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Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

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Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Stan Dane on Sun 18 May 2014, 10:42 am

In 1963 when I was 10, this song was a big hit in our area. (I'll bet Terry remembers this.) I knew nothing about Australia then—and still don't know much today. Other than black swans, dwarf tossing, Vegemite, winter in July, and Crocodile Dundee, I'm clueless.
 
Thank God for Greg to straighten us all out!  


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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Terry W. Martin on Sun 18 May 2014, 11:01 am

Yes, Stan, I remember it well.

Other than Waltzing Matilda's curious lyrics - and a pair of characters in the Winnie the Pooh tales - "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" was my only glimpse of Australia before Dundee and "Finding Nemo".

So I guess my encyclopedic knowledge of the land down under is probably about the same as yours.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Sun 18 May 2014, 11:39 am

Stan Dane wrote:In 1963 when I was 10, this song was a big hit in our area. (I'll bet Terry remembers this.) I knew nothing about Australia then—and still don't know much today. Other than black swans, dwarf tossing, Vegemite, winter in July, and Crocodile Dundee, I'm clueless.
 
Thank God for Greg to straighten us all out!  

Rolf Harris is now on trial for sex offenses against a minor. It should be said he is defending the charges and I don't want to be his judge and jury. His story is that it was a consensual relationship with an 18 year old young lady. Her story is that it started at age 13. It has emerged that she had asked for a substantial sum of money after the relationship ended. I guess we'll see how it all washes up... but either way, it has been something of a blow to see such a beloved icon take such a fall. It is finding out things like this that makes it difficult to believe in anything or anyone.

I will only add in his defense that there was a period of time in the '70s especially, when it was not only acceptable to lust after under-age girls, it was encouraged. Look at British sex comedies of the time... TV and film... not to mention the tabloids where you had bikini clad 15 year olds on page 3 with captions along the lines of "imagine her when she turns 16!" 

So what we see now in England (where Rolf has lived since the 1950s) is a bunch of celebrities caught up in that mind-set thinking they were especially bullet-proof not only because it was encouraged through pop culture - but because of who they were. While men such as Rolf and others are on trial or under investigation, I think the era in which the crimes occurred may be a mitigating factor in some cases.  

Black swans? You don't have 'em? 

Dwarf tossing? A media set up that caused a short (very short) lived craze. 

Vegemite? You guys own that now and sell it back to us.

Winter in July? Yep. We also have a Christmas in July (as well as one on the traditional date) so that the snow etc makes sense.

Crocodile Dundee? Paul Hogan captured the essence of how we like to see ourselves (which is the same as how you actually do see us) and packaged it for US markets. That's not to say Paul was ever playing anyone but himself... the archetype does exist...


Had a customer wanting to talk about my book because he was living in the US (in Ohio) at the time of the assassination, having been sent there on some type of work exchange program through the company he worked for... he had people constantly telling him how well he spoke English, and wondering how come he wasn't Black?

On the assassination... he did say that no one he met over there believed the official story - especially after watching LHO get shot.  But we already knew that.

This is where I went to school... photo taken in the 1920s and no doubt contains some of my relatives.. 30+ years later when I was there, it had doubled in size... two class-rooms...

Bonnell's Bay Public School, Lake Macquarie

Here is the view I had... this is around where I was born, but the place itself is long gone... a bare earthen floor fishing cabin


_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Stan Dane on Mon 19 May 2014, 12:42 am

My brother worked in Australia during November and December on a construction job in the late 1980s. He flew into Sydney, spent a little time in Adelaide, and the work was in Perth. I remember him telling me everything seemed to be 180 out from the US. We have white swans, you have black swans. We have summer in July, you have winter. And so on.
 
He pointed out some cultural differences as well. Like walking down a beach and seeing most of the women topless. The women were nice and sweet, he said, but the men were tough. The men liked to fight. Not out of meanness, they just liked to fight ("You got to prove yourself mate!") Said he worked with a few "wiry little guys" who could "tear you up." Again, not out of meanness, they just liked to fight. The only fight he got in was with an aboriginal who bit him. He didn't elaborate how that happened. Throw in a little dwarf tossing and that was his visit. He worked with some interesting mates he said.
 
