I’d planned to post something reasonably amusing (read: the usual crap) today, but the taxi ride home late last night not only changed my mind, but left a residual taste of bile in my mouth that had nothing to do with the quantity of beer I had been drinking earlier. By the time I arrived home, I was feeling decisively sober, and quite, quite ill. The driver, a ragged, pock-faced old curmudgeon was listening the 3AW (home to the incisive social commentary of Neil Mitchell, Ernie Sigley, Ross Warneke et. al.) “Overnighters” program, a talkback forum catering to the insomniac fringe of Melbourne’s over 40 redneck community. I’ve no idea who the regular host is, or if what follows is typical of the program, but I thought I’d reproduce a snippet of the conversation for your enjoyment and edification. I can’t claim that my transcript is verbatim, but it’s pretty damn close:
Caller: Y’know, there was this famous Aboriginal woman a few years back - she said that the Aboriginals weren’t going to be able to move forward as a race until they stopped blaming the whites for their problems and started owning up to the fact that what happens to them is their own fault.
Radio Host: Yeah, I remember, that’s right. I think they have to do just that.
C: Yeah, I mean, like, in most cases they should know better. I mean, you know when an Aboriginal gets hit by a car? That’s 'cause one of them’s drunk on petrol and just standing in the road.
RH: Yes, it happens all too often, doesn’t it?
C: Yeah, like that recent case where the guy hit this Aboriginal girl with his truck…
RH: Yes! And it wasn’t his fault. He was an experienced trucker. He’d done, like, a billion kilometres all over the Northern Territory. But the woman comes out in front of the truck, all juiced up on that high-octane fuel or whatever, waving her arms and what-not, and bang! And she died, which is sad. But the driver was a good bloke, so he reported it.
C: ...And he didn’t have to do that. But he wanted to show it wasn’t his fault. But he’s afraid of revenge attacks by her family. They don’t understand she shouldn’t have been out late at night near a road.
RH: (Laughs) Yeah, but if you hit an Aboriginal woman with your car in the Northern Territory, don’t stop – just keep driving!
C: Too right! One of her boyfriends’ll come and try to beat you up.
RH: (Laughs) Yeah, they’re like that. They’re a terrible problem! Just keep on driving!
The PM is absolutely right when he says that Australia is not an essentially racist nation. Spot on, Johnny!
Regular blogging, minus the self-righteous, indignant outrage, will resume tomorrow, right after I finish throwing up.