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On Swatting Magpies   Sep 26 2018

Filed under Australiana by Ewen Shearer

During the past half century Australians have absorbed their legendry with the quaint fervour of tribal sports fans.

A key pillar of this self-adoration is the mighty assertion that our animals are the planet’s most dangerous.

Of course they are, but it’s a polite and friendly deadliness that enquires, “How are yer goin’ mate?” as you’re bitten or stung to death.

Beloved among Terra Australis’ kingdom of ferocious fauna are the estuarine crocodile, Inland taipan, Eastern brown snake, redback spider, funnel web spider, stonefish, Irukandji jellyfish, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus… well, the list is almost endless. Our venomous snakes alone exceed 100 species.

Australian animals can be quite thuggish, however, preferring to savage the unwary human, rather than eat or poison them.

Consider, for example, our sweet-natured Cassowary. Upon luring a naïve human into its territory with a beautiful display of colour and feigned shyness, the bugger turns on you and reveals a foul disposition. You are kicked, pushed, pecked, charged at, jumped on and head-butted. Almost always, following this ritual assault, the beastly cassowary presses its 12 inch claw to the victim’s throat and threatens reprisal should an incident report reach the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Be wary of Cass.

Japanese and Chinese tourists, despite repeated travel advisories, continue flocking to Australia expecting to fondle the dangerous and absurdly cute Koala Drop Bear (KDB). Photographs of these monsters populating tourism brochures and videos fail to mention these are drugged and defanged koalas. Feral KDBs will dismount a tree and scurry across the ground to another, purportedly seeking a more aromatic eucalypt. Do not be fooled, that is the decoy bear. Should you look up, and unfortunately be under a tree, there – clustered like furry coconuts – drop bears gather for the kill.

Run. Now.

Heading the list of Australia’s most dangerous animals is a bird well known around the planet: the magpie. Eons of evolution have been unkind to our variant. The Australian Magpie is so malevolent that a specialist police unit was created to hunt and shoot magpies that attack humans. This is the only animal – other than sharks and crocodiles – that is hunted and killed for attacking people.

However, the magpie is vastly more dangerous and cunning than those two benign predators.

Maulings of two swimmers by sharks in the Witsundays failed to ease the national trauma of the previous week’s horror in which a brutal attack – “sadistic and bestial” according to witnesses – upon an elderly woman caused her to stumble and scratch her knee.

The quiet village of Lismore in northern NSW responded to the civic emergency with professionalism and swift justice.

The local police Mag-Swat team lit up its retinas and took out the vicious creature with a fine head shot. They believe it was a head shot, that is, as no remains of the feathered aggressor were found… except the feathers.

Down Under


Ink Irresistable

Not the NYT Montaigne's what would I know? Huxley's almost anything about almost everything. Or Bierce and nothing matters. Codifying life's inimitable impromptu inclines irrestistably to essay.

Civilization ..

   defiles itself

Times past when warlords, priests and royalty hoarded luxury, life was a short grim struggle. Today most want for little yet still deny dignified survival to working poor, and ravage entire countries as collateral to our laissez faire fiesta.
double arrowOn not shedding a tear ..

A Century of Imperialism

     ..hasn't dulled the urge

American foreign policy never a pretty sight, finesse of the mobile crane chase from Terminator 3. Export democracy? Cure worse than disease. double arrow Read more ..


~ its own reward

And what's going on in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? As 40% of kids fail graduation the Iraqistan wars suck $2.4 trillion [CBO 2017 est]. Imagine this staggering sum applied to rebuilding The Great Society. Think of others.
double arrow Where Charity Begins

This lazy unemployed

..crack-smoking welfare queen ran up U$15 trillion debt

lazy homeless scum
Odd how the ultra-wealthy gull even working poor to blame unemployed, disabled, weak, and vulnerable while but for the grace of God go all.

If he's a welfare leech then your soul is with the sociopaths and predators who own Warshington and its minions, the Repugnicans and Dumfocrats, gutting a once noble nation that aspired to equality.

This elite will survive the US economic train wreck, land softly on 300 million plundered taxpayers, then from fortresses of luxury and privilege prey elsewhere for spoils.

The dawn of civilization was greatly exaggerated.

Munch Montage

Painters, such a sad old bunch
None it seems more so than Munch
Upon that bridge with skies afire
A meme took flight to never tire.
2arrow gif

Quote Me

"I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another. In a way I have nothing to say but a great deal to add
~ Gore Vidal

"Rulers of state are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying" (Well, that explains the last 2500 years)
~ Plato

"By 'known unknowns' I was referring to the universe's dark matter.."
~ Donald Rumsfeld

"I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out.."
~ Joseph Addison