Thursday, August 4, 2011

You needed to tell you this?

Right now, some writer at Saturday Night Live is wondering why he didn't do that skit he had juggling around in the back of his mind when he had the chance. Blown opportunity- because no SNL bit could be as funny as this commercial is.

Of course, what makes this particular episode of the "I'm significant because a dead person who is related to me was significant" chronicles so amusing is that the stupidity is entirely unintentional. Brought to us by, the Australian version, it features a woman who is completely dumbfounded- and slightly scandalized- to have discovered that one of her ancestors back in the Land Down Under was--- get this---a CONVICT!!

You know, lady, maybe this would not have come as such a shock to you if you had taken just a little time to learn SOMETHING of your continent/nation's history. You see, stupid, Australia was absorbed into the British Empire in the 1700s (though originally discovered by the Dutch, its shoreline was most expertly mapped by England's greatest explorer, Captain James Cook.) By the end of that century, the tiny, overcrowded island's government had decided that it would be a good idea to use Australia as a place to relocate it's population of "criminals" (I use the term loosely- English citizens were sentenced to "transportation" for crimes as petty as debt.) The vast majority of English-speaking peoples settling in Australia in the 18th and early 19th century were, in fact, convicted felons.

So for you to express AMAZEMENT that one of your ancestors in Australia was a CONVICT just reveals how stunningly ignorant you are of your native land's origins. Seriously, what's next? Look a little deeper, and you might find that a Swedish relative had (wait for it) BLOND HAIR AND BLUE EYES!! You needed to learn this? Really?

If you had told me that your family's Australian roots go back 200 years, I could have told you this myself, and with a great deal of confidence, too. And I could have spared you the charge you incurred by clicking that stupid leaf.

What a clueless dope.


  1. As I said before, this site offers the average idiot with too much money a chance to blow his dough scratching his or or her itch to perform ancestor worship.

  2. My favorite commercial will always be the one where the guy learns that one of his relatives once lived next door to the Wright Brothers- he seems genuinely proud of the fact that the coolest thing he could find out about his ancestors was that they once lived in close proximity to important people.

    He even holds up a photograph of the Wright brothers plane- priceless.

  3. I gotta show this to my Aussie friend. He's got a killer sense of humor (luckily for me) and when he told me that his mother was English and moved to Australia at age 17, he laughed when I said: "What'd she do? Steal a loaf of bread?"

    I'm almost relieved that the Australians have to put up with the inane bullshit we have to put up with in TV ads.

  4. I realize you have to be a bit thick to fain surprise that your lineage in Australia leads back to a convict, although I suspect there were those in Australia who found opportunity there without being one.
    There is only to gain from learning about your ancestors. Your ancestors basically describe - you. Many cultures are deeply concerned with who and what went on within one's lineage. Royalty certainly is. Nazi's were keen on it as well. For a life lived in total anonymity or dullness, though, having Uncle Harry live next to a Wright Brother may be the only thing left.
    But is to real research what "I'm Okay You're Okay" is to Freudian analysis.

  5. If they were American, it would make sense they were surprised because we're doing well to get our own history right, nevermind any other country's, but an Australian--wow.

  6. James- absolutely right, just because you trace your lineage back to Australia does not necessarily mean that you are going to find convicts there. However, it is extremely likely, and certainly nothing to be astonished about. One might as well be an Italian-American stunned to learn that your ancestors came through Ellis Island, or a Russian American Jew expressing amazement that your great grandfather came here to escape the Pogroms.

  7. And I agree with you, John. Although a lot of people walk around in denial, with their own historical script running in the background. Ancestry dot calm is another convenience, like microwave 'gourmet' dinners. You don't get nearly the experience of a real meal, but you tell yourself it's a wonder of the age, anyway.