Margaret from Ainslie takes a stick to the CMC and Insatiable Banalities on Chief Minister’s talkback

johnboy 15 November 2008 84

[First filed: November 14, 2008 @ 10:30]

So there I was listening to Chief Minister’s talkback on 666 and between the usual old farts, party shills and other assorted nutbaggery I was surprised to hear a familiar voice.

Here’s a link to a recording of the segment.

There on the radio was the drop-in star of last night’s Insatiable Banalities podcast, who was shrieking over the actors doing a play reading. Something to look forward to in future when the podcast goes up.

Anyway Margaret was not so kind as to promote the Canberra Musician’s Club by name. But she did a great job of dropping a bucket on them and in particular the Backyard Backanalias.

At the moment the Backanalias are so pared back that sexual favours are being traded to gain a coveted “+1” with someone who’s on the guest list, and haven’t been held in 6 months. But it seems that not enough for Margaret.

Jon Stanhope did a commendable job of seeking conciliation.

Response from the CMC to follow shortly.

Margaret from Ainslie

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UPDATED: Here’s President McCrae’s response (the photograph is of his meeting with Chief Minister Stanhope at the CMC launch earlier this year):

    First I would like to say that many activities occur at our residence, only a few of which (Backanalias and Club picnics/meetings) are associated with the Canberra Musicians Club. It was never intended for the CMC to have any involvement in the Backanalias. Unfortunately, as the various authorities, alerted by our neighbour, became interested, we had to change tack in an effort to continue what we think is becoming and should continue to be a great social and cultural institution for Canberra.

    The changes we have made are in line with all the advice we have received from ACT police, health and liquor licensing officers. In fact, there is now nothing to distinguish the Backanalia in its proposed form from any ordinary house party, other than that the music is live (which frequently happens at house parties anyway). Given we will be running at most 6-7 of these events per annum, we don’t consider it to be too great an imposition on the neighbourhood. We purposely pick acts that are at the quieter end of the spectrum and amplify to a minimum. We put (even) quieter acts on later in the evening and stop all amplified play at 11pm. We are limiting attendance to 150 people. There will be no money exchanged except for a donation, 100% of which will go to the musicians. We are giving away sausage sandwiches. It is entirely byo.

    Having said all that, we (that is I, not the Club) have made some mistakes, especially in not properly consulting our neighbours, although I reject Margaret’s assertion that we have ‘never’ consulted her. In fact she is the only neighbour that we consulted about it before the first show in the current location. Last night’s incident was unfortunate. The recording of Podcasts (which is what was happening, and which have no connection to the CMC besides my involvement in both) normally takes place inside the shed, but the warmth of the evening and the unusually large group of participants decided us on moving outside. I had no idea that the content would be so full of ‘explicatives’ and I will be making a personal apology about that and a couple of other incidents later today.

    On the other hand, the feedback from other neighbours has been almost universally positive (one neighbour complained once, and then his wife came to the next one and advised my mother that they both approved). Many near neighbours have begun attending, some have joined the Club, and we feel like we are responsible for bringing the local community together to a degree. Margaret has complained once to us directly, not about a Backanalia, but about a small spontaneous party we held where unfortunately we allowed our high spirits to get the better of us and played too loud and too late. It’s not something we intend to repeat.

    The Club is very gratified to apparently have John Stanhope’s support. We feel that our objectives are in line with government policy on promoting the arts in Canberra and, while our mode of operation may be a little on the edge at present, it is our fervent desire to be able to operate entirely legitimately in a permanent location as soon as possible. We have every sympathy for our neighbour and will do all in our power to assuage her in this matter, but her complaint highlights an issue that spreads wider than our neighbourhood, frequently embroiling managers of urban venues where city living has created a conflict of interests. While the government may support contemporary music, it has done little to address these growing impingements on the ability of musicians to ply there trade in Canberra.

    The Canberra Musicians Club is determined to overcome these issues and find a home that will allow the best of local music to be presented in the manner it deserves. We are happy to work with the government and any other organisations to achieve these goals. We invite all interested parties to join in us this endeavour. In the mean time we will continue to operate as we have done, prioritising the music and solving such problems as arise with creativity, a spirit of co-operativeness and unrestrained passion. We mean no harm to anyone and we do not intend to continue running the Backanalia at its present location hereafter.

    Nigel McRae
    Canberra Musicians Club

FURTHER UPDATE: Score one for complaining to the Chief Minister, the event has now been cancelled.

Also for the benefit of the intellectually disabled gentleman who complained allow me to disclose for those who missed it (after publishing it previously) that I’m a member of the CMC, was in fact in the group which riled Margaret last night (disclosed above), and the CMC are sponsors of RiotACT (as, so it happens, RiotACT is of the CMC).

