Canberra, not Yuendumu is the capital of porn

Frank Baarda, long time Yuendumu resident, Manager of Yuendumu Mining Company (which runs a store at Yuendumu), multi-linguist and occasional wearer of shoes has his finger on the pulse of the remote community.

The events he chronicles in his current “Musical Dispatch from the Front” are grist to the mill of the ardent anti-intervention campaigner: One of the notorious blue signs planted by the Canberra interveners (Exhibit 1) was creatively modified by locals (Exhibit 2), but that was swiftly removed. This is how Frank saw the “snaffling”:-

After I dispatched this morning’s Dispatch, I went to the airstrip to assist with fuelling an aircraft.

Two Shire workers were unbolting our Welcome to Yuendumu (if you want porn go to Canberra) sign. I asked them why.

Don’t you ever ask them why …

They were told by their boss to snaffle it.

So I went to see the SSM (Shire Services Manager) to ask her why. Why, oh, why?

“Because what was on the sign wasn’t meant to be on it.”

“What was meant to be on it?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know what’s underneath it.”

“Quite a few people are going to be upset by its removal.”

“Quite a few people didn’t like what was put on it.”

“Did anyone tell you to take down the sign?”

“No, that was entirely my decision.”

She claimed responsibility. She is better than Rupert Murdoch.

The SSM has been on our community around two months.

An attempt was made to un-snaffle the snaffled sign.

This failed because the SWS (Shire Works Supervisor) wouldn’t let go of the snaffled sign.

He was asked why.

“Because I have a directive from head office.”

The SWS has been on our community for less than a week.

It begs the question as to why the Welcome to Yuendumu (if you want porn go to Canberra) sign that is alleged to be offensive to some people, was snaffled after only a fortnight, whilst the blue signs that have been offensive to a great many people, were not, after more than three years.

Do I detect a double standard? Is there (heaven forbid) an element of racism to this? Nah!

 

LETTERS

Porn in Canberra?

 

Sir – I was puzzled to see the debate in your paper about Canberra being the capital of porn. I live here and I don’t think Canberrans are very interested in porn. We just go to work, come home and watch the news like everyone.

The ugliest stuff we have here is that some people listen to radio shock jocks from Sydney. These petrol heads have no respect for facts but spout endless rubbish about how bad the carbon tax is. We are so lucky to have a Prime Minister who is willing to tackle the difficult but vital task of moving us into the new green world economy.

Rosemary Walters

Palmerston ACT

 

 

Stereotyping

 

Sir – I’m glad that Rosemary Walters took umbrage to the Yuendumu “if u want porn go to Canberra” signs. She proved the very point we tried to make.

To stereotype whole communities as being dysfunctional and infested with drunks and paedophiles, as was done with the Northern Territory Emergency Response (The Intervention) is highly offensive and unjust. To paraphrase Rosemary: ‘I live here and I don’t think Yurntumu-wardingki are very interested in porn. Before the Intervention many people here had never heard of pornography.’ Yet we’ve lived in the shadow of the ‘No Alcohol No Pornography’ signs for over three years.

Frank Baarda

Yuendumu

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