Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bush Ranger

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When we look back the history of Australia it seems impossible for our eyes to escape from the chapter of bushrangers. The word “bushrangers” refer to those people themselves who escaped from their communities and abandoned social rights and privileges in 18th and 19th century.

John "Black" Caesar is generally regarded as the first bushranger. Among the last bushrangers and most well-known was the Kelly Gang led by Ned Kelly, who were captured at Glenrowan in 1880, two years after they were outlawed.

Before Ned Kelly became a bushranger, he was convicted of several crimes. He was first arrested for assaulting a Chinese pig farmer in 1869 when he was just 14-year-old. The next year he was arrested again for assaulting a hawker. And then after the Fitzpatrick incident in 1878, Ned Kelly and their friends went into hiding. After that Ned Kelly and his gang rose to notoriety. They killed three policemen at Stringybark and committed two major robberies. Two years later, he was captured, tried and executed.

Even according to modern laws, what they did are crimes, but in fact they have been esteemed as folk heroes. The Victorian cricket team has adopted the 'Bushrangers' as their team name in honour of those such as the Kelly Gang, who lived in the Victorian bush. When we take delight in talking about their saga, we are just willing to forget the facts.

Why do we have such a strange attitude regarding bushranging? One reason maybe is that we cannot stop our minds from dreaming of their romanticism, fancy-free life style and the sincere friendship which is crucial for them to fight together, even though we cannot escape from our material world. When we live in a modern forest of steel and concrete, we lose the primitive romanticism. When we enjoy modern civilization which is restricted by rules, lose our freedom of spirit. When the world is full of fraud and cheating, we find friendship is becoming rarer and rarer. When the world is full of relentless competitions, I don’t know how many people still long for peace of mind. But I know I do.

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