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Old March 15, 2009, 04:51 AM   #63
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 48
Ben, my friend in the U.S. is not a gun owner and has no interest in firearms. He is somewhat troubled by the perception that if you 'look at someone the wrong way' or upset a stranger especially when driving, you're liable to be confronted by a person producing a handgun and maybe using it.

Because of our super-tight handgun rules in Australia that's not a common perception here. Which of course doesn't save you from facing physical violence here especially if you're at a night-spot like a pub or nightclub. Alcohol fuelled violence is becoming ever more prevalent in Oz society. We have a drinking culture here.

Other cultural differences are a perceived different work ethic and workplace culture between what my mate views as the Australian attitude and the U.S. one, and the strong social impacts of different racial attitudes and groups. Going into the details, reasons and aspects would just about fill a book. And we suffer from a similar dose of political correctness as you guys so I have to be careful what I say.

Our Aboriginals don't have the same sort of presence in the big cities as African Americans. Maybe more like Native Americans perhaps??

Something I find intriguing is how (according to my friend) the residents in the housing estate he lives in are pressured to keep their property neat and tidy according to a set standard. He doesn't live in a high value estate but he better not let his lawn get too long. Not such a bad idea really, given here in West Oz you can just about get away with cultivating a jungle before local councils jump on your case. Your house is regarded as your castle here...until the Government wants the land for some other purpose. It can be compulsorily reclaimed, with compensation paid at a pretty low rate. Doesn't happen often but it does happen. You never really own your plot in Oz!

Interestingly, the States seems to have lower standards of housing and workmanship than that allowed here in major cities in West Oz. I don't see that as a bad thing, but housing costs are painfully high over here.

This one gave me a bit of a giggle. When my mate moved into the housing estate his family and he were invited to a barbecue. One of the guests asked him what church he went to. He's not a churchgoer and said so. He was looked at askance and the only reply a judgmental "Oh!"
Here in Oz we don't give a rats what church you go to or otherwise - except perhaps if it's a mosque. That would tweak some interest.

You have to remember the population of Oz is less now than the States had at the time of the Civil War. And the folks who migrated to America in such huge numbers were often financially barren, desperate old-worlders suddenly facing conditions of human conflict with other ethnic groups, Native Americans, cattle barons etc. The U.S. was founded in conflict, the need for firearms absolute. Ours wasn't.

Our culture and heirarchy hasn't been shaped by the relatively small convict kickstart so much as the English attitude that came with it. We always went on about egalitarianism here. But there's always been a fairly strong elitist 'us-and-them' culture hiding quietly behind it. And our big conflicts have been mostly fought in other lands.
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