Photos by Candia Dixon-Stuart
Abbots of Unreason, altruism, boy bishops, conceptual socialism, Dame Edna, damnatio memoriae, Dolce & Gabbana, Down Under, empathy, Francis Rossi, Gunnamatta Beach, Heliogabalus, Kylie, Lagerfield, Lee Mingwei, Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, Mao, Melbourne, Mis-Rule, Moonee Ponds, NGV, Point Leo, Prince des Sots, Rick Parfitt, Saturnalia, The Moving Garden
Photo: Fir 0002/ Flagstaffotos
Still haven’t achieved my ambition to bump into Edna Everage,
in, or around, Moonee Ponds.
That great Lord (or Dame) of Mis-Rule should re-appear, as
we all have need of an indigenous stalwart of comedy, a she-oak
of satire, in these topsy-turvy times, when the rule-book has been
Yes, I am no longer Up Yonder, but am Down Under, escaping the
status quos in Europe and the USA, which seem to be presided*
over by Abbots of Unreason, Princes des Sots and other anti-
experts, who seem to be having a field day. We might as well be
governed by the likes of Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, as our theme
tune seems to be ‘Whatever You Want.’
(* note the spelling, Donald.)
Bring back Boy Bishops!
Yet, this is no restricted time of daft usurpation, lasting till the 28th of
the month, when metaphorical steam would be released cathartically
and order restored – granted by some Saturnalian blood-letting of the
Yes, slaves becoming masters is no new concept. If you think nepotism
is novel, refer to Heliogabalus, who raised the women in his family to
senatorial titles. He used cosmetics to enhance his appearance and
saw himself as the sun god, before he was eclipsed from public memory-
damnatio memoriae. So perish all with such a degree of hubris!
But what to do while the black farce plays itself out?
Walk on Gunnamatta Beach, or Point Leo?
(You could still be sprayed by effluent from the discharge of over 40%
of Melbourne’s sewage from a nearby pipe. The surfers don’t seem to
You could eat wallaby on South Bank- surprisingly delicious with a confit
of beetroot and pickled red cabbage.
You could gawp at what I call Vulgari jewels at the NGV. Or enjoy a
confection of Kylie’s stage costumes by Dolce & Gabbana and Lagerfield…
There are plenty of distractions, I assure you. One can emulate Nero and
fiddle while everything is incinerated in a global bushfire to end all
On the other hand, you might enjoy participating in Lee Mingwei’s The
Moving Garden, a curiously apt installation and piece of conceptual
socialism which takes you out of yourself and reminds you of the intrinsic
hope of human altruism and expressions of empathy.
The cynic in Candia has to overcome alarm bells at the memory of
Mao’s Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom. Self-expression can be dodgy.
However, I felt constrained to write you a poem about this
meaningful experience, so be sure to read the next post!
Maybe there is hope for the future, possums.