Monday, July 14, 2014

The pond visits the Melburnians, and scores a slide show unsafe for all ages ...

The pond doesn't usually bother with travelogues.

Sure on the weekend the pond experienced four seasons in one hour in Melbourne - what nonsense that old saw about needing a day to stage the four seasons turned out to be.

And then there was the laneway bacon and eggs breakfast where the eggs seemed to glaze and freeze on the short journey between plate and lips. Would you like pepper with the ice and the eggs?

But the pond loves the town, loves it, I tells ya. The cultists were out in force, lined up against majestic old buildings:

Weird stuff, but just another day in Melbourne town. (No idea what the pond saw? Here's the juice).

Sorry, did we mention majestic old buildings?

It brings the pond to a lament and a complaint about what might be called the RMITification of inner city Melbourne.

Some might prefer RMITfuckification of the city as a more apt way of invoking the terror of RMIT-inspired architecture.

It makes the pond uncomfortable because it makes the pond sound like Prince Charles, which is to say a barking mad monarchist. That's the usual turf of such types as "Prof" Flint, aye aye me hearties, away with ye, ye scurvy republican dogs ...

But the pond's seriously disturbed.

Stop it, stop it, you're ruining the town, perhaps the state, possibly the country, likely enough the planet, and soon enough the visual disturbance might send the galaxy careering wild-eyed through the universe.

Now everybody has seen the old RMIT glowering at the Victorians:

Look, the pond even had a tram worked into the snap.

And everyone has surely seen the RMIT green blob, the fungal extrusion that threatens Swanston street on a daily basis, and soon enough, the virus worked its way across the street:

Hideous. Look at the poor old pub as the hideous building next to it begins to absorb it, blob-style.

What a hideous monstrous cityscape it's becoming. Grotesque shapes, like scaly things, are creepy crawling out into the light:

You see, it's all very well and glossy but what happens twenty years on? Well you only have to look at the detailing. Here's the smoke and mirrors:

It still looks modernist enough in wide. But then you go into the detail. Unwelcoming to the street and passersby, a half dead palm just hanging in there, colours fading, branches drooping, and pigeon shit on the white.

Why that's not much different to having pigeon shit on an heroic Victorian statue.

The pond was so traumatised that a retreat into the State Library seemed the only solution:

The good old reading room under the dome, beloved of Melbourne film-makers, and good old Melbourne still lives.

Can you imagine the pond's consternation and irritation when it turned out that Kaz Cooke was tweeting from the dome the very day the pond was doing research of a most studious kind?

Yes she was, here, and linking to the State Library here. Talk about trading off. So many poseurs, fellow travellers and imitators trying to take down the pond. So take this Cookey:

You had to climb up all the stairs to get to that one Cookey - Denis Napthine had arranged for the lifts to stop working.

Well he's fucked everything else - sssh, don't mention Myki for visitors - so let's attribute the lift fucking to him too ...

The pond was so overcome, the square had to be the next stop, as we listened to someone wax lyrical about joys of compost heaps in Mt Macedon on RRR. Only in Melbourne, only on RRR. (It's a bit like going for a pho in Richmond, and discovering that on the telly up in the corner, there's an aerial ping ponger reminiscing about a game in 1988!)

Sure enough, there was the usual alienating structure, and most curiously, the powers that be had constructed a plastic igloo in a futile attempt to keep out the cold:

Brr. Sun and ice.

But wait, there was one final indignity. Inside what did the pond find?

Why paintings that had been appropriated and exported, genuine Sydney gems, now wasted on philistinian (as Victor Mature would say) Victorians who knew nothing, or very little, about the emerald city, the jewel of the Tasman sea (oh go away Greymouth and all you other pesky kiwis. Don't even begin to presume):

That's just not right. That's as bad as the falsely named Elgin marbles - that's the Parthenon Marbles to you currency lads and lasses - still residing amongst the thieves of England, and the pond demands that these Sydney treasures be repatriated to Sydney. Forthwith and at once.

That would leave the real Victorians to look at the real Victorians. Here they are in Collins street:

By the way, don't let this man paint a tram!

Careful with that razor Melburnians!

What else to say, apart from a promise never ever to do this sort of travelogue pictorial again, since there's only so many slide nights anyone can be asked to endure, or even a visit to Michael's camera museum?

