I am sure like me that most of you have friends down south who like to tease us here in Queensland about being Rednecks, backwards, slow, and my personal favourite, the sigh followed by "Only in Queensland"... What we Queenslanders really know, is that stuff is just sprouted by southerners because they are jealous they don't live here LOL! In all seriousness though, yesterday morning when Pat arrived in the office and read out the Article from the Sunshine Coast Daily
about SHOUT! - The Legend of the Wild One
, I have to admit it felt like we were back in the good old 'Joh' days when nothing slightly controversial was allowed to happen in Qld :(
This show is a musical about the life of Johnny O'Keefe, not a tribute band show. He was way before my time, but even I am aware of his legendary 'wild' status, so how could you possibly attend this show not expecting drug references, or anything confrontational? What saddens me more is that the organisers of the show have pandered to a minority of bigots and toned down the offending performance & references. Many plays or shows have kissing in them, the only difference here was that it was a 'lesbian kiss'. Regardless of your personal beliefs, to complain about that is just plain discrimination, and last I looked, that was unlawful? It is a shame that the organisers seem to be condoning this discrimination, and in turn, making the rest of the Sunshine Coast look like backward provincials. It is embarrassing that in this century of supposed education and sophistication that a scenario like this could occur.
Luckily for me, my faith in the Sunshine Coast was given a boost by seeing 'Newsroom'. Frank Wilkie (a local), has written a wonderfully funny, satirical play that had no problems poking fun at sacred cows and telling it like it is. It was very apt in regard to the above controversy, highlighting how democracy can sometimes be lost to political or business agenda's, how facts can be a casualty in the hype, and how truth can sometimes not be reported so as to not offend, regardless if it is in the public interest to report on.
I am not an 'Arts' expert, just a punter who appreciates a good performance, and thankfully we do have the likes of 'Newsroom' (and the yearly revue 'Up Eumundi Road'), which is both entertaining, thought provoking, and not pandering to the prejudices of some minorities. Sometimes we may not like what what we see or hear, but to try to pretend it does not exist, or worse change history to what is considered to be 'politically correct', is wrong! Sometimes the truth is not pretty and I am sure JOK's family wish that he had not been so 'Wild' as he might still be around with us, but to sanitise him and his life is disrespectful to both the man and his music!
Cheers, Noely, Community Site Coordinator