Wednesday, 19 May 2010

What is patriotism to you? Love for your country? How can you measure patriotism? What counts as a patriotic act?

Few days ago, an Australian teenager by the name of Jessica Watson completed her solo sail around the world.

Yes, you saw it right. She sailed around the world, alone. An admirable feat, I admit. But you should see the news coverage about her here. It's expected that she will be a millionaire soon.

Not that I don't think she doesn't deserve it. After all, sailing alone around the world at the age of 16 (or 17, I'm not sure) isn't easy. Plus, she had to go through a lot of hardships. I mean, you know how Mother Nature's been the last few years.

Some war memorial in Adelaide.

The Prime Minister has called her a hero, although she insists she isn't one; she's just a normal girl who had followed her dreams. You can read more about it here and here.

Anyway, today in class I had defended Malaysia.

It was a debate as part of an assignment for a subject called Media, Writing and Rhetoric. The team today debated on 'there is no such thing as freedom of the press'. And they had used Malaysia as an example. I had felt awfully embarrassed by what they said, the way they portrayed Malaysia. Not that it wasn't true. What they said was completely true, just that it's so... weird that our dirty laundry was aired so openly.

Parliament House.

Then later on, the tutor asked the class whether anyone has followed the news from Malaysia. Obviously, none of them did, because our country's barely mentioned anyway. Then he continued by asking who knows Anwar Ibrahim. I was the only one whose hand was raised. He asked me to tell the class about the sodomy charges against Anwar. So I said that many people think that Mahathir had instigated the charges against his deputy last time, and now many think the same thing's happening again.

Then he asked me another question I can't remember, and that's when I defended our country. I said that yes, all the conspiracy and his side of the story are not mentioned in the mainstream media, but that was 10 years ago and now, we have the internet, which is unrestricted by laws and with news portals, to provide an alternative view to the issue.

State Library of South Australia.

I felt that I had to say something because the alternative media was not mentioned in their debate, and it had seemed as if there were no reports of another point of view to an issue. It seemed as if only the mainstream media existed.

How patriotic of me, eh?

And what about those people who leaves their country in search of better opportunities? Does that make them any less patriotic? Although they are contributing to another country's economy, can we really say that they do not love their country? Just because they've decided to relocate for a better life?

Here's a video of a song that is sang by an Irish (I think) musician:



Recognise him? Does he look familiar?

It's Brian McFadden who used to be in Westlife. You might not have heard from him in a long time, but that's because he's been in Australia, furthering his solo singing career. Oh, and he's also the judge for this year's Australia's Got Talent.
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