Talking to some Aboriginal staff today, they said to me that alcohol wasn't the real reason for increased levels of family violence amongst local people: it was just a trigger; the cause was spiritual. I circled back, expecting them to allude to the psychological dimension, but they were quite literal in their answer.
'Well, when some of our people drink too much, it affects their spirit. Their spirit leaves their body.'
Literally, 'beside themselves.'
'Like going "rama rama"?' I said (i.e. 'going potty.')
'Yes, their spirit leaves their body, and it's difficult to get it back inside.'
Oh, more complex than I thought. 'So, can people actually see this happening?' I asked.
'Yes, some people can see the spirits and they can put them back in.'
They told a story about an old lady having to chase a spirit round the house before she able to catch it and put it back inside someone's body. I liked this image; I found it kind of magic realist.
The more I hear about goings on with DIMIA (aka the 'Deathstar' in my early posts) and wrongly deported & detained Australian citizens, the more I think I was absolutely right to be worried about those fuckers taking over Indigenous Affairs. When I heard someone calling the officials in the Department of 'Others' cowboys a few weeks back, I thought, yep, that's just what they are. At least Fat Amanda has been brought to the point of admitting there's something wrong.