Teenage boys on the bus this morning:
— The first half is it’s like gold. It would be a good CD to listen to on like, um, a tape or something, you know with two sides, so you could just –
— Listen to the first half and then –
— And then, coz the second side, you know, CBF.
I was puzzled by the last phrase, but impressed that he could think of any form of media with two sides. Then, a few blocks later, discussing a show:
— Tickets are like a hundred bucks so I’m not going. I mean at that price I CBF.
That’s when I worked it out. This is an impressive development in laconic contempt: he not only couldn’t be fucked, but he couldn’t be fucked actually saying ‘couldn’t be fucked’.
So that it’s not all apathy and me whinging about it, here’s an optimistic story from earlier in the week about Kensington Street, next door to the old Kent Street brewery in Chippendale: the developer wants to make the derelict terraces and warehouses available for free to artists while they are demolishing the offices on the other side of the street.
I lived in Kensington Street from 1994 to 2001, in the terrace above, which hasn’t been re-let since I moved out. It had very high levels of lead in the paint and dust, which is why we moved. The whole street belonged to Carlton United Breweries at the time, and although they were good landlords, they really CBF doing anything with the properties beyond routine maintenance. So once a building got major problems, like lead, or the single-story terrace up the street which had begun shearing in half whenever a truck went past, it was locked up and abandoned.
Although this policy of neglect was what had allowed me to move there in the first place, I thought it was a shame that the street was falling apart. I guess the extremely low rents were a sort of arts patronage: my wife’s film business depended on it and there were a few other artists living there. I am very happy that someone actually could be fucked to do something creative and interesting with it.
The terraces are heritage listed; the developer is planning to turn the street into a bar-and-restaurant precinct. I have a reflexive response which tells me that this will be ghastly but I know that it comes from the same place that makes people say they couldn’t be fucked. So I’m ignoring it.