I love Aussies. That’s hardly surprising, given that I married one. But recently, listening to the straight-talking Aussie media, I’ve been reminded why. Where in the UK, we have beautifully photographed and haunting warnings about say the dangers of speeding or drink driving, in Australia the tag runs more like this: ‘if you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot’.
Effective, yes. Subtle, no.
Or how about this advertisement from an otherwise conservative Pet’s Magazine:
Piss Off! – A Terrible Name for a Terrible Problem! The ultimate odour absorber for cat and animal urine. Australian made and owned, piss off! Is unlike other products and does not cover up or mask bad odours. Piss Off! works really well on all animal odours e.g; dogs, ferrets, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Or here’s an ad showing a shower gel beside a bar of soap. The soap is split into two parts – one labelled ‘bum’ and the other ‘face’. The tag-line under the gel reads- ‘the only place it’s been is in the bottle’.
Genius. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, whilst listening to an interview about climate change, the main speaker apologised half-way through and admitted that he had no idea what he was talking about. ‘Listen mate’ he drawled, ‘my two big aims coming onto this show were to appear knowledgeable and passionate. But frankly, I’m talking out of my bum. I didn’t do the research so I haven’t a clue what I’m saying and to be honest, I don’t really give a rip either’.
Gentle Jesus meek and mild, might have been an Aussie. When he met the Pharisees, aka religious types who believed they could be saved by their works, he told them they were ‘white-washed tombs’. Ouch. When he saw the money-lenders trading in His Father’s house, he turned over the tables and chased them out. He reminds us that the call to follow Him is costly – ‘If anyone wants to save His life He must lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it’. Jesus doesn’t mince his words. In a world of spin and smooth-talking, His words cut through the rubbish. They not only reach our hearts but can transform them.