The first zine I made was Psychobabble, a fruitcake of a thing, with lots of handwritten text, veering from one subject to another, as well as clippings of absurd things from newspapers. I stopped making Psychobabble in 1998 (though people still seem to remember it), but I have never stopped finding odd things in newspapers. I don’t cut them out very often these days, but sometimes particular things do catch my attention.
I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald this week when I found myself dismayed by yet another article about how to be a Sydney resident is to be obsessed with real estate and parking spaces. Naturally there is only one type of person who lives in this city, and they (or we) are:
I was surprised at how perfectly this describes my life! Seriously though, these articles appear regularly in the SMH. They tell me that Sydney citizens are nasty, uncaring, money-obsessed, they always bring up Melbourne to add fuel to the ridiculous rivalry that to non-residents of either city must seem perplexing and stupid. It’s tiresome, and bad for the city’s collective psyche: what incentive is there for people to change if this is the only option “we” are given?
I didn’t get time to be too irate about it. I have a habit of reading newspapers and magazines backwards (ie. starting with the back page and moving to the front page), so when I leafed back just one page, to the letters, I found an instant antidote:
Sydney residents don’t despair, there is a choice. I like to think that for every mortgage enslaved motorist there is a nudist on a bike. It’s a big city, there are endless ways to live in it.