MAYBE it’s because of our convict streak,
We wanna fight everyone we meet,
ANZAC Day is our day of the year,
We march our march,
We drink our beer.
Dave Warner (1978), Convict Streak.
“OPPONENTS say … Newcastle is a much smaller city than Sydney … some opponents even imply that its people and those residing within reach of it are in some way coarser and more inclined to violence than those who frequent the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross. There is no evidence to support such an implication.” (Review of Amendments to the Liquor Act 2007, NSW).
Pardonne-moi? Coarser? You mean ruder, cruder and less polished? Bugger off. More inclined to violence? Come here and say that. I’ll see you in the car park after closing. Surely the grog report’s author IDF Callinan AC was just itching for a scrap when he included an unsubstantiated generalisation that ‘some opponents’ saw the good people of the Hun’ner (that’s youse outside Newie who are in reach of it, whatever that means) are somehow unsophisticated, uncouth types who don’t mind a bit of unrefined activity and going the knuckle.
You need some learnings IDF Callinan AC. Are you pulling our collective leg? If you are, you can pull my finger while you’re at it. Cause that’s the way we roll ‘round these parts. We call a finger-off to settle feuds. New moon. Midnight. Under the Stocko bridge. That’s if we aren’t drinking our own bodyweight in goon sacks, filming our mums lighting farts to get likes on Instagram, scratching our bits on the lounge while yelling at Kiarah and Jaxon to stop lassoing the free range cat and to come and watch the monster truck marathon.
There may be more pressing matters in the grog report than that annoying paragraph on page 71, but why the billio did such a paragraph even make the report? “Some opponents even imply…”. Who are these opponents? Let some opponents know that in the early 2000s, members of the Knights undertook lessons in manners and etiquette. By the end of the session, the participants could roll a vowel beautifully, articulate the difference between a spoon and a fork and even seemed to grasp – whatever the circumstances – to never ask for merlot. Still couldn’t tackle though.
And another thing. What’s with the statement “There is no evidence to support such a statement.”?
Well, why the hell was it included? You having a laugh? Unsupported statements should be limited to innovation nation announceables.
Perceptions about Newcastle and areas within reach of it are hard to shake off. A few months ago, a colleague from Melbourne was here for a few days. I took him to a few of the flasher joints about the city and generally wanted him to be left with a good impression of Newcastle.
As we were saying goodbye, I asked him what he thought about the jewel of the Asia Pacific.
“Mmm. It’s a bit like a white bread Melbourne that shuts at 4pm,” he replied, deadpan. And channeling the spirit of some opponents in the review of IDF Callinan AC, I cussed at him and gave him a dead-leg as he picked up his bag, before reminding him we don’t take too kindly to strangers talking nasty about our patch.
Locals bad-mouth Newcastle everyday, but that doesn’t mean we will tolerate strangers doing the same thing.
Maybe it’s because of our convict streak.