Sunday, October 10, 2010
Another political shit-fight
The biggest problem with the gentrification of the inner suburbs is ... me!
Like most of my recently-established neighbours, I too was born-with-a-silver-spoon-up-my-arse and brought-up amongst outer-suburban garden tea parties in literally massive, manicured backyards before seeing the light (y'know, that huge, increasingly hot, skin cancer-causing one in the sky) and deciding that such lavish living was unsustainable. It was high-time to move closer to the city and to work on creating less of a footprint.
Just like everyone else living in the renovated nineteenth century houses up and down our street, we too have taken to reducing our household waste, and to trying to grow, rather than buy (from miles away and in some cases, other continents) part of our weekly dietary intake.
The problem with trying to do the right thing by Ol' Mama N is that the tiny backyards of the inner suburbs, designed as they were in the late 1800s, and since then shrunk considerably as households discovered the merits of kitchens and toilets, are becoming crammed with stinking bins of rotting vegetable matter with which to feed the exponential proliferation of newly erected, raised garden beds.
These postage stamp yards were never meant to house such festering filth, especially given we're all living on top of each other, with only a narrow, wooden fence line acting as a psychological barrier between honest citizens and drug-manufacturing, wife-beating, illegal immigrant-smuggling, terrorist-harbouring, pawn-peddling and weapons cache-ing neighbours. "Don't worry", we all nod knowingly to ourselves over the racket of pounding body-blows and accompanying screams, "If we can't see it, it's not really happening".
At least, that's what we all said until we started smelling each other as well. And now, thanks to the organic-promoting, food-miles-reducing, resource-conscious revolutions of the nouveau riche, a disgusting miasma of decaying vegetable matter hangs over the once sought-after real estate of the inner north, creating friction between formerly harmonious, cup-of-sugar-borrowing relations that is threatening to break-out in funk-induced, fence-breaching fisticuffs.
Local governments have been inundated with complaints from disgruntled neighbours demanding prosecution on public health grounds. It is, quite literally, the biggest socio-political shit fight since the Chinese Market Gardeners got busted re-directing Melbourne's fledgling sewerage system towards the biggest pumpkins in agricultural history back in 1894, which saw White-Australian public resentment of the 'Yellow Peril' spill-over into cholera-induced, micro-genocide*.
Councillors have had great, steaming piles of manure dumped on their door-steps in the wee hours as threats for local government inaction on the issue, and the EPA has added an urban-stench-o-reading to their daily smog alerts.
This seemingly irrelevant issue is gaining legs as the hallowed chambers of Council meetings groan under the weight of unprecedented crowds, all screaming for an end to the festering fecundity, and in the aftermath of the recent, hung Federal Parliament, the sinister, 'Faceless Men' of the major parties have swung-in behind their Council stooges.
The fear is that the forth-coming State Election could end-up mirroring the Federal result unless urgent action is taken, and so it looks like the boat people will be left to their own devices for a while as the election gears-up to be fought on rather different ground, albeit the type that is infused with the stench of decaying organic matter.
For once it's not regular mud that's being flung by the Majors in an attempt to discredit their opponents, but rather rich, nutritious, organic loam. Ironically, given that they were the ones who started this whole sustainable living gaff in the first place, it's The Greens who are being looked-to for a solution to the urban stench by furious residents with cotton wool stuffed up their nostrils; the Majors, as ever dedicated to their polling, remain reluctant to alienate themselves from either side, and are yet to take a significant stance.
So as this festering issue continues to gain momentum, and the rot sets in on another, otherwise insignificant State Election, some of us are taking action before it's too late. The lid is off Donkey's compost bin, and the contents are being urgently worked into newly-erected garden beds in an effort to get our veggie stock well and truly established while the law still allows us to do so – the neighbours and their sensitive nasal passages be damned. This is my patch of ground, and I'll make it as foul and unpleasant as I like.
* I know that 'micro-genocide' has gotta be a contradiction in terms but I've used it deliberately to match seamlessly with all the other stuff I'm making-up here. No need to hit the history pages to check any of my historical facts, I assure you.
And there it is – the new garden bed. Not bad for a tradie with no opposing thumbs! Pic: Hagas