Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aggie D & why bike fetishes get you in trouble

When you look at this picture, what do you see? Aggie D, eyes a'blazing, thin arms gripping to the handles...Or maybe the bloke in khaki shorts and a preppy blazer, rejected from something that is undoubtedly fabulous but requires hair covered below the knee?

If you fetishise bikes, the US$13,000 Electra pushie is the undoubtedly the focal point. So shiny, such wide handle bars, handle bars grips....hmmmnnn...E-Lectr-aaaaH

The Electra Amsterdam is a beautiful, beautiful bike, which i doubt I'll ever afford. And as a lady that velocommutes every day: smacking taxis on the boot for pulling-out too quick; abusing taxis for cutting me off to pick someone up from the bus lane; putting a helmet on my head that has just been dropped into a Sydney storm water drain; fighting gravity with heavy bike bags; rocking-up to meetings 'glowing' and asserting for the upteenth time that 'drink-driving laws only apply to car drivers - I can't help myself, I have a pushie fetish. 

And it sometimes gets me into trouble. 

Like two days ago:

I was in Surry Hills, where noticeably of late,  a bunch of spunky young men have  taken to wearing tight pedal pushers, shoes without socks and billlowing shirts while riding fixed-wheel bikes very quickly down Foveaux street. Anyway, anyway...Along comes one with lime green rims set off by white road tyres, a taught frame and incredible curves - I could not take my eyes of it. I even followed this bike (while I could, Mary Jane the commuter gets sluggish at times) for a spell. Until I realised that its rider thought I was checking him out. 

Sure he was cute, but I was checking out the bike! Because I fetishise bikes. 

And then on Castlereagh St on the corner of Bathurst; casually leaning against a pole - sunlight hitting the chrome, hints of colour shimmering from under the seat and red rims, an Angel of a bike. I imagined what it would be like to ride it: shock absorbed, light and intuitive over the bumps, a bell like the sound of 3.30pm...All the while the light had turned green and the council truck behind toots and  pre-coffee barbarians scream "C'mon Love...Ya need a push up the hill do ya?"

Because I fetishise bikes, I stop still in the street when I see a pretty bike only for its owner to come along either super suss that I'm trying to pinch it - or thinking that because I think his bike is hot - we should probably sleep together. 

And I fetishise ugly bikes too...as long as they have cool sticker art. 

When I go City Bike Depot, the bikes must feel like European backpackers working behind the bar in Mt Isa on a Friday night. I feel terrible too, specially since it was pointed out that Mary Jane (my bike) is probably getting very jealous. 

I fetishise bikes, maybe that's why ol' MJ keeps giving me flat tyres?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The ultimate green utopian Where's Wally pic - he's in there with a green hat. No...really.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Boxing Day, post-election slump, birthday clean-up - the sun is shining brightly the day after Earth Hour as council workers attack JC Decaux-laden bus stops, switch billboard ads back to images of a wet Vincent Gallow sheltered under a table in anticipation for a return to climate complacency and tonight's great "Turn-On". Though Earth may have possibly won a few votes in the election, its taken only hours for it to be impeached "in more than 80 countries around the world" by "an estimated 1 billion people".

In the park this morning, the air felt heavy with a collective sigh of relief: we can turn the lights back on; we've done our bit; the before and after picture in the Sunday Herald emphasised the glorious 'before' and humbled 'after' of Sydney's icons. The images, side-by-side invited 'spot-the difference' scrutiny on would ordinarily commit to page 14 of New Weekly, as D-grade celebrities who remain weirdly quiet on issues of Earth for 364 pose gloriously, lips glossed, chest out and branded in WWF.

And as a person sufficiently enraged by the fundamental injustice of the climate-related policy at the moment, the last 4 day have been marred by ad-induced bi-polarity on how to feel about the whole thing. I've spent stupid time critiquing the event, had angry and embarrassingly inflamed conversations with media people rewarded with employment by the event; felt uncomfortable at protests. Time and again the lament has been "but its raising awareness of the issue", and true I guess, for some people being aware for one day of the year is better than being ignorant for all of it.

I get what Christians felt like when Xmas became a commerical event. I'm sure concerns were raised early on that putting tinsel in shopping centres in November did little to further the learning of the value of birth and the coming of Jesus, but were muffled by chimes of 'but people will think of God and its better that they think of ours than someone else's".

So Earth Hour is to environmentalist, what Christmas Day is to Christians: It's okay to switch off the lights but earth-forbid that you start talking to people about the reduction of emissions, burning of coal and duplicity of corporations, because that would be tantamount to bible-bashing on people's front doors on Christmas eve, when stressed-out Mums and Dads are trying to figure out where the bloody hell the sticky tape has gotten to.

So we wish you a Happy Earth Hour, and return to regular programming for the rest of the year.

The Sunchasers

Remember that film the Endless Summer? The idea was that a bunch of spunky surfer dudes traveled the world looking for perfect breaks resulting in an endless summer - doesn't get all that much better really. Unless, of course your a muso and have a beautiful idea of chasing the sun all over Australia, reclaiming disused rotundas and filling public parks with music, art and dance. A guys I met at GreenUps is doing exactly this with his project Sunchasers. He has created a solar rig that powers a small band or PA systems during the sunlight while creating enough reserve battery power to keep things noisy up until 6 hours after the sun has disappeared.

Love it