Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ballarat City sucks balls. No, actually I don't think they could organise that either.

The Bushfire fiasco can also go on the list if of-

1) Outdoor cinema Summer cinema suggested to Council. Nuthin' nuthin nuthin.....suddenly idea poached and put up at the Bumroot Race Course in Autumn.
I hope you all catch horse flu, you bastards.

2) Ballarat art gallery gig - Last year 6000 punters through door. 150 artists working together.
Joy. Fun. Hope. People actually going to see Art and enjoying life.
This year- ahh...nope sorry, not part of agenda...we can scrape together a coupla grand and see if Dennis Walter can sling us a cheap Cd.
Utterly fuckin' pathetic.

But why is this?
Is there some fuckin curse that hangs over us? Are there some vengeful Asian Gods who are exacting revenge for the shit treatment of their countrypersons?
I don't know.

I do know that I have sat in on meetings with well meaning types (about 10 in number. Mostly middle aged business running types) who spent a YEAR trying to organise an afternoon of music for a festival.
After a million meetings and a lot of "yes, yes... aren't we doing a great thing for humanity!" type bullshit they still couldn't get their shit together to book a stage and hire a power board.

I also know ( as in I've had this said to my face in as many words) that the local council's agenda is this "Does this event or product make us look good? No? Then don't let the door hit your arse on the way out."
Inhabited by self serving dinosaurs, they have all the generosity of someone farting steak sanger on you when you're broke and hungry.

The problem is this-
This town is jam packed full of self serving/I've got mine/whats in it for me cocksnaps who are faded, jaded and never really made it, who carved out a patch, strung razor wire around it and glared at anyone who dared walk past the letter box and tenaciously inhabited it like Wolverines with Aspergers.

When you meet these people, the people who who are given hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve or instigate cultural life in this town, you quickly boil it down to a bunch of idiot poofs, over weight morons or failed artists who moved into bureaucracy so they could still "be in touch" with the arts.
They are nightmares to work with. Arrogant, unimaginative and stupefied.

To add to this cocktail of unspritzed tap water, Ballarat people have an ongoing and awful history of simply not being able to work together.

For example-
Bendigo has both a nation wide Bank and a Telco. Ballarat has blown a gillion dollars trying to figure out what to do with the Civic hall is, after years of bullshit is no closer to an answer. Managed to rip itself off for a few millions while it was at it.
Bendigo has the Easter Dragon festival. Huge. Ongoing. An actual tradition that has been kept alive. Tourist Mecca. The Ballarat Begonia festival is a tired, run down, neglected nag that has been systematically used to piss off every one ever involved in it. This year it was organised by one amazing lady on a budget of three beans and a cow. It's just fuckin' sad.

To busk in this town you can only get a three day pass.
No year long ticket. Or monthly. You actually have to go into council, denote the time, place and day you wish to play on, make sure the local busker limit for that day has not been exceeded ( 'Coz, you know, Ballarat has been swamped in the past be pan handling music types and something HAD to be done. This is all pre-Doyle too) and renew your license through the same process if you want to do it again the next weekend.
And that's just to justify your need to beg by dolling it up with Don McLean covers.

Moreover when you do plan an exciting new event on a larger scale, the amount of paperwork and meetings and money involved means nothing can proceed without every slimy, senile money grubbing arse hole wanting their slice.
$200 bucks for a guy to come out and say "The power is in that power box. Here's the key. Pay up or I'll never help you again. And I'm the only game in town so count yourself lucky it's not $500."

Endless banal meetings. It's like having to apply for a visa if you want to have casual sex.
Every move and interaction talked about and described before you can get you freak on and even when you do all of this T crossing, I dotting shit, you don't actually enjoy the erotic moment 'coz you're too worried about your over sized bedspread blowing your public liability.

I've been trying to get things up and running in this town for ages. I've had some great successes and some monumental failures.
But do you think I've ever had one bastard ever come up and say "Mate, that was great. I'd like to give you a hand to do something else". Nah. Not fuckin once.
Has any money type ever arranged a meeting and said "Good job! Lets see if we can't do some more stuff like this!". Nope. Never.

So, unsurprisingly, I'm back on the bread line with the arse outta my daks.

Working in this fuckin town trying to make it an interesting place to live is a thankless and uphill job.
This bush fire thing is just another casualty to add to the list of mean-spirited horror that seems to infest this fuckn town.
If it wasn't for such a good cause I'd hope they choked on their budget microphones.
But i I'm deprived even that delightful schadenfreude and am now coerced into wishing them the best of luck.

Damn and Shit.

Til next time

Mick "I'd move if there weren't dragons beyond Ballan" Dog.