Archive for May, 1997

The Biggest Shame In Town! – Note

Monday, May 19th, 1997

Sunday, May 19, 1997
Up early.  Do dishes with Michael. He’s still stoked that he’s moved in.
He and I then head into town…him to hang with Aaron, me to go to the “Not the Casino Party”, a rally  for people in opposition to Crown Casino.  It’s held in Batman Park, just across the Yarra river from the Casino. Just like in the States, it seems the government here is getting addicted to gambling tax dollars. And its constituents are just getting addicted.
In addition to the expected presence of the Friends of the Earth crew, I’m pleased to see a smattering of many other kinds of folks, a pretty broad spectrum. Church going types – “Honey, we have to do something about the Casino!” Looks like a broad coalition is slowly being formed.

There are some cool t-shirts with a detourned Crown Casino ad – “The Biggest Game in Town!” becomes “The Biggest Shame in Town!”         
     I hear some okay folkie music by Kev Carmody, and Paul Kelly has written a song for the occasion too. In between the tunes there are speakers from the Anti-Gambling Task Force.  I take a few pictures of the crowd and signs and stuff.  There’s a girl who’s dressed up in an outfit made out of dollar bills, right into the spirit of the thing.

Guy up on stage that I think was Reverend Tim Costello: “So as you go, why don’t you stop in at the Casino, buy one of the cheapest roulette chips, put a dab of superglue on it, and as you put it down, give it a little pat – the croupiers will understand that – and then get out of there as fast as you can.  When they reach out to pull in the chips…a share for Crown, a share for Lloyds, and…and…and they rip up the felt on the table, a small consolation but a small victory nonetheless.”  
        I go to one of the trucks and grab a big stack of brochures for the Cambodian Association.  Since most Eastern countries & cultures have prohibitions against gambling, it’s been a real problem for Melbourne’s Asian communities.  
         Downtown after the rally, I buy Finding Moon, the Hillerman book I was looking for. Alright. Back home, I show off my “Biggest SHAME in town!” t-shirt. Whooyeah I’m bad.  
         Claire comes over and draws with the three of us.  Not long before I crash out.