Friday, April 30, 2010

Aussie gangster worship

Ever since I was a child, I've realized that one of the surest ways of being admired in Australia, particularly posthumously, is to become a celebrity gangster. Our celebrated bushranger Ned Kelly surely established this fashion:

At about the age of 25, he was captured after a police shootout.

This photo show him a day before his execution in Melbourne:

There's an etching of his hanging:

Today, Ned Kelly's handmade armor is proudly displayed in an Australian museum:

This Aussie fascination with grand criminals goes all the way back to our convict system, since it's a well-established fact that many of the unfortunate individuals transported to the Antipodes, often for petty offenses, were inoffensive, often fine, individuals.

Be that as it may, there is still, in Australia, a certain fascination with big bandits... who are rarely models of humanity. We see here the gold-plated coffin (Michael Jackson style) of an underworld figure, Carl Williams, who was recently bashed to death inside a prison.

Ridiculous outpourings from his wife Roberta allege that Carl killed for nice personal reasons. Carl only mowed down Melbourne rivals because he loved his family and wanted to protect them. These stupid statements are being placarded disgustingly across the Aussie press.

Every society ends up with the gangsters it deserves. Right down to his fat little daughter, treated as a celebrity, Carl Williams is Australia's ideal dead gangster. He's set to become, like Ned Kelly, a hero.

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