By Marcus Honesta.
There is very little doubt that we are becoming a nation of self-obsessed, narcissistic bellyaching whingers. And oh isn’t it boring. It would seem any and everything is there to be complained about.
When I first heard the furore that projecting images associated with the Everest horserace on the Opera House Sails, I truly was astonished. The usual collection squawking wingaholics, social do gooding commentators started beating that tired old left wing drum, raving on that it would destroying a cultural icon. Society was being rocked to the foundations by the commercialisation of a national treasure. Oh please!
That egregious social bore Waleed Aly, took pen to paper, to explain how hideous the whole proposition was, in language that was so convoluted it was difficult to follow what exactly appalled him most, see for yourselves he put his case what ever it might be:
“The most instructive part of this week’s Opera House furore was the parade of politicians who seemed so baffled it had even become an issue. People should chill out a bit” advised Labor’s Anthony Albanese – himself so chill about it he apparently went to the trouble of calling into ABC radio to make the point. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn’t unterstand “why people are getting so precious about it”. That, of course, is precisely what’s so damning: he couldn’t even understand it”. Ahhh…No Waleed, perhaps there was nothing to understand!
He ranted on: “It might be too perfect that Morrison was the Prime Minister for this hour; that someone who spent his pre-parliamentary career so marinated in the world of advertising and promotions happened to be governing us at precisely the moment the public became so “precious” about the crass commercialisation of everything. His defiant insistence that he “would put Bathurst 1000 on the Harbour Bridge” makes the point starkly. Getting more people to an event seems the highest calling here, to be prioritised over quaint notions of non-commercial public space”.
“It might have taken this perfect storm – a Prime Marketer in the Lodge, a horse race only recently dreamed up that is all money and no tradition, the most internationally famous building in Australia and of course the outrageously boorish intervention of Alan Jones – to spark the kind of reaction we saw this week. But that doesn’t mean the extraordinary backlash was merely the sum of these parts. This week happened because a deep anxiety about the health of our society was triggered. A vein was opened, but it was the build-up of ages that came gushing forth”.
“The notion of public space is at the very heart of this. It’s something we talk so rarely about in our politics that it now sounds dull, bureaucratic, almost theoretical. We’re now so used to seeing our public lives commodified that on some level it’s just ambient”.
If you are truly having difficulty understanding what exactly is upsetting the ever whingeing Waleed, then you’re not alone.
I’m unsure as to whether it is his deep-seated hatred of Alan Jones. Or the fact that the promotion is for a new horserace is his greatest bugbear. He justified his rancor on the basis that Jones’ owned a financial stake in horses set to run in The Everest event. He quoted a Fairfax report to support his position, however this is untrue. The report actually said “Alan Jones may have no horse himself in the world’s richest turf race.” So I suppose we have to fall back on bitter hatred
Perhaps he fears for the public’s wellbeing: the public will gamble on it. He takes issue with the fact that (the Race) is a relatively new and has no heritage. That being said, if he had of being around in 1863 the same could have been said for the Melbourne Cup having only started in 1861. Maybe it’s just that he is from Melbourne, that is the problem, who can say.
It seems he might be is ranting about the destruction of precious public spaces and this at the heart of the issue. Waleed all will be fine… it’s a light show. When it’s finished the lights are turned off. They don’t leave any terrible residue to be cleaned up. The sales will not have to be repainted, or re-glazed. The day after it’s over there will be no trace of it ever having taken place.
“A vein was opened, but it was the build-up of ages that came gushing forth”. What? The melodrama is simply staggering. Contrary to his apparent bewilderment over the fact he believes the politicians just don’t get it, one truly only has too ask the real question, is what is there to get?
Are we to be outraged that broadcaster Alan Jones blasted away at Opera House chief executive Louise Herron; a pretentious, self-opinionated boorish public servant about her objections to the promotion.
Is it that it diminishes Sydney’s international reputation? Could it be that it might damage the national icon?
It didn’t seem to be of great threat to the brand synergy when Ms. Herron approved Samsung to project images of photographs taken by their customers onto the sails of our National Icon. She proudly announced: “We are delighted that Samsung is continuing as our Principal Partner at this very exciting time in the Opera House’s history. With such strong backing from our Principal Partner, Samsung, and our greatest supporters, the NSW Government, the Opera House is well positioned to achieve its mission of continuing to inspire and strengthen the community. She went further:
“From the beginning, the Opera House has been about collaboration and innovation and we need to ensure this continues long into the future, as mandated by our enabling Act.
The hypocrisy simply oozes from her office.
