Sunday, November 14, 2010
No can do this, no can do that, what the hell can you do, my friend, at this ‘community festival’?
“Where there’s a music shall be comin’ out of every car, there is a silence all over downtown. Where community celebrates shall be aroused,I walk the sterile gardens where life is on pause ... No can do this no can do that, what the hell can you do my friend, in this place that you call your town?”
I swear to god Gogol Bordello have been to the annual Newtown Festival. I turned up today to what is self-described as “an iconic Sydney festival, creating an annual community celebration of creativity, diversity, sustainability and inclusion”.
What a load of utter bollocks. I mean, you could argue it is bad enough being in Newtown and that the wanker quota could not but go through the roof. This is true, but misses a bigger point.
Seriously, I mean, for fuck’s sake, why is it that *everything* in this fucking society gets fucking fucked up?
Fucking Newtown fucking festival, you fucking approach it and the streets are hot and packed and there are fucking pigs everywhere (which is just fucking unhygienic) and the cafes are in ceaseless competition with barbeques offering sausages in a roll that cost them probably 30 cents each for $3.50 and I found one offering them for a mere three bucks (though the manager conceded the smokey taste came from never cleaning the BBQ, so they no doubt save on labour costs).
And you approach the “festival” and dodge the pigs that occupy the centre of the roads leading to the park and you get to the park and are confronted with the fact the public fucking park is fucking surrounded by a three metre high fence and there is only a narrow fucking entry point and there is a fucking *queue* to get into a public fucking park!
And you look closer as you approach and realise the fucking entrance you have no fucking choice but to fucking use, along with hundreds of other fucking people at the same fucking time on this hot fucking day, is fucking infested with festival officials with buckets insisting you give a gold coin “donation” before you are allowed enter the *fucking* public *fucking* park!
And then you realise that *beyond* the officials with their buckets and their stupid fucking stickers to stick on those who “donated” lies the official security forces in strong numbers and they are fucking stopping every poor fucker with a fucking bag and searching it for fucking booze so that every single poor bastard who has braved it this far has absolutely no choice but to join a long fucking queue to buy overpriced fucking beer inside the fucking grounds.
And the fucking security that fucking swarm all over the fucking place are fucking keen to ensure no fucking unauthorised fucking material gets distributed or, for that fucking matter, no *authorised* material gets distributed in an *unauthorised* place. (“I’m sorry sir, you have to return to your designated stall area.”)
And it is too fucking hot and there are too many fucking people and it is like a fucking traffic jam on some corners and you can’t fucking move and the only free stuff being handed out are fucking DOG TREATS! What the fuck am I going to do with dog treats?
And, let us not forget what this is: a fucking “community” festival in a fucking public park! Why are their security officials swarming every fucking metre of it throwing hissy fits if you fucking breathe out of line? **
Why are the so many fucking pigs, including the surreal sight of pigs on horses, whose horses take the opportunity to fucking *shit* on the middle of the path in the middle of the stretch of fucking food stalls?
It has gotten worse over the years. I remember a few years back, sure it was overcrowded and too hot, but at least the public fucking park was not enclosed by fucking three metre high fucking fences so you have no choice but to join a queue just to enter the fucking place so the fucking pricks can search your bag to ensure you get price gouged every time you want a fucking drink.
Which, in the circumstances, is straight away and constantly.
And you could distribute or sell newspapers without being harassed outside some officially designated little fucking ghetto at the far end of nowhere.
I am sure there were many nice things going on and some good stalls and tasty food and decent bands. But if I had stayed long enough to find out, there would have been at least one unfortunate machete incident and I just don’t need that kind of trouble when I’ve got drinking to do.
As a great man once said: “The drinks were few and the people were many. It was everything I expected and less! I’m never going outside again, unless I need some place to throw up.”
“I guess you can’t expect much from the hometown. Well, I don’t know if you can even call it your own...” Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz makes the point accoustically.
** It is worth pointing out that the security official that broke the news to Carlo Sands that he should cease his attempt to sell Green Left Weekly on a shady corner in the middle of the *public* park was actually a really nice guy forced to do so by his boss, who was clearly embarrassed and in disagreement with his orders. The first time he came up and asked whether the paper was official material, and when I told him we had a stall looked overwhelmingly relieved and asked, for form’s sake, where it was over the other side of the festival. I had no idea where the proper GLW stall was so just said yes, which he was more than happy with.
But a minute or two later, even more sheepishly, he returned, completely apologetic, and said “I’m, sorry its my boss, he says you have to distribute material in your designated area”. And then he said, with real spite, “It’s fucking ridiculous!”, thus saving me the effort. Embarrassed, he told me he loves the good work Green Left does, and then conspiratorially, lent towards me and said: “Just sell on your way back, just walk around and sell ... I didn't tell you that that (wink)”