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Australia

February 12, 1988

That does it, now I am really offended. As an Australian living in the U.S., I have read a number of misleading and derogatory articles about Australia during my three years here, but the article you published on the bicentennial certainly rates as the worst.

Mark Fineman's story ("Australians Throw a Bicentennial Blowout," Part I, Jan. 27) was downright insulting to Australia and Australians.

According to this article, Australians spilled into the streets of Sydney from pubs (mentioned not once, but twice) to celebrate the bicentennial, "swilling millions of cans of beer." Fineman might be surprised to learn not all Australians frequent pubs and not all "swill" beer. Also, was it really necessary to mention the overflowing trash cans or the sex orgies that supposedly occurred in 1788? Was there nothing positive to report about such a spectacular event in one of the most beautiful cities in the world?

I find it very hard to believe your reporter overheard revelers defending their ancestors' criminal deeds of 200 years past.

The article was full of cliches and misconceptions held about Australians by Americans. Was your reporter even in Australia for the bicentennial or was the article composed from a few facts and a lot of tired old cliches?

ROSLYN ROGERS

Thousand Oaks

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