Another cultural difference was that you could drink while you worked. Everybody had big beer chests along with their tool chests. And they all drank and so did he (when in Rome). It's probably why he didn't elaborate on fighting and getting bit; he doesn't remember much of it

If he ever gets the chance, he says he'd like to go back.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Guest on Mon 19 May 2014, 6:50 am

My family migrated to Sydney from Madrid in 1969. I was barely 5 years old but can clearly remember I didn't want to be there. We lived in a hostel for migrants which seemed like a military barracks in retrospect. We were amongst Turks, Lebanese, Greeks etc...all sorts. They fed us all in a lunch hall but there was very little interaction with other migrants. Most stuck together.
We went to school and it was the first time I was called a "wog" (derogatory term for a migrant). Not only was I called a wog but I was regularly chased home after school and beaten up. I guess they didn't appreciate my chorizo sandwich at lunch time. Too garlicky for Aussie sensibilities.
It was a different time back then. Australian used prawns (shrimps) for bait not cuisine. Attitudes seemed to change when I mastered the english language. More migrants came and we suddenly had the numbers to quell the intimidation.
I too remember Rolf Harris (trust British paints...sure can). Watching what is happening now to him I can't help but feel like a type of innocence has been lost. He was Jake the peg. He was an amazing artist and an author/singer of the absurd. The kids loved him but we had no idea that he might have loved us back in a way that has landed him in court.
I live in NZ nowadays. It reminds me of Australia 25 years ago but with internet. People here drink far too much and play far too much rugby. They fight but they are not mean. I remember Aussies being mean, Stan, but I was a wog so back then it was alright. Thank god its changed.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 8:18 am

Thanks Stan and Paul,

Stan,

yeah, we do fight... had my share. But most of the time, you end up having a beer together afterwards. Sometimes though it has to wait until you get out of hospital  Wink 

Paul,

the racism in the '60s and '70s was mainly through ignorance, and I guess partly as a hangover from the war.  

Speaking from personal experience, my family moved around a lot when I was a kid and at one stage lived in the inner suburbs of Sydney...this was in the mid to late '60s when it was all working class... migrants and Hare Krishnas... we roamed the streets in gangs including many recent arrivals from Greece, Lebanon etc and I don't recall there ever being any racism among us despite hearing it from our parents. It may well have been different the further west you went.

My father is a good example of the type of racism we had. Whenever the subject of Aboriginals came up, he would be very negative in his attitude. Yet by the 1970s when he was working for himself as a concreter and he needed a laborer, he had no hesitation in hiring a washed up Aboriginal boxer - and he treated him like family inviting him to family bbqs and get-togethers. The guy ended up calling my father "dad".  They just got along famously. So while in the past he had  made the type of remarks about Aborigines that were almost expected, his deeds spoke otherwise. Maybe because inside, he wasn't the person who parroted the racial epithets he'd heard all his life.  

I'd like to think that was more the norm than your experience, Paul. 

We still have problems, obviously. In recent years, shock jocks have caused racial riots and politicians have basically said it's okay to fear and loath refugees by their cruel (no other way to describe it) treatment of them.  

I believe this will change, and that the tide is already starting to turn.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 8:33 am

This is probably on youtube somewhere. Initially it was going to be made by Gregory Peck...

