Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Welcome to the anal-retentive capitol of the world. Mixing up the best of a spotless Singapore street with a delightfully German sense of humour, may we now present to you the funnest place you’ll ever visit …


A place whose leaders may well be utterly incapable of running a health system, a public transport system, an education system or pretty much anything else that may actually matter to you, but hey, godammit, they have ways of keepin’ ya tidy!

... Police officers have been encouraged to issue fines of up to $400 for washing car windscreens at intersections or putting up posters on power poles ...

... NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, who is championing the initiative, said it is not a revenue raising exercise, instead insisting it is what the community wants to feel safe ...

... Mr Scipione said he ranked this with other "quality of life issues" such as noise, car hoons and alcohol-related crime. People being approached in their cars at intersections or walking through streets "just covered" in posters may feel like they are in a dangerous situation, he said. So the crackdown is about "making people feel like they are being looked after"...
1. I've never felt threatened by a poster. I've never walked past a poster and had it whisper at me, "Gotta fag? Spare change? Wanna buy some hash?" Even when the poster has been half-unstuck from it's place of stuckness, it's never thrust a copy of the Watchtower at me or tried to talk me into taking a personality test. It's a poster.

2. And I've never felt in a dangerous situation because I may have been walking through a street "covered" in posters, especially if the posters are advertising, for example, Richard E. Grant in "My Fair Lady", or Andre Rieu or "Happy Feet". They’re posters, for Christ’s sake, not suicide bombers.

3. "Making people feel like they are being looked after" means giving them the impression that something is being done for the greater good when, in fact, nothing is being done at all. This is the New South Wales state government’s main stock-in-trade now, and has been for the better part of a decade. Hell, before I moved up to Brisbane, we used to laugh at Queenslanders, but now Queenslanders are laughing at Sydneysiders. All the time. Even the Queenslanders who’ve spent the last 200 years marrying their first cousins and giving birth to kiddies who’d make Leatherface look like George Clooney are pissing themselves. These days, tell someone interstate that you’re from Sydney, they’ll just put an arm around your shoulder and say, “You poor bugger … can I buy you a beer?”

4. Scipione's an insufferable cockhead. But then, we already knew that.

There's been mention of this on radio as well over the last few days, and most people don’t seem to be the least bit bothered by posters advertising bands, shows and exhibitions or cool and groovy "happenings" where the young folk go to take drugs and get themselves knocked up and give birth to disabled quadruplets nine months later and wind up on welfare while dad grows one of those stringy little black beards that looks like a leper’s pubic hair and he’s got that sunken chest thing happening (all the better for tossing a salad if you run out of Tupperware bowls!) and it’s tattooed all over with the names of his kiddies, who are all dead now anyway cause mum and pop locked them in a cupboard for 6 months and went on a Tim Tam and Kettle Chip bender. Is that the problem, Scip?

Although, there are a few who say such posters are “visual pollution” …

But so is Bert Newton’s shiny new face and hairplugs and those bloody things are all over the place; on the sides of buses and in newspapers and magazines and television advertisements which pop up when you least expect it and send you tootling up the hall in horror to shit out your stomach lining (fifth time since you got home, you’ve lost a kilo and half in two ad breaks and your arse feels like it’s been scraped up and down a gravel driveway).

Visual pollution?

There's Meriton apartment blocks.

And teenagers with zits.

There’s fat people with backsides the size of battered Volkswagens and faces like dropped bread'n'butter puddings, teeth the colour and shape of cloves, and fatrolls that could tyre a Mack truck and cushion it up the Andes with nary a rattle. They’re pretty unpleasant to look at.

There's Belinda Neal and John Della-Bosca, and Piers Akerman. There’s Michael Costa, and Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid and Milton Orkopoulos. Horrible, horrible, ugly people. Millions of them.

Hell, look, life is full of really fucking ugly people and they’re all around us. Every time you go outside and up the street for a walk or turn on a television or look at a newspaper, there they are.

Horribly ugly ugly people being horribly ugly all the horribly ugly time.

Even people who, in olden times, weren’t renowned for their horrible ugliness, have gone horribly ugly now, having spent the last several years sticking pins in various parts of their noggins out of some deranged desire to look like a land-dwelling puffer fish.

The only way to reduce visual pollution in our cities and towns is not to ban the glueing of posters to power poles, but to kill all the horribly ugly people at the moment of conception. It would be the most effective way of reducing the number of media magnates, mining magnates, stockbrokers, bankers, music industry lawyers, real estate agents, and has-been actors and actresses, not to mention putting a stop to any of them breeding a posse of horribly ugly offspring, who nearly always wind up being uglier than a ten-gallon-hat full of cane toad colons anyway.

Scrape 'em, bag 'em, flush 'em.

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta eat.

Andrew Scipione’s idea of visual pollution. A “street poster” from 1995. I have one of these in my possession, purchased in Perth from the venue and signed by Lydia Lunch and Rowland S. Howard. Visual pollution, my arse.

1 comment:

Jack Dorf said...

(all the better for tossing a salad if you run out of Tupperware bowls!)

Thanks Ross.