Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I'm not sure if the rest of the world is aware of the problems we face here on the east coast of Australia but I can assure you the war on feral pests has been waged here for longer than I care to remember. At least three times a year large groups of people mobilise to wipe out one or the other of the afore mentioned, non-indigenous nasties of dubious place of origin. Armies of club affiliated vigilantes patrol transport routes, parks and public spaces leaving no stone unturned in their quest to seek out the defeat and humiliation of the creatures they despise. Our national media organizations closely monitor the situation and many of their ranks have risen to the prominent positions they hold by participating in the activity themselves. Heads of government would not last long in their chosen careers if they failed to support one or another of the groups and drunken celebrations usually follow the peaks of activity.
The police forces, paramedics and most other public service organizations tend to turn a blind eye to the violence that quite often erupts right before their eyes, usually leaving it to a group of private citizens to run a makeshift judiciary to preside over the preceding's that frequently take place after some particularly nasty event. More often than not the perpetrators of some of the more serious offences get off with a short suspension from being allowed to participate in planed upcoming events and/or if they are under contract, an amount of their fee withheld. What I have described here is by no means over exaggerated, it goes on year after year as regular as clockwork and shows no sign of changing. You maybe under the misunderstanding that it is just men who participate in this public display of over blown enthusiasm, for what some might call a sport, but hordes of women and children also regularly attend and it is not unheard of for a grandmother to stand at the appropriate moment and hurl abuse at some official that ruled against to the mob.
Now while I'm not particularly fond of cockroaches or cane toads, I can see both sides of the story and from where I stand the whole thing has got way out of hand. What started as a pleasant past past time has deteriorated into a free for all, where the participation of obsessed adults has overridden any sensible approach to the problem. Surely in this day and age when the world is looking towards us as a model for planetary activities that would set standards in developing countries, we could better use our free time and vast resources to devote ourselves to the more important issues that face us and the rest of humanity.

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