Vegemite is as Australian as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge; now I ask you this – If Vegemite is this Australian, how is it that it is owned by an American company named Kraft?! Despite Australia’s intense national pride, it is becoming increasingly influenced by America; particularly through the mediums of popular culture and current world events. Australians have always seen themselves to be in “the lucky country” it therefore is ironic that Australia has a severe inferiority complex.
Australia is constantly wanting to “keep up with the Jones’s” or in this case; keep up with the Americans.
Multinational corporations, such as Mc Donald’s, are prime examples of American influence across the globe. Mc Donald’s has become the world’s largest food service retailer with well over 25 000 restaurants, serving a diverse range of people around the world. Ever since the first store opened in Sydney, Mc Donald’s has been very successful financially and today you can find a store in every Australian state. Although Mc Donald’s seems like it would be good for Australia, this is not the case. Australia owns less than 10% of Mc Donald’s and the rest is owned by America. Many Australians fear that we are losing our own Australian identity and instead embracing that of the American culture. It would be very hard to take people away from Mc Donald’s and towards other Australian owned companies, because the youth of Australia and people’s attitudes have been forged into thinking that Mc Donald’s is better.
It seems that without Mc Donald’s in Australia many little businesses, with great potential, would be doing better. This would be more favourable to Australia in the long run. Mc Donald’s has grown so much in Australia and therefore it has contributed to the ‘Americanisation’ of Australia.
America’s culture is infiltrating our own Australian identity and some of the ways it is doing so is through music, movies and television programmes. Popular Culture is a subculture, usually of the young, reacting against the dominant culture of a society.
Australian music is nothing compared to that of the Americans. The current top ten in Australia’s’ music charts is being dominated by Americans. There is only one Australian in the top ten, Delta Goodrem and she is at the bottom of the list. This shows, once again that Australia is losing their identity to the Americans.
Every night on television there is no doubt you will see at least one American TV show, if not more. Many people have said that they believe there is no way Australians have lost their identity, but then why are there so many American based television shows on every night? This doesn’t make sense as if Australians want to keep their identity why don’t they do something about it. Television and movies are very popular today, thus it should be easy for Australians to make a name for themselves, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
It is obvious that American movies always seem to be on top. When Australian actors want to become successful they go to America to make a name for themselves. For example Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger and Eric Bana are just a couple of actors who have done this. It can be seen that to become successful you do not have to live in America, as Johnny Depp is a very well known American actor who does not live in America and hardly ever does American movies. This tells you that Australians have been convinced into believing that to be great you have to live the American dream. Popular culture is taking Australians into the future, but it seems that in the future pop culture won’t be Australian it will be American.
Many people are familiar with the recent war in Iraq and this topic confirms that Australia is losing their identity to America. John Howard the Prime Minister of Australia, has supported George Bush ever since he came into power. There was no hesitation in Howard’s mind that no matter what, Australia would back up the Americans in whatever they choose to do. Australia was one of the only countries who supported America in their embargo of Iraq and Australian battleships were sent out to keep the block working.
When the twin towers were destroyed in New York on September 11th by a terrorist organisation, Al Qaeda, the Americans had no other option but to declare war on Afghanistan. Australia once again backed up the American cause as we had to show via our political leaders our allegiance to the USA. Many in this country see our continual backing of America and its progress into having its own empire. Globalisation seems to be a part of Australians losing their own identity. A lot of Australians are greatly upset with the “Americanisation” of our language because this is blatant globalisation of the Australian identity. All the globalisation that is taking place in Australia will end up leaving us as a colony of the USA not a colony of the UK.
Multinational corporations, Pop culture and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan proves that Australia is becoming America’s baby. Whether Australians choose to accept this or not it is happening. America is a super power and Australians seem to strive to become a just as powerful. The only problem is that Australia might be trying too hard to become like America. Is that really what Australia is like… a try hard nation? In the end of the day Australia should be proud that we could call ourselves part of America but at the same time we should try to retain some of our own identity. As the proverb goes, if you sleep with the dogs, don’t be surprised if you have fleas.