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Postmodern Village
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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
Conference 2005

A Report on the 12th Annual Conference:
Cultural Inversions and Diversions

by Norma Perfect

Spring RainsIn the baking sunlight of cosmic accident, many previously hidden gems of wisdom are revealed: Deep Throat, BTK, and the infamous Outside that is Jigalong, Western Australia. In order to celebrate Otherness in an age in which just about everything is simply anotherness - another war, another white man in his White House, another Starbux in another strip mall - we took this year’s conference as far out as in could get. Jigalong is not merely a rural town in the most rural part of the “other” side of the world; it’s an aboriginal town, known only for Rabbit Proof Fence, a film named after an illusion created to fight a problem The West brought on itself.

Jigalong is what “authentic” has become: origynal indwellers as hystorical curiousity, the kitschy beauty of a roadside weed up against the undifferentiated mass of a big-box Best Buy. We did have some trouble getting there, of course, as mid-May is autumn here (and all reversals “normal”), and the rains had turned the dirt track to mud. But that made this reporter, at least, finally see the (limited) value of the sport-ute. Penned in with the other Othered, our Subarus and Land Cruisers coated in the menstrual mud, we were cut off physically from our sister conference in Nullagine, but a few hundred kilometers away, as they celebrated the death of Sartre. Our life in Jigalong became more real as theirs to us became The Void: existentialism as Aussie geography.

The Road to NullagineArrests - 0

Had we gotten out of hand - and we were either too drunk or far, far too sober for that - there was little in the way of law enforcement to stop us. A district deputy came by once, shook his head, and then headed back to Nullagine.


Food and Libation

Jigalong itself is dry. It is also alcohol free. But just as the rains came to complicate our visit, the Northerners brought their own vices along and jagged back a jigger or two from the jug, alienating even the natives who had been alienated from their own strange land. Not surprisingly, it was the aborigynals who developed the notion of the Dreamtime, the time in which all earthly life is lived, from which we pass into reality when we die. Much dreaming was done in the fitful sleep rendered poetic by the shrimp and veggies and tofu dogs still hot from the barby.

Page 2: The Pre-Conference