Our Global Image
Every country has an international stereotype that is often over-blown exaggerations of a particular characteristic. Whether it’s the angry Italian, the snooty Frenchman, the loud American, the drunken Irishman, or the sleepy Mexican, these stereotypes are at the forefront of racism and international profiling. As for Australians… thanks to the Aussie fad of the 1980s, started by Crocodile Dundee, the Australian stereotype has pretty much been a friendly, laid back kinda dude who may or may not wrestle gigantic reptiles while drinking oversized cans of Fosters.
But in more recent times, with the advent of the global community known as the Internet, word has spread and I no longer think this is the case. With a certain ignorant bigot in an underserved position of power, preventing us from having a R18+ rating for videogames, we were the butt of jokes on the internet. Next came the Banning of Small Breasts scandal and the hilarity continued. New internet tags appeared, like “Not Safe for Australia” when referring to content with small-breasted women.
And then with the advent of the Australian Internet Filter, despite protests and campaigns dedicated to spreading the word of this injustice, Australians have shown their true colours to their countrymen and the world; apathetic ignorance. Choosing to just not care about something which affects their daily life more than they realise. The internet filter affects all of us, ranging from the most basic internet use (Facebook, Youtube, schoolwork) to the most avid of cybersurfers.
But no, the population seem to have chosen to just kind of ignore this and hopes that it goes away, in what is being proven to be the true Aussie spirit. And thanks to this pathetic example, it seems that the anti-censorship movements, myself included, have been proven right; we were the test-run. Testing the waters to see how populations react to censorship like this. Now the European Union is going to implement a mandatory filter, and are hiding behind the same guise of ‘protecting the children’ that the Australian government have.
Google, Microsoft and even President Obama himself have been highly vocal against the Rudd Government’s proposed Internet Filter. And after a few TV spots with Minister Conroy, who has repeatedly proved his incompetence, the Australian people still refuse to look into this. It’s highly disappointing. How stupid, how ignorant can a sizeable majority of a westernised country be to not understand the threat this poses? This is the worst example of censorship seen in a Western country since the rise of the Nazi Party pre-WW2.
I have this to say. A warning to the European Union. Be prepared. Just because Australia took this laying down, does not mean that your people will. Europeans, do what you can. Spread the word. This is happening here, and you’re next. Americans will be facing the same problem if a Republican makes it to the White House in2012. Internet Censorship is going to happen all over the world and when it’s over, regardless off what happens, people will look back and say; “it started in Australia. It’s their fault.”
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