Tuesday, May 08, 2007

bogan gate

Old Bogan Gate Railway Station converted to craft shop
Like me, many others are fascinated with news articles on what appears to be domestics and particularly on shootings that don't seem to add up and those with more than a suggestion that the backstory may be just as interesting as the reported incident. All the more fascination then that one such incident should happen at a place of about 200 people called Bogan Gate.

Essentially the
SMH story suggests that a local farmer was shot on his farm the other night.
A shotgun was fired at his stomach, and then at his back as he tried to flee. Naturally, as is always the way with these incidents; The case has stunned the small farming community, where Mr Rix is known as a quiet and hardworking family man with no apparent enemies.

Mrs Rix, 33, said she was co-operating with Parkes police to piece together events of that evening but there were too many "blank spaces"

A world weary person might have read the article, snorted into their shiraz, and suggested that most shootings of this kind involve family members or persons in close relationship and that there wasn't too much mystery about it. Others, less worldly, but just as weary, might worry into their tea and biscuits, about the increasing level of random violence in our cities and how no one is safe and once again ponder a move to safer rural climes.

Others might follow up with the outcomes of the article and note a day later that:

About 11am today a 33-year-old Bogan Gate woman attended Maroubra Police Station where she was arrested by detectives from the Lachlan Local Area Command. She was charged with shoot at with intent to murder and conspire and agree to murder any person. The woman was bail refused to appear at Waverley Local Court tomorrow. About 10am a 44-year-old Condobolin man attended Parkes police station where he was arrested by detectives. He is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

We would all hope that the victim is recovering.

Urban Dictionary (thats Urban not Urbane as a quick glance will attest) defines Bogan ..as an Australian term used to describe members of society that are a combination of what the Yanks call Rednecks, Jocks and Trailer Park Trash. most likely found wearing mockies, flanalette (sic) shirts and consuming VB (bad Aussie beer). Large amount of bogans can be found living in The Borough, Bendigo, Aust

Having lived adjacent to
the Borough for a few years I don't have a lot of quarrel with that definition.
Bogan Gate was also the home of writer
Merrill Findlay, who although I haven't heard of her, seems to be varied and prolific in her output.

Unsurprisingly to those of us familiar with small country towns
Bogan Gate has a war memorial.

Having served my apprenticeship as a country yob until post the age of majority I then returned for a short stint with a young family, and then escaped back to the safety of a large urban environment, for my kids sake as well as my own. I've long felt safer around the city late at night than I do in any country town.

When I mention to people that part of my reasons for leaving the country and staying in the city are to do with the escaping the violent crime, entrenched sexism and rampant and institutionalised nepotism and corruption extant in the country, I'm treated with the condescension usually provided to the contrarian grump. As if somehow it's just a stance. A quirk of my skewed take on life.

Not only in my research are there greater rates of most crimes in rural areas, the crimes are also more violent. In addition it's my experience that crime, particularly violence between men, domestic violence, violence on kids and sexual assaults are substantionally under-reported in the country.

Strangely enough tonight Australia Talks on Radio National is dealing with the topic of rural crime. The writers of the book Crime in Rural Australia Edited by Elaine Barclay, Joseph F Donnermeyer, John Scott and Russell Hogg and others who have studied it are providing the facts I have often quoted. Predictably the rural boosters are ringing in with stories of how safe they feel. How they leave their cars unlocked.

I have to stop listening as I'm going to that fine Australian Film NOISE.
I'll download the podcast later a listen to it all and probably order the book, Crime In Rural Australia.

Listen Now or Download MP3 for Later

Update: Following on from Amanda's comment it comes as a shock to see that the police have charged the man's wife with conspiracy to murder.
"She had earlier issued passionate appeals to find the man who shot her husband, calling the crime an "absolute mystery".
And his mother had also issued a plea for help the other day:
His mother, Mary Rix, had earlier appealed for help to find the person responsible. "This fellow is still running around. How can my son and his wife go back to their farm after this?" she said.

FXH says: Yes indeed. How can they go back after this.