Saturday, 28 January 2017

You didn't punch a Nazi. You punched YOURSELF in the head.

Richard Spencer is laughing right now. Laughing on both sides of his smarmy face. He's had the biggest  propaganda boost of ANY Nazi figure since Hitler, and the 'Moronic Left' is running round claiming this as some kind of grand victory.

Absolute and utter bulldust. You've  handed a real, genuine, scary actual Nazi, the sort of brand promotion that corporations would realistically have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for. You have. Here are the numbers.

Google Trends shows us that Spencer is now trending online at a rate TWENTY TIMES HIGHER than when he was a pre-punched-in-the-face nobody. So, bloody well done. And as you can see, this looks to be settling in to be a long-run and sustained thing.

So. Mr anonymous, gutless coward punch. You've basically CREATED Richard Spencer. Every time you see him being interviewed credibly in the media from now on, that's OF YOUR MAKING. To rephrase that, every time from now on that a NAZI AGENDA is given a soft run  in the media, as voiced through the newly-media-acceptable Richard Spencer, that's YOUR DOING, you specifically paved the way to make all this seem reasonable.

Because how reasonable is violence? How leftist is violence? Doesn't violence ALWAYS ultimately serve the ends of the powerful? Violence is not revolution. Revolution is a condition that can in some ways be facilitated violently, but the end and the purpose of the process isn't violence itself. Nobody  seems to be able to nominate a single actual leftist cause that's been advanced by this.

But what ARE we used to seeing? Violence used to preserve and maintain power and privilege? Quite often. Violence used to advance racist and or sexist power? Homophobia? Transphobia? Yes, we're very accustomed to seeing all that. So, shouldn't genuine leftist thinking give primacy to NONviolence, and completely eschew the desire to advance discourse through force?

That's not to say violence is always rightist or always illegitimate. The Palestinian people, for instance, faced by the daily and systematised violence of an occupying power, for them the discourse of nonviolence is the discourse of antigravity. It's not realistic to ask people trapped in violent circumstances not to respond with violence.

But it is realistic to ask relatively well to do people in advanced western democracies, where to a certain extent your rights to participate in respectful and respectful debate are systemically protected, where you yourself are in no way subject to any form of systematised violence and that again is protected in law, well ... what's YOUR excuse?

You have all these discursive freedoms at your disposal that others in the word would DIE FOR, and your contribution to the political debate is to run round punching people whose discourse you oppose.

This is the most typical case imaginable of the revolutionary left proving it hasn't got the slightest clue  of how to advance its own interests. Look at that graph above. Now tell me what left cause, discourse, agenda, anything has been served by this? Any single solitary tangible actual achievement you can point to that's come out of it? And "all my socialist alternative mates on Facebook are cheering", not only doesn't count, but proves how ultimately redundant to actual real world effective change you truly are.

Cheersquadding is more important than ensuring Nazi discourse isn't walked  all the way up to third base totally scott free. Yes, and we're a mere three shattered Starbucks windows away from the revolution here, yessir.

Go away. You're not merely not wanted, you're doing the enemy's work, and refusing to even be scrutinised in the process. If you're how we're going to respond to Trump, then God help us all. This is  going to be a loooooooong four years. Actually, I mean EIGHT YEARS ...

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

How to Fix Melbourne's Docklands - Roofing the Spencer Street Rail Yards

It's so obvious.

What's really missing from Docklands is proper integration with the CBD. Colins Street extends, yes but over a fairly unceremonious and daunting hump, though that will be vastly improved when the south side is fully developed.

It's the Bourke Street steps, even less inviting over which most lunchtime workers trudge, and it really all does feel a bit like the exterior of a football ground rather than a vital connection for people flow.

The DFO building is also an ungodly blight on that end of town and a physical and mental barrier to what's beyond.

At the recent Council elections, The Heritage Agenda proposed that Council take a coordinating role with the State Government/Major Projects to see that a project to roof SPENCER STREET RAIL YARDS between Bourke and Lonsdale Streets is put ahead of plans to roof more of the Jolimont Yards and create a "Federation Square East".

A Spencer Street project would be far more important and worthy of public funding because it actually serves a major urban policy outcome - better integrating Docklands with the existing CBD fabric.

Docklands is also crying out for some sort of major cultural institution or other tourist drawcard to make it more of a destination.

A Tramway Museum? A new NGV?

The Heritage Agenda have already suggested a CBD location for a Melbourne Tramways Museum, and this would be be an ideal showcase location. Similarly, the existing plans for a dedicated NGV Modern or NGV Indigenous gallery at Federation Square East could easily be transplanted here.

Otherwise there have recently been calls for the establishment of a Museum of Australian Architecture that this site would fill perfectly.

As readers can see from the schematic below, the central location of the proposed cultural institution would suggest it be a major architectural work in its own right.


The project could be part-self-funded through potential selling off of the significant private development sites it would unlock.

"The Docklands Steps" - A New Melbourne Institution?

We envisage the creation of a "Steps" area, essentially replacing the abominable DFO building, which let's be honest looked temporary from the moment it was opened. The Steps would run for one and a half city blocks from Bourke to Lt. Lonsdale, which would be gently sloping walkways and landscaping, possibly with sections of moving walkways for the mobility impaired.

This would overcome the urban intimidation that currently greets anyone moving from the CBD to Docklands and draw people into the plaza area.

The AFL has recently purchased Etihad Stadium, and discussions are well underway towards creating a significantly more activated concourse area, which would draw pedestrians through to the waterfront and overcome somewhat the monolithic blocking effect that was created when Jeff Kennett decided a stadium was what the new suburb needed built right on its most prime waterfront.

The opportunity therefore exists to address the much larger pedestrian movements all the way from the established CBD right through to Docklands waterfront, and indeed with the creation of a specific tourist drawcard, to significantly enhance the Docklands experience for tourists who might in future visit the museum, stadium, waterfront and Harbour Town in the one day's movement.

A visitor standing outside the proposed cultural building facing East would have quite the vista, and apologies my artists efforts were somewhat thwarted here, as I needed a photo taken hovering ten meters above the middle of the rail yards. Our visitor would take in firstly the CBD skyline-wall as presented from Spencer Street, which with the addition of Upper West Side, Beyonce, and the new Intercontinental Hotel will be increasingly gobsmacking. And to your right, the undulating roofline of Southern Cross Station -  one of its most impressive aspects.

And to the pedestrian approaching from the Steps, the feature-piece architecture of the new cultural building will largely obscure the industrial oppressiveness of the stadium.

There is no question in this author's mind that roofing the Spencer Street Rail Yards is the priority major project to address some of this city's most glaring urban issues.