Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Rob's Thoughts on the Bali Bombings

Jane R bunge91@hotmail.com
Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:43:14 +1000

I thought some workers may be interested in the following article. It is a 
bit lengthy.


Midnight Oil Discuss Bali
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

During Midnight Oils show on Saturday Night Peter Garrett told the crowd 
“Australia is not a suburb of the USA”. He also talked about Australia being 
involved in a war that wasn’t in our hemisphere. A few hours after leaving 
that stage, Bali was bombed.

Midnight Oil’s Rob Hirst offered this thoughts to Undercover. “My own 
thought immediately was that this was a case of us being dragged into a war 
that we had no business in” Rob said. “As we have been in all of the 20th 
Century calamities, world wars and skirmishes we are the first to put our 
hands up to be involved in a war and suffer the consequences itself. It is a 
little bit too early to determine if that was the actual case in the Bali 
incident, I think”.

With the Bali bombing Rob says Australians now have more of a sense of what 
happened in New York on September 11, 2002. “I guess we have a feeling now 
of what New Yorkers went through” he says. “I guess 911 was a bit distant 
for most Aussies and Kiwis but now with our own being blown up in such a 
horrifying fashion you get a sense of what it is like to live under terror. 
We make New York a base on all of our tours. It has always been a big area 
for us and we know quite a few people who were directly involved or who lost 
loved ones. It was just horrifying”.

However, despite the large number of Australian casualties Rob isn’t 
convinced this was an attack on Australia. “I was looking at the number of 
people from all of the countries” he said. “There were about 25 countries 
involved. In New York it certainly wasn’t just New Yorkers and it certainly 
wasn’t Anglo centred Christians. It was people from all nationalities and 
backgrounds. It was just this indiscriminate blowing up of people. There 
were just more Aussies because that is our closest holiday playground. I 
don’t think we can extrapolate that it was an Aussie attack”.

Peter Garrett introduced US Forces on Saturday night with the words 
“Australia is not a suburb of the USA”. While the comment was taken as a 
statement about Australia’s over eager involvement with America since 911, 
Rob says its more of a long term Oils sentiment. “That has been a pretty 
common theme of ours over the years” he says. “Having spent a lot of time in 
the United States it is amazing how at least the cultural invasion of this 
country is nearly complete by the United States. It is much more so now than 
when we started as a band. I think from the early 90s and onwards, the 
evolution of grunge and grunge fashion and also sports fashion and our 
involvement in the Olympics and our involvement in world soccer, with 
Australia gradually becoming more part of the world you know with everything 
from cable to satellite TV and just being wired up to the CNN generation I 
think in the last 10 or 11 years we have increasingly become Americanised, 
subtle or other”.

Australia’s Americanisation is also reflected in our local music industry. 
More than ever there are now Australian R ‘n’ B and rap acts. “The only 
problem I have with Oz rap is that it just doesn’t sound very good. It just 
sounds so cool coming from its origin. From South Central LA I can buy it. 
I’m not sure from South Central Double Bay I can”.

Midnight Oil are about to undertake their first major Australian tour since 
returning from the Northern Hemisphere. For the first time ever they will 
play Geraldton and wait for it … two shows at The Campbelltown Catholic 
Club. “We share your surprise. I don’t know how many Campbelltown Catholics 
there are. I’ll let you know next week”.

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