I recently came across the word “Outbackistan”. It was on the ABC’s Conversation Hour, in which Richard Fidler interviewed Gav Dear, songwriter and frontman for “The Roadtrippers”. “Outbackistan” is the title of their most recent album. The album is described as “a remote far-out Australian outback mix of country folk and tumbling rock’n’roll written and played by genuine black and white dwellers of the northern reaches of Outbackistan.”
The term “Outbackistan” was coined to make the point that the Australian Outback is in some ways like a country in its own right, just as different and even mysterious as some of the Central Asian “Stans” like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The rather amazing Gav Dear interview can be heard at:
Talking to an Outback farmer a week ago brought to light an example of just how different life in the Outback can be. This chap had had some medical tests which brought to light PSA levels in his blood which would normally be regarded as a sign of prostate cancer. There was plenty of work waiting to be done on the farm, and the treatment options offered by the doctor sounded uncomfortable, time-consuming and expensive – and even then without any guarantee of success.
A fellow Outback farmer suggested there was a much easier approach, and he wouldn’t even have to make the 240 kilometre round-trip drive into town to buy the medicine – he’d have it right there in the shed. And sure enough he did:
He didn’t take much, he assured me – just a few drops – but it seemed to do the job, and his PSA levels are now back to normal.
The product he took is normally used for “drenching” sheep and cattle, which means forcibly administering it to deal with internal parasites of various kinds. The container is clearly marked: “DANGEROUS POISON Not to be taken For animal treatment only TOXIC”.
Things are different in Outbackistan.