Tag Archives: opinion

us and them

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George Street, Erskineville, NSW, Australia

George Street, Erskineville, NSW, Australia

Local Inner West resident and artist Thomas Jackson painted the George Street wall of Hive Bar in Erskineville, a comment to the recent Western Australian government’s shark cull that began on January 26.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things. Terry Pratchett, Jingo

At the same time news headines also declared “Buses the big killers of pedestrians in Sydney’s CBD…”. I ask myself, should the NSW Government take a cue from WA and cull the buses?

money on the streets

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This morning I had a chance to browse the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper online, and came across an item headlined “Word on the street“… in the Money section.

I love street art. It’s one of the attractions of my Sydney city fringe neighbourhood. I love it when it goes up, and hate it when some good citizen paints over it or cleans it off. You may call me a fickle woman but dammit I don’t want it if it’s been commoditised or hung in a gallery, that’s art [ok, I’ll concede, by a street artist], which I like also but it’s NOT street art.

The article is worth a read if you have time. If not, a few excerpts…

”In my opinion, art by street artists is the next big art movement, no doubt about it,” …
…”One of Lawsons’ best results was $4000 for a work by the Die Laughing Collective. Another, which is called Murdochracy, sold for $3200. It was one of the few works to have a provenance. Done on nine panels, it was first exhibited at the Melbourne Stencil Festival in 2005 and again in Sydney in 2006, where it was displayed in front of Newscorp’s headquarters.”…
…”Finding out what work has investment potential is pretty much a mystery, particularly as most artists prefer to work under code names such as Ghostpatrol and Ha-Ha.”
…”Ha-Ha, aka Regan Tamanui, was certainly hot back in May. One of his Ned Kelly 2003 prints sold for a $1100 hammer price at Leonard Joel, way above estimates of $250 to $350. Many street artists who decorate walls and railway carriages are disdainful of those who exhibit commercially. Others, such as British artist Banksy, have successfully made the transition.”…

Not for Sale, Union Street, Newtown (Sydney), Australia

So how could I ever refuse?

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In a nondescript laneway off Botany Road, Waterloo, near the very good Asian greengrocer, linger reminders of Sydney’s pre 2000 Olympic Games housekeeping.

Sydney‘s homeless to be removed for Olympics
In addition, the government is planning to bus homeless people up to 200 kilometres from Sydney to Wollongong, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains, and house them in disused hospitals, government buildings and caravan parks, in an attempt to triple the amount of emergency housing during the Olympics.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/feb2000/olymp-f03.shtml

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Googling “homelessness” and “London Olympics” yielded several stories.

Homeless being ‘swept away’ in London
He said: “In [the football World Cup in] South Africa in 2002, they planted trees in front of the shanty towns so you couldn’t see the people from the stadiums. In Barcelona, all the homeless people were swept out. In Greece they were moved to the other side of the country. London will do the same. They’ll be swept away so far that by the time they get back the Olympics will be over.”
http://hollowayexpress.co.uk/homeless-being-swept-away-in-london-ed-by-jane-checked-by-max/

REPORTS OF ROUGH SLEEPERS BEING “MOVED ON”
We have been contacted several times about reports that, in some areas of London, rough sleepers are being encouraged to “move on” in preparation for the Olympics.
We would be highly concerned if this was taking place but, as far we know, the only activities underway are part of the long-term strategy to end rough sleeping in London. In other words services are working to get new and long-term rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation but this should be happening whether or not the Olympics were taking place.
http://homeless.org.uk/news/100-days-go-rough-sleeping-and-olympics

Homeless performers take over Royal Opera House
The event, With One Voice, is part of the London 2012 festival – the first time that homeless people have been given a platform at an Olympic Games. Instead of being, in Peacock’s words, “overlooked, made unwelcome, or, worst-case scenario, moved on”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/02/homeless-performers-royal-opera-house?newsfeed=true

Perhaps the With One Voice performers could sing Abba’s Waterloo…

“Waterloo”

My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

Waterloo – I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo – Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo

My, my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight
And how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose

Waterloo – I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo – Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo

So how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose –

Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere

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The graffiti-street art argument is polarising. Part of the everyday of elladee_images is street art, so I’m weighing in on the  debate.

Big, savage guard dogs like these could keep away those bad bad bad graffitists-street artists who would save us from politically & aesthetically incorrect walls

Talented graffitists & street artists add colour & culture to the streets but vandals, no. Unfortunately many can’t or don’t want to accept there is a difference.

The Hulk “somebody who could change from a normal man into a monster” (Wiki) is personification of the graffiti-street art issue.

Apparently graffitists are busy multi-taskers:

“It has become apparent that graffiti offending is actually a ‘gateway’ crime to more serious criminal offending including high-end crimes such as burglary, arson, robbery, drug trafficking, possession of weapons and child pornography,” he said…. This was highlighted by the fact that during Operation Eraser, police officers seized an alarming array of weapons, drugs and stolen goods from the homes of graffiti vandals.” Western Australian Police Minister Rob Johnson

Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/perth-target-for-tourism-graffiti-20120604-1zri2.html#ixzz1wnjbI400

Snippets from more reasonable debate:

“Rather than being soft or hard, light or heavy after the event, we need to be smarter in dealing with the causes and effects. People who are (understandably) offended by graffiti or whose property is damaged by it should still not expect their feelings to dictate the way the offenders are dealt with. The world and its inhabitants are more complicated than that, as the criminal justice system recognises… Prevention is best. Keep the possible offenders lawfully occupied and protect the property – by lights, barriers, CCTV, police and security patrols, surface coatings – whatever it takes. And promptly remove graffiti when it happens – by using offenders, if that can be arranged.” Nicholas Cowdery, former NSW director of public prosecutions.

