G’day sport, it’s time for another edition of Seriously Geeky Sundays, the writing challenge series brought to us by Heather from Just Geeking By, she’s faster than a dingo and more impressive than the sweet sound of a didgeridoo!
Bet you can’t work out what country we’ll be talking about today, eh…
The 26th January is Australia Day, the national day of Australia which marks the anniversary of the first fleet of British ships to land at Sydney Cove in 1788. Despite being a national day, it does reflect a controversial point of history and is also referred to as Invasion Day. I recommend learning more about it here.
I’ve chosen this day for this month’s Around the World in 8 Sundays topic because history isn’t simple. It is controversial, and contemporary celebrations for Australia Day have worked to encompass every aspect of Australian culture. This seemed the ideal way to introduce a discussion about the pop culture of the continent of Australia.
Question 1 – What is your favourite fandom set in Australia?
Easy one for me, this! Mad Max!
The brainchild of director George Miller, This series of four movies follows the apocalyptic adventures of ex-cop Max Rohatensky, who’s family is murdered by the evil biker gang leader Toecutter and his lackies. Max gets his revenge, using the iconic Ford Falcon Interceptor (my favourite movie vehicle of all time, look at it!) and drives off into the sunset.
But the end of the world comes about between Mad Max and its sequel, and so the cop becomes the Road Warrior, saving communities from bandits, fighting in Thunderdomes (the worst one, sorry Tina Turner) and helping a rogue convoy get away from horrible baddies (the massively successful recent entry).
Whether portrayed by Mel “Total Nutjob” Gibson or Tom Hardy, Mad Max is a great character in a (mostly) fantastic series of movies!
Question 2 – Who is your favourite character from the continent of Australia?
Going to cheat a bit here, as this character is technically a portrayal of a real person, but exaggerated and lied about a fair bit, and quite openly too!
I speak of Eric Bana’s portryal of Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, a self-appointed Aussie vigilante and straight up psychopath who enjoyed notoriety and fame in the 1980s. Bana’s version of this larger-than-life man is absolutely spellbinding, in a creepy, often disturbing way. His propensity for violence, mood swings and the lengths he’ll go to in order to get his way make Chopper one of the most iconic Australian personalities of all time.
Be warned though, that movie isn’t for the faint of heart!
Question 3 – Do you have any favourite authors/entertainers/celebrities from this continent?
Oh hell yes, I do!
Let’s talk about probably the most iconic animal advocate with no sense of danger to ever exist on this earth, the legend Steve Irwin!
I remember when this genuine hero first appeared on the scene. I was still in high school, I remember sitting down to watch it with my parents and my brother, on the promise that he was courageous to the point of madness in his quest to introduce dangerous animals to our screens, and educate us about them.
In the space of this one episode, he handled a baby crocodile, just to demonstrate how quickly its parents came to protect it (very quickly) and had a poisonous snake spit in his eyes, at which point he rushed over to a nearby Masai village to get the antidote. No drama though, he just kept the cameras on and explained the situation as he went.
And it didn’t stop there!For years he and his wife went all round the world, nearly being savaged by dangerous critters in the name of education and conservation. Tragically, he lost his life a few years later to a stingray, whilst filming a documentary.
Freaking legend that guy, rest in peace Steve!
Question 4 – Thinking of Australia’s diverse history which part would you like to see featured in a fandom?
I think setting a story during the British colonisation of Australia would be realy interesting.
You could have heroes on both sides of the story: native peoples fighting against an uncaring, greedy enemy, sympathetic British characters joining their plight, they could even be prisoners who escape, who knows?
As long as it was told in a balanced, informative way it could have a lot of merit!
Question 5 – Although there is a thriving Australian and New Zealand entertainment industry very few productions are picked up outside this continent. What are your thoughts on this?
Aussie and Kiwi cinema has produced some absolute classics (see Mad Max and Chopper in my previous answers) and anyone who is a movie fan should always seek to expand their horizons and watch movies from other industries outside Hollywood.
Case in point? Just watch this trailer…
Question 6 – You’ve been given a chance to set a scene for a fandom of your choice in Australia; do you pick the outback or an urban location?
I’m imagining a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, but set in the Australian outback, maybe set around the same time, if not a little earlier. Imagine riding across the barren red plains, checking out Ayer’s Rock, having gunfights with baddies in little ramshackle towns and, maybe, visiting a city at some point too, just to add a bit of flavour!
I’d call it Red Rock Redemption, Mate.
Strewth, that was fun wasn’t it! Why not throw another (excellent blog) shrimp on the barbie (your browser) and follow all of the other bonza writers posting under the #SeriouslyGeekySundays whilst you’re at it? Don’t be a flamin’ Galar, get them checked out!
See you all next week!