Wednesday, April 09, 2008

After They Said Sorry

Youth workers say the number of petrol sniffers in Alice Springs has doubled in the last four weeks, sparking fears central Australia could face a second wave of the epidemic.

The roll-out of the non-sniffable fuel Opal helped reduce the number of sniffers from about 100 at the town's peak to fewer than six addicts last year.

But Tristan Ray, from the Central Youth Link Up Service says the figure rose again to 20 about four weeks ago, and at least 40 sniffers are now roaming Alice.

He says the sniffers have begun to find alternatives to regular fuel for their highs.

Mr Ray says the sniffing only appears to be in the town of Alice Springs, and not surrounding communities and he blames a lack of commitment by governments to diversionary programs.

Where to next, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Pasternak had us pegged, from Dr Zhivago, of course:

I can still remember a time when we all accepted the peaceful outlook of the last century. It was taken for granted that you listened to reason, that it was right and natural to do what your conscience told you to do…

And then there was the jump from this peaceful, naive moderation to blood and tears, to mass insanity… You must remember better than I do the beginning of disintegration, how everything began to break down at once - trains and food supplies in towns, and the foundations of the family, and moral standards… it was then that untruth came down on our land of Russia. The main misfortune, the root of all evil to come, was the loss of confidence in the value of one’s own opinion. People imagined that it was out of date to follow their own moral sense, that they must all sing in chorus, and live by other people’s notions, notions that were being crammed down everybody’s throat....

This social evil became an epidemic. It was catching. And it affected everything, nothing was left untouched by it. Our home, too, became infected. Something went wrong in it. Instead of being natural and spontaneous as we had always been, we began to be idiotically pompous with each other. Something showy, artificial, forced, crept into our conversation - you felt you had to be clever in a certain way about certain world-important themes.

Bolt adds to the above quote
TO the Left, Kevin Rudd’s ideas summit this month is as big as Moses leading the Jews to the Promised Land.

That’s not me talking, but one of the 1000 of our “best and brightest” Chosen People selected to give the Prime Minister a plan.

No, I don’t mean Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson, who must realise at last he should pull out of Rudd’s love-in on Saturday week before he makes a bigger fool of himself.

I mean Louise Adler, head of the Melbourne University Press, who best symbolises the triumphalist group-think Rudd’s summit embodies.
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