Hoy! Just keep being yourself, Bluey
It has been another week of toxic political correctness debate, and this week it involved the last TV show I would have ever have imagined becoming the focal point.
Those of us with young children, and possibly many others, will be aware of the kid’s cartoon Bluey, which centres on the lives of a cattle dog family.
The show is a not only immensely popular, but also a great source of pride given that it is produced in Brisbane and features a recognisable backdrop of the city’s skyline.
As we know, the more popular something becomes, the more open it is to scrutiny.
While ABC journalist Beverley Wang expressed how much she likes Bluey, she also kicked a hornet’s nest of epic proportions when she questioned whether the show could be more ‘inclusive’.
She says: “Where are the disabled, queer, poor, gender diverse, dogs of colour and single-parent dog families in Bluey‘s Brisbane? If they’re in the background, let them come forward. (Maynard, voiced by Sean Choolburra, I’m looking at you.)”
This is the bit that has rubbed most of Australia up the wrong way, and I understand why.
The way I see it, Beverley Wang is running a risk of over-complicating a simple, innocent kids’ show with a whole pile of political baggage that our kids need not worry about.
For example, put 20 kids of all backgrounds into a playground together, and do you think any of them gives a single thought about colour, race, creed, religion, money, gay, straight, both, single parent, eight parents?
I would draw on my own experience and say no, kids do not care about all that stuff. What bonds them is the fact they are little humans without a care in the world.
The reason Bluey is popular is because lots of people relate to it. People of all shapes and sizes see themselves in this cute little dog family.
If you cannot relate to Bluey, that’s fine. It is a kids’ show after all.
Go and watch something else, or even better, make your own kids’ show with every conceivable combination of disabled, queer, poor, gender diverse, coloured, and single-parent character.
Yes, but while you are busy doing that, also ask yourself: Why am I so preoccupied with putting people into these particular categories?
People seem to forget that when someone puts a TV show together, it is not necessarily their responsibility to personally placate those who see themselves as victims before they’ve even got out of bed.
At the end of the day, my view on all this hasn’t changed over the decades: It’s art, so stop and appreciate it, or just keep walking.
With that rant out of the way, let’s focus on what else has been making news in Ipswich this week.
Baking up a storm
Ipswich has been blessed with some wonderful family-owned bakeries over the years.
We all have our favourite, or perhaps a couple of regular haunts depending on your mood.
Sadly, some of them have disappeared over the years, but new ones are popping up all the time.
This week we asked our readers to nominate their favourite.
We produced a list of finalists, and now we need you to vote for the best one.
What better excuse is there to sample the best pies, sausage rolls and cream buns the city has got to offer, before casting your vote?
Speaking of tasty, locally made treats, the Ipswich Show Society has been hard at work ahead of this year’s event to bring the crowds something different this May.
A deal struck between show organisers, Rotary Ipswich City and Ungermann Brothers mean we will have our very own Ipswich Show Sundae.
The specially developed strawberry ice cream flavour will be complemented by cut up strawberries and cream.
Best of all, money from sales stays in Ipswich, with 50 per cent going back into the Show Society and the other half going into Rotary programs that benefit locals.
The sundaes will be sold from a special cart at the top of the hill, near the main office in the showgrounds, so look out for it.
Also, keep an eye out for more Queensland Times coverage leading up to the show, which runs May 14-16.
Don’t shoot the messenger
Most people took it as intended, but I did notice some negative feedback from our story on Paul Pisasale this week.
We reported that, despite what has transpired, disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale could technically run for office again several years after being released from jail.
It feels strange having to point this out, but our reporting of this fact was in no way intended to be an endorsement of Paul Pisasale’s possible return to politics.
It was simply pointing out the fact that for someone who has been convicted of such serious offences, a comeback is not necessarily out of the question.
Call it a loophole, call it an idiosyncrasy. Either way, it is what it is. Not our fault for telling you about it.
In Paul Pisasale’s case, a comeback would be extremely unlikely – another factor we mentioned in the story – as for one thing, he would be almost 80 by the time he is eligible again.
For another thing, I do not for a second think Paul Pisasale has one 10th of the support he had prior to his convictions for criminal offences.
Ipswich has slowly turned a corner since that time.
The transit centre is one of the sad stories to come out of the 2011 floods.
Briefly converted into a home for a local theatre group, it was overrun by squatters and quickly vacated in the interests of safety.
Since then, it has laid dormant, and appears very unlikely to serve any great service to the public any time soon.
While it is a shame, it is not hard to see why. The Transit Centre sits on such vulnerable ground that it may as well have been built in the Bremer River.
It is not a question of whether or not it is flooded again, but when.
So the question remains, what to put in its place?
We have put the question to readers several times over the years, but for me it is hard to see it being useful for anything other than parkland, or some kind of car park.
Whatever it is, it will have to be able to stand up to flooding.