In this age of Facebook and other powerful instant mass …

Comment on Copping ‘mental and physical abuse’ on top of serving time: Dylan Voller’s evidence to the NT Royal Commission by John Bell.

In this age of Facebook and other powerful instant mass communication Royal Commissions are fast losing relevance to their original purpose.
The mass visual giving of evidence and the appearance of individual witnesses such as Dylan Voller become the centrepieces in a media circus which resembles episodes of Prisoners or Days of Our Lives and other emotive-based melodramas on our tellie screens.
In this viewing environment, individual characters are are given a certain popular image and the real issues are drowned in an impossible mix of sensationalistically reported alleged incidents and mini crises.
Commission recommendations and their future implementation end up running a long distant second place to the melodrama. Right now, the star character is Dylan Voller and the question on everyone’s lips is – will he be awarded $$ compensation and if so, how much?
He is already an anti-hero star with a generation of teenage would-be victims and rebels.
The tears will flow over vivid accounts of torture and the guards will be on the backfoot trying to defend themselves to a young viewing audience.
My gut feeling is that Royal Commissions are fast becoming little more than a lawyers’ paradise, jostling for viewer ratings in a goldfish bowl of instant entertainment.

Recent Comments by John Bell

How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
Jakub Baranski. Thank you for your view on Aboriginal dugout canoes. It is historically interesting.
I have had an interest since my youth in Matthew Flinders’ amazing circumnavigation of Australia in a tiny boat.
Then in 2003 I visited Japan and stumbled across a small maritime museum on the coast 80 km north of Tokyo. I was astounded to see a huge 12th century map outline of the eastern Australian coastline from the tip of Cape Yorke down to approximately the border of present day Victoria.
The young with-it Japanese curator told me that local fishing boats went fishing all the way down the Australian coast for centuries before the emperors banned overseas sailing after the Divine Wind attempted invasion by the Chinese.
Suspended from the three storey ceiling was a replica of one of those original fishing boats. Tiny. My mind boggled.
It would be terrific education for an Australian maritime museum to display such boats from different peoples and countries during these eras.
It would give us a greater appreciation of the comparative maritime brilliance of the different cultures.


Leaving town: Centre, its creatures will miss Kaye Kessing
Kaye. A very kind and gentle lady whom I am very proud to call a friend since early 70s Melanka days.
The mural on the Coles wall from the Ghan window is my lasting memory of a brilliant talent.
The friend of the endangered species. Alice has been greatly enriched by a good lady.


If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?
I have never been able to work out exactly why The Rock should not be climbed.
Is it a spiritual religious thing? Or is it simply because the custodians think it is a “respect” thing?
If the latter, is it because the custodians feel offended or is Uluru considered a living entity that feels offended?
I am fair dinkum when I ask this. Different people have different views. It is confusing.


Kids behind razor wire, rural land misuse, gallery fiasco & more
The emotive language of “razor wire” and “Alcatraz” and the dispute over location of youth detention centre is symptomatic of the “sharply”-divided public debate over how to stop young people from committing crimes against society.
How do we punish young people appropriately for causing hurt and damage and stress to their fellow citizens and at the same time deter them from from further offending and teach them to be good citizens?
The jury remains out. I suspect it will remain out for a long time to come the way things are going in these #MeToo times where the forces identity politics are lining up on all sides, Left and Right.


Alice in thrall of week-long sports extravaganza
@ Bob Taylor: Thank you for that, mate. You mention three great Alician names in sport – past, present and future: Rhonda, Dick and Emma.
Three wonderful ambassadors who have enriched and continue to grow Alice’s proud sporting heritage.


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