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84 Responses to Margaret from Ainslie takes a stick to the CMC and Insatiable Banalities on Chief Minister’s talkback
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deye deye 12:23 am 27 Nov 08

Well went to the show tonight and don’t recall there being much swearing at all. Bit of a storm in a Margaret tea cup really.

Thumper Thumper 8:22 am 17 Nov 08

To be fair, it’s not like the bands are anything like The Feldons, who are loud and obnoxious. These guys are talented folkie sort of musos, more likely to be playing accostic guitars and tamborines.

Now, if a band like mine was playing next door then I’d be a little peeved, but Sanji or the Cashews, nah, that would be fine.

Granny Granny 7:50 am 17 Nov 08

I, however, would pay extra to live next door to Nigel!

: )

I reckon the money you’d save in concerts and theatre would be a real bonus. Plus your kids would get an excellent exposure to the arts.

“Mum, can I be in Nigel’s play?”

“Ask your father ….”

molongloid molongloid 2:41 am 17 Nov 08

How come these events aren’t held at a community centre or hall? Whenever I do something at even a fraction of this scale I hire a venue. I’d never subject my neighbours to this. It shouldn’t be in anybody’s backyard.

el el 10:34 am 16 Nov 08

Whinging bitch. ‘Nuff said.

astrojax astrojax 9:04 am 16 Nov 08

criticising the neighbour for simply demanding from the organisers what we demand of Stanhope: listen to the community…

we rightly criticise those we voted for to represent us, as citizens of the community, but surely it is a very long bow to expect all citizens be entirely consultative about everything they do! while of course i get pissed off no end by yobs with parties raging loudly into the night, it sounds from mccrae’s defence that this wasn’t quite the case – as others have pointed out, it is the suburbs, shared spaces, and if you really really need such deathly quiet, either move to adelaide (just kidding, move out bush) or buy earplugs, ’cause it is what is going to happen.

[disclaimer: the link to margaret’s comments brought up a quicktime file but was distinctly lacking in any noise… hmm – so i haven’t heard the complaint and am only going from what i read above]

that said, a bout of foul language that can obviously be clearly heard by neighbours shouldn’t be condoned – it might be a nice warm night and you’d like to perform outside, but you shoulda known antecedent that such language might cause some offence… so i am sitting like a prowling tom, on the fence, on this one…

next time, write a role in for margaret and have her join in?? : )

Pandy Pandy 11:21 pm 15 Nov 08

When I come to power replacing Stanhope, I will punch noise makers in the nose 4 times ™

GottaLoveCanberra GottaLoveCanberra 10:54 pm 15 Nov 08

Ok, so someone obviously didn’t like my far more blatant approach at a response to this topic so I try to approach it with a little more sensitivity.

She’s a whinger.

How’s that?

GB GB 2:48 pm 15 Nov 08

Deadmandrinking said :

… nothing worse than a super-sound-sensitive neighbor who complains when anyone raises their voice slightly.

Bu that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about bands and a hundred people in the backyard. And, at least from the pov of the complainant, an apparent lack of care from the organisers about whether its a problem (although I doubt that was their intention), and no way of knowing that this was not part of a continuing series.

A great event, to be sure, for those in it. But not so much for those who have no interest in it, don’t like the music, and would rather be doing something more interesting with their evening than an enforced listening to music they don’t like.

I don’t live in the country, but I also don’t live in the inner city (where constant noise must be considered part of the deal).

Its a community, of a 2008 inner suburbia kind. People have parties, bands play, drunks yell. Humanity does its stuff. But by and large, people are both considerate and accommodating, which makes it all work. It only takes a few persistent offenders in either direction to alter that landscape to a cult-of-the-individual nightmare where any attempt at communality – ie shared responsibility — is out the window. If only the loud get their choice of environment, it makes a place where life is boring, where diversity is squashed, just as surely as the one where silence rules.

I am after a world where everyone can have a good life. That means taking account of other people in our choices.

I think both Nigel and Margaret are part of a solution here.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 11:31 am 15 Nov 08

I disagree with Ant. From what I’ve heard, this isn’t a regular event all things considered. People who live in the suburbs should just get used to the suburbs. When you’re in the suburbs, people make noise and there’s nothing, I repeat, nothing worse than a super-sound-sensitive neighbor who complains when anyone raises their voice slightly. Backyard Bacchanalia doesnt happen that often, and from what I can gather of regular crowd, I doubt the noise would be even half of what your average 18th or 21st.

People like Margaret should be the ones buying a farm. Let me tell you – it’s quiet…very quiet, and completely boring. If that’s what you want, go for it – or rent one, country properties can be pretty cheap to rent. Just don’t stay in the suburbs if you’re going to make a fuss because you can’t handle humanity. The suburbs were not built just for you.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 11:07 am 15 Nov 08

I agree with Ant too. Nothing worse than a selfish neighbour inflicting regular noise upon others.

barking toad barking toad 10:24 am 15 Nov 08

Willie : “Purse-lipped Maggie, do we have any grease?”

