Moral decay and sordid criminality

An endorsement from the back cover of Tim Flannery's The Birth of Melbourne:

'Fascinating...lifts the curtain on the respectable facade of Marvellous Melbourne to reveal it as more of a boom-and-bust frontier town...a tale of dispossession, slaughter and environmental destruction inflicted so swiftly through greed and mismanagement that it almost beggars belief. It is a story of moral decay and sordid criminality.'

At this point you're nodding gravely: dispossession, slaughter, sordid criminality — sounds about right for early Australian history. But then you notice the byline:

Sydney Morning Herald

And suddenly the whole preceding paragraph looks like two scruffy boys in a trenchcoat, one sitting on the other's shoulders so as to imitate an adult, testifying gravely in the witness box that Bugs O'Leary did indeed steal Old Lady McCourt's prize petunias.

Popularity factor: 0

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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