OPINION:The song our 'shocking' anthem should be ditched for
A letter to the editor:
MANY times in my working life I came across a joke trouble shooting chart the first line of which was the question: "Does it work?" which if answered "yes" lead to a simple next step: "Don't stuff with it".
This week, again, Australia entered into divisive talk about our national anthem, including an opinion piece on this paper's website titled: "Leave our bloody national anthem alone".
It took me back to the flow chart: "Does it work?" Seeing as it's divisive I'd answer "No", which leads to something different to "Don't stuff with it", and in my view not only because it's divisive.
Not finding much to respect about the USA, and even being one who detests flag waving patriotism, I find a good rendition of The Star Spangled Banner quite emotional.
As an atheist I struggle with the wording of "God defend New Zealand" but as a song and as a call to celebrating a country it leaves our mournful effort for dead, and does so without causing the angst we continually go through.
There's some shocking anthems around the world and ours is one of them. To me it's only saving grace is that the words to the theme of TV show Gilligan's Island fit the tune perfectly.
These days many antics from that show seem to reflect our politics and society, but I'm not convinced we have a "fearless crew”.
Generally I see "us” as the opposite these days, fearful and afraid of change - even simple changes such as getting a better anthem and therefore taking away one point of grievance in a greater collection of grievances which are often easily justified but distracted from by such trivialities as a bad song.
"I am, you are, we are, Australian", words from a song few could find offensive, a rousing song with words that reflect our country and a pride more of us could share if we weren't stuck in the "safe” conservative thinking we currently suffer.
"Leave our bloody anthem alone"? Yes, please do. Put it in a museum and move forward!