Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Takes Commitment!

The best thing happened. Me and Rocco pulled into the servo for some petrol and ice blocks and immediately came face-to-face with this Wicked Camper van that had ALREADY been altered.

Commitment. Hmmm. I channelled Carrie Mathison from Homeland (I purposely pick shows that contain strong female characters so I can channel them irl what isn't that what everyone does?) and took a stealth photo of it before I approached the people sitting in the van. Knocked on their window. Rocco's like, "Mum, what are you DOING?" And I said I just need to ask these people a question.

They were two girls in their early twenties, British, absolutely lovely. I asked them if they hired the van like that or if they'd altered it themselves.

(I have a thing about seeing these revolting vans and now carry a can of black spray with me in my car wherever I go - because there's a lot of tourists with rentals up here in the Blue Mountains.)

The girls laughed and said they altered it themselves with black tape. That they'd asked Wicked Vans specifically for a non-offensive van but were given this one anyway. I told them about my can of black spray and they LAUGHED .. and I told them that following quite a community outrage in a few states the owner of the company John Webb apologised and had said that all offensive vans would be "phased out" within six months. I asked them what the van originally said.

"Oh it wasn't really too offensive but we just didn't like it. It said "Addiction takes commitment."

My blood boiled. I told them to have a great time in the mountains and we said goodbye and I wondered to myself, if I had seen that van unaltered there would have been nothing  I could do - you probably can't really spray paint a van at a crowded petrol station, what with all the chemicals. There are much, much worse slogans painted on these vans but this one I took personally. Because addiction DOES take commitment - you've got to lose your job, your friends, sleep in strangers houses, do things you would never have dreamed of doing back when you were an innocent kid at school. It's like when I see people wearing t-shirts saying "Rehab is for quitters!" And I want to ask them well, yes it is, what's your point?

Addiction destroys families, lives, children of addicts suffer so badly but you know what takes bigger commitment? Recovery. Regularly doing meetings, putting down drink and drugs, facing yourself, your family and what you've done ... moving forward on just pure faith at the beginning after relying on substances to face the day. Getting clean takes immense commitment. So does standing up for issues that you believe in.

This is Paula. Her site is "Questions for Us." Paula is a school teacher who started the 110,000-strong change.org petition against Wicked Campers and she's shown quite some commitment in raising awareness not just about these vans but other stuff too - stuff that we see around us and think, "Wow, somebody would really do something about that." Well, me and Paula ... and quite a few other people ... are the someones. We haven't met each other in the flesh yet but we will, to discuss phase two of our operation.

See this charming van?

I put it on my Facebook page and while mostly people were as disgusted as me, some people told me to lighten up, "there's more things to worry about in the world than some van company" and they're just meant to be funny. Of course there's more things in the world to worry about then some van company. But this van company has really pissed me off.

Paula joined in the discussion and informed everyone that that van was painted as a direct result of Hoopla editor Lucy Clark writing this piece about the vans. It was only then I realised the "Dear Lucy" above. WOW - a direct sexually violent threat to a female journalist in response to a piece she wrote on a very well respected news website.


It's said that when you're parenting teenagers you have to pick your battles. My battle with Wicked Campers has only started, and it all began from the innocent voice of my six-year old son reading aloud the words "If anal sex hurts, you're doing it wrong." Then he asked me what anal sex was. Then I was at war with this disgusting company and their filthy values. Some people say it's all a clever marketing ploy to get their name up there and they've certainly done that! But it's not just the vans - it's the people who hire out these vans, the people who read these vans and do nothing .... surely John Webb is breaking some kind of obscenity laws? Somebody should do something about that.

So hi John Webb. My name is Eden and even though I got a lot of stuff happening in my life right now - I'm doing something about that.

(The only thing I apologise for about this video is calling backpackers stinky - that's stereotypical and wrong, sorry guys. I've got man glands so I'm probably more stinky than you.)

Then of course, the inevitable You Tube comments came rolling in:

ricardo bellos: "get a life you stupid mole so much for freedom of expression..your being close minded an its art form you may not like but art is meant to be controversial.. "

You Tube comments belong on a planet all to themselves. Anyway, gotta go, stuff to do, takes commitment to live my life these days.

See you soon John.

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