Let’s fix the Stopped Clocks

One of the little annoyances in my life is that the clock on the Newtown Post Office in Sydney is permanently stuck at 3.45pm. Public clocks, key piece of civic infrastructure in the Victorian age, are now neglected.

I was therefore rather pleased to stumble across this video clip promoting the Stopped Clocks movement which appeared on the BBC’s The One Show .

Would anyone like to start a Sydney chapter with me? If so, what Stopped Clocks do you know about?

Gonzo Liveblog 2: Last Sunday before Christmas

I’m caving in to pressure. Following the success of my first experiment, Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown, at 6.30pm or thereabouts I will liveblog from King Street, Newtown, or wherever the mood takes me on this fine Sunday evening.

Wow, that’s in just a few minutes! [Update 22 December: No, it was last night. But you can still see what happened in the CoveritLive tool immediately below the fold. The timestamps seem to be an hour early though.]

Continue reading “Gonzo Liveblog 2: Last Sunday before Christmas”

Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!

Photograph of paste-up art on the railway overpass at Newtown Square

As long as I can remember, the bridge over the railway at Newtown Square, Sydney, has been covered in posters. Last week the posters were stripped, it was painted a dreary shit-brown — and then a phone number appeared. Last night this paste-up protest appeared too.

At first I’d been pleased that the bridge was getting a fresh coat of paint, despite the colour. But when the “Bill Posters Prosecuted” message appeared, along with the phone number to book advertising space, I was disappointed to say the least. Yet another community space was turned into a commercial one. No longer could anyone with a bucket of glue and a brush promote their event, now it was only those who could afford to pay commercial rates on busy King Street.

The vibrant arts community of the Newtown precinct is precisely one of the reasons we and many others choose to live here, even though we’re under a flight path and real estate prices have become outrageous. “Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!” indeed. We do not need yet another billboard for mainstream advertisers.

Marrickville City Council, please call off your advertising broker and return this wall to the community where it belongs.

Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown

Twitter bird cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

I’ve always thought that my essays are my best work, even if I say so myself. I’ve done observationals before, like Saturday Night at The Duke and Burnt out sofa, burnt out life. But this one’s different.

As I walked home through Newtown last Saturday evening, I started sending little observational comments to my Twitter stream:

Actually still on Darlington Rd, a long-haired woman plays melancholy guitar on the terrace-house balcony as a currawong flops past.

As I moved into King Street, I kept going. As I went to Kelly’s On King for a beer, I kept going. I discovered that a rapt audience was watching my comments — although not everyone liked the volume of material. I suggested they use Twittersnooze to unfollow me for a while.

The 140-character limit imposes a certain staccato style which I quite like. I was chuffed to be compared with Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw and (especially) Hunter S Thompson!

Here, then, is my first attempt at Live Gonzo Twittering — as others decided to call it, though I’m not sure the label is quite right myself — across about 90 minutes last Saturday night. the only changes I’ve made have been to fix some typos. Is this the best way to present it after the fact? Enjoy!

Continue reading “Gonzo Twitter 1: Saturday Evening in Newtown”

Parking, by Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology

Photo of pathology service car parked illegally in Newtown Square

Dear Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, the signs on Newtown Square saying “NO ENTRY” and “COUNCIL POLICE AND EMERGENCY VEHICLES EXCEPTED” do not mean you can park on the lawn. They mean the exact opposite.

There is legal parking only metres from where I took this photo last Tuesday 19 August. Please tell your driver that walking those few extra metres will be better for the lawn, better for his health, and better for my anger levels, kthxbai.