19 September, 2016. 10:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
THE NATION HAS BEEN forced to pick up the pieces today after Mad Monday celebrations in regional Victoria failed to net a single instance of blackface over the weekend, breaking with an age old tradition.
Attending post-season celebrations painted head-to-toe in jet black paint has been an institution in the picturesque brothel towns of Bendigo, Ballarat, Ararat and Geelong for over a century – a controversial practice that proved to be Australia’s perennial September shame.
However, it seems the message has gotten through to the amateur sportsmen of the Victorian hill country.
“We didn’t really understand what the problem was, because there’s not too many blackfellas down in Victoria. No rivers and it’s a bit cold,” said South Bendigo Football Club president, Glenn McCracken.
“But all those nanny goats and beach-goers up north kept blowing up whenever some pelican ruckman would turn up in blackface and they’d plaster their faces across newspapers from Cooktown to Kununurra,”
“Yeah look mate, the penny dropped earlier this year. We didn’t want regional Victoria to be the quaffable wine, methamphetamine and blackface capital of Australia anymore. We had to do something about it.” he said.
And do something about it he did.
Once known as the epicentre of recreational drug abuse and cultural insensitivity, Bendigo has undergone a social renaissance which has seen blackface stamped out across all football codes.
“It’s a step in the right direction. We don’t want to shock anybody anymore.” said McCracken.