11 December 2005

Manly Beach culture

At the beach parade hotted up cars and motorbikes revving up and down stinking the place out. The sound-scape they produce makes one wonder how people can sit along it in restaurants and cafes. But as long as they do, the business community will not pressure to regulate this motorised parade.

On the beach, beach volleyball in its commercialised form takes up considerable 'real estate', each net a mega stereo to blast on top of the surf.

On the sand one layer further down, more and more gear 'monetarising' the beach. Billboards increase, blocking the view.

At the water line the smell of petrol from 'life saver' vehicles and most of all their motor boats. Swimmers not only have to suck up all the petrol fumes but the behaviour of the boat makes it a matter of time before bodies get minced. Senseless racing up and down the surf with petrol powered motor boats means that one can not escape motor noises even IN the water.The boat was used to provide some beach beauty with a fast water skiing sensation, always close to swimmers.The sound of the surf is now a sensation of the past. There is truly no more 'getting away from it all'.

On the Corso, smoking in defiance everywhere, butts all over, just like on the beach. Forests of signs but no enforcement.

On the roads in between 'traffic' and oodles of billboards going around and around on cars and scooters. The latest cheap advertising is to squat (rows) of car parks, leave the vehicle with billboard there, or even cars for sale. A form of outsourcing business space onto free public space?

At dusk on the waters edge the fishing rods go up, knives, guts and hooks all over the sand. Digging for the last worms to save on bait. For walkers and joggers the 3-4 high tec rods per person are often a challenge.

Then the regulars at 6 pm walking their large dogs on the beach, looking the other way when the dogs empty themselves. But when there is no enforcement...

At night the fishing boats go about their business in the marine reserve with big spotlights. Who cares?

As the mantra goes: intensify, use it up quickly and move on...

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