Daisy Chains

If you're friends with me on facebook, you would have seen me sharing quite a bit of stuff about why the Sydney Lockout Laws are pretty darn terrible for the city. On the outside the laws say "We're making a safe space for the community" but the reality of the situation is much more complex. 

 If you don't already know, the laws stop bars/clubs/venues from letting people in after 1:30am, and stop bars/clubs/venues serving spirits after 12am and alcohol after 3am in the Sydney CBD area in an aim to curb "alcohol fueled violence". The laws were hastily thrown together after the 2012 murder of Thomas Kelly and the 2013 murder of Daniel Christie. These deaths were avoidable and tragic, but happened well before "Lockout" in their prospective years. 

Now, I would be lying if I said that the Lockout Laws haven't achieved their goal. Violence is down by about 40 percent in the CBD. But at what cost? Foot traffic is down 80 percent  (Now, I'm pretty terrible at math and can't do the equation, but that means proportionally violence has increased) Countless Bars, Pubs and Clubs are shutting down (Not even Kabab shops are safe), taking with it hundreds of jobs for both bar staff and musicians. More than this, the violence that was in the CBD has now spread to other areas in Sydney. As well as "getting rid of the violence" the lockout laws are killing the city. 

I personally am not really sure about the argument that Australians have a uniquely violent relationship with alcohol. I've read some very compelling well sourced articles either way, but lets say we do have a problem. There are other ways to fix rather than saying "no you've been bad, now nobody can have it". For instance, increased public transport with more police and more/better education at a high school level (I remember my classes about alcohol were "it's bad for you, so don't drink. Think the alcoholic equivalent of abstinence only education). The installation of a night mayor (like Amsterdam and Paris) to be responsible for making the nightlife vibrant AND safe. 

"Why are people complaining about not being able to get drunk at 4 in the morning when there are more important issues" you may ask. The answer to this very valid question is that it's not actually about getting drunk and partying. The lockout laws signalled the last straw between Gen x/y and the Baby Boomer generation. 

This article says it best, but here's a summary: the Baby Boomers who are in power have locked younger generations out of great educations, home ownership, pensions, fair welfare, and stability, but now on top of this, they have made it abundantly clear that we are not "mature" "responsible" and "moral" enough for recreation. The protests about lockout are more a reaction to our rights to being adults and using public space being chipped away until we're left with a conservative totalitarian government that rule every aspect of our lives in the name of "morality" and "safety". When we were growing up, they talked about us being "cotton wool kids". Now that we're adults, the generation is insisting of keeping this same "cotton wool attitude" for "our own good".  

As well as keeping us safe "for our own good" these laws are laced with political agenda. Did you know that in the whole "lockout area" there's a rather large space exempt from the laws. This space is in the location, and shape of the Star City Casino  as shown in that handy dandy map to your right. Other venues that have exemptions from lockout are only allowed to stay open as long as they stop selling alcohol and the only form of entertainment are poker machines. (I don't know about you, but this seems more than a little fishy, especially considering the Star City Casino has a reputation as one of the mostly violent venues

I'll finish by saying this: The politics behind lockout are extraordinarily complicated, and there's a lot of information and miss information to be had. Make sure you question your views and do your research, because the reality, and what the government wants you to think is reality are two very different kettles of fish. 

 

EDIT: If you want to join in the action to keep sydney from becoming the suburbs you can do so Here (Reclaim The Streets) and Here (Keep Sydney Open)

Second Chance Sunflowers

Panic! at the Disco are one of the few bands that I still love from my teenage years. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out introduced me to "heavy" music. (I know Panic's not heavy, but for a tiny classically trained Jen, it was super heavy) 

I remember when their second album came out. I was super excited for more of their baroque influenced rock/ whatever blend, but was quite disappointed when instead I was presented with the beetles-esque  orchestrated rock. I tried so very hard to like that album, but ultimately I gave up on it after a few months of it not quenching my thirst for their previous vibe. 

I've not listened to Pretty. Odd. since I was 16. It was in my thoughts after the release of the new Panic! at the disco album (which is a little hit and miss in my opinion) My music tastes have matured quite a bit since I was 16, so I decided to give Pretty. Odd another shot. 

I am so very glad I did. It's such a beautiful album. I particularly love the orchestration (although I wish they'd used real flutes/piccolo's/clarinets/oboes instead of synthesised ones).  My favourite track (which was one of my least favourite back in the day) is From a Mountain in the Middle of The Cabins. The details in the orchestration are superb, and are pretty similar to a lot of the music I've been getting into lately (Artists like Punch Brothers, My Brightest Diamond and Joanna Newsom that sit on the line between contemporary music, art music and folk) . 

