Friday, November 12, 2010

The End of Civilisation

Life, some awful lurgy, and a couple of family crises got in the way of my plan to write stuff every day this week. But eventually most of that settled down and now I can look back at the week.

For the past few years, my wife has worked on Monday mornings at Southport on about a three-weekly schedule. I drive her down, then go for a walk for an hour or so along the seafront before finding a cafe in the shade where I read. That walk from the Sheraton Mirage towards Surfers has always pleased me. It has a nice wide path, there is plenty of shade from trees, the sea is just there with its endless music, and a nice cooling breeze makes for comfortable walking.

When she finishes her work, I collect her, and sometimes we find a restaurant for lunch or drive back to Brisbane and go out for lunch there. Overall, it works out nicely for us both.

But the last few times I've been for my walk, I've noticed disturbing signs that things are not as peaceful and pleasant as my picture would have it. There are increasing numbers of nasty racist slogans painted on various structures along the path. "Destroy Evil Islam," "Gooks Out", "Muslims Out" are probably the most popular.

The council does regular maintenance of the path, collecting litter (which is a big job), mowing the grass, and so on. But they appear to have no interest in the signs.

I find myself less and less able to enjoy my walk in this normally peaceful place when it is the new place for this hate speech. It makes me sick. It must make the targets pretty upset too.

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