Darkness Down Under

There is a strange bipolarity in the Australian psyche. Compare the louche abandon of the Sydney Mardi Gras with the gruff, homophobic machismo of the outback. Contrast the shining, multicultural cities with rural outposts where shadowy, armed survivalists zealously prophesize an Indonesian invasion. And consider the country's strangely conflicted attitude to immigrants: for every legal settler that gives thanks for the unfettered hospitality of the Lucky Country—as Australia has been famously known since the 1960s—you can line up a woebegone refugee from Afghanistan, Uganda or China who rues the day he or she ever made landfall there.


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