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Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:34 am
I don't want to start anything, but i think your post was a bit insensitive Cmaza.
Sure, the toll was not nearly as bad as in other places, but lives have been lost and many properties severely damaged or destroyed. Entire towns have been decimated - along with the livelyhoods of many working families.
Many of my friends have lost property and some have lost loved ones.
So expressing that you are "irked" by the coverage is a little harsh.
When my power was out and my loved ones couldn't contact me, they took comfort in the news they heard because it kept them up to date with my safety, and i'm sure there were many others in the same boat.
I may have misread the tone of your post and if I have, then I apologise, but just remember that you are posting in a public forum...


Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:43 am
by Cmaza
Insensitive, maybe. But, I'm a realist, and it irks me when media blows things out of proportions for the sake of better ratings, or whatever else. Lives were lost, properties were damaged, entire towns have been decimated.. But the media makes it out to be a lot worse than that. For example - The number of media outlets referring to Brisbane as a "war zone" - The Age, for one - ... 19pg8.html
Australia's third-largest city Brisbane was turned into a "war zone" Thursday with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties.
Don't know about anyone else.. But I think a lot more lives would've been lost if it were an actual war zone. You could justify that this is simply a metaphor.. But it's an unnecessary one. The facts should be able to stand on their own without need for such metaphors.

And, don't get me wrong when I say this - Like I've already said, I know it's bad, and I'm not trying to play "who has the biggest" when I say this.. But if these floods had happened in any other developed country on the face of the planet (with exception to maybe America, which has comparable emergency services), such as those that happened in Haiti or Pakistan recently, it most definitely would've been a lot worse, but probably wouldn't have had media playing things up comparably.

As an Australian and as someone with friends and contacts directly in affected areas, I've been quite concerned by these floods - But my opinion still stands.

This doesn't just apply to the floods in question - Lots of stuff that happens in our own country and that happens in the countries of political allies (Britain, America and etc) tends to be played up in the media, while often larger and more significant events that pose less political affluence are neglected, and while I accept this, do not openly complain about this, and know well that there's little anyone can do about it, it still irks me.

Actually, when I first heard about the Brisbane floods, I almost immediately thought of you, to be honest. Most definitely would've called you up and pestered you about it if I had your number or PM'd you here if I had good internet access during my trip, but I had neither, and I wouldn't be asking for either of those things in advance, because for different reasons, both would be kind of weird and creepy without good reason. I have Wally's number, and tried calling actually, but didn't get through, so not sure if the number was changed or something, but no matter. Don't have anyone else's details, but my thoughts were with you all. If I had If I may ask.. How's the Mana Bar going? I remember you're posting about it some time back, plus I've heard a bit from other sources since then, and it sounds awesome. I still intend on eventually visiting one day, and it'd be a drag if the place got done in.

As a side note... Anna Blyth has shown amazing leadership, courage and resolve in throughout the floods, and I must say, my respect for the woman has only increased throughout this time. Julia Gillard seems to have been left behind somewhat with her political performance in relation to the floods, and to be honest, I think Anna has done a much better job than Julia - Both are compassionate, but Anna is sincere and genuine when she speaks, whilst Gillard's performance seems quite overly rehearsed in my opinion. Still.. I can't complain too much. Abbott outright pisses me off to a degree with his take, which, don't seem too dissimilar from his accustomed norm in my opinion. Anyhow, that's unrelated I suppose.

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:57 pm
by Dogbreath
Cmaza wrote: if these floods had happened in any other developed country on the face of the planet (with exception to maybe America, which has comparable emergency services)
In a similar situation in the U.S., Hurricane Katrina, several thousand people died. This is more of a logistics thing, though... there are more people in the gulf of Mexico alone than all of Australia. Sadly, I don't think the loss of life is necessarily the most damaging aspect of the floods though. I can't speak for Australia, but I was in the Gulf (Alabama and Mississippi) shortly after Katrina doing relief work and I can say the damage was completely total, and very surreal. Imagine seeing a dock from a beach side house a mile inland, or boats on top of houses. Rubble everywhere as far as the eye can see. Everything within 2 or 3 miles of the coast was totally destroyed... hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses and schools and churches totally wiped out. Hell, it's been 6 years and they're still cleaning up and rebuilding. For years afterward if you took the time to talk to homeless folks there were quite a few who left the Gulf before the storm, only to find out they had nothing left and just stayed wherever they had fled to.

So while Australia has been very lucky in not losing many people to the floods, that doesn't mean thousands of lives haven't been destroyed. Again, I haven't been there so I don't know how total the destruction is, but if it's anything like Katrina, it's probably going to have a significant effect on Australia and the world for a decade to come.

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:34 am
Oh, I understand what you mean.
The media does over-sensationalise, you are right.
I think Doggy put it out there with what he said though - the devastation is not just in the lives lost. I think the 'warzone' remarks were more about the infrastructure damage - albeit a bit dramatic, there was a lot of mud and rubble everywhere in the city. There were waterside restaurants floating down the river at huge speeds. There were cows and horses rescued from TREES after the floods receded. It was very surreal, and there is still so much damage to be repaired.

Thank you for your thoughts. :) As it turned out we didn't get any of the flooding at our house. Several days BEFORE the floods hit brisbane the waterway near our house broke it's banks and was about half a metre off flooding over the bridge onto the road, so we were very worried that when the surge hit it would be a lot worse. As it happened though (and even though we were declared a yellow zone) the waterway receded the day before the surge and did not swell again. For this, we are rather thankful. Our local grocery store ran out of food and water for a few days and the roads were cut in both directions so we were concerned that we wouldn't have access to food or water, but that resolved very quickly as well. We really were lucky.

Mana Bar is going well. They missed a lot of the floodwaters also, because they are situated fairly high in the valley. They were cut off from the city and everywhere else though and my girlfriend slept on the floor of the venue with her partner (one of the owners) the night before the main surge to do sandbagging and what-not if needed. Un-flood relatedly, the venue appears to be doing very well for itself. I haven't been in a long time because it got a bit qlique-y and i'm not a fan of that, but apparently it has overcome that and is better than ever. There is a new location opening in Melbourne very soon - they are currently fitting the consoles and final touches as far as i know. You should definitely come visit Cmaza! Doggy is possibly visiting at some point in the future. It'd be nice to have a little dosgames playdate. Maybe ship Wally in too?? I could ask the guys at Mana to put on Frogger! :D


Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:27 am
by Cmaza
Definitely! It'd be awesome; I'm sure of it. :D

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:30 am
by CPT Worm
I'm working on getting my passport...if I end up deploying, Australia is one of my choices for my R&R leave.

I just wish I could have gone with Oprah... =(