Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] In the news today

Beth Curran bcurran at columbus.rr.com
Tue Nov 18 16:12:58 MST 2003

Lawrence, Kansas <AP> Dairy farmer Royal Williamson welcomed an unusual
new member to his herd of pedigreed black-and-white Holsteins last week
when "Dairyland's Melissa's Pride", otherwise known as Missy, gave birth
to a female calf with a black spot on her side in the shape of a human
handprint.  The Associated Press reported on this interesting
bovine...and Williamson's life hasn't been the same since.
It seems the shape of the calf's spot precisely corresponds to a logo
used by revered Australian agit-rock band Midnight Oil.  The Oils, as
their fans call them, are best remembered in the US for their song "Beds
are Burning" which was a worldwide hit in the 80's.  In Australia they
have attained legendary status for their high-energy live shows and
commitment to environmental and human rights issues.  This culminated in
the Oils' performance at the close of the 2000 Olympics, in which the
band members appeared on stage wearing clothing emblazoned with the word
"Sorry" to protest Australian Prime Minister Howard's continuing refusal
to apologize for governmental denial of rights to Aboriginal peoples.
Late last year, the Oils' iconic bald 7 foot tall lead singer, Peter
Garrett, decided to leave the band for what most speculated would be a
career in the political arena.  However, the band's small but rabid
cadre of intellectually intimidating fans have taken the birth of
Missy's handprinted calf as a sign that their idols are about to
reunite, and have descended en masse on Williamson's fields.
"I don't know what to make of all this," Williamson says.  "Most of them
are way too old to be acting like this, and a lot of them are wearing
T-shirts with that fellow from that new Star Trek show on them.  I don't
get the connection.  And about every fourth guy has a guitar.  They keep
begging the women to help them sing some song about a Polish guy, and
here I thought this band was supposed to be Australian."
But, Williamson admits, his visitors certainly are tidy.  "They don't
leave a bit of trash anywhere.  They installed a bunch of composting
toilets right after they got here, and a couple dozen of them put up a
bunch of solar panels on the barn roof, so now my electricity bills are
practically zero.  Now they're drawing up blueprints for a windmill.
They even painted up their recycling bins really pretty and the cows are
enjoying the music.  Milk production is up almost 15% since they started
helping out in the barns.  They can stay as long as they want so far as
I'm concerned."
Contacted by phone, Midnight Oil songwriter and drummer Rob Hirst
dissolved into helpless laughter when the situation was described to him
and was unable to complete an interview.
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