cultural crossroads ● australia ● america
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The Meaning of 'Down Under':
It’s all arbitrary ... or is it?
The Australian perspective will obviously clear the matter up:
To Australians, the maps shown here are obviously incorrect. Australia is really located in the centre of
the world, not at its side.
And because Australia is nowadays 'world class' in all things (including dwarf throwing*) and is 'world's
best practice' as a nation (i.e. still practising to be a nation more often than any other country), 'Down
Under' should really be on top (as it would be in the Rugby World - if it weren't for New Zealand).
Use of the term 'Down Under' - assigned to Australia (and later to NZ) by the Greenwich Ministry for Silly
Names, at first met with a puzzled look and some initial resistance by most Australians (who would
prefer to simply be known as 'Bruce'),
However tired of constantly becoming lost near the North Pole, in 1965 Qantas pilots successfully led a
movement to have the term officially accepted (thereby helping them find their way home more often
than not, on return flights overseas).
The reason for the original dislike of the tag by Aussies is not readily clear. It may have been the
likelihood of being seriously injured when all those dominoes collapsed, and fell down (under) from Red
China ... possibly caused not only by gravity and the loss of Vietnam, but the sheer weight of the 'yellow
But some speculate that being down under and basically looking up the skirt of the world could lead to a
gaol term and even become an unnecessary distraction. After all both Australia and New Zealand are
better known for their world-class sheep (and 12 meter yachts) ... and along with flies, have lots of
[Footnote: All those flies may explain Australians' reputation for having once developed equally world-class 'bullshit
detectors' ... a great help in not being kept down under. But increasingly 'experts' agree this reputation is now threatened
by the arrival of some mindbloggling new technology - the internet - where baring your soul daily over breakfast, with a
webcam capturing in its totality your act of opening a milk carton, has become a superior substitute to taking action
* And also
world class architecture
In theory, Australia (and NZ) are located
the Earth's equator - at
least that's what a school atlas or two
seem to suggest ... but much of Africa and
South America also lie south of the
Equator, so what gives?!
'Down Under' or 'Up Over'
Sitting in space, are you looking at Planet Earth from above or below?
Depending on your answer, where are Australia and New Zealand now
located - above or below, north or south, west or east?
It's all a matter of perspective,
but if more help is needed:
READ ON BELOW ...