But for all the long hours, paid all the peanuts we can eat, the pursuit of the ever elusive now – nowness – the newsman’s most valuable currency, our Shangri La, its an appetite that’s insatiable as much as it it is insane.I am a peddler of the banal…
It’s the feeling of a hot lead, the story that will set the stage for this week’s edition of a tabloid about a corner of the world little have comprehension about – it’s just another byte of info overload to saturate the collective consciousness.
Nothing else matters to the hack, then when it’s written, printed and dumped on the news stand – it is completely meaningless. There is new column space to fill. It’s a psychosis – it never stops.
I should mention about now that it’s nearly 3am on a Thursday (on Thursday Island), I’ve polished off the stale dregs of a bottle of rosé and opened a bottle of chardonnay in the name of decompressing from putting one paper to bed before the next crawls up my spine and sits at the base of my neck – nagging me with that, “fuck you have nothing for next week, what’s the front page photo, what’s the gutsy lead, the colour piece, the community interest, social pages and the sport…”
It’s been a big week, lots of politicians, federal senators and state ministers, in town all with their golden handshakes, memes abound, leaving glitter in the eyes of constituents that will no doubt wake up to discover it ain’t the yellow precious metal, but more piss in their pocket.
In a word Indigenous fishing rights, native title, that last round of the high court, the precedence of Eddie Mabo. Many promises made, expectations high. I just hope they get delivered the aspirations they deserve, the birthright that they have had to fight tooth and nail to get back. The old jaded, bitter part of me doubts it, I’d love to be wrong.
Meanwhile Cyclone Ita, already claiming lives off the Soloman Islands creeps towards us from the east. The cyclonic sheets of grey rain, horizons bleaked out by low pressure systems that smite my back door.
There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
There’s a killer on the road…