How to Celebrate Australia Day Without Being a Foolish Idiot

Australia Day has gotten a bad wrap in recent years, and perhaps rightly so. Here are some tips on how not be an idiot on Australia Day.

Australia Day,,, crowd ink
Australia Day (Image Source: St Marks)

In more recent times Australia Day has taken on a rather negative connotation. Australian patriotism, not helped by that time a bunch of young alcoholics got together in Sydney and started beating everyone up, has become something somewhat sinister. People now think it’s a day of racists and drunks to don their Australian flags, thongs, snap back hats and Bintang singlet’s and get out onto the streets to brawl. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some ideas for your Australia Day to not make headlines for the wrong reasons –

  1. Have a party, but perhaps don’t let it spill out onto the street – look, the reason why Australia’s public drinking laws are so strict compared to those of other western states is because we can’t be trusted to drink in public! If one group of drunken young males comes out onto the street on our nations most patriotic day it often happens that another group of males, equally as patriotic and equally as pissed, will do the same. All hell ensues when the respective groups of belligerent males want to prove who is more patriotic by taking part in an all-in, bottle-throwing, cricket-bat-swinging brawl.
  2. Maybe not wear the Australian flag as a cape – the look is synonymous with snap backs, three quarter Quiksilver boardies, cans of Calrton Draught, and apart from looking like you’re about to incite a race riot it’s also a crime against fashion, compatriots. There’s nothing worse than walking down the street on the 26th of January and seeing some sunburnt, singlet wearing, and supremely wasted bloke wearing the Australian flag like he’s Batman and screaming ‘HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY’ at you. You’re also not sure if they want to fight you or not, they’re tone sounds a little antagonistic…
  3. Vote on Triple J’s Hottest 100, but vote for something good, please – I don’t care – Chet Faker sucks. I said it, and everyone voted for him last year, so he won the Hottest 100. I think the year prior that ridiculous song about buying cheap clothing at op shops was around the number one spot. I probably won’t listen to the countdown based on this form, but that doesn’t mean I won’t judge you for voting for crappy music.
  4. That being said, play some good Aussie music on Australia Day – Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly, AC/DC, The Church, The Go-Betweens, does everyone forget that these legendary artists are from Australia when on the 26th of January they’re pumping Taylor Swift out of their backyard barbecue? It’s downright disrespectful – if you want to celebrate our nation celebrate its culture and amazing music scene, turn the new Adele song off and play some bloody INXS.