As we follow - and swallow - the amber torrent flooding towards another Australia Day, I'd suggest that, in 2014, aside from cold beer, our country actually doesn't know what it wants.
Our self-flagellation over a national identity has finally ceased as we've oh-so-ironically embraced our "inner bogan", yet - like that somewhat raw, visceral creature - we seem overwhelmed by any questions larger than "Chips or mash?"
We want to be able to drink as much alcohol as possible, wherever and whenever we like but expect circumspection and passivity from a chemical reaction that for millennia has resulted in risk-taking and aggression in humans.
Parents, police and politicians demand the government to do something about "alcohol-fuelled violence" such as 1.30am lock-outs and 3am cut-off times but, when the government does just that, the outrage transfers to "bar owners, performers and late-night hospitality workers" who say they face "losing hundreds of thousands of dollars".
And, of course, the lawyers are always pissed off; it just depends who's paying for their rancour.
This childish desire to have our cake and eat it is reminiscent of how so many Aussies want their kids to be able to "get into the property market" but don't want to give up the negative gearing on their sneaky little investment properties or the tax breaks on their self-managed super funds.
Nor do we want bloody boat people swarming all over us, but we also wouldn't want foreigners to think we're inhumane yobbos ... we just wish people would wait their turn as they flee from terror.
We honestly want someone to do something about global warming but not if it means paying an extra $300 a year for electricity.
Dole bludgers must be rooted out of the system so that pensioners can live in mansions.
We must - absolutely! - help our drought-stricken farmers and struggling manufacturers but they also need to stand on their own two feet and be globally competitive like our heavily subsidised mining industry.
At dinner parties and barbecues, we now spout campaign slogans, instead of debating actual beliefs, as we shift our political allegiances based solely on what's in it for us.
We've tired of Tony even faster than we did of Kevin, then Julia, then Kevin because, why? Because he's not delivering more of everything? Now!
Like the global adolescents we are, we want others to take care of the messy details, then rage about the details when they fail to consider our uninformed, unexpressed point of view.
We are idiots.
The ancient Greek word idiotes, from which the English version is derived, meant "one who put private pleasures before public duty and who was, for this reason, ignorant of everything that mattered".
In the short flowering of Athenian democracy, a consistent involvement was demanded of all citizens, to the point at which the famous Greek statesman Pericles is recorded as saying: "We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say he has no business here at all."
The modern Australian idiot doesn't care for politics either - "it's all bullshit, they're as bad as each other, I don't get involved" - which is just how the savagely efficient special-interest groups who manipulate public opinion like it.
Labor and Liberal were once true ideologies. They stood for something, as did you when you supported one or the other: universal health care, unionism, reward for effort, small government.
Now, so many of us just stand for "i". We put the "i" into "idiot".
This weekend, of course, is the idiot's great annual celebration, where the pretense of caring about something greater than oneself is married to the only thing we can all agree about: drinking heaps of booze.
Here's cheers, Australia! Have a good time, and don't you worry about the rights and principles at stake in any of the abovementioned "conflicts of interest".
Someone else will decide that for you.
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