I went to the Canberra Day celebrations in Commonwealth Park on Monday and I’m wondering why I bothered. It was really quite rank and I was embarrassed to think that this is what we deem appropriate in order to celebrate the national capital’s 95th birthday.
There were too many security guards, too many kids and it was too hot.
There was quite a good band rehearsing on Stage 88 but this was over before it really began and it was back to finding something worthwhile to pass the time.
I went to the big top tent where the Play School show was about to start. I asked the guard whether there’d be any opportunities to meet Jay La’igaia as I was a fan of his when he was doing lifestyle TV on Channel Nine. I was told rather aggressively “No mate!” and then “you’d better piss off from here, this show is for kids and their parents only”.
I walked back to Stage 88 where I saw one of Mental As Anything’s roadies who was considerably more pleasant and agreeable. I asked when the Mentals were going to be on and he said 5:30. Since it was just past 2PM the thought of having to kill over three hours was too painful to contemplate. I had more interesting things to do at home like flea the cat and wash my hair (even though I’m bald).
I know that by posting this I risk starting up another RA flame war but I’m interested in how others saw the celebrations. Did I arrive at the wrong time? Did things pick up after I left? Is there something wrong with me?
Perhaps I’ve been in Canberra too long (we moved here in 1969) and perhaps I’m a bit jaded but I distinctly remember occasions like this in the Park in years gone by to be fun community events – the alcoholic frolics of the 1980s and early ’90s spring to mind. Maybe it’s another example of the collateral damage caused by nearly 12 years of John Howard, who knows? IMHO these celebrations were a waste of time and there seems little point in going through the motions again if this is all we can expect.
Over to you . . .