Aborigines and some other things

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February 15th 2008
Published: February 16th 2008
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Just a quick thing because I was going to talk about that Aborigine issue in Australia, which is very interesting and it never makes the news in England, and I forgot to do it last time. Actually this whole thing is probably going to be embarrassingly wrong and you shouldn't quote me because I only watched a few news reports and listened to Chris and Pete talking about it, but anyway. Basically there are quite a few Aborigine communities in Australia, mostly in the rural bits, and I don't know about you but I always thought they were nice 'Nature People' who kept themselves away and lived in harmony with the animals and flowers and all of that, but it turns out that isn't so. They don't send their children to school, but still receive a welfare thing from the state (I think) and all that money goes on alcohol, which they don't seem to be able to cope with very well. There is a lot of petrol sniffing, and the children walk around with petrol cans tied round their necks, which turns brains to jelly quite literally. And then there's mountains of child-rape (mostly from their own family) and houses get destroyed a lot because one of their beliefs is that everything belongs to everyone, so different families go in and 'use' their neighbours' stuff. Obviously there are loads of communities which are fine (apparently these are mainly the ones run by women with a no alcohol rule) but mostly the children are horribly abused and don't get educated or anything, so about 10 years ago (that is a guess)

some of them (the children) were removed from their parents and taken into kind of care home places, and given schooling and food and no petrol or anal rape. Which is kind of good because they got a better chance in life and were 600 times safer, but obviously it was horrendous for the mothers who had their children taken away, and after the kids grew up they started to call themselves the 'stolen generation'. Anyway this week the Prime Minister and some other people had to make an apology to all the stolen generation, and there was such a huge hoo-ha because apparently the word 'sorry' is rather significant, and once you say it you have to take responsibility and are liable to get sued by everyone who you sorry to. But yes, there are lots of people who think that Prime Minister Australia man (he is called Kevin Dudd or Judd I believe) was very good and brave for doing that, but other people think it won't achieve anything (the optimists think it will make the Aborigines and Whites live in HARMONY honey again).
Anyway, I thought that was quite interesting because I didn't know about it, and I bet you didn't either. We are in San Francisco now (well technically it is Palo Alto which is about 30 miles south) staying with a lovely lady called Pat. She has gone out to work briefly and me and Rosie were going to have a nap, but instead we played her piano (how very rebellious). It is nice here from what we saw driving down, everything is very spacious and it is a lot cooler, but I am not going to wear gloves. Or a jumper in fact. It is still Friday, even though we left Australia on Friday about 28 hours ago, and we haven't really slept at all - the 12 hour flight from New Zealand had too much entertainment on it to sleep, I watched a German film and made a music playlist and then watched a thing with Ewan McGregor, and Rosie saw the Darjeeling Limited...

which is SO GOOD and I recommend it to everyone. New Zealand was fun, we had about 2 hours there and the only thing that happened was I got selected to have a 'dust test' where some moustached man swabbed me and my bag behind a screen, and then Rosie's bag got searched because they saw a mysterious dark patch in there. She also thought she'd left her passport on the plane, and got a man to radio the plane staff, before she found it was already her bag. In Australia she lost it as well and I found it in a big box of pick 'n' mix chocolates about 15 minutes later. The only other notable thing about New Zealand airport was the robotic sanitary bin in the toilets, and the flushes that made crying baby noises every 30 seconds and then flushed, without you wanting them to.
I didn't say in the last one but Byron Bay (in Oz) is so nice, and definitely the most liveable place we've been to. There were lots of hippies and it was laid out really nicely and the sea was good. Nothing beats swimming in the rain with sharks. On our last day in Australia we went to a koala and kangaroo and wobbly wallaby place which was reaaally fun, and then we went for a meal (actually Rosie may have mentioned this.. yes I think she did, oh well) and that was very nice, and then we bid farewell to our extremely nice hosts, and of course lovely Evie.
When we got to San Francisco there was another drama because we couldn't get hold of Pat on the phone, and the phone kept eating all my money, and then I had to pay to go on an internet thing and check the phone number was right, and it turned out that there was a different phone number on 3 different emails, so we wrote them all down and when it still wouldn't work we went to a desk where a nice lady did it for us. Pat then came in her super silent car and we probably made it smell. Right, I am going to have a nap now, Rosie has been asleep on the sofa for a while so I am going to get the bed. We don't know what's happening tomorrow or anything yet, but we've got train timetables and things so we will probably have a wander/wonder. It is HIGHLY STRANGE being in America, and it hasn't sunken in yet. I keep imagining a big map of the world and then a red arrow pointing at where I am, like on GoogleMaps. Actually that is a green arrow. Anyway.


16th February 2008

going back in time
Well, how did it feel to arrive in a new place before you left the other? It means you have been given an extra day's holiday. You obviously haven't got used to being in US yet, as most of your blog was still about Australia! There has been lots of stuff about Aborigines lately, and I'm sure it was big news in Australia. It even got on the news in UK. The sad fact is that the poor Aborigines had been living in Aussie for thousands of years quite happily until westerners came and they had all their land taken off them, and they were put into camps where they got depressed and hopeless and it seems they take to drinking in a big way, and get more and more hopeless. Taking children away from their families was seen at the time as a way of making up for the past mistakes, but of course it was just much worse. Anyway, I'm glad you're safely in US and have someone nice to stay with - does that mean you're staying with her for three nights? I'm sure you'll soon settle - try to get into the new time by going to bed at 12ish their time, and not when you think you feel you should be. That way your body will adjust quicker. By the way, I loved the photos of you both with the koalas. It made me very jealous, though. Are they as cuddly as they look, or do they bite and poo on you? Take care. Love Mum/Veronica xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
17th February 2008

There was a film about the Aborigines being taken, set in the 30s, called Rabbit Proof Fence, where Kenneth Branagh was explaining how after 3 generations of being bred with white people their offspring would become 'suitably coloured' and apparently all that stupidity which was in their genes would have watered down. Having said that, they neglected to mention any bum storming that might have occured, which taints the film slightly.
17th February 2008

breathek, trynottobreathe
I think i've seen this film, does it sort of follow the journey of 3 girls? i think it's 3, although one of them doesn't make it
19th February 2008

I've seen that, also we did a documentary on aboriginal children and how awfull their society is in humanities a couple of years ago, and I told you aswell. Clearly i have made such a huge impact on your life you cannot even spare the courtesy to listen to what i did in shcool
19th February 2008

I'd always thought i'd seen rabbit proof fence but i must be thinking of something else. possibly i am thinking of empire of the sun, which might have a similar dvd cover. how come everyone already knew about this! i thought i was being informative, damn

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