Comedy about an Italian migrant in Australia during the period we're discussing... does have undertones of the type of casual racism I'm talking about... but also the feeling that it is not heartfelt hatred driving it... 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They%27re_a_Weird_Mob_(film)

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Guest on Mon 19 May 2014, 8:57 am

Greg, most racism is borne out of ignorance. Funnily enough, it was the older generation who were more welcoming. We had Australian neighbours either side of the fence who were a generation behind that treated us kindly. To the extent that they would protect us kids from the fuckwits that chased us home. One of them was even concerned enough to go and see the principal of our school as my parents spoke no English. She was an angel.
Things have changed but the Cronulla riots brought back those ugly memories. My nephews are half Lebanese and they tell me all sorts of stories but they are a lot tougher than we were and much better equipped to handle it.
I have a love hate relationship with Australia. I have forgiven a lot but have not forgotten much.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 9:36 am

Paul Klein wrote:Greg, most racism is borne out of ignorance. Funnily enough, it was the older generation who were more welcoming. We had Australian neighbours either side of the fence who were a generation behind that treated us kindly. To the extent that they would protect us kids from the fuckwits that chased us home. One of them was even concerned enough to go and see the principal of our school as my parents spoke no English. She was an angel.
Things have changed but the Cronulla riots brought back those ugly memories. My nephews are half Lebanese and they tell me all sorts of stories but they are a lot tougher than we were and much better equipped to handle it.
I have a love and hate relationship with Australia. I have forgiven a lot but have not forgotten much.
Paul,

Can't say I blame you for not forgetting, mate. And yes, the Cronulla riots made me ashamed of this place. But by the same token, I can see how those bogans were manipulated and whipped up. I can forgive them. I can't forgive those background forces. 

The Lebanese kids I knew back then were indeed tough (but then, so were all the other ethnic kids, except one, a kid I only remember by the nickname we gave him, "Lukey Luke"- a middle-Eastern, bespectacled nerd - and a real nice guy). In the Glebe/Alexandria neighborhoods where I lived for those few short years, we were all united. We played park football together. We ran wild together. We got in trouble together.  

Never had any further interactions with any Lebanese until the early 1980s when I applied to rent a house from a Lebanese landlord. He only had one question. Was I Australian? I thought, here goes, he's about to turn me down. Nope. When I said "yes" he patted me on the shoulder and "good. I like Australians. Don't like Lebanese." and that was that. We hit it off from there. His hatred of other Lebanese boiled down to sectarian differences. 

We're still a very young country, Paul. I'd like to think, despite backsliding occasionally, we are maturing. There are signs for instance, that the Labor Party may abandon the current refugee program and move to something a bit more humanitarian if/when they return to power... Leadership is part of the solution, just as it can be part of the problem.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Guest on Mon 19 May 2014, 11:22 am

greg parker wrote:
Paul Klein wrote:Greg, most racism is borne out of ignorance. Funnily enough, it was the older generation who were more welcoming. We had Australian neighbours either side of the fence who were a generation behind that treated us kindly. To the extent that they would protect us kids from the fuckwits that chased us home. One of them was even concerned enough to go and see the principal of our school as my parents spoke no English. She was an angel.
Things have changed but the Cronulla riots brought back those ugly memories. My nephews are half Lebanese and they tell me all sorts of stories but they are a lot tougher than we were and much better equipped to handle it.
I have a love and hate relationship with Australia. I have forgiven a lot but have not forgotten much.
Paul,

Can't say I blame you for not forgetting, mate. And yes, the Cronulla riots made me ashamed of this place. But by the same token, I can see how those bogans were manipulated and whipped up. I can forgive them. I can't forgive those background forces. 

The Lebanese kids I knew back then were indeed tough (but then, so were all the other ethnic kids, except one, a kid I only remember by the nickname we gave him, "Lukey Luke"- a middle-Eastern, bespectacled nerd - and a real nice guy). In the Glebe/Alexandria neighborhoods where I lived for those few short years, we were all united. We played park football together. We ran wild together. We got in trouble together.  

Never had any further interactions with any Lebanese until the early 1980s when I applied to rent a house from a Lebanese landlord. He only had one question. Was I Australian? I thought, here goes, he's about to turn me down. Nope. When I said "yes" he patted me on the shoulder and "good. I like Australians. Don't like Lebanese." and that was that. We hit it off from there. His hatred of other Lebanese boiled down to sectarian differences. 

