This is a quick follow up to the post yesterday on Australia Day…
I want to talk about something that was bugging me slightly at the time. And I am not talking about that smoking lecture prick! I want to try and put some perspective on what I saw. Or at least what I think I saw…
What was bugging me?
There was something not quite right, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time. I hinted at it when I said that “there was a party (of sorts)” going on under the bridge. Then when I woke up – early this morning – it hit me. (Is that a jet-lag thing?)
There was live music, food and drinks stalls and other activities. It was a hot summers day but this was all under the shade of the bridge. So, what was wrong?
Well in a nutshell I think it all seemed too sanitised. For one thing, there was hardly any sign of booze being consumed. Only those who had brought their own – as there was no cold beer on sale. (Missed opportunity there guys!)
It was also totally clean. No litter. Now that’s not a bad thing but hardly a sign of a large number of people having a good time and letting their hair down. Yeah, I know that information leaflet (see earlier post) asking people not be a “tosser” was both funny and good advice. But still… Are Australians afraid to fully celebrate their national day? Conscious of the “invasion day” protests in other parts of town, are they now subconsciously dumbing down their own parties? **
Spain and UK versus Sydney…
On the opposite side of the spectrum, in Spain, the place would have been a mess. But the townhall’s street cleaning services would have soon sorted it all out. The area was relatively small and kind of contained after all. In Spain the people definitely know how to celebrate long and hard into the night. They are famous for their party-animal-mode antics
In the UK beer would have flowed. Then of course at some point blood would have also flowed. Also, the police and paramedics would have had to deal with those who had drank too much and could hardly stand. Yeah, I know. Trust me; party time in the UK is not always jut about the fun side. But the point is there would have been a real party.
I am trying really hard to put some of my reaction down to the hidden effects of jet-lag. But to me it all seemed a little bit too ‘Stepford Wives’*. Just not quite real or too good (or clean) to be true. I realise that this is one small area in large city, but there are over 4 million people in Sydney. It seems odd that so many people can be so obedient. Simultaneously. I am not saying it’s a bad thing but definitely unusual. Is this what it is like everywhere in Australia?
Anyway, that is the end of this little rant/update…
*Stepford Wives: The 1975 cult horror film set in the town of Stepford where wives are reprogrammed to be obedient (to the point of subservience) and always clinical in everything they do. The term stepford is sometimes used to refer to someone or something that is always perfect. Too perfect in fact to be real.
Not to be confused with the 2004 remake which was really more of a comedy. In this version the women were changed into robots. The original was far more creepy.
** “Invasion Day” – more on this subject in a future post. Once I have had chance to speak to people.