Monday, September 04, 2006

Monday madness?

Received a forwarded e-mail this morning from an acquaintance, which was a bit of a surprise, and even more so when I opened it.

It was one of those annoying "Immigrants should either become just like us or get the hell out of our country" forwarded e-mails, which you imagine are typed with one hand while the other brandishes a pitchfork. Strangest of all, the e-mail concluded with the slightly bitter delicious irony of their e-mail signature that talks of respect, inclusiveness, fairness and generousity.

But I digress.

I hate it when people premise things with, "I'm not a racist, but..." and then it's followed with a comment like, "What this guy wrote was like totally true! LOLOLOLOL!!! OMG! Finally someone's telling the truth!" when they may as well just say, "I'm not a racist, but white power!!! And down with grammar while we're at it!" and run around in some sheets with a pillowcase over their head (Genehackmankickyourass!).*

Then the "God is part of our culture and if you don't like that, then go away" thing is wheeled out in the forwarded message, when really God isn't that much of a part of most people in the country's culture other than to go to church for Christmas and maybe Easter services, the occasional christening or wedding and for funerals.

Why do people think it's a good idea to pass those kind of e-mails along? For our edification or something? Psh! I know it's naive, but I still find it surprising that there seem to be so many more people around who are comfortable with expressing thoughts along those lines and saying multiculturalism is tearing our societies apart. It just seems silly, because multiculturalism is far more interesting than monoculture. Even if it means that some people don't speak perfect English** or express a desire to move to the MCG.

Are these people forgetting what those from other cultures have brought to our country? Sure, there are some bad things, but every single culture has some bad elements in it. But without immigration, where would the late-night kebab come into things? Or felaffels? Or sushi? Awesome Chinese grocery stores where you can get everything from seaweed jelly to slippers? Fantastic festivals like Sch├╝tzenfest or the various Greek festivals, especially the one at Semaphore? Radio stations like EBI FM? Salsa, flamenco or bellydancing lessons?

*Thanks to Fletch Lives for that one.
**Because those who write the "LOLOLOLOL" things are the paragons of the English language?


Melody said...

hear hear!

i really don't understand why people prefer a single culture when it's diversity and differences that make life interesting.

it aggravates at times, but the good certainly outweighs the bad...

i reckon every classroom in the world should have a class in on multiculturalism or something...

Della said...


Along with the insistence that kids learn more about Australian history (we had Australian Studies in Year 11, which was a semester all about that - and an excuse for the teacher to make us listen to I'm a Bloke repeatedly), learning about multiculturalism and so on would be a good thing.

Funny how humans seem to like going in a cycle of prejudice, though. And people doing the assimilate or go away stuff make me wonder how close they are to going "Juden raus!" style on things.