Friday, June 22, 2007

Compare and Contrast II

Alright, the picture below is purely gratuitous. It's a view of the city from the top of Mt. Ainsley that I didn't post in that blog entry. It has nothing to do with this entry, I just thought it was a good picture.

I actually didn't finish writing my previous entry about Australia, and how it differs from the US. I could probably write about it for quite a while!

One of the things that is the same is the obsession with celebrity news. The Paris Hilton saga was just as intensely followed in the media as (I assume) it was in the US. I was rather surprised. Sian asked me if I'd ever met Paris Hilton, and of course I said no.

Australia's relatively small population compared the US (20 million versus 300 million) does lend it a bit of a different feel. There aren't that many major cities, and there really aren't any mid-size cities. It tends to be either very urban, or very rural.

Also the same: Harry Potter following (thank goodness!) Sian and Caitlin both love Harry Potter as well, and both the book and the movie come out at the same time as they do in the US, which is not always the case, especially with movies.

A more sobering difference: Australia strikes me as having a less violent culture, at least in terms of guns. Australia has thankfully not experienced the school shooting phenomenon of the US, and private ownership of hand guns for protection is extremely rare. As the view of the US in Australia that comes out of our news, TV and movies is not always extremely positive, there is the perception that most Americans own a gun. Sian asked me if my family owned a gun, and I explained that we didn't, and that I didn't actually know may people who did.

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