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What is Canberra?

papadoc 25 March 2008 42

A friend of mine is thinking of moving here from overseas and asked me to describe Canberra. After umming and ahhing for a few minutes, all I could say what that “it’s home”.

How would you guys describe this place?

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42 Responses to What is Canberra?
radonezh radonezh 5:10 pm 31 Mar 08

Canberra is a city built especially to house the Temple built for the worship of the god Mediocrity (favourite deity of the Australian people).

Accordingly, it is ornamented with (amongst other things):
a) miles of roads leading nowhere (and no alternative but to use them),
b) buildings housing thousands of people who are very busy doing a lot of meaningless and ultimately unproductive work.
c) many institutions designed to support the various sects who worship in the Temple

The people of Canberra are almost all members of the various sects. They are a contradiction, as most of them a highly trained and could be considered among the elite, but none of them wish to be recognized in this way as it would be considered blasphemy against the deity. The high-priests who serve the deity in the holy-of-holies (also known as the “House” in the local dialect) are mercanaries who are contracted from the subordinate provinces in order to bring offerings to the ever-hungry deity. The main offerings consist of endless heated discussions (called “Hot Air” or “debates”) and pieces of paper. The adjudicating high-priest (called the “Speaker”) will often be heard exclaiming the word “Order!” (a term of religious ecstasy) during particularly intense sessions of worship.

The citizens of the city are forbidden from owning land due as it is against the spirit of Mediocritanism, which broadly seems to share much in common with communism. Team sport is encouraged due to its imperfectly egalitarian nature. Other religions are officially tolerated, but are subversively discouraged, as they distract from Mediocritanism and often a based on ideals (ideals are discouraged by Mediocritan theology).

Canberra has an artificial lake, a national carillion, several museums and galleries, all of which are described as “Ok, but nothing special”. Allegedly there are shops selling goods, but so far there is no way of ascertaining where they are exactly and it is widely held that they are mythical.

One form of traditional Canberran greeting is “How are you going, mate?” to which the response is invariably “I’m going ok? You?”, “yeah, I’m ok too”.

SilP SilP 4:58 pm 31 Mar 08

Is anybody else having problems with the visiting Portugese Millipedes?

AngryHenry AngryHenry 9:40 am 27 Mar 08

trilobite said :

Somewhere I can’t afford to buy a house.

Haha! Damn straight! Nobody can tell me why we have to pay so uch for housing here! I love the place but that is one thing that definately sucks about Canberra!

trilobite trilobite 9:22 am 27 Mar 08

Somewhere I can’t afford to buy a house.

VicePope VicePope 8:03 am 27 Mar 08

Jill – it was a remembered quote, and I expect it depends upon those bits of Canberra and bits of Pymble with which one is most acquainted. Yes – for I have been lost in the streets of the leafy north of Sydney, armed only with a GPS having a hissy fit, and been perplexed at the serious ordinariness of many of the dwellings.

The prevalence of the giant portico in Canberra is, I think, a reaction to the sunshine and heat, and the blessed capacity of shade to restore the stricken. For those of us turned pale over hundreds of generations who knew only the feeble sun of the northern bits of Europe, this is needed. (Speaking of which, wasn’t it lovely and brisk this morning)?

spoonbill spoonbill 6:36 pm 26 Mar 08

It’s a place where developers get paid to make appalling planning decisions. But it’s home.

jill jill 3:33 pm 26 Mar 08

Pymble #15 ? More like home of the giant portico!

AngryHenry AngryHenry 3:21 pm 26 Mar 08

Canberra is whatever you make it, just like anywhere else you choose to live.

Funny how a lot of the so-called “Canberra bashing” seems to come from within. Is that so we don’t appear pompous or arrogant to others?

I think people make a city or a town, not the buildings or the surrounds.

So I guess my conclusion is…

Canberran’s can be self-deprecating but the town itself is yours to make whatever you want out of it…

Danman Danman 1:20 pm 26 Mar 08

Bush capital – Where you can be in the middle of sprawling urban nature parks like Mt Majura, listening only to the sounds of nature whilst being totally encircled by suburbia.

Crikey Crikey 12:18 pm 26 Mar 08

Canberra is where I hang my hat.

sepi sepi 12:16 pm 26 Mar 08

Freezing for 3 month, boiling hot for 3 months and pleasant for 6 months.

Sunny nearly all the time.

Great if you like bushwalking, bird watching, bike or horse riding or culture like art galleries, and eating out.

No good if you like a thriving city centre and lots of urban street life.

Very expensive for food, housing, bills and medical.

Filled with public servants and academics.

Mælinar Mælinar 11:32 am 26 Mar 08

Headbonius said :

The very special home of some very special people lik Nyssa, Ingeegoodbee and Maelinar. Very special people indeed.

– who the hell is headbonius ?

Since provoked, my advice is to tell them to get off their lazy asses and google it for themselves. Everybody has different interests, even between close friends. It’s really not that hard to insert the word ‘canberra’ to a search and click the show only responses from Australia button on google.

A true friend teaches a person to fish, rather than keeps on giving a dumbass more fish.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 8:51 am 26 Mar 08

ok second attempt. human constructions where a swamp and some trees used to be.

But to be honest local pride, just like patriotism is very silly and a trait innate to those we would call lessor species.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 8:46 am 26 Mar 08

The ultimate in Post-Modernism: a city created purely to serve the functions of Government.

Half of our working population works for the federal or territory government, the majority of the remainder work in industries supporting or servicing them.

Australias most educated and highest earning populace yet is still the countries home of chardonnay socialism.

Thumper Thumper 8:31 am 26 Mar 08

I should add that LBG on a still winters night is a beautiful sight, especially while looking southwards to all the lit up cultural/ national buildings.

Thumper Thumper 8:25 am 26 Mar 08

Hahahahaha, number 2…

Seriously, a great place with space, big skies, bush, stinking summers and freezing winters, clean air, good jobs, easy commuting.

Overall, it’s just an easy place to live.

NotAgain NotAgain 12:36 am 26 Mar 08

Personally I liked post # 16 but obviously it takes someone from outside the ACT to provide the answer:

Its a waste of a good sheep paddock.

Its well known as this, as I read the comment many, many years ago when I was a child.

jase! jase! 12:11 am 26 Mar 08

oh calm down hoolahawk

in all honesty nowhere has felt like home for the best part of a decade. I wouldn’t live in Bris, Syd or Melb because they in my view are all overly large shitholes. I came here because I was sick of where I was, there’s plenty of jobs which is always a good thing, some good pubs, and as someone else pointed out not too far from the coast and the snow.

I could never run for parliament here because I just don’t like minorities THAT much and that seems to be all they care about (and I like motorsport which also precludes me)

hoolahawk hoolahawk 11:19 pm 25 Mar 08

jase! said :

it’s not home, its a place where I live for now

have enjoyed it for the most part however

Way to take a stand there jase! You seem so full of praise for your temporary residence (or for you should I call it your temporary prison?) it really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Maybe you should stay and run for parliament, you sound like you have the qualities.

Aeek Aeek 10:53 pm 25 Mar 08

We have the highest volunteer rate in the country. Surprised me, then I remembered that I said I volunteered because my sports club volunteers me – take turns so everyone gets to compete. The club is also why I know tradies, background doesn’t matter if you have a shared obsession.

Seeing a dead roo between parliament house and the lodge – that was a defining moment.

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