PLM : “Yes. Yes, we do”

Willie : “Then grease me up woman!”

PLM : “Okey dokey”

Pandy Pandy 8:48 am 15 Nov 08

I’m with you ant.

Once in a blue moon OK. Not a regular basis.

bloodnut bloodnut 8:07 am 15 Nov 08

ant said :

My sympathies are with Margaret. Who wants to live near serial noisy neighbours? Since when were these kinds of things featured in real estate ads as a Benefit (let alone a feature)? Fact is, no one wants to live near a trail bike track, or a backyard music venue. She’s obviously had enough. No one has the right to inflict their noise on other people, but it’s happening more and more. Good on her for trying to do something about it.

I think this post has run its course… however.

Life in the suburbs is a fine balancing act – if you think that you are entitled to have everything exactly as you want it in what is essentially a shared environment then you are controlling to an extent that will negatively impact on yours and others lives. You will beat your children for putting back the cereal in the wrong place in the cupboard. The few people that still bother talking to you generally regard you as a c@nt.

If you accept that there will be some times when you must show tolerance to others around you, if you recognise that there is likely sometimes in a year when they are tolerant of you – moments that you yourself are blind to – then you are balanced. You will live a long and happy life full of bruise-less children and without a persistent sensation akin to a large obstruction in your bowels.

Domestic violence or children with cancer are actual causes – not to be confused with self-indulgent campaigning because you are socially incapable of dealing with the nuances of modern life in suburbia. The latter should never be applauded. Lest you realise too late – one day it will be margaret or someone strikingly similar, hell-bent and quite unreasonably destroying the one thing you love.

Like Margaret, I too have neighbours who talk, move, listen to music, engage in activities outside of business hours and sometimes even start cars or motorbikes. A prescription for what ails those with such brittle and selfish bones – earplugs, scotch, temazapam and a dose of reality.

ant ant 1:12 am 15 Nov 08

My sympathies are with Margaret. Who wants to live near serial noisy neighbours? Since when were these kinds of things featured in real estate ads as a Benefit (let alone a feature)? Fact is, no one wants to live near a trail bike track, or a backyard music venue. She’s obviously had enough. No one has the right to inflict their noise on other people, but it’s happening more and more. Good on her for trying to do something about it.

Pickle Pickle 11:00 pm 14 Nov 08

Re JB and “I want to know how the grand children could be appalled by words they were unfamiliar with.”

It reminded me of this little treasure in the bible:

Titus 1:15 New American Standard Bible (©1995)
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

Titus 1:15 GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Everything is clean to those who are clean. But nothing is clean to corrupt unbelievers. Indeed, their minds and their consciences are corrupted.

Titus 1:15 King James Bible
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

AstralPlane AstralPlane 9:14 pm 14 Nov 08

I’ve been to a bunch of these backyard things. They were not all that loud and pretty easygoing. There were kids and grand parents and people in between. And I don’t mean hippy types who just let their kids run wild about the place when they should be in bed. I mean just average type people who had discovered somewhere nice to socialise and listen to music when there really isn’t anywhere much else to go. I mean, you can’t take your gran or your three year old out on a Saturday night to hang with the pokies at the club, or get their eardrums hammered at the pub. You can’t go to the theatre where everyone has to be quiet. But you can all just lob up to the backyard and have a chinwag and a nice time. There isn’t much of it about and it is deadset a rare and valuable thing.

It’s also one of the few regular local music things I’ve seen which involves some quality control. Generally everything was played and mixed to a standard which most pubs doing music at the local level don’t even bother to think about. It is nice that someone sets a standard and it puts the rest of them to shame.

If we lose all of that goodness because one person can’t give up their quiet time for 6 or 7 nights out of 365 each year then I think we will all be poorer for it.

MWF MWF 9:07 pm 14 Nov 08

blind said :

I’m not saying I don’t want to write this 50% explicative play: I clearly do. It would be awesome. It would be like Dr Seuss dipped in smut. Margaret would be welcome to attend, although she may not need to bother since she appears to be hearing an ongoing murmur of filth without needing to travel to the theatre.

I like you 🙂

Please write the play. We can put it on at my place. My neighbours object strenuously to classical music being played on a piano or organ. They get even crosser when it happens at ungodly hours of like 8pm on a Saturday night. What gets them really cross is when someone plays Pink Floyd stuff on the organ and sings too.

Aeek Aeek 8:57 pm 14 Nov 08

actually JohnBoy, I thought the Backyard was yours, confused me being someone else’s.

Pandy Pandy 7:37 pm 14 Nov 08

Congratulations Margret. I applaud your decision to whinge about noise.

Now to maim all people who keep roosters in suburbia.

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