Bloody Streetpress. It’s All Ads! (2006)
Sometimes I think people take streetpress for granted. I mean, really, how many times have you walked past the latest edition of BMA thinking ‘oh yeah, I suppose I’ll get one, seeing as though they’re there.’ C’mon! Streetpress is a hyped-up turbo typeset of omnicolour pulp-beans and sub-cultural superscenery! It’s a defiant oblong flat-pack of grass roots democracy and the artistic epicentre of everything creative and intellectually fruitful.
Quite frankly, I don’t trust people who don’t read street press. To me, it suggests some kind of 1950’s, wool over the eyes, ‘no thanks, we’ll be right with Bert Newton and a sherry,’ middle class arrogance to pass amiably through the working week, valiumed out under the deluded notion that your local arts scene is something of a ‘superflous nuisance,’ and they’d all be better off getting jobs and keeping the noise down. “Oh, I don’t go and see a show until the ‘Times’ tells me. I’m a four star kind of guy you know. My wife and I believe going to see acts based on unsolicited ‘footpath publications’ is like giving money to homeless people.”
Then there’s the other kind of ignorance. When I was at University of Canberra, much to my confusion, the pile of BMA’s were often stuck off in some dark corner of the Union, mostly untouched. Based on my three year sociological dichotomy of the mentality of the average UC student, I reckon to get them passionate about streetpress you’d have to have some kind of three dimensional, voice activated, pop-up cheerleader on the cover, printed on latex, as well as sticking several fifty foot, neon billboards around campus promoting the offer of a free keg with every page turned. And even then, you’d get the artistically bereft, course obsessed Law and I.T. students staring off into the distance and getting distracted by their phones – while the A.T.M punching, ‘BBQ whisperer’ sports studies students moaned that every article wasn’t about Pearl Jam or Dave Matthews Band.
“Streetpress? Sounds like some kinda hippy political shit. BMA? I thought that was the Belconnen Marxist Alliance.”
Having said that, sometimes street press overwhelms me. It can act like a weekly catalogue of non-me achievement, constantly reminding me of the gigs I’m not doing and the industry rungs that I haven’t yet climbed. I could try and intellectualise it, but let’s face it, I’m the kid in the playground getting jealous of his friends shoes, except now instead of footwear its half page colour ads, when all I can afford is a quarter page mono.
Making it all about me. What a surprise!
At the end of the day – I remember that streetpress is written by good men and women. These children of the night gatecrash the tea party’s of our day-to-day with fire and promise in their eyes – connecting those of us who live like sun gargling super-punters through the paperchain portal of the people’s press.
If BMA is left in a shop, and nobody reads it, does Canberra make any sound?