a sudden the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, NSW Premier, even the *Nationals* leader, have come out railing against the BDO, even calling for its banning. It’s starting to sound like the Camilla cheer squad from Big Brother last year all over again.

So I sat down and thought, after having attended 4 Big Day Outs and numerous other festival events (and never once having seen a flag there) – why would anyone *want* to bring a flag to a music festival?

1. I’m not entirely sure that a modern flag would fit on the Big Day Out rollercoaster rides
2. Flags aren’t cheap. It’s like wearing your best shirt to the weekend rugby scrum.
3. My experiences of being squashed and pushed into odd contortive poses in the front rows in past BDOs suggest that it’s not even a terribly practical way of showing one’s appreciation for the mostly overseas bands on offer.
4. Many of said bands would probably be quite curious as to why on earth people are waving New Zealand’s national flag at them, dismissing it as some odd local custom.

Gawd, you’d think from the intense reaction in the media to this that people weren’t allowed to bring beer in. Or water bottles. Or “offensive” t-shirts. Or food items. Or projectiles. Or deodorant cans. Or drugs. Or … wait, they’re all already proscribed. Funny, that. No beer! How Australian is that?