That's kind of funny - every orstralian I know that's been to NY loved it.
What's kind of weird to is the image we project through our pop culture (outback, rugged, open spaces, frontierish) is bollocks we're a more urban (not urbane) nation than the US.
DJ's list of flick was almost all historical, and the only contemporary urban setting was Richmond Hill (well, Neighbours was suburban) and Romper Stomper (dystopian). Then I thought - well which nation does movies that are basically documentaries of actual contemporary life? None of course.
And you're right - I don't think we were courting the US bases - it's more a power play by the US.
This piece about it was pretty interesting:
Dear Mr President, we beg to differ over the future of Asia
November 16, 2011
Australia should tell Obama we take a different view on China.
AS CHINA'S power grows, the Asia we have known is passing into history, and a new and very different Asia is taking shape. Barack Obama's visit is a key moment in that transformation, because he is coming here to promote America's view of how the new Asia should work.
America has a lot at stake. For 40 years it has been the region's uncontested leader. Now China wants to lead instead, and is trying to ease America aside. That means the era of uncontested US primacy has passed. This is a big loss for America, for Australia and much of Asia, but it is the strategic price we must all pay for China's economic miracle.
There are two competing visions of Asia's future now. China's vision is that America will slowly fade as a strategic power in Asia, leaving China as the region's new uncontested leader. America's vision is that Asia will divide into two camps, with China on one side and the rest, under US leadership, on the other. It hopes that if the rest of Asia stays strong and united by America's side, China will eventually see the error of its ways and join the US-led camp as well, thus restoring America's uncontested primacy.
Of course neither Washington nor Beijing describes their vision in such blunt terms. But behind the diplomatic drapery, these are clearly the plans to which each side is working. Washington has suddenly woken up to the magnitude of China's power, and now understands that Asia, not the Middle East, is where it faces its most decisive challenge. That's why Obama is making this trip. He is here to persuade America's friends and allies to sign up to Washington's vision of Asia's future.
At APEC in Hawaii, Obama promoted the economic element of his vision. His Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative is aimed at building a new economic framework in Asia that includes America's friends and allies and excludes China. It is not clear that is a good idea. Now Obama is coming to Canberra to promote the political and strategic element of his vision. He wants to draw America's loose network of Asian allies and friends together into a more unified military coalition to confront China's growing maritime power. That will be the underlying message of his speech to Parliament tomorrow, and it is the symbolism at the heart of the announcement he will make about US military training in Darwin.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dear-mr-president-we-beg-to-differ-over-the-future-of-asia-20111115-1nh36.html#ixzz1e1HdLTsi