EAST IS EAST

ASYLUM SEEKERS

Morning News. Australias bantam Prime Minister, sporting bucket hat with white polo shirt, sloshes across flooded Jakarta lobbies. Sharp Eye, gatekeepering a mission; Man from Melbourne rationalizing razor detention camps, school principaling embarrassment boatloads with detention example and free budnipper patrols. Next up down unders opposition conscience blood. Workers resolute champeen meanders through sweaty suffer swamp. Fork Eye, spreading smelly televisual ambiguity odour. Mr.Bread and Butter down to earths strong borders then rises up morality chimney coughing smoky compassion treatment for illegals: Man In Labour, contraction speaking in crampy land where washed and unwashed majority back border half of movement equation. Over to refugee visuals. In the Woomera oven everythings hypertrophied, everyones motion. Desperation stitches its lips together, climbs atop tin barracks, threatens final self solution in pressure afternoon. Drama lenses enlarge rusty barbs; hollow eyes cling to thorncrowned chain link in Road Warrior world. Camera catches arms waving, sun beating, sides shot deeply concerned faces, placard parts, blowing sand, guard beer bellies, beginingless expressions, overhead panorama reciting helicopter whirring newstalk. Cut from faces bursting feeling to political stoneface, standing before towering parliament door; Ice Cube Mouth, frozen atop Antarctic steps lapped by microphone ocean. Granite Mouth gravels on: doing our best, wont be pussywhipped; Third People must learn whirr sending heap big message. Dont mess with talking suits otherwise dust misery, cattle prod buzz; Bold proposes send seekers, sinking Pacific atolls with loada wampum. Get outta town by golden stagecoach. Backgrounder replays. Container ship deck, crowded by human misery pathos types down at mouth, machinegun military, ice cream suit captain. Flashcut to wrenchgut homeland conditions: moustache firing rifle in air, broken bricks, twisted steel, blindfolds, trench graves. Shot to overturned scow; Blood Eye, freshly re-elected following democracy parliament inquiry, yarn reeling refugee children, overboarded by blackmailing mothers. Live shot. Bantam PM no longer sloshing. Tale-teller high beaming Indonesia stretch limousiners. Everyone in batik, sunglassed, crushcapped. PM schmoozes Yellow Peril; our good friends; wonderful new understanding. Byron Bay café real time. Time warp hippy clones answer stitched lip cry breezing beyond Woomera stalag camp. Inside trendomatic beachsiders, xerox sneers distort outrage lips after Tubercular Bob wheezes up sandpaper hair ball. Following hearty hugs and creamcheese bagels, flatwhite offspring from Agent Orangemen plan own rally for skinful refugees; ragged rage complete with banners, bands and bold initiative. Asylum seekers, refugees, legal and illegal immigrants. Phantoms floating over we the affluent in this dissolving millenium. Millions already on the move, millions more in sprint blocks, as bullets fly, forests burn, oceans rise and rise. Where then does surfing weight of justice lie? Hong Kong rolled out barbed welcome mat for Hanoi dollar coasters. Britain bungs the Chunnel against Kurd Croat desperflush. Northamerica tells sampan pathfinders get lost. In narrow space and size shrinkage, who wants more mouths, who needs more hands. When the world operating ethic is theres not enough, Pipe fitters and number crunchers join hearts against shrunken bellies, bullhorn passport destroyers and motor mouths. Parliament oppositions soft peddle hard-lines by ruling handwashers, dont ride moral horse at high level, knowing todays door opener could be tomorrows slammer. So how long till the Global Festival begins? How long before all the decency and strawberries weve been promised, until brothers and sisters are free to cross borders, until everyone can live in freedom and dignity? In my next life Afghanistan, Rawanda and North Korea are great places to visit and we welcome them because everyone has enough oil, and has their own windsurfing board, and everybody loves everybody and wants to hug them and kiss them and go out to dinner together and the sun shines and the flowers bloom and the earth glides across the universe.

Burleigh Heads, Australia Thurs 02/07/01