Ramming the Shears by Michael Leunig .

Travel in Asia, Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, reveals an affectionate admiration for the peoples and lifestyle of this great sunburnt country, this wide brown land.

Asians in particular regard us warmly, especially recalcitrant Muslim States to our north who accept our kindness and generosity with both awe and gratitude.

They view pre-emption nobly offered by a former diminutively-revered leader as that unique Australian blend of regional cooperation and derring-do.

Our eastern neighbours, of whom we are proud paladins, play safely unmolested in their sunny Pacific precincts. The fuzzy wuzzy angels to our close north fondly consider us a rascally gang who altruistically saved their southern cousins from another fifty thousand years of stagnation.

To all strangers and foreign souls (arriving only by air) we extend the warm hand of welcome. And, too-long forgotten, particularly, a warm greeting to those long-patient Territorians. Especially, also, our inland dwellers, those Arafura Pedestrians of Antiquity, our Native Australians.

Both our white outlanders and our indigenous tinted folk share with foreigners the misfortune of never having cherished the ‘real Australia’ – those sensuously skyward steely-glassed coastal cities fed by cascading combustion-powered rivers of commerce.

Girt by sea, black with coal, this wide brown land’s wealth radiates around the globe to nations whose paucity of mere culture, education, and civilization reflect with flowing fiat their envy – that goes mostly over our heads, we being deep within those loving excavations that finance a cargo cult of magical foreign-made trifles.

And, not least, this nation’s grand sweep of erudite cardinal fertility, that cultural and social incubator: the ethnic tribes of Sydney’s great western ghettos, and the triple-mortgage trash of her far flung suburbs.

Originally published by Throsby at SheepOverboard in 2004.