ALMOST four years ago the Bunyipmobile was heading north up the Hume when one of the local radio stations mentioned something about an outdoors show being held that day in Wodonga. The ultimate destination was a remote but not-too-difficult to reach mountain valley below Cabramurra, the site of a former mining settlement abandoned around the time of the Great War. The fishing can be good, it is never crowded and, best of all, there is one particular, near-perfect camping spot beside an arc of shaded creek that cascades over a series of shallow ledges.
Centuries of running water have carved depressions perfectly shaped to accept and anchor the human bottom, and it is very pleasant on a hot day to be sitting belly-deep, drinking beer and, if you are reasonably careful, reading a book. Your evening's entertainment will be the humungous hunstmen attracted by the carnage pressure lanterns wreak on moths, and the morning's may be a pair of wary wallabies poking about near the ashes of last night's fire (but only if they think no one is looking). As the outdoors show was on the way to the Snowies it seemed like a good idea to stop off and see what was new in the way of interesting gear.
The show turned out to be a bit more than an exercise in separating the Professor from his money -- eagerly handed over, by the way, for a beautiful, handworked tomahawk so sharp and well balanced a fellow could shave with it. That was the day's delight.
The amusement was a mob of anti-gun ratbags, raving vegans and public nuisances shrieking insults at everyone sane who passed them by. The more they were ignored, the worse the abuse became. We were rednecks with little dicks, killers, butchers and, according to one memorably huge poster, child-killers in the making. Two members of the cult slipped inside and shackled themselves with bicycle locks to a railing, blowing whistles for a while and demanding justice for ducks etc. The pair ran out of puff eventually, by which time nobody was paying the slightest heed in any case.
Best of all, the police took their sweet time fetching bolt cutters, at least two hours, and everyone had a good laugh at how uncomfortable the geese looked up there on their balcony perch, where they inconvenienc3ed no one but themselves.
All this comes to mind because of Boy On A Bike, who puts to shame those quality journalists we hear so much about. Not so long ago, Boy discovered that Fairfax owns a big chunk of Earth Hour, which casts its papers' advocacy of that dubious cause in a decidely mercenary light. Now he has learned the Wodonga protest was organised out of the offices of NSW's then-attorney general.
It is a fascinating post because there is more to it than that. Two-member astroturf "coalitions", deceptive letterheads, misuse of taxpayer assets, Lee Rhianon, obligingly incurious reporters -- Boy's investigation reveals an awful lot.
Pop over and have a look.
UPDATE: Here is a video of the Wodonga protest. Why do they always need to be so rude?