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War of the Worlds by Mandy nolan

War of the Worlds by Mandy nolan

Knickers flying on the woolworths cage recently

There are just some issues where you can’t sit on the fence. Woolworths moving into Mullumbimby is one of them.by Mandy nolan reprinted courtesy Mandy Nolan first published in The Echo

You’re either for Woolies or against. I’m against.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the right supermarket supporters have in expressing their views. I completely support their right, but I feel compelled to tell them they’re wrong.

You see, I can’t comprehend how anyone who loves their small town, who is on first name terms with the butchers, who marvels at Mr Dennett’s olde worlde bow-tie-wearing grocery charm, who enjoys the serenity of the sweet natured, sweet selling lolly shop lady or buys a bag of spuds from the local fruit and veg merchants could really believe that a corporate giant like Woolworths is benign. It’s community cancer. Businesses will close. It’s an economic certainty. Will people really choose ‘cheaper’ groceries over community because they can’t be bothered driving to BiLo?

I’ve done enough therapy to realise that when I get angry and have a raving meltdown about the kids not doing the washing up, it’s not about the washing up. It’s about feeling unvalued and unsupported. At the end of the day, no one really gets angry about dirty dishes. It’s basic psychology.

So what happens when you apply this ‘what’s underneath’ thesis to a town? What is the deeper reason for this conflict? You don’t have to scratch back very far to find Mullumbimby’s wound. It’s not really about Woolies at all. There’s an age old feud lurking beneath the surface. Twenty years ago it was the Red Necks V the Dirty Hippies. Updated to 2010, it’s the  Locals V the Blow Ins.
The blow ins are ‘new’ to Mullum. Only been here a decade or so. Small town refugees. They are seen to have ‘less say’ than people who’ve lived here one or more generations but they don’t shut up. They organise petitions, marches, political actions, and they’re not even real locals. Although, they did buy the sub-divisions, the boutique farms and most of the uninhabitable Main Arm slopes at a pretty good profit for the ‘real locals’. 

The ‘real’ locals hate the ‘new’ arrivals. They see them as outspoken, flagrantly left wing, promiscuous, pot growing, fire stick twirling, Woolies bashing, nit infested vegetarian hessian sandal wearing freaks. And they’ve got a point, some of them are. The Blow Ins have their heads so far up their hydrotherapised colons they don’t even know that the ‘real’ locals exist. I don’t think they’ve ever met one.

We co-exist, as Morlocks and Eloi, the vegetarian upperworlders oblivious to the carnivorous hatred of their subterranean dwelling brothers. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. The Blow Ins don’t believe Mullum needs Woolies so the ‘Real’ locals do. It’s never about groceries. It’s about resentment. It’s how Woolies have managed to capture us. We were already divided. All they had to do was conquer.

So Woolies built a fence. It’s truly Off - FENCE -ive. A  giant ugly obnoxious scar encircles the site and about 1/8th of the town. There’s even an official sign that says ‘No this fence is not attractive’. Someone’s a little DeFENCEive. (What are they going to do, put a sign on the supermarket that reads: ‘No this store is not attractive.’)

We’ve been locked out. We have our own detention centre. A prison. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live behind the fence in the Woolies ghetto. I hope the residents have been at least offered cheap cornflakes as recompense.
Corporations are the colonial conquerors of this millennium. Our town has been declared Terra Nullius, and we supermarketless savages have been granted a taste of  civilisation. (It tastes like chicken. Hormones and disappointment). It’s a shame we’ve let it happen. We don’t need meditation, we need mediation. Perhaps Paradise really is a parking lot and true happiness can be found in a bag of cheap groceries. If that’s the case, then Fuck Woolies. I’m going to Aldi. Let’s be honest, the only ‘Real Locals’ are indigenous Australians and we kicked them out two hundred years ago. The entire country is full of blow ins.
It’s never too late to have a say.
SHOW WOOLIES YOU’RE PISSED OFF AT BEING CAGED & TIE YOUR UNDIES TO THE FENCE
By Mandy Nolan, Blow In. (although my kids were born here.)

PS today someone removed the knickers. The ribbons are still there.
 

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