of the Fly
am especially pleased that the Congress is being held in Australia because of
the special importance of flies in Australian cultural life, from the first explorers
experience with bushflies to the great aussie salute." Dr David
is usually held up as the animal that represents the essence of Australia. However
in terms of influencing Australian culture, the Kangaroo is no match for the fly.
In terms of speech, it has
been said that the Australian accent is a product of Australians breathing through
their noses for fear that flies might blow into their mouths. This really isn’t a desirable when there are dead animals or big turds in the area where he fly may have recently enjoyed a hearty meal. Consequently, whereas speaking through clenched teeth may be seen as a sign of restrained anger in some countries, in Australia it is just a logical adaption to environmental considerations.
have also inspired a new style of body language. Known as the "Australian
Salute", Australians have turned flicking away a fly into an art form. Farmers
use the salute to convey a regal presence, almost as if they are a billionaire
waving his hands to stop his staff bothering him. So dignified does it look, some
farmers even salute when flies aren't even bothering them. On
the beach, elegant ladies may salute with a flick of the fingers. This can be
quite sexy as it can draw a male's attention to the sensuous nature of her hands. In fact, one of Australia's proudest moments
occurred in 1954 when the Queen first visited Australia. Menaced by flies, she
adopted the salute and so won great applause at home and abroad. Onlookers felt
that after years of dealing with Convict taunts, the Queen's acceptance of a local
custom proved that Australia had finally come of age.
have also had a big influence on the shape of Australian fashion. Until the invention
of the Ugg Boot in the 60s, Australia's marquee fashion item was the Cork
Hat. Sadly, just as the firearm signalled
the end of the Samurai, so too did the invention of Aeroguard (insect repellent)
signalled the end of the great fashion accessory. Now if people want to avoid
the flies, they just spray on a chemical. Race
tracks around Australia are the last great bastions of the traditional way. As
elegant females are reluctant to spoil their perfume with Aeroguard, they wear
creative hats to prevent the most unladylike sight of a fly crawling up their
nose. Some of these hats include netting or veils;
almost like a bride waiting to get married. Other hats use a variety of colours
or feathers that encourage flies to stay away from the face. So effectively do
these hats accentuate the beauty of a lady, that flies continue searching for
something more appetising.
also influenced Australian cuisine. Due to the difficulty in keeping flies off
meat, Australia's colonial pioneers never made beef jerky, salamies or sausages
as did the colonial pioneers of America and South Africa. Instead, they reduced
the risk of flystrike by preserving meat in oil, fat and salty brines.
that flies have done so much to help Australians develop a unique culture, it
is only fitting that Australians have done a lot to help the fly. The
first gift to flies was the elimination of the Tasmanian Devil from mainland
Australia. Without the great scavenger cleaning the land of decaying meat, flies
had bountiful nesting places to lay their eggs.
the biggest gift to the fly occurred in 1788 when colonialists introduced the
cow. Unlike the small dehydrated poos of native animals, cow poos are big, wet,
and sloppy. For flies, the poos have become an endless banquet. Indeed, their
prophets have come.
Activity 1 - Eat flies
The United Nations has promoted the consumption of insects as a solution to world hunger and malnutrition. For some South American cultures, are already ahead of the game with a traditional practice of eating flies. Using nets, masses of flies
are caught, mashed up into a paste and made into brown pancakes. Potentially the same
could be done in Australia. Of course,
it is difficult to imagine a fly pancake ever finding its way onto the menu of
a fast food chain like McDonalds. Perhaps flies could instead be processed into fish food for aquaculture.
Create a plan for a fly farm including food for flies, methods of capture and processing.
Activity 2 – Create a cartoon fly
Louie the Fly was the marketing mascot of the Mortein brand
of fly spray. He was an underdog with a cheeky grin; a larrikin "straight
from the rubbish tip to you."
the family home, Louie would come and then stomp around in his carefree way. Then
a lovely lady would get out a can of Mortein and in a very friendly way say: "goodbye
Louie". Poor little Louie would then choke to death.
he first appeared in 1957, Louie has won the hearts of countless Australians.
Sadly, marketing boffins in the 90s decided that they should not be encouraging
people to have a good attitude to something they need to kill. Louie as a marketing
idea was briefly killed off. R.I.P
Draw a cartoon fly
Give the fly a name
What accent will the fly speak with?
Write something about the fly's character