Northcott Concentration Ghetto, the slum tenement wherein I barely exist, got in the newspapers again today, this time moaning about the the old dead guy found in his apartment. He was slumped by the window, a skeleton, having been dead 6 months without anybody noticing and the Yellow Press decried the alienation of contemporary life and the continuing horrors of the Northcott "suicide towers".
I was reminded of the so-called community effort of a few months ago, where the Belvoir Street Theatre troupe had staged a show called "Sticky Bricks" in the Northcott grounds, attempting to show the denizens the caring nature of Sydney's middle classes, arts-grant wankers getting paid well to portray community spirit. They got the local loonies involved, giving them a phantasmal hobby and a sense of self-importance, and charging the interested public $30 to watch the hapless residents cavort about like trained monkeys, smacking of that old French practice of the jaded rich being entertained by the antics of the lunatics in the mental hospital of Charnet, the Marquis de Sade directing the event. All the while the "Sticky Beaks" show at Northcott was witnessed from a privileged box seat by a dead corpse up in the tower, a member of a community that really cared about him.
A week after the theatrical extravaganza the toffy actors had disappeared back to their comfortable lives and the horror movie that was Northcott carried on in its zombie ways. I met one of the decrepit stars in the car-park, a cripple named Sandy, and I asked her how she enjoyed "Shitty Bricks".
"Oh it was lovely, bloody marvelous!" she mumbled, "and it was called "Sticky Bricks."
"But didn't you think "Sticky Beaks" was just bullshitting you about community involvement?"
"It was "Sticky Bricks" and it was good, it made me feel important!"
"But what about the dead guy watching from his window? He didn't find "Shitty Bricks" was so involving?"
"It was called "Sticky Bricks!" and who gives a shit about the dead guy? I was a star for 15 nano-seconds and it made me feel real good so fuck off!"
Never under-estimate the lure of the staged spotlight, for the disconsolate any attention is good, even if it includes the Marquis de Sade smiling from his place in Hell.