Feb. 13th, 2008

tania: (Penguin fwap)
So today is 'Sorry Day', during which the Australian government steps up and formally apologises to the Aboriginal people for the mistreatment they received when Europeans first settled Australia. The nation in general had been putting pressure on our former Prime Minister, John Howard, to do this for years. International readers with keen powers of observation and wicked memories will recall the Aussie band Midnight Oil playing a set during the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics wearing plain black shirts emblazoned with the white word: "SORRY".

Fearing that a formal apology would pave the way for legal claims from the Aboriginal community, the Howard government refused to bow to public opinion on the matter. Ultimately this may have added to the Australian people's perception of the Howard Government as being, well... past it. Old fogeys. Nonprogressive. John Howard: A Bold Vision Of Yesteryear.

Good ol' Ruddy made it one of his first priorities as Prime Minister. Most people in my age group are behind it, and if you have any Australians friended on Facebook, you'll probably notice that at least a couple of them have changed their status to "[Name] is sorry." today.

One guy on my friends list, who is in the Australian Army (I'm not saying there's necessarily a connection, but it's worth mentioning) has changed his status to "[Name] is not sorry, I didn't do anything," and a few hours later, "[Name] Aussies aren't sorry."

Bypassing the grammar-cringe induced by that sentence (I'm no grammar Nazi, as I play pretty free and loose with the English language myself, but GEEZ), I think it's a pretty piece of douchebaggery to do what he's doing on today of all days. I also wonder at the intelligence of someone who can't differentiate "sorry that I did this" from "sorry that this happened."

I respect his right to voice his opinion. I also respect my right to vocally declare him a douche. Ergo: douche, douche, douche. Ahhh, word of the day.

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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