Is it true that the average North American person is busier, more up-tight, more stressed or even more angry the average Aussie? Is
Who cares? Maybe these questions don’t matter. We are who we are. What is the point of making comparisons between countries? My impression is that most Canadians are very happy. Most of us inherently find what we need to live a happy and full life. Plus, nobody can answer questions like these with any confidence. It’s all debatable. The thing is, I have noticed a few such striking cultural and social differences that I can’t help but make some comparisons that are interesting to me. Here are a few:
On Friday afternoons at 4:45 we have an event at my work called ‘Beer Club’. Not ‘social club’ or ‘team meeting’ or even ‘party’ but ‘BEER CLUB’. Kate also has two hours of ‘open bar’ every Friday at her law firm from 5-7.
When there is not enough room on the road, people here park their cars on sidewalks on curbs. I know it happens even more in
Australian radio and television advertising is full of really blatant sexual innuendo. It was both shocking and hilarious at first. Check out this add for a chocolate bar, or this one for nicotine gum (both shown here at dinner time). You can imagine what beer and underwear ads are like. And it’s not just the advertising, it is everything here. We see A LOT of legs and cleavage walking about on the streets in
And when they want to send a harsh message to the public here they don’t pull any punches either. We drove by a highway sign recently: ‘Tired drivers die. Take a break.’ or “Drunk? Sooner or later you will be caught.” Here’s a television commercial about setting a positive example for children (don’t watch it if you don’t want to see some powerful images). It seems to me that this country is just a little more ‘rough around the edges’ than
Want more Aussie culture? Kate started work with four weeks of holidays. I also have four and that is absolutely unheard-of for a post-doc in the
ALL Australians over 18 vote in the federal and state elections. The turnout is 100% because it is ‘illegal’ not to vote. Offenders get fined, and the fines increase for repeated failure to vote. Does that mean that the average person here knows more about politics? Heck yeah it does.
By the way, I believe all ‘successful’ politicians are inherently devious people. I wish it were different. It is the last thing that I would ever want to be involved in. We are a month away from a federal election here and all I see is ‘negative’ ads and smear attacks back and forth between their top two parties. It bothers me. This type of add must be very effective if it can cause people to be so cruel. Or they make financial promises that are complex to the point of confusion. Don’t you think that every government should provide a yearly ‘one page’ summary of the entire budget that is honest but dumbed-down to a level that 95% of people could follow? Why does it have to be so complicated? Cash in, cash out, interest, debt, bottom line… ummm, done. No deception. Don’t confuse us. It’s our money. One page.
The only thing I know of that absolutely MUST be complicated is physics. I don’t think economics does. Economists can certainly choose to make it complex. I have known many chemistry professors that like to ‘sound smart’. Confusing students makes them feel smarter and better about their chosen profession. Dr. Kerr was not like that. I don’t think there is any reason to pretend that something is more difficult than it actually is.
Oh, and along those lines, wouldn’t it be nice, as a voter, to know what countries owe us money and who we have borrowed from. It’s our money after all. A second page then, and dumbed down please. Wouldn’t that simple information clear up a lot international politics and wouldn’t it make it difficult for a government to ‘hide’ motives for war.
I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me there. I don’t have any informed political opinions, just naïve ranting. I’m just a simple minded idiot. I sat down today and started writing… whatever. I’m trying to ‘lurn to write gooder’ and I got carried away. Not too many people read this. If you still are, I apologise. Just pictures next post. I promise. Here’s a goodie from last weekend. Speaking of Aussie culture. Yep we finally tried it! And not on big long boards either :)