‘Twas the night before census

I’m a geographer. This means I have a sneaking fondness for Census. The data may be flawed, the ABS might have royally pissed everyone off in one of the greatest marketing fails since Hannibal thought elephants might win the locals over, but it’s all we’ve got, and sometimes I need data to make a point, however specious.

I also love the outrage. I love how people who have no problem documenting their every move on Facebook/ Instagram/ Snapchat/ Twitter  suddenly become apoplectic with fury because someone has asked them to attach their name to their income and their religion. Perfectly reasonable humans who have store cards for every shop in town go into meltdown because ‘someone is trying to collect my data’.  Peeps, we know you can’t use an apostrophe. We’ve seen you making duck-faces. Your name was attached to the ad for ‘mature local men looking for a relationship’. It is already too late. If you use an IGA card, someone somewhere already knows when you buy lube. The credit card company knows what you bought at the Avid Reader last time you were left alone pissed with the internet. Think about that for a moment.

This Census-season we have the usual round of hating on anyone who has a different imaginary friend, and lots of the material is recycled. I am using this particular example, because for some reason it is the one I have had the most exposure to this year.

 

This has been passed to me by a lawyer friend.

Is it the same lawyer friend for everyone who has posted this? She must have a lot of friends. In diverse spheres.

 

As you may or may not realise, the next Australian Census will be taken in one month on Tuesday, 9th August, 2016.

If you haven’t realised, you are missing one vital credential for taking part.

 

For the first time this year there will be a No Religion option.

Actually, not true. It’s just the structure that has changed. Please see attached.

Capture

Please be careful how you answer this question. Bear in mind that although many Australians have no religion these days, the Muslim population in Australia will all declare that they are Muslim and this fact will be counted to ascertain what type of country we are in regard to religion.

Just for the moment, let us overlook the use of  one of my favourite phrases ‘in regard to’. If I started editing this dreck for Watson-approved language, I could be here all night, and there isn’t enough alcohol in all the world for that. Let us look instead at the last Census, in 2011. The percentage of the population who identified as Muslim was somewhere just over 2%. My partner likes to buy lotto tickets, and when playing lotto, these would be quite good odds, comparatively. However, as a winning-percentage-of-imaginary-friend votes? Negligible. Hinduism is actually growing slightly faster.

Even though you may now have no religion, please consider entering the religion you were christened or born into, when answering this question.

This is great advice for 90% of the people I know who are still dealing with the long-term trauma caused by the religion they  were ‘christened into or born into’. Would you like to Skype my parents regarding this matter?

Otherwise in time Australia will officially be declared to be a Muslim country because the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census will reflect this. Just imagine the repercussions if that were to happen.

What repercussions are we imagining here? If we (god forbid) see after Census that we have a slightly larger Islamic population than last time, we might get more funding for schools in areas, like western Sydney, that struggle a little AND have a proportionally slightly higher Muslim population. Improved education? More culturally sensitive health-care? More targeted social services? These are the repercussions I am imagining: services and funding that lessen the chance of feeling socially isolated and alienated, and subsequently reduce the chances of falling into potentially bad company.

For Australia’s future I would ask you to please pass this message on to your family members and friends

For Australia’s future, I am doing just that. I’ve edited it a bit, for clarity.

P.S. Might want to get your head round what the Nicene Creed actually is, as well.

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