Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cultural Currency

The Artswipe
Cultural Currency (I [Heart] The Shire) 2007
Mobile phone memory

The Artswipe has really been getting into the suburbs lately. Who hasn't? It's the suburbs where you're gonna find that piece of literary gold or visual motif that just ties you're whole oeuvre together - you know - culturally speaking. Actually no, I don't know what I mean, but cultural currency is very now, and I hear it's all taking place in the suburbs. Or at least it's in suburbia where you could stop someone in the street and ask if they know what cultural currency actually is. Just to prove a point, I stopped a little old woman on the street and asked her if she knew. Poor old dear just gave me some spare change. Bless her cotton socks.

The Artswipe
Cultural Currency (Hard to Breathe) 2007
Mobile phone memory

Going down on the South has always been a dream unrealised. So yesterday I took a trip down to Cronulla Beach, in Sydney's southern suburbia badlands aka the Sutherland Shire. It's been years since I've had a Chiko Roll on the white sand dunes of Cronulla, had a surf with the old gang, used the old metal detector to find a quick buck. Oh those were the days. But wait, there's also those times I avoided being raped in a carpark by a pack of guys expelled from Northies pub for being too drunk - overhearing them referring to each other by their nicknames: Whopper, Tyson-T, Mad Cunt - was almost enough to make me beg them for it! Christ, the Chiko Roll gets a bit fucking boring after awhile.

The Artswipe
Cultural Currency (Ride) 2007
Mobile phone memory

Memories fade. There's only the here and now. Or Eternity by Calvin Klein if you're, like, in a real hurry and don't have time for past or present. So I'm at Cronulla reminiscing about the old days. I've got my old tapedeck with me. You know the ones which take about ten double D batteries and has separate play and record buttons, which have to pressed simultaneously to record your favourite song. Don Henley's Boys of Summer was one of them back in the day. Today it's just the news. And what news it was! A tsunami warning and the beach is evacuated. I'd expected at best a little race rioting - but a tsunami - who knew?! "Ocean beaches along Australia's east coast have been closed after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a tsunami warning today. Coastal areas from northern Queensland to eastern Tasmania were placed on alert after a large earthquake which measured 8.1 on the Richter scale jolted the Solomon Islands this morning. All of Sydney's ocean beaches have been closed," as one report noted.

The Artswipe
Cultural Currency (Car Parks Aren't Safe) 2007
Mobile phone memory

The jaunt down memory lane didn't exactly last long enough to help solve the cultural currency riddle. I could stay on the beach and maybe drown with a tsunami that's bound to probably suffer a bout of performance anxiety, which is in fact what happened as it didn't reach Australian shores. Shopping malls always make great places to seek shelter from disappointment, an apocalypse or your usual garden variety zombie infestation. George Romero knew it when he made Dawn of the Dead. Following his lead, I made my way to Miranda Fair. It was there I learned that cultural currency has a uniform. A white t-shirt that says "I [heart] The Shire" and a tie featuring the Australian flag. Not the Indigenous one, the other one. You know, the blue one with the Union Jack and a bunch of stars on it. The one flaunted with gay abandon in the front yard of about every second house you pass on the way to the beach. Quick, SMS and say you love me, that you call Australia home, that you'll be there when I need you most. Like the time I could barely breathe through the grief I felt, we all felt really, when the Crocodile Hunter of my [heart] found solace in his own franchise in the sky.


Skanky Jane said...

I love you
I still call Australia home
and I'll be there when you need me most.....


You were brave...going to the beach - I love your mobile phone pics.

SJ xx
I'm a bit cynical about cultural currency too - well about it's sudden appeal.

mayhem said...


I was feeling homesick and just found this site: