Monday, October 02, 2006


The problem with Australian Values is that when they are extracted out of the pithy membranes of every day existence, an inordinate number of transformations take place. Consequently, though the deluded recipient or indeed assignee to such extracts may be labouring under the impression that it is the proud recipient and custodian of Australian values, the reality could be quite different.
Prepackaged Australian values, with their gaudy exterior and labels proudly proclaiming their "100% Australian made" provenance can be misleading, especially since much of the printing these days is outsourced to China, given the economies of scale and the general increased profitability of the globalised market. Then, glancing beyond the barcode, aptly printed to emulate the bars of the Wimmera detention camp, you get the first caveat: "Keep Refrigerated." Naturally. For how can one expect Australian Values to remain in their pristine and fresh state unless they are cryogenically frozen to ensure their monolithic unchangeability for all time? Expose your little vessel of Australian Values to the Australian sun (which is hot enough to fry an egg) and very soon you will see your erstwhile fresh and clean Australian values sour, morph and turn into something downright unpleasant. Recent studies by CSIRO scientists recommend that Australian values are best kept preserved at a temperature of 1950AD, though this is not binding. No pressure.
The next thing one learns upon examining the label, is that if one is to enjoy Australian Values to the full, these need to be "shaken well before use." As any chemist could tell you, when Australian values are placed on the shelf for long periods of time, their contents begin to settle and the most pithy elements tend to sink to the bottom, where they can easily be mistaken as dregs. A good shaking prior to ingestion can ensure that such heavier elements as do exist can be evenly dispersed throughout the mixture, temporarily suspending them as if in a colloid of national righteousness that is gentler to the stomach.
Upon shaking said values vigorously and noting their even dispersal with satisfaction, one is astounded upon glancing at the constituent ingredients of such values that all is not well: "Made from Australian values and Re-constituted Australian values (99.9%)" Re-constituted? What do you mean by re-constituted? Does this mean that our values have been picked, packed and then, in a deep, dark laboratory underground, disassembled, prodded, poked, extruded, teased, reamed, boiled, pasteurized, homogenised and reduced to their basic elements before being resurrected on the third day in a test tube? How does this impact upon their freshness? Are we obtaining second hand values mixed together with the latest crop to provide the verisimilitude of organolepticity?
Even more insidious are those packaged Australian-made values that bear the caveat: "Made from Australian and Imported Values." Oh the horror of hybridization. In the frenzied coupling of disparate values, one is powerless to separate the constituent elements to determine the level of purity. Instead, we are presented for our consumption with values that while masquerading as Australian, contain elements that do not belong, that do not allow themselves to assimilate into the dominant liquid but lurk ominously beneath the surface, awaiting the moment opportune to let all the poisons that they harbour within them to hatch out. Of course, in time, many of these values, especially the trans-Pacific ones are able to penetrate the cytoplasm of Australian values and implant their mitochondria in the nucleus, in a manner reminiscent of the Midwich cuckoos. These alter the total functioning of the nucleus, while preserving the outward appearance of the Australian value as before. Interestingly enough, it has either not come to the attention of Australian value producers that they are actually purveying a mutant strain of their product, or, their own nuclei having been imperceptibly penetrated by trans-Pacific mitochondria a good deal earlier, they are not unduly vexed.
In these times, which mark the apogee of humanity's mastering of technology, permitting it to split creation into its constituent parts and put them pack together the wrong way, one needs also to be wary of our own producers knowingly indulging in value engineering, value modification and value splicing; all terms for the process of manipulating values usually outside those values normal reproductive and evolutionary process. The process entails the isolation, manipulation and reintroduction of Aussie myths into ballads, blokey VB commercials, usually to express an Aussie protein. The aim is to introduce new characteristics or attributes physiologically or physically, such as making a pie-muncher resistant to falafel, introducing a novel trait or producing a new enzyme or Kylie Minogue song lyrics. We are assured of course, that Australian Value Modified beverages contain just as much natural goodness as their Organically grown varieties and in fact are jam-packed with nutrients and other goodies that will prevent their decay and composition but it still pays to be careful. After all it is one thing to have Osmocote ™ sprinkled upon your Values prior to their extraction in order to have them grow big and strong and healthy and another thing to fiddle with the parts. If anything, this may end up voiding the warranty.
Despite Australian Values being touted as natural and a pancea to all ills, especially the common wog in winter, they don't keep well and need some enhancement to ensure their palatability and attractiveness to the consumer. My particular vessel of Australian Values has: "Colour (217)." This is imperative. No one wants to buy a watered down version of a product and the only guarantee of of goodness if a full-bodied, true blue, dinki-di healthy hue, coloured to match the exact tone of the values' rind. Similarly, despite the recommended storage temperature (no pressure), scientists know that invariably, Australian Values need further intervention in order to ensure their preservation. An unnamed "Preservative (202)" does the trick, providing producers with a valuable breathing space in which to whip up the next batch.
Not to purchase one's daily intake of Australian Values can lead to all sorts of helath problems, including rickets, beri beri, scurvy and worst of all, being diagnosed with being un-Australian. This is a serious affliction that can lead to social quarantine, ridicule and covert coercion by functionaries ancillary to the Value Producers Board to injest a vial of the nearest available Australian Values, in order to immunize against un-Australianess and deflect the danger of public contagion. Of late, it has been considered that the hybridization of vartious vials has caused an unacceptable danger of such contagion. For the interests of public health and safety, new arrivals to this country must declare that they are not afflicted with the un-Australian virus, as well as to undertake to drink their health-giving vial of Australian values. While they are at it, they should also be made to promise to brush their teeth three times a day. After all, some of these Aussie Value Tetra Paks use artificial sweeteners and I have it on good authority that they can play havoc with ones tooth surfaces. And as an afterthought, should they not also be compelled to undertake in writing that they will responsibly dispose of empty Australian Value receptacles in the recycle bin, so as to ensure that future generations can grow up in a non-polluted and healthy environment?
Of course a word of caution needs to be spoken against those nefarious personages who would exploit the rational fear of everyday Australians of contracting the un-Australian virus by purveying placebos instead of bona fide immunizations. The most notable of all these is the footballer Sam Kekovitch who artfully attempted to persuade the populace at large that the consuption of lamb can protect one against the particularly virulent strain of the disease that was released on Bondi beach: "My fellow Australians, the incidents of un-Australian behaviour over the past year was enough to make me choke on my lamb chops. And it was all down to one thing, not enough lamb. Lamb could have prevented the boofheads perpetrating violence on our beaches. It’s bloody hard to bash someone with a cutlet."
Not a chance Sam. Be careful from whom you buy your shots. An inability to develop enough antibodies could see you hauled off to the House Committee of un-Australian Activities, a franchise of the House Committee of un-American Activities Pty Ltd, owned by the Mc Carthy family and banned from bringing in ethnic flags to the soccer for life. Acquire your Australian Values from accredited providers or do as I do, and await the arrival of the Daily Australian Values Company guys. Their zany employees live in the back of a truck and spend their hours bottling freshly squeezed values that are delivered to your doorstep with a smile. You open your front door, take a sip and yell "You beaut" as you make your bed secure in the knowledge that Mr Menzies has swept all the Reds, lice, wogs and other bugs from under it, and toodle off to waltz with the jolly jumbucks, down by the billabong, under the shade of the Coolabah tree.

First published in NKEE on 2 October 2006