Staring up tonight, I realised something: People who live in big, bright cities tend to look down on people who live in smaller places. I have also noticed that people who live near the coast tend to make fun of inland places.
It may not be that city folk think less of the people in a small town, it's just that Sydney is better than Wagga Wagga, which in turn is better than West Wyalong.
And the coast is the most. This is why, in this way of thinking, Brisbane is cool but Longreach isn't and Darwin is hip but Katherine is less so. Canberra is a city in the only Australian state or territory without a coastline. (See what I mean?!)
Using this logic, coastal location plus large population equals Cool Place To Live. (Cool Place To Live is also synonymous for I Am A Cool Person.) For example, I live forty minutes drive from a coastal city. This means those city dwellers make fun of me and my allegedly inbred country hick ways. My friend lives four hours inland from me, so I make fun of him and the price of petrol in his town.
I'm not saying this is the way things oughtta be, I'm just saying this is something I'm noticing.
It is as if, within the un-evolved monkey part of our brain, we are mentally congregating ourselves into big monkey groups so as to provide ourselves with protection from other monkey groups. Perhaps the coastal thing is a throwback to our convict days when the beach meant "only twelve thousand miles til home" whereas the desert meant a sunburned monkey in isolation.
This week I was driving through the small town-filled predominantly non-coastal Northern Territory and passed by a tiny town which I later found out was the site of the Wave Hill Walk Off of 1966. From little things, you know?
It made me feel small, like staring up at the isolated speckles in the night sky.