June 22, 2017, 07:26:29 PM

Author Topic: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...  (Read 436 times)

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2017, 02:38:25 PM »
And I thought maybe this thread would be listless and overlooked :)

I must say, I have always thought it would be interesting to visit Oz, although I passed on a chance to be stationed there in the middle of nowhere, literally.

So this has been informative. But I think what I had heard was either wrong, or I heard it wrong, or time warped what I heard. But it was useful, nonetheless. My goal was never to write an Aussie or (god help me) a character who spoke like one. Thinking back to Lady Ty's Crocodile Dundee "That's not a knife" clip, it's the attitude that I was after, and really just a particular slice. Such are the mental games we play, or at least, that I play as I struggle to create and portray a female who is convincingly and hopefully uniquely feminine and potent.

This excerpt from Lady Ty's post, from a writer's perspective, is essentially a terrific start for a great character:

To sum up, TGC, your Aussie style character could have cheeky sense of humour and generally pretty happy but could quickly become blunt, rude or defensive depending how they are treated back. Can see through any bullshit straight away and will say so. Will greet every dire setback with the equivalent of "She'll be right, mate", shrug off difficulty and get on with it. They will be utterly reliable in their task or duty if asked*, but if ordered to do it, you'd probably get 'F-Off."  Yes, if male, a magpie-hoarder, will be King Rat in the army running the black market, if female less obvious but pick up useful odds and ends all over the place. Always completely loyal to team or friends.

* If you keep on telling them more than once what to do or how to do it, they will say "Right, mate, no problem" then ignore whatever you were on about and do it their own way.

The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Elfy

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2017, 10:47:43 PM »
Now I'm curious what you think about Pratchett's Last Continent, Lady_Ty.
I'm reading that one now ;D
But yes, there are lots of inside jokes that I bet are passing me by...

(just to confirm, is XXXX a beer?)

Yup.



But Aussies dont drink it, think its rubbish and only good for export.  ;)
XXXX one of the worst beers ever brewed. Fosters is much the same these days. No one here drinks it, I don't even think you can buy it here anymore, and I believe it's mostly brewed overseas as well.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Nora

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 12:36:44 AM »
Ah they drink it here sometimes, but mostly Aussies like all other foreigners buy big packs of Tennets. It's like beer flavoured water, but gets you happy after a few, so does its job I guess?
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Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 02:25:53 AM »
Just as another aside, after re-reading my suggestion for an Aussie based female character, quoted above by TGC, I think I accidentally described a version of the memorable Kizzy from A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. Does anyone who enjoyed that book agree?
"You have to have an open mind, but not so open that your brain leaks out."    Australian Chief Scientist Alan Finkel replying to persistent science denying Senator.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2017, 05:23:28 AM »
Just as another aside, after re-reading my suggestion for an Aussie based female character, quoted above by TGC, I think I accidentally described a version of the memorable Kizzy from A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. Does anyone who enjoyed that book agree?

I totally see what you're getting at, but my first thought, honestly, is that Kizzy is just too nice to be properly Australian. ;)

Offline Elfy

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2017, 06:24:00 AM »
Just as another aside, after re-reading my suggestion for an Aussie based female character, quoted above by TGC, I think I accidentally described a version of the memorable Kizzy from A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. Does anyone who enjoyed that book agree?
I liked Kizzy, but I never saw her as Australian. I think in the time the book is set we as a species seem to have left the concept of countries behind and are more aligned to whatever planet we or our family originated from.
Australians as a people tend to rebel against authority and dislike the class system, that may stem from the original purpose of the country as a penal colony, and it's sort of lived on in that a lot of people in Australia are coming from somewhere else. Many of us may have been born here (I'm actually 4th generation), but none of us originated from Australia, unless of course you happen to be indigenous.

Offline Nora

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2017, 09:41:44 AM »
Tbh though, you guys have way much of a class system than kiwis do. Mostly because there are too many of you and too many got rich. In the cool neighbourhood people mix and there is no knowing if the guy drinking coffee next to you is loaded or not, but if you go to south Melbourne you'll find posh houses and expensive shops and restaurants.
Wellington in comparison has really everyone blended in, if you're rich there and want to go out you have no choice but to go out with the workers and students... Everything happens in a couple of streets.
The friends I've made the most "out of my class" are all kiwis. In Oz though it was mostly a point of education. In people my age, I befriended quite a few who were a LOT more educated than me and my lack of formal knowledge was never a hurdle.
This being said Oz is still not comparable to what you can experience in London or Edinburgh. London has many district with not a price tag in sight that manage to make you feel inadequate, and in Edinburgh many of my well off customer treated me a lot more like a mean to the end of getting their food, than kiwis or Aussies did.
Aussies were the worst of the lot, curiosity-wise often to my annoyance. I'd be trying to do my work and they'd be asking where do I come from, what do I do, am I studying, why Oz and am I liking it, etc.
Sometimes it'd be nice, sometimes it felt like prodding.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Elfy

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2017, 10:52:36 PM »
One of the defining characteristics of Australians, and this may not be the case any more, but it was some years ago, and TGC kind of said he'd experienced it with the Aussies and Kiwis that he's met in the services, is a lack of respect or a rebellion against authority. There used to be a saying that the best way to get an Australian soldier to do something was tell them that they couldn't. They'd see it as a challenge and do it just to stick it up the establishment. Back in those days when the comment was first coined, the establishment was overwhelmingly British. The film Gallipoli (about the WW1 military campaign) has some good examples of that in the behaviour of the soldiers in Egypt.

Offline Lady_Ty

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Re: Aussies! You know the ones I mean ...
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2017, 09:10:55 AM »

I totally see what you're getting at, but my first thought, honestly, is that Kizzy is just too nice to be properly Australian. ;)

You make a good point, @cupiscent, Kizzy actually displays her soft heart sometimes. She also liked expensive soap, not the five-pack Palmolive stand-by type. ;D


I liked Kizzy, but I never saw her as Australian.

I didn't mean that Kizzy was in any way portrayed as Australian, or that they still existed as such.  Just that, in retrospect, the character showed some of the qualities I was describing to TGC.  Sticking to a difficult task without fuss, liking to do things her own way and also being a hoarder- can't remember the details but she had multiple packs of an obscure item that eventually came in useful.

She was my favourite character and definitely liked that book. Also enjoyed the sequel very much indeed, but that is completely different.  Sorry went off-topic here, but it was a good conversation. ;D
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