Features Australia

Švejk sedition

How to survive in the wake of woke

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

Some time ago I attacked creationists for their scientific fraud, a charge I now lay against climate activists and the Greens party. Taxpayer-funded media networks incorrectly assumed that because of my attacks on fundamentalist protestant creationists, then I must be an atheist. They were wrong. Christianity is the lynchpin of Western civilisation and our society.

In a TV program on Australian atheists, I was asked to describe my own funeral. I suggested that my coffin would be made out of dead galvanised iron and a deep grave dug in an outback saltpan thereby facilitating my rapid decomposition. Family and friends, some of whom are men of the cloth, would celebrate my life at a bush BBQ accompanied by copious quantities of fermented fluids with the environmentally sensitive disposal of bottles, cans, bottle tops, chop bones, cigarette butts and other refuse into the grave before covering the future archeological treasures with the coffin. Eulogies from hypocrites were to be jeered and mourners would later pass out in the surrounding sand dunes to face the warm rays of the sun at dawn. Construction of a future archaeological midden was deemed politically incorrect and cut from the broadcast.

One of the unexplained scientific mysteries of the universe is that I may have spent a millisecond or two in outback pubs. The publican of the Post Office Hotel in Chillagoe in Far North Queensland watched the interview and asked my best mate, a Chillagoe resident, when next their mining and cattle town would be graced by my presence. Chillagoe has a rich mining history and spawned the Labor crook Red Ted Theodore.

Upon entry a few months later into the Post Office Hotel, I was confronted with a sea of furiously imbibing anorexic and obese locals with their warts, torn singlets, missing digits, hairy backs, sweat, dress thongs, tats and scars. Fashion clothes were yet to appear in this neck of the woods. I knew quite a few of the local miners and eccentrics at the front bar. Freddy, a very thirsty local, preferred liquid bread to solid food and was so skinny that he couldn’t go outside on windy days. When he was seriously ill in hospital down the coast on a glucose drip, he actually put on weight! One lady with a bandy-legged ringer consort commented that I looked far better on TV than in person. The pub was warming up for a big Friday night.

The publican made an announcement. There was to be a wake. I wondered who had died as most of the likely candidates were well into the grip of Bacchus and were valiantly stopping the front bar from falling over. A rusty hessian-lined corrugated iron coffin appeared with the letters painted in gaudy pink on the lid RIP I.R.P., my initials. I was instructed to lie in the coffin, beer in hand, the lid was pulled up and I had to listen to character-assassinating speeches full of mature tadpole droppings. The dead can’t sue so I had to suffer the libel.

There was a great discussion about the coffin, which was a tad short. Would my head be cut off and tucked under an arm, a task to be undertaken before rigor mortis set in, or would they chainsaw off my feet? It appears that I am known as a talker and it was unanimous that my head was to be cut off just to make sure I’d never talk again. I had been abstemious for a few months before but one could not abstain at a wake. That would be totally improper and disrespectful, especially at one’s own wake which few have the privilege of attending.

Just when the wake speeches and wailing were at fever pitch, a couple of German tourists came into the pub. They took one look, realised that this was a tired and emotional wake and bolted into the bush rather than stay in town. A band from Cairns had been hired, there was singing, dancing and goodness knows what else until the wee hours. It appears that at the bewitching hour I was dancing with my coffin which now resides in a private museum in Chillagoe.

Outback folk are the real Australians, make their own fun, are politically incorrect and are divorced from precious city people. They know that there are two sexes, don’t worry about mythical genders and pronouns and know how food, fibre, energy, building materials and metals are made and find their ways to cities. They use a handshake rather than a written contract and the jungle drums soon tell everyone who is a rotten egg.

Bushies know how to live life and often are off the bureaucratic radar. They are free. For example, there are more members of the Lightning Ridge District Bowling Club than inhabitants recorded in the Census for the whole Lightning Ridge district. In such places, people only are known by their nicknames, look after each other, earn their own way, solve their own problems, can fix any piece of broken machinery, drive unregistered vehicles on station and mine tracks, use cash and don’t exist on the electoral roll. They have no bank, Medicare and ATO records. Only the unwise will ask such people about their past. This country-city divide is now an impossible gulf so how do city people survive the loss of freedoms imposed by unelected bureaucrats in the WuHuFlu epidemic?

A hundred years ago, Jaroslav Hašek gave us the answer in The Good Soldier Švejk. The Selver translation removed the naughty bits and painted Josef Švejk, a Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army in the first world war, as a bit of a drongo who bumbled along avoiding going to the front. During my visits to communist Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s, I realised that this translation missed the point and that Czechs subjugated by the Soviet Union modelled their interactions with Russians on Švejk who offered passive resistance by feigned idiocy, incompetence, dumb insolence and stupidity. Švejk followed instructions to the letter, exploited bureaucratic ambiguities, exposed incompetent bureaucrats with his anti-war, anti-authority, anti-establishment and anti-religious exploits and was a survivor because he allowed nothing to upset or stress him and just didn’t care about anything. The more bawdy recent Perrott translation painted Švejk in this light.

For us to survive in these times of creeping socialism, loss of freedoms and control of every aspect of our lives by unelected inexperienced incompetent bureaucrats, we need to follow the tried-and-proven Švejk solution.

Hašek is compulsory Christmas reading.

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