To me this is a puff piece at best but I did like some of the comments - especially the guy who says the majority of Australians would think of Italy as pizza and pasta. To suggest that the US has an 'unrequited love' for Australia (or the idea of it) is ludicrous when we're the ones getting upset they don't know us and that we can name their state capitals and local traditions. I think the love goes the other way more.
Semi-powerful nations like the BRIC and Australia often smart at what they feel is undue recognition, respect or as you put it just not feeling the "love". This can lead to a bit of a national delusion, in which they convince themselves that the paucity of said respect they get owes in large part to dispositional characteristics about other peoples, namely their whole ignorant, myopic world-view, without which their nation would surely get a fairer shake of the stick.
That's silly. Australians know more about America than Americans know about Australia simply because America is more "famous". It's not any particular respect, love, or even a passion for knowing more about other countries that generates this discrepancy but simply a difference in the size of each country's respective cultural megaphones. Australians know more about America than Americans know about Australia largely because America's cultural output in film, TV and music dwarfs that of Australia. If you look at a country like Brazil, of comparable cultural and economic importance to Australia and you'll find about the same level of ignorance as you will from the average American. And by the way, Brazilians make the same Rodney Dangerfield lament about getting no respect that Australians do. They have the same little-country syndrome and prefer to describe their global status as a function of global disrespect/ignorance too. And I'd tell them the same thing too, that Americans (and Australians and anyone
) would know as much about them if they made as many popular movies. It's really that simple. You guys don't go take courses on American culture, or gain your knowledge of America due to intellectual curiosity, you just turn on the idiot box and absorb or consume another American film.
The comment about Italy and pizza is very apt indeed, Australians know just as little as Americans do about other nations that are not as "famous." Americans have an admittedly patronizing (if unintended) affection for Australians because Australians are generally good-natured, fun people and that shines through in the cultural contacts they have had with Australia (which Australians should note is a lot more than they get from the BRIC nations, as an example). It should not be seen as a slight to Australians that Americans don't know that much about Australia. In pretty much every country in the world that is how it is, America has a cultural megaphone the likes of which has never been seen before and that everyone knows a lot about America isn't because of any cultural inquisitiveness on the part of the world but due to the volume at which that megaphone operates.
That entire article can be explained in one sentence with very little reductionism: Australians watch more American movies than do Americans Australian movies.