Reflecting on the ads we saw in rural Western Australia for the local tv station (GWN or WIN?) The strap line for this series of ads, which changed with each image, was variations on the idea of "representing ME" or "for ME". The majority of images in the series (I guess about 80%) were of middle aged white men. The other 20% were younger white women.

Eventhough I could fit into the 20%, I felt excluded by the series of advertising. (I know I was a tourist and the ads weren't actually meant for me but...) Where was a single Aboriginal face (at least 10% of the population), let alone anyone under the age of 30?

It was as if the Howard Government (right-wing, fascistic) had created a representation of the population as they would like to imagine it. I know the advertisers do not come from the ranks of government. And the Western Australian government is famously right-wing regardless of the Federal Government's colour but I can't help but feel this is one more manifestaion of the tone set by the government.

I have recently come to believe that governments do more than collect taxes and maintain an infrastructure. I believe they set a tone for the rest of the country. It's not that oppostion fades away or that individuals change their persuasions, just that what is visible, the aspects of society that come to the fore, seem to be more or less determined by the tone the government agenda sets. So Australia overall feels like it's more intolerant, it projects more of a racist, bigotted, self-centred idea of itself and ideas based on fear abound. But individuals aren't necessarily like that.

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