Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Camp Cruelty Needs to End in Australia

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Camp Cruelty Needs to End in Australia

Article excerpt

JUST BECAUSE

MARK COPLAND

YOU ARE tired of reading about it and I'm tired of writing about it.

So instead I'll borrow, adapt and abridge a short story.

It is the "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" with apologies to the author, Ursula Le Guin.

Imagine if you will a most beautiful city (let's call it Omelas).

It is a place with fine weather, wonderful parks and is filled with people who are happy.

Each year people come from across the land to celebrate a Summer Festival.

At this time there is music, carnival rides for the children, wonderful food that is shared and things to do and see for all.

It is not a luxurious or exclusive place, but it is one where everybody is comfortable.

People have a safe place to sleep and are always warm and dry.

This bright towering city is situated next to the sea.

The inhabitants of this city are not simple folk. They are passionate intelligent, articulate adults.

There are no soldiers in Omelas, there is no clergy.

The people in this city celebrate a victory that is life itself.

They do not feel some victory over some external enemy but have everything they need within their own city walls. Perhaps too idyllic?

Well there is one more thing about Omelas that you need to know.

In the basement or a dark cellar of one of the most beautiful buildings in the main part of town is a child.

This child has been stripped of everything including its name.

It is given enough food and water to survive but no more. Its only company is dank and cold mops.

The door is always kept locked. Sometimes some of the citizens of Omelas visit the dark cellar. Sometimes one of them steps in and kicks the child to make it stand up.

Others never come close, but peer with frightened, disgusted eyes. The people who visit say nothing, but the child has not always lived in the cellar.

It can remember sunlight and its mother's voice and sometimes speaks. …

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