ratbags + figjams of australia: banjo paterson

lovingly inspired by the beautiful delights at the toast, and cos the fame went to our heads following OZTEN, stephanie and hayley are proud to bring you a series: ratbags and figjams of australia. in this first instalment, we bring you the epic battle between literary giants banjo paterson and henry lawson.   National	Archives of Australia A6180 5/2/85/5

australia: hey banjo we need a new poem to reflect burgeoning Australian values
bpattz: here i wrote a thing about horse thieves
australia: that’s
that’s not really what we meant
bpattz: why
what’s more Australian than horse thieves
bpattz: I KNOW

henry lawson: fuck you, banjo
fuck you and your romanticised pastoral poetry landscapes
i’m gonna write about union strikes you unaustralian sheepsballs

bpattz: hey lawson
who’s published by his mother and is poor as shit
lawson: …
bpattz: oh that’s right you’re deaf, bugger i’m going to have to telegram this

henry lawson: what kind of a nickname is ‘banjo’ anyway
if he was a real literary giant he would have gone with an instrument of class and grace
like ‘euphonium’
bpattz: hey hey what’s the postie left for me today

henry lawson - la trobe australian manuscripts collectionwho the fuck is ‘euphonium lawson’?

bpattz: what why is lawson australia’s greatest short story writer what the fuck have you guys never even read clancy?

the bulletin: congratulations on the critical success of the drover’s wife, henry
lawson: thank you. i’m glad the public has embraced a realistic vision of rural australia even if it is super depressing
bpattz: hey hey who just made a squillion pre-federation dollars writing a bunch of jaunty songs about how ace bush australia is?
lawson: oh god
bpattz: have you city boys even ever seen a billabong?

bpattz: okay okay i’ve got it i know what i can write about next
it’s WAR.

bpattz: wait now that i’m a war correspondent and a captain i’m gonna write about war and HORSES

lawson: so turns out having bad publishing deals means you end up an alcoholic and serving gaol terms for being unable to pay child maintenance
bpattz: hey hey lawson you know what you should do?
sing one of your songs
you mean there’s none?
shame *whistles waltzing matilda*

lawson: dies, 1922, aged 55
bpattz: who’s a jolly fucking jumbuck now

australia: to honour henry lawson, one of our finest writers, let us put him on the $10 note
australia: …actually now that we have plastic money let’s put banjo on the $10
ghost bpattz: ahaha, go hang on a hoist