I don’t know about you, but it strikes me there are plenty more important things to worry about as a community at large than the promotion of a barrier draw for a horse race on a Saturday. Or could it be that it associates a national icon with the grubby business of gambling. Maybe this is the key.
Sydney’s fun-hating moral puritans and professional booreologists – and we seem to be knee deep in them these days– are furious over plans to promote horse racing and gambling in the Opera Houses 26 minute light show.
Network Ten Daily reported:
Anti-gambling advocates have slammed instructions from the state government to promote The Everest on the sails of the Sydney Opera House, saying it shouldn’t be turned over for a “gambling industry marketing gimmick”.
And God forbid please, The United Nations has dipped its ore in the water, for some reason best known to themselves:
“The New South Wales government is facing a growing backlash over a decision to display an advertisement for a coming horse race on the sails of the Sydney Opera House”, a spokesperson said.
“As the United Nations body that declares world heritage sites we are “looking into” the move to project a racing trophy, jockey numbers and colours on the iconic building”,
The ever-vigilant, dog collar warring Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, joined the chorus of criticism on the, Saturday. Presumably it is offensive to her, being it’s a horse and not a bike race, this doesn’t sit well with her sensitivities.
And who could forget that bastion of good taste and decency, Peter Fitzsimons’, the man who wrote an apology to Islamic terrorists, published just two weeks after the September 11 attacks in New York: he weighed into the farceur with an open letter to NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian:
“You insist that the iconic Opera House ignore its charter and promote a gambling event, all at a time when gambling has never been a greater problem in Australia than right now, with lives destroyed, homes lost and every week more suicides put down to gambling as a cause”.
Hmmm. There is one simple fact that all these dimwits seem to be either forgetting ignorant of, or choosing to ignore about our precious Opera House:
The bloody building, our national icon’s construction was funded by the proceeds of gambling. Yes its true. After a number of unsuccessful public fund raising campaigns, the Opera House Lottery Number 1 went on sale in November 1957.
An Opera House lottery ticket
Each ticket was £5 (A$10) and first prize was £100,000 (A$200,000). The last Opera House Lottery was drawn in September 1986. Over A$105,000,000 was raised by these lotteries the proceeds 100% funded its construction.
I’ve always suspected that computers and social networking / media would destroy the world. Some very smart people decided to study these networks trends, and found that they’re a bigger threat to society than Skynet the “Terminator” from Terminator Genisys was. At least the rise of those machines forced us to band together and do things.
The research paper is titled “Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites” by Laura E. Buffardi and W. Keith Campbell. In it there are some frightening findings. See below:
“The migration of individuals, especially teenagers and young adults, onto the Internet has occurred in staggering proportions. In particular, social networking Web sites—non-existent just 10 years ago—have drawn literally billions of users. Web sites such as Facebook have total users: 2.2 Billion users per month. Instagram 1.4 billion per month and Twitter with 328 million per month have changed the face of our society for ever. These Web sites offer individuals the abilities, among others, to (a) create an individual Web page, (b) post self-relevant information (e.g., self-descriptions, photos), (c) link to other members (e.g., “friends lists”), and (d) interact with other members”.
“Narcissism refers to a personality trait reflecting a grandiose and inflated self-concept. Specifically, narcissism is associated with positive and inflated self-views of agentic traits like intelligence, power, and physical attractiveness as well as a pervasive sense of uniqueness and entitlement. From a basic trait perspective, narcissism is associated with a high degree of extraversion/agency and a low level of agreeableness or communion. A similar high agency pattern is also found in narcissists’ explicit self-conceptions implicit self-conceptions and implicit motives”.
“Central to most theoretical models of narcissism in social-personality psychology is the use of social relationships in part to regulate self-esteem, self-concept positivity, or narcissistic esteem”.
“Narcissists do not focus on interpersonal intimacy, warmth, or other positive long-term relational outcomes, but they are very skilled at both initiating relationships and using relationships to look popular, successful, and high in status in the short term”.
Narcissists participate in this dynamic “self-construction” via relationships to constantly affirm their narcissistic esteem.
Sound familiar, Waleed, Peter, Clover? Could it be that these key- board warriors are interested in one thing and one thing alone, self-aggrandisement and public limelight. They care not one whit as the real Mr. and Mrs. Joe Public. Hell, I doubt that any of them have ever been west of Versace. Spare us your sanctimonious drivel we’ve all had enough.
Perhaps Prime Minister Scott Morrison did get it right when he couldn’t’ understand “what are people are getting so precious about it”.