One of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia is the National War Museum in Canberra. Americans who visit it can learn during World War II, just as the Australians were preparing for an invasion by Japan, the Americas won the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway in rapid succession and thereby crippled the Japanese military's plan to plant their flag on Australian soil.
Australians we met made efforts to explain that they loved America and Americans for preventing the Japanese invasion, but they disagreed with what George W. Bush was doing with torture, invasions, and attacks on personal liberty.
We went to an (American) Election Results (Why does America insist on holding their elections on Melbourne Cup Day?) viewing party at the University of Sydney and the tumultuous reaction to Obama's victory seemed genuine. When the polls closed at 9 p. m. on Election day, on America's West Coast, it was 3 p.m. Wednesday in Sydney.
Lately as we notice that while some beautiful Indian Summer days in Berkeley indicate that Winter is drawing neigh, the jacaranda bushes will soon be blooming in Sydney and their country will prepare to celebrate Christmas in the traditional Australia way, i.e. in a bathing suit on the beaches from Bondi to Cottesloe
In late October of 2008, Australians were very enthusiastic about the election of President Obama and we can't help but wonder if "change" has occurred in their assessments of America's leader. Hmmm. Would it be better to go back to the University of Sydney to watch the 2012 Election results get posted or should we try going to Harry's New York Bar in Paris to see the reaction there?
Being a cynical self-subsidized American political columnist means that ultimately that decision will be up to the World's Laziest Jounralist and no one else will get to participate in the final results. Which brings us back to Buzz's question in "Rebel Without a Cause."
At Christmas time in 2008 we recall one evening sitting in the smoking and drinking area of a hostel in Fremantle Western Australia chatting with some young ladies from Stockton England (Home of the Northern Blues) and they asked this columnist why he had gone to all the effort to travel there.
Seeing the Fords, Ferraris, and Chaparrals compete at Sebring had been fun. Going to the Oscars - , Emmys, and Grammies had been a real hoot (should we double back on our tracks and see if they have changed much since Nixon was in the White House?). We had asked John Wayne for his autograph and gotten a business card with a reproduction of his signature. We gave our autograph to Paul Newman. We flew in the Goodyear blimp.
Would a blogger have to be crazy to try to attempt to do something with a blog that Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, and Jack London didn't achieve with their books? We explained that we were searching for a colorful character who had been everywhere and done everything. The Brits enthusiastic response was to say that was precisely why they had come there and that was why they were glad they had met the World's Laziest Journalist.
In all the intervening days we've lost track of the "on the road" aspect of our quest for material for the columns we write. It seems that we have settled into a routine of bashing the Bush-Obama political agenda. Now we have to ask ourself another question. "Why (allegedly) do more sailors jump ship in New Zealand than any other country in the world?"
In "A Personal Record," Joseph Conrad wrote: "I had given myself up to the idleness of a haunted man who looks for nothing but words wherein to capture his visions."
Since some music will now always remind us of our trip to Australia, the disk jockey will now play Bobby Bare's "Five hundred miles away from home," Johnny Cash's "Live at Fulsome Prison" album, and the 1812 Overture (what will the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra play at this year's Christmas Concert under the stars?). We have to go check the expiration date on our passport. Have an "I remember it well" type week.
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