Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear Oprah

Having defined the new breed of American-Australians, I now find myself writing for them.

Dear Oprah,

Because, let's face it, if you want to speak to the United States, it's best to begin with Oprah.

Dear Oprah,

We're glad you like our country, we really are. We like it too. And yes, the Australians really are the most unbelievably friendly people you will ever meet. Even if you aren't wealthy enough to buy an 18 bath home while you are here.

We can't blame you for being surprised at how fantastic it is. Or that it is here at all, for that matter. Most of us didn't know Sydney from Melbourne when we got here either.

And we're not going to blame you for comparing us to Disneyworld. (Well, okay, maybe some of us are.) It's okay. You're not only human, and therefore fallible, but you are also American. How can you know that the highest compliment you can pay someone just might NOT be comparing them to America?

You are the best of what America has to offer. You are kind and you care. (Thanks for all those laptop computers by the way, nice work.)  You do good and you mean well.

Which is why we are sure you will share our concerns with the American public, and perhaps even the world.

Australia really does seem like the best place on earth. Newsweek liked it too.

What they don't tell you about is the spiders.

Sure, we got sun.

But did they mention the snakes?

The education system is one of the best in the world. (Sure beats the heck out of the USA.)

But have we mentioned the sharks?

Endless opportunity. Jobs.

But you know that most of the country is desert, right?

Universal health care that works.

And saltwater crocodiles. Good thing about the health care.

A coastline of white sand beaches.

Surrounded by the deadliest jellyfish in the world.

All of which doesn't mean that we don't want your tourism dollars.

Maybe it's best you do think of us as Disneyworld.

Better yet, as Atlantis.

We are a figment of the imagination, Oprah, a happy dream, a charming memory.

We're something nice to reflect upon when the weight of the real world seems too much for American shoulders.

But let us lie quietly, dear Oprah, under the Southern Cross,

Protected by the waves of the Pacific.

And the sharks, dear Oprah, don't forget the sharks.

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