Pretty. Odd. isn't the only album I revisited recently, and ended up loving all over again. About 4 months ago I started listening to Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika again. I originally liked this album well enough, but got sick of it. Again, I completely understand why. It wasn't the sound I was in love with at the time (and when you've only got 4 gigs of iPod space to work with, stuff gets culled regularly and mercilessly.) 

Something I've been thinking about putting together is a list of what's on my ipod with descriptions of the artists/links so you can hear what they sound like. I've got a rather eclectic collection of music, ranging from super well know peeps to those with less that 300 likes on facebook. So yeah, let me know if you'd be interested in this! 

Shirt: Revival, Pinafore: Home Made, Skirt: Home made, Socks: don't remember, Shoes: Store in Sydney near Max Brennar Wynyard.  

Shirt: Revival, Pinafore: Home Made, Skirt: Home made, Socks: don't remember, Shoes: Store in Sydney near Max Brennar Wynyard.  

Deviating from the music I've been listening to - This is the outfit I wore tuesday. Originally when I put it together, I wasn't intending to have the second skirt underneath the pinafore. When I added the socks to the outfit, it looked unbalanced, so I popped the skirt underneath. It made everything super flouncy, as well as adding much needed colour balance. 

Periwinkle

When I was in Lismore, I stumbled across the cutest vintage clothing store called the Treasure Trade.

I purchased two pieces in that shop, neither of which I've been able to wear (the clothes are made for colder weather, which is rare in the Australian Summer) 

Yesterday it was chilly enough for me to wear one of the pieces! This is such a perfect and comfortable dress. It's made of chiffon, and has elasticised wrists and waist. It's a tiny bit see through, but that's nothing a slip can't fix. 

The colour is really unusual as well. Too purple to be considered blue, but too blue to be considered purple - basically a perfect periwinkle. 

The skirt of the dress has wonderful movement. I pretty much twirled in it all day. 

On a more serious note, it seems some people need to have a good talking to about personal space and body autonomy. 

I played a gig last night with my band. During the break I needed to use the loo, so I went into the stall area and waited for a stall to free up. The toilets at this venue were unisex. 

Now, normally when you're cuing for the loo, you let the other people in the room have all the space they need. This is the sort of basic respect I expect from people in the stall room. 

So this guy walks into the stall waiting area, and proceeds to put his arm around me in a very familiar way, whilst trying to pick me up at the same time. I'm ashamed to say, I only stiffened up and shifted away. I didn't use my words, but then again, I have a fairly good reason. This guy was twice my weight. I didn't know him. I didn't know if he was drunk, and I didn't know if he would get violent, so I politely and awkwardly sent out the "go away" signals.  

When I finally got into the stall I took my time so that I didn't have to run into him on the way out. He was washing his hands in the basin when I exited the loo. Again, he tried to make conversation. The creepiest bit was when he finished at the basins, he went to the door, turned back and stared at me for an uncomfortably long time, opened the door, then stared again before exiting the bathroom. 

I should have said something to the bar staff, but I was too shocked at the time, and unfortunately too used to this sort of behaviour from strange men. The more I think about the exchange, the angrier and more disturbed I feel as well, both at strange bathroom guy, and at me, although quite frankly I shouldn't have to say anything because it shouldn't have happened in the first place. (man, that's a run on sentence) 

Compared to many other instances of inappropriate touching, this is quite mild, but I don't care. The fact that someone thought this was appropriate is disgusting. It really shouldn't need to be said, but if you don't know the person you do not touch them. Ever.  

If you're non-male person and someone does something inappropriate, speak up. Let them, and everyone around you know that it's not ok, because if we don't, the people who behave this way will continue to be disgusting, and our tiny children will think it is ok. And that's not cool. 

Hamming it up (1920's style)

wpid-20140817_165930.jpg On Sunday I had a gig with the New Empire Ballroom Ragtime and Jazz Dance Orchestra. We're a period Orchestra, so we try and do everything as traditionally as possible (Hence all these lovely ladies in their gorgeous dresses looking delightful)

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I've been waiting so long to do some outfit shots in one of the dresses (We haven't had a gig since I started the blog, which is no fun at all!) Our lovely Wardrobe Mistress Ashley sourced our outfits from thrift stores, then altered them into submission!

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You can find out more about us here https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Empire-Ballroom-Ragtime-Dance-Orchestra :D