Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ballarat festival ideas

Shit! Goddamn! Make mine a cheese and ham! Mick Dog's revelation of another fantastic attempt for Ballarat to sink a shitload of money into something other than the behemoth of boring, the Begonia Fester-Vale, ignites a spark of interest in the cloistered explosive fumes of my pants. A festival, you say? Not like at Sovereign Hill, where a tonne of money was dumped on a sad and pathetic retelling of the tragic story of Australian music in the 1980s, as re-enacted by the people who were actually there (was it true the staff of Sovvie Hill were PAID to watch James Reyne?)

How to get the folk of Ballarat on board and supportive of something more complicated than queuing for dimmies at the Hamburger Cart, yet not as awkward as standing around on Camp Street watching councillors get drunk and Ballarat artists get short shrift during the Commonwealth Games...

Here's the grab bag of festival ideas we could - or yet might have if the collective genius of the Middle Aged Caucasians Without Soul has its indomitable way in Ballarat:

Crimean War Festival: everyone has to dress up as their favourite character from this charming 19th century fracas between Russia and the Poms, Frogs and Turks. The highlight is a restaging of the Siege of Sebastopol, with Ballarat's own namesake of this historic place heavily bombed, and then invaded by the armies of Wendouree and Redan in their fleet of P-Plate Commodores.

The Plugger Festival

A festival of quietly spoken, barrel chested large men who can kick footies a fuckin' long way. They will all gather at a footy ground and begin drinking in March. In April, one will say "jeez, I'm a bit hungry" and then the 8 weeks of barbque food festival will begin. Sausages of the World, Celebrity Steak Sandwiches (I'll have the Terri Irwinburger) and Exotic Onion Cutting With Chainsaw displays ensue. A sideline program of dishlickers and a parade of beefy blokes in utes driving past giving a passive 'owyuzgarn?' will also bring put back the 'big bastard from the country' that's been missing in Ballarat's marketing.

Single Mums on the Tear
Finally, a week long shindig for all those young women who found out just being able to shoot a wad into the back of the net doesn't neccessarily qualify a man as good fatherhood material. Instead of just wandering mindlessly around Stocklands Wendouree or the Mall with your screaming brats, here's the chance to get together with other mums and really discuss those big issues of whether Breehanna has become an over-used name for the effects of unwanted pregancies and maybe cop a rough shag from some miscellaneous speed freak from Colac. Music from live Britney and Bon Jovi tribute shows and, of course, an invite out to every tattooed dirty bastard across the state that there's plenty of desperate-for-any-action types gathered in one spot, so we can begin the process all over again 9 months after this event.

Stupid people and the impending massacre in Ballarat

My favourite author of all time is a bloked called Harlan Ellison. Your fuckin' uneducated fault for not knowing who he is. He's doing some interviews with people because there's a movie coming out about him. Knowing Australia we'll get the usual 5 second-crap press release rewrite, about 8 months after the fact - not unlike SBS TV news finding out that Terry Pratchett has dementia last night... like it was fuckin' news.... (can't even find the story on their website, that's how important they thought it was)

Anyhoo, I read this interview with Harlan on and I thought this particular quote resonated best, although sadly, it may mean the end of Ballarat as a heavily populated regional city if Harlan ever moves here:

"I'm an elitist because I think there are too many stupid people in the
world. But one must not pity them; one must take an AK-47 and kill them. You
just need to kill as many stupid people as you can find. Go out in the streets
and ask them if they have ever heard of Guy de Maupassant. No? Bam, you're dead.

Have you ever heard of Bessie Smith? No? Bam, you're dead. Beyond that, I
think it is really smartass of me to be cranky at people for not being as good
as I want them to be. I have, I suppose, a very peculiar love-hate relationship
with the human race. As a concept, the human race seems to be a very workable
idea. When you get down to the individuals, most of them need a ball-peen hammer
to the middle of their forehead to make them move even as a slow pony. I figure
any species that is capable of writing "Moby-Dick" and painting the Sistine
Chapel ceiling and putting people on the moon does not have to settle for novels
by Judith Krantz, McDonald's toad burgers and movies like "Dumb and Dumberer."

What is that Latin phrase? Spero melior -- I hope for better things. I have
a very low tolerance threshold. It's one of my many, many flaws and I get cranky
with people..."