Dalibor Perkovic: Why I admire and envy Australians

All nations have their national myths. Without exception, those myths are humongous collections of lies, deceits, propaganda, in short, an impressive pile of bullshit. The real truth is, the main characters of those national myths are murderers, butchers, tyrants, thieves who used various human-loving methods such as armed conquest, pillaging, purges and genocide to increase their personal wealth, power and territory and, as a collateral benefit/damage (depends from whose side you’re looking), also expanded their nation’s wealth, power and territory. This doesn’t prevent their respective nations to praise them as heroes, fathers of the nation, to name streets and squares, schools and bridges after them, as if they were some kind of saints who cured the sick and fed the hungry.

Australians, on the other hand, simply don’t have that option. Australians know for a fact – as it is meticulously noted and filed in the archives of the Crown – that they are indeed the descendants of horse thieves, highwaymen and murderers. Australians can’t lie to themselves and others. There is simply no room for glorifying the national history. For Australians the truth is literally Out There. So while other nations really need to take the path of national sobering up, the psychotherapy of admitting that they are not really the offspring of heroes, but instead people who, if they were alive today, would be locked up and institutionalized, the Australians are already there: one step ahead of everyone else.


Dalibor Perkovic

Dalibor Perkovic is a Croatian SF writer who earns his living as a physics professor. in late 1990s he was a member of the Studentski list (Student paper) editorial staff and was a co-founder of another student newspaper, the SL Revolt. He started working for the at-the-time opposition daily Novi list in 1998.He left journalism and returned to college in 2002.

Perkovic has written a collection of science fiction stories, as well as one novel. He received SFERA awards for the best Croatian science fiction novellas (Banijska praskozorja awarded in 2000 and Preko rijeke, awarded in 2004) and one for the best novel (Sva krv ?ovje?anstva, awarded in 2006). He was a long-term editor of the SFeraKon Bulletin. A special issue of NOSF magazine in English was dedicated to him. You can find it here. (.pdf)

In 2012 he was a co-founder and the first president of “Nastavnici organizirano” (“Teachers Organised”),a non-government organisation whose aim is the development of the Croatian education system.




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