I’ve just done my first act of ‘unfriending’ on facebook. Yes indeedy, I’ve been noticing in a manner more than  a bit bemused, how as a nation we’re trying to get excited about our National Day and give it a bit of U.S. style hype.

People are wishing me Happy Australia Day – don’t recall that happening before. The ABC got all beside itself and advertised the big events happening on the tele all week. What are they thinking? It’s not as if it’s Moomba – Labour Day, formerly a cause for celebration before workers’ rights were so insidiously eroded. 

But I digress, as per usual. Today is also Occupation Day. The day a mob from a long way away, who had heaps already, lobbed here, thought “we’ll have some of this to add to our heaps” and helped themselves without waiting to be invited or checking if they were pitching their tent and lighting their barbe in someone else’s backyard. And once they realised that it was someone else’s backyard, they didn’t even say ‘oops sorry. Our mistake, all yours.’ They got quite narky and indulged in dastardly deeds to take over the backyard.

But I still digress. My act of unfriendment…

I was wafting around facebook, in my fuddled I nearly get this way, and on my ‘wall’ – or some other part of my face’s book, never quire sure, there was a truly gorgeous photo – patriotic beyond words – or two patriotically (and minimaly) clad girl persons, wearing Aussie flag bikini tops, their respective persons tastefully arranged top bollock to top bollock, grinning inanely into the camera, no doubt thinking ‘I know this is exploitative, but surely if I am aware of it, it does me no harm’ in the way people do who accept disempowering social transactions – as we all do from time to time.

That was irritating and disappointing enough – I could go on and on about the inequity between the sexes in the area of clothing and comparable flesh exposure – but the roooooolly smart comments the ‘likers’ had to offer were positively eye rollingly predictable and I got quite cross and snippy and made it my business to learn a new thing in facebook. The art of unfriending. Before that I cruised through various other offerings from my soon to be former buddy and noticed a definite tendancy to upload pictures of female people in clothes that would keep them cool in summer but would generally bilaterally dissect them and do little to facilitate the comfortable playing of sports such as volley ball. 

Anyway, I am always aware of and grateful for my good fortune being born here, and apart from a couple of things that put me at a bit of a disadvantage such as my gender and my vertical stature (not a lot of that I have to confess), I am very privileged indeed. I’m healthy, adequately educated, employed and subjected to only a couple of prejudices. I have to say that sexism I have been on the receiving end of has not been terrific or helpful, but I am fortunate in that it isn’t compounded by the vitriol attached to racism and the massive exclusion that goes with having a disability. I’m truly blessed in having this great land for my home with all its remaining freedoms.

So I love youse Austrayia!!! I rooolly do! And I love having a day off.

My truly adorable dog, Alfred the Great does not love Australia Day very much at all poor mite. He fails to understand why the day has to be celebrated by making huge banging noises with flashing things that convince him his world is about to end horribly. For that matter, I’m even nervous of sparklers, so I would happily leave out that little tradition for the peace and happiness of both of us. 

And the best bit is that this Australia Day holiday weekend will be spent at the Newstead Live Music Festival playing Unsung Heroes over two days – Friday and Saturday – and doing a set with my musical soul mate Moy in our cunning disguise as Ealey & Tyers.

Yippeee!! Think my grumpy mood has just about passed.

Have a lovely day, and spare a thought for your dogs’ sensitive ears.