Dispatches from Johburg III


The weather’s horrible at the moment here in Brisbane. Sticky, humid, and it’s hard to sleep. The other day I was talking about the political climate in the Joh era, and suggesting a bit of a link (other tropical cities – like New Orleans – have shared loopy, extravagant and corrupt politics with Brisvegas). I’ve just found a quote from Andrew McGahan’s Last Drinks which says what I wanted to say far better than I could:

Brisbane, caught between the mangrove waters on one side and the hills behind, steamed in its sink. In winter it wasn’t so bad. Brisbane in winter was balmy and fine, and really it was no winter at all. But in summer…

I remembered the heat like a dream, a blur of drunkenness and hangovers and sweat-tangled sheets. Lethargic, for at times it seemed that the heat took on a moral quality as well, it sank into your limbs and your heart, made everything slow and confused. It was another explanation, perhaps, for the way things went in Queensland. It took effort to protest, to question, when you were stupified by a long afternoon of sun and humidity. It was easier not to bother, to shrug and accept things as they were, to chant the refrain – that’s Queensland for you.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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2024 years ago

Damn that weather and those sleepless nights!

I have returned.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2024 years ago

I have returned.

Like Nellie Melba or MacArthur?

Welcome back :)

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2024 years ago

Yes, it has been sticky and today was killer if you were outside doing anything. But on the whole it has been drier than usual after a very sticky Christmas day. Tonight it rained a bit and it’s nice in Brissie after the rain cools things down.