Ways Of Living In Contemporary Australian Society

Ways Of Living In Contemporary Australian Society

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There are many different ways of living in our Multicultural Australian Society, but is there a right one? You could be either rich or poor, Catholic or Christian, skinny or fat, popular or unpopular, all of which are different ways of living. The poems which Komninos composes, the article written by Laura Demasi and the television show Big Brother, all explore the aspects of living in an Australian society and the affects they have on people.

You may not realise that the media has a major impact on people's perspective of themselves and others around them and also reflects and dictates cultural trends and ways of living. People who are attractive and popular tend to judge people who are overweight and ‘nerdy' because they don't fit in with this class of people. Vegetarian, Vegan, Fast food junkie or a meat eater! These are all to do with eating and ways of living. People who eat fast food are usually overweight and have medical conditions like type two diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So does that mean that Vegetarians or vegans are healthier? Vegans are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency which affects the blood and nervous system. So their choice of lifestyle may be healthier than that of a fast food junkie, but that doesn't mean that they don't face risks in their way of living.

People who live their lives the way their Religion expects them to, only know of that way to live, but there is more than one type of religion. So which one do you choose? Catholic, Christian, Buddhist or Jewish, these are just some of the religions that are commonly known in Australian communities and most people don't get to choose because they are brought up with parents that follow that religion, therefore they are expected to do the same. In the poem ‘at christmas', Komninos celebrates Christmas as a festival when people change from their everyday way of living. Komninos also changes his way of writing by using a rhyming and rhythmical style, in an almost ‘sing-song' way. The voice of the poet in this poem is child like.
"it doesn't matter where you're from
australia welcomes everyone"
This kind of writing indicates that a different way of living exists for the short period of Christmas time. Christmas is celebrated by Christians and Catholics, but the Jewish celebrate a different kind of Christmas called Honica.

‘at christmas' becomes a refrain for the poem, adding to its song-like quality.

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In the small stanzas following the first verse paragraph, emphasis is placed on the ways in which Christmas replaces the usual hostile relationships between people with warmth.
"i'm even nice to my little brother
although he's an agonising brat"
However, once Christmas is over the usual relationship will return. The speaker may be nice to his brother, but he doesn't forget that he is ‘an agonising brat'.

The last verse surveys Australia, in terms of its different religions and localities. Komninos notes that, at Christmas unites the nation, the rich and the poor, those in the country and the city and even different attitudes to clothing and hairdressing.
"if stubbies and thongs are what you like
or if you prefer a fine silk cravat
if you shave your head, or wear a wig
or wear your hair in a plat"

Different ways of living are all united in the one celebratory way of life at Christmas, but they are not abolished. The differences coexist with the unity.
The poems on the page can look like long columns of free verse, but are usually supported by some much more traditional rhythms. The use of rhyme is also extensive, though it is sometimes reduced to half rhymes or increased to a single act of repeating the rhyme for a whole poem.

Both Komninos' poem ‘kuranda, october 1992' and Big Brother, link self image, money and …. Komninos' poem's provide a range of types of speech, using his own voice and often presents himself as an observer and listens. He visualizes the poet as one who is involved in life's experiences, but who also communicates those experiences in his poetry. In kuranda, october 1992, Komninos is a detached observer of others and himself, recording different ways of living in a restaurant bar in the rainforest resort. The oddity of his situation is captured in the opening line,
‘I sit talking to myself'.
His alienation from the others in the restaurant and his satirical assessment of them is quickly established in the representation of the waiter as a ‘bozo', a name for a clown. Other people are portrayed unattractively,
‘a fat tanned woman'
And their countries of origin,
‘british backpacker haven'

Komninos does not confine himself, however, to representing the ways of life of others. Most of the poem concentrates on himself. He assesses his hyper-critical observations as examples of his own cynicism,
‘i am a cynic'
and although he compliments himself on the appearance of his skin after a careful day's sun-bathing, the picture that he gives of his appearance as a swimmer is not alluring,
‘body exposed to other people
fat body.
white hairy fat body
flowing out of shorts
rolling into humps.
breasts most women would be proud of.
a big body.
but today, the great white whale.
moby dickless

In spite of the happiness that grows, with the assistance of alcohol, in the last stages of the poem, and some amusing portrayals of himself and others during it, there is a sense that this is an artificial and transitory way of living for all concerned. This is exactly the same as living in the Big Brother house, artificial and transitory. A house designed so that 15 total strangers come together to amuse those who are watching all over Australia.

Although it may be a false environment, thousands of people apply to be ‘housemates' and live this fake way of living. The only people that seem to get into the house are the young, attractive, ‘interesting' people who have to vote to kick people out of the house at win the prize at the end. Now is that any kind of way to live?

There are many different ways of living in our Multicultural Australian Society, but is there a right one? It doesn't matter what religion you are, or if you're rich or poor, or whether you're popular or unpopular, you choose what way you want to live because it's not as if there aren't any choices.
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