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December 1, 2002
Out of Fitzroy and into the flowers
After a bit of time in Fitzroy I'm now back in Yackandandah. I'm planning to spend as much time as I can here over the next few months. I'll do the best I can to bring you all the urgent, late-breaking news from this neck of the woods.
And here's an urgent, late-breaking example. Earlier on today a local child threw flowers at my feet. Initially, I reacted poorly. I was confused and hesitant and didn't know what to do. For this I blame many years of living in Fitzroy, and an eclectic taste in reading.
I've always had a high regard for Richard Neville's book Play Power. Published in 1970, it's an interesting, well-written, flamboyant account of the Sixties. Neville does a good job of evoking the era, as he describes protest rallies and acid freaks and discontented young people searching for new ways to live. One of his themes is media coverage of the hippies, and how badly the mainstream media got things wrong. He says that at one point a right-wing German newspaper reported a crime with this headline:
FURNITURE STORE IN FLAMES: IS THIS DEMONSTRATION? IS THIS DISCUSSION?
As it turned out, it was neither. The fire had been accidentally started by a burglar. Neville pounces on the headline as an example of the media's willingness to massively over-react in the wrong direction.
With that in mind, let's go back to the small, armed-with-flowers, child.
When she started her aerial bombardment of flora, my first reaction was to think like a right-wing German newspaper:
SMALL CHILD THROWS FLOWERS: IS THIS REBELLION? IS THIS RESENTMENT?
So. I've learnt a couple of things today. One is that it's surprisingly easy to react to unfamiliar situations like a right-wing German newspaper. And the second is that I'm no longer in Fitzroy. What really helped me make the transition was the "hee hee hee" of the child in question, as she fled out the door to gather more ammunition.
I'm out of the inner city, and flowers are being thrown at my feet. It's early days yet, but I think I could get used to this. Life in Yackandandah.Posted by Sean Hegarty at 10:21 PM in the Yackandandah category | Comments (3)
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