Saturday, May 07, 2005


Australian Cultural Imperialism

I was rather taken aback today when I noticed that Atrios, who I assume is American had a post up titled Wanker of the Day. It wasn’t the language that surprised me. It was the fact that the word ‘wanker’ was being used, exactly the way we use it, but by an American. Indeed it seems that Atrios has been making habit of it, because I counted its use at least 10 times.

I was under the impression that this superbly dismissive and pungent word was a secret only known to Australians, Poms and New Zealanders. Certainly a 1996 American definition confirms that it was not in common use at that time.

Maybe some nine years later the word is catching on in the US, its distinctive derisory note, simply too good to ignore.

Someone though, should speak to the proprietors of Wankers Corner, a saloon bar in Oregon who seem to be treating the word with disdain, and risk spoiling its effect, thus ruining the fun for everyone.

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Perhaps as a result of the wonderful new "free trade" agreement Howard and Vaile have signed with the United States, a new era of Australian cultural imperialism is swamping the U.S. and leaving McDonalds, Hollywood, and dumb-ass Republican ranchmen in its wake.

Then again, perhaps not.
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