Thursday, July 15, 2010

can't get over it

This is my current favourite - oh, how I love to hate it.
Ok, I don't take compelling pictures (yet!)... so FYI, this ad is for Australia and it says "Arrived planning to see the whole country. Departed still trying to get over Uluru".
The picture is of some soppy white person looking sentimentally at Uluru while the sun rises or sets or is photo-shopped in. (I at first thought it was some hippy guy with long hair but longer scrutiny reveals it's a woman - I think the ambiguity is probably deliberate... as per the Stop sign by committee, they're probably targeting women... but also men, secondarily.)
Three things we can learn from this ad:
1. White people have no spirituality of their own.
2. White people can fufill their spiritual needs by hopping on a plane and spending lots of money to use the spiritual channels of Indigenous Australians (who are of course, very very spiritual - as seen in Australia! when - spoiler alert - that cute little Aborigine boy stops all the cattle jumping off a cliff by singing to them).
3. Australia is culturally sensitive now, note the use of "Uluru" not "Ayers Rock". It's one big happy, non-exploitative multicultural country.
In other news, the local council no longer feels the needs to fund services for Mutitjulu, a poverty stricken Indigenous community at the base of Uluru.


  1. Ad for Aussie boat refugees:
    "ARRIVED planning to hide in the COUNTRY
    DEPORTED still trying to get over Christmas Island"

  2. Good one Jan ban!

    'Still trying to get over' is the dodgy ambiguity for me; either they weren't allowed to climb it because of the fuss about it being sacred, or they couldn't get over the fact they had travelled thousands of kms to see what is simply a big rock in the desert.

    Aside: I don't like the design; there is no sense in the font sizing and highlighting that I can make out, and words need rethink.

  3. Excellent points from both!! (although Andrew, I think the "fuss" is totally justified, and one person's big rock is another's sacred site) I'm going to have to up my game to keep within cooee of the cleverness of my readership.

  4. Never mentioned lack of justification, only that maybe they were trying to get over their frustration at lack of climbability.... although its true; in my opinion it is unjustified; I think it can be easy to move too far in defence of a downtrodden people and culture. Actually on second thoughts not sure.. I think I would certainly not walk on the rock if it upset anyone, and it must be hot anyway, but I would think it was stupid all the same.

  5. oh - there's also another pun: trying to get over as in trying to climb up one side and down the other :-) I guess we'll have to agree to disagree re the defence of the downtrodden.... as for 'stupid'? Dude! I'm embarrassed of you. Here is not the appropriate forum - your cultural awareness programme will have to restart next we meet.

  6. Sorry if I embarrass you but surely you have some sort of limit.. if I tell you that its important for me you don't climb mount eden, and you respected me enough not to do it, dont pretend there wouldnt be a little voice in your head saying 'this is stupid, come on andy there is a nice view up there, and I think you only started claiming this belief to win an argument'... yet being honest that wouldn't occur to you in australia? Or is the answer that you too suffer from the 'White people have no spirituality' but other peoples beliefs are valid problem :)?

  7. Dude, I don't go into the Mt Eden crater, nor do I get drunk in churches, nor do I speak loudly during theatrical performances, nor do I ridicule you for running marathons *for no particular reason*. Nor do I think any of the above is stupid. These particular beliefs are not just made up to 'win an argument'. It's a matter of respect. ok I really have to go and do some work now! :-)

  8. Yes good point.. I should have said, 'don't agree with those beliefs and think they lack scientific merit'. I don't think its stupid, very sorry, I was trying to see how you deal with religion, something I assume you don't buy into much, and I spose the answer is live and let live until it gets too awkward... I have to assume that the examples youve given don't really impede your lifestyle much. Rules regarding theatrical performances are there for practical reasons, don't know about the others.

    Have found a lot of cultural issues unexpectedly over here in Spain. Very rude to walk in bare feet, a little rude to walk down the street while eating, very rude to wear bathing costume into bar or cafe, even if it is right next to beach, rude in some situations to walk topless on street for men (certainly more than NZ), always for women. Forgive me for having the occasional 'this is stupid' mumble to myself.

  9. sweet as :-) thanks dude xx