Kevin Murray on Thu, 17 Dec 1998 20:03:19 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Unseasonal greetings

New satellite technology has enabled communication across alternative
realities. For the first time this year, it has been possible to exchange
holiday messages between other possible universes. Below are a sample of
Christmas messages received from the leaders of the nations that Australia
might have become if it wasn't colonised by the British. 

* Shukkinak (Phoenician Australia)

Salutations from Momul Abd-Prasad, divine leader of Oceania Semitica. Gods
willing, may you enjoy the electronic delights and the nutmeg-spiced
delicacies of your festive season. Gods willing, may you grow rotund with
the bounty of your commercial enthusiasms and bake under the holy radiance
of the one god we share. Gods willing, may you never taste the bitter
flesh of Baal's feast, nor the sweet blood of piety beyond this world.
Gods willing, may you never experience the trembling nerve of devotion,
nor the finely tuned microwaves of divine geomancy. Gods willing, may your
innocence remain untainted by the curse of Hiram. Gods willing, may the
cleansing blood of the first-born rain down on you like a meteor shower
across the skies. 

* Yuzhem (Russian Australia)

Meta-greetings to our comrades in Reality #294S. As Chairman of this epic
nation we call Yuzhem (Reality #119B), please allow me to convey my
heartfelt feelings to the victims of British imperialism, particularly our
Aboriginal comrades, without whom our own recent uprising against Tsarist
repression would not have been successful, though we do feel in our bones
great pity that your ruling class cannot spend a little time in our
prestigious university cities, and see how Russian ingenuity flourishes in
the open seas of Oceania, and thus raise your horizons a little beyond the
bank balance, because you will see how progress has leapt forward once we
rid ourselves of the virtual Romanov dynasty that had crippled the nation
for the past 200 years and how we are now free to meet the breathless
challenges of artificial intelligence that await us in the new millennium,
by which time we will have mastered the fourth dimension of chess, and be
ready for the fifth, which would be a great opportunity to get together,
because maybe we can use this dimension to make a knight's move into your
history (#294S) along with some of our legendary rice vodka-"na strovaya"
Chairman Ivana Razinova

* Shao-Lin (Japanese Australia)

Seasonal tidings from the Inner Protectorate of the Republic of Shao-Lin,
to the ambitious and hard-working Australians. Akh, we would like to
invite you to relax in our shady ports, share a drink of our 'eucalyptus
fire', and join with us in the legendary 'shadow dance'. Naturally, you
have your own precious rituals for the time of year when the sun is high.
But these traditions are so demanding. You have little time to
congratulate the sun on another days' journey. Akh, we think of you with
not a little measure of sorrow. We remember those English ships that ran
aground on our stubbornness, and were never able to decorate the land with
wires. Their guns, alas, were no match for our stealth. We weep at the
shame they must have felt dragging their broken ships home. We are
gladdened, therefore, that you have acquired a happier destiny in the
history of your time called 'Australia'. 

* Artemos (Greek Australia)

The High Council of Female Idealists would like to extend an official
greeting to the pale northerners who made the history of 'Australia'.
While sailing on different rivers, we both empty our waters into the same
ocean of being. The mystery of this oneness lies below the surface, in the
caverns near your southern blue lake. Listen to its inhabitants, for their
dreams will take you to the metaphysical realm in which all realities are
one. The High Council of Male Idealists would also like to extend an
official greeting to the pale northerners who made the history of
Australia. While sailing on different rivers, we both empty our waters
into the same ocean of being. The mystery of this oneness lies below the
surface, in the caverns near your southern blue lake. Listen to its
inhabitants, for their dreams will take you to the celestial realm in
which most realities are one. 

* Nieuw Holland (Dutch Australia)

President Eduard Dekker conveys his season's greetings to the indigenous
peoples of Australia, the descendants of English colonisers, and others
who have had the good fortune to arrive on the soils of this rich
continent. Like you, we realise the great wealth that is harboured by the
red soils of this dry land, though we lack your Stoic nature when it comes
to turning the soil. Instead, we have turned to trade, particularly with
the South Indian League. I am pleased to say that negotiations are
continuing with the Koori Liberation Army, the Nunga Democratic Party and
the Zulu Revolutionary Front. We are hopeful of a more workable
arrangement between all parties so we can all enjoy the riches offered by
this land. 

* Woomera (Viking Australia)

G'day from Erik the Sure, Chief of the Main Thing and leader of the Viking
nation in Woomera. I extend my ardent wishes to you, inhabitants of the
woebegone English colony, exiles of Valhalla, do-gooders and reformed
convicts, nest-dwellers and pencil-scratchers. What joy it would give us
to arrive at your shores now, and spoil your little picnic. We would make
news of you, indeed. We would wreak dancing in your malls, drinking in
your churches, and laughter in your offices. We would rescue nature from
your clutches. Let the waves beat against on your promenades, the thunder
echo down your streets and the snakes coil around your feet!! Lucky for
you our boats cannot cross the river of time. Yet. Until the final
Ragnarök, then. 

* Lusitania (Portuguese Australia)

Monseigneur Ricardo extends his warm wishes to fellow Christians who dwell
on one of the other fingers of God's hand. He conveys particular
sympathies to the native peoples of your region. His heart goes out to
those Christian souls now suffering under the curse of Islam. He calls for
the English-speaking peoples of the region to answer their conscience and
save the faithful from persecution. Divine grace can flourish in the
world, only when the infidel is banished from history. He calls for the
English-speaking peoples to seek god's blessing in the open hearts of
those who awaited you on this wide land. Above all, please remember that,
whatever your colour, and whatever your reality, Jesus loves you. 

* Aboriginal Australia

This is the final instalment of 'Off the Beaten Track', a series of
stories about what Australia might have been like if colonised by someone
else. This project was part of 'Turn the Soil', an exhibition of works by
second-generation Australian craftspersons. While the works are now
offline, the electronic version remains online at

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