Thursday, July 17, 2008
Kissing to be Clever
Why did I come back from my holiday during the whole World Youth Day circus? Those pesky pilgrims really are getting up my nose. Is it just me, or has Sydney turned into a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (and I mean the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland)? It really is an alien podscape out there in Sydney my friend. All those self-same backpacks and passes around their necks. Are they backstage passes to heaven? If there is an outbreak of bird flu in the next few days, don't look at me, look at those hoards of high-fiving, tambourine shaking, Mexican waving pilgrim folk. Just the word pilgrim freaks me out, like it was invented to explain how one recovers from depression: Grim? + Pill! = Pilgrim.
Today while trying to get from A to B but having to wait for the tedious ZZZZZs of time wasted at roadblocks to make way for the Pope's passage through the city, I overheard a fat American pilgrim yell at a homeless person for being in her way - she had somewhere to be: front row, centre left for Popemobile no doubt. I went over to the homeless man, let's call him Charlie. I held Charlie for what felt the longest time and he said to me, "can you spare some change?" I asked him if he could break a fifty.
This whole Youth Day spectacle has really gotten out of hand. What's youth got to do with it? Clearly we live in a land where the spectacle of youth has received short thrift amidst the hysteria levelled recently at Bill Henson and then the Art Monthly mob. I really hope a few rosy cheeked pilgrims take the wrong ferry at Circular Quay and end up at Mike Parr's headless chicken porn torture installation at Cockatoo Island. "Mummy, I thought we were going to Manly for an ice cream cone. How did we get to this smelly island of seagull poop and scary wreckage?" This is dialogue from a play I'm writing called Prayers for Percy Pilgrim. You know how it ends: 20something Percy just can't reconcile his Catholicism with his adult fetish for breast milk, no matter how much he calls it communion.
I digress. There appears to be some art related responses to the whole shebang. For instance that celestial beacon of hope, Pope Alice, will stage a "kiss in" for the queers among us at Taylor Square this Saturday 19 July. Kissing to be clever indeed! The Artswipe has been a supporter of the homosexualist cause for some time now. Without the gays there would be no musical theatre and Amyl nitrate, among other things. I even watch Ellen on YouTube sometimes. What kind of world would it be without the GLBT on turkish, hold the mayo? Look, The Artswipe would be there participating at this kissathon on Saturday, but since seeing Pretty Woman on the big screen in 1990, I have been firm about my no kissing policy; it's better that way. Emotional attachments rarely work when you're an online persona like me. When Al Pacino, in the iconic gay flick Crusing (1980), asks his rough trade, "Hips or Lips?", we don't even need to hear the answer. Ask a pilgrim, hips win hands down. And I'm not talking the child-bearin' kind.