Approaching coherency, it has to come out sometime.

A friend in the US asked me what I thought of all this, what my city thinks. He said I always thought of Oz folk as rather spirited.... WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

Should we be joining in the flagwaving?

doesn't he understand that I might not share his sentiments?

Today, what Brisbane thinks....
.. or at least those parts of it I've spoken to lately.

We're scared. Things are ugly, ugly, ugly right now. The redneck element are out, with death threats at mosques, an arson attempt at an orthodox church (rednecks are fucking STUPID) and throwing rocks at a Muslim schoolbus just down the road.

Several weeks ago, Australia's government (in their allseeing fucking wisdom) committed an act of piracy, sending the navy to board a Norweigan ship which had picked up a sinking boat full of illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and was bringing them here. The government used this as an illustration of their "hard line" on illegal immigration. This hardline policy was partly in response to recent media beatups and horrific racial villification. A gang of Lebanese youths gang-raped two 16 year old girls, and got off with light sentences, due to the prosecutors screwing up. News noticeboards, talkback shows, letters to the editor were full of Send 'em home and stop immigration. WHY? They didn't rape because of their background. But somehow it became the focus of the trial.

Fast forward several weeks... do we have deja vu?

The government pandered to the moron redneck extremists, and now they think they have the RIGHT to hate, and oh my god are they going for it.

This frightens me beyond description.

Reading through newsgroups, talking to people at work, it becomes clear that the madness isn't prevailing. Much of E2 is a bastion of sanity, of hope that the whole world, or even the whole of America isn't out screaming for blood. Yet I get emails from friends in the states who are afraid to go against the flow of patriotic zealotry and must confide in someone halfway across the world.

Here, all express sadness and shock at the tragedy. But as the dust settles and the body counts decrease (remember when we were told it was 50 000 dead?), more and more people aren't surprised. This seems to get misinterpreted as the US deserved it. No! This is NOT the case. No-one there deserved to die, especially not in such a cruel manner. I can't watch the news now, I can't see those figures jumping out of the buildings again. BUT HOW WILL RETALIATORY STRIKES DO ANY GOOD? Sure, it might kill a few fanatics. It's also a guaranteed method of breeding a whole new generation. If I hear one more person telling me they need JUSTICE, when what they really mean is REVENGE, I'm going to be sick.

If you ask people here who they're more afraid of right now, they won't say Muslim extremists, they won't even say terrorists.

They'll tell you they're afraid of Americans.