AZARIA. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
It’s probably difficult for some younger Australians to understand just how much Lindy Chamberlain was vilified and ridiculed by her countrymen and women 32 years ago when a dingo killed her baby, Azaria.
But I know, because I was one of them.
I was working as a stand-up comedian in the early 1980s and performed a routine I had written which posed the question: “What if they made Lindy Chamberlain The Musical?”
The centrepiece of this rave was the 1967 tune by The Association called: “Everyone Knows It’s Windy” which I had cleverly re-written as “Everyone Knows It’s Lindy.” (I know. Genius.)
I’ll spare you the rest of the lyrics of this piece of brilliant wit, but suffice to say audiences laughed their heads off (and, the only thing I can say in my defence is that I felt so uneasy when I performed this routine that I retired it pretty quick smart.)
I remember that The Age newspaper did something of a roundup of all the Azaria jokes at the time, part of my routine was printed and I was ashamed of myself.
I could pass off my effort as an attempt to satirise the witch hunt in the media at the time, but no excuses.
In pursuit of a laugh, I too carried a burning stick. What was I thinking?
Such was the fire storm of hatred, all rationality was lost.
Almost everyone was in on the act. (It’s important that later generations know how poorly we behaved.)
My husband recalls having heated debates at parties where he (being something of a contrarian) argued long and loudly that it most surely was a dingo which was the culprit to howls of disbelief.
“She did it. Of course she did it!”
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