We're still a very young country, Paul. I'd like to think, despite backsliding occasionally, we are maturing. There are signs for instance, that the Labor Party may abandon the current refugee program and move to something a bit more humanitarian if/when they return to power... Leadership is part of the solution, just as it can be part of the problem.
It seems we might have been in very close proximity, Greg. I grew up in Redfern/Stanmore/Marrickville after we left Villawood. Played against Glebe primary school at sports. Multicultural Sydney was just beginning. King St wasn't what it is now full of the best restaurants in Australia IMHO. Talking of the Lebanese only makes me salivate at the food I am missing out on being in NZ. Their pastries alone should be classified as protected species.
Our treatment of refugees is shameful. Lets not mince words here. Livestock have more rights. A young nation should be full of promise and hope. It should be an example of what can be achieved with plentiful resources. Instead it leaders simply cater to fear and economics. It is only a safe haven for the elite. I'd like to see how many Anglo-Saxon/white refugees are waiting on Manus island for their papers to be processed.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 11:46 am

It should be an example of what can be achieved with plentiful resources. Instead it leaders simply cater to fear and economics. It is only a safe haven for the elite. I'd like to see how many Anglo-Saxon/white refugees are waiting on Manus island for their papers to be processed.
I couldn't agree more, Paul. And have made the point in similar discussions. The number of boat arrivals is minimal compared to the (mostly) white Anglo-Saxon visa over-stayers. Yet not a whisper is ever mentioned about that group. Yet the boat arrivals have, for the most part, extraordinary reasons for risking life and limb to get here. To resettle those genuine refugees in New Guinea and Cambodia is way past disgraceful. 

Sometimes you have to face  some horror yourself before you can empathize with the horrors others have faced. This current government's horrors may actually leave a legacy of a united, more compassionate country. I live in hope.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 11:56 am

It seems we might have been in very close proximity, Greg. I grew up in Redfern/Stanmore/Marrickville after we left Villawood. 
Wow, Small world. It sounds like it was the same time period, as well.

I actually lived in a place called Forest Lodge in that area, but mentioned the other places nearby as they are better known. It was a few blacks back behind the old Childrens Hospital - which actually was in Alexandria. 

Schools are a bit of a blur to me cos I went to so many (or more accurately, was enrolled in so many - I had an attendance record LHO would have been proud of).  but I think I did go to Glebe PS - not even sure if Forest Lodge had one... I do recall spending a lot of time around Ross St in Glebe... and at Harold Park paceway where we use to get under the fence to play football in the grassed area inside the track... and more often than not being chased out again...

Memories...

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
Admin

Posts : 3448
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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by Guest on Mon 19 May 2014, 12:14 pm

greg parker wrote:
It seems we might have been in very close proximity, Greg. I grew up in Redfern/Stanmore/Marrickville after we left Villawood. 
Wow, Small world. It sounds like it was the same time period, as well.

I actually lived in a place called Forest Lodge in that area, but mentioned the other places nearby as they are better known. It was a few blacks back behind the old Childrens Hospital - which actually was in Alexandria. 

Schools are a bit of a blur to me cos I went to so many (or more accurately, was enrolled in so many - I had an attendance record LHO would have been proud of).  but I think I did go to Glebe PS - not even sure if Forest Lodge had one... I do recall spending a lot of time around Ross St in Glebe... and at Harold Park paceway where we use to get under the fence to play football in the grassed area inside the track... and more often than not being chased out again...

Memories...
A small world indeed. I use to love going to the trots on a Friday night at Harold Park with my mates when I was older.. Depending on how we fared, it use to determine whether we ended up at the RSL drinking cheaply, or out at the Cross in some nightclub drinking cocktails. From what I can recall, it was mostly RSL clubs even if we backed the favourites all night long. Some of those races were dodgy.

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Re: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport

Post by greg parker on Mon 19 May 2014, 12:22 pm

Some of those races were dodgy.
Oh yeah... you can say that again.... they weren't called the "red hots" for nothing!

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
Admin

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