Chook Yard

Monday, March 28, 2005

Nuclear fried chicken

The chooks had managed to get out into the front garden, and were busily scratching through several centimetres of leaf litter around the sewer vent. "I love it here" said Leghorn, "it's so cool and shady, and there's lots of nice little tid-bits". "Tid-bits is all we've have lately of outside news" grumbled Red Hen "I don't know what's happened to the newspapers". "I think there's been problems with the internet link" said Boy Bantam, who was now growing some beautifully irridescent feathers and feeling quite self-important.
"Prince Charles has been and gone" said Mother Bantam "and attracted some very nasty bile from the republicans, but it seems that everyone else has been quite happy". "Well", said Speckles, "Blue Feather said that all the top people in her department went to the royal reception, and from all reports they were all pushing each other out of the way to speak to the man". Blue Feather was a cousin who worked as a cleaner in a state government department in Parramatta, and on her last visit had once again shown herself to be sooo cosmopolitan and knowledgable. The chookyard was both admiring and a little resentful of her airs and graces, although the younger ones loved her sophistication. Blue Feather had recently visited for a weekend in the mountains, and had been appalled that Fowlfax had recently put out an editorial supporting nuclear power to reduce greenhouse emissions. Everything was turning upside down lately. The chookyard was feeling unsettled. Nuclear fried chicken - it had a nasty ring to it. How could anyone seriously contemplate creating an even worse form of pollution when the whole country was awash with solar and wind and tidal power. "No doubt about it" said Red Hen "the coal companies have Carr in their pocket, and they want to keep him there while they diversify into uranium mining".

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Beware: Only speak English, but not the Queen’s English

The chooks were all having a dust bath in the shade under the cypress tree. Speckled Bantam had been reading the papers, and was getting irritated by the tone of some of the reporting on Prince Charles’ forthcoming visit to the southern realm.
“Foulfax press is being very nasty about Prince Charles” she complained to the dust bathers. “It says here in Saturday’s news section that ‘He’s definitely not one of us - ‘their’ Prince Charles - the man who would be King of Australia returns for the first time in 11 years for a whistle stop tour’. And then, in their Sunday rag they run a cover story almost praising the man who tried to shoot the Prince the last time he was here”. She clucked exasperatedly as she flicked some warm dust over her back.
“Don’t get upset” said Mother Bantam. “You know Foulfax likes to push its own barrows under the pretence that its ‘news’. Remember they’re market fundamentalists who would encourage battery farms if it was best for some greedy shareholders”. They all cackled nervously at the thought of their caged sisters in the sprawling battery suburbs of the city.
“I know what you mean Speckles” said Red Hen. “Their TV Guide also had a go. I was looking forward to watching that show on SBS about the Welsh rebel Owain Glyn Dwr. The reviewer made a sarcastic reference to Melvyn Bragg’s history of the English language reflecting recent surveys showing monarchists now outnumbering republicans, and this show was just another example of our TV being filled with British history shows. Apparently an interest in the cultural histories that now form a basis for Australian systems of governance and language just marks you out as a slave to the old Empire”.
“I suppose we should only be allowed to know about the history of the new Empire” said Boy Bantam. “I hear that the history of the American Civil War is very popular with the republicans!”. They all cackled loudly, and flicked dust all over the place as White Leghorn jumped up and caught a passing fly.
“I understand that Prince Charles’ absence for 11 years should be questioned” said Speckles. “He should be visiting his other realms a lot more, and not just thinking of England. Perhaps the assassination attempt scared him away?, but they never ask about these things, they just publish these malicious, sneering ‘news’ stories”.
“I also saw those stories about the schizophrenic woman locked up in Immigration detention because she didn’t speak English very well” said White Leghorn. “Imagine that, sent to the battery cages just because you can speak more than one language. No wonder the Feds have stopped supporting school teaching of second languages. Police and immigration agents think it means you’re a foreigner.”
“It’s just another part of Howard’s 51st State Strategy” said Boy Bantam. “We all have to learn to speak only American English, which can only be learnt in the market place of Americanist commercial TV, so that we can be easily integrated into the new Empire.”
“But won’t that conflict with Howard’s support for the monarchy?” said Speckles. “I mean, a country has to be a republic to be an American state doesn’t it? Look what happened to Hawaii”.
“And that”, said Red Hen “shows their contrariness. They like the market fundamentalism of Foulfax but not its republicanism. Foulfax loves to insinuate its nasty anti-monarchism throughout its pages, but also supports 51st Statism with its overt market fundamentalism. I suppose they’re at least consistent. But there is a contradiction going on in the ruling establishment, and I reckon that once Howard gets control of the Senate from the middle of the year there’ll be such a wave of hubris and an oversupply of backbenchers that some viscous manifestations of these contradictions will come spewing out of Canberra”.
At that moment the shadow of a large hawk passed across the chook yard. Mother Bantam squawked a sharp warning, and they all ran into the chook house, the lotus-land of the dust bath temporarily forgotten.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Australia Daze

"It was Australia Day yesterday" announced Red Hen as she was picking a juicy snail to bits. "Is that when they eat turkeys?" said Little Bantam. "No" the other others cackled, looking an each other knowlingly. "Anyway" continued Red Hen "I saw in the paper that Premier Carr said 'I know my Australian history. I know what Kurnell means. There's not going to be a wind farm on that site'. Apparently one of his power companies wants to build a wind farm on the site where Captain Cook landed". "Well" said White Leghorn "I read in the paper that the NSW government was not being involved in any historical events to mark Australia Day because, although the Premier is a well-established historian, he also lives in the modern world". "So Caltex oil refineries, Rocla sand mining and Australand urban development are all OK there" said Mother Bantam "not like wind farms which are really old technology". "That must be what Australia Day is about" said Speckled Bantam. "I saw in the paper that Treasurer Egan met Prince Charles once and introduced himself by saying 'I'm Irish, I'm Catholic, I'm Labor, I'm Republican'". "A bit strange really" said Speckled Bantam "because I thought he was Australian". "Yes" said Red Hen "and I though Carr was a greenie". At that moment, Little Bantam began to tug at a fat slug hidden in a crack in some rocks, and the chooks all began to fight over the delicacy, forgetting all about Australia Day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's Begun

All of the chooks have been very excited at having their own blog, squarking and cackling all day long. Their general consensus is that the Bomber will be back to lead the other wing of the Laberal Party. "I think that Enver Hoxha was always elected unopposed" said the red chook "it's a funning thing, democracy".