Friday, March 24, 2006

Land of the Dead at Northcott.

I live in an infamous tenement block that gets on TV every 2 weeks for some horror story. It's next to Sydney Central Railway Station and I call it Northcott Concentration Ghettoe. I call it that because many lunatics have gotten turfed out of the mental hospitals and dumped in this Housing Department estate and joined by all the no-hoper drug addicts on disability pensions. All of them yammering on top of poor old age pensioners who have to put up with the muggings, beatings and continual abuse because they're not rich enough to live in the secure walled-fortresses that make up the rest of the suburb of Surry Hills. It's a version of Purgatory where we wait before we die.

The area was once a mecca for Bohemians but has been gentrified for the mega-rich and the lone island of poverty that is Northcott sticks out of its midst like the putrescent sore thumb of the walking dead. It's like George Romero's latest film, "Land of the Dead" in reverse, the zombies trapped in a tower while a sea of good citizens clamour around it, hoping one day to have it wiped off the map.

And the monstrous Media is the 5th column in this war of the classes, forever doing horror-movie stories of the place, once describing us as "rats in boxes". This week's creepy story was about the plague of 'ICE' addicts eking out their squalid existence, wallowing in piles of rubbish and filth, awake for weeks on end, picking at imaginary invaders under their skin till they're covered in purulent sores, laughing maniacally at the stupidity of the working masses who lead dreary drone lives in comparison to their nightmare speed-rush of brain fevered dumpster scavenging.

While I was up on the 11th floor, these 'ICE' zombies would often get in the lift with me, raving incoherently about the injustice of the world, and indeed not only their brains seemed shrunken, their very heads appeared micro-encapheletic, with hollowed eyes, teeth gone, weeping sores, stringy hair, really like zombies, and as the lift ascended I took my life in my hands for they stood behind me itching and scratching. But they're so brain dead they haven't got it together to commit clever crimes or attack strong dudes like me, just begging for scraps or sudden, impulsive muggings of old ladies are their forte, and like slow-motion zombies they are easy for a tough nut like me to push over, and so as long as one doesn't sneak up on me with a knife, I'm not so afraid.

What a dystopia to reside in! And what sorry lives drug-addicts lead, not aware that there are other ways, other styles, other worlds, they're brain-dead to potentials and wonders. How the Hell did they get like that? It seems so sub-human. Were their lives so handicapped, their hopes so distorted, only nasty drugs like ICE and smack could console them or dull the pain? (I suppose many of them are victims of a class-ridden world, the elite themselves living off the slave-reservoir of bruised flesh, the cops thriving by busting junkies, throwing them to the ground, booted feet on scrawny necks, it's so easy to pick on the drug-zombies, they make great punching bags.)

I should never feel sorry for myself as I've led a fabulous life in comparison, of adventure, love, fun, achievement, knowledge, eroticism, ecstasy. And it's only living here at Bauhaus Northcott that I can get a denizen's eye-view of the sorry state of the human condition, the interloping Media sensationalizing the hard daily reality of senior citizens and front-line service workers living in fear and loathing in this socialist's Utopia gone wrong. Those ugly ICE ghouls should be shipped to a science station in Antarctica where they can not only feel at home and get all the ICE they want but they could be experimented upon in the science station to find out exactly how these living dead still manage to walk! And most cops should go with them to keep them corralled, the two types belong together.

Just joking, Northcott has its peaceful periods and communal joys, it can be a refuge and a haven for cheapskates like me. Half the residents are harmless pensioners and many try to instill a sense of community here, often helping their neighbors in whatever way they can. And maybe the addicts are the true revolutionaries, fighting an unjust class system by copping out and shitting in everyone's faces? We've all got our battles to fight.