Several times a year, everyone on Facebook will invite you to share in a common cause sweeping the community. Sometimes it’s for fun, usually it’s an invitation to share in some sort of outrage.
Facebookers love to include you in their outrages; Vegetarianism, Carnivorous-ness, gun rights for toddlers, man-spreading, men, zap your termites, save the termites,
release the hounds, the current government #boo! etc. with the clear tone of “Of course you should feel the same.”
I do it all the time. I have a blog for gosh sakes. Improper use of ellipses…? I’m taking you down to Passive-Aggressive town! If I thought I could get away with it, I’d throw social shade at anyone who looked at me cockeyed, but, it would put me in perilous danger of becoming one of those “An open letter to…” writers.
Most outrages are easy enough to get behind, but occasionally something will come along where you’re more in the middle. Right now there’s this thing called the “Sydney lockout laws”, and people are like, mad.
In the past I’ve had a relatively low tolerance to moral nannying. Before the lockout laws, Sydney earned my ire when they outlawed shots after midnight. As I wasn’t a hens party, the no “shots” rule didn’t actually bother me, it was that they applied it to ‘neat’ spirits:
One dark and stormy night I wanted a whisky to keep me warm. “A Laphroaig please, no ice” I asked the bar lady with a rakish flip of my man-bag. She explained that she couldn’t sell me a tumbler of whisky (bottle price $80), without an accompanying $0.10 per squirt of Pepsi from the post mix gun.
Like putting ketchup on lobster. Like if Michael Bay directed Hamlet. She offered something beautiful but completely fu… The current government! #boo!
On the current lockout laws though, at the risk of being very unpopular, I’m a bit #meh. But to be fair, I was born very much an old man.
One of my great pleasures in life is to rise at an early hour on a Saturday morning and settle in at my local McDonalds with a fat weekend newspaper. YOLO. One of the papers used to include a rundown of the previous night’s shenanigans from the city hospitals. Written by a doctor in the tone of a principal describing a disappointing child to his parents, these dispatches were never less than enthralling:
“Drunk pedestrian struck by taxi, people treated for falling down stairs, falling through kebab shop windows, falling into gutters, into the harbour, out of trees and off of statues, falling off their high heels, general, uncontrollable falling down, many, many punches to the face, glassings, gougings, being really, really, really super high and assaulting a police officer/horse…” every week without fail.
Almost all of these hilarious Australians ended their evenings in a Sydney district called Kings Cross, which I’d describe as ‘gross’. The tourism office would describe The Cross as “eclectic” and “dynamic” and filled with “eccentric characters!” which is mostly true, but it’s also mostly gross.
If you ever want to slip on a neon-lit vomit slick and fall into the arms of remarkably masculine street prostitute, it was the first place in Sydney I’d recommend you go. Needless to say, this bothered quite a lot of people and, after a series of actual and unnecessary tragedies, the lockout laws were introduced.
To my old eyes the Laws appeared relatively innocuous –
· Within the CBD, last drinks are called at 3am
· If you leave a bar after 1:30am, you can’t re-enter that bar nor can you enter a different bar. Basically, stay put till 3 or go home.
They appeared to have no affect on my life. The last time I went through till dawn, hipsters hadn’t been invented yet.
I went clubbing in a time when great herds of Emo roamed the nation’s shopping centres, sitting around in food courts, flipping their hair and “feeling.” So perhaps I’m entirely the wrong person to either lend support to or proffer an opinion on, so not of this world am I.
But, a sudden rash of night-time business closures in Kings Cross and beyond has the young people up in arms. I did not realise that these business and the jobs within were so reliant on 4am alcohol consumption to break even, or that partiers won’t even come in to the city at all if the possibility of a true “all-nighter” isn’t on the cards. That sucks.
But, I also really like that Sydney police are allowed to spread out a bit more instead of having to form an aggressive phalanx in a single district. They should have better things to do besides sending angry bros off in separate directions. Nurses have better things to do than treat uncontrollable falling down.
The lockout laws are now going through their 2 year review and both sides (“Whipper-Snappers” and “Concerned Citizens Judging You, Specifically”) are readying themselves for fisticuffs and name calling.
No doubt the Facebook will call on me to participate, but, as I don’t feel strongly either way, I’ll be on my couch with a whisky neat. I sincerely hope something sensible happens. Cheers.