JUST after Australia Day, while it was being leaked that former Australian Defence Force chief Peter Cosgrove was going to be our next Governor-General, I couldn’t help but sit back and think what an absolutely amazing and truly nice place Australia is.
Not because of the Governor-General thing as such – I still find it slightly irritating that Her Maj, Mrs Windsor, needs to have a permanent rep here to make sure the locals don’t get too uppity, or to cut ribbons when a home-grown Or-stray-lyarn just would not do.
No, what made the positive impact was the way the news was greeted.
Some media alarmists thought the Indonesians mightn’t like the choice. General Cosgrove was in charge of the exercise that finally nudged the Indonesian Army off the East End of Timor once and for all – hopefully – and there could be some residual angst.
See, that’s how we do stuff here. We come up with an idea, a few people get snippy and we all just seem to roll along and get on with the important stuff, such as newspaper polls about what’s better, a holiday by the sea or by a river.
Compare that with other news of the day.
Global-scale fruit-loop Kim Young’n, the grand young’n of the first Kim of North Korea, after murdering his benefactor and uncle had really got on with the job and murdered every one of his uncle’s direct relatives, including two ambassadors. Try taking that to VCAT.
In Syria, the aptly named Bashar Al-Asshead was still trying to prove he was the best choice for ruler by continuing to destroy his entire nation, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands, the displacement of millions and the destruction of some of the most ancient cities on Earth.
In Thailand, it seems like half the population is on a permanent day off so they can go for the Guinness Book of Records entry for the world’s longest street protest. They hate the government – but (now get this little twist) they do NOT want a re-election. Beats me.
And in the Ukraine, the country is challenging Thailand for the World Outdoor Protest Pennant, and has started to get a bit ugly about it. This is an interesting battle, with most of the country wanting to be part of Europe and most of the government (meaning the president) wanting to be part of the Russian world.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and all the other Stans, and much of the rest of that part of the world, keep making news for bombing innocent people in marketplaces for reasons no one can ever fathom, least of all those just trying to do their shopping.
Angry people in Palestine keep lobbing very poorly directed rockets on Israel.
Egypt appears to be run by a bloke in a California Highway Patrol cap and sunglasses and who looks very much like one of the 80s CHiPs TV show characters. No one seems very happy about that, but are sick of being shot and going to jail for saying so.
India is curiously playing Happy Families again, with Rahul Ghandi now an early favourite to become Indian Prime Minister, just like his father, grandmother and great grandfather. His mother is the head of India’s Congress party, but Rahul says he is definitely not a fan of family dynasties. Okay. Right.
And the Mexican government has gone to war… with the Knights Templar. Not those Knights Templar of the Holy Grail. No, these knights are one of the world’s biggest and most violent drug cartels. Did you know that a Mexican is murdered every 35 minutes?
Oh, we could go on and with the weird and whacky world of foreign affairs, with many dozens of countries vying for the Evil Empire of the Hour award, but you get my drift.
Here, we just say: oh yeah, Peter Cosgrove’s a good bloke. Don’t know if we really need a GG, but if we do, it might as well be a good bloke.
And then we check the calendar to see when the next long weekend is ... heh, Labour Day on March 10, when we celebrate the achievements of workers – by not working.
You just have to love this place, don’t you?