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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nostalgia for the Aussie Bloke

I get a bit lonely sometimes - lonely for the Aussie Bloke. The Aussie Bloke is more than just an Australian male. I grew up in the forties and fifties and I miss a certain sort of Aussie Bloke. The Aussie Bloke that I am nostalgic and lonely for looked and acted like my father and his friends. These were the days when men wore sports shirts with their trousers. They wore hats when they went up the street on Saturday mornings with their families. When they worked in the yard at weekends they probably wore an old slouch hat because, you see, they had fought for their country in World War II. The Aussie Blokes I remember were working class and blue collar but as I grew up and my world expanded I found them in white collar occupations too.

As I was growing up, there were images of them on the silver screen: Chips Rafferty, Peter Finch. Aah...Peter Finch in The Shiralee and A Town Like Alice. How fitting then that the current epitome of the Aussie Bloke, Bryan Brown, should reprise these famous Finch roles, if only for television. While there are Aussie Blokes around like Jack Thompson, and Tony Martin in Wildside, Bryan Brown is the one who, for me, best images the Aussie Bloke.