This story has been up for five hours and nobody …

Comment on Half shot or full drunk? by Russell Guy.

This story has been up for five hours and nobody has posted anything. I’m feeling suitably morose, which is a soulful kind of feeling, so I’m gonna dip my thumbnail in tar.
As you say, Erwin, these days it takes minutes for the press to scoop a story online and I’ve read this story twice over the last few hours. I thought I’d record my initial feeling at reading it, while I’m up for it. I found it nauseating, a polite way of saying that it churned my guts.
I’ve been advised by a good friend to “pick my battles” and I’ve been committed to fighting for alcohol reform in Alice, mostly in these pages, these last six months, but the more I read, the more I see, the more I hear, the less I believe in Australia’s future, much less that of Alice Springs.
I heard today that from Katherine north, some caravan parks are chockers at $60 per night for a powered site, $48 unpowered. Where I work, I charged a Swiss couple with two young boys $24 total for a powered site last night, but I digress from the alcohol-related story about life in Alice.
One of our major poets, Banjo Patterson, wrote in 1889 “And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street … and the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me as they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste, with their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy, for townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.”
I sometimes wonder what Banjo would think if he could sit and view Alice Springs these days with those who have the dubious time to carry 30 can VB packs around the streets and I’m not saying it’s entirely their choice either, when the take-away outlets open at 2pm weekdays, 10am Saturdays and noon on what used to be a Christian nation’s Sabbath.
Yesterday, I was talking with an elderly chap who once worked on Kurundi Station, now retired to Adelaide. When I said “I bet you notice some changes,” he looked quite ashen, dropped his head and made excuses to leave. I was far too upbeat, but his grand daughter caught my eye with complete understanding.
Little Sisters’ town camp has been peppered with Jurrah-type incidents for the past thirty years of my experience and from working in it during the 1980s, I knew many of its residents who have been killed by grog-related violence there, or by crossing the road.
Recently, I heard of an intoxicated woman holding up her hand to stop the Ghan in its tracks there. I find that poetic and pathetic and symbolic of the soul of Australia in the 21st century.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
I’ve not come across the term “creative arts therapist” before, but as a writer, it suggests that artists and in this case, the sculptor need therapy in order to heal, not just ourselves, but the culture within which we live.
I’ve heard of cultural amnesia, but not cultural healing, although, perhaps, this is what the Reconciliation movement has been attempting and, I guess, those in the aftermath of war, once the dust clears and what’s left is assayed.
This seems to be a definition of what is meant here.
Ironically, an “appreciation of arid landscape” noted by the analysts, came about because of the Stuart Highway and without the statue which has the “town upset”, this exhibition may not have happened.
In this paradox, difference is celebrated, but given that all difference is equal, some people don’t appear to mind. Perhaps, they have cultural amnesia or some other malaise.


Hermannsburg historic precinct gets cash injection
With thanks to the pioneering Lutheran Missionaries whose venture of faith during the 1880s was a hard slog and is well-recorded.
Their Christian concern for the Arrernte underpins our tourist industry at a time when such religious freedom as allowed their Mission Station to implement employment and educational training programs are not considered significant by a large portion of our population, including the majority of politicians.


Emirates jetliner dumps fuel on Central Australia
I believe the Galaxy is short field take off / landing as opposed to the Airbus / Boeing Emirates type which may make the comparison inequitable.
Just saying and stand correcting, but the Alice is well known as an emergency field for long-haul flights, so weight is an issue. Since the port of departure is some hours north, fuel load could still have been critical.


Outback Way to get more bitumen
There goes the neighbourhood.


NT-SA agreement hardly historic
Paul Keating, in his 1992 Redfern Speech, framed by speechwriter Don Watson, author of the somewhat dryly punitive opus, The Bush, also claimed a historic mandate, announcing success for Reconciliation “within the next decade.”
It’s in the nature of politics to claim credit for doing something, mostly spending tax revenue and living in hope that it won’t run out.
In my opinion, the “historic” issue is just a beat up or a sop.
Pass me another piece of Bicenttennial birthday cake, please.


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