Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Stranger In a Strange (Halliburton) land

Having had local councils on my mind since learning how the Byron Bay Council gave Halliburton a contract because they were afraid of a lawsuit, I"ve had a coincidental week.

I was just smiling over my front gate to a council inspector while explaining my unregistered
dog. As I don't drive, I have no licence. In order to prove who I was
I had to find three pieces of identification. This was in order to
receive a fine.

I have flown to Qeensland using an album cover and a 1971 (age
six) passport, I've played at Edinburgh Air Force Base using a
multi-coloured Land Rover and a pub social club card. Flying to Port
Lincoln I used letters sent to me from the State Attorney General, the
former Arts Minister and a Liberal MLC.

I ascribe to the late
science fiction writer (and inventor of the water-bed) Robert
Heinlein's theory that when a culture demands you continually prove who
you are, it's time to move somewhere else. The trouble is, where to go?

I've just spent a few days down at Narrung, on the side of Lake Alexandrina
near the Murray's Mouth. No telly, no net, no shops, no dogcatchers...just one of the
world's most beautiful shorelines. One every few hours the soundscape
is disturbed by a mechanical engine, but that's okay because it reminds
you that the noise that you spend your city-life blotting out is not
part of the nature you're now inhabiting.

Down at the barrages which separate the Murray from the sea,
the gates are open so that you can admire the Haliburton solar panel and
pumping equipment. Even KBR seem to have become lackadaisical down here.

A stranger in a strange land, I attempted to grok the technology (or if you prefer, Arthur C. Clarke, I was the caveman before the monolith) and failed.

We have one important piece of technology at the shack at Narrung. Dad uses the ride-on mower to mow the verges in the town. The KBR contractors, with no work to do, drive on.

Next morning, crossing the (bloody bumpy) lake, I looked out on the water
where Cheney's Men plan to build a hundred-kay diameter freshwater
reclamation system, complete with housing estate and marina.

In the same manner an engine noise conflicts here, the mental picture of
such an unatural construct in the middle of such a naturally pristine
environment seemed wrong. In the truest meaning of the word, it's

Back on the shores of reality, we drove back to the city on what is going to become a four-lane highway. Guess who the designers might be?

Nope, this isn't the Heinlein-esqe bolt-hole that it shouldn't be- at least, it won't be in ten years time I doubt there are many left. If one exists, you can expect to see a corporate logo there sometime in the near future


Post a Comment

<< Home