“What seems to get up the noses of some of the city fathers is that street art has not gone through the exhaustive process of climbing up and down the bureaucracy for sign-off at every level. It has not been authorised and possibly sanitised. But we need to remember that mostly it is ephemeral and self-regulated for quality by the local street artist communities… It is interesting that the state’s nannies are usually much more protective of our collective sensibilities than the community itself… Graphic marking of ceremonial sites is part of many ancient cultures, including our own indigenous rock art… Street art is a great Australian democratic tradition and we should be encouraging and supporting the best it has to offer.” Tamara Winikoff, executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts.

“With two-thirds of offenders aged under 18, there is a clear need for better parental supervision. Most graffiti attacks occur at night, often by children as young as 13 or 14 who should be at home rather than roaming the streets… Many offenders seem to view graffiti as a victimless crime, but it’s really a crime against the whole community. Our legal system needs to better reflect this in the way offenders are punished.” Ian Cross, mayor of Ku-ring-gai Council.

” My first exposure to graffiti vandalism came in September 2005 and involved three adolescents who entered our property. The whole episode was captured on a newly installed CCTV system, but police told us no arrests could be made as we had not displayed a sign warning that ”Video surveillance is operating on the premises”. Three days later, we installed numerous warning signs… Ultimately I had to repaint and sign-write two trucks, which cost my business about $30,000 in downtime, lost productivity and other direct costs. The most recent incident, last November, affected the exterior walls of our premises… But it doesn’t matter whether we threaten to send them to prison or to confiscate their cars. I believe the best deterrent is to make sure they can be tracked, identified and prosecuted. In the same way that victim impact statements are read before a criminal, graffiti vandals might change their ways if they could be made to understand how much damage they do. One way to do this is to make them clean up their mess.” Thomas Cann, owner of Baulkham Hills Landscape Supplies.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-question/do-graffitists-get-off-too-lightly-20110520-1ewhh.html#ixzz1wnite9EE

Title quote: G.K. Chesterton, English author & mystery novelist (1874 – 1936)

frack off

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Many Australians are concerned about coal seam gas mining, not in a NIMBY way but because real regulations & safeguards do not exist.

Lock the gate. Sticking it to the mining companies, Which Bank ATM, King Street, Newtown, NSW Australia

The companies are not helping themselves. They have zero credibility. Residents in and around my local St Peters area are terrified and up in arms about plans to drill for coal seam gas in that suburb. Apparently plans for drilling in St Peters have been “dropped” but no-one really knows what that means.

Obviously,  alternative clean energy sources are an issue which needs to be addressed but coal seam gas mining isn’t about environment & sustainability, it’s about money, and it’s not clean.

According to the Wilderness Society’s web page coal seam gas is emerging as a massive public issue.Pilliga: After an investigation by the Wilderness Society and local environment groups, coal seam gas company Santos has had to temporarily shut down the majority of their drilling operations in the beautiful Pilliga Forest after we exposed the significant pollution risks of coal seam gas mining.

Santos have now publicly admitted to 20 hazardous events in the Pilliga forest, including a toxic spill of over 10,000 litres of untreated coal seam gas water.

The ongoing spills, leaks and cover-ups taking place in the Pilliga Forest provide on-the-ground evidence of the serious risks involved in the coal seam gas industry. It is obvious that self-regulation by coal seam gas companies is failing.

Kimberley:  Buru Energy has recently commenced ‘tight gas’ fracking operations just 80km from Broome (Yulleroo field) without any environmental impact assessment – thanks to the WA EPA refusing to assess it. The EPA and WA Government Ministers claim that environmental assessment isn’t necessary because the industry is regulated by the WA Mines Department but this ‘regulation’ was recently exposed as a myth by the WA Auditor General.

Get it together Tuesday

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Get it together Tuesday

Tuesday was an ordinary day until the opportunity for outrage presented itself…

 Opp. #1. It wasn’t until I passed the queue of last chance $70 million lotto ticket suckers purchasers my feet took me back to the little table where there was no queue to buy fundraising tickets for the Australian Paralympic Committee. To be honest, ordinarily I wouldn’t have spent money on either but it was so wrong. 

Opp. #2. If your dog won’t come when you call, put it on a leash. Pretty simple. I hope the child belonging to it’s mother who was the owner of the unleashed pointer-type dog hunting our cat friend George amongst the cars on Flora St grows up smarter than she (didn’t look like it would be a stretch). Extra points lost for naming your dog “Woossy”, and stepping into traffic with same toddler in hand to stop cars so they won’t run over the dog you can’t control. 

he that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked”  St. Thomas Aquinas

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