Monday, October 13, 2008

Week Seven

Everyone knows I love a good politically-incorrect race joke, provided it's in semi-good taste. After listening to the Monday podcast of Kevin & Bean, however, I realized that American race-based humor is so much more sophisticated, and funny, compared to anywhere else in the world. Especially Australia, whose humor lies in sex-, politics- and self-depricating jokes. I imagine that's because Americans have dealt with race for so long, are generally open-minded in the present and interact with diverse people every day, that a majority can laugh about it now. Not so in Australia, which begs the question: Why do Australians hate diversity?

Nearly 90% of Australians are of European descent, with the second highest population being Asians, mostly Chinese and Vietnamese. Melbourne is one of the most diverse cities in the country, with nearly a quarter of the population having been born overseas, but is that really encouraging diversity or prompting segregation? When the people here don't know how to accept a growing immigrant population, it promotes segregation. The people I've chatted with believe Australia is still learning how to accept diversity and embrace multiculturalism, which sounds consistent with Australia's recent historical attempts at minimizing the racial damage.

Australia's Racial Hatred Act was established all the way back in 1995, which is later than Microsoft, Beverly Hills 90210 and the Colorado Avalanche were all established. Even the country's equal opportunity act was established in 1985, two years after Michael Jackson became the first Black artist to appear on the MTV with "Billie Jean". But of course, this is a country that only now is playing WALL-E, "Tattoo" and the Season 4 Premier of "Prison Break", weeks and months after their debuts in the States. Which only proves last week's hypothesis that Australians really want to be like Americans, and are always one or several steps behind in copying us.

Unfortunately for them, they can't afford to be Americans.

Not long after the financial crisis hit Australia came proof that a dollar really does make a difference. Within the last two weeks, the Australian dollar has sunk to its lowest level since 2003, having been hit hard by fears of a global recession, the mass exodus of risky assets and explicit cries to cut interest rates. Within the last two weeks, the American dollar has gone from equaling $1.19AUS to $1.53AUS, a ridiculous 29% increase. That means every book, shirt, soda, plane ticket or beer is 29% off, and a suit that two weeks ago would have cost me $315US now costs me $224US. Therefore, now is a great time to buy a nice suit...which is very good timing indeed.

Next weekend is Caulfield Cup, Victoria's version of the Kentucky Derby, where good 'ol fashioned fashionable rich people dress in nice suits, colorful dresses and hideous vomit-inducing hats. Apparently this is the place to see and be seen, meaning a fancy person such as myself absolutely has to attend. Unfortunately, I didn't bring any cool suits (fabric-wise, as it's supposed to eclipse 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday...and style-wise, as I have no style). Luckily now is a great time to buy a nice suit.

So Don's Official Greg Robinson Should Be Fired Stance is entering its fifth week. Syracuse lost again and is halfway to a 1-11 regular season. The Angels are out of the playoffs, the Dodgers are about to join them and the Ducks are 0-2. On the plus side, Obama is now up by 10 points over McCain and our markets were up 11% today. But does anyone else think it's a little eery when we constantly compare things with The Great Depression? Thank you my friends. Seven weeks down, 45 to go.

Week Seven Summary:
Weather: it's getting way too hot...
New observation: Australians don't like hip hop music in nightclubs.
New activity(ies): Australian reggae
New food: Aussie steak. Yum!
New word(s): Porky pies.
New people: A really really really gay sales guy at a menswear store told me I have no style.
What I miss: my television, cold weather, beef brisket, New York, Autumn, guacamole