True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey

In a 1995 Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Australia" the mischievous Bart Simpson gravely offends the Australians and is forced to travel Down Under with his family to formally apologize. As a State Department operative briefs the Simpsons by flipping through slides of Paul Hogan, Jacko (an Aussie spokesman for Energizer batteries), koalas and vegemite, he says, "As I'm sure you remember, in the late 1980s the U.S. experienced a short-lived infatuation with Australian culture. For some bizarre reason, the Aussies thought this would be a permanent thing. Of course it wasn't." In typical over-the-top Simpsons fashion, this G-man presents Australia as a country that can't think for itself--a land longing for American cultural acceptance today just as it sought British imperial approval a century ago.


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