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20 responses to “Disaster Humour”

  1. kuke

    Duckhand was great. Took a bit of investigative googling to work out what people were talking about. Urban Dictionary was a bum steer in this case.

    I’d never heard this one being SMS’d around today:

    “What did the cyclone say to the coconut palm? Hang onto your nuts this is no ordinary blow job!”

  2. myriad74

    Mistakenly watched some commercial breakfast tv this morning. The presenter / journo disappointment in the lack of deaths and horrifying imagery to share was palpable, and utterly repugnant.

  3. verity violet

    The ‘duckhand’ made me think of an Irish comedian who once remarked that if ducks could talk they would be trying to sell you something. commercial TV, and ABC 24 to some extent spent an awful amount of effort packaging and selling this ‘apocolypticinnudationdisasterbiggesteveruinprecedentedsureto obliterateallevidenceofmankindsexistanceuntilnaturetakesoverandweallkilland eateachothersyoung’.

    I salute the good building codes, well funded and resourced govt services, and resourceful residents and visitors up north, who seemed to plan well and mostly act thoughtfully and carefully to ensure they survived a very large storm.

    Lets hope the storm surge doesn’t do too much damage today.

  4. Graham Bell

    Mainstream media’s response to disaster has become so stilted and stereotyped and choreographed that it’s hardly worth watching/reading.

    The local “Morning Bulletin” in Rockhampton was alert to at least some of what was happening in Depot Hill (an older inner city suburb with both elevated and low-lying parts) though their legal advisors might have inhibited thoroughly robust reporting. The Fly-In-Fly-Out celebrities had the stories – ones that affects people right across Australia – going on right under their noses …. and they missed them.

    Wonder what important stories our dancing-prancing news celebrities will miss in the wake of the cyclone in North Queensland? They missed the “building standards” rip-offs exposed by the Victorian bushfires and by the Lockyer-Brisbane floods and you can bet your little pippy they will stick strictly to the script if anyone dares ask why very, very expensive houses-of-cards didn’t quite survive last night’s cyclone.

  5. TimT

    Good to see Queensland locals are willing to get quacking on the recovery effort. Let’s hope the ABC doesn’t see a need to feather their nest, though, and send duckhand the bill. That would be fowl.

  6. sublime cowgirl

    Duckhand for President of the Republic of Australia.

  7. Sam Bauers

    Three births during the cyclone makes a death toll of -3.

  8. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Let’s hope it remains at -3, Sam. That would make Yasi the cyclone with the lowest human death toll in recorded history. There may have been cyclones that didn’t take lives, but a death toll in negative figures? Amazing.

  9. Helen

    Eggcellent webbed feat, TimT.

  10. GoTroppo

    As an ex-local (but soon to be one again) what really bugged me was that they imported all their journo’s to cover the story – thus eliminating any local knowledge.

    It was highly frustrating to have them walk around pointing at things exclaiming “this is most unusual” only to know that what I’m witnessing is probably semi-normal (or a slight variation on normality). A couple of examples:

    I think 7 or 9 were walking around parts of South Townsville this morning pointing to evidence of flooding caused by storm surge going “OMG, this is alarming” – yet the areas they showed ALWAYS flood on a king tide – so not exactly unusual given a) it was already a larger than normal high tide, b) fairly windy and c) all the rain they’d had – so should’ve been seen without all the hysteria. If I’d seen it in, say, Gulliver, then I’d have been impressed.

    The other one was listening to the 7 goons based up in Cairns who were patting themselves on the back having ridden out a Cat 5. Some even stated their sheer amazement at Cairns’ resilence in the face of a Cat 5 system – so little damage. Well, that’s because they DIDN’T go through a Cat 5 system. Any local knows that areas to the north of the eye barely experience the cyclone. We had an example of this not 5 days earlier with Anthony – hit Bowen yet Ayr/Home Hill barely felt it. So, at best they probably endured a Cat 2 system – hardly something to crow about.

    What is worst about this, however, is that their own hysteria adds to the overall illease in the community – they start worrying people about things they probably don’t need to worry about. By all means roll out the Cockies and Melt’s, but back your reporting with locals on the ground who KNOW what’s going on. It might lend some legitimacy to their coverage next time.

  11. su

    Exactly so GoTroppo. South Townsville and Railway Estate regularly go under, they are low lying and close to Ross River. Remove the mangrove swamps to build your suburbs and expect to have problems with rain and tide forever after. I lived in West End on an area of drained wetland. A decent cloudburst and our yard became a swimming pool and since the soil was almost 100%clay, it stayed around for quite a while.

    Biggest niggle this morning: Journos saying flash flooding when they meant storm surge inundation.

  12. CRAIGY

    I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a journo ask ,at a press conference ” How many fatalities can we expect from a Cat 5 cyclone?”

    And then i ,stupidly , swore at the radio a bit.

  13. Ralph

    what kept being repeated was the notion of it being of equal or greater intensity than Katrina ‘which resulted in the deaths of over 1800 people’, no small wonder there was unease

  14. FDB

    Good work Craigy – it’s not going to swear at itself.

  15. FDB

    I’m disappointed Duckhand didn’t crook a middle finger for the duck’s eye.

    For shame, Queensland. Or was it some form of blind cave-duck?

  16. Hal9000

    I thought Katter was making a legitimate point, and the ABC anchor got very shirty with him for making it. When people are being traumatised, telling them they could easily die horribly isn’t going to help their mental or physical state. They could easily become stricken with panic. Katter correctly said that the best thing people could do was to stay in their own cyclone-strengthened houses. The worst thing they could do would be to go outside and try to make a run for it. Panic-stricken people make very poor choices. But even Katter had to genuflect to the media gods when the shirty anchor pouted.

    Luckily for most people enduring the actual storm, loss of electricity supply meant they were likely listening to the radio, which was putting out accurate information and not running so much with the tv news official line others here have well described.

  17. Brian

    I listened to Kelly Higgins Devine on local ABC last night as the eye made landfall. I was amazed at people ringing up, saying they’d heard the roof go off, the furniture banging about upstairs, water pouring down through most of the house, but no, we’re fine!

    I figured that the ones who were really crapping themselves wouldn’t be ringing the ABC for a chat.

  18. CRAIGY

    Disaster Humour


    A remote Aboriginal Community, half way between Cairns and Mt Isa , was struck by cyclone Yasi.
    There were no reported injuries, but the 160kph winds caused $3 million worth of improvements.

    *(This was sent to me by an aboriginal friend. If anyone wants to call him racist, go ahead)

  19. Graham Bell

    GoTroppo (on 11):

    Spot on about South Townsville and Railway Estate …. if they don’t get ANY wet feet in ANY Wet Season, the locals want their money back. It’s all part of living a stone’s throw from Flinders Street. 🙂


    I watched Ch.9 coverage of the cyclone. Having a dominant theme in a particular story is fine – if you go in for that sort of thing – but Nature’s War Against us was downright infantile. Count your blessings; it could have been worse; at least they didn’t use the following words in their run: Corporal, Admiral, Artillery, Cluster Bomb, Rommel, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Victory, Staff Officer, Air Vice Marshal, Submarine …. so it wasn’t completely military/arcade-game.