The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'queensland'
Scientists have found a rat-eating plant in far north Queensland. Perhaps they could start exporting them to London (where, folklore has it, one is never more than either six or 20 feet away from a rat, depending on whom you ask)?
John Birmingham's eulogy for Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former despot of Queensland:
As long as there is a spark of life in Australian democracy, the mid 1980s, when Bjelke-Petersen ruled alone, at the very zenith of his powers, should be studied in civics courses as an object lesson in what happens when untrammelled power is gathered into the shaky, liver-spotted hands of a stuttering, proto-fascist brute with just enough rat-bastard cunning to mask his true nature behind a carefully constructed facade of endearing bumpkinry.
Should his legacy be the flight of thousands of Queenslanders to safer, less contested lives in those states where politics did not threaten to become an intimately personal matter, something that could, in the worst case, reach out and touch you, shrivelling your options to fight or flight? And, really, only to the latter.
His state funeral should be an appropriate ceremony. Perhaps a pack of dingoes could be starved for a week before being sooled upon his corpse in the mudflats down by the Brisbane River. Or he could be buried at sea with the worst of his cabinet ministers, all of them dipped in chum and fed to the hammerheads and reef sharks off the Great Barrier Reef which they were so keen to open up to mining.
The bus from Byron Bay to Brisbane passed through the Tweed Heads-Coolangatta-Surfers Paradise-Gold Coast Recreational Axis, a scary and depressing place if there is one. Miles and miles of pastel-coloured high-rise hotels, luxury-apartment buildings and toy monorails, filing cabinets for self-contained family-units on holiday, enjoying recreation without the inconvenience of unwelcome mixing with strangers; it is a vast monument to leisure on an industrial scale. Even the office buildings are salmon-pink or mango-orange, with matching tubular metal balconies; between this, the locals flitted about, bronzed and godlike, in their convertible cars.
Queensland is a sort of Australian equivalent of Texas or Arkansas or Mississippi or some such place; a state renowned for its rednecks, corrupt police and religious sects too far gone for any other state. And this story brings together the last two elements.
A "devious and perverted" police officer has been gaoled for conning members of a Christian sect into bizarre sexual acts. After telling the group that they would become undercover operatives, he instructed them to cut off their pubic hair and take photographs of themselves naked, saying that such actions were mandatory before becoming police informants. (He also attempted to extort $5000 from a young couple with a false confession of underaged sex, though that may well be standard Queensland police operating procedure). (via Anthony)