Here& Now with S Sorrensen
Nimbin. Sunday, 2.45pm
The ganja queen rides in a green pedal-powered chariot as befits a queen. And shes pregnant. Only a pregnant women can be ganja queen. Thus has it always been since MardiGrasss mysterious beginnings way back in the mists of time. (16 years ago.)
Her protruding belly prettily precedes her. Proceeding her is row after row of ganja faeries dancing their way down to Peace Park like a green tide of change.
As with the cannabis plant, the female is exalted. She carries the future in her. Its all about love, man. (And what man doesnt dream of ganja faeries?)
The ganja queen is royalty but she doesnt lead the parade. Oh no. That honour is given to Indigenous people holding the black, yellow and red flag of their collected nations. They have huge grins and a penchant for American sports wear.
A naked woman wearing only green paint has a cardboard sign that says Search my bush.
The cops dont.
The cops like to search young lads. Like to empty their backpacks on the street. The kid is scared. Hes only a teenager and his eyes are filling with tears as two cops search for pot among his t-shirts and undies. He could be my son. (No, really.)
His life is full of drugs celebrities that fill magazines and television openly snort, smoke, pop, guzzle. And still they win awards, sell records, drive big cars and date women with perfect teeth. His dad probably smoked. (No, really.)
These lads, our youth, are the enemy. People should of course stay at home, drink beer, smoke a ciggie and watch Big Brother. Thats legal. Keeps em quiet and fat.
The new Big Joint is an inflatable plastic thing about 10 metres long. It replaces the old Big Joint which has been retired. (To Ballina, I think. Next to the Big Prawn.)
I dont like the Big Joint its soooo last century but the new inflatable is being carried reverently by a bunch of young men who chant, Change the law. Change the law. Men are attracted to the Big Joint. Is that phallic or what?
The police look sweet in their matching blue costumes but they have lost their place in the parade. Theyre obviously confused about the part they play in this spectacle.
They carry guns (which makes dancing tricky) because you never know when this bunch of obvious subversives with their dancing and singing may suddenly turn nasty and bring down western civilisation. (If they dont decide to eat something and have a nap instead.)
This collection of alternative types, stoners, reformists, international backpackers, and young local families is obviously a threat. Thats why the riot squad is here. (But try finding a cop in Coraki when thieves, vandalisers and violent aggressives terrorise households.)
A beautiful young barefoot woman with flaming red hair and a defiant attitude is being carried in a bamboo cage by big blokes. She looks dangerous. And she is.
She doesnt look like shed be content to drink alcoholic lolly water designed for teenage girls and watch Biggest Loser.
We keep her caged at our peril.