In much of Australia, today is the observance of the Queen's birthday.
I had firmly decided not to share any of my thoughts about the holiday. This is a sailing blog, after all.
But this evening, I was exposed to an outrage that could not stand. My weekly tennis league was cancelled - for the Queen's birthday!
What kind of Australian holiday involves the cancelling of sporting events?
So, I have been motivated to share my thoughts about this nation's relationship with the British crown. This is a long-standing source of personal irritation. Ultimate political authority in Australia still resides in the British Monarchy. People here call themselves "monarchists" with no sense of being ridiculous. The Queen's representative hasn't invoked her authority and dismissed the democratically elected Australian government, well, not since the 1970s anyway.
The American in me just wants the Australian in me to join up with my 20 million co-citizens and tell the royal family to bugger off back to Germany, already. "People!", I want to say to every Graeme and Sheila that I see in the street. "We don't have to be vassals of the British! Let's find some tea to dump in Sydney Harbour and get on with the job of governing ourselves!"
All joking aside, I cannot for the life of me get over the idea that we don't at least pay lip service to the idea that all political authority in this nation stems from the people. It's such an antediluvian notion, this continued obeisance to the mother country. It's so... I don't know, so Canadian.
OK, joking aside for real this time. Surely Australia is a fine enough country, and at this late date in our history, a confident enough country, to declare our complete independence.
Let the Poms start coming to our representative, asking for permission to form a government.
OK. I think that's off my chest for the year.