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Dead ‘roo in the (Grevillea) Gardens

(by Ray Dixon – kangaroo culler from northeast Victoria)

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I got quite a shock yesterday morning to find this rather large (and very dead) kangaroo had come to rest in the garden outside our Bright (Vic) holiday units

From my forensic examination of the scene I determined that the ‘roo had been hit by a car and then struggled into our front garden where it thrashed about in its death throes before carking it in the middle of one of  our prized Grevilleas.

Actually, from the look of the tyre marks on the nature strip and the lack of any skid marks on the road, it appeared that some cretin had deliberately swerved off the road to mow it down as the ‘roo grazed on the lawn. Someone with a bloody big ‘roo bar fitted to their 4WD, no doubt. These yobbo, redneck morons unfortunately exist.

So, what do you do with a dead kangaroo? There’s a long weekend coming up and the carcass was in close proximity, sight and smelling-distance of our guests. It’s not a good look. I considered the options, which narrowed down to the following:

  • Drag it back to the side of the road and hope that the official road-kill collector just happens to pass by?
  • Bury it on the spot?
  • Call one of the local restaurants to see if they needed an addition to their menu?
  • Or skin it, gut it and carve it up myself and then invite the rellies around for a ‘roo barbie?

In the end though, I decided to call the ranger at the local Alpine council, although he usually only collects live animals and takes them to the pound. Also, as the dead ‘roo was on private property, he could easily have said “it’s not our problem”.

Much to my surprise (and delight) though, the ranger agreed to come around, pick it up and take it away – almost immediately!

I’m not sure what he did with it but I understand there was a bloody big banquet at the Council Chambers last night.

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Let’s go for a f*ck walk

This protester was worried his mum might recognise him.

So it’s Saturday afternoon in Melbourne’s winter and you’re a teenager. What the hell is there to do? If you’re not into playing footy (or going to a game) the choices can be pretty limited. Not enough money to go skiing in the mountains? Okay, why not wander into Acland or Chapel Streets and have a latte (or beer) with your mates? For the outer suburbanite there’s always the shopping malls to hang out in.

But, if you’re into a bit of passive exercise and want to let off some steam (I mean, life is so stressful for kids, isn’t it?), why not go for a walk? A protest walk in the city. You know, to stir up a bit of attention and mouth off at authority, wouldn’t that be cool? Now, what cause is worth supporting? Gay marriage or the right to dress like a slut? Nah, done all that.

Hmm, what is FaceBook recommending? Err, what … A FUCK WALK? That sounds pretty good:

HUNDREDS of potty-mouthed protesters hurled or wore obscenities in defiance of new police powers allowing crude outbursts to be slapped with an instant fine. The aptly-titled “F… Walk” saw up to 400 people – mainly teenagers – chanting profanities and calling for free speech, not fines in a march through the CBD today.

According to the organiser, 23-y.o. Reubin Williams, “the walk was designed to highlight the difference between swearing as a part of expression, and anti-social, offensive or violent behaviour.” Thanks for explaining that Reubin:

“It’s a freedom of speech issue,” Mr Williams said. “I feel restricting people’s language is unnecessary and the extent of the fine is ludicrous.

“You can swear without being a lout, and it doesn’t mean we are going to be breaking windows or be violent,” he said.

“If you do stub your toe and swear they can fine you for it, but that’s not to say they will.

“Police are saying they’re not using it for those circumstances, but they can and that’s concerning.”

And 16-y.o. James Melton agrees:

“The Government already has too much control over our lives, so controlling what we can say is a step too far,” he said.

Quite frankly, I am not a great supporter of the Baillieu government’s window-dressing attempt to crack down on law & order either. It’s not exactly striking at the heart of our street violence problem, but what else would you expect from a government that so far has proven to be underprepared to instigate any meaningful reforms?

However, when you look at this new law in isolation is it really an attempt to stifle free speech? And does it, as some critics have suggested, discriminate against younger people because (surprise, surprise) they are the group that tends to spend more time on the streets and, therefore, the ones more likely to be fined … and the least able to afford them?

Well, no and no.

Firstly, as Reubin himself points out, the law is not aimed at fining people for using profanities in non-threatening, non-anti-social ways. In my opinion it’s more about curbing loutish, drunken and/or intimidating public behaviour, especially in crowds, like at footy games. You know, the things that can lead to brawls and even riots. So why encourage young people to go into the streets and behave like louts, Reubin?

And secondly, to claim it discriminates against young people because there are more of them on the streets is a bit like saying road laws discriminate against taxi drivers because they spend more time on the roads.

Oh yeah, young people have far less freedom and are far more subject to heavy-handed police enforcement of social behaviour laws than what they were 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Haven’t you noticed? I mean, when young people went onto the streets like this to protest trivial matters like the Vietnam War, conscription and even the right to protest (in Queensland’s case) – while older drunks standing outside the pubs hurled obscenities at us like “get a f*cking job you long-haired hippy” – the police would just stand back and not use their batons against us wouldn’t they? They wouldn’t drag us off into paddy wagons with a few stiff kicks and belts around the ear either and we wouldn’t end up facing the Magistrates court in the morning. Like hell they didn’t.

Yes, young people have it so tough today and those police are just arseholes and really hate our youth They’re pigs – how very dare they seek to crack down on truly anti-social behaviour. 

Maybe Reubin, for his next trick, should organise another protest march against proposals to crack down on FaceBook and other social media sites that harass and harm others. I mean, it’s all in the name of free speech and the law has no right to protect innocent victims and bystanders from such vile behaviour.

I suggest you take up footy, Reubin, and take your frustrations out there on the field on a Saturday afternoon instead of on our streets … if you’ve really got any balls that is.

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