During the four seasons, the sun did come out briefly, and Sunday was quite mellow, and not once did the pond think of politics or that in this very space lurked the darkest of demons known as the Bolter, a tormented neurotic child made wild by youthful life in Tarcoola and Tailem Bend. (It's all here, the neurosis and the fear turned to anger and hate).

Instead the pond marvelled, despite this blot, this blight, this black cloud, at the way the sunflowers flourished in the sun.

Only in Melbourne ... and in five weeks or so, it's likely we'll do it all again ...

(PS not all the images above were done by the pond. Some were done by a pond agent, some by complete strangers, and thanks to all, but as is well known, the pond views a disdain for intellectual property rights as the only correct way to express disdain for Fox, Foxtel and the Murdochian empire).


  1. Dear Pond,
    MYKI for visitors...what about us folk who live here? A family of three and unable to share as he is a student, she a full fare passenger and him a senior, and where is the student card when you want it? at school or in the other parents handbag. SIGH.
    And for those of us who travel to the Emerald city to work and play, MIKI does not interface (as us techies say) with your opal card, nor with the Brissie Translink. The toll road people manage to share, whatever happened to our public servants, I blame Tones for the debacle.
    Next visit to melbourne I am looking forward to you slide show of that jewel in Melbourns design crown, Docklands.

    1. The pond has stayed at the Travelodge in Docklands and won't have a word said against that bleak, alienating, existentially aloof place, because it's perfect for reading Kafka, but we did note with amusement that these days they're bunging on fireworks to get the mug punters to pay a visit. Desperate times.
      As for the rest, do you really think the moans of a Melburnian can in any way compete with the whingers, whiners and moaners in the Emerald City? We can take your fancy MYKI in caps and fuck it up twice as much, and that's without trying and one hand behind our backs ...

  2. Nice demolition of Plimer's new denialist book by Dr Mark Diesendorf at Crikey.

    1. Good link and a good read. Interesting that the Murdochians seem to have abandoned Plimer. He's now dropped down in the market to the level of James Delingpole in the Breitbart News, or as featured in Newsmax. The once uxorious commentariat have left him in peace, in the same way that they abandoned his ersatz lordship. Still, as a useful idiot, he's done his work, and now can be on his way ...

  3. Off topic but, Julie Bishop has made it to Global Times with this:
    "Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop appalled Chinese people on Wednesday by saying that Australia will "stand up to China to defend peace, liberal values and the rule of law," and "China doesn't respect weakness.'

    1. Julie Bishop is never off topic, and the pond would have been exceptionally pleased if you'd noted she was "a complete fool" in an outpost of rascals and outlaws ...

  4. Nah, DP do the travelogue again; it was brill.

    Haven't been to Melbourne for a few years - despite it being one of my fave places (and that's 'cos it has retained something of its past, its scale; not for any other poncey reason, I hasten to add).

    Had a happy few days over there a few months ago. But - you picked it, DP: the human scale of the place is being screwed up. Geeze. Stoopidity writ extra large!

    And pray tell. Greymouth? There was a time, years ago, when I hung out there doing surveys in the surrounding bush. But. Emerald City? Not blurry likely, evah.

    1. Royton, you've been to Greymouth? Amazing scenes. The pond loves a kiwi joke, heck the pond loves the kiwis ... and don't get the pond wrong, we really do love Melbourne, lived there for years, and sssh, it's a more civilised town than Sydney, if it wasn't for the weather ... but along with the amiable laneways, how they've taken to stacking in the rats and the mice ...

  5. This is interesting, ACMA findings on complaints about TV programmes.

    Only one finding against the ABC (the dog-fucker episode), but three against commercial TV.

    There seems to be quite an industry out there in raising complaints about the ABC. 15 complaints made about the ABC in a total of 32.

    1. And that's not counting the complaints of the Murdochians who must rack up a squillion complaints a day ... dog fuckers, the lot of 'em

  6. Please dont " promise never ever to do this sort of travelogue pictorial again"
    Your eye is as sharp as your wit and your vision was as enjoyable as your writing.

  7. Yeah, what they all said DP. I live down here, I cycle down here, I resemble some of those fine pictures you posted, and very much look forward to the next episode.


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