Aww… you poor thing.

The phrase “Aussie battler” is one that is deeply entrenched in the Australian psyche – it captures the struggles of life surviving and even flourishing against incredible odds, a fair enough picture of our early settlement history where the term originated. It is applied particularly to people slaving away at horrible jobs for next to nothing to make ends meet. Barely. It is a title of endearment that bolsters the solidarity of those considered the underclass. Introducing today’s Aussie battler. Mr and Mrs Aussie Battler now have a a million dollar mortgage over the modestly large home nestled in a sought after suburban estate. They probably have two newish cars, a necessity as they both work full time, and Mr Battler juggles two jobs. The credit card is maxed to furnish the home theatre room to make the best use of the Foxtel subscription… Sunday afternoon is the only time Mr Battler gets to attack his driveway with the leaf blower while Mrs Battler is out for some retail therapy.  It sounds like a load of hyperbole, and I hope I am exaggerating a bit.  According to Clive Hamilton, co-author of Affluenza, there was a recent article in an Aussie newspaper featuring a forlorn couple wondering how they will manage their million dollar mortgage if interest rates go up.   They were labelled Aussie battlers.   Clive Hamilton was interviewed by Sydney radio station FM103.2  , you can find the link to the interview here  (thanks for the tip Andrew!).   Sounds like a case of “affluenza” to me rather than a victim of old fashioned aussie battling.  Or at least it is a self-inflicted battle.  The fact of the matter is we are all caught up in a cycle where we never have enough.  We are conditioned to want more.  We are skilled at justifying our desires, even feeling hard done by if we don’t have what we think we should.  This state is irrespective of social status.  If we are “poor” we want more.  If we are “rich” we want more.  Somehow we forget that we are in the richest 2% of the world.  Poor us.

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8 thoughts on “Aww… you poor thing.

  1. Australians are more like Americans than they think. Canada has the same preoccupation with identity, struggling to create an image that is unique, robust, and able to induce a smug attitude when required. While living abroad in the 90s I encountered my first Australians, and I even married one. But I always quipped that Australians only travel in order to tell people that Australia is better then wherever they travel to.

    Some great reading on the identity issue: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/australia/pdf/national_id.pdf

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