Now the Dandenongs have another spectacle to offer, albeit of considerably lower wattage. In the village of Tecoma, public spirited sorts are out in force to stop the construction of a McDonald’s they believe will ruin the sylvan charm of their ostentatiously organic and sustainable hamlet – sustainable until those fires come, but that will be another story. So far their efforts have come to nought. Planning authorities have rejected their pleas and the local council has declined to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court, which leaves whining and posing as the last remaining weapons in the gentle mountain folks’ arsenal of obstructions. Neither is proving potent and desperation is mounting to a comical degree.
The activists have occupied the site and set up a Facebook page which may be the funniest thing anyone has seen since Cathy Emerson came home one afternoon and caught the glimpse of a large, pale bottom vanishing over the bedroom’s windowsill. One anti-Macca sort had this to say:
Hi people, the woman keepers of the Garden have asked put the call out for a share dinner tonight ( 5pm on.. Sunday) at the garden. To bring love and presence celebrate the garden being blessed by Murrundindi elder this morning & to show support
Well that should settle the hash of McDonalds, which the Age this morning chose to describe as “the multinational” – a tag that, while true, overlooks the fact that the eatery will most likely be operated by an Australian franchisee employing Australian burger flippers. But again, the incidence of willful ignorance and loaded language in the pages of the Age is another story.
Tecoma's real source of excitement over the weekend – one of them – was that much-anticipated blessing by a genuine, bona fide Aborigine. The prospect certainly fluffed up Age reporter Benhamin Millar’s sense of awe and spirituality.
Murrundindi, the Wurundjeri Nation headman, visited the protest site in Tecoma today to add his voice to the outcry over the arrival of the fast-food giant.
He said the proposal was an affront to the memory of his ancestors.
"The people up here are connected to the spirit of the land. McDonald's is going to take in junk food and spoil the views of the mountains and the valleys."
It was fortunate the visiting Murrindindi, who walloped the Ham Burglar with a full-blown-smoking ceremony, was wearing a fur coat, as it made it possible to tell him apart from the hippies and their sprout-fed progeny.
Here’s a closer view of the McExorcism....
... snapped, presumably, at the moment when the demonic Apple Turnover was pointed toward lower altitudes, where the bogans live and streets are fouled by the stench of Subway shops:
Monique Saunders: Subway also in Monbulk, they sneak in as they can slip into any shop. But subway is just as bad. Promoting they are healthy food when nothing is fresh. You only have to come within 20 metres of a shop before you can smell their disgusting food.
The Big Smoko-o was one of the weekend’s notable events in Tecoma. The other was the handiwork of some outsiders who slipped into town late at night and set fire to the protesters’ tent. According to the Age, this comment appeared on a Facebook page set up by a rival group of McDonald’s fanciers:
“We are pro-anything that upsets you hippies. So burn garden, burn!"
How can be people be so inconsiderate?